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University of Iowa News Release

July 31, 2006

UI Vice President's China Trip Helps Open Doors

A recent weeklong trip to China by University of Iowa officials will help to open doors to communication and research.

That is the opinion of Meredith Hay, UI vice president for research, who recently returned from a late July trip to Beijing, along with Chris Merrill, director of the International Writing Program (IWP), Stephen Vlastos, past director of the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, and IWP co-founder Hualing Engle.

During their stay, the UI representatives visited with the past Minister of Culture in China, Wang Meng, who is currently vice chairman of the National Association of Chinese Writers. The group also met with various Chinese writers as well as with UI International Writing Program graduates to try to raise funds to support Sino-American writer exchanges.

"China is one of the most dynamic, interesting, and important countries on the planet, and I am glad that the International Writing Program has for the last quarter of a century had such a fruitful relationship with its writers -- a relationship that will be strengthened by our meetings in Beijing," said Merrill. "I look forward to working with our Chinese colleagues to increase the exchange of ideas and understanding."

Vice President Hay said, "I firmly believe that by building bridges with countries around the world, the University of Iowa is able to open the doors of global exchange, communication and collaboration for our students, faculty and staff as well as Iowa's businesses and citizens. Globalization and internationalization of our campus and educational environment at the University of Iowa must continue to be a top priority. Through programs and centers such as the International Writing Program, the University of Iowa is helping to create a community and society responsive to the increasingly international needs and obligations of global citizenship."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,