Wyche was joined by Alvin Thornton, Ph.D., senior advisor to the president on Academic Affairs; Barbara Griffin, vice president for Student Affairs; Sue White, head of school at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science; and James A. Donaldson, dean of the College of Arts and Science. Kofi Bota, special assistant to the provost for international affairs; and James Davis, chair of World Languages, also attended.
Wyche and the other officials presented an overview of Howard’s academic initiatives that focus on China. He said the University was in the midst of expanding its World Languages and Culture degree program to offer Chinese culture and language as a major.
Currently, the University offers a two-year, four-semester Chinese language sequence and is seeking a second full-time Chinese instructor through the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program.
Since 2005, Howard has placed nine students at Chinese universities, including Beijing Foreign Studies University, University of Shanghai, and Nanjing University. Howard is expanding study abroad programs to annually place 50 students in China for total-immersion programs to study language and culture.
Inspired by Michelle Obama’s visit to campus, 25 members of the Howard University Freshmen Leadership Academy will travel to Beijing in July. On the tour, students will examine global business, education, history and leadership. The journalists interviewed sophomores Dominique Perkins and Caleb A. Davis about the upcoming trip.
Two MBA students -- Akinbanjo Orukotan, a second-year MBA student, and Gbovadeh Gbilia, a 2011 MBA graduate -- who traveled to China recently also addressed the journalists. Both students were among a group of MBA students who traveled to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong as part of their Global Business Environment course. A total of 28 students have traveled to China over the last two years.
Gbilia spoke about the opportunities the trip offered for networking. In addition, Gbilia said he observed the “aggressiveness” with which the Chinese pursued economic growth.
“I saw how high they set the benchmarking and how high they set their goals,” he said.