By: John G. Dulmage ’12, Adjunct Faculty member, CoLA and CGCS
Dr. Kevin Fleming, Ph.D., Chair of the Psychology and Education Department has a vision for applied psychology in a global cultural context. Beginning in the fall of 2016, Norwich University, in cooperation with g-Meo, a global education collaborative and one of its consortium partners, Concordia University of Chicago, introduced Cross-Cultural Psychology at the Chengdu American Center for Study Abroad. Other offerings in the spring mini-semester expanded the program to include Social Psychology and Cross-Cultural Psychology for its second time. Summer Session 1 in June and July, in cooperation with another consortium partner, Fairleigh Dickinson University, welcomed four Norwich students (Sana Hamze ’20, Damon Watkins ’20, Morgan Chapman ’18, and Emily Johnston ’20) who will attend five weeks of class in Developmental Psychology and the flagship standard, Cross-Cultural Psychology. Led by Norwich Adjunct Faculty member John Dulmage, each of these courses explore course content with a cultural emphasis. Through careful preparation, Professor Dulmage has reached out to the Chinese service and business community, creating sustainable relationships that will enrich student academic experience as well as students’ social lives while in Chengdu.
Integral to education in China, students have immersed themselves in Mandarin as well as in cultural excursions stressing elements of a practical nature at local human service organizations. Current students have visited Xi’an, the site of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, Chinese Opera, made dumplings with local Chinese families, visited historical sites within the city limits, played traditional Chinese musical instruments under the guidance of Sichuan University Music Observatory students and of course, shopped at ultra-modern malls such as the student favorite, Raffles City.
Chengdu is a modern 21st-century city of 14 million people, bustling with traditional values linked with newly sought westward leaning aspirations. Students have discovered that Chinese students have much to offer the world but they also are willing to learn Western values and beliefs. In addition, American students have the opportunity to participate in a number of team-building sport activities while they are here. They also visit various corporate organizations as part of their professional development to investigate internship possibilities.
Following the lead of the Norwich Criminal Justice program in recent years, the Norwich Psychology program is readily establishing itself as one of the Principal Partners in providing student enrollment and programmatic leadership in two pivotal Norwich academic disciplines. So what is the next frontier? It is simply to bring more Chinese students to Norwich and encourage more enrollment of Norwich students in the Chengdu Study Abroad Program. The door is open…