Spotlight on New Faculty: Dr. Yi Ding

This fall, GSE welcomes several new faculty member to our ranks. This series of posts will help you get to know more about their backgrounds and interests, as they become part of the Fordham community.

Yi Ding, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Fuzhou, China

B.Ed., M.Ed. Special Education, Beijing Normal University
Ed.S., Ph.D., School Psychology, The University of Iowa
APA Accredited Internship, University of Minnesota Medical School

Research Areas:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities (LD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), functional behavioral analysis (FBA), and international school psychology and special education issues.

Interview originally appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of the School Psychology Newsletter (Volume 4, Issue 1)

Q: Could you talk briefly about your academic and professional background? What are your academic areas of expertise and interest?
My areas of interest in research are Reading Disabilities (RD), Mathematics Disabilities (MD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), rapid automatized naming (RAN), and immediate memory functions in readers across scripts/cultures/languages, the use of applied behavioral analysis in individuals with genetic disorders and/or mental retardation, and psychological issues and general special education issues based on cross-regional perspective.

Q: Are you currently conducting any research? If so, please describe.
The following studies are on-going:
1. Underlying cognitive mechanisms in math learning disabilities (MLD)- collaboration with faculties at Beijing Normal University;
2. Personality traits on school psychologists, school counselors, and community counselors-collaboration with faculties at University of Toledo;
3. Rapid automatized naming and immediate memory functions in children with RD- both in US children and Chinese children;
4. Strategic concept development in students with MLD- collaboration with colleague at Purdue University;
5. Development and psychometric assessment of Adjustment Scaled for Children and Adolescents (ASCA) and Learning Behavior Scale (LBS)- collaboration with faculty at Eastern Illinois University.

Q. What will you be teaching in the fall? How would you describe your teaching style?
I will be teaching Clinical practicum in School Psychology and Applied Behavior Assessment in Educational Settings. My students, colleagues, and former faculty members have described me as a dedicated, enthusiastic, and highly organized individual with a commitment toward the betterment of learning and mentoring of my students. Teaching for me is a learned experience. It helped me to be more attentive, reflective, flexible towards others, and respectful of individual differences. My undergraduate degree was in special education where I was trained as a teacher of children with special needs. I started working as a student teacher when I was a junior in college. I teach because I like teaching and enjoy helping others in the learning process.

Q. What do you enjoy and find most challenging about teaching?
I enjoy seeing my students moving on a progressive learning curve to master hands-on skills coupled with theoretical foundations. What I find most challenging are students with low motivation who do not show interest in the selected subject (class).

Q. What led you to pursue a faculty position at Fordham?
Due to my strong background in psychological testing and assessment as a tradition from The University of Iowa (which has a strong training emphasis on the scientist-practitioner model), I feel I am a good candidate to fulfill the vacancy in the school psychology program at Fordham (a faculty with training background in psychometric assessment and testing). My interest in preschool populations (like early literacy, behavioral intervention in preschoolers) also helps me to work with students who have an interest in working with preschool population. My research often involved multi-lingual students and Fordham is definitely the right place to pursue such research opportunities.

Q. What were you doing prior to joining the faculty here?
Before joining the faculty at Fordham I was an Assistant Professor teaching at the University of Toledo.

Q. What are your early impressions of life at Fordham and in the New York area?
I studied and worked in the Midwest for 8 year. My first impression of the New York area? I lost my window and parking spot and I felt like I was back in Beijing! The buildings on the Rose Hill Campus are fascinating. It is exciting to learn that the Lincoln Center Campus serves more than 8,000 faculty and students.

Q. Tell us about some of your other interests and what you like to do in your free time?
I like shopping, especially shopping in China at places where I can find good bargains!

Q. Do you have a sense of what you’d like to accomplish in your first year at Fordham?
1. I am in the process of applying for “1st Year at Fordham” Faculty Research Grant, so I can continue with my established projects and hopefully receive some research funding to support my GA;
2. I have at least 2-3 manuscripts based on empirical data to be completed and hopefully to be submitted for peer-reviewed journals by the end of first year;
3. If things are moving as planned, I will start collecting data on students with MLD in Beijing this winter and do a follow-up in late spring of 2011;
4. Attend the NASP conference in the spring of 2011;
5. Attend a psychometric assessment conference in Hong Kong in the summer of 2011;
6. Start to have some master of doctoral students work with me for my on-going research and help them to establish a sense of conducting research, which may be benefit their own thesis or dissertation in the future.

Q. Do you have a message for the students and/or staff?
Thank you for having me here.

GSE welcomes Dr. Ding to the faculty and wishes her the best of luck in her first semester!


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