Sunday, December 6, 2015

Meet the 2016 Team!

Christopher Alter

Hi, my name is Chris Alter and I am a senior in Industrial and Labor Relations.  I am very excited to take part in the Vietnam GSL program to gain firsthand experience and research with the students at Ton Duc Thang University.

I transferred to Cornell University my junior year after earning my associates degree from Tarrant County Community College in Texas.  I immediately became interested in the dynamic labor climate of Southeast Asia.  I am excited to learn about the labor policy in Vietnam from the workers, employers, and professors who have firsthand involvement.

Although I have not had many opportunities to travel outside of the country, my time with the students at Cornell has made me all the more eager to travel and experience other cultures.  I am lucky to have found a program that will allow me to visit a fascinating nation while learning important labor policy.

At Cornell, I conduct research for professor Bronfenbrenner on the gains of unionization through first contracts between unions and employers.  I am also involved in Cornell Speech and Debate Society and Cornell Organization for Labor Action.

Kathleen Huffman

Hi, my name is Kathleen Huffman and I am a senior in the ILR school. I am excited to travel to Vietnam to learn more about labor relations and corporate social responsibility. After studying abroad last year in an international business program in Spain, I am grateful to have another international learning experience to expand my ILR education. I am also looking forward to meeting students at TDTU and learning from them.

I was interested in this program after working in the labor relations department Portland General Electric. After observing the way that labor relations works in the US, I am interested in exploring the way that labor relations works in a different environment and I am excited to learn about the Vietnamese perspective. I first became interested in Asia when I moved to China with my family and traveled in SE Asia. I am excited to learn more about a different Asian culture and conduct research on unions and dispute resolution in Vietnam. Outside the classroom I work in the Human Resources department and participate in Circle K.

Honore Johnson

Hi, I’m Honore Johnson. I am currently a Senior at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. My passion is resolving labor conflicts around the world and working to develop systems to sustain peace.

I grew up in Rhode Island, but my passion for traveling has lead me to visit many parts of the world. Although all cultures are unique, I have found economic struggle to be a common experience across the globe. Understanding and creating systems to uphold labor rights in the global labor dynamic is a passion of mine.

My undergraduate experience has focused on human rights, conflict resolution, and outdoor education leadership. My education in Industrial and Labor Relations has focused on human rights, economic rights, and labor rights. I have also worked for the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution as a research assistant looking at Teacher Evaluations in New York State and the conflicts within this field. Recently, I have begun to focus on Southeast Asia by traveling to Taiwan and taking classes in Chinese and Indian Labor Relations. I am looking forward to furthering this interest through my time in Vietnam.

Outdoor Education and Leadership has been an extracurricular passion for me. Through Cornell’s Outdoor Education program, I have led students on outdoor adventures. This has been a platform for me to develop a deep understanding for group dynamics and various leadership styles.
I am looking forward to learning more about Vietnam’s field of conflict resolution rom the trip to Vietnam, and hope to continue research in this area afterward.

Andy Kim

Hello, everyone. I’m Andy Kim, a senior in ILR with minors in English Literature and Creative Writing. In Vietnam, I hope to take a closer look at international labor & employment law, as well as contemporary policy initiatives influenced by the influx of foreign capital in the region.

On campus, I’m involved with the Diplomacist, Cornell Literary Society, and Varsity Lightweight Rowing. I have also written for several publications, including most recently Columbia’s Undergraduate Law Review. I would like to thank ILR, the Scheinman Institute, and Ton Duc Thang University for this incredible opportunity.

John Roberts

Hello! I am John Roberts. I am a senior in the ILR School from Adams, New York. I am very excited to be a member of the Vietnam GSL team.

My interest in Southeast Asia and in international labor issues first began when I participated in the ILR-UCD exchange program in Dublin, Ireland in Fall 2014. After taking classes and gaining exposure to a very different labor relations system I developed a strong interest in examining labor relations through a comparative context. I believe that this program will provide an excellent opportunity to build on my academic and work experiences, which have dealt with international issues, law, and alternative dispute resolution. I look forward to interacting with Vietnamese students and learning more about the culture of the country.

Aside from academics, I am an active member of the pre-law chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. After graduating I aspire to attend law school and to eventually pursue a career in mediation.

J. Lowell Jackson

Hello, my name is J. Lowell Jackson and I am the Teaching Assistant for this year’s Vietnam Engaged Learning Program. I took part in the program last year and found the experience incredibly fulfilling. I look forward to returning to Vietnam in January and experiencing even more of the region.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Exploring Vietnam

The TDTU hosts have provided many opportunities for the ILR student to explore and learn about Vietnamese history, culture and food.  Here are a few examples.

Traditional Vietnamese water puppetry dates back to 11th Century.  The ILR and TDTU students attended a show at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater in Ho Chi Minh City.

 Dinner after the show.

Visiting the French Catholic Church in District One.  

 Weekend excursion to the monkey island biosphere.




Visiting the local war hero museum at Ap Bac. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

TDTU Campus Activities

When the ILR students are not in class or working on class assignments, they are enjoying campus and students life at TDTU. 

 Kristen and Lowell playing piano in the dorm lobby
ILR students volunteering at "English Zone", a place where TDTU students can practice their English-language skills with native speakers. 

Enjoying the hospitality at a classmate's  home.  The ILR students are grateful for the warm welcome by the entire TDTU community!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

VN Labor Relations Class at TDTU

The ILR students are attending the first 2-weeks of Dick Fincher's course on Labor Relations and Arbitration in Vietnam.  

 Here are a few photos from the first week of class at TDTU.
 Gideon and Ms. Neigh

Gideon and Lowell holding discussion with classmates.

Role-playing exercise. 

A highlight for the ILR students was meeting Dean Hoa, who heads the Labor Relations School at TDTU. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

ILR and TDTU Students Meet

One important goal of the winter break program is to provide an engaged learning opportunity for the US and Vietnamese students to cross-learn and share ideas about labor relations and arbitration.  Here are some ways that the students are getting to know each other outside the classroom. 
 The students sharing meals. 
 Kristen sampling fresh coconut water.
 Evening picnic celebrating the end of the TDTU semester.
Lowell and Nicole performing a skit.
 Enjoying the entertainment!
 A game of shuttlecock in evening when the temperature is a bit cooler. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The ILR Students Arrive in Vietnam!

After months of preparation, on Sat, Jan 3, the first ILR students arrived at Vietnam's largest airport Tan Son Nhat International in Ho Chi Minh City.
 TDTU students welcoming Nicole at the airport.
Kristen and Nicole finally in Vietnam. 

 First Vietnamese lunch.
 Local specialty. 
 Too spicy! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Ton Duc Thang University Campus in HCMC

In 1997 the public university of TDTU was established, with the main campus inaugurated in 2011 in Tan Phong Ward, District 7, in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).  This beautiful and spacious campus is where the ILR students will stay for the duration of the program. 

The student dorms.
The comfortable rooms.  Much nicer than a US dorm!
 The soccer stadium.
 Student pool.
 Campus stadium.
Entrance to the stadium.