ECPI University Online Instructor Harry Yan

Dr. Harry Yan knows all about getting out of his comfort zone. Many years ago, his late father encouraged him to leave China and pursue an advanced education in America. “He gave me $500, which was a lot of money for our family at the time, and that helped me to survive the first two months in this country, says Dr. Yan. “Needless to say, coming here was a challenge but father helped me to become the person I am today.”

After having received an undergraduate degree in China, Dr. Yan earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Operations Management from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Now, he is a member of the ECPI University online faculty and lives in New Jersey.

Braving the Storm

Like so many other people who experienced Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Dr. Yan lost power for quite some time…which is a real problem when you’re an online educator.

Dr. Yan was determined that his students not miss a single day of instruction. So each morning during the hurricane’s aftermath, he would get on his bicycle and drive several miles to a restaurant that had both power and an internet connection so he could stay in contact with his students. That simple, yet deliberate act is a testament to a work ethic passed along to him by his father.

Leading by Example

To this very day, Dr. Yan’s father continues to influence him…and his teaching. For him, it’s more than just sharing knowledge. It’s about preparing his students for life after college. “I want them to learn how to apply concepts or theories to solve real-world problems, how to conduct research, and how to recommend proposals or solutions based upon that research,” he says. “In today's world, you must have skills in research, writing, and analysis. In fact, many professions now demand it, so I demand it from my students.” 

For Dr. Harry Yan, life is about commitment. In that respect, he is leading by example.

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