Cultivating cultural understanding is primary goal for Asian economics expert

When the media needs an authority on Chinese economics‚ they call Dr. Penelope Prime.

Georgia (Sep 28, 2005) — When the media needs an authority on Chinese economics‚ they call Dr. Penelope Prime.

As director of the China Research Center‚ she has conducted hundreds of interviews‚ serving as a leading expert and researcher in the field.

“At the research center‚ we stimulate research and then take the results to the public‚” she said. “Not only do we want this information in academic journals‚
but also for it to be disseminated to the government‚ media‚ students‚ faculty and
the general public.”

The center is multi−institutional‚ involving partnerships with Georgia State‚ Agnes Scott‚ Georgia Tech‚ the University of Georgia and other Georgia colleges and universities. Since fall of 2001‚ the center has grown to include 18 research associates and three advisory board members.

One of the cultural aspects of her research that fascinates Prime is that Chinese civilization and Western−Anglo civilization started from different assumptions and each group attacks and thinks about problems differently. "Not better‚ just differently‚” she said. “However‚ Chinese people and people in the U.S. tend to get along very well.

“There is a great deal of compatibility despite the fundamental differences in our

Prime can attest to this because she has made many friends in China during her
stints there. She has lived off and on in China for nearly six years and she can speak the language “quite well.” Her family has also accompanied her to China and her husband and two children also speak the language. She has traveled extensively throughout east and southeast Asia.

In addition to running the China Research Center‚ Prime teaches international courses such as global economics‚ international business and economic development. She tries to stress to students how important it is to understand the complexity of global issues and how it can affect them. For example‚ she encourages them not just to think of owning a business in Marietta and how it will affect that local community‚ but to think of that business globally and how this
can present a different set of opportunities‚ as well as complicated pressures. “Everyone should be thinking more globally.”

Prime plans to return to China in November to attend a conference and again in March 2006‚ to teach and conduct research. She and her family are currently hosting a scholar from Shanghai for several months.


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