After a nationwide search, Kyle Anderson has been selected to serve as director of the Center for Global Citizenship at Centre College. He begins July 1 and succeeds founding director Milton Reigelman, who will retire in June 2017 after 46 years at the College in a variety of roles.
Anderson first came to Centre in 2010 as a post-doctoral teaching fellow funded through the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. A past recipient of Fulbright fellowships that took him to China, Italy and Taiwan, he was converted to a tenure-track position in Asian studies at Centre in 2012 and will be promoted to associate professor with tenure on Sept. 1.
The Center for Global Citizenship oversees a study abroad program that is consistently ranked among the best in the nation, highlighted by an average 85 percent participation rate.
Centre students spend full semesters at residential sites in China, England, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Spain. They also participate in intensive three-week programs in January designed and led by Centre faculty. Over the last two years alone, January CentreTerm destinations have included Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Ghana, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Rwanda, Spain and Uganda.
Anderson is excited to assume leadership of a program he credits Reigelman for building to national prominence.
“What began decades ago as one or two shorter winter trips abroad, Milton and the faculty have expanded into a regular and diverse offering of courses of the highest quality on almost every continent,” Anderson said. “I hope to work closely with my faculty colleagues to maintain the luster of that legacy and the recognition it has gained.”
In looking at ways to build upon the program’s success, Anderson sees promoting even fuller access to programs for the College’s growing and ever more diverse student population as a priority. He also hopes to explore strengthening possibilities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
“Geo-political tides continue to shift throughout the world, and our faculty are eager to explore that change,” Anderson added, “making it a central part of our students’ development as citizen-leaders.”
Anderson has direct experience with many of Centre’s study abroad programs and led eight trips to Asia and Europe in his first seven years at the College.
He co-led Centre’s semester-long London program and has played a key role in establishing and maintaining the College’s study abroad program in Shanghai, China. He has also co-led a men’s soccer team trip to Milan and Verona.
External funding has also been a priority for Anderson. He was the co-author of two recent grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and its Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment, including a $50,000 pilot grant and a $400,000 grant to strengthen Asian studies and environmental studies through study abroad. As part of the larger grant, Anderson and his co-investigators developed the intensive Centre Summer Language Institute, offering study of Malay, Mandarin and Thai.
Anderson’s other efforts in Asia include his work as a founding member of Myanmar’s first residential liberal arts program, the Parami Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which will graduate its first class this May. Plans are to expand the program to a full-fledged university within several years.
Fluent in Italian, Mandarin and Spanish—with additional study of Burmese, French, German, Portuguese and Thai—Anderson brings the perspective of world traveler to his new appointment. He has lived or worked in China, England, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
As a scholar, Anderson studies the history of literary exchange between China and Italy, exemplified by his analysis of Jiao Naifang’s adaptation of the classic “Decameron” by Boccaccio. He also translates modern Chinese and Italian poetry and prose and is co-editor of “Poetrysky,” a bilingual poetry quarterly.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Anderson earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature from The Pennsylvania State University. He lives in Danville with his wife, Jenny Wardle Anderson, and their three daughters.
by Michael Strysick
May 15, 2017