The World Around Us

By: Devin King

After watching the National Geographical Documentary about North Korea Wednesday, Danielle Sibley along with several students and faculty members gave a look of disgust toward the North Korean government for their lack of care to their citizens.

The National Geographical Documentary titled Inside North is about the self-isolated nation located in East Asia. The movie discusses the poor health care and lack of nutrition for the people in North Korea. It also talks about how the lack of nutrition results to boys born in North Korea being three inches shorter than boys born in South Korea.

Danielle Sibley, a junior Secondary Education in Chemistry major, was not able to make the showing of the movie but has seen it on YouTube. Despite the movie being about the horrific lifestyle of people in North Korea, Sibley is disgusted with the treatment that this movie shows.

“This movie upset me because children aren’t receiving the proper care they need and people are suffering because the government want allow any outside help from any other nation”, said Sibley.

Crystal Taylor senior Psychology major says she has seen this movie several times and has even written papers about it.

“This movie rubs me the wrong way because why would a government allow their people to suffer,  and the fact that the government want allow any other nation to help will continue to keep its people from having a fair lifestyle”.

Bill Willoughby the Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts was in charge of showing the movie. “As citizens of the US, or any other nation for that matter, access to North Korea is severely limited and it is unlikely any of us will travel there”, said Willoughby about the purpose of showing the movie.

Willoughby wanted students to get understanding about what life is under a totalitarianism government. He felt the movie related to Shaping 21st century because “The isolationist policies of North Korea and the political expression it enforces upon its own people are a source of major concern for the world as we enter the second decade of the 21st Century”.

After watching the movie, he felt like North Korea is one of the most inaccessible places in the world.

He said, “News events have shown, North Korea is a global problem that isunlikely to change in the near future.” He feels it’s a problem that must beaddressed diplomatically and that war unlikely would solve matters.

With the success of the Shaping 21st Century series program Dr. Kenneth Rea and William Willoughby have discussed the possibility of making the series a course.

Willoughby vision for the course would have students attend the events and faculty members would keep records to make students do assignments.

With the students going to all the events there would be a core audience and it could possible satisfy one of the IER also known international educational requirement.

Dean of College has established an international study minor that just got approved to have this fall quarter.

As Shaping the 21st Century comes to end students at Louisiana Tech will have a more opportunities in future. “Students that come to Louisiana Tech can earn enough hours to have a minor in International studies”, said Willoughby.

” The Man Behind It All”

By Devin King.   

Dr. Rea is the vice president of academic affairs and chairman for the International Educational Committee that oversees the series Shaping the 21st Century. He believes this year series on East Asia is going well.

“There has been good student participation this year and the people in the community have enjoyed the series,” said Rea.

Rea said he has enjoyed the series that began in 2006, when the International Educational Committee opened its first series on India.

Rea said he wants the series to give students who can’t go visit other countries and opportunity to understand what they are like.

“For anybody who has an interest in current events, the series will provide them with the opportunity to gain information from people within that field,” said Rea.

Rea has taken trips to China, Hong Kong and Japan. “It allows people, to interact with other cultures,” said Rea.

Rea said, “He believes his background and experiences of other cultures has assisted with the development of this series and other programs at Louisiana Tech University.

Rea is a native of Ruston; he graduated from Ruston High School in 1962 then joined the Tech family that following fall majoring in History. In 1968, he got his master and Ph.D. in Chinese History from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Rea has worked his way up the ranks until 1987 when he became vice president of academic affairs and has been at this position since 2012. “I have enjoyed the faculty, students, my staff and the deans” said Rea.

“We have outstanding faculty and they are really forwarding looking with their attitude”, said Rea.

He has been able to help get numerous degree programs approved over the years. Rea said he is proud that Louisiana Tech took the lead in the development of the LOUIS system. LOUIS is the library system.

Louisiana Tech University was one of the leaders in getting this system established and Rea said he takes great pride in this. He believes it’s a major achievement for all of higher education.

“I have enjoyed seeing the University mature over the years and become a research university. It has been fun to be a part of this process,” said Rea

Now that Rea is going to retire at the end of the summer, he plans on finishing a couple of research projects that he didn’t have time for in the past. He also plans to do some traveling with his wife, maybe even fishing and he is looking forward to spending time with his new grandchild.

“It has been nice and I really enjoyed the people I have interacted with on a regular basis, I surely will miss them,” said Rea.

Bill Willoughby the associate dean and assistant professor comment about Rea retirement “I think the series will continue on through the college if not by the person that fills Dr. Rea position as vice president of academic affairs,”.

