Joe Calpin of Dumfries found a love for the Chinese language through martial arts films and studying Kung Fu while in high school. Since then he has continued to pursue it within his undergraduate studies. While at UMW last year, he studied abroad in Harbin, China and this year is in Taiwan with the International Chinese Language Program.
He said, “Dr. Susan Fernsebner, professor of history at the University of Mary Washington, took my simple desire to study Chinese history and gave me the tools to dig deep into that history. It was actually through her that I became aware of the ICLP here in Taipei.”
Calpin recognizes the issue that “a number of people have their fair share of doubts about higher education, particularly in a depressed economy where everyone’s money is tight.”
But to him, it is quite worth it.
Calpin said, “If nothing else, I have received opportunities to study and do things that I would have never had outside of college. I couldn’t imagine where my life would be now without UMW providing the space for me to grow and ponder.”
According to Calpin, “You would expect that information given in a classroom stays within the confines of that room or even the campus, but I see the exact opposite. In taking part of the educational experience at Mary Washington, I soon discovered that with all of that knowledge I couldn’t help but open my eyes to issues that exist in our society today.”