Certificate of International Studies The Certificate of International Studies prepares University of Tampa graduates to be global citizens. Today’s employers seek graduates who are able to communicate in at least one foreign language, have multicultural knowledge, possess skills and training in negotiating with people of different cultures and have the basic skills to travel, live and work outside the United States. Students in all majors have the opportunity to build their credentials through the CIS program. Upon completion of program requirements, undergraduate students will earn the “Certificate of International Studies” notation on their official UT transcript and will receive an official certificate to complement the UT diploma.
Program Highlights: Foreign Language | Global Knowledge Courses | Education Abroad Experience International Leadership and Engagement (clubs, organizations, activities and events) Global Senior Capstone
How to Get Started: Pick up an application in the Office of International Programs in Plant Hall 308 or download it from www.ut.edu/international.
Learn more by contacting: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS Education Abroad (813) 258-7433 | email@example.com www.ut.edu/international
What’s Inside: Healthcare Across Cultures
Story and photos by Kim Curry
Chasing Elephants in Mole
Story and photos by A. Onipede Hollist
I Dream of a Land Across the Sea
Story and photos by Santiago Echeverry
INSIDE CHINA Our Road Through China
Story by Joshua Hall, John Stinespring and Alex Tan; photos by Alex Tan
Shanghai: A City Built on Speed
Story by Liv Coleman; photo by Alex Tan
World View Profile: Xiao Liu
By Rosa Mercado
A Visit to the Warrior Mountain: A Hike Around Kawa Karpo
he University of Tampa and the Office of International Programs promote international experiences and intercultural awareness throughout UT’s campus and beyond for students, faculty, and staff. From enhancing faculty development through academic seminars across the globe to encouraging students to study abroad through one of the many flexible and innovative opportunities available, UT strives to educate a global citizenry and build international competence within the community.
Story and photos by Scott Alan Husband
My Internship in Bejing
By Dan Mixa
By Ronald Kuntze
Social Entrepreneurship in China
At the close of each academic year, the Office of International Programs gathers the many exciting stories behind our faculty and students’ international adventures. World View Magazine chronicles these tales through the essays, interviews and articles of the recently returned with the hope that it will inspire new adventures in the upcoming year.
Story and photos by Michael Weeks
Ruin and Revival: History, Modern Memory, and Identity. Poland and Germany.
China is the focus of this issue, with perspectives from faculty who traveled to the Far East, students who studied and interned in Beijing, and an interview with a Chinese international student earning her degree here in the United States.
Story by Lisa Birnbaum
Internships: Opportunities Abroad Jenna Tinney in London
By Katie DeGuzman
In addition, UT’s first travel course to Cuba embarked in January of 2012, with student discoveries shared and documented by International Programs staff. Likewise, UT’s travel course to Costa Rica returned and shared how nursing students gained a firsthand look at transcultural healthcare. Finally, UT faculty reflect on their educational experiences abroad with tales from Morocco, Poland, Tanzania, Ghana, and Thailand.
Is It Thailand or Siam?
Story by Susan F. Brinkley
A Long Journey Into the Soul of East Africa
Story and photos by Bella L. Galperin
Journey On, Marca Marie Bear, Ph.D.
Not Forbidden…Not Forgotten
Story by Rosa Mercado
WORLD VIEW Magazine Editor-In-Chief: Marca Marie Bear, Ph.D. Associate Editor-In-Chief: Elizabeth Mills Assistant Editors: Katie DeGuzman, Danielle Houston, Rosa Mercado The opinions expressed in World View Magazine are not necessarily the views of The University of Tampa. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Internships: Opportunities Abroad Carlos Salinas in Madrid
By Carlos Salinas Cover photograph: “Distracted” by Michael Weeks, in Yunnan, China world view magazine
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a healthcare system that stands in stark contrast to the system we are accustomed to in the United States. A primary purpose of the UT Travel Course, Transcultural Healthcare in
Healthcare Across Cultures
Latin America, is to provide an experience in which students in the health sciences can get out of their envelope of comfort
Story and photos by Kim Curry, Ph.D. Associate Professor/Associate Director Department of Nursing
“Pura Vida” is a common saying in Costa Rica. It reflects a philosophy of living life to the fullest, enjoying what you have, and living close to nature. Ticos, or native Costa Ricans, often use it as a farewell in casual conversations. When you hear it, you’re being reminded to appreciate the easygoing Costa Rican lifestyle. Before traveling, I ask students to reflect on how it feels to be an outsider in someone else’s culture. Even those born in the U.S. feel like outsiders in our healthcare “culture,” with its many traditions, strange language, and strict rules. It is a very difficult system to navigate, even for those who are most familiar with it. Imagine how it feels for someone from a different country to be thrust into our healthcare system. These are some of the lessons that students bring home from this trip. Having traveled with students to various locations in Latin America for five years, I was looking forward to seeing more of Costa Rica myself as well as seeing it through the eyes of my students. One of my greatest pleasures in traveling with students is being able to experience their reactions to a wealth of new experiences and to watch them develop as they learn to cope with the role of the outsider trying to fit in. It is always surprising how far away a short 2
plane ride can take you. Our travels in Costa Rica took us first to San Jose, where we met with a local community leader. She helped us interview women working out at a community pool, then took us to a river running through an area of “desamparados.” This is an area for destitute and abandoned families who were making a living off a local landfill. Raw sewage was running into the Rio Azul in the neighborhood. We visited a limestone plant where stones were burned and pulverized and the river was used for power and cooling. Her message was really about the important role of water in the life and health of the city.
in the U.S. healthcare system. We then visited the University of Costa Rica, where Professor Luis Villalobos Soto gave a presentation on La Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, known as La Caja, or the box of healthcare benefits to which citizens of Costa Rica are entitled. Costa Rica has a hybrid healthcare system, with many more taxpayer funded benefits than is found in the United States, but also a thriving private system. In Costa Rica, both systems are considered desirable, and citizens are quick to point out that healthcare is the individual’s responsibility, but that the more affluent should help the less affluent. Two examples that we witnessed included expectations for prenatal care and pharmacy benefits.
Pregnant women who do not keep their required appointments for prenatal care are sanctioned by their local provider. It is expected that you will receive all of the benefits of prenatal care supported and endorsed by the national healthcare board. However, citizens are sensitive to the plight of those less fortunate. More affluent Costa Ricans sometimes decline their subsidized medication benefit and pay out of pocket so that more money is available for those who are truly needy. The majority of our time in the country was spent in the communities of Monteverde and Santa Elena, two small villages about a 3 1/2 hour bus ride north of San Jose, at high altitude in the cloud forest. A great deal of the development in the Monteverde area occurred in the 1950’s, when members of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, moved to the area. Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948, and the Quakers, who practice a pacifist lifestyle, chose Costa Rica to relocate from the United States. Men in the group had been conscripted by the United States military, and some had been sent to prison for refusing to participate. After their release, the group chose to leave the country to avoid further risk of prosecution due to their religious practices. The Quakers were dairy farmers who established a large business in the Monteverde area that continues to this day. The curriculum plan in Costa Rica is developed in conjunction with a private school, the Monteverde Institute. The Institute works with faculty to ensure that community health experiences are provided to meet the needs of the group. They serve as guides and chaperones, and help students navigate the experience both mentally and physically. One of the most stressful things to students is the immersion component of the trip. Students take several hours of introductory Spanish lessons, realizing how much it will help them when back in Tampa. They also live with local families in the host country. The homestays not only reinforce their language classes, but provide a lived experience in the Costa Rican lifestyle. Private homes in Costa Rica tend to be small and very simple. Local bathroom practices and equipment were unfamiliar to most students. In many locations, the plumbing system is not set up for toilet tissue.
Shower equipment is comparatively primitive, with a box attached to the shower pipe that heats water only on demand, and only if you flip the switch just right, and only if the electrical wire isn’t too rusty. Seemingly simple things like this can be very stressful, as the student tries to communicate problems to the host family in their language, only to learn that Costa Rican families do not place much importance on whether the shower works just right every day. Cooking and sharing meals is a valued experience by both students and families. In the Monteverde area, we were able to work with a group known as APAPNEM, a local volunteer organization that coordinates services for residents with physical and mental disabilities. This, too, is an eye opening experience for those of us who live in a country that enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act over twenty years ago. In Costa Rica, just as in most other countries around the world, there are no ramps, elevators, or other accommodations to make life more accessible in this rocky area on a mountainside. This is a fact that is very surprising to many healthcare students in the United States. Every year, I work with students to help them figure out how to finance the trip.
There are many years that there would have been no trip without our benefactors, Dr. Axel (UT ’62) and Ann Claesges. I know very few students who are getting through school by using the bank of Mom and Dad. Virtually all of our students have a combination of scholarships, loans, and jobs that they must maintain just to meet their basic obligations and stay in school. For several years now, the Claesges have generously offered partial scholarships to the majority of students who enroll in this course. The trip is one of the least expensive of the numerous international programs offered, yet it is very difficult for many students to afford. Experiences like this cannot be simulated. You must travel to have an authentic experience in another culture. It is invaluable to be placed in the role of an outsider living and functioning in another person’s world, and the students appreciate this. Many have commented that it has permanently changed their view of working with patients. Several students told me that they plan to return to Costa Rica. These future nurses and public health workers have seen another approach to managing the health of a population, and will bring this lesson with them every day when they work with patients.
world view magazine
Chasing Elephants in Mole
The short-term education abroad experience has a lot in common with one of literature’s most important motifs: the quest.
© javarman - Fotolia.com
by A. Onipede Hollist, Ph.D.
Both require questers to undertake a long journey filled with challenges to an unknown destination. Sometimes the questers achieve their goals; at other times they do not, but often the experiences of the quest mark them in unexpected and not necessarily conscious ways. Such may have been the outcome for two groups of students from The University of Tampa during their visits to Mole (pronounced Moe-lay) National Park, a 4,840 square mile Guinea savannah woodland area in northwest Gonja region of Ghana, about 420 miles (670km) northwest of capital city, Accra. 4
t is the second fastest animal on land, our rifle-toting ranger announced as Maggie, a self-described army brat from Patch Barracks near Stuttgart, Germany, clicked her Minolta Maxxum 7000 camera and edged nearer to the massive African bull elephant. Thirteen thousand pounds of force capable of being propelled at up to 22 miles per hour were, apparently, only a couple of seconds away from us, a group of six students and two faculty members (with a combined weight estimated at a generous 2000 pounds). We had been gazing at this male elephant in an open field in Mole. It was a May 2009 mid-morning. The sun had just enthroned itself on the day. Earlier that morning, around 7 a.m., as we waited on the grounds of the visitor center to be taken on Mole’s guided nature walk (a more or less scripted tour of a small sliver of the park), four elephants had materialized out of nowhere and tramped right up to us. We oohed, aahed, clicked our cameras — giddy that our presence had summoned the elephants — and, of course, we followed them as they sauntered through the adjacent bungalow-
styled accommodations of Mole’s workers. Every so often, they paused to graze on shrubs, grass, and leaves. Then, as suddenly as they had appeared, the elephants disappeared, as if the forest had absorbed them or opened up the equivalent of a wormhole and whisked them deeper into another dimension of the Savannah woodland. Naturally, we gave chase — grabbing and steadying ourselves on boulders and branches, slipping and sliding as we followed the elephants into a valley, wondering how such large animals could so deftly descend the somewhat sheer slope without tumbling. From one of the viewing towers on the nature trail, we perched ourselves and watched the elephants in a muddy-brown watering hole flap their ears, spray water on their backs, and, in what looked to be the height of elephant excitement, spray muddy water on each other. After feasting our eyes for thirty-plus minutes on this grand non-activity, we were returning to the visitor center when we ran into a massive bull elephant, probably from the same group that had “welcomed” us earlier. It
back. But our excitement then and for months after was palpable. Mole had turned out to be more than we expected.
