San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Communication department welcomes new tenured professor

Christian Hicks

San Diego State’s communication department welcomes a new assistant professor, Yea-Wen Chen, to its faculty this fall. After teaching at Ohio University for six years and being awarded tenure, Chen said she is excited for a new chapter in her life at SDSU.

Chen will be teaching her favorite class, intercultural communication, She said she looks forward to being in an environment that promotes diversity, social justice and inclusion.

Born in Taiwan, Chen said she appreciates the way that communication, especially intercultural communication, help her explain the hardships she’s faced where language and other writing failed to help her communicate.

Teaching is something Chen has done her entire life.

“It’s an integral part of who (I am),” she said.

Patricia Geist-Martin, Chen’s mentor, explained that Chen beat out among near 100 applicants for her current position.

“(It was her) scholarly expertise, productivity and ability to connect to students that made her stand out,” Giest said. “In just one month, she has inspired both faculty and students.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education at National Taiwan University, Chen went on to teach English to high school students for three years in Taiwan.

Once she decided that she wanted to pursue a master’s degree, Chen sought out advice from a professor at her university who suggested that she study something “more applied,” like communication.

After moving to the U.S. from Taiwan in 2004, Chen began her master’s program at the University of Northern Texas.

“The coursework in the (master’s program) helped to give (me) a deep appreciation and understanding of (communication),” Chen said.

Chen also found it fascinating to interact and connect with people from other cultural backgrounds. Being a first generation college student and the first in her family to come to the U.S., her path was different in comparison to the rest of her family and her studies helped her to make sense of the cultural differences.

Chen said her first semester of teaching communication in the U.S. was a challenging transition.

Her first college class this semester was a freshman public speaking class, which is customary for new professors in the communication department.

Chen was able to carry over a lot of teaching techniques and skills that she gained from teaching in Taiwan, making the transition a little easier.

Chen said she loved the way classrooms here in the U.S. were more interactive compared to just standing and lecturing and the interactive nature allowed her to grow and learn as a teacher.

In addition to teaching, Chen also serves as the faculty in residence at University Towers, living with her husband and two-year-old son. She said she loves being able to walk to work and is learning to be more of a minimalist after having to downsize in living space.

Chen said she values the interaction that she is able to have with students outside of the classroom because she knows how great of an impact it has the potential to make.

Though her schedule revolves heavily around teaching and her involvement at SDSU, Chen said she enjoys exploring San Diego with her family and finding new and exciting things to do around the city in her free time.

About the Contributor
Maya Carter
Maya Carter, Staff Writer
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Communication department welcomes new tenured professor