Student Spotlights

Qingqing Han

Qingqing Han

Qingqing Han

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 

Intelligence and determination are not enough. You need wisdom to accomplish your goals.

"Where do I get wisdom?" This was the question Qingqing asked when her advisor counseled her about her future. She was faced with a dilemma. Accept the job offer she had received or seek a place where she could get wisdom. Her quest to find the answer led her to the School of Education to pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

After finishing her undergraduate degree in China, she moved to New York for an internship at the United Nations Headquarters. This opportunity formed her career goal to work in an international organization, such as the UNESCO, where education serves as the foundation to impact global change. She believes that with a strong education, you can make the most of yourself. “Education is a positive vehicle to change individuals, communities, nations, and in the globalized world, a wide range of nations." She knew what she wanted to do but didn’t know how to get there.

Professor Don Hossler’s research interested her, and she contacted him to discuss her goals. He replied with extensive remarks that would help her achieve her goals and support her career path. Of the seven universities to which she applied, the Indiana University School of Education was the most responsive. Friends and colleagues in New York couldn’t believe that she wanted to go to the Midwest because it was in the middle of nowhere. The people at IU were so friendly. The faculty was one of the most important reasons that she decided to come to Bloomington.

She felt confident that she would be in good company. Her home university, Zhejiang University, has been a partner with the IU School of Education for over 20 years. She learned a lot of wonderful things about IU from her professors in China who visited IU over 10 years ago. When she arrived, she was the first doctoral student from Zhejiang University to study here. Since then several visiting professors from Zhejiang University have studied at IU. She helped them settle down and get connected with professors and students in the Bloomington community. She sees IU as her second home and wants to pass her love and passion of IU to her professors and friends in China.

To work for an international organization, she needed to develop strong analytical skills, as well as inquiry and research methods. She studied both quantitative and qualitative research methods. She consulted with several faculty members, and each one contributed to shaping her program, research, and long-term plan. She broadened her knowledge through summer internships with the Ministry of Education in China and the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Without the coursework and help from advisors, she would not be as well-prepared and positioned to attain her goals.

She is very proud of the increased cooperation between the IU School of Education and Zhejiang University through the exchange of students and faculty.  One of the highlights of her IU experience was witnessing the conversation between Dean Gerardo Gonzalez and the Dean of the School of Education at Zhejiang University, which furthered the partnership between the two institutions.

This partnership is really making a difference. More Chinese students and visiting scholars are coming to IU, and there is a nice community of international students. She has friends from Japan, Afghanistan, Vietnam and the Middle East - and they met in Bloomington. The diversity helps to make Bloomington feel more like home. The community is welcoming and supportive.

Qingqing will graduate in May 2014 and take the next step toward reaching her goals. She knows that the change she desires to see may not be realized quickly, but she is determined to strive for it.