Website names Hall professors to list of brainiest people in N.J.

Seton Hall University is home to many brilliant minds, but two faculty members were recognized by the state of New Jersey for being particularly brainy.

NJ.com created a list of the top 20 brainiest people in New Jersey, and two of the geniuses who made the list are professors at Seton Hall.

Dr. Yanzhong Huang, professor of global health, ranked No. 12 on the list and Dr. Jose Lopez, a physics professor, ranked No. 14.

Neither professor said they knew why they were picked to be on the list, but said they were very humbled and appreciative.

Lopez said he was neither informed about the list by NJ.com nor interviewed or contacted by The Star Ledger, who wrote an article about it. He said he was first informed by one of his students.

“I thought it was a joke, but then over the next few hours a few colleagues, friends and family members contacted me congratulating me,” Lopez said. “So, it wasn’t a joke.”

Huang said he, too, thought it was a joke upon first hearing.

“I was surprised, but also humbled by this honor,” Huang said.

Both professors have done sufficient research in their fields and have traveled around the world to present to conferences on their findings.

“I think it’s important to give back and think it’s vital to involve as many bright and interested minds in science research of all kinds,” Lopez said.

With all of the various responsibilities the two men have, such as being a professor, researching and other commitments, such as Huang’s journal on Global Health, there is really no room on their schedule for free time.

They did say that when they do get some spare time, their main focus is their family.

Huang said his wife is also a professor at Seton Hall and they have a daughter in middle school and a son in elementary school, all for whom he tries to make the most time for.

Lopez, who grew up in Newark, said he tries to spend some of his spare time teaching tennis to inner-city children, since he enjoyed being taught when he was younger. However most of his time is focused on his one-year-old daughter, Juliet.

“Her most common questions to me are, ‘What that?’ and ‘What happ’n?'” Lopez said. “I try my best to answer all her questions which at times can be very difficult.”

Lopez is not just a professor at the University, but at St. Peter’s College as well, which he said he enjoys very much.

“My favorite part of teaching is when a student has the ‘eureka’ moment,” Lopez said. “After I teach them something and they get it, all of a sudden their faces light up.”

Huang said his job is not simply to teach students, but to help them succeed in their career.

“We have very bright students,” Huang said. “God gave everybody a talent, all we can do is to make full use and make good use of that talent.”

Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at lindsay.rittenhouse@student.shu.edu.

Author: Lindsay Rittenhouse

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