Curriculum and Instruction Professors Part of Trio to Receive National Grant Establishing an American Fitness Center in Shanghai

Photo of Louis Harrison
Dr. Louis Harrison
Photo of Xiaofen Keating
Dr. Xiaofen Keating

Professors Xiaofen Keating and Louis Harrison, Jr. in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education and Professor Huaiyin Li from the Center for East Asia Studies of the College of Liberal Arts, all of The University of Texas at Austin, received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State to establish the American Cultural Center-Fitness (ACC-Fitness) at Shanghai University of Sport aiming to introduce U.S. fitness culture to the Chinese population.

The center will show why the culture of fitness is of growing importance to American culture and influences American values; how new technologies have reshaped the U.S. fitness culture; and what new strategies American fitness-related associations have used to improve fitness in the U.S. It also strives to bridge the gap in knowledge of the commonalities and differences in fitness cultures between the two countries.

As one of the enduring and increasingly necessary human pursuits, fitness plays a critical role in the quality of a person’s life. Because increased mechanization and utilization of technology has led to a corresponding rise in diseases related to sedentary living, the importance of attaining and maintaining an active lifestyle has necessitated a focus on fitness.

Embedded in courses and research projects, students and faculty members in both universities will organize a series of interactive seminars, workshops, American fitness culture week, summer American fitness culture camps and clubs, and American fitness language classes at the ACC-Fitness. Through these interactive activities, it is hoped that the ACC-Fitness will help students in both countries better understand health-related fitness and provide a basis for exchanges in fitness related teaching and research.