APARC Names 2024 Incoming Fellows

The Center’s new cohort of nine scholars pursues research spanning diverse topics across contemporary Asia studies.
2024 Incoming Fellows at Shorenstein APARC

Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) is delighted to welcome a new cohort of incoming fellows joining us starting in summer 2024.

APARC offers multiple prestigious fellowship opportunities for Stanford doctoral students, emerging scholars of exceptional promise, and accomplished faculty and mid-career experts researching contemporary Asia topics. Supported by these fellowships, our incoming fellows will complete and publish dissertation research, undertake new research projects, and engage with the Center's scholarly community.


Meet the Fellows 

Alisha Cherian

Alisha Cherian

APARC Predoctoral Fellow

Alisha Elizabeth Cherian is a Stanford PhD candidate in social and cultural anthropology. Her dissertation, “Beyond Integration: Indian Singaporean Public Urban Life,” investigates how enforced racial integration shapes racial formations and race relations in Singapore. Her project explores everyday encounters and interactions that are structured, but not overdetermined, by the state's multiracial policies as well as colonial histories and regional legacies of Indian indentured and convict labor. Through her research, she aims to enhance our ethnographic understanding of scholarly and practical approaches to plural societies.

She received her BA from Vassar College in anthropology and drama with a correlate in Asian studies, and her MA in the social sciences from the University of Chicago.  

Shilin Jia

Shilin Jia

Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow on Contemporary Asia

Shilin Jia is a postdoctoral teaching fellow in computational social science at the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD in sociology. His scholarly interest lies in applying computational methods to the study of political culture and organizations, with a special focus on post-reform China.

Shilin’s research analyzes job transfers of Communist Party elites in China by using machine learning to code party elites' CVs. His objective is to grasp the evolution of the party-state through the division of labor and circulation of its elite members. He also conducts a computational content analysis of 60 years of the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, tracking ideological changes. His goal with this project is to understand how an ideological system can gradually reconcile incompatible ideas and how the concept of “market” is unfettered in that process.

At APARC, while continuing to work on his projects, Shilin will start a book manuscript that offers a comprehensive analysis of the changing career patterns of CCP elites over 30 years of China’s economic reform.

He received his MA in sociology from National Chengchi University, Taiwan and a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Jinseok Kim

Jinseok Kim

Asia Health Policy Postdoctoral Fellow

Jinseok Kim is a doctoral candidate in economics at the Technology, Economics,
Management and Policy Program of Seoul National University. His research interests lie in behavioral economics, demand forecasting, and policy analysis in technology diffusion, energy, and the environment.

His thesis, "Quantum-like Approach to Random Utility Maximization Framework: Application to Discrete Choice Modelling," applies concepts from quantum mechanics to reinterpret the human decision-making process within the random utility maximization framework. This approach yields an expanded model that accounts for both the randomness of human choice and the impact of self-uncertainty at the individual level. By conducting choice analysis within this novel theoretical framework, the study aims to contribute theoretically and empirically to choice modeling.

During his time at APARC, Jinseok will undertake a research project that analyzes the impact of population aging on innovation diffusion and technology consumption.

Jinseok holds an MS in environmental technology from Imperial College of London and a BA Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from University College London. 

Yingqiu Kuang

Yingqiu Kuang

Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow on Contemporary Asia

Yingqiu Kuang is a political scientist specializing in the comparative and international political economy of China and East Asia. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, law, and global governance. She completed her PhD in political science at the University of British Columbia.

Yingqiu’s book project, “A Mosaic of Mundane Innovations: Emerging Powers, Multinational Firms, and Global 5G Technology Rules,” examines the emergence of latecomer economies like China and South Korea as key agents in the global technology governance regime. Using a mixed research method and an original, novel dataset, the project aims to explain why East Asian firms appear more effective in 5G rule-making on transnational platforms than traditional technology giants, and how the diverse behavior of these firms is reshaping global institutions. 

At APARC, Yingqiu will expand and revise her book manuscript. She will also continue to pursue her wider scholarly agenda, which concerns the economic engagements between China, East Asia, and the world. She is particularly interested in how technological unpredictability is changing the landscape of economic governance in the region and globally.

She holds an MA in political science from the University of British Columbia and pursued undergraduate studies at Peking University and Waseda University. 

Ruo-Fan Liu

Ruo-Fan Liu

Postdoctoral Fellow on Contemporary Taiwan

Ruo-Fan Liu is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research examines the uncertainties students encountered after Taiwan’s holistic admission reforms, and how parents and teachers activate cultural and social capital to regain admissions advantages. She is a Fulbright recipient, a former Congress party negotiator, and the author of Let the Timber Creek: An Alternative School’s Utopia for Coming Generations, selected as the top tenth best non-fictional book by China Times.

