Jonathan Leightner to teach in China
By Hannah Alattar
After 19 years of teaching at Augusta State, Jonathan Leightner, professor of economics in the Hull College of Business, is getting the chance of a lifetime—to teach in China for two years.
Dr. Leightner was offered the opportunity to teach at the prestigious Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China. This joint venture between Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University attracts some of the best economic minds in the world from such distinguished universities as Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale.
This journey to Nanjing has been three years in the making, with him being selected as one of two finalists for the position last year. “I asked our dean, Marc Miller, if I reapplied this year, would he let me go for two years,” says Dr. Leightner. “He surprised me by saying ‘yes’.”
He says that this was all the motivation he needed to reapply for a third time. At the end of January 2008, Dr. Leightner was informed he had received the prestigious position. While in China, he will teach courses to non-economic majors comparing the economies of China and the United States as well as teaching a course on development economics to the economics majors in fall 2008.
In June, he will begin his journey to China by way of Chulangkurn University in Thailand. He has taught as a visiting professor in Thailand for the past four summers. He will begin teaching at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in September.
“Economic development was my major field of study in my doctoral program, and I’ve never gotten to teach it,” says Dr. Leightner. “So I get to teach my field for the first time.”
He is a specialist on the Asian economy, and his publications have focused on such topics as the technology transfer to Japan, income distribution to South Korea, and pollution abatement in Thailand.
Dr. Leightner received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University and doctorate in economics from the University of North Carolina.
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