Dr. Kris Erskine is the Chief Academic Officer for Eaglebridge International Group. Eaglebridge is an American-owned educational company and its offices are in Beijing, but it operates conjointly out of its parent school, Eaglebridge International School, in Dandong, China. Kris’ role as CAO has transitioned to a consulting role after the pandemic slowed the economy in China in the spring of 2020. Eaglebridge opens new American and international curriculum schools in Asia, primary in China. Erskine’s role as CAO is to develop curriculum, develop new programs, build an online school for students in China, and to train teachers on-site at schools in China in teaching methods and classroom management. School projects that Dr. Erskine has administered or opened are Taipei Adventist Preparatory Academy (Taipei, Taiwan), Hong Kong Adventist Academy (Hong Kong), and Huamei International School (Guangzhou, China). Additionally, Kris has been involved with projects in Dandong, China; Chengdu, China; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; S. Lancaster, Massachusetts, as well as two online school projects.
Dr. Erskine is also an Assistant Professor at Athens State University. At Athens State Kris teaches half of his course load in the College of Arts and Sciences’s history department, where he teaches 20th Century America and Modern China. The other half of his teaching load is taught in the College of Education’s secondary education teacher prep program. Kris also teaches as an adjunct instructor in the history department at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he teaches American history and American foreign policy.
Dr. Erskine is a Western North Carolina native and has always considered the southeastern United States to be home. But he as “been blessed,” Erskine says, “with the opportunity to both study and travel all over the world.”
In 1996 Erskine graduated from Newbold College in England with a BA in history and religion. With Masters degrees in Social Science, International Relations, and Education, Erskine and his family moved to Asia, where for six years he both opened new American curriculum high schools in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, and also studied for a Ph.D in diplomatic history at the University of Hong Kong. His doctoral research focuses on the impact of American missionaries in China on Sino-US relations during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Erskine is working on a couple of projects. The first is a piece of travel literature tentatively titled Even the Dragonflies Dance, about his travels in Asia. Those stories were written while he was in Asia and he is starting to publish them on this blog, as of late 2020. Kris is also working on a book project on the role of non-state actors in the formation of international relations, specifically in the context of Sino-US relations.
Erskine enjoys traveling, spending time with his family, watching Syracuse basketball, flying airplanes, and getting outdoors.
About the site name. When I lived in the Marshall Islands the other “Jeh guys” and I liked to head out to a deserted island called “Fourth Island,” or Egineloto in Marshallese. Jeh (pronounced like Jay) is an island in the Ailinglaplap atoll in the Marshall Islands, in Micronesia. We loved going to Fourth Island to swim with the sharks, to eat raw tuna, and just to get away. Although we didn’t actually get out there too often and in reality we weren’t getting away from anything… we already lived on an island with ocean views off the front and back porch. We had no electricity, running water, or cars. Fourth island was likely more soothing in memory than in reality. After England, the Marshalls, and Taiwan, Hong Kong was the fourth island I lived on.