Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 11, 2016

Zhang, Yue (Nancy)

Professor Yue (Nancy) Zhang

MU Welcomes Visiting Economics Professor

Brittany Dilley

Professor Yue (Nancy) Zhang grew in Nanjing, China during a time when the government limited education, only allowing people to finish high school before being forced to work in factories. “My mom is really happy that I could become a college teacher,” said Zhang, tears welling up in her eyes. “That was her dream for when she grew up. She reacts stronger than I do.”

After her middle school years, Zhang traveled to Australia to visit a sister school. She stayed with a host family in Melbourne for a week and spent the second week in Sydney, going to classes as normal. The exchange program was organized by her school in China. “The only thing I didn’t like at that time was my English,” said Zhang as she laughed. “I had been learning English for a very long time, but people in Australia have very weird accents. I could not understand anything that they said.”

After finishing her undergraduate in physics, Zhang moved to the United States to attend graduate school for microeconomics. “I didn’t really like (physics) much,” she said. “It was very hard for people in China to change their major during the time that I was in college.” Luckily, microeconomics sparked her interest more than physics did. 

She acquired her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in microeconomics. Living in College Station, Texas, she found a new love for country and salsa dancing. “We had an awesome country dance bar in College Station,” said Zhang with a smile. She dabbled in salsa, but didn’t enjoy that as much as the country dancing. However, she did consider the Chinese food in Houston to be “awesome.” She lived in Texas for six and a half years. 

In May 2016, Zhang came to Manchester University, where she is a visiting economics professor. “I like teaching and people here are really friendly,” she said. Her goal is to become a better teacher while she at Manchester and to become a “real” economist. “Is that not the coolest thing in the world?” Zhang asked.