Suen-Zone (Jack) Lee (center), a 1993 graduate of the University of Delaware, has been named president of Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan City, Taiwan. With Lee are C.P. Huang (left) and Herbert Allen.

Creating global leaders

UD alumnus named president of Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science

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2:55 p.m., June 4, 2013--Suen-Zone (Jack) Lee, a 1993 graduate of the University of Delaware, has been named president of Chia Nan University (CNU) of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan City, Taiwan. 

Lee, who earned his doctoral degree in civil and environmental engineering, is a leading expert in environmental engineering in Taiwan, particularly in groundwater contamination. 

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He began his career as an associate professor at CNU (then known as Chia Nan College of Pharmacy), rising to the rank of full professor in 1999 and chair of the Department of Environmental Engineering and Science in 2002. He championed the addition of the College of Sustainable Environment to the university in 2004 and served as the college’s first dean. 

That same year, the Taiwan Water Resources Agency commissioned Lee to develop the Taiwan Hot Spring Research Center, a first of its kind center focused on water quality, recycling and sustainable development of Taiwan’s hot spring resources. He was appointed vice president of CNU president in 2011.

At UD, Lee studied soil heavy metal chemistry — how soil reacts with heavy metals — in order to establish soil cleanup standards under the advisement of Herbert Allen, professor of civil and environmental engineering. 

“Jack was an excellent student and scientist. He also is an extremely nice person. I am proud of his achieving this high position,” said Allen, who retired from UD in 2008.

Lee returned to campus May 31 for the first time in 20 years to receive the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Outstanding Alumni Award during UD’s Alumni Weekend festivities. Recognition from a United States university, he said, brings honor and distinction not just to him, but to all of his colleagues at CNU.

A proud Blue Hen, Lee reminisced about his days as a student playing basketball on Friday nights with his fellow graduate students at the Carpenter Sports Building (known as the Little Bob) or visiting Captain’s Catch on Kirkwood Highway for Maryland blue crabs. Though it has been two decades, he said it felt like only days since he had last entered 151 DuPont Hall, the laboratory where he once combined dirt and metal solutions to study heavy metal absorption rates.

Lee attributed much of his success in research and educational leadership to Allen’s influence. He also credited C.P. Huang and Steven Dentel, civil and environmental engineering professors, with playing a significant role in guiding his career. 

When asked what he hopes for the future, Lee replied, “I hope I can make my alma mater, the University of Delaware, proud of me.”

About Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science

Founded in 1966, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science is the second largest private technological university in Taiwan with an enrollment of 17,000 students and more than 500 faculty and adjunct faculty members. The university is devoted to training professionals in the fields of pharmacy and health through its six colleges and 30 departments, with a focus on programs that emphasize health and sustainability.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

Photos by Ambre Alexander

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