Business faculty take teaching expertise to Chinese classrooms

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BGSU’s College of Business has a unique and valuable partnership with Tianjin Polytechnic University (TPU) in China. Last year, four faculty members from TPU came to BGSU to see firsthand how we teach our statistics, operations research, and MIS classes, so they could adopt similar teaching methods and materials in their classrooms.  The TPU/BGSU agreement includes a 3 + 1 educational program where two cohorts of fourth-year TPU students will arrive at BGSU in 2017 to complete their dual undergraduate business degrees. They spend their first three years taking classes at TPU, some of which were taught by BGSU faculty this summer.

Kyle Moninger, a faculty member in applied statistics and operations research, was one of three faculty members who went to TPU this summer.  Below is his reflection on how this teaching assignment fulfilled a lifelong goal and how rewarding it was to teach Chinese students.

Written by Kyle Moninger

I love teaching because I love the students. And my recent trip as a visiting faculty to Tianjin Polytechnic University really reinforced that in me. Since I was a teenager, I dreamed about traveling to teach at a foreign university, and I'm so blessed to say that I have fulfilled that dream at such a young age. While traveling to a new country can be very intimidating, the staff at TPU was incredibly welcoming and would stop at nothing to make sure I was comfortable and taken care of. 

But I was even more impressed by the students. Operations Research (OR) 3800 is a very challenging course at BGSU, and they worked tirelessly to be successful in it. But they weren't only interested in learning the material. They made the most of my time with them and regularly met me for dinner and sight-seeing. 

Looking back over my trip, some of my favorite times were when the students and I would go downtown for dinner to celebrate after an exam, or we would meet for lunch after class to further go over a difficult topic from that morning's lecture. During these conversations, I saw how determined they were to succeed in the course, and also their desire to honor me as a friend and guest in their country. It was such a learning experience for all of us; I learned so much about China and the culture, and they could practice their English and learn about my life.

I formed many new friendships while staying in China and I am so grateful to the staff and students who welcomed me to the city like I was part of their family. As many of the students and staff will travel to BGSU in the coming year, I look forward to returning the favor to them.