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Faculty Recognition: Spring 2017 Selections

Haifa El-Sadi

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology

Book Selection

Personal Statement

I choose “Les Misérables” which was written by Victor Hugo.

Victor Hugo, a French novelist of the 17th century, played a major role in the Romantic Movement. One of his most popular work is “Les Misérables”. The novel mainly focuses on the social injustices of the period, a topic that Hugo has widely exploited. The writer was known for his active criticism of the multiple injustices that clouded France's society at the time; women's rights, access to school and worker's rights are some of many social matters that Hugo publicly denounced. The novel Les Misérables was chosen for its deep descriptions of the multiple failing aspects of a France. The thoughts of Hugo are not only relatable to France's society in the 17th century, but to all nations for which all members' rights are not respected.

Xiaobin Le

Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Technology

Book Selection

Personal Statement

My areas are in mechanical design, solid mechanics, fatigue design, engineering reliability and FEA (Finite Element Analysis).  All of these are around engineering design.  The ability to conduct engineering design is one of the fundamental skills engineering students must possess.  Engineers use this skill to serve and to change our society.  I believe that the book “Engineering by Design” is one of the best engineering design textbooks for anyone who are interested in engineering and especially for engineering freshmen students who still don’t have lots of technical skills.  This wonderful textbook successfully and clearly explains to freshman engineering students what engineering design is, what the fundamental five-phase design processes of general engineering design are, and what the main tasks of each phase are.  The book presents numerous famous engineering design cases including some wonderful successful cases such as the Wright Brother vs airplane and some engineering design catastrophes such as Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster.  Engineering students can learn great deals form these case studies.  This book is also a good reference book for engineers in practice.

Weihui Li

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Book Selection

Personal Statement

Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism are commonly regarded as three major religions that affect Chinese deeply. While Buddhism is a religion propagated from India and prospers in China, which discusses the life after death, Confucianism and Daoism are not really religions. They are cultures and almost only discuss things in this present world instead of beyond of the world. Confucianism focuses on management of social affairs actively with kindness, justice, etiquette, wisdom and faith. Daoism emphasizes on going with nature without much interference, without much attachment to any human-defined wealthy, beauty, fame, intelligence, etc.  People say: when one is success, he/she takes Confucianism; when one is struggling, he/she takes Daoism; when one is desperate, he/she starts to believe in Buddhism.  The good part of the coexistence of all three cultures in almost every Chinese heart gives them spiritual support at any situations. 

If can, I would select a book from each of above three cultures. Given that I am only allowed to select one book, I choose the book “Dao De Jing”.  The book got eight-one chapters, with each chapter only a few lines. Total number of Chinese characters in the book is 5467. Aside from their extreme brevity, the sentences are full of nursery rhymes and playful and has endless meanings. Related words come into my mind easily at the right moment. It reminds and encourages me of open-mindedness, resilience, no attachment, mindfulness, long-life learning …… 

Lynette Panarelli

Associate Professor, Department of Interior Design

Book Selection

Personal Statement

Miss Rumphius – Story & Pictures by Barbara Cooney

“You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”

I am the youngest of four daughters, the aunt of six nieces and the mother of a very spirited young daughter, and the professor to many women with the entire world before them to explore. A legacy is passed from generation to generation in my family based on the values and lessons of Miss Rumphius. Like Miss Rumphius, the women in my family are taught to be curious explorers, to believe in ourselves,  to establish meaningful friendships, and to most importantly make a positive impression on the world.    
In the spirit of Miss Rumphius, how do I make the world more beautiful? Today, I teach.  Tomorrow could be anything.  With every new day I hope that I inspire my daughter and the many female students that pass through my classes to be curious explorers and to make the world more beautiful.   

Jiahui (Jenny) Song

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Technology

Book Selection

Personal Statement

I used this book when I was a student and it’s the textbook for our Electrical Engineering students. 

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