Willoughby said “Rea has been instrumental in all the events and he surely will be missed”.

Willoughby also said that Rea wants the Shaping 21st century to continue. He also said him and Rea have discuss ideas about the events for the upcoming years.

You can see the type of man Kenneth Rea is, loved by so many people but has decided to hang up the gloves and move forward with his life.

“We all get to this point in our lives and it’s time for me to move on”, said Rea.

Taiwan and China: Tranquility or Turmoil


By: Kaamilya Salaam

This past Wednesday, Dr. Thomas J. Bellows spoke as a part of the Shaping the 21st Century series at Louisiana Tech University.

Dr. Bellows is professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the editor of American Journal of Chinese Studies.

Bellows speech focused on Taiwan as one of the tiniest countries to globalize trade, how China is for their trade relations but against the ideal of Taiwan declaring independence. He also discussed the corruption within Taiwan’s government, which lead to a new political party and the acceptance of the 1992 Consensus.

“Taiwan has 23 million people living within 14,000 square miles with an import/export that is bigger than its gross margin,” Bellows said. “Although Taiwan is small and very crowded it produces 274 billion exports a year and half goes to China.”

In addition to Taiwan’s globalized trading Bellows also discussed how China is for their trade relations but against the ideal of Taiwan declaring independence.

“With the slogan “No unification, no independence, no use of force, China’s government has made it obvious that they don’t mind the trade arrangements, but they are against Taiwan declaring independence,” said Bellows.

According to Bellows, Taiwan’s trade arrangements are not an issue for China right now but its trade with South East Asia could become a problem if their trading becomes better than China’s. With the Chinese not wanting Taiwan to become independent came the corruption of the Taiwanese government which led to a new political party and the acceptance of the 1992 Consensus.

“The previous president was corrupted,” Bellows said. “He is now serving prison time for stealing money form the government.”

The downfall of the previous president led to the election of President Ma Ying-jeou in 2008. With President Ma’s election came the acceptance of the 1992 Consensus. The 1992 Consensus  is a term used to describe the outcome of a meeting in 1992 between the semi-official representatives of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China and the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. The Consensus is a forum on the subject of the “One China principle”, both sides recognize there is only one China – both mainland China and Taiwan belong to the same China, but both sides agree to verbally express the meaning of “one China” according to their own individual definition.

Bellows stated, “Both are better off as things stand today however as leadership changes the objective will also.”

When Education and Culture Cross Paths

By: Kaamilya Salaam

     Shashank Shrestha smiles with a sense of pride for a piece of his cultures history is being displayed today as he watches the screen in anticipation of answers to what happen last March when a 8.9 magnitude earthquake slammed into the coast of Japan.

     Shrestha a freshman Economics and finance major, skipped class this morning to join fellow students at the International Student Organization to watch the movie “NOVA: Japan’s Killer Quake.”. Despite the video being about a tragic incident, Shashank Shrestha is proud because his culture is on display this spring quarter. The viewing of this movie is one of the many events featured in the “Shaping the 21st Century” series.

     “This program is a good idea for the university because it brings together students from different cultures to learn about another culture and it also provides a little reminder of home,” said Shrestha.

      As a new student who has only been in the United States for seven months, it is normal for Shrestha to feel a little homesick. Therefore this year’s series of “Shaping the 21st Century,” is special to him, because it is set around the Asian culture.

      Shrestha, a native of Nepal, a country located in the Himalayas which is landlocked between India and China grew up with a large influence of the Asian culture. He is used to the fast pace living, delicate food and extravagant clothing of the Asian culture. Since he has been in Louisiana he has noticed a lot of cultural differences, like the friendliness of southern people compared to the business of Nepalians.

     “Here a lot of people are friendly, they speak when you’re in passing whereas in Asian culture people only talk to those they are familiar with,” said Shrestha.

      He has also noticed the differences in cuisine served here. Where he is used to eating seafood, noodles and rice dishes seeing a crawfish is something unusual, at first glance he thought it was a cockroach.

      “I saw a student eating some on campus recently and I thought…gosh that is gross, Shresta said. How could she eat those things?”

      Though he has found a few things different he is still appreciative of his choice to study at Louisiana Tech University.

     “The teachers here are great and plus it is inexpensive to live in this area, said Shrestha”

      Although studying is Shrestha’s main focus, having a chance to dress in his authentic clothing, eat food from home and dance is always a fun thing to do. Shaping the 21st Century gives students the opportunity to revisit their culture on campus while also inviting other students.

