Faculty News

Xiao-Fei Yang joins USC Rossier as assistant research professor and scientific director of CANDLE

Scholar and neuroscientist with efforts to improve social development in K–12 classrooms joins USC Rossier faculty.

By USC Rossier Published on

USC Rossier School of Education announced that Xiao-Fei Yang has joined its faculty as an assistant research professor. She is also serving as the scientific director of the Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education (CANDLE), a USC Rossier center housed at the USC Dornsife Brain and Creativity Institute.

Yang is an affective and developmental neuroscientist with extensive experience working with youths and in schools. Her research focuses on the psychological and neurobiological processes supporting complex emotions and meaning making about the social world, as well as the development of these processes in sociocultural contexts, especially during adolescence. Yang earned her BS in Biology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and PhD in Neuroscience from USC.

“I am excited to join the USC Rossier faculty and continue my research as scientific director of CANDLE. This includes a set of exciting, coordinated studies, one on secondary teachers’ pedagogical practices together with their mindset, beliefs and attitudes towards supporting deep learning and youth development, and another on high school students’ brain, social-emotional and academic development. We take an interdisciplinary approach, combining in-school observations, in-depth interviews, quantitative surveys, physiological recordings and neuroimaging. This work has the potential to transform students and teachers’ experiences and will support USC Rossier’s mission of promoting educational equity throughout the field of education,” said Yang.

“Xiao-Fei Yang is an accomplished scholar whose research combines her background in neuroscience with efforts to improve social development in classrooms throughout America to ensure educators cultivate students’ curiosity for an enhanced learning experience in K–12 and beyond. USC Rossier is excited to welcome Xiao-Fei Yang to its community,” said USC Rossier Dean Pedro Noguera.

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