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Shanghai University Honors UK Journalism Professor

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

University of Kentucky journalism professor Buck Ryan was honored by Shanghai University at a teaching award ceremony after completing a two-week summer course sponsored by the Confucius Institute.

Ryan, who is director of the Citizen Kentucky Project of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center and former director of the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications, was Shanghai University's first journalism professor in residence from UK in the summer of 2010. This summer he joined 28 other UK faculty members on a path-breaking initiative by the Confucius Institute to build connections between UK and Shanghai University.

The UK faculty members joined professors from other U.S. institutions, including Yale University, as well as professors from Austria, Australia, Denmark, Ireland and other nations for the first International Education Forum at Shanghai University, which provides a two-week international experience for students before they begin their school year.

"It was indeed wonderful to enable 29 UK faculty to teach at Shanghai University this summer," said Huajing Maske, whose Confucius Institute at UK was honored as among the best in the world at a ceremony last year in Beijing. "For most of the faculty, it was their first time to visit China."

Ryan first visited Shanghai with Maske in 2009 as part of a UK delegation to establish the Confucius Institute. She called his teaching award "very well deserved."

Ryan was honored at the June 28 closing ceremonies, for a course he taught with his son Austin Ryan, 18, a Lexington Catholic High School graduate, called "Storytelling: Exploring China's Art and Culture." 

Buck Ryan wrote the syllabus for the course, taught as part of the International Short-Term Programs of the College of Liberal Arts, and Austin Ryan served as a writing coach to help the 30 Chinese students, freshmen or sophomores, with their English.

"The original intent was to use my Maestro Concept approach to storytelling and my 'Writing Baby' textbook to help the students with their writing," Buck Ryan said. "The final reality was that our brilliant students taught my son and me as much about China's art and culture as we could teach them about writing and American culture." 

On an honorary credential for Buck Ryan, the dean of SHU's College of Liberal Arts wrote, "Your dedication and hard work have contributed to our multicultural perspectives and shown us the advantages of a pluralistic world."

Alice Wang, one of the 30 students in the class who is a journalism major, said, "I love your class, Professor Ryan, and Austin is truly outstanding."