China Connection in Spotlight

June 2, 2010 5:43 AM

Arthur Nead

During a recent ceremony at the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned Tulane University’s partnership with East China Normal University as an example of valuable educational exchanges.

The ceremony marked the launching of the U.S.–China consultation on People-to-People Exchange, a program that aims to promote engagement between the United States and China in education, culture, science, technology, sports and other related fields. A major component of the People-to-People Exchange is the “100,000 Strong” Initiative, which aspires to send 100,000 American students to study in China during the next four years.

In her statement at the ceremony, held on May 25, Clinton singled out Tulane’s efforts as an example of developing the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China. “Tulane University in New Orleans has partnered with East China’s Normal University in Shanghai, to train in disaster response and wetland management,” she said.

Earlier this year, Tulane representatives traveled to Beijing and Shanghai to expand upon an existing partnership between Tulane and East China Normal University. Participating in the trip were Eamon Kelly, former Tulane president and executive director of the Payson Center for International Development; Ky Luu, director of Tulane’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy; and Payson Center professors William Bertrand and S. T. Hsieh.

“The additional agreement between ECNU and Tulane was to look at programs related to development in Africa and disaster resilience leadership training, and that’s where Tulane’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy comes into it,” says Luu. “We signed a memorandum of understanding with ECNU to look at ways for academic exchanges and joint degree offerings.”

Upon their return, Kelly and Luu discussed the results of their trip with senior officials at the U.S. State Department. “We’re very honored to have Tulane be the only U.S. academic institution specifically mentioned by Secretary Clinton as an example of the people-to-people category, which has to do with education and outreach,” says Luu.

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