Member Spotlight: Qing Zhou, Ph.D.
What interested you in becoming a developmental scientist?
When I was an undergraduate student at Beijing Normal University in China, I helped with a research project examining parenting and preschoolers’ prosocial development in China. I conducted qualitative interviews with Chinese parents on parenting styles, and parental beliefs on children’s moral and prosocial development. That experience kindled my interest in developmental science and socioemotional development.
Do you have a mentor or mentors who have been instrumental to your career and, if so, whom and how?
My research and career has been greatly inspired and influenced by my graduate mentors Nancy Eisenberg and Sharlene Wolchik (both at Arizona State University). Nancy Eisenberg led me into the field of socioemotional development and emotion socialization. From Nancy’s lab, I learned the research methods in conducting behavioral and longitudinal research with children and families. Sharlene Wolchik has introduced me to the field of prevention science. With Sharlene’s team, I learned the process of implementing and evaluating behavioral parent training programs. Both Nancy and Sharlene were supportive of me in pursuing my research interest in studying socioemotional development and emotion socialization in Chinese children and families during graduate school. These experiences helped me secure my first faculty position, launch my lab, and start the longitudinal study on Chinese American children of immigrant families.
What’s your favorite aspect of SRCD membership?
Attending SRCD Biennial meetings is my favorite aspect of SRCD membership. I attended my first SRCD Biennial meeting in 1999 (during my first year of graduate school). It was an eye-opening experience to listen to talks given by leaders in the field, connect with fellow researchers studying similar topics from around the world (many were graduate students), and learning about the latest findings and methods in the field. Some scholars I initially met at SRCD meetings have become my long-term friends and collaborators (e.g., Charissa Cheah, Yuuko Uchikoshi). Over the years, SRCD Biennial meetings have also become a rare occasion where I re-unite with my former mentors, fellow graduate students and lab mates, as well as my former students. It feels like an “academic family reunion”.
What is a typical day like for you?
My typical day is often split among various roles and tasks. These include: a) teaching – I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in developmental psychopathology and child development in immigrant families; b) mentoring – I meet with my graduate and undergraduate students to advise them on their research projects; c) research – I co-lead (together with Yuuko Uchikoshi, Ed.D., also an Asian American developmental researcher) a research team in conducting a longitudinal study of young children in low-income immigrant families; and d) administrative tasks – I currently serve as the Director of Clinical Science Program at UC-Berkeley, a science-focused Ph.D. program with over 40 enrolled students. I work closely with my fellow faculty, university staff, and departmental leaders to oversee all aspects of academic training and the operation of an in-house Psychology Clinic. Meanwhile, I am also a mother with two school-aged children and the daughter of two aging parents. My biggest daily challenge is juggling between my busy professional life and family responsibilities. I have to be very good at planning and task switching – the exact executive function skills that we are interested in studying.
What does the Asian Caucus mean to you?
Asian researchers and researchers studying Asian populations are underrepresented in the developmental science field. We are often isolated in our individual institutions. Thus, we might feel powerless and hesitant to speak up as an underrepresented minority in our academic departments or substantive research fields. SRCD Asian Caucus provides us with the platform and forum to connect with and support each other. Together as a community, we can identify the unique needs and challenges facing Asian researchers, and advocate for better career development support for future Asian researchers and better representation of research on Asian populations in developmental science.