Ruo-Fan’s other line of research focuses on meritocracy and credentialism in East Asia. Her award-winning paper, “Digital Credentialism,” reveals how the symbolic power of credentials travels through online platforms to reify people’s beliefs about who is qualified, legitimated, and trustworthy.

At APARC, she will turn her dissertation, “Sticky or Shaken,” into a book manuscript. She will also expand her current research agenda on uncertainty and legitimacy into prescriptive recommendations for organizational hiring and talent flows. Learn more about Ruo-Fan’s work via her website and follow her on X. 

Mai Nguyen

Mai Nguyen

Asia Health Policy Postdoctoral Fellow

Mai Nguyen holds a PhD in health services and health policy from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Her doctoral research focuses on how Vietnam can enhance the management of its expanding private healthcare sector to better supplement public health services toward achieving universal health coverage.

Her research analyzes large and complex national health datasets from two consecutive Household Living Standard Surveys, clinical hospital data at national levels, and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders of Vietnam's health system to investigate consumers’ choices for private and public health care services. Her findings have policy implications concerning harnessing and regulating private health services in Vietnam and other low- and middle-income Asia-Pacific countries.

Her research interest stems from her professional experience in health policy and program management, including in the role of a senior health specialist at  Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

At APARC, Mai will extend her research on the roles of private healthcare to supplement the public health sector to address the growing burden of chronic diseases and conditions in Vietnam.

She received an MS from Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. 

Theara Thun

Theara Thun

Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Fellow on Contemporary Southeast Asia

Dr. Theara Thun is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, funded by Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council. His research interests include intellectual history, ethnic politics, and post-war education, with a particular focus on Cambodia and Southeast Asia.

He holds a PhD in history from the National University of Singapore (NUS), through a joint doctoral program with the Harvard-Yenching Institute (Harvard University). He was the recipient of the 2019 Wang Gungwu Medal and Prize for the Best PhD Thesis in the Social Sciences/Humanities.

His first book, Epistemology of the Past: Texts, History, and Intellectuals of Cambodia, 1855–1970 (University of Hawaii Press, August 2024), critically explores scholarly debates of Cambodian, Thai, and French intellectuals. The book presents one of the largest original indigenous manuscript collections ever assembled in Southeast Asian Studies scholarship. It argues that precolonial historical scholarship persisted alongside Western historical writings, leading to the development of a unique body of knowledge with its own distinct epistemology.

At APARC, Dr. Thun will work on his second book project, which explores post-war intellectual and higher education development in Cambodia. The project seeks to understand how Cambodia’s universities have transformed following the destruction of the entire educational system and the massacre of most teaching personnel during the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979. 

Meredith Weiss

Meredith Weiss

Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Fellow on Contemporary Southeast Asia

Meredith Weiss is a professor of political science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY, and the inaugural director of the SUNY/CUNY Southeast Asia Consortium.

Weiss’s work addresses social mobilization, civil society, and collective identity; electoral politics and parties; and regime change, institutional reform, and rights in Southeast Asia, especially Singapore and Malaysia. She has conducted years of fieldwork in those two countries, along with shorter periods in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.

Her four books include, most recently, The Roots of Resilience: Political Machines & Grassroots Politics in Southeast Asia (Cornell, 2020) and the co-authored Money & Machines: Mobilizing for Elections in Southeast Asia (Cambridge, 2022). She is editor or co-editor of thirteen volumes, the latest is the Routledge Handbook of Civil and Uncivil Society in Southeast Asia (2023).

Her current projects focus on issues ranging from urban governance in Southeast Asia to new modes of youth protest across Asia, to institutional change in Malaysia. At APARC, Weiss will complete a book on Malaysia structured around themes of social and political change, the interlacing of institutional and non-institutional contention, and developmentalism, which spars perennially with communalism.

She received her MA and PhD in political science from Yale University and a BA from Rice University. 

Brandon Yoder

Brandon Yoder

Next Asia Policy Visiting Fellow

Brandon Yoder is a senior lecturer (associate professor equivalent) in the School of Politics and IR at the Australian National University. His research couples a theoretical focus on interstate signaling and international cooperation and conflict with a substantive focus on Chinese foreign policy and East Asian politics. He employs an eclectic methodological approach that combines formal methods, case studies, and lab experiments. His existing work has focused broadly on how and when states can credibly signal their intentions and the strategies they can employ to elicit credible signals from others.

At APARC, Brandon will pursue three projects. One argues that small states’ non-alignment strategies can constrain the United States and China to moderate their foreign policies to the great powers’ benefit. The second project will employ survey experiments, text analysis, and elite interviews to examine how expert communities influence foreign policy toward China. The third project shows how multilateral interactions have facilitated credible reassurance in U.S.-China-Russia relations.

Brandon holds a PhD in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a BS in neurobiology from Cornell University. He is the editor of The United States and Contemporary China Russia Relations: Theoretical Insights and Implications (Palgrave, 2022) and author of works that appeared in various academic journals.

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