Spotlight: Travel Grants for Faculty to Visit University of Illinois CampusWe would like to share a story about a project we have been very proud to help bring to fruition as a National Resource Center for East Asian Studies. One of our projects this cycle funds faculty from community colleges and minority serving institutions to help develop curriculum in courses about East Asia. We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Professors Ashley Green and Paul Van Heuklom of Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois, who envisioned resurrecting a course that had not been taught on their campus for twenty years: Cultural Values in the Eastern World. They did this by planning big, making several visits over the summer to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus to meet with faculty and graduate students with expertise in the cultures of East Asia and hosting a film series in the fall featuring one film each from China, Japan, and Korea. Intended as a way to encourage interest in the course, the program was so well organized and promoted that each screening had 50-60 people in the audience. Speakers from the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois introduced the films and led lively discussion afterwards. This recruiting worked: Green and Van Heuklom are currently co-teaching Cultural Values in the Eastern World to sixteen students. This semester, Professors Green and Van Heuklom – with assistance from art professor and gallery coordinator Leslie Stalter – arranged for an art exhibit of fascinating materials from Lincoln Land’s Philip and Mary Kathryn Trutter Collection to be held in the James S. Murray Gallery, next to where the class is taught, so an even broader audience could view the pieces. Their efforts caught the attention of the local news channel, which featured the exhibit and their work in a segment that you can view here:
You can find out more about the exhibit on Lincoln Land’s website:
Professor Tim Humphrey, Dean of Arts and Humanities at Lincoln Land, said of the partnership between Lincoln Land and CEAPS: “The partnership between the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies has been a true blessing for our Humanities Department as well as our community. The film series and guest speakers brought some much needed attention to our Cultural Values in the Eastern World class. New interest in Eastern thought is evident in the class enrollment. In addition, these films and guest speakers provided valuable insight to our community concerning Asian culture. I sincerely hope that we can continue this partnership.”
We congratulate Professors Green and Van Heuklom for putting together not only a course that can now be regularly offered at Lincoln Land, but also making great contributions to education about Asia on their campus and in the Springfield community. We look forward to continuing to help them grow their programs and deepen the ties between our institutions.
1. Bilingual Mandarin-English class “Translating Culture and Everyday Life: US and China”
2. Study Abroad Blog
3. Documenting Journeys Abroad