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E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R N OV E MB E R 2012 [This conference] is well-organized. It makes me want to learn more about BYU-Idaho. Celebrating 50 Years of Exploring Frontiers BYU-IDAHO HOSTS THE WESTERN CONFERENCE OF THE ASSO CIATION OF THEODORE C. BESTOR, DIRECTOR OF REISHAUER INSTITUTE OF JAPANESE STUDIES AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY ASIAN STUDIES IN WEST YELLOWSTONE » By Abby Stevens This year’s Western Conference of the Association of Asian Studies (WCAAS) was unique in at least two ways: it was held in West Yellowstone, Montana, and it was hosted by BYU-Idaho. “Generally, BYU-Idaho doesn’t host conferences, but the WCAAS board members were so impressed with our students at a previous conference that they asked us to host this year,” said Michael Paul, an instructor in the Department of Languages and International Studies who primarily organized the October 11-13 event. “This was a way for BYUIdaho to engage in the greater academic community.” Paul was joined by Jeremy Lamoreaux, an instructor in the Department of History, Geography, and Political Science, and Michael Allen, a BYU-Idaho student majoring in psychology, in organizing this year’s WCAAS, which was also the fiftieth anniversary of the conference. Two years of extensive planning and preparation went into the event to create panels and to organize transportation, food, and entertainment for the 100-plus attendees. “Having a background in Chinese studies, graphic design, and event management, I felt I could be of use to the organization,” Allen said. “The result has been one of the most beneficial projects of my college career.” Faculty from across the university presented research and chaired discussion panels at the conference. Areas represented included the Departments of Communication, Teacher Education, Religious Education, Business Management, Languages and International Studies, and History, Geography, and Political Science, as well as the David O. McKay Library. “Even though I haven’t been to China, I help teach the Foundations course about China on campus,” said Brian Kinghorn, an instructor in the BYU-Idaho Department of Religious Education. “I talked about how teachers need to have a willingness to learn something new to teach their students.” The students and professors who participated in the conference gathered not only from across the western United States, but also countries such as Turkey, Japan, and China. WCAAS participants discussed the frontiers of language, culture, and politics of Asia. “It was a fantastic array of people to make it a great event,” Lamoreaux said. “It also helped that the conference topics and presenters were so diverse.” “It was a good opportunity for students to learn how to organize a conference and get an eye-opening experience to see how graduate school works,” said Lei Shen, an continued on page 5 N O V E M B E R 2 012 l1

News & Notes November 2012

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