Possessed with a particular life-long goal to become a global builder of bridges, Aaron Vessup, makes determined steps. Born in Los Angeles, CA (1947), a second son of Rev. Johannes and Ellene Vessup, he was delivered into this world by a midwife, in an humble house. As the second child in a long line of fifteen siblings, his was the only birth outside a hospital. Leaving California, after earning a Community College Associate Arts degree, professor Vessup won academic scholarships to Nebraska Wesleyan Univ (B.S. degree); and later to Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He chose to withdraw from CTS after completing one year of study. Subsequently he was granted a Teaching Fellowship at Illinois State University, completing the Masters of Science in College Teaching.
Upon graduation Vessup embraced the opportunity to become the City of Bloomington's first Human Relations Coordinator. After a two-and-a half year stint, he passed the LSAT examination with intent to enroll in law school at the University of Pittsburgh. A scholarship offer was entertained. Upon arriving in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was also offered a Teaching Fellowship at the same university in the Department of Speech Communication Sciences. Deciding over law school, Vessup became a Teaching Fellow working toward a doctorate in Conflict Management. His concentration of studies were a mix of Communication courses; Management offerings in the Graduate School of Business; and Foreign Affairs courses in GISPIA, the graduate School of International and Foreign Affairs. Submitting the first four chapters of his doctoral dissertation, and sucessfully passing the Oral Comprehension Examination stage, he settled into full-time research and writing.
Several timely job offers attracted Vessup to make a decision. Accept and immediately join Training and Development business corporations, or teach in a new region of the country. Texas Southern University employed him as Assistant Professor in Urban Communication Studies. While in Houston, Texas, he successful wrote a grant winning TSU its first State Hunanities Grant for a Community Ecumenical Discussion project. Vessup was also awarded a Kellog Foundation stipend.
Being recruited from TSU, as teacher and Forensic's Speech Competition coach, required a decision to up-root from the South and move to a small suburb in Northern Illinois, outside Chicago. Following his dream of making positive contacts across cultures, Vessup pioneered cultural dialogue community television programs. "Cultures In Focus" won several television programming awards over a 5 year span. He has made multiple visits to Canada, France, South Africa, Germany, Russia, Guatemala, and Cuba. His actual global experiences extend beyond 30 countries.
As an active member of the World Congress of Poets, Professor Vessup has entertained with poetry on national television in Egypt, and as educational lecturer or panelist on televised programs in several Chinese provinces. With passion fires still fueling his dream that more must be done, this pioneer decided to build educational bridges abroad, making China his home from 2004 to 2017. While in China his publication output increased dramaticaly. However, having visited over 30 countries, Aaron Vessup has returned home to the USA, motivated that much more can and should be accomplished in the fight for individual respect, global understanding, and positive bridges. America can do better.
Among his many accolades, receiving the Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the World Academy of Arts, and Outstanding Foreign Expert citations from Hunan and Jilin provinces in the PRC; the Beijing Community Cultural Center honored professor Vessup with a recent citation for his volunteer work with the "Golden Age English Salon."
Feeling guilt from his long absence in the struggle for equality and respect on the HOME FRONT, professor Aaron Vessup has returned to the "Trenches" in the USA, to again put his shoulders to wheels of change. As director for CULTURES IN FOCUS, INT'L. Vessup applies different shoulders to ever-changing illusions of "different"wheels.
AARON A. VESSUP
EDUCATOR, AUTHOR, PHOTOGRAPHER
~ CULTURES IN FOCUS, INTERNATIONAL ~