Cultivating Transformation in the Sciences: Kevin and Louise Huang

When Kevin and Louise Huang first met at church as graduate students at UC Davis, little did they know their time in California and with each other was just beginning. After getting married, the Huangs lived in Connecticut while Kevin completed postdoctoral research at Yale University. When the time came for Kevin to search for a full-time faculty position, he and Louise asked the Lord to lead the way. “We laid out all the manilla envelopes with job applications and laid hands on them and just asked the Lord to bring us to a place where we can serve Him and where we can also learn and grow,” said Louise. “We really think that APU is truly one of our biggest answered prayers.”

Now, after 17 years at Azusa Pacific University, the Huangs have left their mark on campus and in many students’ lives. One way in which they have achieved this is through teaching a subject many students find very challenging: chemistry. Their goal is to make the difficult subject worthwhile and engaging. “I have a hidden mission that students will walk away from the semester saying, or at least thinking, ‘Hey, chemistry was not that bad. It was actually fun!’ That’s when I feel like the mission is accomplished,” said Louise. Kevin shared similar sentiments:

“Most people don’t like chemistry, but if my students can say it was actually really fun for them, that is very rewarding. That’s one of my favorite aspects about teaching.”

While Kevin and Louise Huang have touched many lives through their instruction, their main mission is to disciple students in their walk with Christ. If they can help their students enjoy chemistry along the way, that’s just the cherry on top. “For me success means guiding students to what God is calling them to do,” said Kevin. “God wants us to journey with him and to learn to grow and trust Him more.” Along with interactions in class, the Huangs guide students by inviting them to connect during office hours or at a coffee shop. Kevin enjoys meeting with students one-on-one at Mantra, treating them to an affogato, and studying a faith-based book together, such as Love Does by Bob Goff or Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Kevin and Louise also open up their home to students each semester — a tradition they call Café Huang.

Inspired by colleagues like Jon Milhon, PhD, the Huangs began house hunting in 2007, hoping to find a home both close to campus and large enough to host students for dinner. After touring only one house, the couple knew it was the one they wanted: right up the street from APU’s campus. A few bids and many prayers later, the Huangs secured a home where they could further pour into the lives of APU students.

“There is a culture here that we care about students, their learning, and their personal development,” said Louise. “ It’s not just about the classroom, but having like-minded colleagues to work alongside with. APU is a unique workplace because of that.”

Along with an opportunity to minister to students, Café Huang provides a space for students to slow down, connect, and enjoy a home-cooked meal. “In an increasingly fast-paced world, we need to remember that not everything in the western world that is valued, like productivity and efficiency, is the best way,” said Louise. “We need to sit down and spend time with people, to listen and understand, and to hear each other out.”

Passionate about discipleship, scholarship, and the community they’ve built at APU, the Huangs encourage others to seek mentors, friends to run alongside, and opportunities to pass on wisdom and experience. “In life we should have a Paul — someone who is knowledgeable and can help us grow. Then, we should look for a Silas or Barnabas, someone our age to journey through life with. Then, we should look for a Timothy — someone we can mentor,” said Kevin, quoting a model he has followed for years. Louise agreed: “As students are being discipled here, they are carrying on the values and hopefully, in due time, those students will be discipling others around them and building kingdom values like hope, love, and forgiveness.”