Professor Renford Reese tells his students that if they want to be compelling people, they must put themselves in compelling situations. Reese, who has taught political science at Cal Poly Pomona for 13 years, is following his own advice by traveling to Hong Kong, where he will teach for five months as a Fulbright Scholar.
Reese, who sets off for his five-month appointment at the end of August, will use the prestigious fellowship to lecture in the American Studies program at the University of Hong Kong, which he calls “one of the Harvards of Asia.”
He is no stranger to China. He has traveled there five times, studied Mandarin and hosted groups of Chinese public officials visiting Cal Poly Pomona. He also researched the Americanization of Chinese youth for his 2008 book, “American Bravado.”
“I am intrigued by Chinese traditions, language, and culture,” Reese says. “I am even more fascinated with Hong Kong because it represents the fusion of the new and the old, the East and the West.”
Cal Poly Pomona has a tradition of taking the classroom off campus. Reese has led students in fieldwork in Amsterdam during spring break, and he annually visits Ghana during the summer with students in a two-week study-abroad program.
“I look forward to lecturing in a different environment,” he says of his upcoming trip to Hong Kong. “This is one of the highlights of my academic career, and I'm proud to be representing Cal Poly Pomona.”
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, is designed to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in their fields.