Photo by Randall Gee

Dr. Dong and Laurel Barrett meet around a computer. Dong enjoys helping students prepare research for conferences and has several students present each year.

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One Professor is Inspiring Future Writers and Researchers

Communication department’s Dr. Dong is recognized for his research
Lily PenfoldJan 20, 2012

With 24 hours until the deadline to submit a paper to a national conference, Laurel Barrett, a junior in the Communication Department, needed help. She wanted to submit her research, but issues such as data collection errors and reformulating hypotheses were a challenge for the young scholar.

Fortunately, Dr. Qingwen Dong, Chair and professor of University of the Pacific's Communication Department, was there to help.

Barrett says Dong is eager, energetic, and passionate about helping his students navigate the research process, and he spent extra time helping her make her research conference-ready.

"Dr. Dong pushes me to research at a level many of us have not experienced before," said Barrett. "He is a great professor, who is open and willing to talk to students, help us with our research, and assist us in the submission process. He goes out of his way to work with students."

While Dong is faithful to his own research - his current research interest is how social media is affecting communication patterns of individuals - he is an advocate for his students to collect hands-on data and put together quality research papers that they can present at the conference level.  Each year, at least three to five of Dong's students have their papers accepted at research conferences throughout the nation.

To some students like Barrett this opportunity is an honor. Having a professor who will guide you through the process and is available at any request to assist in research is unique and considerate, said Barrett.

Barrett discovered Dong's helpful nature when she took his Communication Research Methods course. In the course, Dong encourage Barrett and other students to understand good research practices and walked them through the process of exploring research method options when preparing to conduct their own studies.

Dong has a long list of accomplishments; however he says one of his greatest pleasures is seeing his students succeed with their own research endeavors.

"I believe that college learning is not simply the memorization of ideas from textbooks," Dong said. "The key is to apply those concepts and ideas into practice, generating an impact on the students' self-development and self-advancement."

Dong has been teaching at Pacific since 1995. Before that, he was a radio journalist in China, giving him real-life communication experience that translates well in the classroom.

This is not Dong's first time being honored by Pacific.  In 2010, he was awarded a Research Fellowship to study the Impact of Internships on College Students' Social Emotional Competence Development.  In 2009, he was presented with the Faculty Mentor Award by the Alumni Association. Additionally, in 2007, he was awarded the Eberhardt Teacher/Scholar Award for outstanding achievements in both teaching and scholarship.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since the publication of this story, Laurel Barrett's research paper, "Facebook Usage and its Connection to Jealousy in a Romantic Relationship" was accepted by the Western States Communication Association. She will be presenting her findings on February 18, 2012.

about the author

Lily Penfold   Lily Penfold is the Media Relations Assistant at Pacific and also a graduate student in the Communication Department of the College of the Pacific.