Benedictine University to offer minor in Chinese language and culture

LISLE, Ill. (CNS) — China has the second-largest economy in the world and is one of the United States’ largest trading partners, and one-fifth of the world’s population speaks Chinese.

Students who hope to prosper in such an environment must have more than just a passing familiarity with Chinese language and culture, say officials at Benedictine University in Lisle.

To help students prepare for “an increasingly China-centric global community,” the university announced it will offer a minor in Chinese language (Mandarin) with an option for a Chinese culture track, beginning with the fall semester.

“Our students are wonderfully prepared in the sciences, education and the arts, but now they will have a very distinct advantage when they enter the workforce,” said William J. Carroll, Benedictine University’s president. “They will have the added benefit of assimilating the university’s relationship with China into their own unique expertise.”

Through grant funding, Benedictine University’s College of Liberal Arts began offering limited courses in Chinese language and culture during the 2009-2010 academic year. However, after increased demand from students, university officials said they sought to establish a program minor.

The program will help students “connect specific issues in Chinese culture and history to current trends in Chinese society” and allow them to consider more study-abroad opportunities in China.

The university has formed 14 partnerships with Chinese universities and offers master’s degrees in business administration and management information systems in China. The press announcement on the new minor noted that a growing number of Chinese students are attending Benedictine and a reciprocal number of Benedictine students are traveling to China.


Loyola Marymount University’s film school among top 10 in country

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television has landed in the ninth spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s recently released list of “Top 25 Film Schools of 2013.”

It was the editors’ third annual film school rankings, based on ratings from “industry insiders.”

The university in announcing its film school’s ranking said that it earned inclusion in the list because of its growing animation program, internship and post-graduate programs, as well as for its alumni, who include James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.

The school’s faculty specializes in topics including ethics and social issues in film, video gaming, animation, documentaries and comedy screenwriting.

According to a press release, movie industry moguls helped establish Loyola Marymount University’s current campus on the bluffs above west Los Angeles in the 1920s. Since 1964, Loyola Marymount has had a formal film and television curriculum. The School of Film and Television was established in 2001 as its own entity.

The school offers undergraduate degrees in animation, production, screenwriting, film and television studies and recording arts; and graduate degrees in production, screenwriting and writing and producing for televisions.


Boston College gets grant to foster entrepreneurship in urban schools

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to a team of Boston College faculty and community-based organizations to foster entrepreneurship in urban high school students by using various technologies to grow produce to sell at neighborhood farmers’ markets.

Boston Public School students will use hydroponics, aquaponics, solar panels, windmills and other technologies to power and cultivate indoor fruit and vegetable gardens, then sell their produce at neighborhood markets, according to G. Michael Barnett, associate professor of education.

Called “Seeding the Future: Creating a Green Collar Workforce,” the project will work with approximately 1,000 students and 40 to 60 teachers at 20 schools.

It is being funded through the foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program.

“Students and teachers will learn how to conduct scientific investigations while developing small businesses initiatives to sell fresh produce in their communities,” said Barnett, a specialist in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, known as STEM. He is the principal investigator on the project.

“We’re making connections between education, entrepreneurship and Boston’s neighborhoods that not only benefit students and teachers, but also contributes to a healthier city as a whole,” he said in a statement.


University, company start partnership to increase diversity in science

ST. LOUIS (CNS) — St. Louis University and Jost Chemical Co. in St. Louis have created a joint partnership to address the need for increasing diversity of the scientific workforce.

Such diversity if an important issue for the U.S. “as global competition necessitates that countries take advantage of all the natural talent in their populations,” said an announcement.

The partnership will provide local high school students internship and training opportunities at the university and Jost, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals, such as high purity citrate salts, for the pharmaceutical, nutritional, food and other specialty markets.

In the program, high school students from the St. Louis City school district are recruited to work on research projects under the direction of faculty members in St. Louis University’s department of chemistry.

According to 2009 statistics, the most recent available, the demographics of the district are: 81 percent black, 13.7 percent white, 2.7 percent Hispanic, 2.3 percent Asian and 0.3 American Indian. Almost 70 percent of the students qualify for reduced or free lunch program.

“We participate in internship partnerships like these because they help to fill gaps in the pipelines necessary for businesses to reap the return on investments made in our educational systems,” said Denise Chachere, director of human resources at Jost Chemical.