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Seeing donor dollars at work motivates Xiaohang Jiao

Staff Sketch

For Xiaohang (Wednesday) Jiao, helping others has always been at the forefront. The ASU Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions alumnus first worked for Make-A-Wish International, before making her way back to campus as an assistant director of donor relations in Development. “It’s a stewardship position. So, I really spend time developing relationships with donors, looking for good ways to acknowledge what they do for the school, and setting up events or other fundraising opportunities,” Xiaohang explains.

Even better? Xiaohang gets to work with students who have received scholarships from donors, and see how those gifts positively impact their lives. She shares, “It's really touching. It always reminds me why I do this work. It's important, and it's rewarding to see the students’ stories and how the donor’s gift made a college education possible for them.”

Xiaohang is also looking forward to an upcoming opportunity to expand W. P. Carey’s donor relations efforts in China. She has experience with that work, and was on the Make-A-Wish team that first set up the foundation’s work in mainland China, which is still granting wishes today. “I think that’s my proudest accomplishment,” she says. “Just knowing that what I do everyday can make this massive impact for people. I love that part of my job.”

What’s something people might not know about the Development department?

Whenever a development employee secures a big gift, we ring a bell! It’s a small way we celebrate each other and say “good job.”

What is your favorite W. P. Carey event?

W. P. sCarey. I’ve only been an employee here for 16 months, so last year was my first time. It was crazy! I can’t believe how committed everyone was to their themes. Plus, in China we don’t celebrate Halloween, so getting to be a part of that tradition and dress up here is really fun.

What was your first job and what did it teach you?

My very first job was as a kind of babysitter/tutor. I helped a young girl with learning Mandarin and her piano lessons. Then my first full-time job was for My Gym as a copywriter. That was in China before I came back to school for my master’s degree. I definitely learned responsibility and professionalism, but I also learned to be more self-sufficient. You don’t always have step-by-step instructions for completing something, and you just have to figure it out and come up with solutions. I learned that at my first job, I think.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

We had a trip to Alaska that was canceled due to the pandemic. I was really bummed, so I hope I get to reschedule that.

What is something you are afraid of?

Roller coasters. I get peer pressured into going sometimes, but I never have fun. I think I watched a scary movie where people fell off one time or something.

If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?

I wish I could apparate – where they can instantly transport themselves – like in Harry Potter. It would make travel so much easier!

What is your favorite T.V. show?

I can watch "Friends" over and over again. I know all the episodes by heart, so a lot of times I just fall asleep to it now. But I’ve noticed "Friends" is a popular show with immigrants. For a lot of us, I think it was part of how we learned to speak English.

What is your favorite season?

In Arizona, it’s definitely fall. Not so hot and my allergies don’t act up.

What’s something your hometown is known for?

I’m from Qingdao in China, and our town is home of the first Chinese brewery. You might know the beer, which is also spelled Tsingtao.

Salty or sweet? Sweet

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Cat or dog? I have both but … cat

Board games or video games? Video games

Book or movie? Movie

Mac or PC? Mac

Morning person or night owl? Morning person

Hot or cold? Hot

On time or late? On time