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August 9, 2017

Between July 16 and 30, 2017, five faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts attended an interdisciplinary faculty work shop sponsored by the Undergraduate International Studies Foreign Language (UISFL) program funded by the Department of Education at the East West Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Dr. Peter Hershock, director of the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) and Dr. Shana Brown, Associate Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at the University of Hawaii directed the workshop.

Dr. Stanley J. Adamiak, Dr. Xiaobing Li, and Dr. Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen from the Department of History and Geography, Dr. Lou Furmanski from the Department of Political Science and Dr. Sarah Kyle from the Department of Humanities followed a rigorous schedule consisting of Chinese language training, lectures on Chinese history, philosophy, culture, and gender studies, an afternoon guided tour of the Asia collection at the Honolulu Museum of Art, film nights, and several UCO faculty meetings and presentations.

The purpose of the grant is to develop and promote faculty engagement with Chinese studies in anticipation of the increasing needs for this skill set in the state of Oklahoma and across the nation. Over the next three years, this team will join faculty from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, Kirkwood College in Iowa City, Iowa, and Mount San Antonio College in Los Angeles. Each institution intends to increase course offerings in Chinese studies. At UCO, the UISFL team will introduce a minor for Chinese Studies that will dovetail with other relevant minors currently listed in the University of Central Oklahoma catalog. In addition, the UISFL project will expand the role of the Western Pacific Institute as it is housed in the Department of History and Geography.

Members of the College are invited to join the team faculty October 12-13 during the upcoming two-day workshop. Future details will be announced soon. Please see the website hosted at the East West Center – Asian Studies Development Program pages. The link provides many significant resources for teaching and learning about China – and is open to everyone.