New professor brings expertise to psychology department

New professor brings expertise to psychology department
Fang stands and teaches her Life-Span Human Development class about facial features and corresponding emotions. Photo by Ryleigh Tupper.

A new psychology professor joined the faculty this academic year, whose ambition for knowledge has led to an array of experiences and expertise in the field of psychology.

Qijuan Fang teaches many developmental psychology courses at Augustana, including Life-span Human Development, Child Psychology and General Psychology.

In the classroom, Fang takes responsibility for helping students learn and grow. She uses both teaching and research to educate students and herself.

“We continue to update what we are learning through research endeavors and will also add in examples through our research experiences,” Fang said.

Fang and her two siblings grew up in Shenzhen — a city in southern China near Hong Kong — in an agricultural area. While Fang and her siblings were growing up, her mother worked as a kindergarten teacher and her father worked in Hong Kong as a factory worker. Fang said they both always made time for their children, though.

“My parents worked hard to provide for the family, and deep down I also see the kindness in them,” Fang said.

Augustana’s core values, such as Christian identity, and its emphasis on diversity drew Fang to the university.

“[The diverse courses] facilitate a more welcoming and more friendly community,” Fang said. “I also like the liberal arts course offerings and how tight the community is.”

Fang studied at Shenzhen University and received her bachelor’s degrees in Japanese and English. She later studied psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, for a year.

After her time in Japan, Fang started to pursue multiple master’s degrees.  She first graduated from the University of Texas with her master’s degree in psychology in 2012. In 2017, she received her master’s degree in applied statistics and her doctorate in developmental psychology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Fang’s interests in the field of developmental psychology are broad, but the psychology of children and adolescents is one of her favorite subfields. She is also interested in diversity and cultural research and enjoys teaching research and psychometric studies.

Outside of studying psychology, Fang spends her time reading, traveling and hiking with her dog, Blondie. She also enjoys playing the piano, as she said her music was important in creating a healthy work-life balance.

Fang hopes to broaden her hobbies in the future to include ceramics, skiing and singing.

At Augustana, Fang has many upcoming classes she said she is excited to teach. She will teach Psychology of Gender in fall 2023 and she also hopes to lead a study abroad course to China during J-term 2025 with education professor Li Sun. Closer to home, she hopes to teach Multicultural Psychology and Forensic Psychology in the future.

While Fang said that it has been challenging for her to adapt to different expectations, create new courses, adjust to a new culture and adapt to different weather, she said she believes that with time she’ll become more accustomed to the new environments of Augustana and South Dakota.