Southern Fried Rice

About Me

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I'm a 'retired' university professor who taught Psychology for 40 years.

My memoir, Southern Fried RIce, is a personal history of my parents who came from China to Georgia in the late 1920s. Their story is similar to that of other Chinese who immigrated to the Deep South in the early part of the 1900s. Excerpts of Southern Fried Rice are included on this website.

My mother and father were among such immigrants, and like so many other immigrants, operated hand laundries. Their story is quite different in many respects from that of the majority of Chinese who settled in San Francisco and other parts of the Pacific coast.

I was lucky when I was a college senior at the University of California at Berkeley to have a noted Psychology Professor recruit me to pursue a PhD program at Northwestern University. Prof. Ben Underwood was an inspiring teacher and scholar who changed the direction of my life and enabled me to enjoy the academic life for the past 40 years.

I have been involved with a variety of research areas during my career, but for the past 25 years I have fbeen fascinated with the psychology of addiction, with a focus on alcohol, that led to writing two textbooks, Under The Influence: Alcohol and Human Behavior, Brooks Cole, 1994 and one published by Sage Publications: Psychology of Alcohol and Other Drugs, 2001.

My wife, Phyllis, and I on our 35th anniversary visiting North Carolina

Revisiting the South in 2003

I moved from Georgia in 1952 and although I have returned for short visits since then, it was not until 2003 that I was able to make an extended visit to see friends and relatives. During this trip, I learned more about the Lau family male clan members, about 9 in all, who came from Taishan to the Deep South from about 1920 to 1950 and entered the "Chinese laundry" business. They all survived with the help of one another, raised families, and provided financial support for them as well as for their kin in China. Many of their children not only went to college, but became successful professionals in fields ranging from dentistry and medicine, biophysics and engineering, computer programming and psychology.

What a wonderful job!

Being a college professor is the greatest job I can imagine. I get to learn stuff I like while I also get paid to do it as long as I share it with students! For the past 20 plus years, I've received federal funding to mentor minority students interested in seeking Ph.D.'s in psychology in a Career Opportunities for Research program, leading to 25 grads obtaining PhDs so far. This led to a related program for minority high school students.

And for 7 recent years I coordinated a similar program for minority students in all fields of academic work called the McNair Scholars Program.

These activities have been very rewarding because you see what a difference mentoring can have on career development of young scholars.

Click this link to websites for my 3 mentoring programs for minority students.

Some Favorite Pastimes

In my spare time, I like to:

go to see classic and art movies

experiment with my OS X PowerBook computer

surf the net for fun and profit

play 'Go', the ancient game of China and Japan

practice the ancient exercise of Tai Chi Chuan

swim laps for exercise

wander around swap meets

browse and bid on ebay

eat in unusual restaurants

keep in touch with old friends