TROY Art and Design professors collaborate with 22 future Trojans in China

Part of TROY's 1+2+1 Program, the professors taught film and studio art projects to the international students.

Part of TROY's 1+2+1 Program, the professors taught film and studio art projects to the international students.

Troy University Art and Design Department Chair Greg Skaggs and Assistant Chair Chris Stagl had the opportunity earlier this month to travel to Changzhou, China where they worked closely with 22 international students at Changzhou’s Institute of Technology. 

From June 3 through June 13, Skaggs worked closely with his students to create 2D and 3D studio art projects while Stagl led students on the making of a short documentary video project. 

“I came to C.I.T. in 2019, right before COVID hit, and since then I had been considering coming back, so when this opportunity arose, I knew I had to go one more time because my first experience was so memorable,” Skaggs said. “Working with these international students is extremely rewarding, and I’m very excited to see them all when they come in January of 2024 as a part of our 1+2+1 program.”

Formed in 2001, 1+2+1 is a partnership between the China Center for International Educational Exchange and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities that allows students at select Chinese universities to complete their first year of study in China, two years of study at an American partner institution and then their final year back in China. Graduates will then receive degrees from both institutions. 

Chris Stagl teaches a class.
Chris Stagl led students on the making of a short documentary.

“This trip to China was my first big international venture, and I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity by Troy University,” Stagl added. “Watching the students develop creatively over the course of a week is fantastic, and laying the foundation of a relationship that will be in place when they come to study here in Alabama, is invaluable.”

Skaggs and Stagl said there were many benefits to visiting the Changzhou Institute of Technology, including meeting their academic counterparts, creating plans for collaborative research between faculty, visiting new campus buildings and learning more about the Chinese culture to be better educators for those who come to TROY to study.

“Xiaojuan ‘Silvia’ Li, Director of Chinese Operations, was the catalyst for this trip being realized and should be credited for its success,” Skaggs said. “We could not have gotten this effort off the ground without Silvia’s help as our liaison every step of the way.”

“Part of establishing and maintaining our 1+2+1 International Cohort Program (ICP) requirement is to send our professors to China before the students come to TROY,” Li said. “Greg and Chris’ enthusiastic and generous support ensures the partnership will continue next year and hopefully for many years to come.”