      Sherestha said, “Coming to America is hard but being able to enjoy a little bit of your culture every once in a while makes the stay easier.”

“Shaping the 21st Century” By: Devin King

“It’s important for students to understand the world they live and compete in,” said Dr. Kenneth Rea, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Louisiana Tech University. Starting as the assistant professor of History in 1968, Dr. Rea has been the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the past 25 years.

He is also the chairmen for the International Educational Committee which started the “Shaping the 21st Century,” program.  As chairmen he oversees the committee of professors from each college. The goal of the Committee is to foster a greater understanding of contemporary events and cultures in the world. As a result of this goal, the committee decided to develop a campus wide event that would attract students and faculty.

So in 2006 “Shaping the 21st Century,” was born and the first series was centered on Indian cultures.  The purpose of each series is to help broaden students prospective about different cultures around world. The committee prepares for each series toward the end of each spring by gathering ideas about a theme for the next one. They are open to suggestion from faculty and students.

Once the fall arrives the Committee meets to finalize and begin planning the series events. As soon as the series is together, the committee begins contacting different individuals that have knowledge about each region. The committee is able to contact speakers because some of the members on the International Educational Committee know the speakers professionally.

The process of selecting the speakers comes at high expectation. The Committee looks for outstanding scholars and individuals with expertise of a region in which the theme is focused around to speak on campus, sharing their knowledge with students.

“The goal is to go after the best people with the best standing in their field,” said Dr. Rea.

Jonathon Sphinx, the foremost Historian on China in the world and a graduate from Yale University was a speaker in this year’s series focusing on Asian cultures. The committee will continue to bring this caliber of speakers in because this is the ground on which each series was built on.

“We have really brought in top quality and will continue to do so,” said Dr. Rea.

The International Educational Committee will also use some of the school’s faculty members that have International expertise on different regions as speakers. With a variety of films and guest speakers the committee believes that students will take advantage of each series to understand the world better. Each series is on a regular schedule and held during the spring quarter. Throughout the quarter, movies are being viewed with a discussion after each one. The purpose is to introduce students into different regions of the world.

“Growth of this program has become the “fabric” of the university,” said Dr. Rea.

For the past six years “Shaping the 21st Century,” has covered India, China, Latin America, Russia, the Middle East and now East Asia.

“What I find unique about the series is, we just don’t bring one lecture to campus, we bring a series of lectures that run throughout the quarter,” said Dr. Rea.

Shedding light on East Asia

This spring, Louisiana Tech University will focus on East Asia for its annual Shaping the 21st Century series.

“Events planned this spring will offer students the opportunity to encounter Japan, the Koreas, China and Taiwan through a variety of venues, including distinguished lecturers, films, brown-bag lunch videos and exhibits,” said Dr. Bill Willoughby, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and member of the International Education Committee.

These events are sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, College of Applied and Natural Science, College of Liberal Arts, International Student Office, Department of History and the McGinty Fund and the International Education Committee.

Thursday, March 22 started off the experience with Dr. William Tsutsui, a Professor of History and Dean of  the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University, offering a lecture titled “Sunrise, Sunset: American Visions of Japan from Hiroshima to Fukushima.

Willoughby said that University-wide events like this year’s Shaping the 21st Century broaden the learning that happens at Louisiana Tech.

Shaping the 21st Century was first launched in 2006 as part of Tech’s efforts to internationalize the curriculum through extra-curricular on campus programming.

“If history has taught us anything, it is that we cannot isolate ourselves from the world and that we must gain a greater understanding of other nations and their cultures,” said Dr. Kenneth Rea, Vice President for Academic Affairs and chair of the International Education Committee.

In the last six years, Tech has gone around the globe focusing on India, China, Russia, Latin America and the Middle East and has even brought in scholars from Yale to lecture.

The Focus on East Asia series will include speakers on April 12, 18 and 30, as well as film screenings on March 26, April 17, 23 and May 1. An exhibition in Tolliver Hall, East Asia’s Spectacular Cities: Images by Louisiana Tech Faculty and Beyond, will be on display April 17-May 10.

The quarter’s events will come to a close with a food and fashion extravaganza at 5:30 p.m. May 10 in the Student Center*. This is put on by the School of Human Ecology and the College of Applied and Natural Sciences and will be the big finale of Shaping the 21st Century.

“When the quarter is over students who attended these events will have a deeper understanding of East Asia’s ongoing history and cultural complexities,” Willoughby said.