Daniel Ding, a professor in Ferris State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, traveled to China on sabbatical leave during the Fall 2008 Semester with a plan to return to Ferris with a stronger understanding of international technical communication.
Ding’s article from his sabbatical at Zhengzhou University, “When Chinese Culture Meets with Professional Communication Program in a Chinese University: Report on Professional Communication in China,” was published in Technical Communication, a journal for the Society for Technical Communication. The article focused on his research in China, which developed his new theory of international professional communication. Ding’s theories have been expressed at Ferris through his passions for teaching and writing.
“I enjoy teaching at Ferris because we have so many students with different backgrounds and experiences. This is particularly the case in my professional and technical writing classes,” he said. “I usually take advantage of these experiences and backgrounds in designing written assignments and class activities.”
As a returning scholar at Zhengzhou University, in March 2011, Ding was invited to participate in the “100-Celebrity Lecture Program.” The event invited scholars from around the world to lecture and present. A humbled Ding enjoyed the opportunity to speak in the community in which he once taught.
“Though I am not a celebrity, I was happy to be part of that program and enjoyed the chance to speak to students from all over the campus,” said Ding, a professor of English who teaches technical communication, composition, business communication and advanced scientific writing.
Ding noted that faculty sabbatical experiences also benefit Ferris students from a globalization perspective. Understanding the communication practices of technical communicators from different cultures is “essential to today’s students” he added.
With international technical communication becoming a trend and cultures becoming globalized, Ding explained that, “All cultures are interdependent, which makes communication between cultures increasingly important. International technical communication enhances mutual understanding, thus helping increase exchanges between cultures and nations.”
In previous trips abroad, Ding taught a two-week seminar at China’s Suzhou University, in 2000, and a seminar at the University of Debrecen, in Hungary, in 2006. During another two-week seminar, at China’s Zhengzhou Institute for Aeronautical Industrial Management, Ding was awarded the title “Honorary Professor,” in 2010, by institute President Shi Jinfa.
“The more I research, the more I learn, the better I teach,” he said.
Throughout his experiences, research and continued success as a professor, Ding believes that he brings Ferris new strategies to approach the world of international communication.
Ding’s sabbatical was funded by the Ferris Professional Development Fund of 2008. For more information contact him at [email protected].