Student Spotlight: Yu Duan

Yu “Tony” Duan

Yu Duan
Major: Psychology

It may be a long way from Nei Mongol, China, to College of DuPage, but Yu Duan is glad he made the journey.

Duan, who heard about College of DuPage from his uncle in Lisle, pursued his associate’s degree before transferring for a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

“I really enjoy learning about how we work as human beings. Learning about how we think and behave fascinates me a lot,” he said. “The way that COD professors presented class material was very interesting and easily understood for me. ​

“I took many psychology classes at COD, and all of the classes I took transferred to a four-year college as a part of their major requirements or electives. This helped me get my B.A. degree faster.”

In fact, after transferring to Calvin College in Michigan, Duan needed only one year to complete his bachelor’s degree. He took a gap year to work at a clothing store in order to gain some business experience before entering the Industrial/Organizational Psychology master’s program at the University of New Haven. He was accepted into the Experiential Graduate Assistantship Program, in which high-achieving students work 15 to 20 hours per week in return for a 75 percent tuition discount and an experiential learning/work opportunity.

He works in the Accessibility Resource Center at the university in addition to being involved on campus as a voting member of the University Student Conduct Board, vice president of finance at IOPACT student-run consulting club, member of the Graduate Student Council, global student leader for the Global Pathway Program, volunteer mentor for the DREAM orientation program, appreciative advisor, graduate assistant, and research assistant for the Sociology and History Department.

“Because of COD’s Living Leadership Program, I was trained to be comfortable in becoming a leader no matter where I go,” he said. “As a result of my involvement at New Haven, I developed a strong passion for working in higher education in student affairs after I graduate.”

As for his journey, Duan is happy that it brought him to College of DuPage. He encourages others to simply visit the campus before making their college decisions. 

“You will be amazed by everything you see on campus!” he said. “Faculty and staff are super helpful. If you have any questions, ask anyone and they will all be willing to help you out. COD has an immeasurable amount of resources to help you to be better equipped for further study and work. ​So joining clubs and attending various workshops is a wise thing to do.

“Since I was a student worker in the International Student Services and Admission office, I had many opportunities to make friends with other international students from other countries. COD is definitely culturally diverse and inclusive. Being a student worker helped me have more multicultural experiences, and I am better equipped at problem-solving and communication skills. I especially want to thank Kathy Smid (Coordinator of International Student Services at COD) for being my mentor and employer. She has been a blessing in my life.”

More about the Psychology program

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2019 College of DuPage