Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Willamette and IDEA co-host advocacy institute in China

China Institute

Willamette and the International Debate Education Association, along with Xiamen University in China, teamed up in June to co-host an Advocacy Institute in Xiamen, Fujian, China.

Three Willamette students and four professors attended the two-and-a-half-week event alongside participants from countries worldwide, including Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, China, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, Mongolia, South Africa and the U.S.

The students expanded their global perspective while learning skills to advocate for cultural and environmental sustainability.

They took courses in sustainability, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, argumentation and debate, and new media. They also completed new media projects exhibiting what they learned at the institute.

"The institute afforded me the opportunity to meet new friends from around the world," says Zack Garrett '13, a philosophy major. "Spending a lot of time with people from other countries presented me with many cultural differences, some of which were tough to deal with, but it also forced me to examine Americans' cultural eccentricities."

The other Willamette student participants were politics major Aaron Brown '11 and Yi Liang '13, who is majoring in economics and religious studies.

Assisted by instructors from the People's Republic of China and the U.S., the Willamette professors contributed their expertise to the institute's curriculum.

Participating professors were Robert Trapp and Nathaniel Cordova from rhetoric and media studies, Juwen Zhang from Chinese studies and Scott Pike from environmental and earth sciences.

With independent entities at Willamette and in Amsterdam, IDEA promotes debate, discussion and the free exchange of ideas among youths in more than 40 emerging democracies worldwide.