Page 68 - Winter2021
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What are you proudest of in your career?
I am most proud of how I may have contributed to chang- ing the demographics of the architectural acoustics field, particularly in the ASA, since I first attended the ASA Wallace Clement Sabine Centennial Symposium in 1994. I recall being one of only two females in the room at an
ASA Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics meeting; it is very different now. Many of the amazing and diverse students that I’ve mentored over the past 21 years are actively participating and having great successes in the field of building acoustics! Although it’s gratifying to see my own research have influence on the design of acoustics in spaces, it’s satisfying on a deeper level to see the cumulative impact of my former students.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
I wish I had slept more when I was in my 20s and 30s! I really didn’t get enough sleep until after my children were born. I realize this seems counter to the common belief of how one sleeps less with infants, but I took the advice to heart to sleep whenever the baby sleeps (and that’s a lot)! Although all of the hard work early in my career certainly aided in my success, I do think it was a mistake not to prioritize sleep in those days. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep results in a healthier and more productive life all-around.
What advice do you have for budding acousticians?
Grow your networks as much as possible; joining the ASA and attending professional conferences is a great way to start! Look for multiple diverse mentors who will share their experiences and advice but still respect and under- stand that you will necessarily carve your own path.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? How did you deal with that if so? Yes, indeed. My feelings of imposter syndrome seem to
flare up most in two circumstances. The first is when I find myself among powerful confident persons whom I do not know well, when I feel my underrepresentation more keenly (being the only female or Asian in a group, for example) and/or when I have not had an opportunity to demonstrate my “right” to be in the room. Then a story starts in my head that those persons have little understanding or caring about my accomplishments, that I am being overlooked and not included! I often deal with this circumstance by taking a deep breath and reminding myself that I “do” have the right to be in the room. I go through a predefined list in my mind
of my strengths and accomplishments that I’ve memorized to stave off the bad thoughts!
The other circumstance is when I focus on traditional mea- sures of technical achievements in academia, such as the number of papers published or the number of citations or the h-index or technical area awards. Because my metrics are lower than others who are highly respected in the field, this also makes me feel like an imposter at times. I will feel twinges of regret and wonder if it’s an indication that I am not good enough, particularly technically. To deal with this, I bring myself back to accepting that I’ve made the choices I’ve made for good reasons through the years. Yes, those personal choices have resulted in the “impact” metrics I have, but I try to be self-compassionate and truthfully face that I made those choices often because my goals were never explicitly to have high impact metrics. I would most certainly be less happy if I had prioritized such choices.
What do you want to accomplish within the next 10 years or before retirement?
I am very excited about my new position as director of the UNL Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Con- struction and to use the leadership skills I’ve gained over my career to nurture and grow the impact and reputation of our school in the coming decade. Although I will always have an enduring passion for architectural acoustics, I am thrilled to be working more broadly now on building science. A primary focus is to grow the school’s involvement and impact with sustainability, smart buildings, and community engagement. I see our mission as discovering and disseminating knowledge around how we can improve the design, construction, and operation of buildings for human well-being.
Altomonte, S., Allen, J., Bluyssen, P., Brager, G., Heschong, L., Loder, A., Schiavon, S., Veitch, J., Wang, L., and Wargocki, P. (2020). Ten questions concerning well-being in the built environment. Building and Environ- ment 180, 106949.
Brill, L. C., Smith, K. H., and Wang, L. M. (2018). Building a sound future for students: Considering the acoustics in occupied active classrooms. Acoustics Today 14(3), 14-22.
Lee, J., and Wang, L. M. (2020). Investigating multidimensional charac- teristics of noise signals with tones from building mechanical systems and their effects on annoyance. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 147, 108-124.
Peng, Z. E., and Wang, L. M. (2016). Effects of noise, reverberation and foreign accent on native and non-native listeners’ performance of English speech comprehension. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 139, 2772-2783.
Wang, L. M., and Brill, L. C. (2021). Speech and noise levels measured in occupied K-12 classrooms. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 150(2), 864-877.
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