Student Activities

Ethnographic Field School

fieldschool2The Missouri State University 2006 Ethnographic Field School (June 26 - Aug. 4) spent five weeks with the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma and a sixth week finishing their work on campus. The field school, directed by Dr. Bill Meadows (Anthropology), provides firsthand training in learning techniques for conducting ethnographic field research in cultural anthropology such as conducting interviews, keeping field notes, keeping daily journals, and different types of observations. Students lived with two different Kiowa families and stayed in a traditional style Kiowa tipi and an earth lodge. During their stay they attended tribal ceremonial dances and visited several museums, and historical and cultural sites. They also attended and participated in hand games, Kiowa Christian church services, sweat lodge ceremonies, hymn singing, language retention classes, performed various interviews with tribal members on a variety of topics (art, ethnic identity, music and dance, religion, tribal government, military service, land use) and observation projects in the community. One research project involved conducting audiotaped life histories with elders, which were transcribed and copies given to the elders for their families.

Exchange Program in Qingdao, China

Four Missouri State University students are currently participating in the educational exchange program with Qingdao University in China. Three of these students are majors in the College of Humanities and Public Affairs: Nicole Kirkweg (Economics), Jessica Milton (History), and Aaron Simmons (Religious Studies). As part of these study away experience each of these students is required to take an intensive Chinese language course (3 hours/day, 5 days/week) as well as a course in Chinese culture. When Dr. Victor Matthews, CHPA Associate Dean, visited their class in Qingdao in early October, he was particularly impressed with the very energetic instruction and the students' ability to cope with a course taught entirely in Chinese. While the students did express the opinion that they were being pushed pretty hard, they also noted that by the time they return to Springfield they will have gained a basic fluency in the language and will be prepared to continue their studies in Asian culture with a greater appreciation for how intimately Chinese language and calligraphy are tied together as indicators of cultural identity and basic philosophy. Plans are in the works to expand this study away program and the one currently in place at Dalian University in order to provide even more Missouri State students the opportunity for a semester or a year in China.

Qingdao students
Standing are Jordan Harrison, Nicole Kirkweg, Tami Sutton (Office of University Research), Dr. Linda Benson (English Dept exchange professor), and Dr. Victor Matthews (CHPA Associate Dean). Seated are Jessica Milton and Aaron Simmons.

Society And Culture China Study Program

This summer, Dr. Ken Rutherford (Political Science) took a group of Missouri State University students on a study tour of China. While there they had the opportunity to visited Beijing, the MSU branch campus in Dalian, and the cities of Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, and Shanghai. Pictured here are Dr. Rutherford and his students on the Great Wall of China.