International Outreach

Confucius Institute instructor “Sally” Sa Wu shows  UC Davis Study Abroad staff member Dana Armstrong how to fold Chinese dumplings

Confucius Institute instructor “Sally” Sa Wu shows UC Davis Study Abroad staff member Dana Armstrong how to fold Chinese dumplings

Confucius Institute

The Confucius Institute at UC Davis, having just completed its inaugural year after a very successful September 2013 launch, is moving ahead with a robust slate of programs for 2014-15 that will include old favorites, and very special new events. Popular programs will continue to include weekly Tea & Conversation, and the monthly dumpling workshops.

The inaugural year also brought a number of changes to the Institute’s structure. The Institute’s founding director, Professor Emeritus Charles F. Shoemaker, was invited to be a distinguished lecturer at both Jiangnan and Zhejiang universities in China. To insure continuity of leadership for the Institute, co-director Linxia Liang, also director for Asian International Programs in UOIP, took over as administrative director in the spring.

While still maintaining community outreach programming, 2014-15 will also bring a more refined academic focus, particularly in the areas of food science and technology, viticulture and enology, and east Asian language and culture. Professors Glenn Young and Andy Waterhouse, of Food Science and Technology and Viticulture and Enology, respectively, will join the Institute as part-time faculty directors with a charge of identifying academic programming opportunities by way of lectures, seminars, conferences and colloquia. The goal of these faculty directors is to strengthen the services offered by the Institute to the students and faculty of the partner units. The Institute’s UC Davis partners are the departments of Viticulture and Enology, Food Science and Technology, and East Asian Languages and Cultures; the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and the Provost’s University Outreach and International Programs —soon to be Global Affairs.

confucius.ucdavis.edu

Seed Grants: African Plant Breeding Academy

The opening of the new African Plant Breeding Academy, designed to improve the livelihood and health of Africa’s 600 million smallholder farmers and their families, was celebrated in December 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya, by researchers from UC Davis, and their global partners from the African Orphan Crops Consortium.

The academy plans to sequence, assemble and annotate the genomes of 100 traditional African food crops to guide development of vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products that are more robust and nutritious. This work is intended to help eliminate hunger and malnutrition, which frequently causes physical stunting and incomplete neurological development among children in rural Africa.

This program was supported by a Seed Grant for New Initiatives by University Outreach and International Programs in fall 2013.

pba.ucdavis.edu/PBA_in_Africa

Senior International Officers from California, Oregon, Washington and Monterrey, Mexico, attended the first Association of Pacific Rim Universities North American Meeting.

Senior International Officers from California, Oregon, Washington and Monterrey, Mexico, attended the first Association of Pacific Rim Universities North American Meeting.

Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Conference

University Outreach and International Programs hosted the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) North America Consultative Meeting at UC Davis on February 20-21, 2014. The meeting on “Engagement with the Pacific Rim – Deriving Value from APRU Membership” addressed key issues in Asia-Pacific Higher Education. Discussions focused on APRU’s initiatives to advance opportunities in education and research, promote quality teaching and learning through innovation and professional development, and to ensure productive outcomes in the context of international competition and funding challenges across Pacific Rim member universities.

APRU is now emerging as a key part of the international architecture for the Asia-Pacific region, re-focusing its strategy and building partnerships with international organizations including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations. Recent analysis by Elsevier, an academic publishing company, reveals APRU as one of the most influential international alliances owing to the productivity of research collaborations among its members.

apru.org

UC Davis PhD candidate Hussain Sharifi (right), explains the e-Afghan Ag website to the Afghan Minister of Agriculture at the Afghan International Agricultural Fair.

UC Davis PhD candidate Hussain Sharifi (right), explains the e-Afghan Ag website to the Afghan Minister of Agriculture at the Afghan International Agricultural Fair. 

