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The Pamela and Kenneth Fong Graduate Student Fellowship

2013-14 Fellowship Recipients

Carol J. Peng is a Ph.D candidate in the School of Social Welfare whose research focuses on service utilization within China's mental health system. Peng earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley in Psychology and Social Welfare and her M.S. in Social Welfare from Columbia University's School of Social Work in New York. Since 2008 she has been a student researcher at UC Berkeley's Center for Social Services Research where she performs quality assurance reviews and provides support by reviewing the child welfare system performance indicators across all of California's counties. In addition, Peng was the Deputy Director of Research at the Asian American Federation of New York from 2002 to 2006.

Project description:
Support from the Fong Fellowship will allow Carol Peng to conduct research on improving the overall health, but more specifically the mental health of the elderly in the People's Republic of China. In recent decades China has seen rapid economic growth and social change. At the same time there has been a significant increase in the incidence of mental disorders. Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, approximately 90% of Chinese with a common mental disorder have not received formal health services. One of the most significant barriers to accessing these services is financial — both the lack of health insurance and general cost. In April 2010 the Chinese government, along with the Central Committee of the Communist Party, announced a major comprehensive healthcare reform effort with the aim of achieving universal healthcare coverage for the entire population by 2020. Peng seeks to investigate the consequences of this recent healthcare reform effort, specifically with respect to the health insurance status, mental health and health status, and services utilization patterns of elderly adults in China.


The Pamela and Kenneth Fong Graduate Student Fellowship will also provide support for Alexsia T. Chan, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science. Her research interests are in comparative politics, research methods, and Chinese politics. Before coming to UC Berkeley, she worked in community development and taught in Thailand, South Africa, Croatia, and the United States. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Rutgers University. Chan expects to graduate from UC Berkeley in May 2014.

Project description:
Alexsia Chan's research examines public service provision for rural migrant workers in urban China. Local governments across China are experiencing the world's most rapid urbanization. As a result, 260 million rural-to-urban migrants in different cities have different rights to public services. Recent protests highlight the potential danger to social stability and sustained economic growth posed by restive migrant workers. Local governments need these migrant workers and some cities are responding to this by implementing policies that effectively provide social services to migrants. Chan's research draws on data gathered from fieldwork in seven Chinese cities comparing policy and implementation in public healthcare and education services. She will examine how local governments control migrants vis–à–vis and how policies toward migrants differ depending on their region. She will also investigate why (besides policy differences) there is a variation in service provision based on identity of service providers and geography.