Dr. Vicki Guthrie, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Students at St. Catharine College, recently returned from a friend-building mission to China with a group of representatives from the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). The goal of the trip was to increase cross-cultural cooperation and opportunities for both Chinese and U.S. students. The 11 participants represented seven member campuses and included presidents, vice presidents, and officials from admissions, student affairs, and international student programs.
The group met with university and secondary school officials, as well as students at both levels, to expose them to the opportunities Kentucky’s independent colleges and universities offer. The agenda for the 11-day trip was jam-packed with meetings in Beijing, Tianjin, Nanchang, and Hong Kong.
The trip was an extension of AIKCU’s existing Chinese Student Recruitment Initiative, which St. Catharine College President William D. Huston, as current chair of AIKCU’s President’s Council, was heavily involved in developing. It was developed in close cooperation with Larkin Trade International, AIKCU’s educational partner in Beijing, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
Once she arrived back on campus on Nov. 10, Guthrie met with SCC colleagues about ideas for student exchanges and other collaborative initiatives that have sprung from conversations held in China.
“The trip was an amazing experience,” said Guthrie. “I believe that building relationships with Chinese officials and educational leaders has great promise to result in initiatives and collaborations that will bring Chinese students to St. Catharine College and other private colleges in Kentucky, as well as provide opportunities for our students to gain study abroad experience. I look forward to being a part of building partnerships that will lead to greater internationalization of our campus and amazing educational opportunities for our students.”