Welcome to my web page. I hope you enjoy the pictures, some of my
comments and will gain a bit of insight into why I find international education
and intercultural communication so important.
First, there is no better place to engage
people from other cultures than Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU). I
came to this campus in the unlikely town of Beppu in March, 2006. Prior to that I lived for about 20 years in
Hawaii where I worked for the East West Center (EWC) and the University of
Hawaii (UH). I held several positions at
these institutions, including assistant to the President of the EWC and
academic advisor, associate dean and dean in the School of Hawaiian, Asian and
Pacific Studies at UH.
Before moving to Hawaii, I lived in China
from 1979 - 1981, one of the first foreigners to have the chance to live in
that country since 1949. I saw a country
trying to find its way in the modern world after the Cultural Revolution, made
some wonderful friends and married a woman I met there. (Since then we have become parents of 3 sons,
all grown now and living around the world).
It was while in China I decided to
concentrate my life and career on international education. I found people all over China, regardless of
political ideology, differences in religion, language and culture, open to
knowing about the world. This inspired
me and I have never lost that inspiration and have never looked back. Education was the best place for me to
contribute some understanding of different cultures and people, so I moved to
Hawaii to start that journey. Along the
way I took a break from work to get my Doctorate in Education from Vanderbilt
University in Nashville, Tennessee, then returned to Hawaii. (Tennessee is where I grew up and my family
is still there).
Since moving into education I have been
fortunate to visit many places, especially in the Asia Pacific region. I
cannot say I have a favorite, but I seem to spend quite a bit of time in
Mongolia, and never tire of Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and, of course,
China. Each place is very different, and
that is the both the beauty and the challenge of each place.
I came to APU to be part of this grand
experiment in international education. Despite the trials of adjusting to a new culture, a new language and a
new system of management, I have never doubted my decision to come here. There is much to do, but we are on the way to
showing the world how citizens of 80+ countries can live together in harmony
and respect with the common purpose of improving ourselves through education. I’m going to stay here for some time, and I
welcome others to join in this experiment in broadening the experiences and
minds of others so we can make the world just a bit more understanding.