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Kirsten Younghee Song, Ph.D.

Teaching Associate Professor


Dr. Song received an M.A. and Ph.D in Sociology from Rutgers University. She also earned an M.A. in Gerontology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Dr. Song’s research has focused on transnationalism, international migration, culture, identity, and life course. Her most recent work examines the transition to adulthood among Korean educational migrants in the U.S. and how economic, social, cultural, and institutional resources/constraints shape their decision-making about everyday lives and distant futures between Korea and the U.S. Focusing on the liminal nature of young adulthood (i.e., no longer adolescents, but yet not fully self-sufficient adults) in particular, her research highlights the significance of life stage in shaping migration trajectories in that it constructs distinct needs, desires, and abilities of individuals at a certain time period of their life course and further works to facilitate and/or hinder migrants’ life opportunities. Dr. Song currently works on international college students’ engagement in campus and local communities and more broadly curriculum and campus internationalization.  

Dr. Song currently is writing her book, "Navigating Big Waters: South Korean Educational Migrants' Coming of Age in the U.S." This book manuscript under contract with Temple University Press.

Selected Publications

Song, Kirsten Y. and Hae-Jung Kim (2023). “The influence of Immigration Regulations on Career Outcome Expectations among International Students.” International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance.


Song, Kirsten Y. and Hae-Jung Kim (2022). “Measuring Perceived Influences of Immigration Rules on Career Exploration among International Students." Journal of College Student Development, 63(5): 572-87.


Song, Kirsten Y. and Victoria Velding (2020). “‘Transnational Masculinity’ in the Eyes of Local Beholders?: Young Americans’ Perception of K-Pop Masculinities.” Journal of Men’s Studies. 28(1):3-21.

Courses Taught

  • SOCA 101 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOCA 207 Social Problems
  • SOCA 223 Death and Dying
  • SOCA 301 Sociological Theory