Aosai LiuGraduate Student

Being a human developmentalist and family scientist has been an exhilarating journey for me. Since venturing into the realm of Human Development & Family Studies, my research interests have flourished, encompassing diverse areas such as intercultural family relationships and functioning, positive psychology, media influence on family (e.g., technoference and cyberbullying), and animal-human bonds. My longterm career goal is to become a university professor and continue contributing to the human ecology field through teaching, research, and outreach services.

Beyond my research endeavors, I am driven by a deep commitment to bridging the gap between research and real-world application, particularly in positive youth development and strength-based practices. To further this goal, I have undertaken a minor in Community Engaged Scholarship, actively immersing myself in community-based research and volunteer work. Presently, I’m honored to collaborate with the youth mentoring nonprofit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters as a big sister. In the near future, I plan to become a certified family educator for underserved individuals and families in crisis while also dedicating myself to nonprofit organizations and communities. I am currently engaged in dynamic research alongside Dr. Lauren Papp, focusing on longitudinal studies concerning young and emerging adults’ lifestyles, health, and well-being. During my first year at UW–Madison, I served as the first author for two forthcoming manuscripts exploring college students’ experiences during this time. One manuscript delves into the impact of COVID-19 on college students’ romantic relationships, hook-up behaviors, and risky sexual behaviors. The other manuscript examines the trajectory of college students’ well-being, happiness, and self-esteem amidst the pandemic. Both manuscripts are in the final stages of preparation for submission to reputable peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, I have actively participated in academic conferences, including the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) and Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD) conferences since 2021. These experiences have further enriched my academic journey and expanded my network within the research community.

Before joining the HDFS department at UW–Madison, I pursued a Master of Arts degree in media and information management at Michigan State University and a Master of Science degree in human development and family studies at Florida State University. During my time at FSU, I had the privilege of working with esteemed mentors who enriched my research experience. Under Dr. Ming Cui’s guidance, I researched the well-being of parents of adolescents and completed my master’s thesis, which explored the intricate relationship between co-parenting, parenting stress, marital problems, and parents’ mental health. Additionally, under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph G. Grzywacz, I authored two first-author publications. One publication used regulatory focus theory to investigate working adults’ goal-pursuing strategies for family and work success. The other recently published study delved into immigrant Latino parents’ perspectives on the cultural meaning of education and parental responsibilities.

I have worked as a teaching assistant for HDFS 517: Couple Relationships under Dr. Lauren Papp’s supervision and HDFS 464: Play: Dev/Role Lifespan under Dr. Amy Wagner’s supervision in fall 2023, and as a lecturer learning support assistant for HDFS 517: Couple Relationships in spring 2024.

Awards and Recognition

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Engagement Award, Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2023
  • Dean’s Scholar for Exceptional Academic Performance, College of Health and Human Sciences, Florida State University, 2022
  • National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Honors Student, 2021
  • Outstanding Student and New Professional Poster Award, National Council on Family Relations, 2021
  • Betty N. Griffith Scholarship Award, Florida State University, 2021
  • Outstanding MA Student Scholar, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University, 2018

Selected Publications and Presentations

Liu, A., Heath, M., & Grzywacz, J. G. (2023). Cultural meaning of education and parents’ involvement in education: Perspectives of immigrant Latinos. Family Relations.

Liu, A., Manchiraju, S., Beutell, N. J., Gopalan, N., Middlemiss, W., Srivastava, S., & Grzywacz, J. G. (2023). Regulatory Focus, Family-Work Interface, and Adult Life Success. Journal of Adult Development, 30(3), 267-278.

Liu A., Brown, J. K., Dettinger, H. K., & Papp, L. M. (Under review). COVID-19-related changes in college students’ experiences of romantic relationships, hooking-up, and risky sex: A within-person, prospective test. Journal of Sex Research.

Gu, P., Brown, J. K., Liu, A., & Papp, L. M. (Under review). Changes in College Students’ Problematic Internet Use From Before to During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Liu, A., Heath, M., & Grzywacz, J. G. (2023). Cultural meaning of education and parents’ involvement in education: Perspectives of immigrant Latinos. Paper to be presented for the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), Orlando, FL.


  • 2023 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Workshop Completion: Introduction to Structural Equation Models
  • 2023 UW–Madison CTLM Summer Sprint Course Series Completion: Enhancing Online Education
  • 2023 APA Science Workshop Completion: Intro to Multilevel Models for Clustered Data
  • 2022 APA Science Workshop Completion: Intensive Longitudinal Data
A woman smiling, with shoulder-length brown hair, wearing large octagonal wire frame glasses, a light blue shirt and sweater, a necklace with a red cord and gold key pendant, and neon green pendant earrings.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies


  • MA, Media and Information Management, Michigan State University
  • MS, Family and Child Sciences, Florida State University




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