his May 2009 close encounter of the elephant kind established Mole as a feature stop on UT’s Ghana education abroad experience led by me, a native of Sierra Leone, and co-trip director, colleague, and Twi-speaking American Kevin Fridy. The stop occurs about halfway through the twenty-one day experience, after students have completed their week long service-learning projects in Nangodi, a small materially poor village twenty miles northeast of Bolgatanga, Ghana’s northernmost city. Since 2009, UT students have worked side by side with Nangodians to start a community library, set up a microfinance scheme for market women, build a basketball court, construct an art mural and install solar power lights for classrooms in a secondary (junior high) school, make reusable sanitary pads for pubescent girls, hold a law clinic, and study the bonding styles of kids at an orphanage. By this halfway point, many students are tired, physically and psychologically. Prior to the week in Nangodi, they had toured the historical, political, and cultural sites of Accra on the Gulf Of Guinea coast; visited with salt-of-the-earth Ghanaian families in Ododiodio (pronounced O-dodee-o-dee-o), an economically depressed
© marcin bartosz czarnoleski, dreamstime.com
was either the alpha male of the group, keeping tabs on us humans as we chased after its family, or it was the outcast, performing sentry duties by default. I recall this encounter as intense because our proximity to the bull had prompted the ranger to divulge this little known fact about the speed of elephants, though, if his goal had been to deter us from getting too close to the animal, disclosing this piece of information when he was giving us his list of dos and don’ts at the start of our nature walk would have been more effective. At that precise moment, and after spending most of the morning in close proximity to them, the revelation did little to curb our excitement. Like paparazzi after spotting a reclusive celebrity, we waylaid the grazing animal, each of us determined to take the picture that would serve as indisputable evidence of our bravery, our encounter with earth’s largest animal on this Hemingway-esque African safari. Everyone clicked away, especially 5'8', ninety-five pound Maggie, her telescopic lens zooming back and forth like a wartime periscope in a World War II naval battle movie. “Get back,” the ranger growled. We moved
section of Accra; shopped at the world renowned craft villages in and around Kumasi, the capital of the central Ashanti region; and traveled seven hundred plus miles (1127km) on less than ideal roads. A few have experienced two- to three-day spells of upset stomachs and/or diarrhea; some feel saturated by the rice-based meals, and all have been slam-dunked by the sun during the day or torrential rain at night. The return trip south from Nangodi to Accra, out of which we will fly back to the U.S., is about five hundred and thirty miles (852km) or a whole day’s drive, a demanding trip for our already weary cohort and a stressful one for our bus drivers who, since we arrived, had been at our beck and call. So, like all quests initiated by someone in pursuit of a goal, Kevin and I make Mole a pit stop out of consideration for our drivers, to provide an opportunity to rest and relax, but mostly to give students an opportunity to encounter Mole’s elephants up close and personal. Such were our goals in May 2010 when our twenty-two person group (eighteen UT students, Kevin and I, and two Ghanaians, David the driver and Afum, his assistant) left Nangodi for Mole. In addition to goals, quests involve long journeys with challenges. Ours was no different. The distance from Nangodi to Mole is about one hundred and ninety miles (305km), one hundred and thirty-five (or 217km) of which are on the paved Bolgatanga-Tamale-Kumasi national highway. We cover them in about two and half hours — a paltry distance and travel time by U.S. standards. But before you scoff, travelers to Mole must exit the paved highway at Fulfuso junction and undertake the remaining fifty-five miles (88km) westward on the unpaved, interregional Fulfuso-Salwa road. This is what we do. It’s inconceivable that this unpaved, corrugated, red laterite (disintegrated rocks) road was constructed with the one- to two-inch high, wave-like rumble strips (or infant speed bumps) that run across its width, perpendicular to the direction the road is traveling. Yet these strips make up much of its surface, which, on both sides, falls off into uneven, water-created gullies, like the gutters on the side of a bowling lane. The stretches of the road without the rumble strips are covered with a loose world view magazine
layer of the red laterite. As the driver picks up speed on these stretches, the bus, a twenty-two seat Toyota Coaster, hydroplanes and could easily skid into the gullies. The features of the road turn what should be a short, relaxing Sunday afternoon drive in the countryside into a leg of the treacherous Paris-to-Dakar car race. The ride feels like being dragged by the buttocks over fifty-five miles of speed bumps — and those are the best parts! On the stretches where the rumble strips are taller than two inches, the shuddering and shaking become so insistent that the bus feels as if it will fall apart from sheer exhaustion, and we would be left standing amid its parts like Fred and Wilma in The Flintstones. At such times, the driver, in sympathy with his vehicle, descends into the smoother gullies. This eases our physical discomfort but only to usher in a new anxiety because, as we ride in the gullies, sometimes on the same side as oncoming traffic, the bus either banks precariously or its undercarriage grates against the road. Initially, foreboding fills the bus as it shakes and banks its way deeper into the overweening, incessant greenery, but, at some point, perhaps because students realize that there is no turning back from our westward push, the mood changes: A pioneer-quester spirit emerges. “Yencoh, Yencoh,” faster, faster, one such spirit, but perhaps also slightly demented student, encourages the driver to speed up. “Wow, exciting!” another student agrees. The pioneer-quester, slightly demented spirit had caught on! “Please don’t encourage the driver to speed,” I warn in full-throated professorial authority and wonder if Joseph Conrad of Heart of Darkness fame (or, for some, infamy) had had a point — that the forest 6
makes the uninitiated mind irrational. I decide not to pursue this train of thought. The bus, however, rattles westward on the washboard until, three and a half hours (or 15 miles per hour) later we arrive, shaken and stirred into full-fledged questers, at Mole Park, a verdant expanse of antediluvian silence, misleadingly labeled wild, and home to 93 mammals, 344 species of birds, and 740 different plant species. She sits there like an octogenarian, aloof and enigmatic — qualities we soon find out imbue every aspect of the park. Questers encounter and must overcome obstacles. Built on West Africa’s ubiquitous red laterite, Mole Hotel sits atop a hill overlooking a muddy-brown watering hole, and for almost 180 degrees from anywhere on its verandahs, one sees in the distance the haze-covered, haughty savannah woodland. Questers therefore find themselves in the domain of animals and insects, a situation akin to visiting a rival team’s ballpark wearing your team’s colors. They feel exposed and vulnerable. Warthogs, baby-toting baboons, and antelopes roam around the hotel with entitlement; they forage on the
Millipedes, centipedes, spiders, geckos, crickets, and lizards sometimes slink through cracks and other fissures into the guest rooms and bond with the adaptable questers while they keep those afraid of insects awake. But mosquitoes are Mole’s equal opportunity hosts. “I got bit by mosquitoes last night,” Sam reports. Sam is a Government and World Affairs major from De Kalb Jct., northern New York, who plans to one day live in Africa. She shows me the raised bumps on her arms at breakfast. “Yeah, saw a couple of them leaving your room, high-fiving each other, delirious at the nutritious blood of Americans,” I crack back. Like an appropriate verse of scripture that buoys a backsliding born-again Christian, Sam musters a wry smile, swats at a fly about to land on her jam-laden toast, and then crunches into it. By our arrival in Mole, everyone has come to realize that the heat and the demands on our unschooled, sheltered bodies affect our dispositions — the first sign of which is impatience with, if not indifference to, complainers.
hotel grounds, in the trash cans near the reception and dining areas, and casually walk along the paved walkways as if they, too, had rooms in the hotel. Beetles, wasps, and moths settle on tables, clothes, and exposed parts of the body, causing buff Tampa native Kyle to freak out and smear himself with DEET, the Kevlar vest for insects. Flies, seemingly suffering from ADD, buzz around and then dive into uncovered food, bottles, and glasses, causing the germ-o-phobic Tian and Sal, two questers from Jamaica, to wave and swat in apoplectic fits, douse their hands with sanitizer and abandon their food in disgust.
But without a doubt, adjusting to Mole’s rhythm and pace poses the severest challenge to questers. Accustomed to apprehending time as deadlines of days, hours, and minutes — points in a continuum by which activities should be started and completed — students initially find Mole’s pace and cultural milieu deadening. Especially if one arrives mid or late afternoon, Mole feels like walking into a cemetery on a midweek afternoon. Mole explodes arbitrary markers of time and operates, instead, in events and cycles — of climatic states (dry and wet; cool and hot; dawn and dusk; day and night); of activi-
ties (playing, hunting, feeding, resting, sleeping, planting, harvesting, procreating and dying); and of encounters (between insider and outsider; predator and prey; human and animal; and human and climate). And no part of the Mole environment teaches this lesson as quickly, completely, and experientially as Mole’s dining … er … feeding services: what I call the trough. To be sure, the trough has a menu that offers Ghanaian staples — banku (fermented corn & cassava dough); rice served with groundnut (peanut butter) stew or palava sauce (spinach & palm oil); Kenkey (fermented corn dough) with fish or Guinea fowl and gravy; fufu (fermented yam) with palm nut soup and goat meat — and a limited selection of dishes that would appeal to American and European tastes — chicken and chips (French fries), fried rice, pasta and grilled fish. But the menu is a formality because the cycles of farming and forest life govern the availability of food. So if Guinea fowl, goat, or cow meat is not available, then the animals have gone foraging far afield and are therefore not available to be slaughtered; or, perhaps, a disease has decimated the livestock and meat is in short supply; mangoes, avocadoes and other fruits are not available because they are not in season. Even a presumably packaged food like pasta is governed by event cycles. If the vehicle transporting such packaged foods breaks down on the Fulfuso-Salwa washboard, then diners do without. “We don’t have it,” the staff inform as a matter of fact. Students either eat what’s available or go hungry. In fact, few foods on the menu are frozen or prepackaged, so most ingredients are prepared from scratch on the premises. In these circumstances, cooking becomes an event and is not the time-driven, highwire act of kitchens in American restaurants. In Mole, one’s food is ready when it is done. Questers quickly learn this, so breakfast becomes a gathering at which they find out what’s available for that day and put in their orders for lunch and dinner. They arrive for both meals only when they are hungry, notify the staff, and then wait … and … wait until the food is prepared and cooked, from scratch! If they arrive late for dinner, they are told that the
kitchen is about to close or has closed; if the staff is indulgent, they may be served, hours later—after all, in the dark, staff will be hard pressed to find the goat that is to become the meat for the goat curry stew. Overall, however, questers adjust, nay, rise to Mole’s challenges, perhaps because it doesn’t leave them much choice and perhaps because they expect that, for their forbearance, it will avail them of close encounters with elephants. This certainly was the expectation when, the next morning at dawn, our 2010 group set off from the visitor center, led by our gun-toting ranger.
