Linking the U.S. Liberal Arts with Indian Higher Education

Thank you to all who attended the Zoom session on September 29, and to those who were not able to attend but would like to participate in the future.  Please note the following post-meeting resources:

Inaugural Webinar
September 29, 2022
7:30 pm IST / 10 am ET / 7 am PT

This is an opportunity for faculty and staff from our U.S. and Indian colleges to learn about shared interests and potentially make connections for collaborative work. Student / faculty exchange and hosting, co-teaching, guest seminars, workshops, joint research and publications, etc., are envisioned. Individuals may get in touch with each other and take their relationships in whatever directions they choose.

Click here for the September 29 webinar agenda. 

Contact A. Josephine Prabha (AIACHE) or Dan Choffnes (ASIANetwork) with any questions. 


On behalf of the AIACHE and its member institutions, I am overwhelmed for having established an MoU with ASIANetwork to mutually strengthen our capacity, materialize our vision and mark a strong base to march towards a long and fruitful collaboration, resulting in mutual understanding, wider network and enhanced exchange of programs exclusively for students, faculty, staff and institutions of Higher Education with ASIANetwork.

I deem the upcoming Webinar to be one of the milestones in the progress of the activities of AIACHE with ASIANetwork for the benefit of both the member institutions. I am very grateful to the Principals, Academicians and Faculty Members for your keen interest towards registering for the Relationship Building Webinar Session.

We place on record the endeavour of Dr. Gary DeCoker, Executive Director of ASIANetwork and Dr. Glenn Shive, Member of ASIANetwork Council of Advisors, and others and AIACHE Board Members for making this event happen. A word of special appreciation and thanks to Dr. Dan Choffnes for his enormous effort and fraternal gesture in establishing a connectivity between AIACHE and ASIANetwork. I am grateful to Dr. A. Josephine Prabha, Associate Dean of Sciences, Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli and Prof. J. Rajeshwar Rao, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, St. Aloysius College, Jebalpur for their meticulous planning in organizing this Webinar.

Let’s keep this partnership vibrant and I look forward and encourage the member institutions to make the best use of this Webinar and to build on further activities, for the benefit of students and faculty members. May God bless all our endeavours.

Rev. Dr. Xavier Vedam, S.J., General Secretary of AIACHE


On behalf of the ASIANetwork Board of Directors and its members, I am delighted to recognize the close relationship that has been formed between the ASIANetwork consortium and AIACHE. Since the inception of this project, we have focused our energies on building deep and lasting connections for the mutual benefit of our faculty, staff, students, and institutions. This webinar is just one example of the many ways that we can foster fruitful scholarly exchange. With the creativity and interests of our members driving new initiatives, we will look forward to many years of collaboration. 

We acknowledge the efforts of Dr. Glenn Shive, member of our Council of Advisors, and Dr. George Thadathil of Salesian College, Sonada and Siliguri, in bringing our organizations together, and Dr. Xavier Vedam, whose steady hand has guided these many positive interactions, and put in place the foundation for future collaborations. Thank you to all who have made this webinar possible.

Dr. Gary DeCoker, Executive Director of ASIANetwork


Greetings! The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AIACHE and ASIANetwork had its genesis fundamentally from the relations that the AlACHE (All India Association for Christian Higher Education) Institutions had with the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA), functioning with its headquarters at Hong Kong. As an outcome of the sustained relationship, Dr. Glenn Shive, Former Programme Coordinator of UB, was invited as Guest of Honour during the Triennial Conference of AIACHE in 2015. This meeting served as a seed and deeper collaborations got rooted during the ensuing conversations and collaborative engagements between Rev. Fr. George Thadathil SDB, Former President of AIACHE and Dr. Glenn Shive, a member of ASIANetwork Council of Advisors. They proposed the idea of signing an MoU envisaging fruitful AIACHE-ASIANetwork Collaborations. 

