Tag: China

Junior Katie Blackburn Awarded Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for Field Studies Program in China

Just about the time most Lawrence University students head for home this summer, Katie Blackburn will be returning to school — in China — as both a student and a teacher.

Blackburn, a junior from Brookfield, will spend much of her summer in China as the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for the 2013 Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Summer Field Studies Program.

Katie Blackburn ’14

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Fulbright-Hays Group Program Abroad seeks to strengthen foreign language expertise through advanced overseas study and research opportunities and by providing experiences and resources that enabling educators to strengthen their international teaching.

Beginning June 14, Blackburn will spend seven weeks in China, including the first three at Beijing’s Minzu University, taking classes focused on Chinese language and the country’s educational system since the 1978 reformation.

Following her classroom work, Blackburn will spend two weeks working with third- and fourth-grade students in rural Henan and Hunan provinces at academic-based day camps.

“I’m told this will be very rural China,” said Blackburn, who is majoring in linguistics and Chinese language and literature. “We may be the only Americans these students will ever see in their lives, so we want to make sure we leave a positive impression.  Part of the mission of the Fulbright-Hays program is to serve as informal cultural ambassadors.”

Blackburn said she was encouraged to teach subject matter she was personally interested at the day camps. Among the topics she plans to cover with her students are knot tying, constellations, and as an ice-breaking activity, American camp games she played herself when she was younger.

The program also includes a week-long academic conference Blackburn will attend in Fujian province before returning for a week in Beijing.

“I’m looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the Chinese education system as a whole, especially the rural system, which I’m sure differs greatly from the urban education environment,” said Blackburn.  “I hope to improve my Chinese language skills as well. As China increasingly becomes a global power, especially economically, I think it will be all the more important to be able to communicate in their language.”

Ruth Lunt, associate dean of the faculty, associate professor of German and one of Blackburn’s academic advisors, said Blackburn is “passionate” about all things Chinese.

“The Field Studies program will give Katie the opportunity to immerse herself further in the language and culture,” said Lunt.

The scholarship will send Blackburn to China for the second time in less than year. She spent the 2012 fall term in Beijing on the ACC study-abroad program.

“It’s such a completely different world than anything I had ever been exposed to,” Blackburn said of her first experience in China. “You walk down the street in Beijing as a tall, white American girl and everyone notices you. And they really notice you if you can speak their language.”

After studying Spanish in middle school and French in high school, she decided to tackle Chinese as a Lawrence freshman.

“It just seemed like a good challenge,” said Blackburn, who had to pass an interview conducted entirely in Chinese and write a paper in Chinese to qualify for the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship.  “I was looking for something more out of the ordinary. Chinese is so completely different than Western languages.”

After completing her senior year next year, Blackburn plans to pursue her teacher certification in Chinese and English as a Second Language with the hope of eventually teaching at the high school level.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to go back to China and get an in-depth look at how their education system operates,” said Blackburn.  “I can master the language, but this scholarship will provide insights I would never get from sitting in a classroom.”

The Fulbright-Hays Scholarship covers Blackburn’s round-trip transportation, lodging, tuition, books and some meals. The Department of Education awarded 12 Fulbright-Hays Scholarships to China this year.

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Lawrence University Awarded Luce Grant to Study Water Resource Management in China

APPLETON, Wis. — Ten students and two faculty members from Lawrence University will travel to China in December 2009 to study water resource management with support from the Henry Luce Foundation, New York, N.Y.

A $30,000 Luce Foundation grant will enable students to see first-hand examples of the tremendous opportunities and challenges facing China as they visit the Pearl and Yangtze Rivers, the latter being the third longest river in the world.

The study trip is a natural extension of an innovative multidisciplinary symposium titled “Water Wars: Local and Global” which brings environmental, economics, and public policy issues into focus as students seek to understand the increasing scarcity of clean, fresh water and the need for a more efficient and equitable allocation of fresh water.

