Intercultural Literacy

May 28, 2003

New cross-cultural psychology article for intercultural literacy: The purpose of this article is to give Westerners a deeper understanding of Japan, East Asia, and themselves! Please see: "East-West Cultural Differences in Basic Life Stance." Japanese Institute of Global Communications Colloquium #31: May 26, 2003. Tokyo: International University of Japan. Word travels fast on the Internet, so a California State University Psychology and Traditional Asian Thought course has already requested the article for one of its readings :-)

May 21, 2003

Introducing WAOE's de facto Networking Information Officer Maggie McVay Lynch, as her university is now WAOE's Internet Service Provider:

Greetings from the beautiful Pacific Northest in Oregon, USA. I am very happy to see actual pictures of people! It helps to make this virtual world more real to me. I also appreciate learning much more about the wonderful members in WAOE. It is refreshing to find a group of people that share some of my passions about online learning and are willing to share something of themselves and their culture as well.

My given name is Marguerita, but I go by Maggie. Though I am a third generation Scotch/Irish American, my family roots are still very much in the celtic traditions. A recent visit to Scotland and Ireland in 2000 reinforced so many of the stories, music, and experiences I grew up with. It is wonderful to visit ones roots and to immediately feel at home.

I have been involved in education for over 30 years, and specifically in online education for 25 years. Yes, I was even doing online education before the Internet and before personal computers -- age does have its virtues. (I used to work in the mainframe software industry). In the past six years I have personally taught over 20 different online courses and developed more than 60 online courses. I now spend most of my time helping faculty to understand and use online learning effectively and help to shape the strategic direction for online learning at Portland State University (PSU). I moved to PSU two years ago, after spending some time in Ohio. In the past I did a great deal of consulting with universities and businesses in the U.S. around online learning issues. However, since moving to PSU two years ago I've cut back significantly on my consulting and only take on two to three jobs each year.

I began my academic career in psychology and counseling, getting a B.A. and M.A. in that field. For the first five years out of college I did some clinical practice, but it was always combined with education. I worked with families with special needs children, helping to counsel the families and to build effective programmed instruction for them to use with their children (a pre-cursor to computer-based-learning in the early 70's). After leaving psychology and counseling, I spent some time in the software industry getting a better understanding of computers and their capabilities and pitfalls. Later in life (in my 40's) I returned to school (mostly online) to pursue another Masters and finally a Doctorate degree in Instuctional Technology and Distance Education with an emphasis on web-based learning. I have had a passion for virtual learning for 25 years. In particular, I have seen the benefit it can bring to those who do not have the financial or time resources to spend in the traditional college classroom pursuing a degree. I have also seen it work very well for non-traditional K-12 students -- whether in alternative schools, home-schooled, or needing extra attention because of learning difficulties. For myself, I began working at the age of 15 and finished my high school education and undergraduate college education while working at least 20 hours per week. My graduate education was all done while working full-time. There is absolutely no way I would have obtained a doctorate degree without the majority of my work being done online. I very much believe in online education and have a passion for providing it at low cost to the millions around the world who may have no other way to get an education.

Last Fall I spent some time in Sri Lanka working with the university system there. The government has wisely made an undergraduate education free for all of its residence. However, this only means free of tuition. It does not mean free books, free transportation, free babysitting, free food while attending school, etc. So, even though it is "free" there are many who are still too poor to take advantage of this education. They must choose between eating (thus working) or going to school. They are hoping that online education will provide one means for reaching the rural areas and allowing people to take classes at times that can be worked around their work schedules. They have set up 6-8 learning centers around the country that have computer networks with the idea that students can go to these centers to access classes (as most cannot afford computers in their homes or even have the electricity or connections to use them). This develoment is very much in its infancy. When I was there last Fall, they had just begun building the infrastructure and I was beginning to train some of the faculty. It will be a long road, but it has certainly renewed my faith in online education's ability to meet the needs of many different people.

