Excited to be Back in Pennsylvania

          Like her husband, Guiyou Huang, Jennifer Yufeng Qian, Ed.D. is excited about the move to Edinboro University and a return to Pennsylvania.

          “I’ve always considered Pennsylvania home."

          "I taught at Lehigh University for five years, Guiyou started his career there (at Kutztown University), we were married there, and our son, George, was born there.” Their daughter, Claire, was born in Florida.

          Drs. Qian and Huang, both natives of China, met at the Beijing Airport in 1996, as she prepared for a flight to the United States. Her first trip abroad, she was heading to the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she would be serving as a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature. That airport encounter marked the beginning of a commuter relationship, which led to their 1998 marriage in Allentown.

          A graduate of Beijing Language University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, Dr. Qian then spent five years as an instructor at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing. A Master of Education from SUNY Buffalo followed in 1998 and then an Ed.D.in Educational Technology from Lehigh in 2004.

          For the past year, Dr. Qian has been an associate professor of practice in the School of Education at Louisiana State University’s flagship campus at Baton Rouge. She has also served in faculty positions at Northeastern University and St. Thomas University, Florida, and spent two years as a learning technology specialist at Dartmouth.

          Her focus on language has transitioned to an emphasis on the pedagogy and learning outcomes of online education. “I believe that blended learning (a combination of online and in-person) can be as effective as face-to-face if the teaching is strong.

          "Good teaching is good teaching, whether it’s in a physical classroom or digital setting.”

          Dr. Qian believes the online experience can be especially effective with Generation Z (today’s traditional-age college students) because they are digital natives adept at online social networking. The shift in demographics with more adult learners returning to school, along with the time constraints experienced by many graduate students, have made the flexibility of online education all the more appealing.

          “Computer-assisted learning has had such a significant impact. I’m passionate about it because I believe it has tremendous potential to influence how students learn. I love teaching and am deeply committed to quality teaching and student success.”

          Author of a number of journal articles and book chapters and editor of four books, Dr. Qian frequently presents at conferences.

          An avid reader with a keen interest in higher education trends, Dr. Qian begins her day early by reading the higher education trades. A fan of a number of fellow academics who are thought leaders in the field, she follows the work of Clayton Christensen, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Christensen is best known for his theory of “disruptive innovation,” introduced in his first book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma.”

          Called the most influential business idea in the early 21st century, a disruptive innovation, as defined by Christensen, is one that creates a new market, which eventually disrupts an existing market.

          “Innovation and evolution are so important.”

          Dr. Qian said she and her husband have always valued education and have worked to instill in their children an appreciation for learning. George is a student at Rice University and 8-year-old Claire will enter fourth grade in the fall.

          “We’ve invested in education rather than spending on luxuries,” Dr. Qian said.

          The two have also worked to instill in their children the importance of family, a strong work ethic and good citizenship.

          “I want them to remember that family is important, but so is the community. Family is always part of a broader world. When they are older, I want them to hear my voice in their head telling them to ‘always do the right thing, and do things right.’”


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