Entering Your Dream PhD Program

Interviewer: Mary Dinh

Interviewee: Yingru Zhao (1st year doctoral student)

I met Yingru Zhao, our new ETAP doctoral student. She is from Shenyang, China, a location so far away from the United States. However, she chose the Department of Educational Theory and Practice (ETAP), School of Education, UAlbany, for her Ph.D. study. Yingru graduated from the University of Foreign Languages, majoring in foreign linguistics and applied linguistics. She became a teacher and continued her professional development with a teaching position at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA). For the past five years, she has realized the importance of creating a balance between real-world practices and research-based scientific theories, especially for serving the energetic population of adult learners in higher education. Some of her students are heritage speakers born in the States yet yearning to learn an additional language and culture, so Yingru’s effort is to help those students stay connected to not only the language but also the cultural roots with a more meaningful teacher-generated curriculum and instructional materials. Such recognition motivated her to pursue a terminal degree in Curriculum and Instruction at UAlbany, emphasizing pedagogical and curricular innovations in teaching languages. For a new journey at ETAP, Yingru is excited to know more Ph.D. students and have a chance to attend classes and work with other professors in both the field of linguistics and education.

A full episode of our interview – “Entering Your Dream PhD Program” can be found at:

Written by Mary Dinh (mdinh@albany.edu)

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