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Diana Xiong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Government, History and Criminal Justice

Education

  • Ph.D., History, The George Washington University
  • M.A., Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University
  • M.A., Political Communication, The George Washington University
  • B.A., TV News Reporting and Interviewing, Communication University of China

Honors and Awards

  • Selective Excellence Graduate Research Assistantship, The George Washington University, 2007
  • The Sigur Center For Asian Studies Research Grant, 2009
  • The Shirley H. and Robert L. Richards Scholarship, 2010

Classes Taught

  • World History
  • History of East Asia
  • History of Latin America
  • History of Global Christianity
  • History Senior Thesis

Research Interests

The History of Christianity in China, Christian Missions, U.S. Foreign Policy

Teaching Philosophy

I love teaching. For me, teaching is a calling, a calling that God has placed in my life, a calling that I strive to fulfill with love and imagination. I never feel more excited and energized then when my students are fully engaged with class lectures, discussions and presentations. I really work hard to get them there. One method I use to draw my students into history learning is role-playing exercises. For instance, in my East Asian history class, I would ask a student to act as Confucius to explain the characteristics of Chinese civilization; in my world history class, I would ask one student to act as Louis XIV to explain how absolutism was established during his reign in France. My students have told me repeatedly that they enjoyed their historical-acting-presentations tremendously. Creative ways can certainly perpetuate students' learning. Therefore, in each class, I try very hard to engage students in a variety of ways, with visuals, sounds, and words. I want my students to be interested in the materials carefully prepared for them, and to leave each class with some concrete historical understanding. I try to end each class with a recap for the students and leave time for them to ask questions. I also supplement secondary source readings with a wealth of primary documents. I push my students to question these sources, and to examine the people who produced them. Because primary sources always deepen students' understanding of the forces of history.

As a history professor, I want my students to develop clear and coherent historical narratives, both orally and in writing; I want them to be able to make connections between people, events and institutions; I want them to understand historical trends, the forces of change, and how today's world has been shaped over time; I want them to know that history is not just the study of what happened but also the study of why it happened and of how people explained and lived with what happened. Equally important, I want my students to become skilled thinkers and learners. Historical inquiry involves the ability not only to grasp information, but also to classify, organize, and analyze it and then convey one's conclusion in clear prose. Students today are overwhelmed with all kinds of information around them. My goal as an instructor is to help them learn how to choose and analyze this mass of information, and make strong arguments out of it. I take this task seriously.

Above all, as a Christian historian, I take every opportunity to instill in my students that history is in God's hands, and God is the history maker. Throughout history, God certainly uses human agents as critical forces of historical change, but God ordains those changes, and His sovereignty in historical progression is unquestionable. History is not accidental, and God has planned every part of human history from the very beginning. History is not a cycle, and God has foretold the messianic end of human history when Jesus returns. In my history teaching, sometimes it may be difficult to convey these concepts to students when we are dealing with numerous concrete historical figures and events in each class. It may take struggling to pose the right questions for students every time. It may take days to prepare a one-hour-lecture or a right image for them. It may take many more years of tinkering to get everything right. But, this is what I love, and teaching is my calling.

Biography

I was born in a southern city of China, Guiyang. I went to Beijing to get my B.A. in TV Reporting at Communication University of China dreaming to be a well-known reporter. I indeed worked for China Central Television and Communication University of China for more than three years before I came to the United States for my graduate studies. At the George Washington University where I accomplished my master's degrees and my Ph.D. with several full scholarships, I received Jesus as my Savior through the ministry of the GWU Chinese Christian campus fellowship. The course of my life was changed forever. I eventually got to know God's calling for my life was to teach, and in August 2011, I was hired by Regent University. I have been an assistant professor of history since then.

I love teaching at Regent, I love my students, and I love what I am doing. But I have a lot of personal interests as well. Going to the gym, listening to music, watching movies, and reading novels are all my favorites. Above all, I like spending time with the Lord, either reading the Bible, or praying, or worshipping the Lord with other Christians, or just simply sitting quietly knowing Jesus is there beside me.

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