Meet Xiaoxia Newton

Meet Xiaoxia
Monday, May 8, 2023

Xiaoxia Newton, associate professor of educational leadership in the Cato College of Education, is preparing to start a two-term tenure as president of the Faculty Council. Learn more about Newton and what excites her about leading the Faculty Council.

What brought you to UNC Charlotte?

I have been at UNC Charlotte for almost five years. My family and I were living in Massachusetts, and one day I received a job alert about this open-rank faculty position in the Cato College of Education. When I mentioned this job to my husband, for whatever reason, he became intrigued by the prospect of living in the Charlotte area. Since we got married, we moved around quite a bit because of me (being on tenure-track positions). So, when he expressed an interest in Charlotte, I felt I should honor his wish for once. I applied for the position, came for the interview, fell in love with the campus, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Can you describe your role as a faculty member?

As a tenure-track faculty member, my role is pretty well-defined by the academy in terms of research, teaching and service. One thing that’s relatively distinctive about education school faculty is that we tend to work more with graduate students than with undergraduates. I do teach an undergraduate course on research methods in education each semester, so that’s nice. 
What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

“We get paid to do what we love.” These words were shared with me by one of my professors. That was what he said to me after saying, “We have the best job in the world,” and I tend to agree. As researchers, we have the freedom to follow our curiosity and exercise creativity. As educators, we get to share things we are passionate about with our students. In pursuing service opportunities, we get to meet people and work on challenging issues together. Of course, the icing on the cake is the flexible schedule. I feel privileged to be where I am.
What excites you about serving as Faculty Council president? 

It’s a bit daunting, but I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve in this important leadership role as our University embarks on our 10-year strategic plan in the midst of a challenging time, economically and politically. My main goal is to do the best I can working with faculty representatives in the Faculty Council, serving as a bridge between faculty and other campus stakeholders and contributing to the mission of making Charlotte a place where faculty want to stay and call their intellectual home.   
What are three words to describe UNC Charlotte?

Three words to describe UNC Charlotte are diverse, vibrant and growing.
What do you like to do when you aren't teaching?

I enjoy reading and raising two boys who don’t like to be told what to do!
What's a fun fact about you many people may not know?

When I was in graduate school, I liked college football so much that I asked my professors to postpone our Ph.D. qualifying exam by a week because of the crosstown rivalry game against the University of Southern California. Sadly, my request was declined. I stayed up the night before the game to complete enough exam questions in order to go to the game, and I did pass my qualifying exam.