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Pok-Chi Lau and Lois Greene Retire from Design Department

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two of the Department of Design’s most revered faculty members, Pok-Chi Lau and Lois Greene retired at the end of the Spring 2013 semester.

Andrea Herstowski, associate professor and interim chair of the Design Department said, “Pok’s and Lois’s gifts for teaching, and the deep care they have had for the growth and welfare of our students, are engrained in the culture of our department.

“Though they will be missed, their influence will always be felt here,” she said.

Lau is known for his documentary photographic explorations of the transformations brought about by human migration. His work centers on Chinese people in particular. His work has been exhibited internationally on numerous occasions. His book, “Dreams of the Golden Mountain” was published by Pace in 2002.

He was hired in 1977 and stayed at KU for so many years because, “It is a great place to teach. And, I had tremendous research support from the faculty. KU General Research Funds helped me do the extensive long-term projects that propelled my professional work.

“I will really miss the one-on-one interaction with the students who really care about things and are not distracted by their cellphones,” Lau said.”

He plans to start a large scale, in-depth documentary on Malaysian-Chinese this fall.

Lois Greene has had a strong connection to KU since she arrived in Lawrence on a Greyhound Bus in the early 1960s. She received her BFA with a focus on fashion illustration in 1965, and an MFA in textile design at KU in 1971.

She was hired at KU in 1973, and later took a leave of absence  live in Michigan. After a short time she says, “I decided that Kansas was my home, in every sense of the word, and I came back.” She was an associate dean and department chair for a number of years.  

Greene said that as a child she learned about culture by reading the St. Louis Post Dispatch, which a neighbor brought from the city on weekends.
“Today’s students have so much more access to information than they did in the past. Knowledge of popular culture is much, much more pervasive than it was when I was growing up on a farm in rural Missouri.

“But one thing that hasn’t changed is that for the most part our students still love to discover, “she continued. “When they get a glimmer of how stuff works, the way one idea leads to another and so on, they just love that. “

And her future plans? “For the first six months,” she said, “the plan is just to do something different every day.”