NWC News Desk

There's more than one way to learn about Vietnam this spring from Northwest's Fulbright scholar

Posted December 20, 2007

P O W E L L, W y o. - Fulbright scholar Hoang Le Huy is hoping his stay in America will be a two-way street when it comes to information sharing. Hoang will teach a three-credit evening class, "Vietnam in the World," this spring at Northwest College, but he's also hoping for opportunities to interact with area community and civic groups.

"His Name is Mr. Hoang Le Huy, and the way it works in Vietnam, we call him Mr. Hoang," said Harriet Bloom-Wilson, an assistant professor of French and international student recruiter and advisor at NWC. Bloom-Wilson initiated the Fulbright proposal that brought him to America.

Hoang is an economic scholar at a community college in Vietnam and also works as the assistant to the president of the Vietnamese Association of Community Colleges.

"His language skills are excellent," Bloom-Wilson said. "He's a wonderful communicator, a dynamic speaker and he's eager to share his country and culture with an American audience, so we're hoping to encourage people to sign up for the three-credit class or come in as an audit."

Hoang's Monday evening class, "Vietnam in the World," meets from 6:30-9:15 p.m. starting Jan. 28, in Room 115 of the Orendorff Building. Registrations for both credit and audit enrollments will be accepted through Wednesday, Jan. 23.

"Vietnam in the World" is a result of the collaboration among American and Vietnamese faculties of Northwest College and member institutions of the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges. Hoang said he wants to bring "American participants closer to the real Vietnam with all the richness and exclusiveness of the history, culture, religion, society and family value and the diversity of the country which interact to produce the rapid rise in personal and national economic prosperity and international influence." Using an abundance of images, objects and material, Hoang said he wants his students to "feel the breath" of Vietnam.

"On the other hand," Hoang said, "I would like to experience the real American life and culture that I have learned from my reading, studying and watching movies. This will be a fantastic experience in my life. I believe the NWC faculty, students and the people of Wyoming will help me touch the reality of the United States that not so many Vietnamese can." He's also looking forward to seeing snow for the very first time.

"We want to encourage our community friends to consider inviting Mr. Hoang for their organizations whether it's civic organizations, church groups, Rotary, Kiwanis, chamber of commerce, public school classes," Bloom-Wilson said.

"He's very accessible. He's a young man. Very excited about having this opportunity and would like to meet as many people as possible and can speak about a variety of subjects. Even though his background is in economics, he's very verbal, versatile, and his class will be interdisciplinary so he'll be comfortable, I think, speaking to a number of groups.

Bloom-Wilson said, "Given this history of the United States and Vietnam, this is really an extraordinary opportunity to talk to somebody who did not live through what they call the "American War" but can speak very comfortably and confidently about the new Vietnam which has one of the fastest rising economies in the world today.

The scholar's relationship with NWC actually began more than a year ago following a chance meeting at which he and Richard Wilson were seated next to each other at a luncheon in Hanoi. Wilson saw the potential and encouraged his wife, Harriet Bloom-Wilson, and Sher Hruska to pursue a partnership. The relationship deepened several months later. "Mr. Hoang has become a friend of Northwest College through a trip that was taken last year by myself and Vice President of Academic Affairs Sher Hruska," Bloom-Wilson said. "During that visit, Mr. Hoang was our interpreter and guide as we visited five Vietnamese community colleges throughout the country and we got to know him quite well. We're very impressed by him."

For more information about the class "Vietnam in the World" or opportunities to engage Hoang as a speaker, e-mail Harriet Bloom-Wilson or call toll-free at (800) 560-4692 or (307) 754-6429.