CSUN  Wordmark

Director's Message

Dr. Justine SuDear Members and Friends of the China Institute,

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Rabbit witnessed rapid changes in the world, phenomenal development in China, and fruitful exchanges between CSUN and China. First of all, the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), the international arm of the Chinese National Ministry of Education and an MOU partner with CSUN since 2002, began to collaborate with CSUN China Institute and the Dept. of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the training of educational administrators and teachers for the ambitious 10-year education development plan in China. Three large groups of school principals and education bureaus directors came to CSUN in the spring and fall semesters of 2011 for workshops on American educational reform and for field visits to representative schools in the L.A. area. In the spring of 2012, CEAIE will send two large Chinese teachers delegations to participate in workshops at CSUN on American education theories and teaching methods in major disciplines. In connection with these training programs, the China Institute and the Dept. of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies also hosted five highly energetic school principals from Shanghai Yangpu District, who attended workshops at CSUN and shadowed educational administrators extensively at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center and the Valley Academy of the Arts.

Meanwhile, we continue to host visiting scholars, exchange students, and sister university delegations at CSUN, and the Chinese student population has grown to be the largest of all international students at CSUN and in the U.S. We have signed new MOUs with Xi'an Polytechnic University and Nanjing University of the Arts, and are developing a new MOU with Hubei University of Medicine, which has sent two large hospital administrators delegations to CSUN for training in 2011 and two visiting scholars to CSUN to develop joint programs in health administration and nursing. In addition to the 2+2 programs with our sister universities in China in finance, engineering, health administration, and graphic art, we are now developing a dual master degree program in educational leadership and a 3+1+1 undergraduate/graduate program in music, both with Shanghai Normal University.

CSUN students, faculty and administrators continue to visit China on exchange and friendship missions. In May and June of 2011, CSUN Women's Chorale led by Dr. Katherine Baker visited and staged joint concerts with Chinese student performers at Peking University, University of International Finance and Economics, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing Hohai University, Zhejiang Vocational Arts Academy, and Shanghai Normal University. They also climbed the Great Wall, toured the Forbidden City, posed on the newest broadcasting stage at the Shanghai TV Station, and visited many other scenic sightseeing spots in Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. The Women's Chorale demonstrated the spirit of the CSUN Matadors, spread good will everywhere they went, and strengthened friendships between young artists and students in the U.S. and China. Almost at the same time in the summer of 2011, Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov, Chair of CSUN's Piano Performance Program, went on an extensive concert tour in China and received thunderous applause for his exceptional artistry and deeply convincing performances in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Shanghai. Also in the summer, several students from our theatre program were offered full scholarships to attend Chinese opera workshops at Shanghai Theatre Academy, another one of CSUN's sister universities in China.

Later in the year, Dr. Robert Gustafson, Director of CSUN Entertainment Industry Institute, visited Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and initiated a joint TV production project between SMG and CBS, an endeavor that will further unfold with exciting highlights later this year. Dr. Mingfang Li, Dr. Zhong-Guo Zhou, Dr. Richard Horowitz, Dr. Bronte Reynolds, Prof. Niku Kashef, Director Lih Wu, Dr. Victor Shaw, Dr. Cao Wei, Dr. Meiqin Wang and Dr. Yifei Sun also visited China last year to attend conferences and to develop joint projects with Chinese scholars. Finally, towards the end of 2011, the CSUN IT Delegation consisting of Vice President of Information Technology, Hilary Baker, Associate Vice President Ben Guillian and Senior Director David Levin visited Shanghai Normal University, following an extended visit to CSUN last spring by Qu Xueping from the SNU IT Department. The CSUN IT leaders visited SNU's IT services and network, made presentations on CSUN's IT system, and signed a special addendum for collaboration in IT area to the longstanding MOU between the two universities.

In the spring of 2011, the CSUN Art Department, in collaboration with the China Institute and Chinese Student Association, hosted a Chinese art exhibition, "Hello Tibet," which featured photography art works by Prof. Guo Gensheng and his graduate students at Shandong Normal University. Then, in the fall of 2011, Professor Meiqin Wang organized and hosted an extraordinary art event, "Tales of Our Times-Two Contemporary Artists from China," which consisted of art exhibitions, lectures by Chinese artists, and presentations for the local Chinese American community. Also in the fall, Professor Yifei Sun of Geography Dept. organized a workshop on "Chinese Ways of Innovation" at CSUN, supported by the US National Science Foundation, which attracted scholars from Mainland China, Taiwan, U.K. and U.S. for discussions and presentations on the characteristics of Chinese models of innovation.

This year, more CSUN students have been awarded prestigious China Council Scholarships to study in China - Mathew Myers is continuing a masters degree program in International Development and Public Administration at Tsinghua University in Beijing; Michelle Lao is having a rich and colorful experience at Central China Normal University where Dale Chang is enjoying his second year of scholarship study in Chinese history; Justin Shenkarow is studying Chinese language and absorbing all the vibrant energy at Shanghai University; and Won Gi Lee is studying and performing in Chinese drama at Zhejiang Normal University in the fascinating city of Hangzhou. For all of these students, studying in China under the China Council full scholarships is an eye-opening, life-altering, and the best learning experience of their lives.

When Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited the U.S. early this year, he set the stage to build deeper and broader cultural exchange and educational cooperation between the U.S. and China, especially among young people. This year marks the 4709th year in the Chinese lunar calendar and is the Year of the Water Dragon. The dragon symbolizes power and auspiciousness, and will bring us the passion and energy for all sorts of grandiose and daring projects. We are expecting to have a new China Studies track within the Liberal Studies major at CSUN. We anticipate that more and more CSUN students will become interested in China and studying in China in the coming years, and more and more Chinese scholars and students will come to CSUN to fulfill their dreams. The mighty dragon will stimulate us to think and act big, while the benevolent dragon will bring good fortune and happiness to all.

Dr. Justine Su

Director of CSUN China Institute
Professor of Educational Leadership
CSUN Coordinator of International Programs
CSUN Fulbright Program Representative