A Q&A with Nancy Deng, associate professor of information systems, the 2017 “Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award” winner.
The “Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Award” acknowledges that research, scholarship and creative activities that are essential components of the mission of CSUDH, and recognizes a professor’s professional activities that provide intellectual stimulation and motivation for student learning.
Nancy Deng has participated in ingenious research and projects at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She promotes undergraduate student research as a faculty mentor, judge and Student Research Day session chair, and incorporates the latest business analytics research regarding the job market in her curriculum and programs. Deng also applies the latest research to her teaching to share emerging analytics skills, and has launched collaborative research projects with colleagues on and off campus.
Deng became an educator after a successful professional career managing and implementing information technology and database management systems for organizations. In the last five years, she has published 20 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier academic journals and at international conferences. Deng serves as associate editor for three peer-reviewed international journals; Information and Organization, the Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce; and Knowledge Management Research & Practice. For the past five years, she has co-chaired the Digital and Social Media in Enterprise mini-track at the Hawaii International Conference on Information Sciences.
Q: How did you feel to learn you would be honored with a 2017 Faculty Award?
A: When I received the award letter signed by Provost Hay I was very excited. It’s such a prestigious award, and I am deeply honored. I sincerely appreciate the nomination by my colleagues, and I am thankful for the recommendation from the Faculty Leaves and Honors Committee.
Q: What types of research do you conduct, and how do they impact your students and society?
A: My research examines the impacts of information and communication technologies and human-centered design. Overall, I conduct research in four major areas: crowdsourcing and value-sensitive information systems design; business intelligence system and Impacts on Organizations; Post-implementation support and information technology workforce; and human values and social media technologies. To investigate research questions in these areas, I have applied a variety of research methods that are qualitative, quantitative, or both. As information technologies and social media affect every aspect of our society and our daily lives, I believe that doing research in these areas allows me to provide my students and colleagues new insights into academic studies and industry practices.
Q: Digital technology changes at a feverish pace. Can you tell me a little about your impact in this expansive field?
A: The ubiquitous penetration of the digital and social media technologies has created new forms of work beyond organizational boundaries. One of the cutting-edge topics that I focus on is microtask crowdsourcing, in which individuals voluntarily participate in work on a web-based, third-party platform in exchange for monetary remuneration. My research demonstrates the significance of crowdworking and crowdsourcing in the digital and social media era, and suggests new avenues for more research about the design, implementation, and ethics of this emerging, digitally-enabled complex phenomenon.
Q: In what unique ways do you share your passion for your work with your students?
A: For my students, I incorporate my research on the latest computer information technologies with classroom teaching and student services. For example, in spring 2015, I engaged undergraduate students with the wearable technology Google Glass in a campus-wide experiment that included 76 students across several undergraduate programs. That was a collaborative project with Natasa Christodoulidou (associate professor of marketing at CSUDH). In addition, by utilizing my latest research on the business analytics job market, I can apply my research findings to curriculum and program design, and share the emerging analytics skills in market demand with students in the IT Society Club to better prepare them this new emerging profession of business and data analytics.
Q: What do you love about teaching at Cal State Dominguez Hills?
A: As an educator, I take great pride in teaching and preparing our students for a successful career in today’s knowledge society. I enjoy engaging students with the course materials, illustrating abstract concepts with real-world examples to enhance their active learning of information technologies and business impacts, and providing my students opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they acquire in a classroom setting to solving real business problems. As an ancient Chinese philosopher and educator said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” –Lao Tzu (604-531 BC). I follow this teaching philosophy and take my teaching responsibility very seriously.
Q: How has CSUDH made you a better educator?
A: Everyday on this campus faculty and staff are doing their best to support, educate, and empower our students. They motivate me, and I am indebted to many of my colleagues who have supported and have influenced me. The support by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Research, has been instrumental to the success of my research projects. My dean (Joseph Wen, dean of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy), my department chair, and my colleagues have been very supportive of my teaching and research. Without their support, I couldn’t have achieved many of my accomplishments. I’m thankful for all their support, and I am proud to be part of the Toro family.
Shell is a supporter of the Faculty Awards program and reception, which recognizes Faculty Awards of Excellence recipients and faculty members who have reached years of service milestones.