Dr. Xinyi Mao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education (ELHE) at the University of Central Florida. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia and joined the ELHE department in 2023.

Dr. Mao's research centers on school leadership and improvement, where she examines how educational policies can foster equity and diversity for both educators and students. Employing a quantitative methods approach, she explores the impact of factors such as students' access to the curriculum and opportunity gaps on their secondary and postsecondary success. Additionally, she has conducted research on international education, with a particular focus on marginalized students in China.

Dr. Mao's work has been published in reputable journals such as Educational Management Administration & Leadership, the International Journal of Educational Research, Asian Pacific Education Review, and the International Journal of Mathematics and Science Education. She also serves as a reviewer for esteemed journals and national conferences.

Dr. Mao is committed to making significant contributions to the field of educational leadership and higher education. Her passion for promoting equity and diversity drives her dedication to creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment for students. Through her research, teaching, and service, she aims to shape a brighter and more equitable future for educators and students alike.

Areas of Expertise
  • Educational equity
  • School improvement
  • Quantitative research design
  • Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia


Research Interests
  • School leadership and improvement
  • Student access to curriculum and opportunity gaps
  • PK-20 educational experience