Fairmont State University and the Department of Language and Literature welcome Chen Yi, as a visiting scholar from the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Yangli in Xhaanxi Province, China. Yi’s year-long residency began Wednesday, Oct. 4, according to Dr. Angela Schwer, chair of the Department of Language and Literature.
Chen, a lecturer in English, will teach a class on Mandarin at FSU and, with faculty in Language and Literature, will conduct research on literature and the writing of research papers.
“Professor Chen's area of scholarship is American Transcendentalism, so Fairmont State is a perfect choice for him, as our American literature faculty are particularly strong in this area. In exchange, we look forward to learning about how American literature is perceived in China and gaining a better understanding of some of the classic Chinese texts we teach in World Literature classes,” Schwer said.
Chen has been teaching college English, particularly English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to non-English majors. At the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yi also offers courses to improve students' English reading and writing skills and courses to enhance their understanding of English culture, such as English and American literature.
Regarding his work at Fairmont State, Chen said, “I think I will begin to get them interested in me and my culture. I can use pictures, videos and other materials to help while teaching your students. I hope to encourage American speak and write more in Chinese.”
“I hope to do research work with the faculty’s help with an aim to make us mutually enriched,” Chen added.
Dr. Christina M. Lavorata, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, said, “I commend the Department of Language and Literature for continuing to bring international scholars to our campus. Many FSU students will never have the opportunity to travel abroad, and so the Visiting Scholars program brings the world to us. We all benefit from a first-hand look at other ways of thinking, speaking, and interacting.”
Yi will be accompanied by his wife, Li Xia, and their daughter, Chen Xi Lu.
Xi Lu will attend West Fairmont Middle School.
Yi contacted the Department of Language and Literature late last winter about his interest to attend literature lectures and observe classroom activities and collaborate with faculty members and conduct research.
Yi has been granted authorization to come to the United States with a J-1 visa for visiting scholars. FSU is part of the West Virginia HEPC J-1 Consortium, directed by Dr. Clark Egnor, that facilitates J-1 visitors. Dr.Erin Hippolyte, International Study Coordinator at FSU, is the local reporting officer for the Consortium.
Hippolyte said, “The statewide J-1 visa consortium, sponsored by the WVHEPC International Office, is an important capacity builder for international education in West Virginia. By hosting visiting scholars, we bring new experiences to our students and foster global faculty connections.”
Yi’s visit is sponsored by the Chinese Scholarship Council, a non-profit organization seeking to provide financial assistance to Chinese scholars who want to study abroad and international students who want to study in China.
Its goal is to further the academic and cultural exchanges between China and other countries in order to bring about positive change.