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Japan Study Names Wabash Economics Professor Kay Widdows as Resident Director for 2014-15

Published: October 16, 2013

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Dr. Kealoha (Kay) Widdows, Professor and John H. Schroeder Interdisciplinary Chair in Economics at Wabash College, has been named Resident Director of the Japan Study program for the 2014-15 academic year.

Based at Earlham College, Japan Study offers a study abroad program in which students take courses at Waseda University in Tokyo, live with Japanese families, and have opportunities to engage in field trips, university clubs and activities, and an internship-like cultural practicum experience.

Kay Widdows

Kealoha (Kay) Widdows

The Resident Director, who is a faculty member from an ACM or GLCA (Great Lakes Colleges Association, Inc.) institution, is closely involved in advising the students and facilitating their orientation and adjustment to living and studying in Japan. The RD also teaches two courses at Waseda’s Global Education Center.

This will be Widdows' second time as Japan Study’s Resident Director, having previously served in the post during the 1999-2000 academic year. In addition to teaching at Waseda, she has had visiting appointments at National Chengchi University in Taiwan and Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia. She also has led off-campus programs on politics and globalization in Ecuador and on the economics and politics of the European Union.

Widdows is known for her engaging classroom style, and this past spring was honored with Wabash's McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award. During her 26-year career at the college, she has taught more than three dozen different courses, with Introduction to Economics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, and International Economics among her mainstays.

Supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, Widdows helped establish the Asian Studies Program at Wabash and is currently involved in developing an international studies minor focused on East Asia.

This year, Japan Study is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its partnership with Waseda, which links the university with the ACM and GLCA member institutions. That milestone makes Widdows' close association with the program especially valuable, according to Japan Study Director Gary DeCoker.

"Kay will be the third Resident Director in a row who is returning for a second time as RD," DeCoker noted, referring to the current RD, Kathryn Sparling from Carleton, and her predecessor, Carol Enns from Cornell College. "During this 50th anniversary period, when there are many special events and new initiatives, we wanted to have experienced faculty members like Kay leading the program. In the future, we look forward to receiving applications from ACM and GLCA faculty members who have not yet led our program."

In addition to the off-campus study program for students from the U.S., Japan Study's activities include a program for Waseda students to study on ACM and GLCA campuses, faculty exchanges, short-term study tours for faculty and administrators, and grants supporting faculty and curricular development.


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