Hsiu-Zu Ho is a professor emeritus in the Department of Education where she worked from 1981 to 2021.
Ho also served as Associate Dean of the University of California Education Abroad Program. Her research interests are in cultural and gender variations in human development, parent involvement and student academic achievement, and international education systems. Professor Ho received a 2012-13 Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to investigate father involvement in the everyday lives and education of young students in Taiwan. Her recent publications on this topic include investigations that utilized both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in examining various aspects of father involvement in Taiwanese society. She has also conducted studies examining ethnic variations in parent involvement and student academic achievement in U.S. populations. Her past cross-cultural/cross-national studies have investigated cultural and gender variations in attitudes, beliefs, and practices of parents and students as they influence academic achievement (some studies specifically focusing on mathematics achievement).
Professor Ho taught courses in statistics, cross-cultural psychology, developmental behavioral genetics, as well as research seminars on topics such as the psychology/education of Asian Americans. She was particularly active in professional activities and service regarding cultural diversity. For example, nationally, she has served as past president of American Educational Research Association’s International Education Special Interest Group (IS-SIG); and locally, she has served as chair of UCSB’s Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women for over a decade.
Professor Ho’s academic history reflects a breadth that spans from genes to culture, the unifying theme being the investigation of sources of individual differences. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University with a major in mathematics and minors in biology and psychology. Integrating her interests in these academic domains, she pursued graduate training in behavioral genetics from the Institute of Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, receiving a Ph.D. in Psychology, followed by postdoctoral training in quantitative genetic models at the Population Genetics Laboratory, University of Hawaii. Professor Ho began her academic appointment at UCSB’s Department of Psychology conducting research in developmental behavioral genetics in the areas of reading disability, spatial cognition, and gender-related issues in cognitive development. The combination of her evolving academic interests in cross-cultural developmental psychology and her own personal multicultural experiences subsequently led her to investigate the role of culture in development and education which she has pursued as a faculty member of the Gevirtz School.