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Dean strengthens partnership with Japanese university

EHE News
April 03, 2019

In an intentional effort to raise the college’s international profile, Dean Don Pope-Davis traveled to Japan in late March to meet with University of Tsukuba faculty and senior leadership.

The trip was designed to bolster a university partnership years in the making — beginning with research collaboration with Jackie Goodway, professor of kinesiology, in 2010 and formalized by a “Campus-in-Campus” Initiative last year.

“The Japan visit reflects the dean’s comprehensive, multifaceted strategy to bolster EHE’s reputation as a world-class college of education and human ecology,” said Kerry Dixon, executive director for civic and global engagement for the college who accompanied Pope-Davis on the trip.

The leaders discussed education, commerce and workforce development as well as cultural affairs. In addition to the University of Tsukuba and U.S. Embassy visits, the dean met with private sector executives in Tsukuba and the Deputy Director of the Japan International House in Tokyo.

Don Pope-Davis and University of Tsukuba Vice President Caroline Benton in the university's virtual reality lab

The visit coincided with a conference sponsored by the University of Tsukuba at one of its K-12 laboratory schools in Tokyo. Matthew Brock, assistant professor of special education, gave a keynote speech on preparing educators to work with students with severe cognitive disabilities. Brock and Dean Pope-Davis met Japanese teachers and administrators working in the field.

“Reaffirming the college’s engagement with the University of Tsukuba will help make us better as we advance our international initiatives,” Pope-Davis said. “I look forward to sending more of our faculty and students to Japan to enhance our partnership with them.”

Four University of Tsukuba faculty and staff members also came to Ohio State in early March to meet and collaborate with special education faculty.

The Japan visit is an outgrowth of the Campus-in-Campus Initiative, a rare multi-college, university agreement that fosters transnational, interdisciplinary research partnerships, educator and student exchanges, the co-design of courses and collaboration on diversity and inclusion measures. Other institutions in the initiative are the University of California Irvine, University of Bordeaux of France, Utrecht University in the Netherlands, National Taiwan University, University of Sao Paulo, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and University of Grenoble.

The College of Education and Human Ecology led Ohio State to secure the initiative, which also includes the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences. Goodway initiated the connection after sharing her groundbreaking research in motor skill development and physical activity in young children at the University of Tsukuba, then collaborating to design the Tsukuba Summer Institute. She and Professor Sue Sutherland began leading education abroad trips there in 2016.

True to the Campus-in-Campus commitment for transnational collaboration, the college has led numerous delegations to the University of Tsukuba and hosted seven at Ohio State, including a visit by Tsukuba’s President Kyosuke Nagata.

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