The CoB’s Ambassador to Hong Kong
While not really an ambassador, one faculty member fulfills the role for faculty and students to enhance their understanding of Hong Kong and China. It is no accident that Loyola’s College of Business students have been able to take summer trips to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Xi’an. Thanks to the efforts of Professor Wing Fok, Ph.D., our undergraduate and graduate students can experience in person the energy brought by the tremendous economic growth in China. While they were able to visit a number of Chinese companies competing in the global market and learn from Chinese faculty, they have also been exposed to the Great Wall of China, the Olympic Games site, the Terra Cotta Warriors, Chinese acrobats, as well as the giant pandas, the national treasure of China.
Fok has been on the College of Business faculty for 24 years but has always held Asia close to his heart. He should as he was born in Hong Kong, raised in government housing in his younger age, attended public high school, and received his college degree from Chinese University of Hong Kong before being granted his Ph.D. from Georgia State University. It is a story of determination that led Fok from what would be considered by today’s standards the worst of U.S. public housing to a position on Loyola’s faculty. As Fok said of his early childhood experience, “we were all in it together, surrounded by family and living in what used to be a British Crown Colony. We did not know we had it so rough. But, I cherish the education I received from the Catholic primary school that was across the street from my home. I feel privileged to be teaching at a Catholic university now; I have come full circle.”
Fok currently holds the Henry J. Engler, Jr., Distinguished Professorship in Management at Loyola. He has won a number of college awards including an Outstanding Graduate Teaching award and also one for undergraduate teaching. His publications have also been recognized with an Outstanding Scholarship Research award.
Fok has a number of interesting hobbies in addition to being a world traveler. While at home, it’s a table tennis paddle, badminton racquet, or golf club in his hand. He is most accomplished at table tennis, often having evening neighborhood get-togethers. He is dead serious about his sports but even more so about seeing that U.S. students have the chance to see the wonders of China and that Chinese students are welcomed to our campus when they come to Loyola. As Fok puts it, “Chinese students have to adjust to the much more participative and challenging U.S. education style.”
Within the last few years, Dean Locander traveled with Fok to Hong Kong and China twice looking for a partner university. The thought of the dean and Fok seeing the sights in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong brings a smile to Fok’s face. You see, Dean Locander did not “enjoy” all of the foods in China. As Fok puts it, “Dean Locander dragged me from one McDonalds to another. Finally he ate some Peking Duck and loved it. But, the Quarter Pounder and Diet Coke kept him alive during our first 10-day trip.”
Fok has played a number of roles in the College of Business but most recently has been working on Loyola opening an MBA program with a partner Catholic University in Hong Kong, Caritas Institute of Higher Education. With a little luck, Fok will be able to spend more time in his home town working with Loyola’s MBA students in Hong Kong. Of course, he will still be primarily in New Orleans to fulfill his role as the College of Business Asia Ambassador.