Doua Yang2019 Rising Alumni

Doua Yang

Doua Yang works at Metropolitan State University as the TRIO Upward Bound Program Coordinator. Her work and leadership is essential for the success of TRIO because of her commitment to equity work, college access, and student achievement. She plays an important role in making sure high schoolers are ready and prepared for college, both academically and socially. She also consults on workshops and presentations about what is culturally sensible and acceptable in working with students from similar backgrounds as hers. Doua was the first female in her family of 15 to graduate from college when she finished her degree in family social science. She has fond campus memories of doing community-based research with a faculty member and being active in the Hmong Minnesota Student Association. Today, Doua continues making her community a better place through political advocacy and doing all she can to ensure access to higher education.

Current Job

TRIO Upward Bound Program Coordinator, Metropolitan State University

CEHD Degree

BS Family Social Science, 2013

Please list any professional accomplishments you wish to mention.

I was the first female in my family of 15 to graduate from college. I was named a UMN TRIO Alumnus—Class of 2013 and a TRIO Professional since 2016. I was part of the 2017 cohort of the MN TRIO Members Involved in Leadership and Engagement (MILE) and the 2018 cohort of the New Leaders Council Twin Cities. I was also the field director (2018) and campaign manager (2019) for Mitra Jalali Nelson for St. Paul City Council Ward 4.

Volunteer activities

I was a student board member of the Hmong Minnesota Student Association (HMSA) from 2011 to 2012, a group leader for the Midwest Asian American Student Union (MAASU) in the spring of 2012, a Welcome Week leader and an MCAE Multicultural Kick-off Leader in the summer of 2012, and an HMSA Advisor from 2015 to 2018. From 2014 to 2019, I was part of the student and teacher selection for Breakthrough Twin Cities.

Awards or honors from collegiate, professional, or volunteer experiences

Tony Diggs Award for Most Outstanding Event—Hmong Minnesota Student Association 2012.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in CEHD?

I had the opportunity to do research with Family Social Science Professor Zha Blong Xiong for two consecutive years, where we partnered with MN Lao Family, Inc. to serve the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood. I coordinated community-based workshops, collected and analyzed data, and helped publish the Southeast Asian Youth 4 Change (SEAY4C) Research Booklet in May 2012.

What is your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

One of my favorite memories from the University of Minnesota was when the Gopher football team beat Iowa and we [the students] stormed the field at TCF Bank Stadium. Another great memory was when I received 100% on my 25-page paper in Intimate Relationships—one of my favorite Family Social Science classes.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

My college sweetheart and partner—we met as freshmen during Welcome Week, and my immigrant refugee parents who never gave up on their Hmong American daughter.

What skills are important to succeed as an emerging professional today?

Intent and authenticity!

Outside of your job, how do you grow professionally?

I was born in a haunted house in Frogtown (Saint Paul).

When you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you do?

I enjoy reading, yoga, bubble baths, long walks, and puppy videos. I also enjoy cleaning and hanging out with my mom.

How do others describe you?

Crazy busy, loyal, and oh so funny.

How do you describe yourself?

I am a people person. I love to engage and interact with others. Listening to learn and understand one another is energizing and so much fun!

What's a good book you'd recommend to others?

Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown. The Song Poet by Kao Kalia Yang.

If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be?

Michelle Obama.

What gets you excited about work?

Young people are amazing, wonderful, inspiring, and all of the above!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a singer. My inspiration was Celine Dion and the Backstreet Boys.