Summer 2022 Reads: What are LU professors reading this summer?

Looking for a good book to dive into this summer? Four Lamar University professors talk about the books on their shelves that connect with their work at LU –– pulling from personal interest, research, history, art and beyond –– and also dish on the books that have captivated them this summer.


Dr. Gevorg Sargsyan, assistant professor of finance

Gevorg Sargsyan, Ph.D.

Tell us about a particular book on your shelf right now:

As you know there is no space at my office. All shelves are packed with finance books that I use for my classes and other business books that I received as gifts from other doctoral candidates, colleagues and friends through the years. I equally treasure all those books as those books shaped my thinking. Every time I move to a new job, the first thing I pack are those books (hopefully I'll not go through the move for a while as I'm very happy at Lamar). However, there are two books on my shelve that had a big impact on my career path. Those are a Security Analysis book by Professors Graham and Dodd and Intelligent Investor. I received those books from Warre Buffet when I visited him in Omaha as a student.

What books are currently on your summer reading list?

During the past years after participating in Harvard seminars and courses, I developed new research interests in Defense Finance. I worked on quite a few projects including with my mentees Ms. Taliah Belcher and Ms. Viviana Denova in the LU Office of Undergraduate Research grant and U.S. Department of Education McNair Scholars Program. 

Some of the projects lead us to apply for LU Presidential Fellowships and my mentee received an award from President Taylor to be a visiting research scholar in Defense Finance at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies. After our everyday online early morning briefings, Taliah raised so many questions that I decided to search the responses in these books: "The Art of War by Sun Tzu," "Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun,"Warfighting: The US Marine Corps Book of Strategy" and "David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell."

This summer reading will help me to become a well-rounded person in this field and motivate my future research in the field of Defense Finance and allow me to continue my research with students in this area.


Kathryn Washington, Ed.D.

Tell us about a particular book on your shelf: 
Kathryn Washington
Dr. Kathryn Washington, assistant professor of educational leadership 

Besides reading students dissertations and assignments this summer, I like to read books that are positive
and uplifting. I have several books on my bookshelf, but one I would like to highlight is one that I worked out of to create classes for a new Master of Arts in Teaching that we hope to launch soon called "Planning Effective Instruction: Diversity Responsive Methods and Management," 6th Edition by Kay M. Price and Karna L. Nelson. It covers a how to plan and apply tools to meet the needs of the varying levels of diverse students academic and behavioral skills that are in K-12 schools today. 

What books are currently on your summer reading list?
Thanks to all the conferences that I have been presenting and attending, I have met some amazing authors. Currently, I am reading "9:11 No More Fear" by T. Nechelle which is a series of poems for the soul.

Dr. Helen Lou
Dr. Helen Lou, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering

Helen Lou, Ph.D.

What books are currently on your summer reading list?

The book I want to read in this summer is “The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts” written by Shane Parrish.

I choose this book because I want to work through problems from multiple dimensions and perspectives, remove blind spots, find good solutions for some tough problems, or even prevent some potential problems from happening. 

Different perspectives lead to distinct points of view. The story of the blind men and the elephant is a good example. The first blind man only touched the side of the giant animal, and he thought an elephant is smooth and solid like a wall. The second blind man only put his hand on the elephant's trunk, then he announced that an elephant is like a giant snake. The third blind man felt the elephant's pointed tusk, so he claimed that the elephant is as sharp and deadly as a spear. To know the truth, we must put all the segregated parts together.

It is very helpful to know how we think, how we reason, how we understand and how we form beliefs. Understand myself, understand the others and understand the mental processes will make us happier in life and be more productive in work.

My favorite flower this summer in the sunflower. Sunflowers brings incredible beauty to my garden, while they only need minimal attention. Sunflowers watch the sun diligently from different angles throughout the day, just like a good decision-maker who looks at the reality from different aspects. I would love to read this book, while the sunflowers are blossoming. 


Delvin Seawright, Ph.D. 

Dr. Delvin Seawright
Dr. Delvin Seawright, assistant professor of accounting

What books are currently on your summer reading list
In addition to the three textbooks I’m prepping for Fall 2022 courses I’ll teach, my summer reading list includes three books: "
The Whiteness of Wealth (Dorothy A. Brown; 2021)," "Don’t Drop the Mic (T. D. Jakes; 2021)", and "Finding Me (Viola Davis; 2022)." I’m currently reading "The Whiteness of Wealth." I selected and purchased the book after hearing several well-known diversity, equity, and inclusion experts cite it.

The book’s author is a Black tax lawyer and law professor at an elite law school. She documents several ways in which the U.S. tax system disadvantages and deprives Black Americans from building wealth. Having been a preparer of individual tax returns for over 30 years, I find the book riveting and very informative.  The other two books on my summer reading list were recent gifts that I received and are of the spiritual (Jakes) and autobiographical genres (Davis). I aim to finish reading all three books before the first day of the fall semester.