The College’s 105th commencement began May 26 in Keuka Park, resumed at four locations in China in mid-June, and concluded June 22 in Hanoi, Vietnam
“There are very few students anywhere in the world today who, like yourselves, will earn separate undergraduate degrees from two great academic institutions, from two different nations, two far apart continents, and in two very different languages,” said President Jorge Díaz-Herrera to graduates of the Keuka China Program (KCP) at Jimei University in Xiamen June 19.
KCP marked its 10th anniversary in 2013 and prior to Jimei, the president officiated at KCP ceremonies at Keuka’s three other partner universities in China: Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, and Wenzhou University.
“Global learning and exploration is a reality and we at Keuka College have had first-hand experience for more than a decade and our offerings are expanding,” said the president. “Keuka is now a global leader in the fields of career development, experiential education, and international business and management.”
The president credited Administrative Chancellor for China Campuses Dr. Michael Hwang for successfully bringing Keuka’s Field Period model to China “with his extensive knowledge and writing in career management.
“He helped us successfully export the experiential learning model to China, which together with career management, offers major benefits to our students in building successful careers, living productive lives, and contributing to society. This has allowed us to become a global leader in experiential learning.”
On June 22, 31 Keuka degree were awarded to 31 gradautes at Vietnam National University in Hanoi. Although one can find many things that separates those who received their degrees by the shore of Keuka Lake and those who did likewise in the capital of Vietnam—such as language and culture— there is one thing that unites them.
You will always be a part of Keuka College’s “extended family of graduates—a network that extends all over the world,” said Díaz-Herrera.
The president urged the graduates to “invent your future—and make sure you have an impact. However, “while moving into the future, remember that your time in the Keuka-Vietnam program is not ending, but continuing in a different form.
“Use that network but also become an active part of it; we expect to hear of your accomplishments and look forward to your continued involvement with Keuka College,” he added. “You are, for now and always, an important part of the Keuka family, your alma mater.”
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…)