Sophia was born to help others. Her Chinese name ‘Xiaoyu’ literally means ‘musical helper’ so maybe it’s a predetermined path she’s followed to become Postgraduate Director for the Master of Contemporary Education at The Mind Lab.

Sophia’s passion in helping others carried her all the way to the completion of her PhD in Education from the University of Auckland. She has been a researcher and academic advisor at other tertiary institutions around Aotearoa New Zealand and her day to day role as the Postgraduate Director is supporting Master’s candidates, as well as assessment and moderation practices and processes. 

As someone who gets a kick out of helping others, Sophia loves motivating and empowering students to reach their potential and get to the next level - whatever that might be. If you’re a current Master’s candidate or planning on becoming one, she’s able to help you articulate what’s inside your head and help direct you down the path you might be finding hard to see for yourself. She has a rich academic experience but also has a very approachable and flexible mindset in applying academic processes to work-based learning, fully committed to the practical nature of all programmes at The Mind Lab.

Sophia would love the opportunity to meet one of the most adaptive minds history has produced so far - Leonardo Da Vinci. She looks to Da Vinci as a source of inspiration for what the human mind can achieve, how his artist's eye opens up new ways of looking and thinking about the world around us. As Leonardo said: “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding”, and that is exactly what Sophia wishes for all to achieve out of learning at The Mind Lab.

Sophia is also an accomplished pianist, so if Leonardo wasn’t available for a catch up, she’d be happy to sit down for a jam with Johann Sebastian Bach. Finding a beautiful crossover between music and education, Sophia believes both pursuits challenge so many aspects of life: creativity, organisation, sequential processing, innovation and problem solving. That’s probably what keeps Sophia up at night; a never ending thirst to create beautiful and rewarding learning experiences and share them with learners.

Academic achievements:

PhD in Education - The University of Auckland