Inaugural Scholar-Ambassador Delegation to East Asia

May 25-June 4, 2011, the University of Notre Dame sent its first delegation of university scholar-ambassadors to East Asia. The purpose of the delegation was to facilitate the development of academic linkages between the University of Notre Dame and leading Universities in East Asia, as well as to strengthen faculty collaboration in research and teaching with colleagues in East Asia.

Delegation at Yonsei University

Prof. Susan Blum giving lecture at Renmin University

The members of the delegation were all distinguished faculty in their respective academic disciplines and included Professor Susan Blum, incoming Chair of the Department of Anthropology, , Professor Agustin Fuentes, Director of the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and Professor of Anthropology, Professor Robert Gimello, Research Professor of Theology and East Asian Studies, and Professor Maura Ryan, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and Professor of Theology. 
The inaugural scholar-ambassador delegation, coordinated by Notre Dame’s new Asia Office in Beijing and led by the Asia Office’s director, Dr. Jonathan Noble, focuses on Notre Dame’s distinctive strengths in the humanities. 

During the trip to Hong Kong, Beijing and Seoul, the scholar-ambassador delegation met with faculty and students in their respective fields from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Peking University, Renmin University, Seoul National University, Yonsei University, and Sogang University. In Beijing, Prof. Susan Blum gave a lecture titled “Framing Higher Education, Anthropologically” at Renmin University and a group of over 60 alumni, current and incoming students attended the welcome dinner for the delegation. “The inaugural scholar-ambassador delegation aimed to facilitate the development of new faculty-to-faculty research and teaching relationships that are critical for forging truly collaborative partnerships between the University of Notre Dame and leading universities in East Asia,” remarked Jonathan Noble. “I trust the delegation’s visit to East Asia will result in tangible results—including an increase in the exchange of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate student, new research symposia, as well as new innovative web-based collaborative classes.”

The delegation was generously funded by the University of Notre Dame’s Provost Office, International Office, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language program.