My research interests focus on international students of colors' leadership identity development and experiences with race, racialization, and racism, and student affairs practices in transnational universities outside the U.S.

I am a third year doctoral candidate in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy Program (Student Affairs Concentration) at the University of Maryland, College Park. I use she/her/hers pronouns. I currently serve as an instructor and graduate coordinator in the Leadership Studies Program. As a higher education and student affairs scholar-practitioner, I am committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion work that interrogates systemic injustices and advocates equity-minded policies, practices, and research that center the lived experiences and voices of communities at the margins of the society.

In my scholarship, I am particularly interested in exploring international students' leadership identity development, leadership self-efficacy, and leadership capacity, international students' engagements with activism, and international Students of Colors' racialized experiences and their experiences with race, racism, and neo-racism at predominantly white institutions through a critical lens. 

Prior to my current role at the Leadership Studies Program, I held the positions of the Graduate Assistant at the Office of Studnt Conduct at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Senior Residence Life Officer for Residential Education and Programs at Duke Kunshan University in China. I completed my undergraduate studies in Secondary School English Education at the Education University of Hong Kong and my master's in Educational Policy (K-12) at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship (April 2021)


  • Park, J. J., Salazar, C., Anderson, J. L., Liwanag, A. M., Parikh, R. M., Lue, K. E., & Zheng, J. (2020, April). Looking beyond college: STEM college seniors on their post-graduation plans. [Roundtable research paper]. American Educational Research Association 2020 Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA. [Cancelled due to COVID-19]
  • Park, J. J., Parikh, R., Lue, K., Salazar, C., Liwanag, A., Kim, Y., & Zheng, J. (2019, November). Who are you studying with? Racial and Gender inequality in STEM study groups [Conference poster session]. Association for the Studies of Higher Education 2019 Annual Conference, Portland, OR.
  • Salazar, C., Liwanag, A., Zheng, J., & Park, J. (2020, November). Marginality and mattering in STEM: Examining the relationships students form with higher education administrators. [Research paper session]. Association for the Study of Higher Education 2020 Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. [Virtual due to COVID-19]. 
  • Zheng. J. (2020, November). From deficit to complexity: Chinese international students’ racial experiences in U.S. higher education. [Scholarly paper session]. Association for the Study of Higher Education 2020 Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. [Virtual due to COVID-19]. 
  • Zheng, J. & Wang, H. (2018, August). Student leadership development program: The Duke Kunshan experience[Conference session]. Asia Pacific Student Services Association 2018 Conference, Malaysia.


  • Park, J. J., Salazar, C., Parikh, R., Zheng, J., Liwanag, A., & Dunewood, L. (2021). Connections matter: Accessing information about education and careers in STEM. Journal of Women & Minorities in Science & Engineering. 
  • Park, J. J. Kim, Y., Lue, K., Zheng, J., Parikh, R., Salazar, C., & Liwanag, A. (2021). Who are you studying with? The role of diverse friendships in STEM and corresponding inequality. Research in Higher Education. 
  • Townsend, J., & Zheng. J. (2021, May 15). Do the work: Strategies to retain Black, Indigenous, and People of Color women faculty. Inside Higher Ed. 
  • Zheng, J. (2021, April 2). What does It mean to use “GaoKao” scores to admit Chinese international undergraduate students in U.S. universities? AERA Division J Official Blog.

University of Maryland, College Park 

  • Co-PI for a qualitative case study research on Chinese undergraduate international students' leadership development at predominantly white institutions. 
  • Research Assistant for Dr. Julie J. Park, with engagement in conducting qualitative data analysis on STEM college seniors’ post-graduation plans and supporting multiple manuscripts on college seniors’ post-graduation plans, the role of diverse friendships in STEM, social ties and access to information about education and careers, and the relationships STEM students form with higher education administrators and its impact on their sense of mattering and marginality in the STEM context.
  • Diversity project on the disciplinary sanctions for Students of Colors' non-academic misconduct cases disaggregated by race/ethnicity.
  • Seattle Public Library 

Qualitative research project and policy memorandum on providing better services for English Language Learners and families at the Seattle Public Library. 

HESI217 Introduction to Student Leadership

HESI 318W Leadership and the Workplace

HESI418V Global Leadership in a Virtual Context