The trip will also serve to develop relationships that began in July 2008 when Lawrence co-hosted the China-U.S. Water Symposium, which attracted Chinese engineers and policy advisors as well as Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials, members of the NEW North economic development consortium, community leaders, legislators, policy experts and academic experts.

“We are extremely grateful to the Luce Foundation for this grant,” said David Burrows, Lawrence provost and dean of the faculty. “The Luce grant will provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn first-hand about important issues in our global environment and develop effective leadership skills.”

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. The foundation today includes grant-making that supports higher education, American art, public policy and the environment, theology, women in science and engineering, and increased understanding between the United States and Asia. In 2005, the Foundation announced two new multi-year commitments: the Henry R. Luce Initiative in Religion and International Affairs, and the Luce Initiative on East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History.

China’s Growing Influence in Latin American Examined in Lawrence University Address

With its ever-growing economic muscle and international political clout, China has quietly begun pitching itself to Latin and South American countries as an “alternative model to ending poverty,” threatening the United States’ long dominant influence in the region.

Gonzalo Sebastián Paz, lecturer in international affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., tackles the increasingly important question of China’s role in the Western Hemisphere and its ramifications for American foreign policy Monday, May 22 in an address at Lawrence University.

Paz presents “Latin America and China: Dangerous Relations?” at 4:30 p.m. in Lawrence’s Main Hall, Room 201. A question-and-answer session will follow the talk. The event is free and open to the public.

Amid a backdrop that has seen China earmark billions of dollars for infrastructure, transport, energy and defense projects in Latin America, the United States dispatched Thomas Shannon, assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, to Beijing early last month for discussions with Chinese authorities about their growing Latin American alliances. Shortly thereafter, Hu Jintao, China’s president, paid a visit to the White House to meet with President Bush.

In his address, Paz will put both trips into context by examining the expansion of China’s economic, political and strategic interests in the region. He will assess Chinese goals and discuss which Latin American countries are most receptive to China’s overtures. He also will discuss American interests and reactions to China’s new-found attention in Latin America and how that attention will impact future relations with the United States.

A recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, an OAS Fellowship and a Korea Foundation Fellowship, Paz has taught a course on the economic and political development of Argentina at The George Washington University since 2002. He previously taught graduate courses on the Southern Cone and Latin America at Argentina’s La Plata National University and the University of Salvador. He also has served as a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank.

He earned both a law and master’s degree from the National University of Córdoba in Argentina.

Paz’ appearance is sponsored by the Lawrence Spanish Department and the Center for Latin American Studies at UW-Milwaukee.

UW Political Scientist Discusses Corruption in China in Lawrence University Address

Fourteen years to the day that the Chinese government used armed force against demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, a scholar of contemporary China discusses the societal problems widespread corruption is causing the country and the difficult choices facing China’s leaders in an address at Lawrence University.

Melanie Manion, associate professor of affairs and associate director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin, presents “The Dilemma of Corruption in Mainland China: Saving the Country or Saving the Party?” Wednesday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Despite more than two decades of reform efforts, Manion says China today ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world, with corruption reaching the highest level of government. According to Manion, Chinese leaders acknowledge the problem is more serious than at any time since 1949 when the communist assumed power and they view corruption as one of the greatest threats today to communist rule.

On the anniversary of the 1989 massacre that ended the biggest anticorruption protest in Chinese communist history, Manion will examine how Chinese leaders have tried, largely unsuccessfully, to deal with the dilemma of the Chinese expression: “Don’t fight corruption and the country dies. Truly fight corruption and the communist party dies!”

A member of the La Follette School faculty since 2000, Manion is the author of the forthcoming book, “Corruption by Design: Building Clean Government in Mainland China and Hong Kong” and the 1993 book “Retirement of Revolutionaries in China: Public Policies, Social Norms, Private Interests.”

A graduate of Montreal’s McGill University, Manion studied for two years at the University of Peking before earning her master’s degree at the University of London and her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan.

Her visit is supported in part by the Henry M. Luce Foundation.