hree hours later, we walk back into the visitor center, dirty, sweaty, thirsty, hungry, and tired. Though we had seen baboons, warthogs, kobs, bushbucks, waterbucks, crocodiles, fierce sci-fi-looking tsetse flies, and even the deadly green mamba (whose antivenin, the park ranger had allayed our concerns, was in a town fifty miles away on the Fulfuso-Salwa washboard!), we had not so much as glimpsed an elephant. Disappointed, we begin our walk back to the hotel rooms whose taps are turned off daily between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Oh, yes, quests sometimes involve journeys-within-journeys and challengeswithin-challenges. “One dey for north sector,” one of the drivers of the parked safari vehicles in the visitor center grounds announces; he points to an expanse of forest opposite from where we had taken our nature walk. The news of the elephant sighting enlivens us. We are
not clear how the driver got his information, but he wears the glee of a military scout delivering urgent news that the enemy’s camp has been discovered and in it they are all drunkenly asleep. To see the elephant, all we have to do is rent two vehicles to drive us to its location. The drivers drool in anticipation. “How much?” I ask. “Forty Ghana cedis for one hour.” At twenty-five dollars an hour, Kevin and I know that the driver is charging too much, washing our face from the chin up as they say in West Africa. But he literally has the upper hand. We want to see elephants, the elephant, an elephant, a calf! Time spent bargaining to save a few cedis is opportunity lost. “Let’s go.” We offer up our faces to be washed from the chin up, the questers in all of us now in full throttle. Along with Kevin, half of the students file like a pack of circus animals into a pickup with a cage built around its bed. The other half, under my supervision, climb onto the open bed of a pickup and sit on the benches arranged around the perimeter. I sit in the cab with the driver. Several minutes into the drive, I look through the cab’s back windshield: A class-action lawsuit stares back at me, for the students are swaying to the rocking motion of the truck on the narrow, uneven, crunchy-gravel road. A sudden pitch of the vehicle, a sting by a wasp or fly-by of a bat disoriented by daylight could startle and easily send one or more of the questers overboard. It occurs to me to order the driver to turn around and return to the visitor center. But I do not. The allure of seeing elephants in their natural habitat, of enabling these questers to, perhaps, live out private fantasies as reincarnations of explorers and
world view magazine
was it that a saner elephant decided against confronting his puny chasers. Eventually, to avoid a fast approaching second hour and twenty-five more dollars, we jump back into our vehicles and take the slow ride to the visitor center. It was our second disappointment of the day. Despite our forbearance, nature walk, vehicle chase, and wait in front of the bush, we depart from Mole without seeing even a ghost of an elephant. Then, to add to the disappointment of not achieving our goal, the bus’s gas tank springs a leak on the return trek on the Fulfuso-Salwa washboard. It is late morning, and the sun has already begun incinerating the world; we do not know where to find a mechanic or repair shop. The situation has all the ingredients necessary to evolve into a crisis. But it is a sign of how Mole has marked questers that they respond to our predicament with little agitation, urgency, or fear. Almost as if they recognize that machines exist in a cycle of smooth operation, wear and tear, breakdown and repair, questers file out of the bus quietly and fan
out, seeking shade under trees and the thatched eaves of nearby buildings. Some plug into the chirps and tones of their electronic devices; others sleep; and still others break bread. The tank will be repaired when it is repaired, all in good Mole time and rhythm. Few of the 2010 questers returned home from that Mole trip gushing with excitement to tell of their elephant encounters in an African “jungle.” But all of them returned home wiser, in the unspoken but knowing way of an ancient mariner amid a group of garrulous young ones just returned from a theme-park boat ride. These days questers smile and say nothing when a family member, friend, work or roommate fusses that a food order is taking too long, moans about road and traffic conditions, or goes frantic in efforts to meet a deadline or when they encounter the unexpected. Questers have seen worse, but, more importantly, they know that events begin and cycle out in their own good time and that, sometimes, riding out the cycle is the best and only response.
Journal snaps courtesy of the author.
© raymond whyte, dreamstime.com
adventurers like David Livingstone, Mary Kingsley, Christopher Columbus, Amelia Earhart or Steve Irwin, builds with every pitch of the vehicle. The 2010 chase, actually a slow ride, is on. After about ten minutes, the driver stops the pickup, jumps out, signals us to follow, and heads toward a gallery of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation. Questers scramble behind him through weeds and tall grass, around small trees, over ant mounds, and on soggy clumps of soil for one hundred yards until he holds up his hand, like a captain signaling his troops to stop on the outskirts of the sleeping enemy’s camp. “Dere.” He points to a particularly tangled section of the gallery from which comes what sounds like the rustling of leaves and the snapping and breaking of twigs and branches. Yet, no elephant appears. Suddenly, a three-person party plus its rifle-toting ranger emerges from around the bush. Yes! They had seen an elephant and, as confirmation of sorts, they show us undated pictures of one on their cameras. But we have not traveled 7,000 miles to be satisfied with digital images. We want the real McCoy, the bulky, in-the-flesh, antediluvian pachyderm! So we watch and wait, wait and watch. “E dey dere,” our driver reassures us after he and the driver of the other vehicle have made half-hearted attempts to hack away some of the vegetation for, supposedly, a clearer view. However, neither his reassurance nor the sound of twigs and branches carries the conviction of an imminent elephant appearance. We peer and crane our necks as if by such manipulations we could conjure the beast into appearing. We continue to watch and wait, wait and watch, the sun spitting hot needles into our skins. No elephant emerges, and we cannot, dare not, venture any closer. If the elephant charged, nothing except twenty paces and twelve-inch tall clumps of caked mud lay between it and a trampled fate for one or more of us. Of course, as a former sprinter who nostalgically believes he ran the hundred meters in under ten seconds at the 1979 West African University Games in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, I bristle at the thought that I could not outrun and outmaneuver this ponderous animal. But luckily for all of us, the saner part of me prevails, and we do not creep closer or enter the bush — or
Funding Your Study Abroad... ...With Scholarships, Awards and Financial Aid Students often assume it is more expensive to study abroad than to remain on UT’s campus. However, many education abroad destinations offer lower tuition and cost of living. Meet with a financial aid counselor to determine how financial aid will be applied towards your education abroad program. In most cases, students can apply Federal Student Aid and Bright Futures Scholarships to education abroad experiences. Below are some opportunities for you to explore: EDUCATION ABROAD FUNDING SEARCHES www.iefa.org • www.studyabroadfunding.org • http://www.gooverseas.com/
THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS EDUCATION ABROAD AWARD www.ut.edu/international Students with a 3.0 GPA and at least 28 credit hours on their UT transcript are eligible to apply for a $1,000 education abroad award each semester and a $500 award each summer. Deadlines: Spring programs — Nov. 1; Summer and Fall programs — March 1.
PROGRAM PROVIDER SCHOLARSHIPS Most program providers offer both merit and need-based aid. Consult the provider’s website for available scholarships, deadlines and other details. Also contact your education abroad advisor as some program providers make their aid available through the UT Office of International Programs.
PHI KAPPA PHI www.phikappaphi.org/Web/Awards Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants are designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Forty-five $1,000 grants are awarded each year. Students do not need to be a member of Phi Kappa Phi to apply.
INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION AWARDS www.iie.org/Students The Institute for International Education, IIE, offers several scholarship programs. The Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship is available to students who are U.S. citizens and who receive a Federal Pell Grant. Boren Awards are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) and focus on geographic areas, languages and fields of study critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in education abroad. Freeman-ASIA provides scholarships to help fund study programs in East and Southeast Asia.
FUND FOR EDUCATION ABROAD www.fundforeducationabroad.com The FEA is committed to increasing the opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. BRIDGING SCHOLARSHIPS www.bridgingfoundation.org/ The US-Japan Bridging Foundation awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduates to study for one semester or academic year in Japan.
ROTARY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS www.rotary.org/en/StudentsAndYouth/EducationalPrograms The Ambassadorial Scholarship aims to further international understanding among people of different countries and geographical areas. The program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students. Please note that some of the scholarship deadlines could be at least a year in advance of your intended semester abroad, so it is important investigate your options early.
Learn more by contacting: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS Education Abroad (813) 258-7433 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.ut.edu/international
Near Chefchaouen, Morocco
I DREAM OF A LAND ACROSS THE SEA Story and photos by Santiago Echeverry, MPS
I missed the wonderful view of Gibraltar when we were crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Africa for the first time in my life. While all my American colleagues were taking pictures from the ferry’s viewing deck, I was the first person in the immigration line, a process that is done in the boat in order to speed the arrival of the passengers in Morocco. 10
AMERICANS DON’T HAVE TO WORRY, that is why they could be the last ones in the queue: they just show their blue passports and enter most of the countries in the world without having to worry about permits. It is not the case with a Colombian passport: you have to struggle and pay a lot of money to prove you are a decent non-drug trafficking, visa-deserving world-class citizen. The long wait for the immigration officer gave me the chance to speak with the man standing behind me, Ayoub, a handsome 28-year-old native of Tangier on his way to visit his family for a week. He spoke a little French but we communicated in Spanish. He had an Arabic accent that to me sounded very exotic. He was one of the lucky few legal immigrants in Spain — with 20% national unemployment — that had a job as a mechanic in Seville, cleaning gigantic fuel tanks and breathing toxic fumes all day. He was single and smoked two packs of cigarettes per day. He was proud of his Schengen work visa and showed it to me as a precious award. He played soccer on Sundays and went to the woods for mushroom hunting with his friends. He came to Tangier every three months on vacation. He planned on making a lot of money in Europe to send back to his family, but he did not think he would ever return to his country. He told me he had 7 brothers and sisters and that his mother was very old and sick. She was 58 years old.
58! I opened my eyes in total shock and told him my mother was 78 and still working! He could not believe it. Completely unaware of his reality, I explained his mom was not old at all and she had an entire future ahead of her. He did not believe me. He was convinced she could die soon. The immigration officer arrived. My passport was stamped without any problems and I was ready to enter legally the country of the Atlas Mountains. During our lectures, I learned that 95% of Morocco’s population is younger than 65 and 70% is younger than 40! No wonder why Ayoub was worried about his mother! You are considered old after your mid-life crisis. Walking in the streets of the medinas, I understood why so many of these young men and women are willing to sacrifice so much to leave their beautiful country. Yes: you can have food, and culture and music — just like Mexico — but if you can see a land across the sea that may provide better chances of staying alive longer, in a more egalitarian society on top of that, you are going to do whatever you can to cross that border. New technologies and tourists are showing these young people what they are missing in their own countries. They may start a revolution at home to change things around — and we saw a spark of it
with the 2011 Arab Spring — but why wait decades for these changes to arrive when they may come faster by jumping a fence? One of our speakers told us the story of a man that threw his 9-month-old baby over the 10 ft barbed wire fence that surrounds Ceuta — the Spanish city on the Mediterranean Moroccan coast. After catching the baby in her fall, a stunned Spanish soldier asked the father why. He replied the baby was sick and that in Spanish territory, because of their universal health care policy, the baby would receive a free treatment that would save her life. The soldier ran immediately to the nearest Spanish hospital, saving the girl’s life. But does everyone want to leave? Some are forced to emigrate for political reasons when they do not agree with the king, when they are not imprisoned. But it is definitely a minority. There is also a brain drainage happening in the country, with very intelligent men and women seeking a better education abroad, mostly in France. But emigration is definitely not a big issue on a larger scale, not as it would be portrayed in the media in Latin America. Morocco is big enough with plenty of resources to sustain its own people, even human resources. When I asked a group of agricultural workers if they were worried Chefchaouen, Morocco
The Medina of Tétouan, Morocco
about their kids not taking care of the land when they left to the big cities or to another country looking for better opportunities, they all laughed and said that if one of their children left they still had 9 more to pick up the job. However, I am in a position that allows me to understand those who left or are willing to leave their cultures. As an immigrant in the USA, having faced the fear of deportation, intolerance and discrimination in my journey, I realize there are deep personal reasons that sometimes cannot be quantified. Each emigrant has his or her own story that in the end will affect — for the better in my perspective — the hosting country. And this is my role as a foreigner educating citizens of the world: to open the eyes of newer generations to the contribution of intermingling cultures — not only on a technological level, my academic field, but also on a personal and creative aspect. Even if we improve their life standards, Moroccans will see Europe across the Mediterranean and still dream about discovering that “new” continent 8.1 miles away from them, just like I would have loved to climb any of the mountains in Chefchaouen just to explore what was behind them. I might have liked it, and stayed there. It’s human nature. world view magazine
Recognizing the importance of the U.S.-China relationship, President Barack Obama announced the â€œ100,000 Strongâ€? initiative in 2009 with hopes to increase the number of American students studying in China. The University of Tampa strives to be a part of this important cultural exchange by sending faculty, students, and advisory board members to China to learn and exchange ideas. Likewise, the university is enriched by international students from China, who contribute to the cultural landscape of our campus community in Tampa. In this feature section, University of Tampa professors, domestic students and international students reflect upon their experiences in China.
Our Road Through China by Joshua Hall, Ph.D., John Stinespring, Ph.D. and Alex Tan, Ph.D. Photos by Alex Tan, Ph.D.
Top left: Dr. Liv Coleman, Assistant Professor, Government and World Affairs, and Dr. John Stinespring, Associate Professor, Economics, participate on an international faculty development seminar in China. Professor Coleman was a recipient of one of six annual International Programs faculty development awards. Professor Stinespring was supported by a Department of Education grant encouraging research on the economies of Brazil, India, China, and Argentina.
