Professor Jeffrey Barlow honored by Northwest China Council
Council recognizes one of its founding members for contributions to the organization's growth.
The Northwest China Council, an educational organization that promotes greater understanding of Chinese culture, business and contemporary affairs to the Pacific Northwest region, has honored founding board member and Pacific University history professor Jeffrey Barlow, Ph.D.
Barlow, director of the University's Berglund Center for Internet Studies, gave the keynote address on the history of Sino-American relations at the organization's 30th annual Reunion Gala Banquet in Portland on Oct. 9.
He was among several current and former members of the Council's Board of Directors honored for contributions to the organization's growth in both membership and influence. The NWCC is now the umbrella group for all groups and individuals in the Northwest who are interested in U.S.-China ties, whether educational, business and trade or tourism.
Barlow, the Matsushita Chair of Asian and International Studies at Pacific, has worked with James, Mary, and Julie Berglund in using the World Wide Web to increase awareness of the importance of Sino-American ties regionally and throughout America.
Through the unique relationship between the Berglund Center and the NWCC, many Pacific University graduates have secured career opportunities in China, and Chinese students have enrolled in the College of Education at Pacific for postgraduate work.
Founded in 1980, the Northwest China Council began as a Portland area group of educators and professionals interested in the future of business and educational ties between Oregon and China.
Now, thirty years later, China is Oregon’s largest overseas trading partner and Chinese and American tourists, students, and professionals move frequently between the two countries to their mutual benefit.
Barlow and his wife, Christine Richardson, were the first editors of the NWCC’s newsletter, now a publication with thirty years of history. Recently the Berglund Center assisted the NWCC in putting all the back issues of the newsletter onto the web where it is available free to members.
Under Barlow's direction, Pacific became the first organization in the world to effectively "cyber host" a scholarly meeting of the Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast organization in 1995. The organization’s electronic journal, E-AsPac, founded and edited by Barlow, is also hosted at Pacific University and has given the University a major profile in Asia. It was the first peer reviewed electronic journal in Asian Studies to appear on the worldwide web.
Pacific University and its sister school in China, Wenzhou Medical College, were the first universities to share classes between the U.S. and China using the Internet, beginning in 2004. This project has recently been cited in an influential scholarly journal about electronic education in China.
Barlow attributes the success of the Center's work with China and Chinese audiences in large part to the generous support of the Berglund family and the University’s long history of working with China.
He noted that Pacific's first formal graduating class went to China in 1900, just after the Boxer Rebellion, resulting in the University's unique mascot "Boxer."
"The Berglund family truly understands the significance the Chinese economy's rapid growth has had in creating educational and employment opportunities for Pacific's students and alumni," Barlow said.
Barlow said the Berglund Center is currently focused on assisting the Department of Business in establishing a Winter III program in Nanjing, beginning in June 2012. This program will offer business majors an opportunity to study Chinese culture and business, complete with internships with Chinese firms, in the Nanjing-Hangzhou-Shanghai commercial and industrial triangle, the heart of the Chinese economy.
Barlow, Associate Professor of Business Sheila Griffie, business major and Berglund Student Fellow Nicole Nowlin, and alumna Clare Richardson-Barlow (‘08) traveled to Nanjing last month for an exploratory visit.
"We hope this program will also lead to additional Chinese students attending Pacific University in the future for a parallel program which will permit them, accompanied by Pacific business majors, to secure internships with Oregon firms," Barlow said. "These internships will be arranged through the good offices of the Northwest China Council."
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