The University of Mississippi Delegation visited the Liberty Square in Taipei, Taiwan.
The delegation of six high-level faculty of University of Mississippi (UM) lead by Dr. Noel Wilkin, Provost and Chief Academic Officer and joined by Dr. Lee Cohen, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Donald Dyer, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Daniel O’Sullivan, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages; Dr. Henrietta Yang, Associate Professor of Chinese; and Ms. Blair McElroy, Director of the Office of Global Engagement, visited Taiwan for a week at the beginning of March 2020.
They visited National Chung Cheng University (CCU) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the CCU-UM Summer Camp of the Chinese Flagship Program and the Project Global Officer (Project GO, initiated by U.S. Department of Defense in 2007, is a critical language study project for future military officers and students of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). The relationship between UM and CCU is further strengthened.
The Chinese Language Flagship Program at UM, established in 2003, is designed to change the way Americans learn languages. The program is a five-year undergraduate program includes a nine-week summer session in Taiwan and internship experiences. UM and National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan started the partnership in 2019. 8 students from UM joined the summer session to learn Chinese language and Taiwanese culture in CCU the first year. It was a big success and received very positive feedback. CCU expects to host more than 40 students for the 2020 summer session.
In addition, the delegation visited Tamkang University and several cultural sites in Taipei and Chaiyi. They enjoyed Taiwanese cuisine and learned about Taiwanese culture. During this visit, the group was thoroughly impressed by the way how Taiwan was handling the COVID-19 crisis. They found that Taiwan government implemented various societal measures and imposed multiple governmental decrees to stop the spread of the pandemic in the country. Everywhere the delegation went, people wore masks, had their temperature taken and sanitized their hands as they moved in and out of public buildings. After returning to the United States from this trip, the delegation felt they were much more prepared than most in the United States.
UM is currently working with the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston to apply for Ministry of Education’s support on the recruitment of Mandarin teachers from Taiwan to UM.