Eight professors from Kent State University are teaching at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, this summer as part of a partnership between both universities. The three-week intensive summer session, known as International Course Weeks, runs through Sunday, and was an opportunity for students at Sichuan University to gain international experience from seasoned professors.
"Twenty-five universities around the world were selected to participate in the Sichuan University program," said Ediz Kaykayoglu, assistant director for education abroad in KSU's Office of Global Education. "Professors from each university who are interested apply, and then Sichuan University makes its choices."
The KSU team includes George F Bigham III, lecturer in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; Pratim Datta, associate professor, Department of Management and Information Systems; Rozell R. Duncan, assistant professor, and Nichole Egbert, associate professor, both from the School of Communication Studies. Others include Shawn Fitzgerald, director, School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration; David Hughes, professor, College of Architecture and Environmental Design; Julia Levashina, assistant professor, Department of Management and Information Systems; and Phillip Wang, associate professor, College of Education, Health and Human Services.
Applicants were provided a list of courses available for teaching at the university and were asked to rank their top three choices. They also had the option to create a class of their own.
Hughes will teach Comparisons of Chinese and Western Culture -- Architecture, a course he designed, and Appreciation of Western Painting, during a three-week, intense summer intercession. In the Comparisons of Chinese and Western Culture -- Architecture class, Hughes looks at how architecture has had an impact on the world. The western influence used will begin in Egypt.
"My strengths over the years due to my travel, my research and my studies have included Egypt and Africa," Hughes said. "But we'll cover much more in this course."
Hughes, who has been traveling abroad for 46 years, will bring new ideas from his experience to KSU's curriculum and the courses he teaches. He says it is more effective if you have been to the places you are lecturing about.
Egbert is excited to share knowledge and American experiences with students in China. She will teach Introduction to Interpersonal Communication, and Nonverbal Communication Across Cultures.
"I have met a lot of interesting and cool people from China and have always wanted to visit," she said. "I want my students to learn how nonverbal and verbal communication form systems of meaning, and how to be more competent communicators."
Kaykayoglu says that all eight professors will have the opportunity to not only represent KSU in China, but also impact the students there.
"It is important to our international programs, and it also will enhance our education-abroad programs," Kaykayoglu said.