Peiyi Lu

Peiyi Lu broadens her knowledge through interdisciplinary study

As a first-year doctoral international student from China, Peiyi started her journey at Iowa State University looking forward to the opportunities the interdisciplinary study program would give her.

“People who start with one discipline are good too because they become knowledgeable in one area,” she said. “But with the interdisciplinary study, you can work with different people and get really inspired with their ideas and do research with others.”

Peiyi said she chose her home unit as political science because of the research interest she shares with Mack Shelley, a political science professor at Iowa State. Her master’s studies, at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, focused on the social work, especially its macro aspect related to social policy.

Now, her research interests include the health and well-being of older adults, quantitative methodology, social welfare policy, and gerontological social work. Between her classes and working with Shelley, Peiyi has the opportunity to focus on all of these areas.

“Questions in research are complicated,” she said. “Getting more backgrounds in more areas gives a better understanding of the question asked. This interdisciplinary study helps me to think in different perspectives.”

Peiyi wants to encourage other students to broaden their knowledge to multiple areas as well.

“Talk to different people in different disciplines and hopefully you’ll get inspired by something and find another interest,” Peiyi said.