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Siyuan (Diana) Chen

Ph.D. - Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership - Curriculum & Educational Leadership


  • 2027, William & Mary, Ph.D. - Educational Policy, Planning, & Leadership - Curriculum & Educational Leadership
  • 2023, University of Southern California, M.A. in TESOL
  • 2021, Shanghai University, B.A. in English

What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
Prior to W&M, I completed my master's degree in TESOL from USC and my bachelor's degree from Shanghai University. I have taught both English and Chinese during my part-time tutor jobs, so I have been "working" with languages for years.

As a student pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum and Educational Leadership, why did you choose this field, and what motivates you in this work?
I always dream of being a teacher. Before I came to the U.S., my plan was to go back home to be a high school English teacher. However, after I finished my degree, I found it hard to apply what I learned in the Chinese context. That is why I decided to continue working in the field of curriculum and leadership, to see what I can do to let students learn better.

What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
My career goal after graduation is to become a faculty member in universities. I want to continue working on curriculum and leadership, conducting more research within this field to help educators and students.

Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
W&M is a prestigious school. Mostly importantly, this program matches my previous research experience, which is amazing. The cohort here is very small, and every staff member and professor are willing to help you. When they say they can help, they do help. This is truly important for international students like me. Besides, Williamsburg is the perfect place for living and studying. The town is safe, beautiful and convenient.

What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
The professors here are amazing. They have great knowledge to inspire you, but they will not push you to do things you don't want to. They do their jobs as mentors, gradually lead you to explore your areas of interests. And the peers I am working with are great people. They help me not only with school work, but also the whole journey of doing a Ph.D.

Is there any additional information you would want a prospective student to know about the School of Education and its degree programs?
In W&M, students and professors are closely connected. This is the best place to develop your skills and knowledge. Please don't hesitate to reach out to any faculty members and staff here, they are very helpful. You will feel welcomed here, and you will find this as the best place to study.
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