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UKIC / Confucius Institute / UKCI Hosts Reception for Faculty Participants in Short-Term Teaching Program

UKCI Hosts Reception for Faculty Participants in Short-Term Teaching Program

Monday, November 2, 2015

By Andrea Gils and Rebecca Huffman



Currently in its third year, the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute short-term teaching program in China has grown to include four universities. The program enables UK and Chinese faculty to explore collaborative teaching and research opportunities at Shanghai University, Jilin University, Tianjin Foreign Studies University and Qingdao Technical University. 

Eighteen UK faculty participated in the program this year, representing a range of academic disciplines. 

The UKCI hosted a reception October 9 to recognize faculty and staff who have participated in these programs, and to gather feedback about each individual’s overall experience. The reception included a photo presentation of the trip and theguest performances by two UK international students.

Adam Evans, who taught a managerial communications course for undergraduates and gave several lectures to graduate students at the Tianjin Foreign Studies University and Beijing University, said it was his first time teaching in China.


“I was very intimidated but excited to go,” Evans said. “I felt treated like royalty while I was there and had a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experience.”


Evans said many of his students had not participated in a group project before his class. “They loved it,” Evans said. “Although the traditional format has its value, it seems the younger generations like the freedoms to create on their own. They want to work in groups. Cell phones are normally banned from Chinese classrooms.  I used them in class as translators and they loved it.”

Evans said his teaching experiences with students and staff in China has helped him to modify his educational practices in the United States. “I realized from the language barrier that I would often explain things too quickly and I fear I do this in native classrooms as well,” Evans said.

He added that professors are given highest regard in China and this helps ease any homesick feeling as they practice what they love with an audience “enthralled with the accents and desire to teach that can only come from a foreign teacher whose excitement is renewed by being in a foreign land.” 

“It is easy to forget that the world is bigger than the city we live in and living life often means a little bit of travel to find adventure,” Evans said. “I found it, and found new friends that I will most likely have for life.”

Six faculty taught at Shanghai University: Charles Pike (Computer Science), Irina Voro (Music), Paul Vincelli (Food and Environment), Stanley Brunn (Geography), Brent Seales (Computer Science) and Robert Grossman (Chemistry). Three faculty taught at Tianjin Foreign Studies University: Adam Evans (Communication), Emina Herovic (Communication) and Derrick Jenniges (International Economics). Seven faculty taught at Jilin University: Robert Grossman (Chemistry), Brian McNely (Technical Writing), Dan Stone (Business), Lynne Rieske-Kinney (Entomology), Buck Ryan (Communication), Rita Basuray (Food Science) and Scott Yost (Civil Engineering). Lastly, two faculty taught at Qingdao Technical University: Carla Bevins (Communication) and Robert Bevins (Advanced English).