Member Spotlight: Lin Wu

AACTE’s Member Spotlight features an individual from a member institution, highlighting how their work makes a difference in classrooms across the country. Nominate yourself or another member by providing a response to the following questions and sending to

Get to know Dr. Lin Wu …

Name: Lin Wu
Position/Institution: Western Oregon University
Number of years in your position: 3 years
Alma Mater(s): University of Washington-Seattle (Ph.D.)
Hometown: Dalian, China

  1. How long have you been a member of AACTE?
    I joined AACTE in 2019.

  2. Why did you join AACTE?
    I joined AACTE to stay updated on research, practice, and policy in teacher preparation.

  3. Why did you decide to enter the field of educator preparation?
    I stumbled upon the field of teacher preparation. I was looking for funding to support my doctoral studies, and teaching assistantships were available in the teacher preparation programs at UW-Seattle. I applied for it and later started working as a teacher educator. Gradually, I learned that I can have a positive impact on how teachers teach in K-12 classrooms.

  4. What’s been your favorite or most memorable moment of your career so far?
    The beautiful memory I shared with the Mexican American community I worked with in Southern Arizona for seven years. Also, the mentorship I sustain with the preservice teachers I taught, especially Asian Americans.

  5. What’s one thing — educator preparation-related or not — you learned in the last month?
    Many Asian American teachers I talked with struggle to navigate teaching now because most school administrators have not adequately addressed the unique needs of Asian American teachers and students during the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., escalating anti-Asian racism). So, I think U.S. teacher preparation programs should pay close attention to recruiting, training, and retaining Asian American teachers in a caring-centered, culturally responsive way in a “post-pandemic” world.

  6. What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
    I am often the only Asian male teacher in U.S. K-12 classrooms and teacher preparation programs. So, I have to be very creative in pushing back on stereotypes about Asian men (e.g., emasculated) and Asians in general (e.g., yellow peril, model minority).

  7. What advice would you give someone who is interested in working in this field?
    For all teacher educators: we must know whom we are before teaching our students how to be their authentic selves. Especially for teacher educators of color: I often draw on my ancestral lineage and cultural heritage for strength when time gets hard. So, I hope you will continue to nurture your ethnic identity in your journey of becoming.

  8. Who or what inspires you?
    Personally, my grandparents, who survived Europe’s and Japan’s colonization of China, raised my parents with limited resources, and continue to look after our family from the other world. Professionally, my academic mother, Dr. Geneva Gay, for her enduring scholarship, mentorship, and advocacy.

  9. What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
    I write poetry in both Mandarin Chinese and English.

  10. What is your favorite part about being a member of AACTE?
    I appreciate AACTE for selecting me as a recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Award. This award not only uplifts my community but also opens many doors for me. For example, I was invited by AACTE to participate in an interview with Dr. Valerie Ooka Pang for the 2022 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Through AACTE, I also connected with Dr. Marvin Lynn, who became a great mentor. Recently, I was selected to join AACTE’s Global Diversity Programmatic Advisory Committee. In sum, my favorite part about being a member of AACTE is that this organization provides opportunities to voice my advocacy and improve my leadership skills.

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