By day, Hsin-Hui Lin is a mild-mannered University of Houston-Victoria associate professor offering insight to future educators. By night, people around her never quite know who she’ll be.
She might be the on-air personality giving advice through her radio program or an author writing a textbook about teaching Chinese.
Lin, who joined the UHV School of Education & Human Development in 2003, doesn’t confine teaching to her time on campus, but that’s OK. It’s all by design.
“I always tell my students that teaching does not just happen in the classroom,” she said. “I tell them that I hope they can provide a community service somehow in a way that works best for them. It’s good to make a difference.”
Education is a lifelong passion for the mother of two. With an elementary school principal for a father and elementary school teacher for a mother, Lin said teaching was the only profession she ever considered.
“I guess I can blame my parents,” she said as she laughed. “But I do love what I do.”
Lin was born and raised in Taiwan and earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Fu-Jen Catholic University. After several years teaching high school, it was time to expand her knowledge.
Because she said her own country didn’t offer many educational choices at the time, she ventured to the United States in the early 1990s.
Lin earned her master’s degree in family and human development from Utah State University in Logan and went on to obtain her doctorate in child and family studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Transitioning to a new country wasn’t easy. Lin said the language barrier brought difficulties even after years of English lessons. Culture shock also set in. The educator transformed those obstacles into learning opportunities and ways to help others.
In 2006, she began a program with Texas Chinese Radio Station, counseling listeners on parenting issues and answering questions when they called in.
Immigrant parents often experience conflict with their children because they were raised in a culture so vastly different from the ones in which their offspring live, she said.
Lin also began writing columns for Taiwan’s Preschool Education Monthly, and later wrote a textbook geared toward area educators who teach Chinese. The textbook gained momentum and resulted in Chinese language courses cropping up throughout Houston.
“It’s exciting to see that change and to know I helped,” she said.
At UHV, Lin works to make her own classroom experience enjoyable and encourages her students to do the same. Educating others is a lot like the performing arts, she said.
“You have to present the knowledge in an interesting way and enjoy what you’re doing,” she said. “You want to make them want to come back.”
The Faculty Feature is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a faculty member, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.