Following which, in 2019, Dr. Dan Choffnes, then a visiting scholar at Hang Seng University in Hong Kong, who was due to be chair of ASIANetwork in 2021, visited Darjeeling, Salesian College, Siliguri and AIACHE Office to discuss further on the modalities of materializing the MoU. Finally, through several online deliberations, the MoU was drafted and signed on 1st February 2021, by then signatories, Rev. Fr. Xavier Vedam SJ, General Secretary, AIACHE, Rev, Fr. George Thadathil SDB, President, AIACHE, Dr. Gary DeCoker, Executive Director, ASIANetwork and Dr. Dan Choffnes, Chairperson, Board of Directors, ASIANetwork. The scope of the MoU includes collaborative teaching, staff and students exchange, on-line courses, cultural tours, organizing faculty development programmes and conferences, sharing of e-resources, collaborative research projects, publications etc.

Shrunk by the waves of Corona, MoU was formally inaugurated during the next Triennial Conference on 27th December 2021. The following are the activities under AIACHE-ASIANetwork Collaborations till date:

(i) The first collaborative activity was marked even before the formal signing of MoU, wherein a group of 10 ASIANetwork members visited Salesian College, Sonada, Siliguri, West Bengal and other parts of North East India, as a part of ANFEP (ASIANetwork Faculty Enhancement Programme) in July 2018.

(ii) A book on “American Popular Culture” has been published by the Salesian Press, Sonada, Siliguri, in December 2021 and has been promoted among ASIANetwork members.

(iii) An on-going Student Interaction Programme between three colleges of AIACHE (Holy Cross College, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu and Salesian College, Siliguri, West Bengal) and the University of Puget Sound, Washington, USA, was recently sketched out during a small group online interaction between the members.

I am sure the upcoming webinar would serve as a platform to widen the scope and provide immense driving force to build many such new collaborations, resulting in astonishing outcomes, ultimately benefiting the institutions, faculty members and student community in large.

Best wishes,

Dr. A. Josephine Prabha, Associate Dean of Sciences, Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu)

Relationship-building Web Session
via Zoom
September 29, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. IST / 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT

7:30 p.m./10:00 a.m. Prayer and welcome from AIACHE

  • Rev. Dr. Xavier Vedam, General Secretary, AIACHE

7:35 p.m./10:05 a.m Greetings from ASIANetwork and overview

  • Dr. Dan Choffnes, Past Chair of ASIANetwork then
  • Dr. A. Josephine Prabha, Associate Dean of Sciences, Bishop Heber College (Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu) [co-facilitators] 

7:38 p.m./10:08 a.m. Statements of interest and areas of potential collaboration from ASIANetwork and AIACHE professors

  • Dr. Sasha Day, Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, Occidental College (California)
  • Dr. G. Phebe Angus, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Madras Christian College (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)
  • Dr. Monica Kaniamattam, Assistant Professor of Speech Language Pathology, Moravian University (Pennsylvania)
  • Dr. Karuna Gokarn, Vice-Principal Academics, Associate Professor of Microbiology, St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai, Maharashtra)
  • Dr. Gordon Gray, Associate Professor of Media and Culture, Berea College (Kentucky)
  • Dr. Brian Gomes, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Salesian College (Siliguri, West Bengal)

7:50 p.m./10:20 a.m. Breakout sessions. Opportunities for more personal introductions and seeking out potential partnerships.

  • Faculty/teachers will be grouped according to general interest areas: religious-media-cultural studies, natural sciences, social sciences, language and literature, history, etc. Administrators will remain in the Main Room during the breakout sessions to discuss institutional relations, assessment, exchange, and so on.

8:15 p.m./10:45 a.m. Sharing insights and experiences from the classroom — ongoing student interaction programme:

  • Dr. Priti Joshi, Professor of English, University of Puget Sound (Washington) and
  • Dr. M. Mary Jayanthi, Dean of International Affairs, Assistant Professor of English, Holy Cross College (Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu)

8:25 p.m./10:55 a.m. Implementation of Collaboration — Models and Timelines

  • Rev. Fr. George Thadathil, Principal, Salesian College, Siliguri (West Bengal) and former President of AIACHE

8:30 p.m./11:00 a.m. Thanks and well wishes

  • Dr. M. Davamani Christopher, Principal, American College, Madurai and President of AIACHE