Graduating with multiple feathers in her hat

Graduating with multiple feathers in her hat

Yannan Li graduates with strong bond with UOW and community

Yannan Li is passionate about the local community and loves connecting with people from different walks of life.

She joined the University of Wollongong (UOW) in 2017 to pursue a PhD in the School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT), Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS), and joined the Wollongong University Postgraduate Association (WUPA) to actively engage in student events and to communicate regularly with students, listening to their feedback. She also mentors EIS students.

“Being an international student, I wanted to find a sense of belonging at UOW, and joining the student representative club helped me fulfil that purpose,” Yannan said.

“Getting involved in the local community and student associations and meeting new people motivated me in my career and felt a sense of belonging at UOW.”

“I made new friends at WUPA and it helped me start new initiatives such as ‘Girls talks’ that highlighted the concerns of women to balance their career and family commitments.”

Yannan became the President of WUPA and also served as the postgraduate student representative on the University Council from earlier this year. She has been an important voice in addressing gender equality issues and women’s concerns, and organised donations in response to COVID-19.

“As a member of the University Council I got the opportunity to share my suggestions and keep my opinions in front of the council to address the concerns of students - and that was a very valuable experience for me.”

In addition to being an inspirational human being, Yannan is an exceptional researcher as well.

Before joining UOW she completed a Bachelor and a Master’s degree at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.

She has always been passionate about the world of Information Technology and computer science. Her passion extends to the much specialised area of cybersecurity, an important aspect of privacy and security in today’s digital infrastructure. Her research work has been published in renowned journals and papers, and her PhD degree has received Examiners’ Commendation for Outstanding Thesis.

In 2018, she got the opportunity to volunteer at the 23rd Australasian Conference on Information Security and Privacy (ACISP), a signature event on IT and security hosted by UOW, and she organised the session and welcomed scholars from around the world.

“Organising the ACISP at UOW was a great volunteering and learning experience,” Yannan said.

Yannan received an Outstanding Volunteer award for her contribution to the event.

She thanked Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo for guiding and mentoring her throughout her journey at UOW.

“As an international student, I was new to UOW and Professor Susilo helped me settle in, motivated me to build my interest on various topics, and motivated and guided me on various issues during my time at UOW,” Yannan said.

“He always encouraged me to take a leap of faith and trust my instinct to achieve my goals.”