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Wilson Delegation Visits China, Korea to Strengthen Global Partnerships

Posted: August 9, 2010

8/9/2010 A group of Wilson College administrators and faculty led by President Lorna Duphiney Edmundson recently returned from a study tour to China and South Korea.
DATE: Aug. 9, 2010
CONTACT: Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations
Phone: 717-264-4141, Ext. 3178

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – A group of Wilson College administrators and faculty led by President Lorna Duphiney Edmundson recently returned from a study tour to China and South Korea.

The seven-person delegation met in June with counterparts at Wilson partner institutions – and several potential new ones– to discuss each institution’s approach to environmental education. Specific attention was given to successful strategies for preparing women leaders to advocate for sustainable food policies in their countries.

The group met with faculty and administrators at Ewha Women’s University, Sookmyung Women’s University and Seoul Women’s University in South Korea, as well as Ginling College of Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing Agricultural University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Bilingual Preschool of Nanjing and Shanghai Ocean University in China.

The delegation included: Dr. Edmundson; Dr. Mary Hendrickson, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty; Dr. Kathleen Kaminski, associate professor of education and chair of the Education Department; Dr. Douglas B. Crawford, assistant professor of business and chair of the Business and Economics Department; Dr. Julie Raulli, assistant professor of sociology and chair of the Women’s Studies program; Dr. Ed Wells, Associate Professor and head of the Environmental Studies program, and Chris Mayer, program manager of the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living. Wilson alumna Betty Jane Weller Lee ’57, an early childhood educator with well-established relationships in China, joined the delegation there and, through her Chinese colleagues, did much to make the experience enjoyable and fruitful.

The study tour, which was funded by a $25,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, helped to reaffirm Wilson’s existing faculty, student and staff exchange partnerships in South Korea and helped stimulate new opportunities in China. As early as summer 2011, it is expected that Wilson will collaborate with its new colleagues in China to sponsor a summer program in environmental studies and foster other educational exchanges that will be mutually beneficial.

“We are very grateful to the Henry Luce Foundation for making this study tour possible,” Edmundson said. “We also thank our hosts in both countries, who engaged with us in discussion about how to prepare well-educated leaders to address the critical worldwide policy issues regarding sustainability. These new and deepened relationships with scholars and teachers in Asia will greatly strengthen and increase the learning opportunities Wilson will offer through our Global Citizenship Initiative.”

During the visit, Wilson and their counterparts at the other universities discussed questions such as:

What is status of education as it relates to environmental studies and sustainable agriculture in each country?
Specifically, what is the status of sustainable food policy development from the perspectives of sociology and political science (attitudes toward food and government role in agriculture and food policies); environmental science and biology (agricultural practices and policies, impact of environmental problems on food production); and economics (structure of agriculture in each country, food security)?
Are women involved in leadership roles in the above and if so, how were they prepared for this work?
What academic and applied learning experiences do our colleges and universities offer to prepare them?
Are there differences in the ways in which small colleges and larger universities approach environmental education?

The representatives also explored how they can work together to expand curricular offerings, internships and faculty/staff/student exchange programs, as well as to leverage their strengths in preparing students to lead sustainable lives and function effectively as global citizens.

“The faculty and administrators who went on the trip learned about the culture and educational system in China and South Korea through visits to museums and landmarks, but, most importantly, through interactions with colleagues and new friends,” said Hendrickson. “The memories of the visit will last a lifetime.”

The Asia study/travel project is part of Wilson’s Global Citizenship Initiative, one of the strategic priorities identified in the college’s fundraising campaign, Leading with Confidence: The Campaign for Wilson, for which more than $42 million has already been raised toward the $45 million goal.

The primary purpose of the Global Citizenship Initiative is to ensure that Wilson students, faculty and staff acquire deeper knowledge about the wide range of cultural perspectives that exist in the world, understand their responsibilities and potential for making positive change in their communities and professions, and work effectively as citizen leaders in today’s global society.


Wilson College Mission Statement

Wilson is an independent college with a proud history of educating women since 1869 through rigorous study of the liberal arts and sciences. Today, Wilson’s mission also includes women and men enrolled in adult degree and graduate programs. Guided by the Honor Principle and distinguished by its commitment to transformative student growth, Wilson College prepares all of its graduates for fulfilling lives and professions, ethical leadership, and humane stewardship of our communities and our world.

Last Updated: June 30, 2011