Melbourne Educators the Pattersons Earn Three-week Summer Field Seminar in China

 MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology Professor of Humanities Gordon Patterson and wife Joy Patterson were awarded a paid three-week Asian Studies Development Program China Field Seminar, June 19-July 10. Joy is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Humanities and Communication as well as the senior faculty member in the English Department at Melbourne Central Catholic High School (MCC).

The seminar, titled, “Frontiers: Culture, Nature and Industry from China’s Northeast to the World Expo,” is an activity of the China-U.S. Faculty Exchange Program. The program is co-sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education, Peking University and the Asian Studies Development Program, a joint project of the East-West Center and University of Hawaii.

“We will explore modern Chinese history, culture and politics,” said Gordon. “Before and after our field study in Northeast China we will be in Beijing and Shanghai. These are considered frontier cities in terms of China’s global outreach economically and culturally.” The couple will travel to Yanji, Yanbian and Ha’erbin in the Northeast.

Northeast China, where some of the country’s dynasties were established, is among the country’s most culturally and historically interesting. During the Sino-Japanese conflict of the early 20th Century, the area was referred to as Manchukuo. Home to generations of Chinese-Korean and Chinese-Russian minorities and with borders adjoining Russia, North Korea and Mongolia, the Northeast remains an important geo-political frontier.

Joy is MCC English Department Chair Emeritus. In January, she was awarded the Catholic Educator of the Year Award for secondary educators in the Diocese of Orlando.

Gordon has been on the Florida Tech faculty since 1981. He is the university’s historian and documented its history in a College History Series book. Author of three books documenting the history of mosquito control, in 2010 he received the Presidential Citation Award from the American Mosquito Control Association at its annual convention, where he also delivered the keynote address.

“I am very proud of Gordon and Joy. They are a credit to our department and are most deserving of this educational experience in China. They will make the very most of it,” said Robert Taylor, head of the Florida Tech Department of Humanities and Communication.

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