MCC News

Weeklong MCC Global Awareness Festival Focuses on Asia

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Muskegon Community College’s weeklong 14th Annual Global Awareness Festival from Feb. 11-15 will focus on Asia, a region steeped in history and culture and home to 60 percent of the world’s population whose economy and foreign policies demand international attention. 

“In today’s ever-shrinking global society, understanding our international neighbors has never been more important,” says Katherine Tosa, director of international programs at MCC. 

Each year, the Global Awareness Festival highlights a different geographic area of the world. The College hosts a series of activities, lectures and other events to bring awareness to that region’s population, culture, cuisine and political issues. All Global Awareness Festival events are free. For more information, visit

On Monday, Feb. 11, artist Ina Kaur, whose works are on display all week in MCC’s Overbrook Art Gallery, will be on campus to discuss her exhibit. A native of India, Kaur will speak at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1100. A reception will be held from 6:30-7p.m. in Overbrook Gallery. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, MCC students in the Children’s Literature Class will sponsor “Folktales and Fun,” a program for youngsters, from 1-3 p.m. in Collegiate Hall. At 1:30 p.m., the film “Mao’s Last Dancer” will be shown in Collegiate Hall. 

At 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1100, Western Michigan University geography professor Dr. Gregory Veeck will present the science and technology seminar, ““The Landscape of China – Past and Present Influences on Society and Politics.” A reception will be held there at 6:30 p.m. prior to his talk. Veeck has completed extensive international research specializing in economic geography, agriculture, rural development and rural environmental/ecological issues in the U.S., China, Japan, and Korea. He has been conducting field research in Asia for 24 years and has traveled to China almost every year since. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Collegiate Hall, Global Topic Investigations, moderated by Patti Baldus, will explore many facets of Asia. From 9:30-10 a.m., Dan Rinsema-Sybenga will talk about “Teaching English as a Second Language in Japan.” From 10:15-10:45 a.m., John Nolling offers a “Visitor’s Perspective of Shanghai.” From 1 1:15-11:45 a.m., geographer Laurie Gasahl presents “The Contemporary Woman in China.”  From 12:45-1:15 p.m., Alfredo Hernandez Corsen offers “An Exploration of Eastern and Western Metaphysical Views.” From 1:30-2 p.m., Gretchen Cline will host “Kundalini Yoga – Demonstration and Activity.” From 2:30- 3 p.m., Kate Simon, the program director of Japan Center for Michigan Universities, will offer “Study Abroad in Japan.” 

During MCC’s Wild Wacky Wednesday in the Student Union anyone wearing their best Asian costume can have their picture taken for free between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The film, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” will be shown for free at 3 p.m. in the Blue and Gold Room. 

At 7 p.m. the keynote speech on “Our India – A Cultural Comparison of Food, Languages, and Religions,” will be given by Raj Singh Grewal and Amarpreet Singh of the Curry Kitchen Restaurant in downtown Muskegon. The talk in Stevenson Center Room 1100 will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 14, the film “The Owl and the Sparrow” will be shown at 2 p.m. in the Blue and Gold Room with a discussion hosted by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. At 6:30 Collegiate Hall, Mike Council will moderate an International News Comparisons Guided Discussion. At 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1100, Dzung Nguyen, from the Department of Foreign Affairs of Haiphong, Vietnam and a Humphrey Fellow at Michigan State University, will lead offer a Seminar on Women’s Issues entitled “Women in Vietnam.” A reception precedes the talk at 6:30 p.m. 

On Friday, Feb. 15, the film “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” will be shown at 10 a.m. in the Blue and Gold Room. 

Each day during the festival, International News Comparisons will take place from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. in Collegiate Hall. The public is invited to watch and compare international news coverage provided by NHK World, and local American stations. The MCC Food Service will be offering different international cuisine menu items, which the public can purchase, throughout the week. A display of international artifacts collected from the community can be viewed near the main college entrance, as well as flags representing approximately 200 nations, along the walls of the main building. 

For more information on the Global Awareness Festival, contact Katherine Tosa at (231) 777-0376 or by e-mail at