The twenty public officials from Guangxi Autonomous Region of South China that were enrolled in the MPA Chinese Cohort program in the Summer of 2008 are expected to graduate on May 13, 2009. These officials were sponsored by the Lushan College of Guangxi Technical University, Luizhou, China as KSU’s fourth cohort. Dr. Andrew Ewoh, Dr. William Baker, Dr. Chien-pin Li, and Dr. Thierry Léger traveled to the City of Luizhou in December of last year to visit the officials from the sponsoring institution and agencies to negotiate future partnerships.
While going through a 15-month intensive program crafted to meet their professional needs in public administration, these students took part in other extra-curricular activities, such as playing softball in weekly games coached by Dr. Baker, meeting with the City of Kennesaw’s Council members, maintaining regular attendance at the Bible Community Church, and making field trips to both public, private, and nonprofit organizations that enabled them to observe how Americans operate in their daily endeavors. In fact, all the students participated in various University-wide festivities such as Chinese New Year and Thanksgiving party, and some even traveled to different states across the United States during school breaks.
In terms of professional exercises, 14 students completed their internship in different academic units on campus, whereas 6 conducted research in various areas of interest. The research projects, though more extensive, prepared the students to think critically on how to deal with future challenges. Despite the obvious difficulty of studying in another country, these students were very respectful, humble and have a keen sense of what it takes to succeed in their endeavors. The intellectual exchange of ideas in and outside the classroom served as the hallmark of the program. Both the faculty and the students learned about socioeconomic and political dynamics of China and United States in a comparative way, thus paving the path for a long lasting friendship and cultural understanding.
Posted: May 1, 2009