Asian Studies Institute retreat highlights learning opportunities at UT, in China

December 3, 2009 | Features, UToday
By Staff

The Asian Studies Institute of The University of Toledo recently sponsored Asia Forum, its annual retreat, in the Student Union.

Students, faculty and administrators attended the Asian Studies Retreat last month.

Students, faculty and administrators attended the Asia Forum last month.

More than 60 people ate pan-Asian snacks while listening to presentations by faculty members and cultural performances by students in the Asian Studies Program.

Dr. Tom Gutteridge, dean of the College of Business Administration, Dr. Johnnie Early, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Gene Chang, director of the Asian Studies Institute and professor of economics, greeted guests as they arrived at the social and informative event.

Faculty representatives Dr. Russell Reising, professor of English, and Dr. David Davis, professor of political science, as well as student representatives Melvin Barnes and Rosemary Sorg, gave short speeches on the Asian Studies Program.

Reising told the audience about how he became interested in Asian studies when he was a student and also introduced new Asian studies courses on Chinese literature. Barnes, who just graduated from the Asian Studies Program and has received a scholarship from Yanshan University in China, spoke about his personal experiences in the program at UT and his plans to pursue advanced studies in China.

“Russ and Melvin spoke enthusiastically about their studies here at UT and at Chinese universities, where UT students have excellent opportunities to expand their cultural and educational horizons,” Chang said. “They encouraged others to pursue their interest in Asian studies.”

Presentations by other faculty members covered a range of topics.

Dr. Udayan Nandkeolyar, associate professor of information operations technology management, gave a detailed comparison of Indian and American politics and culture. Dr. Bill Hoover, professor emeritus of history, gave an interesting talk on the technology of Japanese toilets.  Chang discussed the Chinese economy and Sino-American economic relations.

The retreat concluded with a Chinese tea ceremony performed by student Shi Xiaoye and a demonstration of ancient Chinese musical instruments by student Jiang Qi.

“The Asian Studies Program at The University of Toledo is a vital effort drawing on faculty around the University to provide an interdisciplinary education in Asian studies,” Chang said.

For more information about the Asian Studies Institute, contact Chang at or 419.530.4677.

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