Name: Nathan Kar Ming Chan
Year and program: Fifth year political science Ph.D. program
Awards: School of Social Sciences Kathy Alberti Prize and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Hometown: Eagle Rock (Los Angeles), California
Undergraduate Institution: UCLA

Tell us a bit about your research and publications.

My research seeks to understand how identification with a multiplicity of collective social groups impacts our opinions about politics and decisions to be involved with politics. I’m interested in how our attachments and feelings toward racial, age, and/or religious groups shapes political behavior.

Most recently, I have a series of research projects which shed light on the political experience of Asian Americans during COVID-19. Here, I examine shifts in Asian American partisan preferences during times of social exclusion, driven by political elites. Additionally, I’m investigating how anti-Asian attitudes shape vote choice for president over time. I am planning to soon interrogate why Asian American voter turnout skyrocketed the most in 2020 compared to other racial groups.

My current research has been published or is forthcoming in Political Research Quarterly, Politics and Religion, PS: Political Science and Politics, and the Journal of Political Science Education. With funding from the Center for the Study of Democracy at UC Irvine and Michael Tesler, political science professor, I was able to contribute content to the 2020 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey, joining about 150 scholars of identity politics on this data collection effort. Through this, I am eager to continue research in minority political behavior.

What other activities have you been involved in on campus?

One of the most enriching experiences while being a Ph.D. student at UC Irvine had been my involvement with Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience: Partnering in Leadership for Undergraduate Students (DECADE PLUS). It has been such a privilege for me to get to know and mentor first-generation and minority undergraduate students. I thank my mentees over the years for also teaching me a lot along the way. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to teach at UC Irvine as a teaching assistant and instructor of record. Shout out to my previous Social Science 10 and Summer Academic Enrichment Program students!

Who has played an important role in your life thus far and why?

I am indebted to my committee members at UC Irvine, who have been there for me through thick and thin. I thank Michael Tesler, Davin Phoenix, and Louis DeSipio who have shaped me as a scholar, provided me academic support, and continue time and time again to show me and all those around them kindness. I appreciate them very much.

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