Making an Impact: Hongxia Wang
Hongxia Wang, Ph.D., is an associate professor in finance and began teaching at Coastal Carolina University in January 2019. Since joining the Wall College faculty, Wang has proven to be a committed academic by consistently engaging in financial research to supplement her teaching.
Wang’s teaching philosophy is, “The more you know, the better professor you can be.” When asked to explain what inspires her motivation to publish research, she responds, “Learning fosters teaching.” She believes students are more receptive to information when they see the teacher is gathering these facts themselves instead of simply lecturing from a textbook, and that real-world examples are the foundation of understanding
Society is constantly evolving, which is why Wang refuses to let her lessons become stagnant, stale, and irrelevant. Cultural trends influence the finance world, so she investigates topics like cooperate governance and how companies lead by trust and transparency to create integrity and result in financial growth.
Some of Wang’s research questions include the psychographic, demographic, and behavioral analysis of CEOs and business executives. She examines the effects of board or executive personal characteristics on corporate policies such as cooperate payout, working capital management, and firm performance.
Wang did not plan to stay in the United States for long. Her original goal was to get a master’s degree in education, but she made the spontaneous decision to pursue her MBA. At Indiana University South Bend, she had two classes left to take before graduation when a professor approached her and told her she had a natural talent in finance. She never considered the idea of continuing her education and already planned to go back to China, but the professor insisted she would be an excellent candidate for the Ph.D. program.
Wang applied for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where she earned her Ph.D. in finance. She obtained her first job at Ashland University and was tenured after only a few years. She credits her early promotion to her strong research. While working at a teaching-oriented school, she believes research serves teaching.
“A professor’s main task is to pass their knowledge to their students and help them become successful,” said Wang. “That is why research is not isolated. My students are my clients. In China, we have a saying, ‘If your students need a cup of water, you should always have a bucket of water. You should always be prepared.”
Wang is inspired by her students to continue learning about new topics in finance: “Teaching shouldn’t stop at the textbook,” she said. “We should always be using real companies’ data to make and support arguments. I use my own research in the classroom.” She may not share much about her accomplishments in class or with her colleagues, but the Wall College is proud of her dedication to learning and providing the best education possible to our students.