Ashland University Business Professor and Students Participate in Taiwan Seminar

Dr. Kris Parsons, associate professor of accounting at Ashland University, accompanied six Ashland University students who are spending six and a half weeks of their summer in Taiwan as part of the University’s Dauch College of Business in Taiwan summer program.

The students participating in this trip are (l-r) Michael Gorton, management information systems major from Ashland, Ohio; Theresa Riley, a hospitality management major from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Christopher Hinkle, a business management major from Mayfield Heights, Ohio; Jacob Moss, a business management major from Ashland, Ohio; Kaylie Snyder, an international business major from Navarre, Ohio; and Majed Alotaibi, an information systems major from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The students spent much of their time at Providence University in the Wu Chi district of Taichung, Taiwan. The summer program involves students enrolling in two Providence University classes – Mandarin language and Cross Cultural Business and Management Seminar.

Providence University paired the six students with learning partners, who are Providence University students interested in improving their English and knowledge of the American Culture.

“A key objective of the program is to provide meaningful exposure to an Asian market and culture for Ashland University’s business students,” said Dr. Khush Pittenger, professor of management and coordinator of the COBE in Taiwan program. “It is a unique opportunity as not many students are likely to travel to Asia on their own and there are no other Ashland University travel abroad programs that focus heavily on Asia.”

Pittenger said Asia has some of the fastest growing economies in the world and such international experiences bring to life what students read in textbooks and newspapers. Pittenger also thanked Alan and Julie Roth for providing the generous financial support to make this program possible and affordable for Ashland University students.

This year’s program also involves students visiting a number of Taiwanese local enterprises, including Gold-Joint Industries – ACE, a Taiwanese-based geosynthetic company.

In addition, the students are doing some sightseeing including visiting the Chung Tai Chan Buddhist Monastery and Sun-Moon Lake. “The Monastery was amazing, it was architecturally beautiful and held a very interesting story,” Gorton said.

According to Gorton, the Monastery was built in 2001 and was designed by the same person that built the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, which the group also visited. “There were many beautiful statues and we were fortunate enough to travel all the way up to the 16th floor.  The view was incredible,” he said.

The students are maintaining a blog at that describes the trip and their activities, as well as a twitter account at @COBETaiwan.

Dr. Jeff Russell, dean of the Dauch College of Business and Economics, said this program is a great opportunity for Ashland University students to experience urban attractions of the third-largest city in Taiwan, which has a population of one million plus. “Any international experience significantly improves students’ visibility with prospective employers,” he said.

In addition to Taichung, the students are expected to visit Taipei, the capital of Taiwan; towns in southern Taiwan and Penghu Island.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###