Roanoke College

Hanstedt awarded Fulbright to Hong Kong

  • Hanstedt awarded Fulbright to Hong Kong

  • 05/01/09
  • Dr. Paul Hanstedt, associate professor of English, recently was selected as a Fulbright scholar grantee to Hong Kong. Beginning September 2010, he will work with a university there on developing general education curriculum for the country's new four-year undergraduate model while studying the region's culture and literature, which is of personal interest to Hanstedt.

    Established in 1946 under the U.S. Department of State, The Fulbright Program is the flagship international education exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Its mission is to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries. Participants are chosen based on academic merit and leadership potential.

    Hong Kong's present university system is based on three-year programs. Hanstedt is well-suited to assist with the changes the country seeks for its system because the intent is to add more liberal arts and general education emphasis and he has served as Roanoke's director of general education for the past five years. Working with a nearly half-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Secondary Education (known as FIPSE), he has developed programs for faculty development and worked on course development and assessment at Roanoke.

    Hanstedt, who says he has been interested in China and Southeast Asia since his first year of college, intends to develop for use at Roanoke a first-year seminar and possibly major courses in Chinese and/or Asian literature. He also hopes to forge lasting connections between his host institution and Roanoke College. He would like to design a May term course that would allow American students to study in Hong Kong. He also sees opportunities in curriculum and study abroad given Roanoke's offering of a concentration in Southeast Asian studies.

    Hanstedt has been appointed to the Hong Kong Institute of Education, which is Hong Kong's main teaching institution. Hanstedt will spend his time at the host institute and with the Hong Kong-America Center. "I'm impressed with how far the HKIEd has already come with their curricular conversations. It's clear from my contacts with them that they care deeply about education and opening the world up to their students-and their students' students," he says.

    He intends to chronicle his experiences in the form of non-fiction writings as well as radio essays. He is a regular essayist at WVTF, the National Public Radio affiliate in Southwest Virginia. Hanstedt's family will join him in Hong Kong, which he thinks will enrich the experience for readers and listeners.

    Hanstedt says, "I see this Fulbright Award in Hong Kong as an opportunity to draw together many of the matters that drive my life: my long-standing interest in Asian literature and culture; my passion for and experiences in curricular reform, course and faculty development, and assessment; and my firm belief that education-and general education in particular-can not just change students' lives, but change the world."

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