Visitors from China's Jiaotong University Welcomed to Campus
Posted on December 12, 2008
Faculty and Staff
Nearly a quarter-century ago, Professor Haiyun Guo
, now the dean of humanities and social science at Beijing's Jiaotong University, arrived at Bridgewater as part of the first group from the People's Republic of China to attend BSC for a year under an exchange program with Shanxi University.
In early December of 2008, Professor Guo returned for the first time since then, a visit arranged thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wing-Kai To
of the department of history, and faculty colleagues Dr. Nancy Street
, department of communication studies, and Dr. Han-Ling Chang
, department of mathematics.
"When I learned that Professor Guo, accompanied by his colleague, Professor Wuer Yan
, the vice-chairman of the University Council at Beijing Jiaotong University, was going to be visiting the United States, I contacted him and issued an invitation to come to Bridgewater, which he accepted with gratitude," said Dr. To, who coordinates BSC's Asian Studies Program.
At a special luncheon, BSC President Dana Mohler-Faria
presented Professors Guo and Yan with gifts from BSC, and the visitors returned the favor in kind. Also attending from Bridgewater was Dr. Edward Minnock
, vice president for external affairs, and Dr. Rita Miller
, acting dean, School of Arts and Sciences.
Since last year, Jiaotong University has been a partner with Bridgewater and currently there are five students from the university studying at BSC, explained Dr. To. Also three professors from Jiaotong University came to Bridgewater last February for research and teaching. Two of those professors remain here, Dr. To added.
The origin of the new exchange can be traced to last year, when a group from BSC, that included Dr.Chang, visited Jiaotong University. That initial contact helped establish the current partnership between the two institutions.
"We wanted to revive the exchange program that existed here in the mid-1980's, when Professor Guo was one of four students plus one faculty member who studied here. Dr. Chang had known Professor Guo and he visited him in Beijing. In turn, Dr. Chang introduced Professor Guo to me," he explained.
Last winter, Dr. Street, who had twice been an exchange professor with Shanxi University and who has written several books about China, also visited Professor Guo at Jiaotong University, and "her visit helped immensely with the planning of a new exchange," he said.
The origins of our first exchange program with Shanxi began in 1984 when then-President Adrian Rondileau and other BSC officials visited Shanxi, said Dr. To. Subsequently, a full-fledged exchange program was established, and in the fall of 1985, Dr. Street became the first BSC faculty member to serve as an exchange professor in China.
Dr. Street spent a year teaching at Shanxi, and has made a number of additional visits to China, including one under the auspices of a Fulbright-Hays Study Tour Grant. Last week, she was among those who welcomed Professor Guo and Professor Yan at a reception in the library hosted by Dr. To.
Next summer, BSC is sponsoring a three-month study tour to Jiaotong University and a group of our faculty and students will be going.
"The success of the exchange program twenty years ago left Professor Guo with a very good impression of Bridgewater," continued Dr. To. "As a result, we've able to launch this new exchange program with Jiaotong University. I hope that in the future more of our students and faculty will have the opportunity to study in China and we will be able to welcome more students and faculty from China." (Story and photos by David K. Wilson, '71, Office of Institutional Communications)