Professor Meng-Fen Grace Lin, of the UH Mānoa College of Education Department of Learning Design and Technology (LTEC), passed away on May 7, 2023 in Taipei City, Taiwan where she grew up. Born on March 21, 1967, Lin had a successful career in Taiwan and Texas before moving to Hawaiʻi where friends say she was immediately struck by the natural beauty of the islands.
“Grace loved a good laugh and enjoyed the simple things in life, like hiking, swimming, traveling, and hanging out with friends,” friend and colleague Sarah Yuan said. “Whether it was her career or personal life, Grace was very adventurous and not afraid of leaving her comfort zone, even learning everything about RV-ing to realize her dream of traveling in an RV!”
Lin earned a BS in Management Information Science from National Sun Yat San University and both an MS degree in Computer Science and EdD in Instructional Technology from the University of Houston. While at the University of Houston, she was the recipient of a Doctoral Student Research Award and the Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year in 2005.
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CUIN) at the University of Houston College of Education, featured Lin in an article titled CUIN Alumna is a Pioneer in Technology. In it, they highlight her outstanding research and innovative teaching. By incorporating new technologies as major resources to help make learning fun and functional, the article states, “The relevance of Lin’s technology-based teaching has inspired students and educators alike.”
In 2008, Lin was hired as an assistant professor in educational technology (LTEC). Her research focused on design thinking in education and how group creativity, innovation, and technology intersect. Her specialty areas included online education, information technology, and instructional design.
“Grace was a dedicated instructor and exceptional person, having touched the lives of hundreds of students,” LTEC Chair Michael Menchaca said. “In particular, students loved her design thinking and mobile learning courses, surprising themselves by building complex applications when previously they may have had little or no programming expertise.”
Helen Au, former colleague and friend, shared stories and images from the occasions when she, LTEC Professor Seungoh Paek, and Lin spent time together exploring, enjoying the beach, and sharing meals.
“Grace will be dearly missed and remembered as our no nonsense, direct warrior of life,” Au said. “To celebrate her, may we live our lives to the fullest every day and love our neighbors, families, and friends.”
Before coming to the COE, Lin worked in the private sector as a senior consultant and systems analyst. She also served as Assistant Principal of Bodhi Chinese school in Houston, Texas for eight years during which she was an adjunct lecturer, instructor, teaching assistant, and visiting professor at the University of Houston as well as National Taitung University. Lin was the author of numerous publications, conference proceedings, and presentations. In her spare time, she volunteered, translating courses into Chinese and transcribing hundreds of video lectures for deaf and learners of other languages.
Lin is survived by her mother, sister, and extended family.