Leading Collaborative projects in Afghanistan

The UC Davis International Programs Office of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences leads a variety of collaborative projects in Afghanistan. Two of these projects, the Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project (AAEP) and the e-Afghan Ag project (eafghanag.ucdavis.edu), showcased their work in the recent 2014 National Extension workshop in Kabul and also at the International Afghan Agricultural Fair (October 31- November 2, 2013). The 2014 workshop brought together over 300 district extension workers, while the Fair was attended by more than 15,000 people and hosted 200 booths. Despite challenging conditions, both projects have progressed and established positive relations with the local Ministry. Funded by USDA, AAEP brings together a consortium of Land Grant universities to strengthen national agricultural extension capacity. The e-Afghan Ag project, also funded by USDA, is an online project that provides credible relevant information to those helping farmers in Afghanistan. More recently, e-Afghan Ag is supporting the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture in creating their own nationally-managed online extension resource.

ip.ucdavis.edu

Students Shaleeka Cornelius and Liseli James learn how to measure heights in Tanzania as part of a program looking at the Most Vulnerable Child program in Tanzania.

Students Shaleeka Cornelius and Liseli James learn how to measure heights in Tanzania as part of a program looking at the Most Vulnerable Child program in Tanzania.

Evaluating Aid Programs in Africa

Two undergraduate students from Howard University, Shaleeka Cornelius and Liseli James, participants in the Evolution and Ecology Graduate Admissions Pathways (EEGAP) program at UC Davis, explored the effectiveness of selected aid programs in Africa. Looking at a Most Vulnerable Child (MVC) program in a remote area of western Tanzania they were able to make recommendations to the Usevya Development Society (UDESO), the implementing partner.

The MVC program, aimed at improving the lives of village children who are either orphaned or living in impoverished homes, is funded by the Walter Reed Program – Tanzania. Cornelius and James gathered economic, educational and anthropometric data on children in the program, and compared these to long-term demographic data in the same and adjacent villages. They found two somewhat contradictory but intriguing results. Children who were relatively privileged (in terms of wealth of their home, their education and their growth) were more likely to be registered in the MVC program – suggesting village-level political interference in the selection of households destined to receive aid, and perhaps village leader nepotism – certainly not something unique to this program. They also found something more encouraging. Because the program was (for undetermined reasons) under-resourced, not all selected households actually received aid (food, school uniforms, mosquito nets, etc.). It was the village MVC coordinators who decide who, amongst all the registered children, actually receive the aid. And these coordinators, in all cases a mother raising children in tough conditions, selected for aid those children in most dire need, at least as revealed by our wealth, educational and anthropometric indicators. So programs can self-correct at the real grass-roots level.

UC Davis faculty members Tim Caro and Monique Borgerhoff Mulder say goodbye to Liseli James and Sheleeka Cornelius at the airport in Sumbawanga, Tanzania

UC Davis faculty members Tim Caro and Monique Borgerhoff Mulder say goodbye to Liseli James and Sheleeka Cornelius at the airport in Sumbawanga, Tanzania.

The EEGAP program (PI Rick Grosberg and coordinator Carole Hom) is a partnership that provides Howard University undergraduates with summer research at UC Davis and joint mentoring by Howard University and UC Davis faculty. Cornelius and James worked in Tim Caro and Monique Borgerhoff Mulder’s “lab”, a village in Tanzania’s Katavi Region, adjacent to Katavi National Park. The deans of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the College of Biological Sciences, and the College of Letters and Science - Social Sciences, all contributed to the additional costs of this summer internship. In addition to their program evaluation, Cornelius and James assisted with research designed to assess the impact of upgrading a proposed road through a national park by measuring tree densities, helped with counting animals along road transects, provided secondary school student tuition, assisted in a Raleigh International efficient stove building enterprise, and installed software on laptops for the new Usevya Youth Center. They also wrote essays on Swahili culture and history, on the effects of road building (and the Millennium Development Goals more generally) on the lives of people in rural Africa, and on the methodology for assessing biodiversity in protected areas.

While neither Cornelius nor James are currently planning on careers in evolution, ecology or anthropology, their experiences in a remote African village have changed their views forever on inequality, privilege and differential access to health and wellbeing, as well as to the complex issues entailed in protecting biodiversity.

eegap.ucdavis.edu