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Delegation from Chinese university to visit Furman

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A five-member delegation from Yunnan Minzu University in China will visit the Furman University campus Sept. 14-15 as part of a new partnership between the two schools.

Furman is developing four new programs with YMU, which is based in a southwestern Chinese province rich in biodiversity, as part of an initial $50,000 Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment grant.

Visiting guests include Professor He Shaoying, Vice President of Yunnan Minzu University; Professor Ma Yu, Deputy Dean of School of Foreign Languages; Professor Li Ruoqing, Director of the Department of Development and Planning; Professor Gao Dengrong, Deputy Director of Yunnan Provincial Institute for Ethnic Studies; and Associate Professor Yang Zhixiong, Director of Admissions and Employment.

The delegation will meet with Furman President Elizabeth Davis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean John Beckford, and Associate Vice President for Admission Brad Pochard. The group will also meet with faculty, students and members of Furman’s International Education Office.

The group will tour Furman’s Townes Science Center and enjoy a reception in the Asian Studies Suite. It will also be briefed by Mayor Knox White on Greenville’s interactions with China.

“Furman is delighted by this new partnership,” said LIASE Initiative Director and Political Science Professor Kate Kaup. “As part of our collaboration, we will be exploring means of connecting this Asian Studies and the Environment initiative with community members and organizations.”

Furman will be developing a two-week Summer China Environmental Experience program at YMU for incoming Furman freshmen. The 14 incoming freshmen’s expenses will be fully covered in exchange for their commitment to take a Chinese language course their freshman year and a first year seminar team-taught by a natural scientist and a China specialist.

Students will also have the opportunity to travel from Furman for a three-week service-learning May Experience in rural Yunnan, where they will be paired with YMU students in the field. YMU faculty and students will participate in Furman’s ongoing summer River Basin Research Initiative where the Chinese and American scientists will share best practices and explore means of better protecting valuable river basin resources. And finally, faculty will be exploring collaborative research projects for students and faculty across disciplines and across continents.

For more information, contact LIASE Initiative Director Kate Kaup at kate.kaup@furman.edu.

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