OUR JOURNEY THROUGH THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA BEGAN AFTER A FATIGUING 13-HOUR FLIGHT from the capital of the United States to the capital of China, Beijing. We arrived in the sweltering heat of Beijing in early June with little Chinese money and even fewer language skills. But what we lacked in currency and culture, we made up in enthusiasm. During our visit we climbed the Great Wall, toured the world’s largest industrial complex, visited 1000 year-old sites, and received lectures from Chinese academics, politicians, businessmen, and tour guides. A final ride on the world-famous high-speed bullet train from the financial capital, Shanghai, back to the airport brought our journey to a close. In this short piece, we reflect on the lessons learned from these travels about China’s astonishing economic growth, its challenges and contradictions, and what to expect in the future. After landing, we made our way through customs and took our first of many cab rides. The unprecedented growth of the country — nearly 10 percent per year since the reforms in 1979 — was immediately evident as we drove through the first “ring” (concentric highway) of Beijing. A view from above shows how many rings have been added in the last few years and
how the city has grown exponentially. A simple Google maps perspective makes this clear. There are now 7 rings containing as many people as the state of Florida. This is symbolic of the growth of the country as a whole. Our hostel in Beijing was just 3 blocks from the Forbidden City, the home of the past emperors. Beijing is both the political and historic epicenter of China and the first thing one notices is the sheer scale of government structures in Beijing. From the enormous walls and moat of the Forbidden City to the sprawl of Tiananmen Square and adjacent Chinese Communist Party (CCP) headquarters, one cannot help but feel like an ant within the political capital. It was in the Forbidden City where emperors decided how the peasants would serve them and where emperors would maintain control over early technology such as sundials. Later it became the CCP headquarters which promulgated the “One Child Policy” and the rules governing the migration of workers. Today Beijing is where the allocation of domestic investments is determined. To the north stands a hill compiled by the peasant workers from the displaced dirt dug up from the Forbidden City’s moat. Atop this hill is a perfect view of the Forbidden City and the
rest of Beijing, and 5 symmetric temples. Such symmetry and order was of great symbolic importance to rulers past and present. The tone for the country is set in Beijing. Prior to 1978, there was little desire for economic growth. Noted journalist Paul French explained to us that 95 percent of the population lived on less than 125 US dollars a year, but everyone was equal. Wages were not based on productivity so there was little incentive to increase efficiency. Taxes on farmland were high, providing little incentive to do much with land. The result was frequent starvation and decades of economic stagnation. Only after the death of Mao Zedong could reform occur. Though Chinese pay homage to him in the statues that adorn the schools and parks we visited, the students and people we spoke to had few illusions about the suffering endured under his Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward. Post-Mao governments changed the tone in the late 1970s and began a long process of granting additional rights and market reforms. Enjoying rapid economic growth and social and political stability, they have eschewed the Marxist ideal of class struggle and instead want their people to embrace their idea of “Harmonious Society.” For world view magazine
historical support, economist Shen Dingli told us that the CCP is embracing Mao’s nemesis, Confucius, whose writings emphasize obedience to rank and natural order. This is one clear lesson we will pass on to our students: culture matters for economic growth and a government that can influence it can use it to help steer its economy. Before leaving Beijing, we visited the Great Wall. The two-hour taxi ride ranged from frightening to absolutely terrifying. Though communist China is officially atheist, one immediately turns to prayer when swerving in and out of both incoming and ongoing traffic. Our driver appeared to be sober (and even smiling!), giving us the ride of our (tragically-cut-short?) lives. Thankfully, we arrived, stomachs being relocated to our throats, and experienced the unforgettable views from on top of the wall. The wall, situated in an extremely mountainous part of northern China, was built to protect the Chinese from Mongolian forces and nomadic tribes. Though the wall was ultimately unsuccessful, it remains a symbol of the history and pride of China. Beijing was the first half of the journey, and our next stop was Shanghai. We traveled by train on one of the many rail lines that crisscross the immense country. Our 11-hour ride would take us through the countryside, giving us first-hand views of the CCP’s economic policies. We left Beijing in the early morning and, in hindsight, embarked on a ride that symbolized our time in China. The trip took us near many 14
of the coastal development areas — Tianjin, Tantai, Qingdao, Lianyungage and Nantong. In these cities, international commerce was allowed and flourished. These were examples of the government’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ) which serve as a sort of natural experiment allowing for different tax systems, economic freedoms, and even political structures. The first SEZs developed when manufacturing overtook agriculture as the leading industry. As China opened up to trade, foreign capital entered into the country. The coastal areas experienced tremendous economic growth. What the government learned from the early SEZ experiments it was now applying to cities within the interior. From our vantage
private and foreign investment — because the return to government investment was declining. This is an idea called diminishing returns to capital, one of the most important concepts taught in economics courses. To avoid diminishing returns, the government decided to turn its attention inland where poverty was still widespread, labor remained cheap, and investment was low. Infrastructure — roads, bridges, rail, communication technologies, internet access — was poor. According to economist Jun Zhang, this is one way that China will maintain its tremendous growth in the decade ahead. Government investment in infrastructure in the inland areas is designed to encourage private and international
point on the train, we saw entire cities being built to support manufacturing — not just individual buildings but entire cities. While some were teeming with people others were ghostly, like an apocalyptic movie set straight out of Hollywood. Later we would learn that these were cities merely awaiting the government-enacted transplantation of entire towns from the redesigned coastal areas to these newlybuilt metropolises. The coastal areas were being redesigned by the government — and partly financed by
investment in those areas. This concept, known as “crowding-in,” is discussed little in the United States, but is important in developing countries. Western policy makers worry about “crowding-out,” whereby government investment reduces private investment. This is another important example to be illustrated in our economics courses. As we neared Shanghai, we came across another of China’s controlled experiments that has contributed to their growth — the Suzhou Industrial Park
(SIP). This 288 square kilometer area is the home to thousands of multinational corporations taking advantage of lower corporate tax rate and already-established infrastructure. Black & Decker, for example, made this SIP home in 1998 and resides in their export friendly zone. While Black & Decker still struggles with brand recognition in China, the SIP gives them the opportunity to be part of the tremendous growth of the Asia region. Finally, we arrived in Shanghai, China’s financial capital. While manufacturing is
still the dominant industry in the country, Shanghai represents the new 5-year plan for the country: a transition of alreadydeveloped coastal regions away from manufacturing toward more service-oriented sectors. It is home to China’s stock market and dozens of universities. Party Secretary Sun Chao — one of 9 secretaries in Shanghai — devotes 20 million US dollars to universities each year in his district alone. His district provides the buildings and tax holidays to financial institutions that move to the district while manufacturing plants are
being moved inland to “sister” cities, such as Suzhou. The focus on the environment is unparalleled to anywhere else in the country, with a free bike sharing program, electronic buses, and the removal of highpolluting factories. The skills and technology required for a world-class service sector factor prominently in the government’s current economic plan. They have committed to significant increases in expenditures on education and the rule of law along with a new focus on research and development. While investment in areas with a high marginal product of capital and industrial parks that bring in multinational corporations will support growth in the short run, it is those policies that will sustain the growth beyond the next 5-year plan. In short, China exemplifies the transition from agriculture to manufacturing to services. By almost every economic measure, reform has been a success. There is an urgency to keep growing and an unstoppable desire to move up in society. From the early agricultural reforms to the manufacturing initiatives and more recent financial sector development, the output of the country increased by a factor of 200 within 32 years. With more than 1 million college graduates a year, it may be possible for China to sustain its extraordinary economic growth in the decades to come. world view magazine
SHANGHAI: a city built on speed by Liv Coleman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Government & World Affairs Photo by Alex Tan, Ph.D.
hina’s biggest city is one of skyscrapers built seemingly overnight, millions of upwardly mobile consumers, and soaring markets for everything from housing to luxury goods. Racing from the airport to city center, Maglev trains carry passengers at speeds of up to 268 miles an hour, the fastest in the world. The thrill of danger is commonplace, with throngs of cars breaking around corners, nearly clipping pedestrians — or maybe that was just me struggling to get my bearings. Our travel group spent a lot of time just staring up at the Shanghai skyline, a symbol of China’s rise to become the second-largest economy in the world. Pudong, the glittering business center of the city, bestrides the Huangpu river with its striking, ultra-modern buildings. They light up in bright colors at night, illuminating pleasure boats and wandering tourists below. The Bund, a historic district, lines the other side of the river with buildings that date from Shanghai’s raucous 1930s. We spent one evening
in a jazz club at the historic Peace Hotel, a renovated art deco masterpiece. One of the hardest things to convey in my political science courses is the speed of economic development in China. Building cranes in Shanghai helped me appreciate this rush more viscerally, but it was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that much of what I was seeing wasn’t even there ten years ago. Shanghai has grown to a city of 23 million — a “city of dreams” for a burgeoning middle class and poor migrant workers alike. The city has eleven subway lines running on 434 kilometers of tracks, nearly all built in the last ten years. It boasts the world’s busiest port, and the regional headquarters for 305 multinational corporations. Our trip had many highlights based around the international faculty development seminar theme of economic development and urban transformation. We donned hard hats for a trip to a state-owned steel mill, visited the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, and got an up-
close look at business strategy at a Fortune 500 American company in an industrial park. Another day, we visited a Shanghai courthouse, an opulent building with a picture of traditional execution devices on the lobby wall. We asked tough questions over lunch of Sun Chao, Communist Party chief of the Minhang district of Shanghai. A key theme that emerged from these excursions is that the Chinese Communist Party still firmly guides the pace of change and seeks to retain control. The underside of this rapid economic development became apparent especially after our trip concluded. In July, a bullet train accident near Wenzhou left close to 40 dead by official count. Some of the train cars were buried, possibly to cover up evidence about the accident. Just weeks earlier, Chinese officials had been touting the bullet trains as a symbol of the country’s national development. The accident rekindled concerns about official corruption and an obsession with development at the expense of public safety. A Chinese television news
WORLD VIEW STUDENT PROFILE: Xiao Liu
by Rosa Mercado
anchor made a plaintive appeal: “China, please slow down. If you’re too fast, you may leave the souls of your people behind.” Amidst our hectic travel schedule, the most memorable evening of my trip was one spent in the city of Suzhou, a short drive from Shanghai. Suzhou is known as the “Venice of the East” for its network of canals and beautiful traditional gardens. At a tea house there, we listened to songs about Suzhou and sipped tea from clear glasses with blooming flowers inside. I ate chou doufu (“smelly tofu”) from a street vendor, watched a puppet play deemed part of world cultural heritage by UNESCO, saw stray dogs scamper about, and conversed with my hosts in Chinese over dinner — another feast — about what we had seen that day. At night in Suzhou, the gondolas light up their red lanterns. The boatsmen plough their oars into the murky waters with long glides. The rest of us, we linger and watch. The best way to appreciate a visit to China, with all its dizzying changes and contradictions, is to drink it in slowly.
