EDGAR ADWELL PORTER
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EDGAR ADWELL PORTER
Pro-Vice President for International Affairs and Faculty Developement
Professor, College of Asia Pacific Studies
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
(APU)

Tel :81-977-78-1000
Email :porter@apu.ac.jp
 
 
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Introduction

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.

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