A Glance Back
The University of La Verne’s Wilson Library hosted “Then and Now: ULV Connections to Cambodia and Vietnam” on Oct. 20 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Then and Now” featured the art, articles, books and photos on Southeast Asia amassed by ULV graduate June Pulcini, class of 1962, while working as a teacher in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam for seven years with International Voluntary Services. The exhibit also drew attention to a summer 2007 trip to Vietnam and Cambodia made by Pulcini and ULV’s Program Chair for Teacher Education Dr. Peggy Redman, class of 1960. While in Cambodia, Dr. Redman participated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the University of La Verne and Panasastra University, making future student and teacher exchanges possible.
Also held during this trip were educational workshops in Vietnam for ESL teachers on behalf of the nonprofit organization CHEER for Vietnam, which stands for Culture, Health, Education and Environmental Resources. Doan Thi Nam-Hau, founder of CHEER and director of the teacher training program, displayed photos of the 2007 teacher workshops from her laptop on the library’s first floor. “Most of Vietnam is still very poor,” Nam-Hau said, “Teachers can influence generations. That’s why we focus on education.”
At 4 p.m., dancers from the Khmer Arts Academy performed two traditional dances. Clad in rich jewel-toned sashes and golden headpieces, the female dancers sprinkled flower petals toward the audience in the first piece, titled “The Blessing Dance.” The second performance, called “The Shadow,” symbolized the struggle to find a peace and balance between the past and the future. This metaphysical struggle was relevant to the exhibit because the people of Cambodia and Vietnam still suffer from the effects of the wars all those years ago. The teacher training programs and other services provided by CHEER for Vietnam are ways in which these countries can still receive help.