Gatepost Interview: Rui – Rui Zhang, assistant professor of department of fashion design

By Phil McMullin

Can you briefIy describe your resume and educational background?

I got my Ph.D. from Oregon University, and I did my master's also at Oregon State University. Before, I graduated from the university in Beijing, and I worked as a fashion designer for a year. Then, I applied for my master’s degree and I went to Oregon State.

Do you have any hobbies?

I did a lot of Chinese calligraphy. I’ve been learning Chinese calligraphy for over twenty years. Another hobby is ballet. I’ve done ballet for over five years. I do like music, and I do like to read.

What are your favorite books?

Basically, related to my academic area. Then ... some religious-related books.

What was your favorite class in college?

I think all the classes which can help me build up my logical thinking process, and problem solving classes. I do believe research methodology – which actually, I’m teaching that. I think it’s really important. Based on my previous experience, I think it’s really important for helping students to build up problem solving and logical thinking processes. I think the general education process is very important, because students need to know different areas – not only STEM but also arts-related and humanities, [and] social sciences. I cannot pick one class which I really like – it’s a really hard question.

So you immigrated here from China?

I don’t think I have immigrated to here, but I went to America – United States – in the beginning of 2008, so I basically did my master’s and Ph.D. in the United States.

Do you have any advice for foreign students?

I think communication is really important. I think at the beginning, they really want to make friends with the Chinese students, or [students who come] from the same countries, because it’s more convenient for them to communicate. But if you look at more [long-term], it’s important to make American friends and get more chances to speak English. More communication with international students or American students would be really important for them to improve their speaking skills.

Are you teaching any classes in the spring?

I’m going to teach Consumer Behavior, and one class, Designer to Consumer. I will teach two sections for Consumer Behavior, then one section for Designer to Consumer.

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