Thursday, November 20, 2008

More do-gooders in the world - and if you're at the University of Colorado at Boulder and are thinking about going abroad to China - then this news is for you:

A $1.2 million gift from the Tang Fund of New York to the University of Colorado at Boulder, the largest endowed gift ever made to the Center for Asian Studies, will allow students to experience China through a new study abroad program.

The Tang Fund donation to CU-Boulder will provide support for an annual summer program in China and cover expenses for one faculty member and about 12 students to study in China and neighboring countries. The program will be available to faculty and students in all disciplines, said Laurel Rodd, director of the Center for Asian Studies.

"Firsthand experience in China can enrich education across all disciplines," said Rodd. "It is our hope that by taking advantage of this program, students will gain new perspectives on their areas of study and a deeper understanding of China."

The program is unique because it is not restricted to students majoring in Asian Studies and seeks to expose a broad spectrum of students to Chinese culture, Rodd said, and will have a different curriculum and professor each year.

Topics covered by the program will include Chinese culture, history, religion, art, politics, environment and other disciplines. The program also differs from traditional study abroad programs in that expenses are covered by the endowed gift.

"This gift makes China and the study of Chinese cultures accessible to all CU-Boulder students," said Rodd. "By opening this opportunity to students of all economic backgrounds and in all fields of study, we can encourage more students to learn about one of the world's oldest, most populous and influential societies."

The program will also help CU-Boulder attain one of its major "Flagship 2030" goals of extending the university's educational reach around the world.

"This gift will help the university to realize one of our most important strategic goals -- establishing CU-Boulder as a global crossroads of education," said CU-Boulder Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson. "Under Flagship 2030, we envision a campus that is a true global destination for higher education, and a point of embarkation for our students to points around the world. We are grateful to The Tang Fund for helping us to move in this vital direction."

Rodd said the length of the study trips abroad will vary depending on the course, but would typically last 3 to 4 weeks. The destination of each course will be up to the faculty who are leading the trip, she said.

"One of the great things about The Tang Fund gift is that we're not restricted to working with a particular institution in China," said Rodd. "Students will go to sites that are relevant to the classes they are taking."

CU-Boulder offered similar opportunities in the past with a donation from the Freeman Foundation, Rodd said. One course addressed how Japan and China present their own pasts, taking students to museums in each country. Another course focused on food, exercise and the body and offered students the opportunity to visit sites related to health and exercise, martial arts and food production.

The new program will be launched during the summer of 2010.


Laurel Rasplica Rodd, 303-492-1138
Kirsten Steinke, 303-541-1209
Oakland L. Childers, 303-492-3117
And yes - I couldn't help that title either - blame on it blogger crusties...