Pauline Ho

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Pauline is a PhD candidate in the Human Development area of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Advised by Dr. Brad Brown, Pauline’s research interest broadly focuses on  identity development in adolescence and emerging adulthood. Her current work focuses on 4 key aspects of identity development: 1) timing (when does identity develops), 2) content (what develops), 3) process (how does it develop), and its impact (how identity development affects adolescent health and well-being.

Pauline graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine where she double majored in Education Sciences and Social Policy and Public Service. Her research at UC Irvine primarily focused on investigating effective pedagogy for teaching English and discipline-specific knowledge to diverse student learners. Now, she is interested in how emerging adults, particularly racial and ethnic minorities, become who they are and how their sense of identities impact their well-being and other important decisions in their lives (e.g. choosing a college major or occupation). Her research aims to generate insights, both conceptually and empirically, to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of identity development to inform programmatic interventions in the areas of student affairs and mental health practices.

Research interests:

Adolescent development, college transition, community-engaged scholarship, identity development, underrepresented students


  • B.A. Education Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 2017
  • B.A. Social Policy and Public Service, University of California, Irvine, 2017
  • M.S. Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2020

Awards and Honors:

  • UW-Madison’s Education Graduate (Ed-GRS) Fellowship
  • Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) Fellowship
  • Ford Predoctoral Fellowship 2018 Honorable Mention
  • NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship 2017 Honorable Mention
  • AERA 2017 Annual Meeting’s Undergraduate Fellow
  • 2017 Who’s Who in Asian American Communities (WWAAC)’s Leaders & Legends Honoree

Grants Awarded:

  • 2020 Global Health Institute Graduate Student Research Award
  • 2020 APAGS Psychological Science Research Grant (Diversity)


  • Ho, P., Chen, K., Shao, A., Bao, L., Ai, A., Tarfa, A.,…Brown, L. (in press). A mixed methods study of public perception of social distancing: Integrating qualitative and computational analyses for text data. Journal of Mixed Methods Research.
  • Chen, K., Bao, L., Shao, A., Ho, P., Yang, S., Wirz, C., … Brown, L. (2020). How public perceptions of social distancing evolved over a critical time period: Communications lessons learnt from the American state of Wisconsin. Journal of Science Communication, 19(5), A11.
  • Wirz, C. D., Cate, A., Brauer, M., Brossard, D., Brown, L. D., Chen, K., Ho, P., Luter, D. G., Madden, H., Schoenborn, S., Shaw, B., Sprinkel, C., Stanley, D., & Sumi, G.  (2022). Science communication during COVID-19: when theory meets practice and best practices meet reality. Journal of Science Communication21(3), N01.

Conference presentations:

  • Ho, P., Brown, B., Lee, F., Scott, L. & Contreras, P. (2021, April). Ethnic and Racial Identity Change and Development: A Retrospective Longitudinal Study. Paper presented at the 2021 AERA Annual Conference.
  • Chen, K., Bao, L., Shao, A., Ho, P., Yang, S., Wirz, C.D., Brossard, D., Brauer, M. & Brown, L.D. (2020, December). How public perceptions of social distancing evolved over a critical time period: Communications lessons learnt from the American State of Wisconsin. Paper presented at the World Conference on Science Literacy, Beijing, China.
  • Ho, P. & Brown, B. (2020, October). Ethnic and Racial Identity Development in College: A Developmental-Contextual Approach. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s (ASHE) 45th Annual Conference.
  • Ho, P. & Brown, B. (2020, August 6-9). Ethnic and racial identity development in college: Making meaning at PWIs. [Poster session canceled]. 2020 American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, D.C.

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