- Master's degree: Virginia Tech
- Bachelor's degree: Shaanxi Normal University
Guolan Yang is a Ph.D. student and a University Graduate Fellow in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English studies from Shannxi Normal University, China. After working at a television network based in Xi’an, China, Yang found her passion in mass media and traveled to the U.S. to pursue her master’s degree in communications. During her time at Virginia Tech, she conducted several projects about the practical use of social media in public relations. Her master's thesis focused on the extension of the gatekeeping theory to social media. As a Ph.D. student at Penn State, her current research interests focus on user-generated content, native advertising and strategic communications with an emphasis on social media. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling and playing sports, such as swimming and table tennis. Her favorite outdoor activities are hiking, kayaking and downhill skiing.