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Cal State LA communication studies faculty member named a 2021 Emerging Scholar

February 2, 2021

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Cynthia Wang, an assistant professor of communication studies at Cal State LA, has been recognized as a 2021 Emerging Scholar by the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Cynthia Wang​She is featured in the latest issue of Diverse, which highlights 15 minority scholars who have distinguished themselves in their various academic disciplines and are actively working to make the society more equitable and just.

“Congratulations on being named an Emerging Scholar for Diverse Issues,” said Octavio Villalpando, vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion at Cal State LA. “It is an important recognition of your scholarship, but it is also an honor for Cal State LA to have this distinction accorded to you by such an important national outlet.”

Wang is honored to be included in this year’s Emerging Scholars cohort and expressed her appreciation for the supportive community at Cal State LA.

“I'm proud to be a part of the Cal State LA family, which continues to help shape my scholarship, research and teaching, and provides me a space and the support to put into practice and embody the issues that I tackle in my work,” said Wang, a Los Angeles resident.

A faculty member in the university’s College of Arts and Letters since 2016, Wang is interested in the impact of digital communication technologies and social media on social relations, cultural practices and power dynamics.

Wang focuses on the use of critical and cultural approaches and seeks, as well, to forward social justice and expand diverse and inclusive spaces through her pedagogy and scholarship. Her research can be found in journals such as Social Media + Society and Time & Society. She is also the founder of The arqive, a digital LGBTQ storytelling map.

She has taught classes at the California State Prison in Lancaster as part of the Cal State LA Prison Graduation Initiative, which offers an in-person bachelor’s degree completion program for incarcerated students. She is currently working on a book regarding Asian American and Canadian representation in sports and another book titled Communicating Across Differences.

Wang received dual bachelor’s degrees in radio/television/film and biological sciences, along with a minor in Asian American studies, from Northwestern University. She earned a master’s degree in media, culture and communication at New York University and a Ph.D. in communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Photo: Cynthia Wang. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit