Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Crystal Hoyt

Second Advisor

Dr. Donelson Forsyth

Third Advisor

Dr. Melissa Ooten


This research investigates the impact of microaggressions and social exclusion on Chinese international students’ English fluency and leadership emergence. We entered a group of Chinese international students into an online study in which they filmed two videos of themselves speaking English before and after being exposed to either an identity-threatening or an identity-safe condition, both presenting an ostensible group they would be joining and with the identity-safe condition added small inclusionary changes. The results demonstrated that Chinese international students speak English more fluently and tend to show more interest in participating in group activities when put into an identity-safe environment. The findings underscore the importance of promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment in academic institutions and point to the fact that small and simple changes can impact how non-native speakers articulate and communicate.