Student Successes

Yannan (Lukia) Li

Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies

What degree are you working toward?

Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

It has the best graduate program in Philanthropic Studies.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

Being selected as the ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) Doctoral Fellow for the 45th ARNOVA Annual Conference. This was my second time to attend and present at the ARNOVA conference and I was very excited. ARNOVA is known as one of the most remarkable associations in philanthropic studies; its annual conference connects scholars, teachers, and practice leaders interested in research on nonprofit organizations, voluntary action, philanthropy and civil society, nationally and internationally. Read more here.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

People here are nice and friendly, and they celebrate diversity in many different ways. I am really impressed by the variety of events and festivals that feature cultural diversity and awareness.

Indy has everything you need. The mix of urban and rural landscapes is fascinating. People here are nice and friendly, and they celebrate diversity in many different ways. I am really impressed by the variety of events and festivals that feature cultural diversity and awareness.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

I am also a research associate in the research department. My major duty is to maintain and update Million Dollar List (MDL), the most comprehensive database in the United States that records charitable contribution of $1 million or more since 2000. I provided extensive statistical analysis for reports and academic research using the MDL data, including but not limited to: Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report, A Decade of Million-Dollar Gifts, Private Aid and International Development: Evidence from Million Dollar Gifts, Million-Dollar Giving and Community Characteristics. In addition to my research work, I played an active role in facilitating the intellectual exchange between the School and some top Chinese universities. In the past few years I worked as a simultaneous interpreter and classroom assistant in Beijing, China, for the joint EMP certificate programs. I also offered language support for a couple of international conferences that the School was invited to. I am also a member of China Philanthropy Leadership Initiative (CPLI), a student group dedicated to enhancing understanding of philanthropy in China and worldwide.

I plan to start job searching early next year. My career goal is to be a senior researcher in nonprofit and philanthropic studies.

Yannan is also a recipient of the IUPUI Travel Fellowship award. Read more about her Travel Fellowship here »