“I believe there are events in our lives that only happen by chance” said Grace Zhang as she described her transition from being an English student to becoming an associate professor in Augusta State’s Hull College of Business.
Zhang, a native of Dingzhou, China, began a path toward the world of business when she received her bachelor’s degree in English from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. Although choosing the major was not her decision, she said it helped to place her in the right direction.
“My mother is a high school English teacher; at that time in China, your parents decided your college major,” Zhang said. “However, I knew the next step in my school career would be my choice.”
Zhang developed an interest in business after a friend shared stories and experiences with her. Her newfound passion for business led her to the University of Oklahoma, Norman, where she obtained master’s degrees in management information systems and business administration.
“I like to learn everything, and my first economy class just interested me,” Zhang said. “It was so much different from how I was taught in China, and everything that I learned about business seemed to be so practical.”
Zhang continued studying business at the University of North Texas in Denton where she earned her doctoral degree in information technology and decision sciences. While attending UNT, Zhang also met her husband, Clinton Amos, ASU marketing professor. “We both were doctoral students, and we met while working in the office,” Zhang said.
Before she joined the ASU faculty in 2008, she taught business statistics and management information systems at the College of Charleston. She now serves in the Hull College of Business, teaching courses such as Human Computer Interaction, Operation Management, and Management Information Systems. She also works with Study Abroad in the university’s China Study Abroad Program.
Zhang has coauthored several articles that have been published in respected periodicals such as the Information Systems Management, the Entrepreneurship Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, and CyberPsychology & Behavior.
In 2009, she received the Charles Goeldner Best Paper Award for her research titled The Effect of Online Information Search on Image Development: Insights from a Mixed Method Study, which was published in the Journal of Travel Research.
In July, she finished her latest research, Content and Design Trends of Chinese Corporate Web Homepages. In this study that compares the homepages of China’s top 500 companies with those of Fortune 500, she discovered 93 percent of the homepages of Chinese companies contain animations such as rotating text and pop-ups. Whereas, many of the web pages of American companies use very little animation or flash features. She also discovered that the Chinese websites reflect the culture of the society by offering the consumer information on social responsibility and the work of the Communist Party of China. Many companies also reserve a page for consumers to dialogue with various staff members of the company.
Zhang hopes to publish the results from this study sometime in the near future.
Name: Grace Zhang
Position: Associate professor in the Hull College of Business
Years at ASU: 3 years
Family: Husband, Clinton Amos, Hull College
Hobbies: When she is not working, Zhang enjoys hiking, reading, and canoeing.