When international student Xiao “Monica” Liu arrived in the United States from her native Beijing, China, she was a bit disoriented. It was her first trip to the U.S. and the 22-year-old was filled with nervous excitement. She found herself lost in a crowded New York airport as she searched for the gate to board her connecting flight to Florida, where she would begin studies at The University of Tampa. Getting lost may be Liu’s first experience in America, but the help she received from a stranger is what she remembers most. “There was a policeman who was so nice who helped me find my way,” Liu says of the officer who guided her to her gate. “He told me ‘Don’t worry, Florida is a beautiful place — you made a good choice!” Liu says she is glad she decided to study in the U.S. The Marketing major found adjustment to American culture easy due to the friendliness of strangers who helped her settle into her new life as an international student in America. Liu smiles as she remembers her arrival at the UT campus for the fall 2011 semester. “The first day I came here, I met an undergraduate student in the elevator,” Liu says. “He took me around campus and showed me where everything was. He was just a normal student who didn’t have class that day.” Location is another reason Liu says she’s glad she chose UT. “I love the sea, and the beach,” says Liu. “It’s so beautiful — I’m so glad I picked this place”. Liu, who studied International Business as an undergrad in China, says she discovered UT on the internet. “I’m very interested in marketing and read online that UT has very good business programs,” says Liu. After graduation, she hopes to utilize her passion for marketing to help others. One source of inspiration was a principle she learned in her Brand Management class. “A real marketer’s job is making changes to people’s life in a positive manner,” Liu explains. “That is exactly my aspiration of life.” Every road to cultural adjustment has a few bumps — such as language or communication barriers. Liu says she learned and practiced English throughout her school years in China. However, since English is not her first language, it takes a bit more focus. “I am an international student, so the pressure here is with having to listen very carefully,” says Liu. When she’s not in class or working part time in the UT campus library, Liu says she enjoys going to the beach and Curtis Hixon Riverfront Park in downtown Tampa, or just grabbing a bite to eat with friends. What’s Liu’s favorite American food? “Cheeseburgers,” she says. “Chinese food in the U.S. is different from the food in China. My mom’s food is my favorite food back home — she makes Kung Pao chicken, tofu, and soups,” Liu explains. “The food here is much sweeter than Chinese food back home.” Liu’s circle of friends includes other international students from various parts of the world. She loves the diversity of her social group, enjoys learning about the cultural backgrounds of her friends, and sharing her Asian culture. Liu says having an open mind and being able to adjust to anything are key ingredients for a successful experience as an international student in the U.S. “It’s all about experience,”says Liu. “Be open-minded to different cultures, and don’t have stereotypes of other people — no matter where they come from.” world view magazine
A Visit to the Warrior Mountain: a Hike Around Kawa Karpo
Story and photos by Scott Alan Husband, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology
I was standing at the base of Kawa Karpo, a mountain sacred to the local residents. The summer sky was clear blue and the air cool, with intermittent flashes of glare from small pockets of ice and snow that still clung to the mountain. his mountain is considered to be the body of a warrior spirit; not only local legend, but the fact that no one has ever successfully climbed it (and a few have died in the attempt) solidified my respect for Kawa Karpo. Since arriving in Yunnan Province in southwestern China, my seminar colleagues and I had been learning about this region and Tibetan religion, ecology, and cultural identity. Most prominent in my mind now as I looked at the mountain was our seminar leader Dan Smyer Yu’s lecture entitled “Mountain Deities and Ritualized Relation of Land and Human Dwelling.” The deep connection between the people and the land was palpable; I could both intellectually understand as well as feel why legends and folklore were so deeply rooted in the land and inspired by these mountains. The day before the hike we had arrived in Shangri-la, where I would say our offi-
cial immersion and contact with Tibetans truly began. Prior to 2001 and Shangri-la’s renaming to attract tourists, this particular “Shangri-la” was a moderately-sized, mostly ethnic Tibetan town named Zongdian. Modern Shangri-la is a fascinating mix of old Tibetan village and new Chinese architecture. Leaving Shangri-la on the morning of our hike, we experienced a harrowing bus ride through massive highway construction. Then, after a steep hike down a series of forested trails, we arrived at the Shangri-la Institute’s eco-lodge within the Baima Xueshan Nature Reserve at the foot of Kawa Karpo. We set out the next morning after breakfast for a day’s hike towards the mountain. The thin air (we hiked around 3,000 meters, or roughly 9,000 feet) taxed my breathing at times, and by mid-day we took a much needed break for lunch. We stopped at a nomad’s camp, and visited a family that spent a few months in these
pastures grazing their livestock. They shared a gracious meal of local Tibetan fare including tsamba (a barley flour and butter tea mixture), yak momos (Tibetan dumplings with yak meat), vegetable dishes, and yak butter tea (an acquired taste). The family’s father kept our tea cups full and also attended to churning yogurt in huge wooden casks. He sang a traditional song that not only helped him to pass the time but to keep track of the number of churns completed. Several hours later we made it closer to the base of Kawa Karpo, where there was again time for rest, photographs, and reflection. On the return hike to the ecolodge, my fatigue instantly vanished when I encountered a male Yak. I had inadvertently gotten in between him and a female while crossing a small stream and he began to charge my guide, Gomba, and I. Some shouting and waving of our walking sticks sent him back on track to focus on the female he was pursuing. The return hike also brought some rain, but that didn’t dampen my spirits one bit. Dinner that evening included the trading of songs between our local Tibetan hosts and our group, along with traditional dancing. This day was by far the best of many great days in the seminar; it seamlessly combined body, mind, and
spirit as I hiked, reflected on the academic lectures, and experienced this awe-inspiring landscape infused with such deep cultural significance. Participation in the international faculty development seminar to study Tibetan culture has had a big impact on me personally and professionally. The trip deepened my interest in meditation practices and their effects on the brain, as well as the evolution of supernatural and religious beliefs in human societies. My experiences have enriched several courses I teach at UT, as well as my scholarship, in ways I could not have imagined prior to actually going on the trip. In the seminar, I became aware of a religion called, “Bon”, whose adherents in Tibet are called “Bonpo.” This religion predates Buddhism’s arrival into China and Tibet. It has many surface similarities to Buddhism, mixed with animistic concepts and deities inhabiting the natural world. In my Evolutionary Psychology course, we discuss how archeological artifacts from early hominids (ancestors of modern Homo sapiens) indicate a growing level of cognition and development of beliefs in a spiritual realm (e.g., totemic cave paintings, burial rituals for the dead). I am creating an entirely new unit for this course on the fundamentals of
religions across cultures, and whether such universal human inventions reflect the function of the human brain as it evolved. I am already integrating other material inspired by my trip into my courses as well (e.g., states of consciousness material in my Behavioral Neuroscience course). In my scholarship, I am exploring the intersection of brain areas with deep meditative practices. Tibetan Buddhism is one of the earliest systematic introspective traditions, predating the introspection methods of early psychologists by hundreds of years. Ancient Tibetan ideas about consciousness legitimately point the way to interesting avenues of research that can be combined with modern neuroscience techniques. Numerous recent studies regarding meditation effects on the brains of Buddhist monks, particularly changes in the prefrontal and parietal cortex, illustrate that these long-held practices have measurable correlates in brain function. After my experiences in southern China, which were enabled by the generous financial and administrative support of the University of Tampa, I have a renewed sense of mission in exploring these topics, sharing them with my students, and contributing to these areas of research.
world view magazine
DAN MIXA My Internship in Beijing This past summer I interned with China Entrepreneur Magazine. Before I arrived in Beijing I had been studying Mandarin Chinese for two semesters at two prestigious schools in Shanghai. When most Americans think of China, they imagine it to be a communist country with a strong authoritative government. My internship and my year abroad in China gave me a great perspective of what China is really like; I came to realize that I felt more free in China than I do in the United States. China has grown into a progressive, successful, and modern country that has a flourishing, relatively free market. During the time of my internship my Chinese was very good: but far from fluent. With exception of one of my coworkers and my supervisor, none of my coworkers could speak English. My communication with my coworkers had to be done in Mandarin Chinese. Communication with my coworkers significantly helped me improve my Chinese. My tasks included proofreading translated articles, providing captions for magazine segments, providing insight, contacting foreign sources, and light translation. Though I do not have any plans to become a reporter, this was an invaluable experience that has directly contributed to my future goals and aspirations. Various experiences enriched the value of my internship. This past July, I was called to attend a boardroom meeting to discuss China Entrepreneur’s edition on Africa. Many of the top reporters, managers, and editors attended the meeting. Though the meeting was conducted in Chinese, I could understand about 60% of what was covered (my supervisor later informed me on the parts that I missed). I was asked to research and provide information on many African issues. In addition, since English is my first language, I was asked to email/contact people in Nigeria that could help with stories on that region. The managers of the company also asked for my assistance on the creation of a Facebook and Twitter page for China Entrepreneur. After a long discussion I informed them that the creation of these pages would not be a great idea; first because these sites cannot be accessed in China, and secondly because China Entrepreneur’s competitors already had these pages (in which all of these pages had fewer than one hundred followers, which made these pages look unsuccessful). After I graduate I will be returning to China to find work; I want to live and work in China. My internship experience has allowed me to further understand the Chinese office setting and business within China. In addition, my internship has allowed me to gain invaluable language and communication skills. Since China Entrepreneur is such a reputable magazine, this internship experience has strengthened my resume and will help me secure an affluent job once I return to China. Overall my experiences in China are priceless and I can’t wait to start my career there. China is the new land of opportunity. 20
UT Professors Steven Geisz and Ronald Kuntze were invited to China to guest lecture at Sias International University, a private college affiliated with Zhengzhou University in the Henan Province, in the summer of 2011. While Dr. Geisz is a veteran traveler throughout China, it was Dr. Kuntze’s first experience in the host country. Below are some of his first impressions in the ancient city of Xinzheng.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS by Ronald Kuntze, Ph. D. I found a lot of surprises in China — first the contrast between modernity and the peasant past. It was not uncommon to see a new BMW racing down the road, passing a small mule team pulling a load, which would in turn be passing a single barefoot man maneuvering an overburdened rickshaw-like cart full of branches. In class the first day — the air conditioning was not working, and the AC units were very high up near the ceiling. The gorgeous building we were in (tall, multi-story, granite and marble) looked incredibly impressive from the outside but was not unlike a 1960’s era classroom inside — old, rough sounding AC units struggling with the heat, tiny cheap wooden mini-table chair combinations not unlike those I had used back in the day. There were also no working controls for the AC system that we could access. So a ‘team’ of school construction workers stopped by to ‘fix’ the units by cleaning them out (they had apparently not been cleaned since construction, some 10 years previous). They did not bring a ladder or any obvious tools; they simply began stacking the unused chair/table combos up to reach the AC units some 15 feet up. We continued teaching while one of the workers dangerously scampered up the eight or nine precariously wobbling desks and pried open the front of each unit, allowing years of dirt and dust to fall to the floor. Students moved their seats to the side (but not far enough if the leaning tower of desks/ chairs were to fall — nor far enough to miss some of the falling debris). While this occurred my co-professor and I looked on incredulously. About 30 minutes later they were done — about a hundred labor laws and OSHA violations would have occurred here in the U.S. — but they seemed happy with a job well done and the students remained totally unconcerned. And yes, nobody died (and no ladder or construction tool was harmed!).
Social Entrepreneurship in China Story and photos by Michael Weeks, Ph.D.
hen one thinks of manufacturing in China, images of large factories producing electronic goods often come to mind. However, venture beyond the large cities such as Shanghai, and you will encounter firms that challenge these preconceptions. During my three weeks in China, I encountered a new breed of entrepreneur in the lovely city of Shangri-La. Kesang Tashi is Dartmouth-educated and lives in New Hampshire. Fiercely proud of his Tibetan heritage, he has founded several entrepreneurial firms in the ethnically Tibetan regions of China. His mission is to preserve the traditional crafts and way of life of the Tibetan culture through sustainable enterprises. The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Tibetan culture since the region sits along ancient trade routes for silk and tea. Tashi accomplishes his social mission by establishing companies that manufacture items using traditional methods and importing them for sale into the U.S. and Europe. The items are also available in China through storefronts in areas with large tourist economies like Shangri-La. One of his primary start-ups manufactures wool rugs
in several shops in the ethnically Tibetan regions of China. The weaving tradition in the region dates to at least the 11th century according to Tashi. More recent activities have focused on weaving rugs for domestic consumption and until the 1940s the industry supplied saddle rugs for British troops in the region. In the 1980s Tashi became disillusioned with his career in the U.S. banking industry and sought a way to reconnect with his homeland in Tibet. After several trips to the region he decided that the best way to preserve the culture was to support the local traditions and he began recruiting master weavers to serve as mentors and managers for his enterprise. It can take up to 9 months to make a carpet using the Tibetan methods. Kashiâ€™s firm currently employs about 350 people in the region. Kashi views his social enterprise as a critical link that can help preserve and protect the heritage of the Tibetan people. China has over 50 distinct ethnic groups and Kashi has been working to popularize his social entrepreneurship ideas so that other groups may also benefit from this economic model.
