By Kiersten Medina.
ALAMOSA COLO.- On February 18, 2019, Adams State University and Gunma University in Japan collaborated in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement was signed by Adams State’s President Cheryl D. Lovell, with witnesses from Gunma University, Music Professor Chiho Sugo and two of her music students, as well as Adams State music professors, Dr. James W. Doyle and Dr. Tracy Doyle, with two of their music students. The agreement will formalize the relationship between both universities. Dr. James Doyle stated that, “with the exchange agreement, it allows Adams State to seek funding for shorter trips to visit [Gunma’s] campus, and to allow Gunma’s students to come to Adams. Professor Chiho Sugo has students who want to be at Adams for a semester or year.” Without the agreement in place, the students would not be able to manage this.
Dr. James Doyle met Professor Chiho Sugo in their college years together. They lost track with each other for many years until around 2015, when Professor Sugo and Dr. Doyle crossed paths again. They began to communicate about how alike their two universities were with each other. Professor Sugo invited Dr. Doyle to Gunma University so he could teach for a week and visit the area, and visa-versa–Adams State hosted Professor Sugo to teach here at Adams for a short time. Professor Sugo also brought a few Gunma students with her to visit the university. Professor Sugo is a member of the international committee at Gunma University. Her duty is to set up exchange agreements with other universities, so naturally it seemed obvious to formalize the relationship between Adams and Gunma, due to their commonalities. Gunma University is located in a rural area in Japan, unlike other universities that tend to be in metropolitan areas. This is similar to Adams State because Alamosa is rural as well, unlike Denver or big city schools. Adams State benefits from the agreement by being able to inhabit different cultures and traditions of exchange students from Gunma University. Japan and Alamosa have differing cultures and ideologies, but both students from Gunma and Adams State have the same types of career goals. Having this formal agreement between both schools shows how much diversity can be obtained through relationships. Students from Adams will be able to learn more about the Japanese culture and traditions and students from Gunma will be able to learn more about our cultures and traditions that we have to offer on the Adams State campus. Together, Adams State and Gunma University students can make a huge impact on the students and faculty from both campuses.
“The people who travel a lot are generally more accepting of others. The more you travel the more you get to know other cultures, and the more accepting you are of other people’s cultures,” said Dr. James Doyle.