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About Us

The East Asia Institute at the University of Oklahoma

History - The East Asia Institute was originally known as the Oklahoma Institute for Teaching East Asia (OKITEA) and was founded in 1993 by Dr. Jessica Stowell.  Initially, EAI’s primary mission was to inform k-16 educators, community leaders, and community organizations in the state of Oklahoma about East Asian cultures through professional development opportunities

Target Audience – Learning does not begin in college but starts in the early stages of a child’s educational experience.  EAI has been a valuable resource for the state of Oklahoma in building this bridge between secondary and higher education. 

Building Bridges - There are currently 44 k-12 schools in the state of Oklahoma that offer Chinese as a second language.  Our outreach programs have encouraged students and educators to engage in cross-cultural exchanges that has led to a better understanding and increased empathy for other cultures and people.


Our Mission Statement

EAI connects forward-thinking students and educators to East Asian cultures through interactive language and culture programs, engaging professional development, and cross-cultural exchanges that provide limitless opportunities to pursue careers around the globe. 


Our Vision Statement

Align your compass as you begin your journey. Prepare your heart and mind through rigorous study.  Anticipate the challenges, adventures, and answers that lie in the East!


Core Values

Forward-thinking - Students are not bound by prejudice, bias, hate or fear.  They see the world through a broad lens that comes from exploration, experience and empathy.

Integrity- A highly valued virtue that creates openness and honesty in relationships and insures good choices despite the circumstances.

Equality- All students in our community deserve equal educational opportunities and funding despite their circumstances.

Service – When we serve others, we inherently believe that their success in life is as important as our own. Selflessness develops awareness, establishes connections, and increases confidence.

Diversity- True diversity exists not in the color of our skin, but in the unlimited skills, talents, personalities, and experiences we possess.

Balance – We believe in order to be a complete human being, we need to develop the body, mind, and heart through challenging activities that bring a sense of happiness, accomplishment and peace.


Strategic Goals

The Goal of the East Asia Institute is to promote Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, Vietnamese and other East Asian cultures in every K-16 school in Oklahoma and in the community.

    We have identified four all-encompassing objectives:

    ·Providing K-16 students with practical curriculum developed by our organization and aligned with Oklahoma Academic Standards.  Lesson plans tailored specifically for Chinese language learners and those learning other languages.  This curriculum creates continuity and connects students to our teachers throughout the year as they have the option to attend summer camps and/or after school programs.

    · Preparing K-16 students to study and live in China, Japan, or South Korea through face to face and online language and culture classes for K-16 students.

    · Enhancing our relationships with our local and international partners through study abroad, internships, teacher exchanges, professional development, scholarship opportunities, and other travel programs.

    · Create a pipeline for students who begin studying Chinese in kindergarten, who wish to continue their studies at the university level at home or abroad.


EAI Programs

Professional development - Professional development designed to help k-16 educators integrate East Asian cultures into the classroom.  Provide educators with training on leadership, pedagogy, curriculum design, lesson planning, classroom management, and assessment. 

After school programs- Chinese language and culture classes for k-5 students at Carnegie Elementary.

K-16 outreach- Host and participate in cultural events around that state that promote East Asian cultures.

Summer camps - Chinese language culture immersion camps for k-12 students at the University of Oklahoma -Tulsa campus.

Online language/culture courses - Working with local teachers to develop language/culture learning opportunities for youth and adults.

Travel abroad - Provided for students to travel and study in China and educators the opportunity to experience China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.


East Asia Institute - Advisory Board Members

Dr. Jessica Stowell (EAI former director), Dr. Roger Randle (Univ. of Oklahoma –Center for Democracy and Culture), Mr. Bob Lieser (Univ. of Tulsa-Tulsa Global Alliance director), Mrs. Krista Blanche (Principal at Carnegie Elemen.), Mr. Micah Keyan (Utsunomiya, Japan program director), Ms. Margie Tanner (Univ. of Oklahoma-graduate), teacher), Mrs. Megan Gaspar (EAI administrative assistant), Ms.  Peng Peng Jiang (Jenks SE Elem. teacher), Mrs. Marlene Livaudis (Visit Tulsa-Tulsa Chamber of Commerce), Dr. Jie Zhang (Univ. of Oklahoma-Assoc. Professor, Chinese Pedagogy and Applied Linguistics)


East Asia Institute Staff

Program Director - Mr. Rex Burnett
Admin. Assistant 
Mrs. Megan Gaspar