You Belong Here
So much is in store for you at Lesley University! Now that you’ve been accepted, RSVP for our exclusive celebration for new undergraduate and Threshold students for Saturday, April 27.

Catalina Tang Yan

Assistant Professor of Counseling and Psychology

Photo of Catalina Tang Yan

Catalina Tang Yan 趙嘉蓮 is a transdisciplinary scholar who uses a decolonial and racial equity lens to study the narratives that create epistemic justice at the intersection of health, language, disability, and education. Her research focuses on the ways critical youth and community-based participatory action research approaches can create equitable social policy, unsettling pedagogy, and applied research. 

As an educator, she approaches her teaching as a continuous praxis to humanize the classroom with students and integrate defiant pedagogies shaped by decolonial, critical race, and feminist theories. She is committed to co-creating anti-oppressive and brave communities of learning inside and outside the classroom to facilitate critical reflection, challenge individual worldviews, and embody systemic and liberatory approaches to justice.

As a former immigrant youth leader, organizer, and youth worker in various Out of School Time youth programs in the Greater Boston Area, she seeks to partner with community stakeholders locally and transnationally to support their community organizing efforts in achieving social change and transformation.

Sampling of Scholarship

Tang Yan, C., Bachour, A., Pérez, C. J., Ansaldo, L. P., Santiago, D., Jin, Y., Li, Z., Mok, Y. S., Weng, Y., & Martinez, L. S. (2022). Partnering with immigrant families to promote language justice and equity in education. American Journal of Community Psychology, n/a(n/a).

Attallah D., Dutta, U., Masud, H., Bernal, I., Robinson, R., Del Rio, M., Voyard, C., Al-Ajarma, Y., Antilef, I., Azad, A.K., Bivens, B., Darwish, A., Contreras Painemal, C., Hakim, C., Hussain, K.S., Jones, D., Marrero, W., Mervin, A., Mitchell, M., Mullah, M., Musleh, A., Pilquil Lizama, E., Rosa, M., Tang Yan, C., & Tabilo Jara, G.C. (2022). Transnational Research Collectives as ‘Constellations of Co-Resistance’: Counterstorytelling, Interweaving Struggles, and Decolonial Love. Qualitative Inquiry.

Tang Yan, C., Haque, S., Chassler, D., Lobb, R., Battaglia, T., & Sprague Martinez, L. (2021) “It Has to Be Designed in a Way that Really Challenges People’s Assumptions”: Community Partner Perspectives on Curriculum to Prepare Community Engaged Scholars. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 5(1).

Tang Yan, C., McClay, C. J., Maharaj, M., Gray, H., Muhammad, N., Lewis, S. M., Ohaya, U., Fallini, G., Whistler, J., Walker, C., Patterson, J., Miller, R., Gonzales, D., Ross, T., Burch, Z., Pendleton, D., & Sprague Martinez, L. S. (2021). “Don’t Shoot, I Want to Grow Up”: Findings of a Multi-City Youth-led Health Assessment. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 15(3), 269–270.

Tang Yan, C., Orlandimeje, R., Drucker, R., & Lang, A. J. (2021). Unsettling reflexivity and critical race pedagogy in social work education: Narratives from social work students. Social Work Education, 1–24.

Tang Yan, C., Johnson, K., Araujo Brinkerhoff, C., & Kwesele. (2021) Critical reflections from doctoral students engaging in local and transnational Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approaches to health promotion. Journal of Social Work Education.

Sprague Martinez, L. S., Tang Yan, C., Augsberger, A., Ndulue, U. J., Libsch, E. A., Pierre, J. S., Freeman, E., & Gergen Barnett, K. (2020). Changing The Face Of Health Care Delivery: The Importance Of Youth Participation. Health Affairs, 39(10), 1776–1782.

Sprague Martinez, L., Tang Yan, C., McClay, C., Varga, S., & Zaff, J. F. (2020). Adult reflection on engaging youth of color in research and action: a case study from five US cities. Journal of adolescent research, 35(6), 699-727.

Zaff, J. F., Margolius, M., Varga, S. M., Lynch, A. D., Tang Yan, C., & Donlan, A. E. (2020). English Learners and High School Graduation: A Pattern-Centered Approach to Understand within-Group Variations. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 1-19.

Tang Yan, C., Moore de Peralta, A., Bowers, E. P., & Sprague Martinez, L. (2019). Realmente Tenemos la Capacidad: Engaging Youth to Explore Health in the Dominican Republic Through Photovoice. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 12(1), 8.

Palmer, G. L., Fernandez, J. S., Lee, G., Masud, H., Hilson, S., Tang Yan, C., Thomas D., Clark, L., Guzman, B., & Bernai Ireri (2019) Oppression and power. In Jason, L. A., Glantsman, O., O’Brien, J., & Ramian, K. (Eds.), Introduction to community psychology: becoming an agent of change. (Rebus Community) (pp 51-80). Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


PhD, Social Work, Boston University

M.S., Nonprofit Management and Project Management, Northeastern University

B.A., Sociology and Linguistics, Boston College