Yi joined the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC) at Emory University in 2020. She received her Ph.D. in Chinese Applied Linguistics in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona, where she also minored in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching and Anthropology & Linguistics.

Her research uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to study the usage of Chinese as a second language by transnational and multilingual students in the context of global languages and migration. Yi is also interested in the process of additional language acquisiton of multilingual individuals and technologies in foreign language teaching.

In addition to research, she is also actively involved in teaching practices and service in the field. She served as a member in the AAAL GSC Committee for two years.