FDU Magazine — Winter/Spring 2011 — Volume 18, Number 2
Image: Cover - The Play's the Thing!

On the Cover
Directed by Professor Stephen Hollis and well trained for the vigors of theater life, FDU students rise to the challenge of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

Making an Impact
The United Nations Academic Impact promises to address worldwide challenges and engage students in global concerns.

A Cinematic Tale of Loss and Redemption
Catch a sneak preview of the award-winning film “Favorite Son” with writer, director and professor Howard Libov.

Images That Will Stand Forever
Professor David Hanson’s images of the World Trade Center have become a moving historical tribute.

Bridging the Pacific World
John Vitale describes his FDU study abroad experience in Japan, from mountain villages to the bustling Tokyo.

Alumni Profile
International Alumnus Finds Global Success
John Mangeli, BS'64 (M)

Alumni Profile
Reaching Out to Stricken Haiti
Donna Bruno Stuart, AA'60 (T)

Across the Pacific: A global experience by John Vitale, BA’09 (M), MAT’10 (M)

Standing and holding up my tired 210-pound frame in a crowded and mysteriously quiet subway, I let loose a bear-like yawn. As I look to the petite young woman in front of me, she smiled and began to chuckle. I had come halfway around the world and could only speak three words in Japanese.

On his trip to Japan, John Vitale didn't exactly fit in.

However, the small moment was one of many where I would learn that with a little effort and drive I could connect and communicate with the people of Japan. I could begin to learn by immersing myself into Japan’s society and culture, rather than learn only from the sights I had seen and the lessons I had learned from Assistant Professor of History Gary Darden in my Pacific Worlds class.


Kyoto: gray, rainy, dreary, three in the afternoon

Four of my fellow classmates and I decided to find what was called the Philosopher’s Path. We were told by our tour guide Mickey that it is a trail where professors of Kyoto University would walk and reflect. The mile-long path follows along a quiet canal, and cherry blossoms drape over the path creating a tunnel-like atmosphere. We decided to create our own little “pub crawl” along the way to the trail. After all, we were right next to a university and figured we could mingle with the local college students. This would become our first lesson in Japanese culture and one of my most memorable moments in Japan.

Honyarado, a café, bar, restaurant and literary haunt, looked to us like it had not been open since the 1960s, with bottles of recognizable brand-named liquor wrapped with labels that were discolored and dated. We were greeted in seemingly perfect English by a small man in a bright blue Hawaiian shirt. We grabbed a round and sipped quietly until we gained the courage to ask about the town and the bar we were in.

It turns out that the bar is owned by Kai Fusayoshi, a famous Kyoto photographer, who opened Honyarado in 1972 as a place where students can buy cheap meals and socialize. Furthermore, Honyarado organized efforts to help bring Vietnamese refugees to Japan during the American War in Vietnam. Five American college students on a trip to study the history and culture of Japan find their way to one of Kyoto’s famous cultural hotspots by pure curiosity. Some would call that fate.

Continuing on our quest for the Philosopher’s Path, we encountered famous Japanese comedians filming in the streets and school children by the dozens flocking to meet the famed television stars. On our arrival at the trail, I experienced stillness, peace and tranquility. Our voices echoed off buildings, pushing us into a whisper when talking.

next: Hiroshima …


About the Program: Pacific Worlds

Pacific Worlds is a semester-long course taught by Gary Darden, assistant professor of history, that includes the opportunity to spend two weeks across the Pacific. The course, which in the past has brought students to study abroad in both China and Japan, covers the history of the diverse cultures connected to the Pacific Ocean, including the changing interaction between East Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia and the Americas from the emergence of the early modern world in the 15th century through the era of globalization today. This spring’s itinerary in Japan included Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Nara, Kanazawa and the Japanese Alps. The next Pacific Worlds class, offered in fall 2011, includes a January 2012 excursion through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. For more information, contact Gary Darden, assistant professor of history, at darden@fdu.edu.



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FDU Magazine is published twice yearly by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1000 River Road, H-DH3-14, Teaneck, N.J. 07666.

FDU Magazine welcomes your comments. E-mail Rebecca Maxon, editor, at maxon@fdu.edu.

J. Michael Adams, President; Richard Reiss, Senior Vice President for University Advancement; Angelo Carfagna, Assistant Vice President for University Advancement and Communications; Okang McBride, Director of Alumni Relations; Carol Kuzen Black, Director of Publications/Senior Editor; Rebecca Maxon, Editor and Web Designer;

Contributors: Howard Libov, Tom Nugent, Melissa Payton, John Vitale

Photo/Illustration Credits: Bill Blanchard, Bill Cardoni, Gary Darden, Favorite Son Productions, Don Hamerman, David Hanson, Ted Horowitz Photography, Dan Landau, Mike Malone, Morteza Nikoubazl, Gloria Pastorino, Nick Romanenko, Danny Schwartz, Jayson Scrimizzi, Daniel Twomey, John Vitale

For a print copy of FDU Magazine, featuring these and other stories, contact Rebecca Maxon, editor, at maxon@fdu.edu.

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