College Hosts Fourth Fulbright Scholar in Six Years

by Diane VanDyke

For the fourth time in six years, the Fulbright Scholar Program has awarded Montgomery County Community College with a Fulbright Visiting Scholar-in-Residence.

This year’s Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence is Dr. Jiaxi Xu, a science professor from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China.  Dr. Xu has taught chemistry and related courses for more than 15 years at several prestigious Chinese universities and has published numerous articles in his field. He is teaching Organic Chemistry and Chemistry courses at the College for the Spring 2012 semester.

“I teach the course of Organic Chemistry to students with Chemistry as majors, conduct my research on organic synthesis, especially on synthetic methodology, and supervise my students, including Ph.D. candidates, master’s degree students, undergraduate students and foreign students in China,” he said. “I plan to be a cultural ambassador to give lectures on academic research, Chinese culture, and modern China to students, faculties and the public in the U.S. to foster mutual understanding between China and the U.S.”

Prior Fulbright Visiting Scholars at the College included Fernando Da Silva Camargo (Brazil), who taught Latin American History in 2006; Rosnani Binti Hashim (Malaysia), who introduced Islamic culture and practices to 36 classes at the College in 2007; and Cephas Yao Agbemenu (Kenya), who taught contemporary African Art and Culture and Woodcarving.

“Education is about encountering what you don’t already know,” said MCCC Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman, who led a committee of faculty, administrators and staff that wrote the proposal for the Fulbright Scholar Program. “The Fulbright Program gives the College the opportunity to expose students and the community to the culture and expertise of outstanding, internationally-recognized scholars like Dr. Xu, who can share their knowledge and the best practices in their fields.”

The Fulbright Scholar Program is administered by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

As part of the Fulbright Program, Dr. Xu welcomes requests by community organizations for visits and lectures. For more information, contact Administrative Director for Social Sciences Jim Cameron at 215-641-6373 or jcameron@mc3.edu.

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