October 21, 2010
As part of an ongoing commitment to engage in teaching, research and outreach programs that positively impact Rollins’ internationalization efforts in China, Rollins recently hosted the Association of Colleges of the South’s (ACS) Third Chinese Studies Faculty Conference.
The ACS has been collaborating on China/Asia area studies for a number of years now with Rollins taking a leadership role in this group in recent years, hosting two of their meetings – the first held in April 2010 and the second held October 15-16, 2010.
Historically, participation by faculty and students at this conference has been high and, this year more than a dozen faculty and students attended, many of whom also served as panel chairs and discussants.
Positive feedback about the conference and the wealth of information and collaborative opportunities it provided was extremely positive. “I really enjoyed the session discussing the ways that other colleges and universities have developed China- and Asian-related programs,” said Assistant Professor of Economics Tonia Warnecke. “The programs are all unique and very interesting.”
The event was organized by China Center Director Ilan Alon. Founded in 2005, the China Center was established by a group of faculty members from a variety of disciplines with an interest in promoting understanding of Chinese culture, economy, politics and history. Today, the China Center is part of a select network of university organizations that promote cross-cultural learning between China and the United States.
“The most important benefit for me was to get connected with colleagues at other ACS institutions and learn from them,” said Professor and Head of Archives & Special Collections Wenxian Zhang. “I was amazed by a professor from Furman University who incorporated the concept of sustainability into the teaching of the Chinese classical literature.”
“There was a sense of synergy from ACS schools in building up a more cohesive network devoted to China studies,” said Rollins Lecturer Li Wei. “A module-based collaborative online teaching Chinese language and culture is being discussed and may well be implemented within ACS network in the future.”
Associated Colleges of the South is a consortium of 16 distinguished liberal arts colleges and universities located in the South. ACS President Wayne Anderson attended the conference and had nothing but great things to say about the event. "It was a great pleasure to hold the Third Annual ACS Faculty Conference on Chinese Studies at Rollins College,” said Anderson. “The conference offered ACS faculty a splendid opportunity to hear impressive presentations, exchange useful ideas and plan exciting collaborative endeavors. We are especially grateful to Rollins for organizing the conference so effectively."By Kristen Manieri