Qi Huang receives MSU College of Social Science 2024 DEI Excellence Graduate Student Award


The MSU College of Social Science has selected MSU Human Development and Family Studies fourth-year doctoral candidate Qi Huang for the 2024 DEI Excellence Graduate Award. The focus of her doctoral studies are Diversity, Youth, and Family Development and she received her bachelor's degree in psychology from MSU.

“My current research interests focus on the academic, cultural, and psychological adjustment of international students who struggle academically, particularly Chinese international students on academic probation or academic dismissal,” Huang said. “I am also involved in research about discrimination experiences, cultural socialization, and wellbeing of ethnic-racial minority adolescents and young adults.”

Huang feels honored to receive the DEI Excellence recognition from the MSU College of Social Science.

“Winning this award is incredibly meaningful to me because it validated my commitment to DEI by acknowledging the impact of my personal journey, professional endeavors, and research contributions. It also provided a platform to inspire further positive change and recognition for advocating for marginalized communities,” she said.

“Qi is an exceptional student who has done highly impactful work to promote DEI on campus, advocating for international students, a group often marginalized and invisible in U.S. higher education institutions,” said Desiree Qin, Ph.D., professor in the MSU Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Huang’s research addresses the academic and psychosocial adaptation experiences of international students. During her senior undergraduate year, she worked for the Office of International Students and Scholars as a key member of a team to provide critical support for international students (and their families) facing a range of serious medical, psychological, or academic issues during their studies.

“Her deep level of care and compassionate skillfulness made her a very valuable member of this team and her work made a big difference for the students and their families at a very vulnerable time in their lives,” Dr. Qin said. “She is currently developing a dissertation study on Chinese international students who have faced academic dismissal, an area of research we desperately need, but few have had the ability to carry out a study like this given the reluctance of students to open up and discuss these challenging issues.”

Last spring, Huang co-developed and implemented a six-week Wellness Ambassador Program alongside another graduate student. They invited leaders from various health and wellness-related units on campus with graduate student wellness ambassadors. The program created a valuable space for international graduate students and staff working with them to discuss culturally responsive tools to advocate for the well-being of themselves and others.

She completed the DEI Certificate Program and was a Graduate School’s Leadership Development Fellow. She also serves as a mentor to underrepresented minority students in HDFS and has a long list of community leadership and service activities. Qi has also been an impactful teacher and fully embraces DEI principles in her teaching practices. She was featured as the Graduate School Educator of Month in September 2023.

“I strive to amplify the voices of marginalized minority students and increase the visibility of their needs,” Huang said. “My goal is to address the experiences of international students from both individual and institutional angles, working towards equity and minimizing opportunity gaps as outlined in the MSU strategic plan. This endeavor marks a significant step towards cultivating a more diverse and inclusive campus community.”

By Katie Rose Frey