May Hongmei Gao

May Gao

May Gao, associate professor of communication and Asian studies, has drawn on her expertise and scholarship in communication, business and Asian affairs to foster new opportunities for U.S.–Asia business partnerships. As coordinator of Asian studies within the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Kennesaw State, Gao has led the program to national prominence.

Gao is the founder and chair of the Symposium on ASIA-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO), the largest Asia business conference in the Southeast. The conference facilitates learning and networking among business leaders, policymakers and scholars regarding partnership opportunities between the U.S. and Asia.

As a result of her SAUPO leadership, Gao led a nine-member delegation of Atlanta area business leaders and scholars to participate in a “Doing Business in Asia” forum at the White House in May.The forum gave delegation members a chance to join with 70 other business leaders from across the U.S. in a dialogue with officials from the White House, the Department of Energy, the State Department and the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

Georgia Asian Times named Gao one of the 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia and presented her a “GA25 Award" in July.

A member of Kennesaw State’s faculty since 2004, Gao’s teaching and research encompass a broad range of topics and interests. Most recently, her research into Home Depot’s retail experience in China was published in the Thunderbird International Business Review. The research report — titled “Culture Determines Business Models: Analyzing Home Depot’s Failure Case in China for International Retailers from a Communication Perspective” — is one of more than 20 articles and book chapters she has published during her academic career.  Gao teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in communication, Asian studies and conflict management. She has provided intercultural communication training for the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, P&G, Duracell, Nanfu, Euramax International, tvdesign, Taiping Carpets and the Confucius Institute at Kennesaw State University. 

Gao earned her Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of South Florida in 2004 and holds a master’s degree in mass communication from Brigham Young University and a B.A. in English from Shanghai International Studies University. Prior to joining Kennesaw State, she worked as a TV news anchor in China.