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The American Cultural Center (ACC) established at Northeastern University (NEU) in Shenyang, China, by Appalachian State University continued a second year of sustainability activities that included presentations and film discussions led by faculty from Appalachian.
The center was launched in May 2013 with an initial $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State. Activities have continued with two subsequent $50,000 annual grants. Appalachian is one of 24 U.S. universities to receive the U.S. Department of State grants to open an American Cultural Center at a Chinese university.
Dr. Xiaorong Shao and Mr. Allan Scherlen, faculty members in Appalachian’s Belk Library and Information Commons, and Dr. Wen Zhao, dean of the Foreign Studies College at Northeastern University, co-direct the ACC.
Five professors from Appalachian traveled to China in May to give presentations and lead film discussions during American Cultural Week at NEU. The group also conducted similar lectures and film showings at centers located at Shanghai University and the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, as well as the Appalachian partner university Beijing International Studies University.
Faculty participating in this year’s program were Dr. Jennifer Westerman from the Department of Sustainable Development, who presented on eco-literature and environmental justice; Dr. Gregory Reck from the Department of Anthropology who addressed the cultural constructions of human nature and the effects of global capital on climate change; and Dr. Beth Cramer, Dr. Xiaorong Shao and John Boyd from the University Libraries who led film discussions and talked about American higher education, graduate studies in the U.S. and writing for publication.
In addition, Dean of Libraries Joyce Ogburn spoke on trends and issues affecting academic libraries in the United States and visited the libraries at Northeastern University and Fudan University in Shanghai to discuss future collaboration opportunities between our institutions.
“The trip gave us the opportunity to affirm the relationships between the libraries. We also found many common challenges facing libraries in both countries,” Ogburn said.
To date, 22 faculty members have traveled from Boone to China to participate in the international program. “All presentations and film sessions were well received by the students and faculty members in the host Chinese universities,” Shao said. “The students were very active in most sessions and willing to share their ideas about the environment issues facing our two nations,” she added. Appalachian representatives also noted how the Chinese students participated in active learning and discussion – a style of learning to which many of the students are not generally accustomed.
The grant provided books and documentary films related to sustainable development for ACCs at Shanghai University and University of Shanghai for Science and Technology as well as books related to American classic literature for the ACC reading room at NEU. In addition, Appalachian hosted two visitors from NEU this summer, while Dr. Jeanne Dubino from the Department of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies returned to teach at Northeastern University from May to July this year as a Fulbright Scholar. Dubino was the ACC exchange professor in 2014.
Shao and Scherlen plan to organize future American Culture Center programs and invite Appalachian faculty to share their expertise about American culture with audiences at NEU and other universities in China. Plans are in progress to apply for a fourth year ACC supplemental grant from the State Department.
A video about this year’s American Culture Center program and activities associated with American Cultural Week prepared by Northeastern University can be seen at https://youtu.be/VEIWnNBWK4g.
Appalachian has had a relationship with Northeastern University since 1981 when former chancellor John E. Thomas initiated an exchange program with what was then called Northeast Institute of Technology. Appalachian was the first university in the United States to develop a bilateral relationship with a Chinese university that was not initiated at a government level following China’s Open Door Policy of the late 1970s.
The American Cultural Center is jointly operated by Appalachian State University and Northeastern University, which is now considered one of China’s top 50 universities. The Center officially opened in May 2013 and has an office and a reading room with approximately 7,800 books in English, 3,500 books in Chinese, 68 magazines and journals in Chinese, 89 magazines and journals in English, and 1,400 films and music CDs. Since its inception, the Center has successfully implemented 15 major programs and more than 68 activities in collaboration with Appalachian, Ping Pong Productions, Fulbright Scholars, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang, other ACCs and universities in both China and U.S.
Attention all students (Undergraduate and Graduate)!
Belk Library is looking for volunteers to serve on the Belk Library Student Advisory Committee. This committee, which began in Fall 2010 has done many exciting things to make the library a more user-centered environment. The committee is charged to advise, plan and evaluate new services and operate as a sounding board and test group for new and existing services and new library initiatives.
The Belk Library Student Advisory Committee will be composed of at least two representatives from each class: freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior, and grads, and we encourage a variety of majors to apply. In Fall 2015, the committee will meet at 6pm on Sept. 30, Oct. 28, and Nov. 18 for 60-90 minutes. The term for appointment is one year, with the option to extend if you would like. Your service on this is a great addition to your Co-Curricular Transcript.
