In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU. See all “Faculty Friday” features here.
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies
1. Why do you research and teach organizational communication? What do you like most about this field? What inspired your interest in organizational communication?
I study organizational communication with a focus on work and career processes. My research addresses questions such as: How do cultural narratives shape our career choices? How do individuals negotiate work-life issues in their organizational life? How do we enact alternative organizing models that advocate for inclusivity, integrated thinking, and connections? It has been fascinating to do research on these topics since these are highly complex issues that are embedded in individual-organizational-societal processes and they are highly relevant to our everyday lives.
2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?
My favorite class to teach is SPCM130: Introduction to Relational and Organizational Communication, with a class size from 120 to 140 students each semester. We follow a lecture-recitation instruction model. During lecture, students are introduced to a variety of interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural communication theories. During recitation, students can engage with the theories through application activities and critical discussion in a smaller class setting. I enjoy teaching this class since I get to share my passion for communication. It is amazing to see the joy on students’ face when they find that theories can be really practical, and that we can better understand and live our lives by stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing multiple perspectives.
3. What did you want to be when you were little? When did you know you wanted to go into higher education/research?
I wanted to be many things when I was little and being a teacher was one of them. I’ve always been passionate about sharing and generating new knowledge. However, it was not until I finished my MA thesis project that I began to seriously consider a career as a researcher.
4. How did you get to CSU?
I was born and raised in Shandong province, China. In 2009, I finished my undergraduate studies at Communication University of China and started my graduate program in organizational communication at Purdue University. After receiving my MA and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue, I joined CSU in 2015 as a tenure-track faculty.
5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve started and really enjoyed skiing and camping since I moved to Colorado! It’s been great to be able to play in the mountains year-round.