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Chao-Yo Cheng

Position and company: Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Quantitative Political and Social Research, Birkbeck, U. of London
Country of work: United Kingdom
Degree Attained at UCLA: PhD in Political Science
Graduation Year: 2019
Could you tell us about your journey to UCLA?
After finishing my undergraduate studies in Taiwan, I spent one year completing the mandatory military service. After that, I moved to New York, NY, obtaining a master's degree from Columbia University. Following this, I held several research assistant positions in New York and Taipei before relocating to Los Angeles, CA, to pursue a PhD in political science in 2012. This endeavor was made possible through financial support from Taiwan's Ministry of Education, the Fulbright Foundation and UCLA.
What inspired or motivated you to pursue work abroad? Was this always your plan?
Since I was a child, studying and working abroad has been my dream, as I hope to immerse myself in new cultures and forge connections with people from around the world. As a college student in Taiwan, I seized the opportunity to spend three semesters in Hong Kong and Galway, Ireland. Each encounter deepened my desire to become a global citizen and eventually motivated me to pursue my graduate studies in the United States.
Can you speak a little bit about your career and how it has progressed since graduating from UCLA?
After UCLA, I embarked on two postdoctoral fellowships at Tsinghua University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). At both institutions, I collaborated with social researchers from diverse fields, engaging in various interdisciplinary teaching and research activities. This experience helped me land a lecturership at Birkbeck, University of London, where we aim to provide education to all. I also serve as the Director of Birkbeck's Postgraduate Social Research Programs.
Are you involved in any international UCLA alumni groups or support networks?
Not at this moment, but I would definitely love to get involved!

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