The HDFS department hired two new faculty members for the 2016-17 academic year. One, Monica Martin, joined us back in the fall. The other newcomer, Zhe Wang, found it a better fit with her studies to join us in January, which she did. In this posting, we learn a little about Dr. Wang through a Q-and-A.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in China and came to the U.S. in 2008. I got my Ph.D. in Psychology and M.S. in Statistics from Virginia Tech and did a 2-year postdoc at The Ohio State University. I joined the faculty of HDFS at TTU in spring 2017.
What are your research interests?
My work primarily examines the development of individual differences in socio-emotional outcomes, cognitive abilities, and educational attainments in children and young adolescents. My research incorporates genetic, physiological, and behavioral approaches, and examines how factors at these various levels interact with environmental context to produce diverse developmental trajectories. Another interest of mine is to study parenting, in particular how child behaviors shape various parenting practices.
What courses are you teaching in your first semester?
I am teaching Dynamics of Family Interaction this semester. It is a new course to me as I have never taken a similar course myself, so it is a learning opportunity for me as well.
What kinds of things are you looking forward to at Texas Tech?
I am really looking forward to starting my independent research program here at Tech. My first project (which I am really excited about) will explore the non-cognitive aspect of mathematics performance. This project will include some really novel design that I haven’t seen in the literature, so hopefully it will make an important contribution to the field! I am also very looking forward to building some new collaborations with scholars across campus to sparkle some new and exciting ideas! Finally, I am hoping to fully exploit my statistics background, potentially through teaching a quant course and developing a new course on behavioral genetics methodology.
How are you adjusting to Lubbock thus far?
Everything is going smoothly so far. I have explored a couple of Asian restaurants and liked most of them. I love Market Street, in particular their air-chilled chicken and well-grown plants!
What do you like to do outside of school?
I like watching documentaries, doing puzzles, eating good food, and listening to music. I am really hoping to adopt a pair of dogs soon so that playing with my dogs will become my favorite thing to do outside work then!