We recently had a chance to sit down with Dr. Feifei Chen, assistant professor in the Department of Communication. She joined the department in 2019, and her favorite memory so far is when she came for her campus interview and tour. It felt like spring in Charleston, which was amazing because she had just traveled from chilly Texas A&M. She immediately noticed all the dogs around campus and the nearby beautiful restaurants. You can bet that this semester on a similar spring day, one can find Dr. Chen busy getting work done in the Cistern Yard. But do not be fooled… she is really there for all the cute puppies playing in the grass!
Dr. Chen reflected that her journey has been driven by a passion to know all kinds of people, exploring different possibilities, taking risks, and being heavily involved in her community. She joked that her teaching experience spans from kindergarten to college-level students. During her own college studies, her favorite activities included volunteering with students with special needs, teaching at a local kindergarten, and instructing college students. Dr. Chen’s path through higher education led her to world travel. She achieved a bachelor’s degree in english language and literature through Central China Normal University (Wuhan, China), a master’s degree in cultural communication through Shanghai International Studies University (Shanghai, China), and a doctorate in communication through Texas A&M (focus in organizational and strategic communication). Dr. Chen’s studies and research interests have progressively changed over time, with her main interests including crisis communication, nonprofit management communication, issue management, socially mediated strategic communication, and corporate social responsibility.
Having grown up around the academia profession, she always thought she would be a professor like her father. When she got to college, Dr. Chen decided to explore the industry side of communication in the field of public relations. While she enjoyed her work, she decided to return to academia in order to experience more variety through her students and research. “I loved working in the industry,” Dr. Chen said. “The only problem with the industry is that I only get to work with one company at a time. As a professor, I can help my students explore various possibilities through teaching and research.” Dr. Chen enjoys seeing her students’ growth as they make sense of future paths and keep her updated on life after college.
A piece of advice Dr. Chen offers to #cofcommalumni is to “reflect on your values from time to time, don’t let the industry get you carried away. Always stay true to yourself.” A piece of advice she offers to current #cofccomm students is, “Pay attention to your Monday Morning Memo!”
From the day she arrived on CofC’s campus, Dr. Chen has felt at home. She thanks her students for their feedbacks and their readiness to grow with her throughout the semesters. This is Dr. Chen’s second semester at CofC so if you see her around, make sure to say hi!
Photo by Megan Gould.
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