By: Zachary Dodson
This summer the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) and Jilin University (JLU) inaugurate a partnership to provide students with innovative educational experiences, opportunities to develop academic interests, and participation in international exchange. Professors from both UK and JLU will also have the opportunity to establish research partnerships, and to exchange thoughts and ideas on pedagogy at the collegiate level. The UK-JLU "Education Week" officially kicked off on May 18 at Jilin University. This event is a part of a two and a half week program sponsored by the UKCI and JLU entitled "UK Faculty China Short-Term Teaching Program at Jilin University," which runs from May 18 to June 4. Dr. Chen Gang, Vice President, Hu Liang, Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Zhang Guang Cui, Dean of the International Office, along with participating department chairs, faculty and students attended the opening ceremony for this program, as pictured at the photo gallery link above.
UK-JLU Education Week is an important part of Jilin University’s innovative plan to promote undergraduate teaching reform. This plan is a collaborative effort between the JLU Office of Academic Affairs, the JLU International Office, and the Confucius Institute at the University of Kentucky. As a part of this plan, seven UK faculty will teach several one-credit courses for JLU students, including “Scientific Writing in English,” “The Invading Species: Natural History, Ecology and Evolution,” and “The Science Behind What We Eat,” among other courses, from May 18 to June 3, 2015. The courses are open to all JLU students.
In addition to formal course work, UK Faculty will also be invited to participate in teaching workshops, TEDx lectures, department seminars and other academic activities. Dr. Brian McNely, a UK professor currently teaching a course at JLU, was invited to speak at the TEDxJLU lecture, the theme of which was "To Sparkle Ideas, To Inspire Wisdom." Per TED Talk rules, Dr. McNely spoke for 18 minutes to an audience of approximately 300 JLU undergraduate students. Other TEDxJLU speakers included the Dean of Material Science, a professor of Public Health, a professor from the Environmental College, a psychologist, and an undergraduate student. Dr. McNely is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digitial Studies at UK, and is presently teaching a course at JLU entitled "Technical Writing." Photos from his TEDxJLU Talk are included at the photo gallery link above.