Michelle received her PhD degree in Social/Personality Psychology from the University of British Columbia. After completing one-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Victoria, she returned to Hong Kong to take up a faculty position at the University of Hong Kong. In 2002, she joined the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where she served as the founding director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program during 2009-2016, as the acting head of Division of Social Science during 2011-2013 and as the director of Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions during 2016-2020.
At HKUST, Michelle teaches Psychology and Everyday Life, Personality Psychology, and Seminar on Emotion. The everyday life course provides ample opportunity to satisfy her “id” impulses of performing in front of 300 students. The other two courses provide a platform on which to utilize her research to enrich students’ understanding of human behaviors in the Chinese context. In 2007, Michelle won the Humanities and Social Science Teaching Award; in 2010, she became the medalist for the Michael G. Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching; and in 2011, she was the finalist for the University Grants Committee Teaching Award. Michelle is currently taking part in two MOOC courses and they are Psychology of Personal Growth and My Favorite Lectures @ HKUST.
Michelle is happily married to Steven and they have two children. While Stephanie was a UBC baby who walked Michelle through long days of completing a multi-cultural study on the structure of emotion resulting in a 300-page dissertation, Christopher was a HKUST baby who challenged her to strike a balance between the “stress and tension” of the tenure pursuit and a family energized by a newborn. Both children are grown-ups now, as they claim, allowing Michelle to live out her childhood dreams.