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Confucius Institute at WKU completes successful summer

The Confucius Institute at WKU successfully completed five summer programs in China as the programming took a more focused approach in 2014.

First, the CI at WKU partnered with Gordon Ford College of Business and the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program for a two-week trip to China focused on “Corporate Leadership.”

The trip was organized by Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, Terrill Martin, George Rasmussen, Dr. Richard Keaster and Dr. Joseph Cangemi, who led a group of WKU students and participants Jacob Bass, Luke Brigance, Johnathan Chen, Hayden Skinner Fine, Kyle Haessley, Tina Hargett, Jennifer Jackson, Amanda Lee, and Marilyn Sink. The group visited Alltech (Beijing, Tianjin, China), ZETEC (Shanghai), Source International (Xiamen) and Zoeller Taiwan Company, LTD (Taipei, Taiwan) where company representatives hosted the WKU delegation and shared their experiences on conducting business in China and the leadership issues that they have faced or are facing. At the conclusion, the group visited the companies’ Kentucky headquarters.

Second, the CI at WKU became the first CI to receive its own program as it invited 11 individuals to Beijing Language and Culture University for “Understanding China, Educational Leadership.” The group consisted of three Kentucky school superintendents (Dr. Charles Proffitt, Dr. Nannette Johnston and Dr. John Millay) along with principals and administrators (Austin Anthony, Darius Barati, Sarah Baker, Katie Brandenburg, Steven Karsner, Katina Kempton, Jason Marshall and David Stobaugh) who support the CI’s Hanban Teacher Program. In China, the delegation, led by Betty Yu (associate director of CI at WKU), met with the incoming Chinese teachers, BLCU administrators and school officials to get a better understanding of leadership and teaching practices in China, which will allow the Kentucky administrators assist the teachers with the acclimation process. The visit was educational from both perspectives, as the administrators presented to the Chinese delegation on leadership and teaching practices in the U.S., specifically, Kentucky.

Third, WKU President Gary Ransdell was personally invited by Madame Xu Lin (Director General of Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters) to speak on “Leadership” to the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters staff in Beijing. Dr. Ransdell discussed how leadership is defined, effective leadership, conditions of leadership and sustainable leadership as Hanban/Confucius Institute opened its doors to allow someone from the U.S. Confucius Institute family to train its staff.

Fourth, this was the fourth year that the CI at WKU led high school students to China. To date, 60 high school students have toured China as part of this program, with 2014 being the single largest group with 20 participants from Franklin-Simpson, Bowling Green, Housing Authority of Bowling Green, Gatton Academy, St. Francis, Louisville Collegiate and Hendersonville, Tenn. The group visited the provinces of Jilin (Chongchun).

Fifth, the CI at WKU and the Institute for Combustion Science & Environmental Technology led a group that presented to a Chinese delegation in Langfang (Tianjin), China, on the following agricultural topics: direction on how to apply the same food regulations of the USDA toward the management of a diversified farming operations; discuss the ability of the soil and certain practices to produce vegetation crops in an urban setting (limited space); and how to involve corporate partnerships into a family farming situation. The WKU delegation included Dr. Wei-Ping Pan (CI & ICSET), Dr. Jack Rudolph (WKU Agriculture Department Head), Dr. Hanna (John) Khouryieh (Food Science Professor), Darwin Newton (USDA Representative), Greg Drake (USDA Representative) and Martin Cohron (ICSET and Kentucky farmer).

In conclusion, the Confucius Institute at WKU is a conduit of all that is China. These partnerships are far reaching that will not only create or advance research opportunities for faculty, but offer research and internship opportunities for WKU students. For those interested in furthering research, creating study abroad programs or seeking internship opportunities as it relates to China, contact Terrill Martin at (270) 745-2530.

Contact: Terrill Martin, (270) 745-2530.

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