Olivia Y. Hu

Olivia Y. Hu

2019 Cohort2022 Turner-Schulman Graduate Fellow

McNeil 331


My work focuses on race/ethnicity, assortative mating, and family-making. More specifically, my research agenda is motivated by two primary questions:

  • How do individuals come to select long-term committed partners, especially across race and class lines?

  • What happens to individuals' understandings of social difference after they enter these cross-boundary unions?

My current research addresses these questions by examining (1) the cultural and experiential factors that mediate Asian women's mating decisions, (2) the mechanisms through which Asian families either facilitate or obstruct interracial/-ethnic relationship formation, and (3) the political and ideological changes that take place among Asian women after they enter mixed unions.

Moreover, I’m spearheading two collaborative projects. With Alexander Adames, I explore the causal effect of educational attainment and educational prestige on mating outcomes in the online dating market. In collaboration with Dr. Wendy D. Roth and Dr. Xiang Lu, I examine how genetic ancestry test (GAT) takers conceptualize race. To learn more about my research projects, click here.

Prior to beginning my graduate studies, I executed marketing campaigns at UBS Investment Bank and consulted on new CPG and OTC product launches at Nielsen. I received my Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Business Administration from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Office Hours
Mondays 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

M.A., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 2022

B.S., Sociology and Business Administration, New York University, 2015 (magna cum laude)

Research Interests
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Immigration
  • Interracial/Interethnic Relations
  • Assortative Mating
  • Family
  • Gender
  • Asian America
  • Racial Conceptualization
  • Research Methods
Courses Taught

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant, Sociology of Media and Popular Culture (Prof. David Grazian), Spring 2023

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Sociological Methods (Prof. Regina Baker), Spring 2022

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Sociological Methods (Prof. Melissa Wilde), Fall 2021

Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Sociology (Prof. Jerry Jacobs), Fall 2020


Teaching Awards

The Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students, 2022


Teaching Certifications

Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Teaching Certificate, 2022


2022 Turner-Schulman Graduate Fellow, Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration

CV (file)