News Release

University of Detroit Mercy Educator to Join Prestigious Program in China

University of Detroit Mercy administrator and educator Lara Wasner will join fifteen educators from across the country in the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program focusing on China’s history, culture, changing society and rapid economic growth. During the month-long seminar in June and July, the group will visit Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing and Shanghai, with an option to continue to Hong Kong for four days. The program will not only enhance the work of the educators, but will have a wider impact through the curriculum projects that each participant is required to develop based on their experience; the projects will be available for use by educators nationwide.

The study program, open to university and college professors of all disciplines, provides participants an opportunity to learn about China’s long history, vibrant contemporary culture and diversity. Beijing, the capital and political center of the country, has been transformed in recent decades through rapid modernization. Xi’an, in north central China, was the capital during many dynasties, and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, long reflecting the dynamism and importance of international trade and cultural exchange. Chongqing, the largest city in China (population 30 million), played an important role in World War II, and now juxtaposes urban growth and rural development. The final stop is Shanghai, a financial and cultural center host this year to the first expo held in China. Those who choose to go to Hong Kong will see a very different city influenced both by its colonial history and by contemporary China.

Wasner directs the Language and Cultural Training Department at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), manages UDM’s community-based foreign language and English as a Second Language programs, coordinates traditional on-campus language courses, and assists foreign language faculty with curriculum development. She founded UDM’s Brazil Study Abroad Program, sending students to Brazil to study Portuguese and Afro-Brazilian culture. Wasner also established UDM’s English immersion summer camps for Chinese students, which has resulted in joint-degree programs between UDM and several Chinese universities. She received a B.A. in English literature and an M.A. in education administration from the University of Detroit Mercy.

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad: History and Culture in China program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Chinese Ministry of Education, and is administered by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the China Education Association for International Exchange.

The National Committee on United States-China Relations, established in 1966, is the leading national, non-partisan public affairs organization devoted exclusively to building constructive and durable relationships between the United States and China. The Committee’s continuity of experience and depth of associations in Greater China and the United States help it perform its key mission of creating opportunities for informed discussion and reasoned debate about issues of common interest and concern to the United States, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan.

Release date: June 14,2010

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