Interview with Shanshan Jiang, Book Review Section Editor!

Interview with a New Book Review Section Editor Dr. Shanshan Jiang

Asuka Ichikawa: Hello everyone on behalf of the digital storytelling team at JIS. Thank you very much for reading the Global Connections Newsletter. This is Asuka, producer, for the podcast for JIS. Today I'm here to interview our new book review section editor, Dr. Shanshan Jiang. Dr. Jiang is a Research Associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California Berkeley. She holds a PhD in educational policy studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison. And her scholarship examines the political economy of transnational education, mobility, as well as the co-construction of class, race and spatial relations through global higher education. So hello Dr. Jiang and welcome to the JIS community.

Dr. Shanshan Jiang: Hello, Asuka. Thank you so much for having me.

Asuka Ichikawa: All right. Uh, given that this is a very special but a very brief interview, I'd like to fire away, three questions. The first one is, uh, could I ask what brought you to research International Higher education?

Dr. Shanshan Jiang: Yes, of course. So I began interested in international higher education when I became an international student. As to remember the first day that I started my, graduate program in 2012. I remember sitting in this auditorium with probably over 5,000 other international students for this orientation.

 And that's the moment that I realized, wow, there are so many international students, in this, one university in the U.S. So I just became, interested in, the scale of international student mobility. And that kind of, pushed me to look further to look about, the statistics and also, what motivate these students to study abroad and, their college experiences and also, what does that mean for the local communities? So I was really fortunate to, have professors in my department, who encouraged me to pursue this path. And, after I finished my master's, I continued to, for PhD studies. I was also really fortunate to, continue to pursue this research area in international higher education.

Asuka Ichikawa: That's wonderful. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. Moving on to the next question. Could you share, what you do for self care or re-energize? Um, if there's a usual version or holiday special since the winter break is coming up? Either or great.

Dr. Shanshan Jiang: That's such a great question. Because you know, people in academia get so, get so easy, , burnt out, right? Um, especially with all the deadlines and the publications and pressure and teaching. Um, so all of that, so for me, I find it's really important to spend time with people you care about. So I try to spend more time with my family. I have a one and a half year old son at home, and, spending time with him really helps reenergize me. It also reminds me of, a lot of good things in your life. So you don't really have to worry about not finishing this paper today, you could do it tomorrow or you'll be fine.

And besides that, I think also maybe, do things that you really enjoy, like your hobbies. For example, I, really enjoy dancing. When I was in grad school, I founded a dance team, with other PhD students. We we would spend time practicing choreographies each week. And that gives us some time to kind of forget about, you know, the academic work and, just have fun and also build a community, to remind each other that we're not alone. We are not just the research we are doing, we are a lot more than that. So I think spending time with people that care about and also pursuing a hobby of yours, could be really, really helpful.

Asuka Ichikawa: Absolutely. Thank you. Uh, I love the people and movement aspects of it. Moving on to the last question, could you share what you most look forward to in working with the JS community?

Dr. Shanshan Jiang: Yeah, so there are many things that I look forward to in working with JIS. Specifically for this book review, editor position, I'm really excited to, have a chance to know about the cutting-edge scholarship in this field. So really have a chance to look at, what was published, for example, in the last two years. What kind of scholars are emerging in this field? So I'm been really excited about that opportunity. And also I really look forward to connecting with scholars, educators, practitioners in the JIS community. I think I could learn a lot from each one of you, and to really have, a space for personal growth, scholarly growth and professional growth, and I hope I could, reciprocate that to contribute to the community, through my own service and also my research.

Asuka Ichikawa: Thank you so much and as one of the team members, I really look forward and delighted to work with you in the future. So, if, there are any future authors interested in writing book reviews, could I ask how they could reach you?

Dr. Shanshan Jiang: Yeah. The best way to reach me is definitely, through email. You could find my email address on the JIS website. I encourage a potential author, who are interested in writing book reviews to, just reach out telling me what kind of books you are interested, in writing about and maybe one or two sentences why you think it is important. And I also encourage, potential authors to look at that page about book titles. So we'll be adding new titles, soon. So, just keep checking that page, and see what new books will be added. And if you don't see any books, that you want to review about on page, you also welcome to propose new titles, and then we can go from there.

Asuka Ichikawa: Wonderful. Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Jiang. Uh, this wraps up our very brief interview, but I wanted to thank you again and for anyone interested in learning more about writing book reviews for JIS, please tune into the Global Scholar Stories Podcast, Episode 5, featuring our former book editor, Dr. Lisa Unangst. And with that, I wish you and everyone a rejuvenating winter break. Thank you so much again.