Vincent Shen, a beloved professor of the Departments of Philosophy and East Asian Studies (EAS), died on November 14 at the age of 69, surrounded by family after suffering from a major stroke, wrote his spouse Johanna Liu, also a professor at EAS. Shen is remembered for positively changing the lives of his students, both undergraduate and graduate.
Commemorating his life, seven former students of Shen spoke to The Varsity about how he made a positive impact on their lives.
Shen’s approach to teaching
Lincoln Rathnam, an assistant professor at Duke Kunshan University, recalled that Shen “had a very rich sense of humour,” despite his reputation as an internationally renowned professor.
Like most of his other students, Rathnam expected Shen to be a “very serious guy who was just going to solemnly lecture about Confucius for two hours” each session.
But instead, Rathnam explained that during “very serious lectures on different topics,” Shen would “always just interject with funny asides and jokes and things to lighten the mood a little bit.”