Fall 2013

Episodes 1-10

Episode 1 - Why We Need an Asian World Center

Interview with Dr. Maorong Jiang, Director of the Asian World Center at Creighton University (Oct. 1, 2013).

Dr. Jiang is an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Director of the Asian World Center at Creighton University.  Born in China, Dr. Jiang began his teaching career at the age of 18, working as a faculty member of the Department of International Relations at the Military College of International Relations in China.  He would begin his graduate studies at the Beijing Foreign Affairs College and complete them in the U.S. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Ph.D. in Political Science with a focus on Future Studies. Since 2003, Dr. Jiang has been with Creighton University and aside from hosting numerous lectures and events through the Asian World Center, Dr. Jiang has also been active as a member of the Center for Global Nonkilling and in authoring articles concerning East-West studies.

Episode 2 - Comparing Film in China & the U.S.

Interview with Dr. Zhou Jun, Associate Professor at the School of Film and Television at Nanjing University of the Arts in Nanjing, China (Oct. 7, 2013).

Dr. Zhou is an associate professor at Nanjing University of the Arts (NUA) in Nanjing, China, and is a multidisciplinary Chinese scholar whose main research focus is on Chinese film and television. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in broadcast journalism from the world-renowned Communication University of China in Beijing and received her Ph.D. in film studies from NUA in 2010. Apart from her continuous efforts in academic-related activities and research, Dr. Zhou has also actively participated in the production of short films and television programs in China, such as “Yangzhou Talent Show” and “Blooming Orchid”. She was awarded a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council and spent six months at the University of Essex as a visiting scholar. There, she working closely with faculty in the university's East 15 Acting School and from the experience, gained unique insight into furthering her research about Chinese films.

Episode 3 - Problems in Modern China (Part 1)

Interview with Dr. Elizabeth F. Larus, Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington (Oct. 16, 2013).

Dr. Larus (Ph.D. Virginia) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to joining the college faculty in 1997, Dr. Larus worked on Capitol Hill as a press Secretary on Capitol Hill, and then lived in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She has taught courses on American, European, and Asian governments at Lingnan University (HK), the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond. She is author of the books Politics and Society in Contemporary China and Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises as well as more than 20 book chapters and scholarly articles. In 2012-13, Professor Larus presented papers at academic conferences in the United States, Taiwan, and Great Britain (Oxford University).

Episode 4 - Problems in Modern China (Part 2)

Interview with Dr. Elizabeth F. Larus, Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington (Oct. 24, 2013).

Dr. Larus (Ph.D. Virginia) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to joining the college faculty in 1997, Dr. Larus worked on Capitol Hill as a press Secretary on Capitol Hill, and then lived in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. She has taught courses on American, European, and Asian governments at Lingnan University (HK), the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond. She is author of the books Politics and Society in Contemporary China and Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises as well as more than 20 book chapters and scholarly articles. In 2012-13, Professor Larus presented papers at academic conferences in the United States, Taiwan, and Great Britain (Oxford University).

Episode 5 - A Western Composer in China

Interview with Dr. Frederick Hanna, Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Creighton University and Conductor of the University Symphonic Band and University Symphony Orchestra (Nov. 5, 2013).

Dr. Hanna holds degrees from the University of Arkansas, Northwestern University and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  He has composed the musical score to Lewis & Clark Part One: Manifest Destiny, a musical theater production which was produced at Creighton University as well as Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington.  He has also composed the musical score to 'King of Kings' for the Robert M. Gewald Management in New York City. With several compositions to his credit, Dr. Hanna composed the 'Suite for Symphonic Band' which includes 'Fantasy on the Blue and the Gold', 'Scherzo', and 'Soundtrack'.  Dr. Hanna recently premiered his First Symphony, subtitled the 'Nanjing Symphony' in the Spring of 2011 with the Creighton University Symphony Orchestra.  The world premiere of his First Symphony took place at the Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing, China in May 2013 with Dr. Hanna conducting.

Episode 6 - From Hong Kong to Omaha

Interview with Ms. Sheena Cheng, Recruitment Specialist for Rotary International (Nov. 9, 2013).

Ms. Cheng was born in a rural fishing village on a small remote island in China. In 1986, she moved to Hong Kong with her family and received formal education. She was the first member of her family to speak English and to graduate with a college degree. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the City University of Hong Kong where she majored in Human Resources Management. She gained career experience while working in European Car Distribution, Trading and Recruitment fields and is now a consultant in an US-based recruitment consultancy specializing in recruitment of supply chain and industrial professionals. In 2009, Ms. Cheng was selected to be a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar representing Nebraska and Western Iowa. During her stay in the U.S., she completed a program in Corporate Communication Studies at Creighton University and was involved in various local community projects.

Episode 7 - Philosophy for Children

Interview with Dr. Jinmei Yuan, Professor of Philosophy and Director of both the East-West Studies and Philosophy for Children programs at Creighton University (Nov. 13, 2013).

Dr. Yuan was born in mainland China and received her bachelor’s degree in education from Hohai University in Nanjing, China, before going on to get her Masters of Arts in Philosophy from Nanjing University.  Dr. Yuan first came to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which she received in 2000.  Prior to joining the faculty of Creighton University’s Department of Philosophy, Dr. Yuan taught the philosophy of language and Asian Literature at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.  Her areas of research include comparative logic, Chinese philosophy, Buddhism, and the philosophy of language and Asian literature. Along with her background in philosophy, Dr. Yuan has also authored numerous novels, novellas, and essays that have garnered numerous awards and acclaim in Taiwan and Mainland China.  One program Dr. Yuan was a part of in Hawaii and brought back to Omaha was Philosophy for Children (p4c), in which students of philosophy at Creighton University travel to local elementary schools and facilitate class discussions centered around philosophical concepts with the goal of maintaining a child’s since of wonder and desire to ask questions.

