An exciting journey is beginning for Qinglai He and Hung-Yi Li, who arrived on campus this summer for the Department of Information Systems’ doctoral program.
He and Li will begin the four- to five-year commitment with subject matter coursework, which includes two classes where they will conduct research and write papers under the guidance of a faculty mentor. After they pass the Ph.D. exam, they will move into the dissertation phase, where they work on original research. Throughout the program, the students will serve as teaching assistants.
“The Ph.D. program aims to train our doctoral students for an academic career at peer research schools in the U.S. and around the world,” says Associate Professor Benjamin Shao, faculty director for the program. “When IT keeps transforming industry structure and society, it is incumbent upon us to inculcate our young scholars with the right skill set so they are ready to educate the next generations of IT professionals for a better future.”
As a girl in the Guizhou province of China, Qinglai He always loved school, but it was in graduate school at Sichuan University — where she also earned her bachelor’s degree — that she got a taste of research. She published three papers and attended conferences and found it exciting to converse with brilliant scholars. “To be a scholar is a cool and exciting career,” she says. “I made my decision to pursue my doctoral career three years ago, and I appreciate the chance to make my dream come true.”
The new student was attracted to the W. P. Carey School of Business because the information systems program is highly ranked. “W. P. Carey is a top-tier school in this area which convinces me that I can get a huge improvement with the training here,” she says. She also discovered that W. P. Carey faculty are already exploring the areas of research that interest her: business analytics, social media, e-commerce, data science and visualization.
An adventurous traveler — she has visited more than 20 cities by herself — He is excited to be in the United States, where she says higher education and IT development is advanced. “Moreover,” she says, “the U.S. has a more diversified environment which is beneficial for broadening my horizon and my thinking.”
When she’s not working toward her degree, you’ll find He exploring new things. She’s been running for seven years and enjoys mountain climbing. She also sings and dances, and has developed an interest in jazz. And, on a campus where many students move around on wheels, He hopes to improve her skateboarding skills.
Hung -Yi Li says that in Taiwan, where she was born and raised, everything you need is within walking distance — which means you are surrounded by tall buildings most of the time. When she first visited the U.S., the broad sweep of the sky made an impression. “I realized that the sky is the only limit,” she says. “I am so excited to explore this wonderful land and develop my potential.”
At the National Taiwan University, Li majored in economics and in economic and financial law, which prepared her to work as an income tax auditor at the National Taxation Bureau of Taipei. The experience showed her how “useful and powerful” data-based practical research can be. At the same time, Li says, she has always been interested in e-commerce and social media — as a user and a student. She’s looking forward to learning the research skills she needs to explore the impacts of new technologies and regulations.
Part of the reason she chose W. P. Carey is that several members of the faculty currently work in those areas. She’s also excited that W. P. Carey is part of a large research university, where she has access to a wide array of courses and can learn interdisciplinary research skills.
When she can, Li loves to travel, and she makes a hobby of watching air fare price fluctuations on the low-cost carriers. She also enjoys exploring new restaurants. “Once I find a dish I really love, I search out the recipe and try it on my own,” she says.