What’s it like to take graduate courses at the “Harvard” of China?
Just ask Matt McFetridge ’12, who is settling into his second month of graduate studies in the international relations program at Tsinghua University (pronounced “Ching-wah”) in Beijing, China.
“I’m studying with some of the foremost scholars on U.S.-China relations,” said the Penn Yan native in a recent email interview.
In 2010, McFetridge spent the fall semester as an exchange student at Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE) in Kunming, one of Keuka’s partner universities.
That experience set him on a new course: to incorporate connections to China into his political science and history degree, and future career. Exposure to the Chinese language and the city that serves as hub of China’s foreign relations could give him an edge if he pursues a doctoral program in history or works as an analyst, perhaps with the government or a think tank.
“I love the program, I love the school, and the intellectual community here is equally impressive,” he wrote. “It’s such a difference between Keuka where I was one of 1,000. Here, I am one of 31 in my cohort surrounded by 30,000 of the best minds from China and abroad.”
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.
Back in the fall of 2006, Dr. Yang Zhao served as an academic adviser to four international students attending classes on the home campus in Keuka Park. Today, some 79 international students from 12 countries attend classes here, learning how to compare and contrast America with its global neighbors in background, economy, and leadership development.
This fall, after earning her doctorate and serving several years as an adjunct professor for Keuka, Zhao became part of the full-time faculty, teaching courses in economics and leadership to graduate students in Keuka’s Master of Science in management with a concentration in international business (MSMIB) program.
Her studies in China focused on economics, and she holds a B.S. in economics from Shangdong University of Finance and an M.A. in economics from Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. While teaching in China’s Qiqihar University, Zhao published seven research articles relative to strategic planning, management, marketing, economics and business to help entrepreneurs and companies to better serve their community. In 2003, she won the Outstanding Young Professor award, for the Hei Long Jiang province of China. During that time, she also served as an academic coordinator for the Keuka China Program (KCP) and assistant professor at Qiqihar University.
Here in the U.S., she has added an M.S. in management from Keuka, and just this summer, completed an education doctorate in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College. In addition to her many years of experience in international education, as a full-time and adjunct professor, Zhao has also spent seven years as a local business owner and entrepreneur working in property management. Her connection to the local business and community network, as well as related marketing and financial management skills, help provide what international learners and domestic students are looking for when they study at Keuka, she said.
“As a business leader, you have to understand the entrepreneur’s point of view, to understand how to help students start thinking as a future leader, not just a manager. That will help students to be successful in their career development,” Zhao said.
Some folks travel many miles to attend or take part in college commencements.
Then there’s Dr. Anne Weed, vice president for academic affairs at Keuka College, who added some 20,000 miles to her frequent flyer account.
That’s the Keuka College of the 21st century.
Weed took part in six Keuka commencements, beginning with the one in Keuka Park May 27. She followed that up with four ceremonies in China: Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST) May 30,Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE) in Kunming June 1, Jimei University’s Chengyi College (June 5) and Jimei ‘s Overseas Education College (June 6) in Xiamen. Then it was off to Vietnam National University in Hanoi, where she delivered the commencement address June 10.
“Although the languages, cultures, and ceremonies differ in so many respects, the excitement and joy of the graduates were wonderfully identical,” said Weed. “It is so inspiring to share the stage with our newest alumni, in the place that they call home.”
Fifty-four students received Keuka degrees at the Hanoi commencement.
Keuka College’s 104th commencement did not conclude with the awarding of degrees Sunday, May 27, in Keuka Park.
It continued yesterday (Wednesday, May 30) morning when 85 students from Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST) in China received Bachelor of Science degrees in management.
Keuka President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Weed, and Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael Hwang were on hand to congratulate the newest additions to the College’s alumni ranks.
In his commencement address, Díaz-Herrera said there are “very few students anywhere in the world today who will earn separate undergraduate degrees from two great academic institutions, from two different nations, two far apart continents, and in two very different languages.” (more…)
The inauguration of Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera as Keuka College’s 19th president May 4 was truly an international affair.
