Aug 2022 – Spotlight, Dr. Christine Pajunar Li-Grining

This month, we are delighted to introduce Dr. Christine Pajunar Li-Grining ( as our member in the spotlight. Christine is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at Loyola University Chicago.

  1. Can you write a couple sentences on some aspect of your career development: feel free to pick one or any other related question among these: a) what drew you to do work on Asians, Asian American children and youth, or another topic that is important to you now? b) who was an important mentor to you in this work, or an influential particular study in the field or in a related field? c) any particular advice or tips to someone starting out in the field who is doing work in your area? 

Part of what has drawn me to conduct studies with children from immigrant families is my own experience in an immigrant family. Being familiar with immigrant stories is one of the reasons why I strive to understand sources of resilience, contexts that demand youth to be resilient, and how we can create more supportive contexts for youth.

  • A short paragraph describing a particular recent finding, current study, or recent publication and what makes you excited about it.  Feel free to describe its importance from any one or more of these lenses: a) research contribution; b) our knowledge about Asian or Asian American populations; c) our knowledge about other [understudied?] populations; d) practice or policy relevance. 

In a recent study, my co-authors and I studied assets and risks present in the lives of families from low-income, minoritized communities as teens prepared for college. We expanded the existing literature in two main ways. First, we detected a wide range of aspirations and supports for teens from low-income, Black and Latinx communities who tended to face a variety of challenges. Second, we identified a specific dimension of self-regulation – organizational skills – as a protective factor for teens’ college preparedness and as a mediator of the linkage between cumulative risk and college preparedness.

  • If you have any thoughts about your experiences with the Asian Caucus, that would be great!  These can be just for the Caucus leadership to know, and/or a message to the Caucus community. 

Thank you for this community!  It was great to be part of MUKBANG: Asian Caucus Mentoring, Connecting, and Networking Event in 2021, and I’m looking forward to similar opportunities.

  • Any upcoming talks or presentations we should know about?

Not at the moment, but looking forward to submitting this summer to present at the SRCD 2023 conference.

  • A weblink you prefer to share?

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