world view magazine
It’s a pro forma icebreaker and much more. Our seminar leader at Jagellonian University (est. 1364) in Krakow recalls disarmingly a period of unhappiness during his undergraduate days in Chicago. He inspires us to be as much ourselves as possible when it’s our turn to speak, so beyond saying where and what I teach, I admit I’m working on a novel, looking for a better understanding of my narrator’s early life here. (Thereafter, I’m “the novelist,” as another is “the historian,” and another “the journalist.”) The group of nearly 20 — university professors, actually, and one high school teacher, and the two in charge from CIEE — is reassuringly interested and warm. It’s my first academic seminar overseas, my resistance to organized tours giving way when I saw the title:
RUINANDREVIVAL: History, Modern Memory, and Identity. Poland and Germany.
by Lisa Birnbaum, Ph.D. ’ve wanted to see Poland, but also to return to Berlin, where a shard of my identity and just a little bit of my memory might be revived from 1979, that year I lived there. And where another wall, one in the novel I’m trying to finish by the end of summer, might yield at my return. I almost stayed to marry a German, and isn’t that old life in the novel somewhere, revived, in new pieces, new people? That first evening we dine at the famous 14th century Restaurant Wierzynek, delighted by the old-world elegance, the sort of place where waiters lift silver covers off entrees in rapid sequence. The next few days familiarize us with the tempo and truer nature of the tour. It is indeed quickly paced, but with a grim tone: by Day 3 we’re at Auschwitz. I’ll never be prepared, of course, for that, but I’ve been doing as much reading as possible. All spring and into June, I’ve been carrying around Tony Judt’s Postwar: The History of Europe Since 1945. I’m not “the historian,” so the book, almost a thousand pages, has been essential — though I’m only on page 463 when we get there. I’ve read some others on the list: The Uses and Abuses of History (McMillan) and Stasiland (Funder), the latter some of the finest literary nonfiction
Auschwitz death camp
you’ll find about communist life. The film The Lives of Others was also recommended, and is also impressive. The ruinous evidence of foreign occupations is here “in the shadow of Auschwitz,” as they say in Krakow. At the annual Jewish festival, with visitors and presenters and musicians from all over the world, “virtual Jewish culture” circulates for almost a week in the artificial shell of the old quarter. The oldest synagogue (16th century) in Poland, Remuh, still holds services for the few — I heard the number 120 several times — observant Jews who live in Krakow today. “Judaica devoid of Jews,” the journalist Konstanty Gebert described the phenomenon the day before, adding that it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about the sometimes “inauthentic” events conducted by “the descendants of the murderers, the accomplices, or the indifferent onlookers” of the Holocaust. (It’s now called not the “destruction” or the “annihilation” of Jews but more often the “killing” or “murder,” language that makes one more aware of each human life criminally taken.) Nonetheless, in his fascinating book Living in the Land of Ashes, Gebert writes that it is wrong to criticize any such cultural effort for its “ill will or artistic tawdriness.” We later attend a talk at the fledgling Jewish Community Center by Jan Gross, who grew up in Poland and is now Professor of War & Society at Princeton. He discusses his research into pogroms such as the one he wrote about in Neighbors (2001) — in 1941, in a single day, 1,600 Jews were killed by their fellow townspeople, without Nazi coercion. The book caused great controversy, though the facts were drawn from municipal records. His appearance here in Krakow so concerned our seminar leader we were asked not to speak about it ahead of time. Equally powerful is Gross’ Fear, a gruesome account of post-Holocaust anti-Semitic violence. In 1946, non-Jewish Poles in several towns killed hundreds of returning survivors, and Gross asserts the guilty did not want to be reminded of the spoliation of Jewish property in which they had participated and upon which their livelihoods then relied. At Auschwitz we try to imagine the little town’s flourishing community of Jews, at
Above and top right: the Berlin Wall Memorial with reconstructed tower; right: a section of “Stumbling Blocks”
the bustling intersection of international train lines, along a river, all surprisingly ordinary before the Nazis chose it especially for those features of its excellent location. The last Jew died recently, having stayed on for reasons we can not imagine after seeing a film of contented survivors of Oszpicin (its Polish name) now living in Israel. Several of our program speakers steadfastly assert that we can accept coexisting narratives about the Polish role in the Holocaust — they were heroes, they were victims themselves, they were blackmailers and murderers — even if we cannot reconcile them. “It’s our only hope,” one concludes. After four days or so, we fly to Berlin, and I am relieved and thrilled to find that bisected town of my memory now thriving in its openness. More than two decades have elapsed since the Wall came down, but its absence has the effect of fresh, exciting news. Especially in Berlin, our seminar themes guide us: Arts, Literature and Culture; Institutions and Education; and Place and Memorial. Just outside our hotel in the former East Berlin, as on many streets all over Europe, is a small part of the largest artwork in the world, “Stumbling Blocks,” begun by Gunter Demnig in 1994. A pedestrian’s
eye might be caught by a small shiny cobblestone standing out from the others, almost underfoot. On closer inspection, he will see a name engraved in the brass, of a previous resident of the neighborhood, with the date of his or her deportation to a concentration camp. Below that, the date of death. It is a distressing recognition that every day we walk over the past, all its horrors, mostly unaware. At the Berlin Wall Memorial Site, the original inner and outer walls loom, reconstructed to show the sequence of obstacles facing a would-be escapee. Midway across the Death Strip stands a display of photographs of those 136 killed there, surprisingly few, even with eight defecting guards counted. The museum director told us that when the Wall came down in 1989, someone had inconceivably rescued two of the guard towers, probably more than 30 feet high, from the euphoric, destructive celebration. When reconstruction began at this central site about five years ago, no tower could be found among the ruins. Knowing it was essential, the director had no choice but to purchase one of them, miraculously intact, on ebay. The design decisions of curators and board members fascinate our group. The world view magazine
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
At Humboldt Box, project headquarters for the Berliner Schloss, the Berlin Palace in the center of the city, we find a dispute in progress. According to some, the project is outrageously wasteful in a time of great need, even if the massive expense for the reconstruction is privately funded. The East German government squandered a small fortune in 1950 demolishing the venerable structure. Now, to reconstruct a copy, four times as much is required. The scars of demolition will be deliberately exposed in some parts of the new building, an interesting mark of historical strife, then and now. “The past was used,” one speaker tells us, “for an array of political purposes.” During the Cold War, what happened during the Shoah was sometimes ignored in favor of other agendas. Still, Holocaust education Humboldt Box
has been mandated in German schools for a long time; though only in 1999 was it instituted in Poland. The general revival of institutions as well as the arts that one sees in the culture of Berlin has happened faster. Krakow is comparatively inexpensive to visit, the economy much weaker. Poland’s wartime losses were far worse, notably in human lives (one in five of the pre-war population, the highest percentage in Europe). Yet the memorials we have visited there do not equal these startling, heartbreaking, challenging ones in Berlin, perhaps partly because the imperative to confront the past is greater for Germans. They have had to afford it. In a fine restaurant at the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin’s main train station, our group savors a parting champagne toast to the grand and complicated city glittering beyond the broad windows. Many of us speak, again of identity, but not as we had as strangers at that first gathering in Krakow. To the group, I say my experience in these two countries has most of all been about the character and the imagination of the people whose stories we’ve encountered in the memorials and museums. But it is also about the character of my present companions… and my character, while living here at age 24 and now, at the end of a transformative journey. And it is also about the character in my novel, whose silence about her history and her refusal to believe in the past has begun to be explained by all we have seen. Identity is a matter of history, and even an invention of the imagination must live and breathe through memories.
Photos © dreamstime.com
stylish architecture of the Topography of Terror Historical Site & Museum strikes “the artist” among us as disconcerting, although the intent is for a visitor to see how elegant the displays of the Third Reich could sometimes be. What is apparently an art piece along a wall draws us, until we discover it is a collection of ghastly photographs and personal possessions of victims. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is an even more controversial design, and more moving — its maze of charcoal slabs surrounds interior rooms where one can hear recorded testimonies of survivors and read the words of victims. Some in our group take issue with the means of commemoration there and elsewhere, with monuments “telling us more about the people who erect them than about the events or people they’re made to honor.” A speaker at the museum refers to “fast-food commemoration,” the kind that gets gobbled up without much thought, processed experiences that don’t deliver consequential effects. Everywhere we witness the representation of history still in flux, something that can’t be grasped until one is close in, where the fighting over versions is more intense. “Witnesses are the enemy of historians,” someone ironically remarked. In spite of invaluable first-hand experience, their focus is inevitably small, tighter than an outsider’s overview, and their purposes often in conflict.
opportunities ABROAD JENNA TINNEY WAS AMAZED TO LEARN THAT REAL PEOPLE ACTUALLY PLAY POLO. The University of Tampa student was also surprised to find that although Americans and the British speak the same language, they cannot always be easily understood. Tinney, 20, spent the summer of 2011 interning for Captive Minds, an event marketing company in London. From the beginning, she realized this jump into such an exciting journey was different from any other work experience she had ever had. During one of Captive Minds’ biggest events, MINT Polo in the Park, Tinney says her American accent was just too thick for many of the prominent members of London society. “I had to put on a slight British accent just to communicate effectively,” says Tinney. More than 10,000 people attended the threeday polo extravaganza in Hurlingham Park, which won the London Sport Attraction of the Year award for 2010 and 2011. Tinney played an integral role in the meet and greet sessions by bringing players to meet their fans, escorted prominent guests and media to the press box, and also did some stargazing when cast members of the TV show Glee made appearances. Experienced at finding local internships while at UT, Tinney wanted to broaden her experience
by Katie DeGuzman
MINT Polo in the Park, 2011
by working abroad. She found the international internship with Captive Minds through the help of UT’s Office of International Programs and CAPA International, an education abroad provider.
British servicemen in the program became the first team of war-wounded amputees to reach the North Pole. Along the way, the veterans were joined for a week by Prince Harry, making the undertaking even more prominent in British society. Captive Minds was in charge of the post-trek PR and Tinney played a part in publicizing the record-breaking feat. “I was tasked with creating a press book, assisting in the coordination of media coverage, and working at an event with Prince Harry and the team of wounded soldiers,” says Tinney.
Tinney, a Communications major, says a new world was opened to her while in London, and describes the working environment there as relaxed, collegial and egalitarian. She was given important responsibilities and tasks from day one. “There was little emphasis on hierarchy,” says Tinney. Sometimes her co-workers even served her tea — a British mainstay every day at 4 p.m. She was pleasantly surprised by the lack of separation between colleagues and friends and describes her relationships with her coworkers as friends working together. Many evenings office members would all go out together in London. This dynamic would serve them well for the many weekend events and long hours required in the industry.
Beyond the whirlwind of exciting events, Tinney gained valuable professional skills, along with a new perspective and understanding that comes from an experience abroad. “I learned how to prepare for a largescale event and not get overwhelmed, how to promote with various forms of media and press kits, and how to work with a prominent and diverse clientele,” says Tinney.
As glamorous and fun as the polo event was, Tinney says her most meaningful opportunity was the work she did for the “Walking with the Wounded” North Pole trek. In April 2011, the
Learning all this in an international context led to increased interest in her resume and resulted in three internships since she’s returned, including one in New York this summer.
“Walking with the Wounded” North Pole trek, 2011
As she reflects on her time in London, Tinney recognizes how the experience affected her personally. “It made me more independent,” she says. Along with this, she also became aware of some commonly-held stereotypes. Tinney says there were several who believed the American college student stereotypes of Greek life, provocative co-eds, and ubiquitous red solo cups. Despite this, the chance to learn how others view Americans was eyeopening and a great opportunity for crosscultural insight — revelations that would never happen without an adventurous spirit and the willingness to get out of one’s comfort zone and pursue an experience abroad. Photos courtesy of Captive Minds, UK
world view magazine
I was fortunate to be able to participate in an international faculty development seminar titled, “Human Rights in Thailand: Military Coups, Social Movements and Rule of Law.” Having traveled extensively, this area of the world was new to me and represented my first trip to Asia. I knew that I was headed to Thailand, yet I encountered many people who still referred to this beautiful land as Siam.
