Shiqi Shen (Funmaker)Graduate Student

I am a community-based learner and scholar who focuses on youth development, especially the moral and civic identity of young people. I am interested in how purpose, education, and community intersect and support the growth and empowerment of youth. My current project examines the understandings and practices of “giving back” and reciprocity among Indigenous college students. In my research, community collaborators and I engage in a process of co-creation to (re)construct an evolving framework that defines the purpose, assumptions, principles, and approaches to youth development at both the individual and community levels.

I graduated with a joint BA in accounting and finance from the University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in 2016. I also hold an MA in sustainable international development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Before coming to the School of Human Ecology, I served as a project coordinator and manager. Within those roles, I worked with several nonprofit organizations dedicated to community-led development, education equity, and the well-being of children and youth. I am informed by a conceptual framework that sees young people as protagonists of transformation. I believe their abilities can be fostered in the field of service. With a special interest in rural China, my previous work focused on partnering with individuals and communities to drive intellectual and spiritual awareness for social transformation.

I have worked as a teaching assistant for CSCS 125 (Community and Social Change), CSCS 460 (Civil Society and Community Leadership), and CSCS 375 (Introduction to Social Innovation).

Awards and Recognition

  • Morgridge Fellow, 2023-24

Selected Publications and Presentations

“Living Indigenous Youth Purpose: An Intergenerational Storytelling Approach,” Educational Policy Studies Annual Conference, March 10, 2023, Madison, WI

An Asian woman smiling, with short black hair, wearing a grey blouse and beige pants.


  • Civil Society & Community Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Civil Society & Community Research


  • MA, Sustainable International Development, Brandeis University
  • BA, Accounting and Finance, University of Liverpool and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University