“Opportunity always favors the prepared,” and it is safe to say Xiaohan Zhang manifests her favorite quote into her life almost daily. In 2015, Xiaohan joined the College of Business and Economics as a Professor in the Department of Economics and Statistics – but her story doesn’t start there.
Originally from China, Xiaohan’s mother instilled the importance of education in her at an early age. “I love the fact that we get to interact with students every day. I feel like they make me feel young. They’re always teaching me new things and challenging my understanding of the world,” Xiaohan explains the rewarding nature of being a professor.
After interviewing with 23 different schools, “Cal State LA’s College of Business and Economics was the one that made me feel most welcomed.” Xiaohan continued, “I really enjoyed Dr. Mohanty’s introduction to the college when I interviewed here. He was a person of a lot of positive energy and it really made me feel different.”
Currently, Xiaohan is involved in two different research studies that can change students' lives and/or their studies. One of the studies is in collaboration with the Better Book Program which has recently been featured on NPR. The other contributes to the evaluation of the well-being classroom which consists of a green wall that emits an earthy, relaxing scent as well as oxygen; UV sanitizing lights embedded in the ceiling; two large interactive screens; soft sofas throughout; and a specially designed relaxation corner for students to decompress.
After a long workday, Xiaohan’s unwinding method of choice includes a good novel – preferably a thriller. She is currently reading “The Wild Swans,” a three-generation story in the 2nd World War period of China documenting the social changes as generations interact and pass on.