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Dr. Qingjun (Joan) Li named Chaney Distinguished Professor

Dr. Qingjun LiDr. Qingjun (Joan) Li, Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Chinese Language, was named Belmont's 2014-15 Chaney Distinguished Professor. The Chaney Distinguished Professor Award, determined on the basis of superior teaching, is presented each year to a faculty member who best represents the vision of the university to be a “premier teaching institution."

Carter Wins First Place in MTSU's Chinese Language Writing Contest

Clarke CarterBelmont sophomore Clarke Carter, international business major and Chinese minor, won the first place award in the Advanced Category at Middle Tennessee State University Confucius Institute’s Second Annual Chinese Language Writing Contest. In the fall of 2014, Carter entered the contest by writing a Chinese essay called, “My Best Friend.” The purpose of the contest is to promote interest in Chinese learning among American and Chinese American students, to offer a platform to present their Chinese writing skills and to increase their understanding of Chinese language and culture. Under the guidance of Dr. Qingjun Li, assistant professor of Asian Studies and Chinese Language, Carter is the first Belmont student to win an award in Elementary Chinese Writing for Non-Heritage, Advanced Chinese Writing for Non-Heritage or Chinese Writing for Heritage Chinese learners.

Jennifer Toppins is awarded Confucius Institute Scholarship for Chinese language immersion study
Jennifer ToppinsBelmont junior Jennifer Toppins has been awarded a Confucius Institute Scholarship for Chinese Language Study of Chinese Government into Hangzhou Normal University for Chinese language immersion study from March – July 2015. Hangzhou Normal University is located in Hangzhou. It was founded in 1978, but the forerunner of the university can be traced back to the Zhejiang 2-level Normal School established in 1908. Jennifer majors in both English and Chinese as a Belmont Honors Student and will take courses in advanced Chinese language at Hangzhou Normal. Jennifer was recommend by faculty in Belmont’s Chinese and Asian Studies programs to participate in MTSU’s Confucius Institute. She was then nominated to Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) of the Chinese Government for this competitive scholarship.
Psychology Students Conduct Cross-Cultural Study During Study Abroad Trip to China

Creating and validating a new measure of a psychological variable requires a series of studies to accumulate evidence for the measure’s usefulness.  A group of students in the Department of Psychological Science at Belmont have been doing research to develop two new psychological scales and will continue their ongoing research program in China this summer.  Iris Chiang, Heather Dudley, Joseph Kenkel, Matthew Maloney, and Savannah Johnson have been working with Dr. Pete Giordano over the last several semesters collecting data to investigate the validity and reliability of two new measures.  The Global Dominance Inventory assesses both social dominance orientation and domineeringness, and the Traditional Gender Roles Inventory measures beliefs about traditional masculine and feminine gender roles.  The data they have collected thus far in three studies support the usefulness of these measures.  However, more data would be helpful to have. Working with Dr. Giordano, Iris, Heather, Joseph, and Matthew will be joining a study abroad trip to China in June (Savannah will be with them in spirit!) to conduct a cross-cultural validation of these two new scales.  They will be collecting data from Zhengzhou University undergraduates.  The Belmont researchers expect there will be cultural differences in how the Chinese students will respond on these two scales, when compared to their samples of Belmont undergraduates.  Dr. Ronnie Littlejohn and Dr. Joan Li, the other faculty sponsors on the China trip, have been instrumental in working with faculty and administrators at Zhengzhou University to work out details for this research project. In addition, the Asian Studies Program at Belmont is providing generous financial support to make this research opportunity possible.

New Asian Studies and Japanese Language Faculty to Start in August, 2015
Belmont has made a joint appointment in Asian Studies and Japanese Language for Dr. Kimiyo Murata-Soraci, who will begin next August.  Dr. Murata-Soraci holds a Ph.D. from Boston University, a master’s from Yale, and a bachelor’s from Aoyama Gaikuin University.  She comes to us from a joint position at Tama University’s School of Global Studies and Waseda University’s School of International Liberal Studies, where she has taught since 2009.  From 2005-2007, she taught as an adjunct faculty member in philosophy at Belmont.  She has also taught at Emerson College, Boston University, and in the Department of East Asian Studies at Vanderbilt.  In addition to her interests in Japanese language pedagogy, she has taught courses in Self & Japanese Culture; Japanese Spirituality; Aesthetics of East Asia, Japanese Culture & Postmodernism, Asian Religions in Dialogue, and a number of courses in 19th and 20th century Continental Philosophy.  She is an experienced First Year Seminar teacher and will be teaching two sections of FYS at Belmont next fall.