Thailand or Siam? Is It
by Susan F. Brinkley, Ph.D. Chair and Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
uman Rights have long been an area of interest to me both academically and personally. I have been a member of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for years and it was an honor to be able to see first hand many of the struggles I have only read about in the past. Some of the topics that were covered during the program included the series of coups that have plagued Thailand over the years, the results of governmental decisions upon the Thai people, as well as forestry changes and the impact upon villagers whose livelihoods depend upon access to the lush forests and access to medicinal plants. These topics, and others, were presented to us by some of the most important figures currently living and working in Thailand. A visit to the Pak Mun dam site brought forth the implications of governmental decisions upon the rural people of Thailand. The Pak Mun dam was built as a means to control the water flow during the rainy season and to serve as a bridge to connect both sides of the Mun River. The government moved an entire village and another 45 villages may be at risk of being moved. The people of these villages have existed for generations because of the river, taking their food from its waters and growing vegetables on its banks. Once the dam was built, the fishing deteriorated. As a response, the government released non-native fish and shrimp back into the affected parts of the
river. The impact of these releases of nonnative fish and shrimp are still being determined. Studies have looked at solutions to the dam’s impact; one from Khon Kaen University found that the gates should be left open only 4 months out of the year, however this study and others have been ignored by the government. There have been calls for money to compensate the villagers for the loss of their way of life and to purchase land for resettlement, yet help has been slow in coming. Meeting and speaking with the villagers, it is clear to see the impact: they miss the fishing and trading that goes along with that way of life. One man said that “the Mun River is like a bank for the poor,” but since the dam has been opened, these villagers have become poorer and owe money where they had no
debt before. What becomes clear when meeting with the villagers, not only at the Pak Mun dam site, but in all villages, is that they are hopeful people who love their families, where they live, and want the return of their former lives. On a boat trip on the Mun and Mekong rivers, it was clear to see that there are still many people trying to live off the bounties that the rivers bring. On both rivers one can see canoes, small boats and people throwing fishing nets into the waters. These people were always seen smiling, waving, and willing to show their catch for that day. I don’t believe I have ever seen a more joyous people, even with the difficulties that they face in their daily lives. After seeing the impact of a Pak Mun dam that is already constructed, I got to meet
with a group of villagers at a proposed dam site called Ban Kum. Due to the involvement of NGO’s and the increased activism of the people impacted by governmental decisions, the people in this village have knowledge that was not available to those in the Pak Mun dam site. These villagers have already experienced decreased fishing because of dams built in China and they do not want their lives further disrupted by the Thai government building a new dam 2 kilometers upstream from their village. This group is concerned about being displaced and since most rural Thai people over the age of 40 have only 4 years of education at most, it would be difficult for them to find employment. The proposed dam would also result in the loss of habitat along the banks of the Mun River due to a proposed golf course and recreational facility to go along with the new dam. In speaking with these villagers, they feel lucky because they have knowledge of the dam’s impact, have the experience of other villagers who have been through similar events and, unlike their neighbors across the river in Laos, they feel that at least they can protest the government’s proposed actions. In meeting with so many villagers affected by changes to the Mun and Mekong Rivers, I learned their social structure has changed. Young people, especially those of childbearing age, are leaving the forests for the big cities in search of work. They leave their children with their parents and grandparents in the process; this has changed the family dynamics, perhaps forever, in this part of the world. Walking through the villages, one sees very young children and very old people — no one in the middle age groups. Historically, the elderly people in Asian societies are frequently revered for their knowledge, looked up to for advice, and taken care of by the younger generations. When I asked an older man if he thought the exodus of young people to the cities for work has changed the relationship between the old and young within his village, he responded that young people see “old people as stupid, like a thousand year old turtle.” Who will look after the elderly when their children and grandchildren leave the villages in search of work and don’t return?
One of the people that I met during this trip to Thailand and whom I will never forget is Sulak Silvaraksa. He is editor of Social Science Review, a social critic and has been a champion of economic, social and cultural rights in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia. Sulak discussed Buddhism and human rights with a focus upon the role that greed, hatred and confusion plays in the lives of people and their decisions. Buddhism is a way of life that encourages all to seek truth for oneself. This truth, Sulak believes, can force a bad government to change through the thoughts, speech and actions of ordinary people. However, this change can only happen when people question their government; left unquestioned, he believes that government will commit violence, greed and kill its citizens. He believes that education can teach us to be less selfish, learn to live peacefully with others and respect the rights of others. Yet, when the focus becomes “I” (as in my rights, my money, my welfare) the danger impacts all of us. As a criminologist, I was interested in the role the death penalty plays in a religious country such as Thailand. Sulak indicated that Hindus support the death penalty but most Buddhists do not. He believes that those who do support capital punishment have received western educations primarily in the United States. Yet the death penalty is used often in this part of the world and because media coverage of the death penalty is nearly non-existent in Thailand, the average person has no idea about the occurrence of executions. Similarly, the criminal justice system is not reported on frequently in Thailand. Sulak
Dr. Susan Brinkley with Sulak Silvaraksa
Silvaraksa has been arrested many times for offenses such as lese magiste (speaking ill about the monarchy) and defamation (his offenses related to speaking ill about specific individuals in the government and the monarchy). His view of the criminal justice system is eye-opening. Being in a 12 X 12 foot cell with 90 other people, no beds, a hole in the floor as a toilet, and not enough food to go around is certainly not a place anyone would want to go — especially someone who while there was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize! It is difficult to put into words all that I learned during this Thailand program. I have been introduced to the Thai people in a way the average tourist is not; people who, by western standards, at least, are living in poverty. However, these people seemed incredibly happy, content, hopeful and interested in us. They had little food, but shared what they had. They lived in thatched roof huts, but shared the few chairs with their visitors. Whether called Siam or Thailand, a visit to this land will leave lasting memories of beauty and happiness. world view magazine
A Long Journey into the Soul of East Africa Story and photos by Bella L. Galperin, Ph.D.
To most Americans the word “safari” means little more than a trip taken to observe and photograph animals and wildlife. Tourists from all over the world dream about coming face-to-face with the Big 5, a term originated during the great hunting expeditions of the last century. Referring to the elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and buffalo, animals thought to be the most dangerous to kill, these trophies are the most treasured. In Swahili, safari means “long journey.” The international faculty development course on “Tanzania and Kenya: Landscapes and Culture: Human Geography in East Africa” lasted only ten days, but my safari to Tanzania and Kenya was a “long journey” into the soul of East Africa. 28
Visitors to Tanzania and Kenya will find striking landscapes, high concentrations of wildlife, and pristine beaches. The countries also attract people interested in some of the earliest and richest archeological sites in the world. Louis and Mary Leakey, the dynamic husband-wife duo, discovered Australopithecus boisei or “Nutcracker man” in 1959 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, confirming the existence of hominids approximately 2 million years ago. It was exhilarating to walk in the footsteps of the Leakeys, in a place known as “the Cradle of Mankind” for its central role in understanding early human evolution. My interest in the land was driven by the curiosity to learn about the East African culture, for it is difficult to understand the people from outside their environment. Having minored in anthropology during my doctoral studies in business administration, I was most interested in the application
of socio-cultural anthropology to international management theory. As a consequence, my research interests cover a wide range of topics, such as conflict resolution, material culture, infrastructure, gender relations, ethnicity, socialization, religion, myth, values, etiquette, music, food, festivals, and language. As a result, learning about the culture was the first step in my quest to understand management, organizational behavior, and entrepreneurship in East Africa. The three main cultural influences in Africa are indigenous, Islam (East), and the West. Known as the triple heritage, these traditions have come together to create a rich, blended culture. First, the indigenous Africans generally embrace nature, “holding dear what was near to them”. While traditional Africans are interested in the oceans for sustenance, they cared much less about what lay beyond the horizons.
Traditional Africans believe that animals have souls and that the forces of creation and humans were partners with nature. The African man is the hunter; the African woman is the mother and cultivator. A man can have as many as eight wives and twenty-five children, because to be remembered after death by ancestors represents immortality. The cultural influences of Islam (East), which started in the seventh century, also play a role in African heritage. The Islamic Arabs from North Africa shared their Arabic language and Islamic religion with the Africans. Islam provided Africans with discipline and a new sense of direction, as they prayed to the East. The notion of a single G-d also became more important, though the concept was not novel to the
enced African culture. Along with the European colonists, Africans developed new tastes such as French bread in Senegal or Tusker beer in Kenya. I was fortunate enough to experience all cultures of the triple heritage during my safari. Rather than only wearing khaki clothing with animal prints and a sloth hat, I became a participant-observer. In other words, I was able to experience the culture and become actively engaged within the cultural landscape of East Africa. Instead of being enclosed in a comfortable five-star hotel room, our team leader provided us with the opportunity to understand the culture from an “insider’s” perspective and go beyond our comfort zone. One of the highlights of my safari was visiting the Hadza, a hunter-gatherer eth-
the bush, zigzagging though the shrubs listening for chirping birds in the trees. Suddenly, the group of men decided to take break and make a fire by rubbing a cylindrical piece of wood into a tree branch. What was the purpose of the fire? It was to light the pipe so that they were able to finish smoking the remaining tobacco. They completed their break by picking bright orange berries from a nearby bush in an attempt to replenish their energy before continuing their hunt. During my encounters with the indigenous African traditions, I recalled our class discussions on the influence of culture on behavior in my Global Organizational Behavior class. We discussed that national culture consists of a complex set of interactions of values, attitudes, and behaviors
Africans since more than 2000 years before Muhammed; Akenhatem worshiped one G-d: the Sun. Moreover, the lunar calendar became the center. The influence of Islam is also seen in gender relations. Although women were initially segregated and isolated in traditional Islam, modern Muslim women viewed themselves to hold more equal roles compared to men. With respect to the Western influence, which is largely characterized by Christianity, nature is both separate from and serves man. This perspective has certainly tipped the delicate scales of ecological balance. Despite the long term consequences for the environment, profits became central to decisions regarding the environment. When Christian missionaries first came to Africa, they taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion. Africans learned to speak, dress, and think like Westerners. Africa’s rich colonial history also has influ-
nic group in north-central Tanzania, who live around Lake Eyasi in the central Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plateau. According to a National Geographic1 article published in December 2009, the Hadza are a true hunter and gatherer society since they possess no crops, livestock, or permanent shelters. Genetic testing suggests that these Bushmen may be one of the “primary roots of the human family tree — perhaps more than 100,000 years old.” We were welcomed to their community by a group of five men with blood-shot eyes sitting by a fire and roasting their recent kill while smoking a pipe filled with tobacco and marijuana. Rather than just listening to the guide about their culture, I joined the Bushmen as they hunted. They used their delicately hand-crafted bow and arrow to catch their next dinner — little birds. We closely followed the Hadza’s agile lean muscular bodies as we trekked through
exhibited by its members and covered how social scientists gather data and measure national culture. In management, we use various frameworks which attempt to classify cultural values on various factors (e.g. individualism vs. collectivism; power distance; and time orientation). While these dimensions enable researchers to measure national culture by quantifying how countries score on various values, I was reminded of the importance of ethnographic data consisting of rich descriptions and accounts of culture enabling the reader to be placed in a context, which is often lost in the quantification process. In our visit to Nairobi, I noticed a woman selling a pile of sardines on the ground and asked our guide Mary whether I can get 1 Michael Finkel (2009, December). The Hadza. National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2009/12/hadza/finkel-text. world view magazine
permission to take a picture of the microentrepreneur. She spoke to her Swahili and responded, “yes,” with a smile. The businesswoman was actually one of Mary’s students. As part of a program to empower women by starting small businesses, Mary helped her acquire the necessary skills to start a venture. I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my graduate class on contingency leadership which highlights the importance of the external environment on leadership effectiveness, as well as entrepreneurial leadership. At that point in time, I thought that despite our visible differences in skin color and clothing, we were similar in our quests. We were both interested in educating others so that our students can make better lives for themselves. My most memorable experience with the Eastern triad of the triple heritage was in Zanzibar, the spice center of Tanzania, which has a 95% Muslim population. Witnessing the lunar eclipse on the beach after chanting from the mosque was surreal. Although initially perplexed since the chanting did not correspond to one of the five prayer times, we soon realized that we were listening to a special prayer for the eclipse (Salatul Khusuf or the eclipse prayer) in order to
observe and reflect on the beauties and wonders of the natural world — as signs of Allah’s majesty. It was certainly an unforgettable and magical evening. Our visit to the Anglican Cathedral Church in Zanzibar reminded me of the Western role in Africa. The church, constructed between 1873 and 1883, is the location of the holding cellars where the slaves were kept. The church was built by Edward Steere, the third bishop of Zanzibar, in celebration of winning the battle against the slave trade. Dr. David Livingstone, an anti-slavery campaigner, finally won his crusade in 1877. As I stood in the slave cellars, I was saddened by imagining the living conditions of the slaves. It was hard to believe that I was walking in the church which sat on the island’s largest slave market. It was only on the last day of my safari, after the faculty course officially ended, that I was able to fully appreciate Africa’s “triple heritage.” After taking the ferry from Dar Es Salaam, I had the wonderful opportunity to discover a nearby beach called Sunrise Beach. As I looked around, traditional Muslim families enjoyed their Sunday morning and the women were still dressed
Bella Galperin with her new friends in East Africa
conservatively despite the heat. While I was deep in my thoughts, a “beach boy” in dreadlocks wearing a Bob Marley shirt approached me asking whether I was interested in buying traditional African paintings. After a relaxing morning, I enjoyed a delicious lunch (chicken tikka masala and Kenyan Tusker beer) while listening to a small Indian band in the distance who had just finished playing an Indian melody and started singing, “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias.
