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Lecture set in Valley City: Walsh to speak on ‘Pakikisama: Filipino wisdom for East and West’

Rob Walsh will speak on “Pakikisama: Filipino wisdom for East and West” at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Barnes County Museum in Valley City. The presentation is part of the Barnes County Historical Society’s lecture series.

At the end of the 19th century the Philippines and the U.S. were thrust into intercultural conversance, the vestiges of which can be felt 115 years later, Walsh said. Filipinos have the unique distinction in Asia of being oriental, yet having had occidental influences, including those of heritage, language and education, Walsh said. The results of this amalgamation appear to be a singular ability by Filipinos to assimilate to other cultures; for example, Filipinos have one of the highest rates of assimilation of immigrants to the U.S. (Nasser, 2008; Nakanishi & Lai, 2003). Assimilation, however, is never a one-way street. Filipinos and Americans continue to transform each other on matters of language and culture, Walsh said. A further examination of the Filipino concept of “pakikisama” (loosely translated, “getting along with others”) may reveal a Filipino character strength that can portend harmony in the East, but, at the same time, can produce dissonance in the West. Creating distinctions about the concept for the purpose of intercultural competence may avail the wisdom of “pakikisama” as a communication strategy for both East and West, Walsh said.

Walsh is a tenure-track instructor at Valley City State University. He is a professor in the Division of Communication Arts & Social Sciences, teaching classes such as research methods, group dynamics, intercultural, interpersonal and interviewing communication, and the fundamentals of public speaking. He is the internship coordinator for professional communication majors.

Walsh has advanced to candidacy for a Ph.D. in occupational and adult education at North Dakota State University. His dissertation topic is “Using learning modules for instructor objectivity in ethical quagmires: A cross-curricular study in academic debate.” Other areas of research include educational technologies and blended learning; Asian models of adult education; identity and transformative learning; interpersonal and group dynamics; service learning; local food systems initiatives; and implicit assumption in social contexts.

From 2003 to 2008 he worked in South Korea as a visiting professor of English and communication. His last post was at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. In 1998 he began consulting Fortune 500 companies to assist with breakthroughs in conflict management, teamwork, handling constructive criticism and presentational speaking. Walsh grew up in Minnesota and attended St. Cloud State University for his undergraduate (communication and English) and graduate (interpersonal communication) degrees.

The public is invited to attend this lecture.

All lectures are at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum, 315 Central Ave. N, Valley City, and are held in conjunction with VCSU. They are free.

For more information, contact Wes Anderson at (701) 845-0966.