Aichih Jasmine Chang
New Jersey Institute of Technology
“Dr. Chang is a rising professor who curates a new curriculum of FinTech and teaching well in the field. She exemplifies a female scholar in the emerging area of FinTech. Her teaching record speaks for itself. I nominate here proudly.” – Michael Katehakis, Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, Rutgers Business School
Aichih Jasmine Chang, 40, is an Assistant Professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she has worked since 2019. She teaches Business Data Analytics and Data-Driven Financial Modeling.
She has a PhD in Management from Rutgers Business School at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on Innovative Technology for Supply Chain Management, such as Blockchain.
On teaching evaluations, she averages 3.88 out of 4, which is “heads and shoulders” above her peers, writes colleague Damaris Pesante in her nomination. Chang also advised students on an award-winning blockchain project over the summer. “Prof. Chang deserves such an award to recognize her as a ‘woman in a STEM-powered business school,'” Pesante says.
“I took two core courses from Dr. Jasmine Chang last year to fulfill my bachelor degree in FinTech. Both courses equipped me with a solid background in the new area of Financial technology,” student Luca Berger writes. “Importantly, I learned R programming and Python from Dr. Chang for the very first time, which essentially helped me to secure my current job in a big bank.”
LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… I was in middle school. Helping my classmates understand complicated theories and solve math problems gave me a feeling of achievement and pleasure. Then I found my passion in economics and business when I was a college student. Abundant teaching assistant experience further helped me decide to pursue a career in academia.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am currently working on some projects in disruptive technology adoption in supply chain management, peer-to-peer lending, health care management and food accessibility. The food accessibility project is funded by the USDA and will investigate the food supply issue in the low-income community. Through many interviews, we find that the grocers serving the low-income neighborhoods face many challenges, such as weak demand, poor storage infrastructure, limited store space, unstable supply, labor shortage, etc., especially during the pandemic. I am very pleased to be part of the project and to contribute to promote food accessibility and social equality.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… still in a job related to education. My parents always taught me to help people whenever I can. Before I started my PhD study, I was a consultant who regularly provided training sessions to clients to improve their business systems. Now being a professor allows me to share my knowledge to more people. I am passionate about my academic career, but even if I weren’t a professor, I think I would still be an educator to help as many people as possible.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I like to help people, love to write and tell stories and can explain complicated concepts in an easy-to-understand way, which, in my opinion, are essential qualities for a professor.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Learning. My first teaching was a precious learning experience for me. I explored how to develop teaching materials, convey knowledge, communicate with students and respect differences.
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: That there is not just one model for a good professor. Being born and raised in a traditional education system from Taiwan, teachers and professors are well respected but distant. However, being a professor in a school with a diverse student body allows me to see people with different backgrounds, perspectives, personalities, learning styles, etc.; now, I strive to be a professor who is humble, eager to listen and learn, passionate, caring, understanding and respectful of differences.
Professor I most admire and why: Dr. Sharan Jagpal from Rutgers Business School, from whom I learned not only textbook knowledge but also how to be a great educator. Dr. Jagpal is a mentor who set a model and demonstrated how to always go extra miles to help students without asking for a return.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Having interactions with students and seeing their happy faces while learning new things or finally understanding some complicated concepts. I especially enjoy seeing them grow and hearing how they applied what they learned from the classroom to a real-life problem.
What is most challenging? Sometimes some students “disappear” and cannot be reached throughout the semester. Lost contact with students makes me worry – especially during the pandemic – not only about their learning but also their well-being.
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Respectful. I like students to be respectful, not only to me, but mostly to their peers. NJIT has a diverse student body, and we need students to respect people with different backgrounds, opinions, learning style and pace, etc. Being respectful to differences is critical to creating an effective learning environment.
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Arrogant. A successful student should be a good listener who is always curious and passionate about learning.
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as…a professor who sets clear grading policy in the beginning of semester and works very hard to maintain the policy throughout the semester.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? Singing, hiking, dancing Zumba
How will you spend your summer? I love spending time with my family.
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Taiwan, Hawaii, Florida, Cancun
Favorite book(s): “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Relaxing yoga music to help me clear my mind and meditate.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Business ethics courses. The issues of social injustice and inequality need public attention, and education is key to mitigating those issues. Business schools must train our future entrepreneurs with a strong social responsibility to create a just business environment, to stabilize the society and to mitigate social inequality.
In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Social responsibility and justice. Global warming and extreme weather are getting more and more intense. Profit maximization should not be the only objective for those companies and organizations. Instead, they must take the social responsibilities to create a greener and cleaner environment for our next generations.
I’m grateful for… my students to show the greatest respect and resilience in an ever-changing learning environment. From the start of the pandemic, anxiety and uncertainty have built up, and swift responses had to be taken in terms of learning mode, materials and systems. However, our students have shown great understanding and cooperation to tackle those issues with us and ensure effective and efficient learning.