Mingzhen Bao

One thing I love about teaching is that it gives me an opportunity to inspire hope and instill a love of learning.

Mingzhen Bao, PhD

Associate Dean


Dr. Mingzhen Bao is the Associate Dean in the Communication Arts department for the College of Liberal Arts at Ashford University. She received her PhD in Linguistics with a focus on Phonetics and Second Language Acquisition from University of Florida. Her Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and Bachelor of Arts in English are from Zhejiang University, China. Before coming on as a faculty member at Ashford, Dr. Bao served as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Chinese Language Instruction at University of Kentucky. Her research experience includes discoveries on speech prosody of tonal languages in East and Southeast Asia, exploration into acoustic properties of under-documented languages in West Africa and Pamir Mountains, behavioral and psycholinguistic studies of tonal acquisition and processing, and teaching pedagogy in foreign language instruction. She has published over a dozen peer reviewed journal articles in her field and has presented at a variety of national and international seminars and conferences. Dr. Bao says, “There is an ancient Chinese proverb: be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid of standing still. One thing I love about teaching is that it gives me an opportunity to inspire hope and instill a love of learning. 

Recent Accomplishments

Grants and Professional Trainings

Harvard Women in Education Leadership Program

WASC Senior College and University Commission Educational Program: Exploring and Creating New Faculty Models for Student Success & Institutional Effectiveness 2017

Effects of Short-term Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication to Productive Performance in Distance Language Learning Proposal (as PI), University Fellow Program, Ashford University ($5600) 2014

Constellation Book and Student Achievements Proposal (as PI), University Fellow Program, Ashford University ($10,000) 2013

Selected Publications

  1. Selhorst, A., Bao, M-Z., Williams, L., & Klein, E. (submitted). The effect of online discussion board frequency on student success in adult learners.
  2. Selhorst, A., Williams, L., & Bao, M-Z. (2017). The effect of transparent instructor guidelines on student success and satisfaction in online classrooms: Curriculum design and effective online learning. The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, 24 (2), 1-13.
  3. Bao, M-Z., Taylor Moore, T., Tinianow, D. & Nideffer, J. (2017). Enhancing teaching and learning through technology: A comparative study of YouSeeU integration in oral communication-oriented courses. The International Journal of Technologies in Learning, 24 (1), 15-23.
  4. Li, B., Shao, J., & Bao, M-Z. (2016). Effects of phonetic similarity in the identification of Mandarin tones. Journal of Psycholinguistics Research, 1-18.
  5. Riaz, S., Bao, M-Z., Zorn-Arnold, B., Weitl, J. & Kirwan, J. (2015). Do students use etextbooks meaningfully? Lessons learned from four online university courses. Journal of Modern Education Review, 5(10), 951–961.

View CV


Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics
University of Florida
Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics
Zhejiang University, China
Bachelor of Arts in English
Zhejiang University, China

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