Delegates and guests from a number of foreign countries traveled to Keuka Park for the ceremony including Madame Hiam Sakr, president of the American University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Beirut, Lebanon.
“I was honored that Madame Sakr and Dr. Nabeel Haidar, vice president for academic affairs at AUST, joined us for the celebration,” said Díaz-Herrera. “I am particularly pleased to have the pleasure of welcoming Madame president to Keuka Park and the Lucina, where she was the guest of honor at a small, family-oriented reception. In a short time, I have developed a real affinity for her school and Lebanon; quite simply, Beirut is a most enchanting place.” (more…)
Currently, Li Sixian ’14 has no plans to study in Keuka Park, but if he finds his way here from Xiamen, China, he won’t have any trouble finding student employment in the alumni or development office.
He seems a natural for advancement work.
When asked what question he’d like to ask a Keuka Park student, Sixian, a Keuka China Program (KCP) student at Jimei University (JMU), came up with a pair.
“What did you learn from Keuka College?” said Sixian, and then, “What can you do for Keuka to make it better?” (more…)
Editor’s Note: The Keuka China Program (KCP) is a bona fide success story. From modest beginnings in 2002, KCP now enrolls some 3,000 students at four major universities [Tianjin University of Science and Technology (TUST), Jimei University (JMU), Wenzhou University (WZU), and Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE)] and five separate schools in China. Not only does Keuka College boast the largest enrollment of any American college or university operating in China, but the College’s alumni ranks have swelled by some 6,000 thanks to KCP. One of the key authors of the KCP success story is Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael T.C. Hwang. It was Hwang and President Emeritus Dr. Joseph G. Burke who spearheaded the development of KCP and to mark the 10th anniversary of the program, I talked with Dr. Hwang about his personal and professional attachment to KCP.
KM: What was it about Keuka College that convinced you that this partnership could work?
MH: We had the same mission and vision to create excellent educational opportunities for Chinese students. I discovered that Keuka College was student-centered and valued experiential education, which meshed with the focus of my professional career. Our partner relationship is interdependent; like “I need you as much as you need me.”
KM: Back in the formative stages KCP, did you ever envision that Keuka College would one day be the largest provider of an American education in China?
MH: No, but I am not surprised that it has. Keuka came into China at just the right time. It is a trend of the times.
A year after the start of preliminary talks and six months after the schools signed a memorandum of understanding, a collaboration between Keuka College and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) is taking shape.
After a recent visit to Malaysia, Vice President for the Center of Professional Studies Dr. Gary Smith confirmed that three marketing students from UUM will enroll at Keuka College for the 2012 spring semester. (more…)
One of Keuka College’s four partner universities in China—Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE)— recently marked its 60th anniversary.
Keuka President Dr. Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera, Vice President for the Center for Professional Studies Dr. Gary Smith, and Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael Hwang were on hand for the celebration.
“It was a great opportunity for us to show our commitment to this relationship,” said Smith.
As part of the celebration, President Díaz-Herrera delivered a presentation on “Global Learning and Exploration: A Reality.”
“The internationalization of education is today an institutional imperative,” said the president. “Today’s graduates need skills that allow them to be resilient and agile, global, and cross-functional capable.”
Díaz-Herrera said a global higher education ecosystem was needed to provide all students “global intelligence,” and key components of that ecosystems are study and work abroad exchanges.
“That will help prepare graduates for success in a global society,” he said.
Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of profiles on new, full-time faculty members.
Patricia Speers can relate to the international students in her classes. English isn’t her native tongue either.
A French-speaking native of Belgium, Speers has taught ESL (English as a Second Language) to international students from China and Vietnam since early July, when Keuka’s first ESL Summer Institute program launched. The Institute was developed to better prepare undergraduate and graduate students entering Keuka’s international business programs to adjust to differences in the language and academic culture of an American classroom.
“I’m a language teacher. I tend to bring everything back to language, because what the international students are challenged with is language. That’s what causes communication problems or challenges in the classroom,” she explained.