The UTC Asia Program is hosting the Seventh Annual Introduction to Asia Conference on March 5, from noon-5 p.m. at the UTC University Center. Students, professors, teachers, administrators and the public are welcome.
Support is provided by the Freeman Foundation, the UTC College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies, the Japanese government, and the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta (TECO). The program will be held in the UTC University Center beginning in the Raccoon Mountain Room with several subsequent sessions taking place at the Heritage, Chickamauga, Hiwassee, Sequoyah, and Ocoee rooms.
Admission is free for all members of the university community, educators, and members of the general public who wish to attend. A free lunch will be provided for the first 100 applicants who register for the conference. Conference attendees are encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible. To qualify for the complimentary lunch, participants must complete a short form and agree to attend the opening conference session and a minimum of one other Japan session.
Register for a complimentary lunch by obtaining an online application.
This year’s Introduction to Asia Conference features special small group concurrent program sessions on Japan and Taiwan, beginning with a special Japanese government-sponsored program: “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” from noon to 3 pm. The Japan portion of the program features five outstanding speakers who have consistently made efforts to convey the strengths and appeal of Japan to the United States.
Speakers include a former ambassador, a diplomat, a trading company employee, a think-tank researcher, and a current university student. The Japan portion of the program will be followed from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. by two sessions on Taiwan: Asia’s most vibrant, best-kept secret.
The Director General of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta, Steven Tai, will present “Taiwan & the US: Closer Than You Think,” and UTC’s Lucien Ellington will present “Taiwan’s Cultural and Tourist Treasures.”
“This year’s Introduction to Asia Conference offers attendees the chance, through small group sessions, to learn new perspectives about Japan, a well-known American nation, and discover Taiwan (The Republic of China), an Asian dynamo that is not as familiar in the U.S. as it should be,” said Lucien Ellington, Director of Asia Program/Center for Reflective Citizenship, Editor of Education About Asia, and UC Foundation Professor of Education.
Japan, with the world’s third largest economy, remains one of the world’s most important nations for Americans and particularly so for Tennesseans; Tennessee ranks second only to California in total Japanese direct investment. Taiwan with a population of over 23 million people and the world’s 27th largest economy is also increasingly linked with Tennessee; recent statistics indicate that Taiwan is Tennessee’s 5th largest export market in Asia and virtually anyone who uses a cell phone in this nation benefits from Taiwanese technology, Ellington explained.
“This conference is far from simply about economics. Japan and Taiwan have rich cultures, are free societies, and, as developed nations, face some of the same opportunities and problems that we do. Our session topics offer something for anyone who wants to know more about these two places,” Ellington said.
If you have any questions, or if you would like to be sent an application directly, please email or call
Jeffrey Melnik can answer questions or send an application directly to those who request one. Email him at edast@edu or call 423-425-2118.