August 16, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Alumni News | Ruth Yenling Ting Donates $3,000 to Linguistics

Alumna Ruth Yenling Ting working with children affected by earthquakes

Alumna Ruth Yenling Ting working with children affected by earthquakes.

Ohio University alumna Ruth Yenling Ting ’80M made a generous one-time donation to support the Linguistics Department discretionary fund.

She remembered that when she was at OHIO, someone donated a large amount of money to help students from Taiwan, and she wanted to return the favor, allowing the Linguistics Department to help Taiwanese students once again.

After she finished her M.A. in Linguistics in 1980 at OHIO, Ting went back to Taiwan to teach at Tamkang University. Later, she went back to school in Taiwan to earn a degree in a theological school, and she has since spent her time doing community work in Taiwan and other parts of East Asia.


Ruth Yenling Ting runs a camp for children

Ruth Yenling Ting runs a camp for children.

Specifically, she leads groups of volunteers to villages that have suffered natural disasters, often working with children who have lost family members in earthquakes.

“Each year in the summer,” Ting said, “we organize a four-day camp for students 8 to 18.  We stay in a resort near the city and have fun swimming or eating in KFC. They just love it. And I am very grateful that their parents trust us to hand their precious little kids to us.”

Ting also works with more remote mountain communities. The development organization that she works for offers scholarships to students of seventh grade and above to stay in school “because many quit schooling after sixth grade to earn their living,” she explained.

Ting also talks to the parents or grandparents of students who have received a scholarship. “I was teaching them how to understand and encourage their youngsters,” she explained.

Ruth Yenling Ting working with guardians of scholarship recipients

Ruth Yenling Ting working with guardians of scholarship recipients.

Memories of Gordy Hall

Ting remembers that Dr. Marmo Soemarmo was the chair and how much she enjoyed his classes.

As part of her graduate studies, she recalled that she had “learned how to teach new things to students step by step, which has been a great help even till today.”

She fondly remembers Dr. Richard McGinn. “He is a gentleman,” she recalled. “Once I met him on my way home carrying a grocery sack. He kindly offered to help me with it. Oh no, no, no! My Chinese culture said no. How can a teacher carry heavy stuff for the student? It is the job for students to help the teacher. But his kindness remained in my memory till today.”

Of Dr. Ruth Nybakken, she adds, “I was her assistant for one year. We had very good time helping students together in her Chinese classes. She even wrote me an email several years ago telling me news about Jamie Tevis, my landlady, and my host family mom, Margaret. Dr. Nybakken is so considerate knowing that I am thinking of them.”

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