KSU Delegation to China During Spring BreakPosted Mar. 28, 2012
On the morning of March 26, 2012, the KSU delegation comprising five faculty members (Dr. Christine Havice, Dr. Mary Louise Holly, Dr. Koon Hwee Kan, Professor Jack McWhorter, and Professor Sean Mercer) and 13 students arrived at Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang. They were greeted with a spectacular welcome message prominently displayed on a two-story high LED board at the school’s main gate and were also warmly received by host Vice-President Dr. Dai Jianbing, Dean Jiang Shiguo, and Associate Dean Wang Fuming from the College of Art and Design as well as a large group of faculty members and students from the college.
After a welcoming speech by Dean Jiang in the conference room, fragrant with colorful fresh fruits, the KSU faculty members held a formal discussion regarding future collaboration projects with the host. The hour-long discussion included the set up of faculty and student exchange programs as well as a faculty art exchange-traveling exhibition. Meanwhile the 13 students proceeded to another classroom to meet with their learning partners to share their research and art projects. This visit to HNU offered another great opportunity for the KSU students to engage in collaborative learning with their international partners (they were paired up with the Chinese college students during the videoconference held on March 7). Both groups of students were able to exercise leadership by employing advanced interactive technologies to develop professional presentation techniques and practice interglobal communication skills. The interaction continued during lunch together at the HNU cafeteria and an afternoon of joint activities at the Big Buddha Temple. That evening, President of HNU Dr. Jiang Chunlan threw a feast for the KSU delegation.
Before arriving at Shijiazhuang, the 18 participants of the School of Art travel-study to China program had traveled for 10 days primarily in two cities: Beijing and Xi’an. The participants appreciated the dynamic cultural milieu in contemporary China and made use of their traveling experience to delve into the scope and depth of Chinese culture. Through rigorous inquiry into artifacts, sites, people, and stories, they were able to further apply the inquiry to their own future art-making experience and life-long learning in the arts.
Art education graduate assistant Hope Haney, who received a $500 travel grant from the Graduate Student Senate to sponsor her research on China’s contemporary mass culture, has rated climbing the Great Wall of China as her most unique and memorable experience. This second-year graduate student, who has travelled to London, Paris, and Tunisia with other KSU travel-study programs, exclaimed, “It is a blast! The best trip I have ever been on! Enjoyed the adrenaline rush!”