This statue caught my eye when I was visiting Carnegie Mellon University with my daughter.
The man looked like my father! I had to learn more.
Mao Yisheng was a famous engineer and first Ph.D. recipient at Carnegie Mellon University. Mao came to Pittsburgh, a city of bridges, to learn about bridge construction for his work on stress analysis of long-span bridges.
As a young engineer and pioneering bridge builder in China, Mao Yisheng had to do the unthinkable. To stop the approach of troops from Japan in 1937, Mao destroyed the Qiantang River Bridge near Hangzhou. It was a bridge that he had helped to build. from Carnegie Mellon
Qiantang River Bridge. Image from Wikipedia
My father, Chien Chet Wenjen, grew up near Hangzhou and married my mother, a second-generation Japanese American. He was also a Ph.D. in mathematics from UCLA.
Dr. Chien Chet Wenjen, my father.
Just seeing a Chinese immigrant honored at Carnegie Mellon makes me love the school. My daughter and I got a tour from a classmate of hers from high school who is running cross country in college. He really likes Carnegie Mellon and says that it’s even more quiet than normal because of COVID-19 but that there is social activity if you look for it.
What amazed me the most is that Carnegie Mellon is literally right next door to the University of Pittsburgh. They share a border but the vibe could not be more different. The University of Pittsburgh buzzes with activity and has a more urban vibe. Carnegie Mellon feels like it is in a quiet suburb. It’s weird how different they feel YET THEY ARE RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER!!
How about you? Did y0u ever have a deja vu feeling at a college campus?
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.