CGE Student Spotlight: Wen-Chi Shie, Ph.D.
Wen-Chi Shie, FSU alumna from Taiwan, recently joined the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP)’s Interdisciplinary Social Science (ISS) Program as a visiting assistant teaching professor after completing her Ph.D. in public administration in summer 2021.
Shie reflects on the valuable opportunities and learning experiences at Florida State University that have prepared her for her early career development.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be a faculty member to contribute to FSU’s learning environment and students,” Shie said. “I appreciate the Director of the ISS program, Dr. Lisa Turner de Vera, and the members of the search committee for choosing me for the role, and I look forward to contributing to the ISS program.”
Shie is teaching four sections of an online undergraduate course this fall (online and in-person in spring 2022) – Contemporary Social Problems and Policy Solutions – across different campuses (Tallahassee, Florida; Panama City, Florida; Panama City, Panama). She is also advancing undergraduate research efforts and collaborative interdisciplinary projects for students in the ISS program. She said, “It's very rewarding when I see my students’ growth, receive students’ feedback, and see their smiles at the end of our Zoom meeting. I am developing creative and supportive approaches to increase and strengthen the online learning environment for my students to apply what they have learned and support their peers,” Shie said. “I let my students know that I am here to support them for their questions and special learning needs, and I believe in them.”
Shie chose to attend FSU’s Askew School of Public Administration for its prestigious and supportive Ph.D. program. “I am grateful for the valuable advice, insights, and guidance on my research and academic career development,” Shie said. “This dissertation would not have been possible without the help, support, and guidance of my major professor, Dr. Ralph Brower, and my committee members, Dr. Frances Berry, Dr. David Berlan, and Dr. Tamara Bertrand Jones.”
Shie cited the support from her major advisor as being integral to her success.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Ralph Brower for his generous patience, inspiration, and guidance. This challenging and innovative dissertation topic was strongly supported and benefited from his wisdom, open-minded and creative insight, and passion to research with his students. I am honored to explore this research topic with him and share the knowledge with the world,” Shie said.
Shie’s current research focuses on public and nonprofit management, collaborative governance, social networks, sustainable community and economic development, and social equity. “My dissertation is a study about the role, network structure, and evolution of rural community collaborations and partnerships.”
Shie's dissertation was her greatest academic achievement at FSU. “My dissertation extends understanding about network evolution; my study illuminates unique network trajectory dynamics and changes in social capital, with implications for both positive and negative outcomes,” Shie said. “My research case about community-campus collaborative networks could also illuminate a set of best practices to connect to critical resources and provide a workforce training/technology incubator that coproduces knowledge, hands-on technical skills, and job opportunities to benefit young adults, women, and middle-aged unemployed and poor populations.”
Her major professor, Dr. Brower, expressed that he is going to nominate her theoretical and empirical contributions for a dissertation award. Also, she was selected as a finalist in the Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) competition, which challenges researchers to present their dissertation research in three minutes to a non-specialist audience.
In addition to her research and academic life, Shie was also an active leader on campus for promoting interdisciplinary learning and network, as well as diversity and inclusion. Shie was both a program assistant and fellow within the FSU Fellows Society. “I have been leading the Fellows Society program and the Fellows Advisory Board, with the goals to serve our graduate student fellows, engage in interdisciplinary networking and learning among the whole FSU community, and provide creative social services to contribute to our society,” Shie said. Her contributions included hosting diverse virtual and in-person events, facilitating interdisciplinary networking among graduate students, faculty, and the FSU community. She initiated creative ideas and collaborations to enhance diversity, efficiency, and supportiveness in the program, especially the transition of the Fellows Advisory Board during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Being an international student from Taiwan, she appreciates all the valuable opportunities for her to learn interdisciplinary knowledge from other fellows and faculty; to build her confidence and job skills; and to network and collaborate with fellows in interdisciplinary fields. Shie is also grateful to her supervisor Dr. Lisa Liseno for her mentorship and support in the Fellows Society.
In recognition of her commitment to leadership and giving back, Shie was awarded the first year Nancy H. Marcus Endowment for Graduate Student Excellence Fellowship. This competitive fellowship offers students support to enhance a variety of opportunities to conduct their dissertation research and facilitate their success.
Moreover, she also served as a keynote speaker and team member for the Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Teaching Organization (DIRECTO). DIRECTO is a growing graduate student-led organization that promotes dialogue to foster diversity and inclusion on university campuses and in research endeavors.
Shie was also actively participating in diverse campus events. “The precious friendships built through the Center for Global Engagement’s International Coffee Hour and those unforgettable moments we experienced together at FSU are surely the most unique and very best part of my FSU experience.”
With the support from her major advisor, Dr. Ralph Bower, Shie believes that she is prepared to take the next step in her career. “I'm reminded of a quote on the wall in Dr. Bower’s office from Eleanor Roosevelt, ‘Great minds discuss ideas.’ Our countless long discussions are one of my valuable treasures serendipitously discovered in my Ph.D. life,” she said.
Shie also credits her preparedness to Dr. Frances Berry and Dr. David Berlan. “All of them provide precious guidance for my academic goals in research, teaching, and public services.”
In addition to the mentorships, she developed with Askew School faculty, Shie gained experience in teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in public administration during her Ph.D. training. She also had the opportunity to serve as a research mentor herself for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), as well as a reviewer for the 2021 Florida Undergraduate Research Conference. “These valuable experiences equipped me with valuable teaching and research mentoring skills and strategies in both online and in-person undergraduate and graduate level courses,” she said.
Shie is thankful for the support of her family during this time in her academic and professional career. “My growth of independence, courage, and critical thinking originate from their strongest support in providing me the precious opportunity and freedom to achieve my academic goals and explore the world,” she said.
Shie would like to advise any international students at FSU to immerse themselves in the culture. “Challenge yourself to learn the language and contexts and be persistent,” Shie said. “Be open-minded and curious to explore every opportunity and enjoy the moment.”
If you’re an international student who is interested in being highlighted by the CGE on our website, social media platforms, and in publications, please share your experience as an international student at FSU with us through this questionnaire. Plan to upload a collegiate picture of yourself and spend about 20 minutes completing the survey.