New faculty bring experience from around the world

Carleton University is but one stop on a world tour for many faculty, as they arrive on campus armed not only with enthusiasm expertise, but also a wealth of international experience.

Newly appointed Assistant Professor of Engineering, Edgar Matida, already has four continents covered. Born in Brazil, Matida completed his undergraduate studies in Sao Paulo, then crossed the globe to pursue his master’s and doctorate in Yokohama, Japan. From there it was on to Canada as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, leading to research collaboration and time spent in Germany. Some of his researchled to his co-authoring a patent for a prototype device to improve dry-powder inhalers used to treat lung diseases, such as asthma.

“In the wake of globalization, students have to realize that they need to be international players. Research itself flourishes with diversity. I will do my best to interact with students and other faculty members and try to bring a piece of the world into Canada with my international experience,” says Matida.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Anatoli Ianoul, has traveled the globe throughout his studies – gaining international experience, as well as proficiency in no fewer than five languages: English, Russian, Byelorussian, Polish, and French. Born in a small town in Belarus, he moved to Moscow to pursue a post-secondary education, later traveling to France to complete his Ph.D. Since 2002, Ianoul has been contributing to the development of advanced microscopes with the National Research Council.

“It is obvious that different countries have different education philosophies and different approaches to teaching as well as doing research. The challenge for me will be to select the best among these approaches, the most appropriate for that Canadian system,” says Ianoul.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Antal Járai also hopes his international experience will translate into a better experience for his students. “Mathematics education is traditionally strong in Hungary, where I completed my high school and undergraduate studies,” says Járai. “I hope to bring that experience to Canada.”

Járai also studied in the Netherlands and the United States, and says Carleton was an obvious next step with its reputation in the field of probability and statistics.

Járai’s interests in mathematics began at an early age. When he was 10, he worked as a “Rubik’s Cube setter” for a Rubik’s Cube National Championship in Hungary. “Not everyone knows that the Rubik’s Cube was invented by a Hungarian,” he says. Járai was tasked with preparing the cubes for the competition, and solving those from previous rounds that had not been solved by the competitors. Whether this experience will make it to the classroom is yet to be seen.

Jinhee Choi, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, won’t be coming on campus with a Rubik’s Cube – but she will be arriving with no fewer than two Ph.Ds under her belt. “It didn’t take as long as people would think,” she says.

Choi traveled to the United States to pursue her doctoral education, but she was sure not to leave the culture of her homeland South Korea behind. Choi specializes in Hong Kong and South Korean cinema, and hopes to introduce her students not only to the material, but also invite them to learn more about East Asian culture and its perspectives. But she adds, “Although there are differences among nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities, there are greater similarities than people normally think.”

Just learning about different cultures may not be enough though, says Assistant Professor of Architecture Thomas Mical. When it comes to studying architecture, “you really have to go see it,” he says. “One of the things I emphasize is travel. It’s an important part of architecture…you can’t just look at pictures…it’s like the difference of having dinner with someone as opposed to just seeing a picture of them.”

Having gained professional experience in almost every continent, Mical says he was glad to come to Carleton. “(Carleton’s) architecture school has an outstanding reputation and has for decades…I find the faculty bright, friendly, and articulate.” In addition to looking forward to more academic freedom and “proper winters,” Mical says he’s also looking forward to teaching. “That’s where the juice is—seeing students do things they didn’t think they were capable of doing.”

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This entry was written by Suzanne Jordan and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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