August 9, 2019

Q&A With Xiao-lei Wang, PhD, Dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences

Xiao-lei Wang, PhD, the new dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, comes to Adelphi from the Pace University School of Education, where she was a professor and acting dean. While at Pace, Dr. Wang oversaw the creation of innovative multiple-certification master’s programs, an educational minor and online programs. Dr. Wang was previously assistant professor and associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling at Northern State University in South Dakota. She received her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Chicago. She has published extensively on multilingual development and parental-child interactions in different cultural communities.

Dr. Wang shared her thoughts on engaging with the local and international communities and her plans and goals for the College of Education and Health Sciences as it embarks on a new chapter.

What are your initial thoughts on taking on the role of dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences?

The College of Education and Health Sciences (CEHS) has a unique niche on the education market. The CEHS can take advantage of many opportunities and utilize faculty strengths to create innovative and interdisciplinary programs. I am thrilled to be able to work with the CEHS faculty and staff for this very exciting endeavor.

What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time at the Pace University School of Education?

I supported faculty research and grants, helped faculty redesign multiple certification programs, ensured the school’s financial sustainability and created additional revenue to support faculty research and travel. I also established international collaborations with other schools in China, Italy, Taiwan, and Israel and developed a study abroad program in Italy for students who normally would not have such an opportunity.

What are your first priorities at Adelphi? What do you hope to accomplish?

I want to work with faculty and staff to create a common identity for the CEHS, to come up with a clear vision and strategic goals that are in line with the University’s Momentumstrategic plan. In particular, I will work with faculty and staff to identify possible areas of growth for the CEHS. I will cultivate community and international relationships and look for grant funding opportunities that will utilize our faculty’s expertise. In fact, we are already in the process of putting together a $100 million grant proposal for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, tentatively titled “Curbing the Obesity Epidemic Through the Mobile Classroom Plus Plus.” I also want to explore donor possibilities to name the College.

What unique skills or assets do you bring to the job?

I bring the following assets to the job: Community building skills, interpersonal communication skills, creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and collaborative spirit.

What are the College’s greatest assets?

The strength of our faculty, who are experts in their fields, the collective work ethic of our staff, and the small classes which enhance personalized teaching/learning. I would also point to the experiential learning opportunities for our students, who learn by doing. There are strong partnerships that facilitate experiential learning and career opportunities, connectedness, a sense of community, engagement and convenient class scheduling. In addition, many of our faculty have been actively engaging in community services.

What inspired you to pursue a career in academia?

I have always been drawn to teaching and making a difference. Apart from that, the opportunity for research, freedom of thought and the exchange of ideas as well as opportunities for creativity inspired me to pursue a career in academia.


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