PRISM - American Society for Engineering Education - Logo - DECEMBER 2004 - VOLUME 14, NUMBER 4
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Faculty's Finest: Kevin Kit Parker - Professor on Patrol - Photo by Rose Lincoln

By Thomas K. Grose

Kevin Kit Parker loves science. And given that he's an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard University, he's clearly pretty good at it. But Parker, 38, also has soldier's blood coursing through his veins: He comes from a long line of military officers. Faculty's Finest: Kevin Kit Parker - Photo by SSG Leopold Medina, US ArmySo 12 years ago, he enlisted in the Army Reserves and trained as an infantry officer. "I wanted to be where the action is," he says, "to satisfy my need to do things I can't do in a lab." Enraged by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Parker transferred to a unit more likely to be called up. "I knew we were going to war," he says, and he wanted in. Parker got his wish. Thirteen months later, he found himself in Afghanistan as an 82nd Airborne Division captain, on daily patrol, dodging hostile fire, and searching for Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. The experience was dangerous and intense. "But I wouldn't trade it for the world." And he's proud and relieved that all of his men came home safely. Academics in the military reserves are a rarity. Indeed, Parker admits that being an infantry officer is at odds with keeping apace on the tenure track. When he returned stateside, he took only three days vacation before he was back in his Cambridge lab. "I was hot to trot." He thinks he's back up to speed now. However, the likelihood that he could be activated again is high. But that's a call Parker's willing to answer once more. —Thomas K. Grose

 

FEATURES
Engineering For Everyone - By Bethany Halford
Model Behavior - By Pierre Home-Douglas
Answering the Call - By Robert Gardner
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COMMENTS
BRIEFINGS
DATABYTES
Tech View - By Mary Kathleen Flynn
TEACHING TOOLBOX
Really Cricket: More British universities are offering degrees in sports engineering. - By Thomas K. Grose
On Campus: Rising to the Top - By Robert Gardner
Research: Delivering the Goods - By John Gilligan
Faculty's Finest: Kevin Kit Parker - By Thomas K. Grose
CLASSIFIEDS
LAST WORD: Technological Paternalism - By Julia M. Williams
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