My travels in business and consulting have taken me many places in the U.S. and Europe. Sri Lanka was my first venture into Southeast Asia. I have an abiding interest in all cultures and most importantly in what we have in common and how our differences make us stronger together. Unfortunately, I do not have much facility with languages so I ask forgiveness in advance that I only speak English fluently. I know a small amount of Spanish and French. Fortunately for me, my husband is fluent in five languages and I rely on I travel if he is able to come with me.

I am at that stage of life where I'm happily watching my children grow up and leave home. One son is 19 years old and a sophomore at Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. The other is 17 and a junior at Sandy High School, here in Oregon. He is planning to go to Oregon State University in the Fall of 2004. I live in the foothills of Mt. Hood in a beautiful, quiet, rural community. Though I commute an hour to downtown Portland to work, it is well worth the peace and tranquility I feel when I am home. This is definitely where we will spend the rest of our lives. My family and I enjoy the outdoors and there is an abundance of beauty in this area. Outside of hiking, camping, arafting, nd being outdoors as much as possible, I enjoy celtic and bluegrass music. My husband plays guitar and I enjoy singing, so we enjoy jamming whenever we can get a group of people with like-minded musical inclinations together.

Maggie McVay Lynch, Ed.D.
Portland State University
Instruction and Research Services

May 19, 2003

Introducing WAOE member Rozhan Idrus:

Greetings from the beautiful island of Penang in Malaysia. I am Associate Professor Dr Rozhan M. Idrus of the School of Distance Education at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. I have 17 years experience in DE and am actively involved in research, publications and attending DE Conferences, both locally and internationally. I am looking for opportunities to expand my research endeavours by collaborating with fellow DE practitioners worldwide so that we can conduct research and publish together. If there is a chance to visit our respective countries, that would be all the better.

Introducing WAOE member Diane Howard:

Dear Colleagues, I am delighted to begin an association with WAOE.

Having lived my first years in mainland China and Japan, I have resided all over the world. Gaining broad experience in on-site and distance communication, I have studied, taught, and presented throughout the United States and in Europe. I think that I have had global interests and perspectives most of my life.

I earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Communication at the University of Texas. Most recently, I completed requirements for a Post-Doctoral Administrative Certification in Distance Learning at the Texas A & M Center for Distance Learning Research. (

I am a communication professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I am also an online facilitator in the Indiana Wesleyen University Online Master's of Education program. (

I am committed to developing and supporting role models, especially in marginalized populations, such as minorities, females, and/or the physically challenged. I was a founder and president of Combridge, Inc., a non-profit, educational support organization. ( ) I am especially involved with historical, ethnic, and minority issues in technological, distance communication research, presenting, writing, and publishing.

May 13, 2003

Salam Mesra (Warm greetings) from Malaysia.

I am an educator and have been teaching for over two decades (that sure looks like a long time when you write it down) in various universities in Malaysia. My basic degree is in Aquatic Biology but then I migrated into teaching English after I was awarded the British High Commissioner's Award to do a post-graduate degree in Applied Linguistics. My humble resume is available at my website. At present, my main area of interest is Online Education. It is very encouraging that the Malaysian government is very receptive to the use of ICT in education. The Minstry of Education of Malaysia has this message "Our schools and universities are taking up the challenge of globalisation by changing not only the content of curriculum and programmes but more importantly the delivery systems. IT-enhanced teaching and learning are already making computers in schools, distance learning, video conferencing and internet link commonplace." Already the education system is putting interactive I.T. at the core of teaching-learning and management process.

I teach e-Distance learning programmes as well.

I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to network with some very dedicated and talented officers and members of WAOE. I will continue to support and contribute in what little ways I can to make the mission of WAOE a success.

I also devote a lot of my free time to a non-profit organisation -Mind Science Association Malaysia - which offers self-improvement programmes. I am a self-taught amateur web designer who designs and maintains websites for several organisations as a voluntary service.

Ahbul Zailani Begum Mohamed Ibrahim Ph.D, Lecturer, MARA University of Technology, Alor Gajah Campus Malaysia.

May 12, 2003

Greetings from southern New England, U.S.A.

