A Special Experience at Duke Kunshan University
James Bowsher, PhD
Associate Professor of Medical Physics, Duke Kunshan University
Adjunct Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, Duke University
Faculty, Graduate School and Medical Physics Graduate Program, Duke University
Director of Graduate Studies, Duke Kunshan University Medical Physics Graduate Program Selected for the Jiangsu Province 100-Talent Plan
Since my arrival at Duke Kunshan University two years ago, I have been a witness to the beautiful development of the area surrounding the campus, and I have found many attractive aspects about Duke Kunshan that go beyond its lovely campus. One is that it has the flavor of what we often refer to favorably in the United States as a “small liberal arts college.” Nearly everyone on campus knows everyone else, giving the campus a very strong sense of community. Another unusual aspect of Duke Kunshan is that many faculty members live on campus, and this supports daily interaction between them and students.
Duke Kunshan is very connected to Duke University, which is a large and internationally renowned university. When I was in college, many people viewed small colleges as advantageous because of the more individualized attention they can provide. Duke Kunshan has this small university advantage, yet through its interactions with Duke University and with our many collaborators in China, it also provides the faculty and the classroom, research, clinical, and professional opportunities of a large international university. Duke Kunshan University is almost unique in the way it blends these small college and large university experiences, in many ways providing the best of both.
As a professor, I really enjoy classes with my students. Many times, a class is more like a conversation than a lecture. We may begin discussing a point, and then elaborate on that topic, soon making connections with previously covered material. Or there may be something to work out or illustrate at the white board, and we might find the entire class together at the board, sharing ideas or suggestions. Those are classroom moments that I really enjoy and that are great for learning. I want the students to be comfortable talking through the concepts with each other and with me until a clearer picture is formed.
I am pleased to observe the students who have defended their thesis research projects and graduated, going on to find jobs or placement in PhD programs. I am so proud of the students for the effort that begins when they first arrive at Duke Kunshan and for their accomplishments as they complete their experience here. I hope our graduates will always stay connected with each other and with Duke Kunshan University, being active as alumni in ways that support the advancement of medical physics and medical care.
We want Duke Kunshan to be a center of excellence for medical physics in China and the world. The Duke Kunshan medical physics experience is international; it is Duke University; it is China; it is innovation in education; it is breadth and depth in classroom, research, clinical, professional, and personal experience; it is all these rolled into a special two-year experience at Duke Kunshan University and Duke University.