Partnerships & Affiliations

Since initiating its East Asian Studies program in 2009, Roger Williams University faculty and administrators have developed a number of short- and long-term collaborations and partnerships with institutions in East Asia and with Asia-related entities in the United States.  Through these initiatives, our faculty and students have undertaken research and participated in conferences or internships abroad, while international students are able to participate in short-term cultural immersion programs on the Roger Williams Campus.  The RWU Spiegel Center for International Programs has been instrumental in creating, promoting, and providing funding for these initiatives. The university administration, including the president, provost, and deans, have been instrumental in supporting development of these programs.

Partnerships with Universities in China & Japan

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As part of a two-year Department of Education Title VI UISFL grant to develop East Asian Studies at Roger Williams University, the two co-directors of the program, Prof. Mulligan and Zhou, and Associate Dean Adams, held meetings with faculty and administrators at Beijing Foreign Studies University in 2010.  In an extended third year of the grant, five faculty members and the associate dean met with representatives at the University of Shizuoka and other Shizuoka campuses in Japan (2012).   The Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs provides outreach to East Asian institutions and works with individual faculty members in developing collaborations.

Biology Research.  In 2009, Dr. Tom Sorger was joined by four RWU students on an exploratory trip to meet with biologists at Xiamen University in China to consider possible research collaborations.  In 2013, two of Dr. Sorger’s students presented a poster outlining their research at the International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology in Hong Kong.  Most recently, Dr. Sorger has been working with Dr. Paul Shin of the Department of Biology and Chemistry at the City University of Hong Kong to establish a collaborative partnership to study the loss of diversity of species harvested as seafood, now endangered and subject to illegal fishing.  Inhabiting the sediment in shallow coastal waters most susceptible to ocean warming and pollution, the Asian lancelet serve as an indicator species for environmental stressors, similar to parallel situations on the coast of Rhode Island.  Faculty and student research will determine the range of adaptive responses to essential and trace metals.

Architecture Internships.  The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation has established connections that have allowed architecture students to participate in internship programs with firms in Shanghai, China.

Yokohama National University Exchange Program.  In the summer of 2012, a Memorandum of Agreement was established between Roger Williams University and Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan, to create opportunities for students and faculty members at both universities to participate in tuition exchange and cooperative research programs.  Students from Japan have the opportunity to study at RWU and RWU students have the opportunity to study in Japan for one academic year through this exchange program.

Kochi University, Japan.  After a visit to RWU, Kochi University officials invited an RWU team of one administrator and one student to Kochi in spring 2014 to experience and evaluate their new English course modules, part of their plan to develop semester exchange programs with U.S. universities.

Summer Global Institutes. The Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs runs a number of Summer Global Institutes for international students.  RWU Cultural Immersion programs for university-level English language learners combine intensive academic classroom activities with field experiences, including visits to local and regional sites of cultural, economic, historical, and recreational interest.  Throughout these programs, participants practice interpersonal skills in English through supported dialogue opportunities and engage in activities designed to increase academic English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Since 2013, RWU has designed and implemented customized programs for Shizuoka University, Japan, and Wuhan University of Science and Technology (WUST), China.

Visiting Scholars. Roger Williams University has hosted several scholars from China over the last several years.  These scholars are supported by grants from the Chinese government that allow them to conduct research and visit classes at RWU. 

Study Abroad.  See the EAS section on Study Abroad for information regarding RWU student participation in study abroad programs. 

Affiliations with Professional and Cultural Associations

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Roger Williams University maintains an institutional membership with ASIANet and individual memberships with the Asian Studies Development Program (University of Hawai’i/East West Center) and the Japan Studies Association.  RWU faculty have presented papers at the international conferences sponsored by these organizations and have been selected to participate in summer faculty development workshops in Honolulu, thus continuing to share and to expand their expertise in East Asian Studies.  Our faculty are eligible to apply for grant opportunities offered by these organizations.

The Black Ships Festival is an annual event undertaken every summer by the sister cities of Newport, Rhode Island, the birthplace of Commodore Perry, and Shimoda, Japan.  Roger Williams has hosted delegations from Shimoda and Shizuoka Prefecture during the festivals and has been able to send a delegate to the complementary festival in Japan.