Honors Associate Director Nationally Recognized for Outstanding Work
By Christina L. Cardenas
Communications and Marketing Specialist
Office of Academic Programs
Citing outstanding contribution to the field of psychology, the American Psychological Association (APA) – the country’s leading scientific and professional psychology organization – granted fellow status to University Honors Program Associate Director Dr. Yuying Tsong, effective January 2021.
Fellow status within the APA is “an honor bestowed upon … members who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology,” according to the APA’s website. Fellow status also requires that a person’s work in psychology has had an impact nationally.
“Part of the reason I was selected to be a fellow has a lot to do with my work with underrepresented populations, and me, wanting to be part of the Honors program, is very much aligned to that,” Tsong said.
Tsong is a professor in Human Services, a trained counseling psychologist and researcher with expertise in Asian-American psychology, ethnic and sexual minority mental health and women’s issues. Her peer-reviewed research has been published in several journals and books, and covers a wide spectrum of topics, including immigration’s effects on family, acculturative stress, sexual assault trauma, eating disorders and more.
Tsong also served as president for the Society for the Psychology of Women, a division within the APA that focuses on women’s issues.
“The Honors Program is very excited and privileged to have Dr. Yuying Tsong as our associate director, because she shines as a scholar and leader,” said Dr. Sandra Pérez, director of the Honors Program. “The depth and breadth of her knowledge base is indeed impressive!”
Pérez said she believes Tsong not only serves as a role model for students in the program, but her expertise will allow them to grow through courses and guidance with research ideas and questions.
“Our students further their ability to compete nationally as undergraduates, and later as graduate school applicants and new professionals, because their skillsets are strong when they have learned from the best,” Pérez said.
Tsong said the inspiration to apply for the associate director position stemmed from a former Honors student who Tsong mentored during her Senior Honors Project. As a Latina and first-generation college student, graduate school wasn’t on her radar, despite her intelligence and ambition, Tsong said. With some one-on-one guidance and encouragement, the student began to see graduate school as a possibility.
“Working with her made me want to do more to figure out how to get more students like her getting involved in the Honors program,” Tsong said. “A lot of students have Imposter Syndrome when going to a four-year university. They never thought about graduate school until someone reached out to them and said, ‘You need to think about it, you have the potential, you can be a leader.’ I think that kind of individualized encouragement and mentoring and guidance is really important, and I would like for our Honors program to be something like that; to support them so they can be confident in themselves and their abilities, and to dream bigger.”