Dr. Tiedan Huang, assistant professor in the Division of Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy, recently named a Fordham Research Fellow at Columbia University.
Her research proposal, The Transformation of the Teaching and Leading Workforce in America from 1987 to 2012, aims to examine the diversifying profiles of the nation’s public school teachers and administrators and explore how they can be better supported to serve a changing student population.
“The demographic change in this country is dramatic,” Huang said. “We are seeing different students in schools across the country. Yet, we do not have systematic evidence that documents who the principals are, how well they were trained, and whether they are making the right leadership decisions to serve a very diverse student population.”
Huang is one of the six recipients of the inaugural Fordham-NYU Research Fellows and Fordham Research Fellows at Columbia University, two programs introduced by Fordham’s Office of Research to promote and expand institutional research collaborations between the universities. She received a stipend and will work with Dr. Alex Bowers, a national expert in big data analytics and an associate professor of educational leadership at Columbia’s Teachers College this summer.
Huang, who received a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Lehigh University, said she has been familiar with Dr. Bowers’ work since her days as a doctoral student. They have presented papers in the same sessions at national conferences a few times because of their common academic interests.
“The conversations just took place. It was very organic,” Huang said. “As a mentor, Dr. Bowers is very selfless…It’s about building a nice scholarly community. It starts with us, but hopefully the two institutions can enter some kind of long-term collaborative relationship down the road. We are sort of like the early ambassadors sent by Fordham.”
The summer project is part of a larger research, said Huang. She expects to complete a series of workforce studies in three years and plans to present the initial findings of her research in the conferences hosted by the University Council for Educational Administration and American Education Research Association next year. Eventually the research will be published in journals and as policy papers and possibly books, according to Huang.
“It’s very important research that the country needs,” Huang said. “We are hoping to bring the scholarly dialogues and policy debates to be more attuned to what is going on in the forefront. Hopefully in the future institutions at different levels will make more appropriate policies to support teachers and principals.”
A native of China, Dr. Huang initially joined Fordham as a visiting professor in 2014 and started her tenure-track assistant professorship in September, 2016. She likes running, biking, and hiking. She also enjoys old movies and brews her own Kombucha tea.
This post was written by Larry Tung, a CLAIR doctoral student.