Ruixuan Mao’s Passion for Teaching Reflected in His Division

  • Tags: Administrator Profile
Published 09/20/2021
Rick Mao, Dean of the Division of Communications and Behavioral Sciences

Rick Mao, Dean of the Division of Communications and Behavioral Sciences


Ruixuan 'Rick' Mao has been with ECC since 2002 and serves as the Dean of the Division of Communications and Behavioral Sciences. As part of his work, Mao rounds up the best of the best in educators for the department, and his success is evident in the outstanding faculty and their dedication to ECC students.

Mao has been a part of higher education for 54 years at four separate institutions, including teaching at a Chinese Teachers University. Aside from excelling as an educator, Mao is equally equipped when cooking up a meal and enjoys traveling to new places. Read on to learn more about one of ECC’s finest, Rick Mao.

In your words, what do you do at ECC? What do you want others to know about your job? Or what would help others understand your job? As Dean of the Division of Communications and Behavioral Sciences, I supervise the hiring, staffing, scheduling, curriculum improvement, evaluation, budgeting, and operation of the division. As a chief liaison between administration and faculty, I support students in their learning and handle their grade appeals as well.

What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been at ECC? I hired and helped tenure most (25) of the full-time faculty of the division.

If you could instantly be an expert in one thing, what would you choose? Working with faculty to achieve student success.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)? To conduct and lead cultural trips to China.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled? Or where would you like to visit? The best places I’ve visited are China, Hawaii, Alaska, and Yellowstone National Park.

You have to wear a t-shirt with just one word on it for an entire year. What would that word be, and why? Diversity - this is what is shown among faculty, students, curriculum, classroom instruction, ECC campus culture.

Share a fact about you that might surprise people to learn. I am a good chef. I learned to dress a chicken when I was 14, taught by my medical doctor aunt. I learned to cook when I was 20. My favorite dishes are ox-tail soup, Sichuan style fish, and sweet and sour pork.

What job have you held (besides ECC) that was the most fun, interesting, or difficult? Explain why. I worked in four institutions of higher ed for 54 years, teaching for most of the time as a full-time faculty member. Teaching in a Chinese Teachers University was the most fun and interesting. It is my area of training. I began my teaching career in college after I graduated. I got an offer by my own alma mater upon graduation, which I happily grabbed, at the age of 19. I enjoy working with students, who are of my age. Students loved my teaching. The most difficult time was during the cultural revolution in China (1966-1976) when schooling was all shut down, and teachers got beat up. I survived the chaos, during which I read extensively with the help of a librarian. This experience paved my journey to America.

What was your most valuable life lesson? It is critically important to build up respectful relationships among your colleagues to maintain a sustainable environment where people enjoy working and learn to be productive.

Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because … “ I enjoy working at ECC because ECC attracts the best professionals from all over the country to provide the best learning environment for our students.