I arrived in Taipei on January 31, 2021 to begin my Fulbright program in Taiwan. After three weeks of quarantine in two hotels in Taipei, I arrived at Tunghai University on February 22, 2021. My stay in the university was officially over by June 30, 2021 and I returned to the United States on July 2, 2021. In total, I have spent more than five months in Taiwan.
Giving lectures is the major part of my Fulbright program in Taiwan. After arriving at Tunghai University, I met with the Dean, Dr. Wen-den Chen, of the College of Social Sciences and Professor Peiyuan Cai. With their arrangement, I had the opportunity to meet the chairs of the departments of sociology, social work, political science, and economics. Later on, I also met with the director of the Graduate Institute of Education/Center of Teacher Education and the chair of the Department of Public Management and Policy. These meetings allowed me to introduce my research and teaching topics to the department chairs and also learn the needs and interests of these departments.
According to each department’s interests and needs, I have delivered six lectures to both graduate and undergraduate students as well as the special training classes, including a lecture on research proposal writing to a special graduate training class, a lecture on research proposal writing to the undergraduate sociology class students, a lecture on family and juvenile delinquency to a social work undergraduate class, a talk on career development to some Ph. D. students, a lecture on dissertation writing to some Ph. D. students in the Department of Social Work, and a speech on Population Policies and Population Changes in China and India to the students and faculty at the Department of Economics.
These lectures are appreciated greatly by the students and faculty members. For example, one professor wrote to me after my lecture to his students and indicated that “The talk was really fabulous! I got loads out of your speech and surely the students did as well.” As an indicator of appreciation, Professor Liu Zhihong, the director of the Master Degree for Public Affairs gave me a certificate of appreciation for my lecture in his class on April 10, 2021.
In addition to these separate lectures, I have also conducted a 30-hour Special Forum on Juvenile Delinquency. The Forum was specially organized by the College of Social Sciences of the university according to the needs of the students at Tunghai University and other employees at the community. Special topics that I have lectured at the forum include the Family and Delinquency, Gender and Delinquency, School and Delinquency, Socialization and Delinquency, Drug Use and Delinquency, and How the Police and Juvenile Courts Respond to Juvenile Delinquency. The participants included graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty members and employees who work in organizations relevant to juveniles.
At the Forum, I was able to introduce to the participants the fundamental theories, principles, empirical research results and recent developments about juvenile delinquency in the United States. The participants were also able to bring the information about juvenile delinquency in the local community into discussions. Many participants liked the lectures and felt it was very helpful to their research projects. Some are also eager to use their new knowledge to help juveniles in the future. Here are two comments sent to me by a participant after the forum was over:
“I did enjoy your lectures and appreciated your open-minded attitudes and sharp viewpoints and warm concern toward the topics, social issue and the research subjects. You are really a wonderful scholar with passion for the research subjects and patience and mutual respect with your disciples.”
“I learned a lot about (American) juvenile delinquency from the online meeting, and also hope to be able to deepen my understanding of it in Taiwan. Thus, someday I might be able to take actions to help the troubled teenagers in Taiwan.”
Besides these formal lectures, I have also got opportunities to talk to both faculty and students informally about their study, their research and the problems they have met in the study at Tunghai University. I have been deeply impressed by how the students take their studies at the university very seriously and how much they are eager to utilize their knowledge to serve the Taiwanese society.
Occasionally, I would like to go to the university library and explore how academic information has been provided to the faculty and students and how the students are utilizing the library for their education. Each time I went to the library, I was very impressed by how concentrated the students are on their readings at the library. The large collection and the variety of the books in the library were also very impressive.
The College of Social Sciences at Tunghai University has been very kind and helpful to me. The faculty members of the college, especially Dean Chen, and Professor Cai have helped me substantially during my stay in the university. Professor Liu, the chair of the Department of Sociology has helped me considerably. I enjoyed the friendly atmosphere in the Social Sciences Building every day I stayed there. The Office for International Studies has also been very helpful. More important, the campus of the university is really beautiful.
Finally, I would like to mention that the staff members of the Fulbright office in Taipei have been extremely helpful. They have done an excellent job. They always responded to my emails very carefully and timely. Generally speaking, my Fulbright experiences at Tunghai University are very enjoyable although the pandemic has limited my interactions with the students and faculty on campus. I have a wonderful Fulbright program in Taiwan.
Managing Editor: 甯俐馨 Li-Hsin Ning