Dr. Zhenyi Li
Zhenyi Li, Dr.
E-mail: zhenyi [dot] li [at] royalroads [dot] ca
Phone: 250 391-2600 ext. 4764
Office: School of Communication and Culture
Program head, MA in Intercultural and International Communication
I joined Royal Roads University in 2005 after teaching at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada (2002-2005) and the University of Jyvaskyla, Jyvaskyla, Finland (1995-2002). I am an associate professor for the MA degree program specializing on intercultural and international communication (IIC). I obtained my BA and MA degree from East China Normal University in Shanghai, China; my Ph.D. on Intercultural Communication from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.
My current research projects are about intercultural communication and health-related knowledge, attitude and beliefs. I have been working closely with health authorities in BC, medical schools in Canada, and professionals from Canada and the U.S. to resolve an often overlooked puzzle: we have been investing more on health care, though the number of people suffering from lack of care or illness is not decreasing at all. No one would disagree that we have more advanced technology, sophisticated labs, well-educated physicians and nurses, and even online medical resources than any time before. One of the possible reasons might be that our investment and education have not reached the population as culture barriers for a smooth communication have not be addressed and removed. For example, smoking can be a very difficult “habit” to quit for some people from certain cultures, where socio-cultural norms press on each single person who intends to quit. If the socio-cultural pressure is not removed, how could we change their behaviour like smoking? Many subjects in my research demonstrated very good knowledge about certain diseases and related prevention intervention. But not many of them are changing their “habits” or “attitudes”. That is where I believe intercultural communication specialists should work closely with health care professionals.
Along with my current research projects, I am a consultant, trainer, teacher, and volunteer in my community to promote intercultural understanding, cross-cultural adaptation, and multiculturalism. My clients include BC and Yukon Government, VANOC, some law firms, and several private companies. I have been a long-time executive member of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR) in BC and Europe. I was a member of the Richmond Intercultural Adversary Committee for the City Council when I lived in Richmond, BC.
I guest-lectured at Simon Fraser University and Queens’ University in Canada, Lille Catholic University in France, many universities and colleges in Finland, Fudan University and East China Normal University in China. I have published one book, several book chapters, dozens of journal articles, and 1000 blogs on intercultural communication.
To the best of my knowledge, Royal Roads University offers the only MA degree specializing on intercultural communication in Canada.