Baylor University Hosts Hong Kong Students, Professors

July 8, 2016

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Media contact: Tonya Lewis, (254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (July 8, 2016) — In a two-week exchange program, 22 students and four faculty members from Hong Kong traveled to Baylor University to interact with students and faculty from Baylor’s environmental science department and to learn about the culture and environment in Texas.

All of the students attending the trip were studying environmental science or a related field, said Jill Chiu, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Hong Kong Baptist University. She helped to initiate the exchange program and traveled to Baylor with the group.

Chiu said the students attended from four universities in Hong Kong: Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. While in Texas, they met with faculty from Baylor’s environmental science department to learn about environmental issues in Texas.

“The Hong Kong students have had a great opportunity to witness not only environmental issues related to Texas but learn about some of our cultural differences and similarities,” said Doug Nesmith, environmental laboratory coordinator in Baylor’s environmental science department. “This will hopefully help build bridges between the Hong Kong students and students and faculty here at Baylor.”

The students also toured Waco, visiting the Mayborn Museum Complex and the Waco Mammoth Site. They volunteered at the World Hunger Relief Farm and visited the Lake Waco Wetlands, where they spoke with Lake Waco Wetlands coordinator Nora Schell about Texas ecology, the creation of the wetlands and the conservation of ecosystems such as wetlands. The students also walked onto the dock and used nets to sift through the water and debris for small bugs and beetles.

While in the state, the students visited several parks such as Bastrop State Park, Brazos Bend State Park, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch and National Historical Park. They also visited the Fort Worth Cultural District, watched the Independence Day parade in Belton, attended a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo and ate both Mexican food and traditional Texas barbecue.

“It was very different from anything they had experienced,” Chiu said of her students’ Mexican food meal. For many, she said, it was their first time to the United States and Texas.

At the end of the trip, the students gave group presentations to both Hong Kong and Baylor faculty about topics related to environmental management. They examined aspects of environmental management in both Texas and Hong Kong and explored potential case studies and ways in which American methods could be applied in Hong Kong.

The group will leave Baylor on Saturday, July 9, to return to Hong Kong.

In the spirit of cultural exchange and to help students learn about water and environmental management, Baylor University plans to send students to Hong Kong for two weeks over the Christmas break. According to George Cobb, Ph.D., professor and chair in Baylor’s environmental science department, they will try to keep the program relatively inexpensive. Interested students may contact Cobb for more information.

by Karyn Simpson, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


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