Monday, January 01, 2007
This past summer, Latisha Jefferson spent 15 days in the People’s Republic of China, learning about engineering and absorbing local culture.
Jefferson, a senior civil engineering major and honors student, was among an elite group of students from the United States selected to participate in the International Scholar Laureate Program’s Delegation on Engineering in China.
Through her travels, Jefferson gained a greater global understanding of how engineering is practiced in China, and was afforded an opportunity to compare and contrast what she saw and learned with current methods and procedures in the United States.
Arriving in Beijing, she had a chance to witness the construction of the 2008 Olympic Stadiums.
“We also walked on the Great Wall, through several palaces and the city planning museum,” she said. In addition, the scholars toured Tiananmen Square, Badaling Gate and the Forbidden City.
When they flew to Xi’an, the scholars toured the Tsingchuan Auto Company’s manufacturing plant, and the 8,099-figure Terracotta Army located near the mausoleum of the first Qin emperor.
As Jefferson traveled throughout the country, she had an opportunity to discuss and debate leading issues while interacting with engineering professionals and other engineering students – including her current email buddy, Liu Dan, a Chinese civil engineering student.
In the city of Yichang, she visited engineering labs at Three Gorges University and had an opportunity to drive and walk across the world famous Three Gorges Dam.
Jefferson also visited other Chinese universities, learning about road construction at Beijing Construction Engineering University, mechanical automation at China North Polytechnic University and artificial intelligence at Tsinghua University.
“The trip was great!,” said Jefferson. “I learned a little Chinese, dined in several traditional Chinese diners and learned a lot about their culture, as well as engineering.”
The International Scholar Laureate Program gives scholars a head start toward achieving their career goals through career-focused study in cities throughout Australia, Central and Eastern Europe, China, India and South Africa. Scholar delegations are dispatched across the globe and the student represent diverse fields, including anthropology and archaeology, business, diplomacy, engineering, journalism, medicine, music, nursing and technology.