Liberty News

Chinese scholar will take memories of Liberty to her homeland

March 9, 2018 : By Will Young/Liberty University News Service

Following a full calendar year of heavy research and studying under the mentorship of Liberty University professors and faculty, international scholar and literary professor Mallory Miao is set to return to her home in northeastern China next week.

Miao has spent the past year researching and writing her doctoral dissertation on the differences and relationships in ethical thought processes across various cultures and countries. She focused on family, marriage, and religious ethics.

“I was able to make a lot of progress this past year while writing my dissertation, and studying here broadened the scope of my research more than it would have in China,” Miao said.

Miao is an English professor at Harbin Normal University in Harbin, China, where she has taught for more than 18 years. A Ph.D. candidate in comparative and world literature, Miao received a grant from the Chinese Scholars Program last year to travel to America.

Her desire to travel abroad, specifically to Liberty, came after speaking with a friend who is a Liberty alumnus. She said she was intrigued when hearing about the university’s growth and its overall academic rigor and was hooked when she went online and viewed photos of campus and learned more about the programs Liberty offers.

“The first thing I thought when I looked up Liberty on the internet was how beautiful the scenery and campus is,” Miao said. “And once I actually got here, I found out how friendly all the people are here and how amazing of a university it really is.”

After her application to become a travelling scholar was approved by the Chinese government, Miao was introduced to Dr. Roger Schultz, dean of Liberty’s College of Arts & Sciences, who served as her university supervisor.

Miao said Schultz helped supply her with academic resources and an office space to effectively conduct her research and write her doctoral dissertation. Being able to experience American culture while researching on a cross-cultural exchange was extremely insightful, she said.

Miao observed a number of English classes that she said helped shape her research. She also became a guest lecturer in history and Chinese language classes, where she taught on Chinese language, culture and customs.

“I was excited to see that the students were excited and eager to learn about the great history and culture of China,” Miao said. “They were always so nice to me and interested in what I had to say.”

Miao said she was pleased that her visit has also helped to establish a line of communication between Liberty and Harbin Normal University. Miao and Schultz both said they hope that the relationship will allow for more study abroad opportunities between the two universities in the future.

“For Mallory, it was really a dream come true of hers to be able to come here, and we have absolutely loved having her,” Schultz said. “We have done something like this before — a British scholar came over with funding from the British government — but it is still a relatively new thing for us, and we would like to provide more opportunities like this.”

Miao said she is sad to leave Liberty behind but looks forward to sharing the knowledge she gained from her experience.

“It will be nice to go back and start teaching again,” Miao said. “I am very excited for that, but I will miss the professors and students I met here. When I look back, I realize that it was a blessing being able to study here.”

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