This letter of recommendation is for Caleb, a young man I have had the pleasure of knowing for the last 20 months. As a professor emeritus, I have come in contact with thousands of college and graduate students. However, Mr. Caleb stands out as a very extraordinary one with his research and teaching capability, personality and what is more, his "academic spirit".
During his graduate study, he worked as my research assistant first, then as a teaching assistant of our department. Usually it is hard for someone to be good at even either one. However, as his adviser, I was pleased to find that both works he did was far exceeding what is called good. For example, unlike most other graduate students who are eager to publish essays and thus fear to take pains to make exhaustive investigation for their research, Mr. Caleb made extensive survey for his in the project sponsored by Science and Tech Commission of "Chicago" municipal government. He searched every possible source of information within his reach and afforded for related materials. As far as I know, he has been to Beijing to the National Library of China, Science and Tech Information Center, Tsinghua University's Library and most public libraries of "Chicago". He searched both in libraries and on web, which is a totally new approach to us. Neither was Mr. Caleb satisfied with second-hand information only. During the process, he also interviewed with supervisors of some scientific institutes of "Chicago" to obtain first-hand information.
His teaching is equally praiseworthy. I often heard his students said that Mr.Caleb's lectures were interesting and enlightening and they loved to listen to his lectures. In fact, he has his own teaching style. To my knowledge, it is quite western. In other words, he pays more attention to arouse the desire of seeking knowledge among his students instead of maintaining a quiet and rigid lecture atmosphere as most other teachers do. Thus you can imagine his lectures are full of discussions, laughter and eager eyes of learning.
His personality also impressed me so much. I would like to take only one case among numerous ones as example. This summer, I happened to have some theses sent to a professor who lived in another university for his review. It was so urgent that I could not wait even one more moment. Then I got Mr. Caleb to do it. He nodded without even hesitation. It sounds like not a big deal. However, it was scorching outside at noon then and it took him almost 1 hour's bike ride back and forth!
Besides his research, teaching capability and personality, I think I should bring up the overwhelmingly strong point of Mr. Caleb -- his academic spirit. Although I know that it is hard to define what is called "academic spirit", Mr. Caleb does prove it through his independence on his research, innovative perspective and commitment to academic activity. Frankly, I think it is the "academic spirit" that distinguishes him from thousands of college and graduate students I have ever known. With the "academic spirit", Mr. Caleb is marching steadily towards his career goal -- an ideal scholar with time goes by.
One more point. Mr. Caleb's English is excellent compared to most college or graduate students I have ever known. For example, "Chicago" municipal government held "International Friendship Month" and invited many foreigners (including guests from Clevend, U.S.A.) last summer. Mr. Caleb was chosen as one of 6 volunteer interpreters out of nearly 300 college and graduate students who applied the positions. Therefore I am sure that he will adapt to the rigors of graduate school life in U.S. without any great difficulty.
Your kind consideration will be greatly appreciated. I would like to provide more information upon your request. You can reach me either by the home phone and mailing address or via Internet. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org