Fracture and Academic Language Discussed at Forum

November 16, 2011

Dr. Sudhir Kaul and Ting Shen were the featured speakers at the University of Mount Union’s annual faculty forum on November 8.
 
Kaul, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, presented Fracture Dynamics, Diagnostics and Control, which dealt with the structural aspects of a fracture.  He used a simulation of a crack in a beam to help explain to the audience his research and results.
 
“Cracks will eventually break,” he said. “Even airplanes and bridges have hundreds of cracks, but that doesn’t mean it will break right away.”
 
Adolescents’ Use of Academic Language in Their Historical Writing was presented by Ting Shen, assistant professor of foreign languages and cultures. She noted that secondary students are not prepared in academic language, and her research showed that teachers are not teaching students how to write academically.
 
“Teachers are busy teaching their own content,” she said. “They don’t think they are literary teachers, when in fact, they are.”
 
Kaul most recently served as a senior lecturer in the department of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. While at the University of Pretoria, he taught courses such as machine design, structural integrity, probabilistic design and structural dynamics and control. Throughout his career, he has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin and as an engineer for the Harley Davidson Motor Company, Hero Briggs & Stratton Corporation and Herion Fluidtronic, all where he specialized in design and development.
 
He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and master and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin, both in mechanical engineering.
 
Aside from teaching in the classroom at Mount Union, Shen is taking the lead on the development of The Discover China Program, a multi-faceted Chinese cultural program, which will begin in the fall of 2012. Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she served as a Chinese instructor and international education coordinator at Nova Southeastern University and the lead instructor at the STARTALK Institute of the Idaho State Department of Education where she provided professional instruction to teachers, developed curriculum and taught in a Chinese immersion program. Shen also was a Chinese tutor at Maryland University, a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant at the University of Florida, program assistant at the Hunan Provincial Education Department in Hunan, China and Chinese teacher and Chinese program coordinator at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida, among other roles.
 
Shen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Peking University and a Master of Philosophy degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. This fall, she will graduate with a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida.
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