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         Erie Community College students make friends in Guangzhou

                    Outreach Chairman's Report


                                       by John Fopeano
As we mentioned in the Summer issue of Newsnotes, the ripples of our FIC visit to Guangzhou, China which Mary Spradlin led in 2002 are being felt at our local Erie Community College.


Michael Yang, our host at the West Nanhua institute of Industry and Commerce, told us when we were there that he was interested in establishing a relationship with a similar college in the U.S. Back in Buffalo, I made a feeble attempt to find someone interested, without success.


Last year Jack Quinn, who is a retired U.S. Congressman, became the new president of Erie Community College. (About 17,000 students) I suggested that Michael Yang email President Quinn and that got the ball rolling. Quinn turned to Professor Gene Grabiner who is an old China hand and with the cooperation of Executive Vice President Richard Washousky, no time was lost in arranging funding, identifying six students and selecting Tim Schnaufer from the department of Architectural Technology as the trip leader.


Ethel and I were invited to attend the formal briefing in the Vice President's office. We were reminded of the orientations we participated in for many years to prepare FIC exchange students for trips to Mexico, Ecuador and Peru. Oh, to be young again!!
Professor Schnaufer and the six students left Buffalo on December 27 and will be coming back January 13. Here is Michael's report, received January 10:


(Piano and Jenifer are the English names of the two students who guided us around Guangzhou for the afternoon and an evening boat ride on the Pearl River. The time with them was the high point of our trip to China.)


Dear Ethel and John
The ECC people are coming to their end of stay here in Guangzhou, and I think they feel quite happy about what we have for them. I’m now sending some of the photos I took while touring Guangzhou. I’ll send you more photos later on. And I hope in the new year I’ll have a chance to go to Buffalo so I can go and see you. I’m expecting this day to come.
I’ll try to contact Piano and Jenifer and ask them to contact you. I think they won’t forget the experience either. I know that Piano is now working in Guangzhou (or near Guangzhou?), and that Jenifer is now at her hometown. They’ve both got married.


The ECC presence here has caused much enthusiasm among students and faculty here, and I feel quite proud of that...I think this project is a great success and will lead to further international communications and cooperations in the future.


Talk to you later, Michael Yang.

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