Alumni News

November 2, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Alum Ed Chow Brings His Expertise Back to Athens as Glidden Visiting Professor

Ed Chow, shown here sidelighted near a window.

Ed Chow

Since 1988, the Robert and Rene Glidden Visiting Professorship has introduced the Ohio University community to a diverse series of notable visitors, but for Ohio University alum Edward Chow, the position has given him the chance to return to the campus where his distinguished career got its start.

Chow earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1971 and an MAIA in 1972 in Southeast Asia Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences.

Chow is a seasoned international energy scholar with more than 35 years of experience specializing in oil and gas investment in emerging economies. For 20 years, he worked for Chevron Corp. on national and international assignments. He is currently a senior fellow in the energy and national security program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

But Chow spent his first years in the United States as an OHIO student, traveling from Hong Kong to Athens at age 16.

“I thought it was a very nurturing environment that allowed me to grow mature, gain some confidence and learn about this country,” he said. “There is probably no better place to learn about America than the Midwest. I think I have a much better sense of America from having spent five years here in Athens.”

Returning to the University has given Chow an opportunity to share his professional experience, reflect on the future of his career, and find inspiration for his own writing from the students he meets, he said.

“I am gratified by the Glidden professorship,” he said. “I always thought that teaching helped inform my writing. When I teach and students ask me questions, I think, ‘Oh, I better explain that in an article I’m writing.’”

Named after former OHIO President Dr. Robert Glidden, who served the university from 1994 to 2004, the professorship began with financing from the University Planning and Advisory Council. Glidden said his decision to cultivate this professorship stemmed from an experience he had as an undergraduate at the University of Iowa’s music school, where he met several visiting American composers.

“I just remember how inspiring that was to me and how it helped me to raise my sights in my own field,” Glidden said.

Visiting Glidden professors are not confined to a single college, but rather come from a variety of backgrounds, with the goal being to strengthen all of OHIO’s academic programs.

“Rather than limit it to just one field, we decided to make it open, and the University could decide how it would rotate among various schools and departments,” Glidden said. “The idea was to inspire students by bringing in notable people.”

Between his two weeks on campus, Chow did just that: He visited classrooms, interacted with faculty and gave several public lectures that centered on energy policy and security. Associate Professor of Political Science Nukhet Sandal remarked on how Chow’s visit resonated with her students.

“My students loved his lectures and discussions. They expressed that it was refreshing to hear from someone who is actually in the policy and business world,” Sandal said. “These practical insights from the field complemented the scholarly discussions based on academic journal articles. Mr. Chow’s presence as a visiting professor enriched the campus conversations surrounding energy.”

Chow will be returning to campus again next semester for a two-week period to conclude his professorship.

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