Dr. Fujuan Tan, associate professor of adult and higher education at Morehead State, is preparing future English as a Second Language (ESL) educators for career fulfilment and success.
Tan earned her bachelor’s degree at Lu Dong University and her master’s degree at China Ocean University, both in China, and her Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming. She began her career as an ESL teacher in China and started teaching ESL adult and higher education courses at MSU in 2012. She has authored and co-authored several books and academic articles about adult ESL education and has presented at numerous regional, national and international academic conferences. She is currently co-editing a book of autobiographies of the 20 most influential adult educators as chosen by their peers. She said the book is meant to inspire fledgling educators who are just starting out.
“The journeys to and through the field they share are invaluable for encouraging and guiding junior adult educators at the beginning of their professional careers,” Tan said.
Throughout her career, Tan has strived to continue to learn and hone her skills, earning numerous certifications in ESL education. She said she strives to pass her love of learning on to her students.
“Being a lifelong learner myself, the belief and passion of lifelong learning attracted me into the field of adult education,” Tan said. “I enjoy devoting myself to helping adults learn and promoting their personal growth, as well as inspiring adults to become lifelong learners.”
Tan’s research primarily involves transformative learning, which involves developing an individual’s ability for critical reflection upon his or her experiences, resulting in a transformation of perspective that plays a fundamentally important role in the individual’s personal development and growth.
Tan said she enjoys the supportive environment in the Department of Foundational and Graduate Studies in Education (FGSE) but said the most rewarding part of working at MSU is learning more about Appalachia’s unique culture through the eyes of her students. She added learning more about Appalachian culture allows her to better relate to her students and facilitate their learning.
“It is a great pleasure and reward that I get to know the Eastern Kentucky Appalachian culture and the people here through working at MSU. Through teaching, I learn from my students,” Tan said. “The trust and willingness that my students have in sharing with me their expertise and experiences make me thrilled, and I am grateful for that.”