August 2018 Spotlight, Hyung Chol (Brandon) Yoo, Ph.D.

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Hyung Chol (Brandon) Yoo ( as our member in spotlight.  Dr. Yoo is an Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American studies in the School of Social Transformation and the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. He is an affiliate faculty of counseling and counseling psychology and the Department of Psychology. His background in counseling psychology frames both his research and teaching interests. In particular, he is interested in examining unique racialized risk and resiliency, and their impact on the mental health of diverse marginalized communities (including Asian Americans, transracial adoptee, and multiracials).

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1) what drew you to do work on Asians, Asian American children and youth, or another topic that is important to you now? who was an important mentor to you in this work, or an influential particular study in the field or in a related field?

I grew up in Orlando, Florida in a predominately White community and went to a college with limited resources for Asian Americans. As my interest narrowed to psychology, I found the Asian American Psychological Association’s (AAPA) listserv and contacted as many faculty as I could nationwide to get more research experience focused on Asian American mental health issues. I was surprised and grateful for so many replies by Asian American psychology professors offering me opportunities in their lab. Over the years, I have been blessed with many mentors, including Drs. Richard Lee, Christine Yeh, and Sumie Okazaki, who have been significant in my career development. With their guidance, my research interest evolved and draws on multiple disciplines (including Psychology, Sociology, and Ethnic Studies) to examine uniquely racialized risks, resilience, and resistance of diverse racial minority groups (e.g., Asian Americans and multiracials). Mostly, I am interested in how marginalized groups experience, cope with, and actively challenge systems of racial oppression—emphasizing counter-storytelling and agency.

2) What is your current research project? Any particular advice or tips to someone starting out in the field who is doing work in your area?

Within the framework of studying Racial Risks, Resilience, and Resistance, my research covers broad topics including perceived racism and stereotypes, internalization of the model minority myth, acculturation/enculturation, racial and ethnic identity, racial and ethnic socialization, critical consciousness, and measurement development. Some of my current research projects include focus on multiracial risks, resilience and socialization, and development of the Asian American racial identity measure and Support for Black Lives Matter measure. The advice that I often tell students is to be passionate, committed, curious, and humble in studying and serving communities that you are part of. Get involved and connected in your communities, including organizations like the AAPA or the Asian Caucus. Become prolific readers both in- and outside of your discipline’s research topic. Ask good questions. Reach out to potential mentors with similar professional and research interests. For instance, I’m currently accepting graduate students.

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