Oliver May, a senior in the Music Department, and James Lo, a first year graduate student in the Cinema and Television Arts Department, both left Los Angeles recently to spend the school year studying as guests of the Chinese government, said professor Justine Su, director of the university's China Institute.
The China Institute selected and recommended the scholarship candidates to the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles. The two Northridge students were chosen for the scholarships in a highly competitive selection process that included candidates from other Southern California universities.
May, the senior music major, first became interested in China during a 10-day tour of Beijing and Shanghai two years ago with the CSUN Jazz "A" Band. Prior to that, May had little knowledge of Chinese culture. However, after that tour, he became fascinated with the Chinese people and their culture, and told friends he felt more at home in Shanghai than growing up in Los Angeles.
May will focus his study on Mandarin and Chinese culture in China, although he also will be busy with learning music and jazz playing. He will spend the year at Nanjing Normal University, one of Northridge's major sister universities in China.
Lo, the graduate student, received his undergraduate degree in film studies from UC Berkeley. He will spend the school year at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, another CSUN sister university. Lo will study in the academy's Directing Department.
Given that the academy trained such noted Chinese film directors as Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige, Lo said his studies there will at least rival, if not surpass, the education he would receive in the U.S. "The experience of being in a foreign country, and studying in it, may prove one of the most memorable of my life," Lo said.
Angus McNelis, the first Northridge student to receive the Chinese government scholarship, is completing two documentary film projects at the Beijing Film Academy. He is following the footsteps of the modern-day Chinese filmmakers to document changes in China through their eyes.
Last year's recipient, Bernard Forster, has completed his research projects on the Chinese TV education network and Jewish experiences in Shanghai during World War II. He currently is involved in a 20-episode miniseries on automaker Volkswagen's quest to establish a joint venture plant in China, a project of the Central China Television Network. The series is due to be shown in China this fall.
@csun | October 8, 2001 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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