Episode 8 - China's Modernization

Joint interview with our three visiting scholars from China: Dr. Yu Rui (Nanjing University of the Arts), Professor Bi Xia (Hohai University), and Ms. Guo Shaoqing (Ph.D candidate, Wuhan University) (Nov. 25, 2013).

Guo Shaoqing is a Ph.D. candidate at Wuhan University's Research Institute of Environmental Law in Wuhan, China. She received her BA in Law and a second BA in Journalism in 2009 from Wuhan University and in September 2009 passed the National Bar Examination before going on to earn her MA in Environmental Law in 2011 from Wuhan University. She is working closely with both Creighton's School of Law and College of Arts & Sciences and taking classes to help with her Ph.D. dissertation research which she hopes to complete in 2014. In addition to her research, Ms. Guo actively participates in campus activities and organizations and enjoys teaching Chinese language, history and culture in Omaha.

Dr. Yu Rui received his BA and MA in English, Literature and Culture from Nanjing International Studies University. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 in American Literature from Nanjing University and currently serves as the section chief at the Office of International Exchange & Cooperation at Nanjing University of the Arts. As a planner, coordinator and translator, he has been helping to assert the importance of and promote international education and cultural exchange. Dr. Yu has also compiled books such as "Interpreting Training" and his works, such as "A Study of the Gender Issue in T.S. Eliot's Poems," have been published in reputable academic journals across China.


Bi Xia is a professor in the School of Marxism at Hohai University in Nanjing, China, where she also serves as the director of the Institute of Water Resources and Social Development. She graduated from Shandong University’s Department of Philosophy in 1986 and received a master’s degree in law in ideological and political education from Hohai University. She has published over 50 papers and is currently the editor of the publication “Introduction to Scientific Socialism”. She has also received 5 provincial and ministerial awards for her work and her current research interests lie in the fields of foreign politics, nonprofit management, and water conservancy.

Episode 9 - Finding Soul in Work and Life

Interview with Dr. Vasant Raval (Creighton University) and Dr. Prafulla Raval (Creighton University), authors of the book Finding Soul in Work and Life. (Dec. 4, 2013).

Vasant Raval earned his doctoral degree in Business in the USA and holds three professional certifications.  A co-author of two textbooks, he has published business related research in various journals.  A frequent speaker on ethics and an author of a column on Information Ethics, he is an active consultant to businesses.

Prafulla Raval earned her doctoral degree in Biochemistry in the USA, and has taught courses and worked as a researcher in health sciences at medical centers.  She has published in peer reviewed journals in her field.  A scholar in Sanskrit language, her deep knowledge of the language has been an invaluable resource in the interpretation of Eastern philosophy, the foundation of this book.

Finding Soul in Work and Life discusses four stages of transition titled Perceive, Pick-up, Prepare, and Proceed. First, it looks at the current state of things to decipher why people continue to remain unhappy throughout their life (Perceive). Second, it helps the reader comprehend or Pick-up the wisdom of the ages; the so-called lenses that will help gain a new perspective on one's unhappiness and do something about it. Third, it assists the reader in order to Prepare, that is, examine life and work in the context of karma, to help make the change, to lead oneself to the right path to lasting happiness. Issues and challenges of work-life balance are also addressed in this stage. The final stage is to Proceed, that is, begin one's journey to effect change using the newly-found compass to achieve lasting happiness. Click here for more information about the book.

Episode 10 - Faith through a Multicultural Lens

Interview with Kyle Shinseki, SJ (Creighton University), Coordinator for Asian/Pacific Islander Initiatives at Creighton's Office of Multicultural Affairs. (Dec. 12, 2013).

Kyle was born in Honolulu and received a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later earned a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of California Los Angeles.  He then worked for six years at the National Council of La Raza, where he served as Development Director.  He went on to complete a Master’s in Business Administration at Northwestern University, which led to his work at Procter & Gamble as Assistant Brand Manager in both the Multicultural Business Development Organization and Beauty Care Global Business Unit.

From his youth on Kaua‘i, Kyle has been active in multicultural organizations, including Students for Racial Understanding and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Commission in high school, La Uniٕón Chicana por Aztlán and Hui o Hawai‘i at MIT as an undergraduate student, Kaua‘i Society of Latinos and Agrupación Católica Universitaria as a young adult, and Planners of Color for Social Equity and Hispanic Business Student Association as a graduate student.  As a Jesuit, he founded the Spanglish Christian Life Community at Loyola University Chicago to provide the opportunity for bilingual, bicultural students to grow in their faith.

In 2009, Kyle began his formation for the priesthood in the Society of Jesus.  As a Jesuit, this formation has included work at predominantly Latino and Asian Catholic parishes, serving as chaplain for multicultural populations in a nursing home and jail, teaching at a Fe y Alegría school in Peru and at Creighton Prep in Omaha, providing spiritual direction in English and Spanish, and helping to lead immersion trips to Mexico and Ecuador.  He joins the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Creighton University as part of his Regency, a period of Jesuit formation that gives him the opportunity to serve full-time at a Jesuit institution.