not forbidden...not forgotten
or an island located only 90 miles from the Florida coast, Cuba has remained a forbidden destination for many travelers. According to Dr. James Lopez, Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Tampa, more than one million Cubans — almost 10 percent of the total Cuban population worldwide — live in the U.S. The historical ties between Cuba and the U.S. date back to the Spanish-American War, the Cold War, and the Cuban Revolution, yet very few Americans had the opportunity to travel to Cuba — until now. The University of Tampa was one of the first American universities to take advantage of the Obama administration’s easing of certain academic travel restrictions to Cuba by leading a group of 17 students to Cuba in January 2012. The trip was part of a UT travel course focused on Cuban political economy and cultural history called “Revolutionary Cuba.” Seeing the students adapt and interact with the Cuban people was one of the highlights of the experience for Lopez, one of the faculty leaders of the course. “The students were able to take what they learned in class and apply it to the actual experience of coming face-to-face with Cuban reality,” says Lopez. “They did so in a fashion that made us proud.”
During the intensive 10-day trip, the group traveled by bus to six cities in Cuba, participated in cultural activities, met with community groups, and toured historical sites. Free time was included in the daily schedule so students could explore on their own and interact with the locals. From the moment Eric Louderback, 22, arrived on the island, he was intrigued by the experience and the people he met along the way. The Sociology major remembers a taxi ride in Santiago de Cuba on the first day of the trip. “We were talking to the cab driver in Spanish about his car,” Louderback says. “He said it’s a 1959 Plymouth and that he does all the work on it himself. It’s incredible.” For decades, Cubans have found ways to keep historic buildings, cars and relics well-preserved despite the 50-year-old trade embargo with the U.S. Louderback refers to the attitude of the locals he met as “resolver” which in Spanish means “to solve.” “It’s a ‘we’re going to fix things and make things work themselves’ attitude,” says Louderback. About half of the students on the trip spoke Spanish, including Louderback, who studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain previously. “The people were really open to us. They would take the time to talk to you
by Rosa Mercado
and ask you what you think about Cuba,” says Louderback. “People are more social there — more community-oriented. They would hang out outside with their neighbors and talk, whereas in America people kind of stay shut-off in their homes.” Lopez says the experience reaffirmed his belief in the value of educational experiences abroad. “Over and over again the students would tell me that no amount of classroom instruction would have been able to fully prepare them for the actual experience of being in Cuba,” says Lopez. “The excitement and emotion was evident everyday in the way they carried themselves and took full advantage of the trip.” For Louderback, going to Cuba fueled his desire to work abroad in the future. After graduation this Spring, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in Sociology and hopes to research quality of life issues both here and in Latin America. “The people you meet on the trip — both in the group and outside — the locals, the experiences — it’s life-changing,” says Louderback. “You really come back to your home-country with a whole different perspective on the world. It’s made me consider things on a global scale.”
world view magazine
opportunities ABROAD ONE STEP AT A TIME, BUT DREAMING BIG. This is the mantra I’ve had since the beginning of my college experience. When I started at The University of Tampa, I came with the dream of becoming a U.S. Diplomat and being a positive agent of change while implementing U.S. foreign policy. I knew that in order to achieve my dream, I needed to start small. Starting from the beginning meant getting involved on campus and participating in many programs and organizations. Taking a semester abroad, interning for an office in the private/public sector, or just participating in research fellowships and extra-curricular activities on campus help students develop crucial skills needed to perform successfully in the outside world. Some students think that being active within a campus organization or participating in study abroad is not helpful, is just more work, and is a waste of time. But what they don’t realize is that while involved on campus or living abroad in a study/work environment, they can find new opportunities that can change their life. This is what happened to me this summer while completing my internship in Madrid, Spain with the U.S. embassy. Before starting my internship, I knew that a challenging experience was waiting for me. What I did not know is that with it, new opportunities were going to be waiting for me, too — opportunities that were going to change my life trajectory. As I started my internship, I demonstrated to my supervisors my capability to handle high-level tasks. Some tasks included writing and drafting the daily report for consulate officers and assisting the Control Manager’s Office with the visit of 32
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to Madrid, Spain. The performance and quality of my work during the first weeks of my internship gave me the opportunity to get assigned even more challenging tasks. I was designated to be the embassy’s representative in an ambitious fundraising project of 300,000 Euros. I worked closely with high-level managers of 65 U.S. private companies investing in Spain and Portugal. After weeks of hard work, I achieved the embassy’s goal and raised 350,000 euros, surpassing my supervisors’ expectations. All of the accomplishments during my internship in Spain were, in part, due to lessons learned from my past experiences as a student leader at UT, from past internships (U.S. Department of State, U.S. Senate, among others) and from my participation in exchange programs during my time at the university. After proving myself in my internship, a great opportunity was presented to me: applying for a Dual Masters Program at Instituto Empresa, Spain and Columbia University, NYC in tandem with a U.S. Department of State pilot Fellowship/Fulbright program that would pay for the cost of tuition and expenses of the program. At that time, getting into the program looked impossible due to its highly competitive application process. But at the same time, the opportunity looked like a dream come true. During the last weeks of my internship, my supervisor (now the current U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala) kept pushing me to apply to both the fellowship and the dual masters program since he claimed I had the qualifications to be accepted. Now, after completing such a stressful and rigorous process, I am happy that I applied as I was
by Carlos Salinas
accepted into both programs! I believe the ultimate success of my application was due to showing extensive participation on campus as well as education abroad programs and internships during my time at UT. As I look back through all of my experiences during my time in college, I do not regret the time I spent in my extra-curricular activities, studying abroad and interning in different countries with the U.S. Department of State. Living abroad and interacting with different personalities and cultural backgrounds gave me the confidence needed while working at the embassy with high-level officials. All of these skills and experiences led me to where I am now. When I get time to talk to first year students, I always advise them to enjoy one of the best times of their life, “the college life.” I advise them to not rush. Many students come with the idea of graduating early or in a short amount of time; do not do that. Instead, plan fun projects that will make you different from the rest of the students. Take your education to a completely different level. Plan to participate in fellowships, enjoy extra-curricular activities, travel abroad as a student—not like a tourist (it is different living in a country for months), and take as many internships as possible. Always ask yourself, “What can make me different from others and more competitive?” If you just follow the normal academic curriculum, you will be just one more like the others. Remember, while embarking on one of those experiences, an opportunity could be on its way that could change your life trajectory completely.
FAQ’s Prepare to be global citizens! Today’s employers seek graduates who are able to communicate in at least one foreign language, have multicultural knowledge, possess skills and training in negotiating with people of different cultures, and have the ability to work outside of the United States. With The University of Tampa’s education abroad programs, you can gain the skills that will offer international career opportunities in a number of disciplines and industries. Questions? Who is eligible to study abroad? UT Education Abroad programs are open to all UT students, including freshmen and graduate students. Applicants must be in good academic standing with at least a 2.5 GPA and may not have any current conduct sanctions with UT’s Office of Student Conduct.
Where can I study abroad? And for how long? At The University of Tampa, your options to study abroad are almost limitless. Students have travelled to China, India, Brazil, Ghana, the Galapagos, Costa Rica and Dubai, as well as more traditional locations such as Australia, Spain, Italy, and the UK. Only countries under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or Alert are off-limits for study abroad programs. Program lengths vary from several weeks to a full semester or academic year. Flexible options such as UT Travel Courses ensure that education abroad is available to all students, regardless of schedule constraints.
Can I use financial aid for education abroad? Students often assume it is more expensive to study abroad than to remain on UT’s campus, however many education abroad destinations offer lower tuition and cost of living. In most cases, students can apply federal student aid and Bright Futures Scholarships to education abroad, and many other scholarships and awards are available. Students should meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to determine how financial aid could be applied towards an education abroad program. Please note that some UT scholarships and aid cannot be applied towards study abroad.
Will credits from study abroad transfer to UT? All courses taken abroad are reviewed by UT faculty to determine credit equivalencies. In most cases, students are able to earn credit for courses taken abroad, including course requirements for majors or minors. It is important to plan ahead and discuss study abroad plans with an academic advisor to ensure it will fit into an academic plan.
Do I need to speak a foreign language? A number of UT education abroad programs are designed to improve foreign language skills and allow students to earn credits towards a language major or minor. However, there are programs open to students with little or no foreign language background. Many of our partner schools offer courses in English, even in countries such as Italy and Spain, as well as beginner level language courses.
How do I begin the process? The first step in studying abroad is to apply to the UT Office of International Programs. The application is available online via the Spartans Abroad Program Portal. Once your application is approved, you will be contacted by an education abroad advisor to set up a first step meeting. At this meeting, you will find out the next steps, such as how to complete the program application and how to ensure that courses abroad are approved for credit transfer.
Learn more by contacting: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS Education Abroad (813) 258-7433 | email@example.com www.ut.edu/international
Enhance Your Résumé! Build Your Credentials through an Education Abroad Program at The University of Tampa The University of Tampa’s education abroad programs prepare students to be global citizens so they may recognize international career opportunities in various disciplines and industries. Today’s employers seek graduates who are able to communicate in at least one foreign language, have multicultural knowledge, possess skills and training in negotiating with people of different cultures and have the ability to work outside of the United States.
Explore Your Options: UT TRAVEL COURSE Enroll in an on-campus course with a travel component. Continue to earn UT academic credit as you travel after the on-campus portion or during spring break. Each course’s travel component may last from seven days to four weeks and vary slightly each year.
SEMESTER/YEAR ABROAD Got the travel bug? Each year UT sends more than 100 students abroad for an entire semester or year-long educational experience. Our students are currently studying in India, China, South Africa, Turkey, Iceland, Dubai, Brazil and Costa Rica, as well as more traditional locations like Australia, Italy and the UK.
INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS There are many internship programs which specialize in placing you with a company that best matches your major, interests, experience, and skill set. Placements include ad agencies, cultural institutions, and multinational corporations such as Saatchi Art Gallery, American Express Services Europe Ltd and CNBC Europe.
UT COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING Combine your volunteer service with travel abroad and benefit communities outside the United States. Community Service Learning trips have gone to Peru, where students work with children whose families cannot afford public schools, as well as other destinations such as Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Jamaica. You will receive notation on your co-curricular transcript and/or academic credit.
Learn more by contacting: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS Education Abroad | (813) 258-7433 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ut.edu/international
The University of Tampa World View Magazine No.6 2012