FACULTY, Spring 2016

Dr. Faye Perkins, UW-River Falls, Health & Human Performance


Faye is looking forward to returning to Hangzhou for a second time!  Faye is the Department Chair in Health & Human Performance and taught in China Fall 2014; She is going back to China to teach a personal health class this coming spring and would LOVE to have you come to China, too!!

"China was an incredible experience and I can't wait to go back!!  Hangzhou is known as the most beautiful city in China!  We spent time walking around scenic West Lake, enjoying the parks and temples, riding the city bikes, and watching the incredible light shows at night.  The food in Hangzhou is incredible, too!

As a part of my Personal Health class, my class took a field trip to Yellow Mountain--one of the five sacred mountains in China.  The rest of the students joined us, so whether or not you're in my class you can still go to Yellow Mountain (Huangshan in Chinese).  This is a "DO NOT MISS THIS!!" experience.  Go to to check it out.  We took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and stayed in a hostel overnight.  These mountains are like no other mountains in the world and should not be missed!

As a part of my class, we had a Chinese professor come and teach everyone Tai Chi.  We also went to the Traditional Chinese Medicine University where some of us had acupuncture and cupping.  We went to the ancient part of Hangzhou and saw a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy with all types of herbs, flowers, animal horns, and roots that are used to cure illnesses.  While I was there, I also traveled to Xian to see the terracotta warriors (unbelievable!!!), Bejieng to see the Great Wall of China (incredible!!!), Shanghai (one of the biggest cities in the world), and Wuzhen (the "Florence of China" with canals and "gondola" rides through the city)."

In addition She has taught in Experience Scotland (WIS) during the spring of 1998, fall of 2001, and summer of 2005—falling in love with Scotland more and more each time!  Faye has taught in the Health & Human Performance Department at UW-River Falls for the past 24 years and has coached the women's softball team for 20 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Health Education from the University of Utah in 1992 (along with lots of downhill skiing and backpacking). Faye is excited to share her passion for the Experience China program with all her students to help create an experience of a lifetime!

Dr. Nancy Murray, UW-Madison

I had the chance to participate in a mini-study abroad while I was in high school and it was a fabulous learning opportunity. One of my biggest regrets of my undergraduate college degree was that I chose to graduate a semester early instead of participating in a study abroad.  

Don't be that student! 

I am making up for my mistake now by working to help and encourage students to have rich study abroad learning opportunities! 

I currently teach at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Consumer Sciences department after teaching 15 years at UW-Stout in the Retail Merchandising and Management program. Prior to academia, I was in corporate working as a retail buyer and product developer. During my teaching career I have created many experiential educational opportunities both domestically and internationally for my students to best prepare them for successful careers. My teaching background in study abroad is as follows: nancy murray on great wall

2009 Experience Scotland - Exploring Photography
2011 Faculty Led - Trend Tracking & forecasting, European Retailing (Scotland, London, Paris, Cannes, St. Tropez)
2012 Business and Industry in China - a 10 day group tour of China, factories, mills and offices
2013 Experience China - Merchandise Planning & Control (MPC), Advanced MPC, Assortment Planning + many factory and corporate office visits
2014 Faculty Led
- Trends in Europe (Scotland, London, Paris, Cannes, St. Tropez, Milan) 

I love creating experiential education opportunities for my students to advance their learning. The course I will be teaching for Spring 2016 Experience China, Product Development Strategies in Retailing, will be focused and directed for Retail and nancy murrayApparel Design major students. 

Besides classroom lectures, there will be field trips to visit factories, mills, and corporate offices to best see and understand about consumer goods production and sourcing. Some online prep work and studying will need to be completed prior to the start of the 3-week course in China.

I look forward to returning to China in 2016 to teach for Experience China! 

For more information about Dr. Nancy Murray, visit her faculty webpage:

Dr. Julie Tharp, UW-Marshfield/Wood County

I don't have a hometown.  My dad was a wanderer, so my family followed along to a variety of places in Minnesota and Iowa.  After high school I studied literature and writing for a number of years.  Once I finished my college English degrees—B.S. and M.A. at Minnesota State University and Ph.D. at University of Minnesota—I took an assistant professor position at UW-Marshfield/Wood County.  I did not intend to stay there, but here I still am 22 years later.  It has been a nice town in which to raise my two children, Ana and Ian, and I have enjoyed the small campus with lots of room for me to teach a variety of classes.  Since grad school, I have branched out into teaching film studies, women's studies and several learning communities. 

TharpI have also had opportunities to follow in my dad's wanderlust footsteps.  While in college I spent a term in Europe.  As a professor, I received a Fulbright in 2001 and lived in Singapore with my kids for six months.  I have studied in Mexico, taken students on a study abroad trip to Ireland, and most recently taught in the Wisconsin in Scotland program at Dalkeith.  I am excited to venture to China next.  I love travel, love studying other languages, love world cinema, and love to cook foods from many different cultures.  I hope to share that enthusiasm with others.