Latest COVID-19 Information
  • pronouns She/Her/Hers
  • education BA, Boston College
    MS, Northeastern University
  • Download CV

Catalina Tang Yan, MS is a doctoral candidate at BU School of Social Work. Her research interests are in Participatory Action Research (PAR) approaches to achieving social, racial, and economic justice in education and health with youth and communities of color in urban cities. She’s served as a graduate research assistant at the Center for Promise and has partnered with national and international community and grassroots organizations in the implementation of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) collaborations. Catalina is an immigrant and first-generation college student. She was born and raised in Colombia, South America and she traces her ancestors from rural villages from Southern China.

Areas of Expertise

Children, Youth, and Families; Community Engagement; Health and Public Health; Program Evaluation Methods; Racial Justice

Practice and scholarly focus

• Community-Based Participatory Research
• Critical Community and Youth Participatory Action Research
• Racial Justice
• Critical Reflexivity


MP759 Communities and Organizations: Analysis and Intervention
HB735 Racial Justice and Cultural Oppression


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

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.

Sprague Martinez, L., Tang Yan, C., Varga, S., & Zaff, J. F. (accepted) Employing Critical Pedagogy to
Engage Youth of Color in Research and Action: A case study from five United States Cities. Journal of Adolescent Research

Tang Yan, C., Ansaldo, L, P, Bachour, A., Pérez, C., & Santiago, D. The leaders already exist, but we
don’t support the work that’s gonna take us to the solutions: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions on Authentic Engagement with Immigrant Families. Social Work Research Journal.

Tang Yan, C., Maglalang, D. D., & John, R. S. The State of Asian Americans in Social Work Research:
A Content Analysis. Social Work Research Journal.

Tang Yan, C., Dreitlein, T., McCune, D., Clement-Sanders, C., Dixon, S., McClay, C.J., & Sprague
Martinez, L. Partnering with a Community Arts and Technology Center to implement and evaluate a Youth Participatory Action Research with Young Men of Color: Opportunities, Challenges, and Lessons Learned.

Sprague Martinez, L., Tang Yan, C., Augsberger, A., Ndulue, U., Ayinde-Libsch, E., Freeman, E., &
Gergen-Barnett, K. Changing the Face of Health Care Delivery: The Importance of Youth Participation. Health Affairs.

Pufall Jones, E., Tang Yan, C., Zaff, J., & Flanagan, S. A Systematic Review of Youth Empowerment
Program Research. Youth & Society.

Varga, S. M., Margolius, M., Tang Yan, C., Cole, M., & Zaff, J. In Their Own Words: Latinx Students’
Educational Persistence and Lived Experiences with Social, Political, and Contextual Factors. Youth & Society.

Zaff. J., Margolius, M., Varga, S. M., Lynch, A. D., Tang Yan, C., & Donlan, A. E. English Learners and
high School Graduation: A Pattern-Centered Approach to Understand Within-Group Variations. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk.


Robinson, P.L., Gutierrez, M., Ohmer, M. L., Tang Yan, C., Thurber, A., Davis, B. (Jan, 2020)
Understanding, measuring, and contesting gentrification through a Critical Race lens. Society of Social Work Research, Washington, D.C.

Tang Yan, C., Manchola, C., Gonzalez, E., & Sierra Morales, M. J. (Jun 2019) Conversations and
Reflections from Critical PAR & Popular Education Learning Communities in the Global South. Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA). Montreal, Canada.

Atallah D.G., Tang Yan, C., Mitchell, S. S., Mervin, A., Ortiz, M., L., Koslouski, J. B., Perkins, K.N., &
Ouyang, M. (Jun 2019) Building a Community Advisory Team for collaborative action research: Innovations in promoting resilience and racial justice in an urban public middle school community. Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA). Chicago, IL.

Margolius, M., Pufall Jones, E., Zaff, J., Rollock, M., Tang Yan, C., & Cole, M. (Mar 2019) Disciplined
and Disconnected: How Students Experience Exclusionary Discipline and the Promise of Non-Exclusionary Alternatives. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD). Baltimore, MD.

Skubel, A., Tang Yan, C., Koslouski, J., & Margolius, M. (Feb 2019) Bridging the gap between research
and practice in order to promote equity within our society. Teachers College Columbia University 36th Annual Winter Roundtable Conference in Psychology and Education. New York, NY.

Tang Yan, C., Johnson, K., Araujo Brinkerhoff, C., & Kwesele. (Jan, 2019) Local and Transnational
Youth and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches to Health Promotion. Society of Social Work Research, San Francisco, CA.

John, R., Johnson, K., & Tang Yan, C., (Nov, 2018) Critical Race Theory and Capability Theory:
Alignment with Social Work and Dr. King’s Dream. National Association for Multicultural Education: Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity. Memphis, Tennessee.

Tang Yan, C., Moore de Peralta, A., & Sprague Martinez, L. (Oct, 2018) Por Los Ojos de la Juventud:
Empoderando Jóvenes a través de foto voz en las Malvinas II, República Dominicana. Conferencia Internacional de Psicología Comunitaria (CIPC), Santiago, Chile.

Tallep, N., Bulbulla, S., Lazarus, S., Seedat, M., Swanepoel, H., Atalla, D., Tang Yan, C., Mitchell, S. S.,
Mervin, A., Shapiro, E., Al-Azraq, N., Al-Qaisi, Y., & Suyemoto, K. (Oct, 2018) Translocal decolonial dialogues on Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR): Approaches to critical inquiry for activism and social transformation in settings marked by historical and ongoing settler colonization. Conferencia Internacional de Psicología Comunitaria (CIPC), Santiago, Chile.

Atallah D.G., Tang Yan, C., Mitchell, S. S., Ortiz, M., Fortuna, L., Koslouski, J. B., Perkins, K.N.,
Ouyang, M., & Vaphiades, V. L. (Oct, 2018) Promoting Resilience and Youth Empowerment through a CPAR (Community Participatory Action Research) Antiracist, Trauma-informed Youth Leadership Intervention in Boston, MA (USA). Conferencia Internacional de Psicología Comunitaria, Santiago de Chile, Chile.


Principal Investigator. (2020-2021) Tang Yan, C. & Ansaldo, L. P.: Participatory Evaluation of
Intergenerational Multilingual Storytelling Soundscape. Nexus Community Partners, $20,000.

Principal Investigator. (2019-2020) Tang Yan, C. & Sprague Martinez, L.: Partnering with families
with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) to promote language justice and equity in education settings. Boston University, Boston Initiative On Cities (IOC), $9,000.

Principal Investigator. (2007-2008) Tang Yan, C. Boston College Undergraduate Research.
Discovering Zen Philosophy and Art through Japanese Language. Boston College Advanced Study Grant, $4,000.

Graduation Year


View more profiles

Whether you're looking for School of Social Work faculty, staff, or student profiles, you can find them in one convenient location.

View all faculty