American Government 101
Fourteen students and a faculty member from the University of Macao recently completed a week-long visit to Bridgewater State University as part of a unique study tour that focuses on American government.
Along with Hong Kong, Macao is one of the two special administrative regions of China.
The idea for a partnership was first explored last January during a visit by a BSU delegation, said [b]Dr. Michael J. Kryzanek[/b], director of global studies at BSU and executive director of Center for International Engagement, which sponsored the tour.
During that visit, Dr. Kryzanek, [b]Dr. Howard London[/b], provost and vice president for academic affairs, and [b]Dr. Wing-Kai To[/b], professor of history and coordinator of the Asian Studies program, met with Glenn Shive, director of the Hong Kong America Center at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which promotes educational exchanges between Hong Kong and the United States.
Initially, officials at UM had contacted the Hong Kong Center for Education to inquire about the possibility of sponsoring a summer program in the United States.
"There was a strong interest among the students and the faculty to arrange a study tour that would focus on the American electoral process as subject matter, and through Dr. Shive we agreed to make that possible," said Dr. Kryzanek.
Ultimately, the program combined course work taught by the university's faculty members with visits and lectures from experts in the field, in Boston and other locations.
Among those who met and talked with the students from Macao were: BSU President [b]Dana Mohler-Faria[/b]; former Mass. Governor Michael Dukakis; State Secretary of Education Paul Reville; State Sen. Marc Pacheco; State Rep. Tackey Chan, who is a member of the Asian caucus in the House; [b]John Walsh[/b], who is a BSU trustee and head of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts; and [b]Fred Clark[/b], BSU's executive vice president and vice president for external affairs who has more than twenty year's experience in federal and state government.
In addition, the Macao students went to Brockton to meet Mayor Linda Balzotti, that city's first female mayor, to Plymouth to visit Melissa Arrighi, town manager, to Quincy to meet with Chazy Dowaliby, editor of the [i]Patriot Ledger[/i] newspaper, and to Boston to visit FOX television studio, where they met evening news reporter Maria Stephanos.
There were also visits to historic locations in Boston, including Chinatown and the John F. Kennedy Museum, as well as in Plymouth.
"At the end of the program, my wife Carol and I invited the group to our home in Whitman, where we also invited a number of our neighbors so our visitors could see how average Americans live," said Dr. Kryzanek. "Everyone was extremely pleased with how well this visit went and I'm sure the groundwork has been established for future study tours." (David K. Wilson, '71, Office of University Advancement)