I am a cultural anthropologist (among other things) teaching sociology and anthropology at a small "community college" in northeastern Connecticut. Here in the U.S., community colleges are institutions for college and professional learning, that usually have an "open door policy," for who may attend. Every effort is made--financially, and through remedial/assistive programs--to extend the possibility of a college education (at least two years of it) to anyone who wishes to pursue this. I am not sure how prevalent this model is in other parts of the globe, but it has a 40-50 year history (at least) here in the U.S.A. Such colleges are supported by public funds-- by state or by county-- as well as by tuition, which is generally much lower than any other colleges or universities. Here in Connecticut, the 12-college system in fact serves over half of all students in the state who are in higher education. This is quite significant, in fact, since Connecticut has many other 2 and 4 year colleges and universities, both public and private.

As a cultural anthropologist, I had to convince my advising team in graduate school that it was time for at least a few anthropologists to "come home," and study our own culture(s) here in the U.S. Consequently, I did not become a "specialist" in someone else's culture, but deliberately worked to find ways that cultural anthropology as a discipline could shed light on the culture(s) of the "First World" (thinking here in terms of the 1950's-1960's geopolitical divisions of first- second- and third-worlds).

But my aim was not simply to do cultural anthropology in a different place (home); instead it was to find ways that the critical insights and tools of the discipline could be used to understand how people--as subjects rather than as objects--in western, industrial, post-industrial U.S. are themselves shaped and defined by dominant culture in its further definition of the world.

This kind of focus and underlying motivation, in part, is what also drew me to work with others to give shape to WAOE.

Well... that is a bit of an introduction, for a start....

May 11, 2003

From the southwestern part of USA, Arizona, I am blogging my initial venture. Born in the state of Michigan, I have lived most of my life in the western states of Arizona, California, Texas, and Hawaii with multiple trips to the far east including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Kenya through my former life as a navy helicopter pilot. Now a high school math teacher, I also teach as an adjunct for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and am working on a second masters degree in Adult Education and Distance Learning through University of Phoenix. My humble web site needs updating which is one of my summer goals this year while I try to keep out of the 100+ temperatures here in Tempe, Arizona.

Michael D Warner
P.S. Happy Mothers' Day


By Colin Ong [5/12/2003]:

Hi Michael. Visited your site and found it very informative.

Do you have any information/links to scenario case studies, especially in crisis management??@With the outbreak of SARS in Singapore and immediate ASEAN region, I have had some requests for more literature in this area. Thanks.

By the way, this is the first time I am blogging. I think it is a great way to share our thoughts :)

Colin Ong in Singapore

Mike Warner replies [5/16/2003]:

Hi Colin. Thanks for your comments about my web site. In regard to your request for links to case studies on crisis management a on crisis management and SARS, I found more than 200 links on although I have not checked the relevance of each, here is one site that might be worth tracking if you are not already doing so: The search words I used were "case study, crisis management, SARS" Let me know if that works for you or I can send you some more links directly.

May 10, 2003

Happy bachelor days ;-)

The world of Professor Steve McCarty in Japan on the Web: bookmark for multilingual, Asian Studies, and online education projects | bio-data home page | WAOE President's site | online library of publications (Japanese annotated version also available) | site for Internet-enabled mobile phones in Japan: | photo album | published bilingual haiku | Global University System Asia-Pacific Framework | Multilingual Guide to the Pilgrimage Island of Japan | Consultant on Asian religions and contemporary issues for TheoWeb at the University of Exeter | Internet EFL classes [until 2004] | Japan Journal of Multilingualism and Multiculturalism Website editor [until 2004] | Sample article: "Cultural Liberation: East-West Biculturalism for a New Century"

Comment from Prof. Roberto Mueller in Vicosa, Brazil on the photo album shots of 2,000 meter sacred Mt. Ishizuchi in Western Japan:

Thank you for the nice photos and beautiful landscape. You are in the environment of peace. May your thoughts reach others and enhance fraternity. Love is all around you. I can hear a flute playing a concert with the birds' song. That mountain nature is calling for the testimony of able witnesses.