NCTA Alumni News

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Dr. David Kenley, one of our longest serving NCTA seminar and study tour leaders, has been promoted to Full Professor at Elizabethtown College. In his work with NCTA, David has always been extremely easy to work with, combining his incredible knowledge and calm demeanor with humor and adventurousness. David notes that the promotion review committee “looked very favorably on my service with NCTAsia and with secondary school teachers in this region.” David has also been named Director of the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking, and has recently published a new book Modern Chinese History (part of the Association for Asian Studies' "Key Issues" series) which we have already begun using in our NCTA seminars and workshops. Congratulations David!



In the summer of 2013 Stacie Lakatos (Bucknell 2012)  participated in the Five College Center for East Asian Studies Study Tour to Japan, led by Dr. Anne Prescott and funded by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. The focus of the study tour was peace education/peace studies. The photo above is Stacie with four junior high school students from Mihara Junior High School in Hiroshima, with whom she spent an "Escort Day," wherein a group of four students were assigned a teacher to guide through the Hiroshima Peace Park and the Peace Museum, and to discuss peace and peace education. Escort Day gave the students practice in their English speaking skills and allows for dialogue between the teachers and students. It was one of the many highlights of the Study Tour.



Amiena Mahsoob (University of Pittsburgh, 2011) won the 2013 Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Young Professional Award, which recognizes an emerging leader age 35 or younger.  Amiena currently works at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh as Director of Education Programs.

Ed Marks (UPenn, 2011) organized a two week Philadelphia "summer camp" for twenty students and two teachers from his sister school, Yaohua High School, in Tianjin, China. The students participated in daily English language class, field trips in the city, an evening song-and-dance theater camp, and a trip to NYC, Boston, and Washington D.C . 


Sister Denise M. Mollica, IHM (Philadelphia, 2003)  participated in the 2013 KAFE (Korea Academy for Educators) program in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. She learned of Korea’s history, geography, philosophy, etc., while experiencing delicious Korean cuisine. The group also learned about the heritage of Korean poetry, music, and painting.  Sister Denise reports that at times she felt as though she was “transported back to the Cho sun period!”

Donna Hetrick (Pittsburgh, 2008) helped write the Ceramics curriculum for Pittsburgh Public Schools high schools, which gave her the opportunity to include a number of sample lessons on Asia.

Karen Gaul (University of Pittsburgh, 2008) participated in a 12 day study tour to Israel this past summer. Here's a link to more information on the program: 


Sue Calvin (Elizabethtown, 2013)  and Kim VanEtten (Elizabethtown, 2010) participated in a STARTALK Chinese language program for 58 middle and high school students in June. The camp, “Gateway to China,” helped with language learning through the performing arts, focusing on the Peking Opera, Taiji, and Gong Fu. Students were immersed in the language and culture of China, and the program culminated in a field trip to Philadelphia’s Chinatown and the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Chinese rotunda.

Sherry  Knight
(University of Pittsburgh, 2006) received a $1000 Impact Grant from the Penn State Center for Global Studies for her submission of a lesson plan entitled "Japanese Painting on Scrolls." This lesson plan is available on line at She also participated in a day long workshop entitled "Teaching about Japan" in May 2013 .


Mary Davis (Baltimore, 2008) enjoyed an exciting 2012-2013 school year in the Futian School District in Shenzhen, China. Ms. Davis trained and mentored Chinese teachers who implemented a new civics program in primary and middle schools. She also had the opportunity to travel throughout China, Cambodia, and Tibet!

Tara Ann Carter (UPenn, 2013) traveled to Japan over the summer for a study tour, funded by the Keizai Koho Center out of Toyko Japan. This program culminated with a presentation at an international conference to Japanese educators and business people about Educational Challenges and Opportunities in the US .

Jacqueline Fludd Peng (Baltimore, 2006) earned a National Board Certification and won an award from the Washington Post called the Agnes Meyer  Outstanding Teacher Award, thanks partly to her involvement with NCTA.  The article from the Post noted that  it was her “innovative and inclusive approach to education that led her colleagues to nominate her” for this award.

Matt Roberts (University of Pittsburgh, 2007 )  travelled to Japan with the University of Colorado’s NCTA program this past summer.  Matt reports that he had a great experience and is now “working hard to implement what I learned into my revived Asian Studies Course” at his school.

Victoria Stetts (Bucknell, 2007)   traveled to China in the summer of 2012 to visit the family of the Chinese exchange student she had hosted back in 2006-7.  Her trip included visits to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City,  a four-day cruise down the Yangtze River, and some time with pandas.  Victoria kept a travel blog, which is available at:


Cindy McNulty (University of Pittsburgh, 2001) participated in a program run by the program for Teaching East Asia (TEA) at the University of Colorado, Boulder entitled "East is East; West is West? Cultural Encounter and Exchange in Art.” She also participated in a three week NEH Summer Institute: "China and India: Comparisons and Connections" at SUNY Buffalo. In the coming months she will take part in a New York Conference on Asian Studies roundtable entitled "China and India: a Useful Framework for Pedagogy and Reserach?" 














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