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Hubers Asian Studies Program News

Guest Lecturers

Liu Yu, Chinese Martial Arts Champion
Wednesday, April 23 at 3:30PM
Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall
Chinese Martial Arts Lecture and Demonstration

Liu Yu was born in Baoying, China and was chosen for a place on the Jiangsu province professional martial arts team from 1974-1985.  She was the 1986 National Collegiate Tai Chi champion and graduated from the Beijing University of Physical Education with a B. A. in Chinese martial arts. Today Liu Yu is president of the Wushu Taichi Center in San Luis Obispo, CA.  She will share with us some of her remarkable story of her participation as a young woman in the Chinese sports training system and also demonstrate some Chinese martial arts routines for us.


Greg Afman, Lead Horticulturalist
for the Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 3:30PM
Commons Annex Lecture Hall
“The Japanese Garden: An Evolving Art Form”

Greg Afman is originally from the Grand Rapids area but spent the last ten years in Tokyo, Japan as a bonsai apprentice and gardener.  He also has a background in floral design and the landscape field. Currently he holds the position of lead horticulturalist for the Japanese Garden which is under construction at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  The garden has been designed by Horichi Kurisu and is slated to open for visitors in June, 2015. 

John Eliiott Braun
April 8, 2014 at 3:30pm
Recital Hall in the Covenant Fine Arts Center
“Rakugo: the Sit Down Comedy of Japan”

John Elliott Braun is an alumnus of Calvin College and retired professor of communications from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. He also spent a number of years in Japan teaching at Kansai Gaidai University and studied the art of rakugo performance, eventually joining a troupe and performing for Japanese audiences. Since retirement from academia, Dr. Braun has continued to perform rakugo in the English language for audiences across North America.

Anna Xuandong Zhu
Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 at 3:30PM
Commons Annex Lecture Hall
“Mongolian and Other Minority Groups in China”

Anna Xuandong Zhu is a professor of English and Deputy Director of the Foreign Language Training Center at the Inner Mongolia Normal University in Hohhot, China. For the past decade she has been the Chinese on site director of the ELIC Summer Teaching program in Hohhot. Professor Zhu spoke about the minority groups in China, highlighting the situation in her home province, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.  She highlighted the government attempts to protect, support, and preserve indigenous Mongolian social and cultural power. From her own experience, she told how the Han Chinese majority, to which she belongs, and the Mongolian minority live and work together in Inner Mongolia.

Anna Xuandong Zhu
Mon. Oct. 7, 2013 at 3:30PM
Commons Annex Lecture Hall
“The Chinese Education System and Teacher Education”

Anna Xuandong Zhu is a professor of English and Deputy Director of the Foreign Language Training Center at the Inner Mongolia Normal University in Hohhot, China. She is a native of the city of Ordos in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. Professor Zhu will spoke about the educational system in China with special emphasis on teacher education and the training of English teachers.  She presented some of the accomplishments and challenges of present day Chinese education on both secondary and postsecondary levels and shared her insights and experiences in teaching prospective teachers in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, China.

Cornelius Iida
Wed, Sept. 11, 2013 at 3:30PM
Meeter Center Lecture Hall
“A City on a Hill: America, A Hope for the Global Village: Japan”

Cornelius Iida was born in Tokyo, Japan, and graduated from Meiji Gakuin Univ. with a BA in English Literature in 1954. He attended Calvin College studying Dutch and NT Greek in 1955, and earned his Master of Theology degree at Calvin Seminary in 1962. After working for a time as an evangelist, he began his career as a Japanese interpreter for the US State Department and served both President Jimmy Carter and President Ronald Reagan personally as their official senior diplomatic Japanese interpreter. From 1979 until his retirement Mr. Iida taught at the Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Japan and continues to write, lecture and preach in the US, Japan and Korea.  He is married to Isako, a graduate of the Reformed Bible Institute, and they have three children and five grandchildren.  Mr. Iida entertained us with anecdotes from his years as a diplomatic interpreter for the US president and also spoke about the challenges of evangelizing in Japan and his belief that Japan may offer the world a hope for ecological security.