Any research presents its share of obstacles. Still, some proves more complex than other research.
When Yan Qin, a University of Houston-Victoria School assistant professor of business management, tackled her most recent project – a study into blood bank allocation – she ran into a predicament.
Neither “supply” nor “demand” were definite numbers.
“The supply of blood is usually driven by voluntary donation. You have no control how much blood you will collect every day,” Qin said. “You also do not know how much blood you will need or even what type. This was challenging.”
Qin’s project got its start during her doctoral degree studies, when an assistant professor at the University of Florida asked her to join the team. Although blood shortages were a problem at the time, they were nothing new.
“This topic has remained relatively untouched since the ’70s or ’80s,” she said. “It’s quite interesting. We wanted to make a difference.”
The research paper based on the project is now under review by an elite journal in her research field.
Qin, who was born and raised in China, obtained her bachelor’s degree in management science at Fudan University in Shanghai. She later relocated to the U.S., where she earned her doctorate in operations management from the University of Florida in Gainsville.
It was fall 2011 when she joined the UHV School of Business Administration.
Today she considers herself a tough educator. She has high expectations of her students but said she’s there any time they need help. Each person is unique and learns differently. As long as they take that first step and ask for assistance, she will do her best to help, she said.
Above all, Qin’s goal is to provide more than the information students will need for the tests, but what they’ll need in the years that follow.
“It’s not cheap to graduate with a degree,” she said. “I want to make sure you’re actually learning in my class, and that what you learn in my class can be actually applied at work.”
The educator’s time isn’t limited to her classes and research. Qin also keeps busy with hobbies. Sometimes, she joked, she has too many of them.
She enjoys playing pool with friends and taking in a game of tennis or golf. Her most important hobby, however, walks on four legs. It’s Eddie, her small, energetic Shih-Tzu/Chihuahua mix.
“He’s a troublemaker,” she said with a laugh about the pooch who gets frequent visits to the dog park. “I love him.”
Qin said she enjoys her job and looks forward to her future work at UHV, a university that is experiencing ongoing growth and change.
“It is challenging, but exciting. But, you know, ‘To improve is to change,’” she said, quoting Winston Churchill.
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 director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.