Retried professor returns for second TEDx event,

Richard Stamps will be returning to the TEDx Oakland University conference this year.  Stamps served as a faculty member at the university for more than 37 years, though is currently retired. 

When Stamps was 19 he traveled to Taiwan for the first of what would become many times, serving as a Mormon missionary.  In the 53 years since that time, Stamps has traveled and resided in Asia for a total of seven years.  

His first time in Taiwan inspired him to dig deeper into Asian culture from a holistic approach. 

Stamps’ explanation of this holistic approach includes viewing one being who is surrounded by a greater culture of government, economy, kinship or family patterns, and the supernatural or religion.  These subsets of culture are continually interacting with the surrounding environment, which is shaped by the culture’s history. 

Stamps believes that one cannot look simply at one subset of a culture, but rather examine the subsets individually within the whole and how the subsets and culture affect one another. 

He was first hired at Oakland as a special instructor, and retired as an associate professor of anthropology and Asian studies. 

In his time at Oakland, Stamps took students to mainland China on one month study tours from 1981 to1988, and then from 1990 to 1991. 

In 1994, he moved to Taiwan for three years with his wife and youngest child to serve as a mission president for Young Mormon Missionaries.

Among the other reasons he returned to Asia was with the alumni association, with the former provost, and with L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, and 12 Michigan companies working on a trade delegation. 

“I created my own opportunities to go back,”Stamps said. “I stuck my nose in the door and explored my options.” 

Not surprisingly, Stamps TEDx presentation will focus on China and is titled, “Dealing with China: How to Peel a Banana”. 

He explained that he will break down why people should study China though did not elaborate on how to peel a banana. 

Stamps will state his call to action, encouraging attendees to take note of China, saying that it is prevalent in everyone’s future, no matter one’s field of study. 

He stated that he hopes attendees will take away a “greater awareness and a greater appreciation for China,”as well as the mindset that there are different ways of doing things and that neither is right or wrong, simply different.

Stamps’presentation is sure to educate and provide insight into new ideas for attendees, including the proper method for peeling a banana perhaps.  Though he is well-versed in all things concerning China’s culture, he is humbled by the fact that there is still more to learn.

“You can study until late in the evening, and you’ll never study at all,”Stamps shared, translating a Chinese proverb into English.

Sidebar: Remaining Speakers

Trevor Anulewicz, Vectorform

Paul Czarnik, Compuware’s CTO

DocAppella, OUWB School of Medicine choir

Elaina Farnsworth, Mobile Comply CEO

INTRIGUE, OU hip hop dance team

Pj Jacokes, GO! Comedy Improv Theater producer & co-owner

Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society CEO

Gerald Knight, GO! Comedy founder

Amy Morin, social worker, psychotherapist, instructor and author

Marina Morris, motivational speaker

Neil Rockind, Rockind Law founder

Alex Ruthmann, NYU Steinhardt Associate Professor

Ara Topouzian, Armenian-American musician

Lisa L.M. Welling, Oakland University Assistant Professor