Cheryl Lin, a linguistic anthropology doctoral student in our program, had her research on hierarchies in the Khmer language featured on NBC News, as part of a story on the children of Cambodian refugees who return to Cambodia 40 years after Khmer Rouge.

Cheryl Yin, 30, is studying hierarchies in the Khmer language and how it changed under the Khmer Rouge regime as a PhD candidate and graduate student in Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Her parents, who identify as Chinese-Cambodian, immigrated to the U.S. during the Khmer Rouge era separately after spending time in Thai refugee camps.

"My parents were also very open with me about what happened to them during the Khmer Rouge, and so they told me how during the Khmer Rouge they tried to change the language," said Yin, who plans to spend a year or two pursuing her research. "They wanted everyone to be equal, so they changed the language to eliminate hierarchy."


Forty Years Post-Khmer Rouge, New Generation Returns to Cambodia