Resource Magazine July/August 2014 : Page 5

real-world solutions to the problems of people at the bottom of the economic pyramid and enhances their earnings in a sustainable way. This approach—involv-ing the development and deployment of simple tech-nologies that are profitable for all those involved in the distribution chain—has been referred to by some as “social entrepreneurship.” The profitable nature of entities built around the technology makes it easily scalable to other countries, reaching a wider population base. I am drawn to such activities. For the bioengineering work, I am particularly drawn to answering fundamental questions that may lead to a practical value. For example, we are investi-gating how to create microenvironments in vitro that support cells to grow and mature like they do in the human body, so we can use them to lower the cost of discovering new drugs. Q. How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching? And can you describe your ideal student? A. These two questions go well together for me. Research in its simplest form is like putting together a complex picture puzzle. You can try different pieces to see if they fit, and if you get enough put together, the true picture begins to emerge. I find this mindset very helpful in my teaching. The students and I “try different pieces” until they get it. It is difficult to answer the ideal student question. It is like beauty—you know it when you see it. If I am forced to think about it, my ideal student is one who is not afraid to ask a “stupid” question that may turn out to be the “puzzle piece” that unlocks the class’s trajectory to the “picture.” One who is not afraid to fail—failure is an integral part of success. One who does not hesitate to engage in meaningful out-of-the-classroom activities locally or globally. Q. What does your community or civic involvement include? A. When my children were young, we used to referee soccer games together in Athens and surrounding counties when they were not playing. Also, as an elder, I have previously led my church’s outreach activities for the Athens area. Q. What’s your favorite book? A. The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Steven B. Sample. Q. What’s your proudest moment at UGA? A. My proudest moment at UGA was in 2004 when I was the first faculty member to receive the Mentor of the Year for Undergraduate Research Award. Q. What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you? A. I have four goals. First, I want the students to learn as much as they possibly can in my class. Second, I want to fos-ter an appreciation for the relationship between theory and solutions to real-world problems. Third, I want students to learn to make connections across disciplinary, national, and cultural borders—today’s graduates are occupying work-places and communities that have been transformed. Fourth, I want to prepare the students for life-long learning. Q. Finally, what are your plans for the future? A. As a little boy, I was fascinated by my father’s World War II medals. As I grew older, I learned that he fought in Burma (renamed Myanmar) under the British Command in one of the African Rifles Regiments. I have always wanted to know what it was like for him and his fellow Africans. He was reluctant to talk, and I learned not to press. I have read all the important books written about the China Burma India Theater, and there is no account from the perspective of the Africans. Fortunately, I have managed to talk to a few of his friends who are still with us, and I hope I will be able in the future to make their collective experience accessible in their own voices. Q developed and administered by the Office of the Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Georgia, Athens, USA. Photos supplied by Mickey Y. Montevideo, Public Relations Coordinator, UGA College of Engineering. Q. Your favorite place to be or thing to do on campus is…? A. Going to the Chapel to listen to the interesting speakers who come to this campus. Beyond the UGA campus, I like to go to the mountains with my family, especially in the fall. RESOURCE July/August 2014 5

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