In addition to President Edmundson, the delegation also included Prof. Mary Hendrickson, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Prof. Kathleen Kaminski, Assoc. Prof. of Education and Chair of the Education Department; Prof. Douglas B. Crawford, Assis. Prof. of Business and Chair of the Business and Economics Department; Prof. Julie Raulli, Assis. Prof. of Sociology and Chair of the Women's Studies program; Prof. Ed Wells, Assos. Prof. and the Head of the Environmental Studies program; and Chris Mayer, Program Manager of the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living.
The group visited Wilson's partner schools in Korea, including Ewha Women's University, Sookmyung Women's University and Seoul Women's University. Then, they went to Nanjing and Shanghai, China, to visit Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing Normal University, including Ginling College, which is part of Nanjing Normal University and one of the few women's colleges in China. In Shanghai, the group divided into two groups in order to visit Shanghai Ocean University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In addition, the group also visited Sunrise Bilingual Nursery School in Nanjing to see what pre-school is like in China.
The Fruits of the Journey
Hendrickson thinks the meetings with the Korean partners were fruitful. "[W]e discussed ways in which our colleges shared the goal of sustainability in general and, in particular, in the area of sustainable food policy," says Hendrickson.
Kaminski from the Education Department says that, "I understand that there is extreme courtesy directed toward educators in both China and Korea. This expectation was fulfilled and the kindness we experienced was wonderful."
While talking about the impressive things in China and Korea, Mayer says, "The longstanding history, art and traditions of each country were always evident and very powerful." She recalls her visit to places like the Changdeok Palace in Korea and the Tomb of the Ming Dynasty in China and remarks, "places like this remind us that we are a very young country indeed!"
Kaminski also shares two most unforgettable experiences: one is the growth of China, including the number of English speaking children, and the second is the "wonderful experience at the Nanjing Pre-School. We enjoyed the children, their songs, their greetings, and the exuberance of the welcome we received," says Kaminski.
Making Plans for the Future
Both Hendrickson and Kaminski believe that there will be more interactions between Wilson and schools in Asia. Hendrickson says that, "a number of ideas were discussed with representatives of the universities including possible exchanges of faculty and students, opportunities for our students to go with faculty on study abroad trips, and for groups to come to Wilson College for programs."
Kaminski also reveals that the Education Department is looking forward to sending education students to do an internship at a pre-school in Nanjing.
"This should be a reality in 2012. These endeavors do take time and the Pennsylvania Department of Education does have an upcoming requirement for a PreK-4 certification. A pre-practicum in Nanjing could count as a part of this program."