So make your voice count! If you are interested in volunteering for our Student Advisory Committee, please fill out our volunteer form no later than September 2, 2015. Appointments will be made after that date and appointees notified by email. If you have any questions, contact Geri Purpur, User Experience Librarian, by email at email@example.com or by phone at 828-262-6903.
No more waiting in long lines just to print a few pages. The Belk Library now has an Express Print Station for printing 10 pages or less. It is located on the first floor, near the front entrance.
Since 1997, incoming freshmen at ASU have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian State University. By participating in the Common Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students.
This year's selection is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Ishmael Beah was born in 1980 in the nation of Sierra Leone. While Beah was still a young boy, his country descended into a horrific civil war, and Beah was forced to flee his village when rebels brutally attacked. Beah was picked up as a young teenager by the government army. While still at heart a gentle boy, he was nevertheless pressed into service as a government guerrilla soldier.
September 3, 2015 10:00 a.m., Holmes Convention Center
Q&A Panel Discussion with Faculty, Staff, and Students
Septermber 3, 2015 2:00 p.m., Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union
Author Reading and Book Signing
September 3, 2015, 7:30 p.m., Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union
For more information, please email Diana Barbee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-262-6725
Free parking available in the Library Deck
Jim Grimsley, known for his work as a novelist and playwright, will speak July 16 at Appalachian State University.
His talk, sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons, begins at 4 p.m. in room 114 in the library. The event is free and the public is invited. A reception and book signing will follow his presentation.
His book “How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood,” published in April by Algonquin Books, has been called “a powerful meditation on race” by former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and “a sensitive memoir that probes the past to discover what and how Grimsley learned about race, equality and democracy ‘from the good white people’ in his family and community,” according to Kirkus Reviews.
His other novels include “Winter Birds,” a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; “Dream Boy,” winner of the Award for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Literature; “My Drowning,” a Lila-Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award winner; and “Comfort and Joy,” a Lambda Literary Award finalist.
He has written 11 full-length and four one-act plays, including “Mr. Universe,” “The Lizard of Tarsus,” “White People” and “The Existentialists.” A collection of his plays, “Mr. Universe and Other Plays,” was published by Algonquin in 1998, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in drama.
Grimsley has been playwright-in-residence at 7Stages Theatre of Atlanta since 1986 and was playwright-in-residence at About Face Theatre of Chicago from 2000-04. In 1988 he was awarded the George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright for his play “Mr. Universe.” He was also awarded the first-ever Bryan Prize for Drama, presented by the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 1993 for distinguished achievement in playwriting.
Belk Library has a new version of APPsearch!
You will now see a new interface, which has the power to simultaneously search across content from over 100 library databases and the library catalog.
APPsearch will now provide the user with a customized searching experience, based on a variety of search options and tools. Best of all, the new APPsearch displays results super fast.
Another change is the new search box on the library homepage. The new search box is more streamlined, allowing for a simpler, more efficient searching experience.
We do not have any workshops scheduled so far this summer for learning EndNote, Zotero, or Mendeley, but we can work with you by appointment. Either in person or web conferencing. Small groups are welcome also.
Also see our library guide.
APPsearch will soon have a new search engine. This summer, we are switching to EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS). You will notice a new interface (but familiar to those who already search EBSCO products), basic and advanced search options, searching simultaneously across content from over 100 library databases and the library catalog, along with quick display of search results.
You can try it out now and tell us what you think. We are planning on going live at the end of June.
Tom Higgins, who has been called NASCAR’s storyteller, will talk about his sports writing career June 12 at Appalachian State University. Higgins wrote about motorsports for the Charlotte Observer for more than three decades.
Higgins’ talk is sponsored by Belk Library and Information Commons. The free event will begin at 4 p.m. in room 421 in the library. A reception will follow.
The fourth recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, Higgins was honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony in January and featured in an exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
The Burnsville native began his career as a sports writer in the late 1950s, covering sports for the Canton Enterprise after graduating from Brevard College, where he played baseball and basketball.
He later joined the Asheville Citizen-Times, and said in an interview with the paper that, “Once I got to Asheville and heard the clacking of those teletype machines and was part of the excitement of putting out a daily newspaper, I was hooked.”
His first auto race was at the Asheville Weaverville Speedway.
Higgins is the author of “Racing into the Past,” which covers the early years of NASCAR, “NASCAR Greatest Races: The 25 Most Thrilling Races in NASCAR History” and coauthor of “Junior Johnson: Brave in Life.”