Representatives the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis visited the Tusculum College campus to discuss potential partnering opportunities for students and faculty at the college. The group was in town to meet with officials at the Greeneville City School System, with which they already have developed partnership programs, said Dr. Kim Estep, academic vice president at Tusculum College.
The Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis promotes understanding of the Chinese language and culture among the people of the United States, develops friendly relations between the two countries, accelerates the expansion of multiculturalism and provides opportunities for students studying the Chinese language. “We asked to have an exploratory meeting to discuss future partnerships with Tusculum College, particularly in the areas of language and culture classes and travel opportunities,” said Estep.
The group met on the Greeneville main campus and gave the Tusculum representatives a presentation on what they do and what kinds of partnership they have already developed with other institutions, including the Greeneville City School System. Also joining the group was Tusculum College alumnus Noah Wagner. Wagner, a 1951 graduate, has long been interested in strengthening the foreign language program at Tusculum College, as his business and language background at the school has been key to his successes throughout the years.
“I think after our discussions we really feel there are two main areas where a partnership might develop with the Confucius Institution,” said Estep. Those areas include the possibility of offering Chinese language and culture courses to students not only on the residential campus, but potentially through the Graduate and Professional Studies program as well.
“The discussions went really well, and we are continuing to explore paths to implementation,” said Estep. “We are opening up dialogue now with faculty to see about incorporating some of the ideas discussed into existing courses in our curricula.” She added the further discussions will be held in the upcoming weeks and a teleconference with representatives of the college’s Center for Global Studies Advisory Council and representatives of the Business Administration Department is being planned.
“We look forward to partnering with the faculty, students and staff at Tusculum College to provide Chinese language and cultural classes and programs independently and through interdisciplinary means as well,” said Dr. Hsiang-te Kung, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis.
“We are committed to providing a global, world-class education to students as young as two up to ninety-two,” said Riki Jackson, assistant director of the Confucius Institute. “Our commitment is to reach as many students as possible at the preschool, K-12, collegiate and post-collegiate level as well as in the business community from the far southwest corner of the state all the way to the far northeast corner of Tennessee. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to explore a partnership with the wonderful students and faculty at Tusculum College.”