Associate - Cohort 004
Hengle Li “Eric” values the opportunity to learn and apply new ideas and knowledge to real-world problems, and to take the next step of seeking out the root cause of those problems.
A student of sociology, he exercises caution in approaching social issues and analyzing their solutions. Li believes comprehensive understanding and diverse perspectives are always needed in properly solving a problem.
At Normal Next, Li is directly involved in the development of a music museum, building an online community for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leader program, and drafting a book about the power of young people in actively addressing civic problems.
Before joining Normal Next as an associate, Li worked as a contracted consultant for a charity fund. In order to evaluate the fund’s progress in supporting equity and diversity, he helped review its grantmaking data with ways the equity and diversity might be metricized and compared against demographic data of core communities.
Research interests in political sociology and the political environment of the United States have motivated Li to explore the country’s culture and ideologies. This led to his study in the measurement of political tolerance and the development of Americans’ tolerance of outgroups since the 1980s.
Li completed his bachelor’s degree with honors in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his masters degree in social sciences at the University of Chicago.
In his free time, Li daydreams about writing a fantasy novel in which social events he learned of or witnessed could be mapped into the plots. Although he finds the project tremendously difficult, he also realizes it’s easier than writing about himself in the third person.