UCACI Chinese Teachers Received Recognition from the Arkansas State Legislature


On March 12th, led by the director of Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI), accompanied by their superintendents and principals, 14 Chinese Hanban teachers from UCACI received recognition from State Board of Education in Arkansas Department of Education (ADE).  


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At the board meeting of ADE, Dr. Frank Servedio, public school program coordinator, introduced the Chinese teachers to the board members, and highly praised their contribution to the Chinese teaching and cultural exchanges in Arkansas. After that, Dr. Guo’ou Zhuang, the director of UCACI, reported to the board members about UCA Confucius Institute and the Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program, and then he briefly depicted the future development and cooperation opportunities. After the introduction, the project director of ADE awarded the teachers “Arkansas Traveler” certificates issued by Governor Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of State Mark Martin, in recognition of Hanban teachers’ effort to promote and improve the cultural exchange and education in Arkansas.


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After the ceremony, led by the ADE official and Senator Jane English, all Chinese teachers were introduced to the state senators while the 90th legislatures were in session. The senators all stood up to give a big applause to the teachers, then shook hands with each of them, giving special thanks to the teachers for their contribution to Arkansas.




Right before the recognition, Mr. Qiangmin Li, the Consul General from Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston, and Consul of Education Baiyu Xu made a special visit to the University of Central Arkansas and UCA Confucius Institute, commended UCACI for their efforts to Chinese teaching and cultural activities, and cultural exchanges between China and the United State.


Consul General Li Qiangmin visited Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas

On Mar.11th, Consul General and Ambassador Li Qiangmin from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China at Houston led a delegation of consular officials to visit the University of Central Arkansas and UCA Confucius Institute.

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Accompanied by Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI and Dr. Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, Consul General Li met with UCA president Tom Courtway, Provost Steven Runge, Associate Vice President Jane Ann Williams and Director of International Engagement Ashley Pettingill.  President Courtway gave a warm welcome to ambassador Li and spoke highly of UCACI’s contribution to Chinese language teaching, Chinese culture promotion in Arkansas. Mr. Li expressed his gratitude to Mr. President for his support for UCACI, and expected further cooperation with UCA in the good environment of collaboration between China and U.S.


After the meeting, Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu accompanied Mr. Li and officials to visit UCACI, introducing UCACI projects and activities. At the CI office, Mr. Li talked to Hanban teachers, whom he compared to “unofficial ambassadors”. He gave his appreciation for their work, and noted that he will give full support to the development of UCACI.



UCACI 2014 Board Meeting Held in Xiamen

On December 8th, UCACI held 2014 Board Meeting in Xiamen. Ms Jane Anne Williams,   Associate Provost of UCA, Dr. Youqun Ren, Vice President at ECNU, Dr. Jianmin   Zhang, Dr.Yong Zhou,   Board Members from ECNU, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, and Dr. Lucy   Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI attended the meeting.

At   the meeting, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang gave an annual work report of 2014 and an introduction of the plan for future development of UCACI. UCA delegates and   ECNU counterparts exchanged ideas on the major projects to be conducted in   2015.

UCACI Delegation Attended the 9th Global Confucius Institute Conference

From December 7th to 8th, 2014, the 9th Global Confucius Institute Conference was held in Xiamen, China. Over 2000 participants attended the conference, including university presidents, directors of Confucius Institute from 126 countries and delegates from partner institutions, Education Department at different levels, Councils, and Chinese enterprises. Confucius Institute at University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) delegates, Ms. Jane Ann Williams, Associate Provost of University of Central Arkansas (UCA), Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI and Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI attended the Conference.

Madam Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of P.R. China and Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters gave a keynote speech in the opening ceremony. Madam Liu noted the first 10 years of Confucius Institute had made a good start. In the next decade, she gave four expectations, “That Confucius Institutes speed up localization for integration development; That Confucius Institutes work incessantly on quality improvement and fundamental development; That Confucius Institutes expand on people-to-people exchange functions to facilitate diversification; That Confucius Institutes innovate their operational mode for sustainable development.”

During this year’s conference, the UCACI delegation met with Mr. Yongli Wang, Deputy Director in General at Hanban, talking about the past experience and future development.


UCA Confucius Institute Strengthens Collaboration and Cooperation with Arkansas School Districts

To strengthen the collaboration and cooperation with local schools and gain feedback about the Chinese program in school districts, directors of Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) together with the program advisor from Arkansas Department of Education visited Bentonville, Rogers and Conway school districts which have  “Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program” for several years.

On Nov.7th, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, visited Bentonville School District as their first stop. There they met with Dr. Michael Poore, Superintendent of Bentonville School District, Dr. Karen Morton,Director of Data Management, and Dr. Chat Scott, Principle of Bentonville High School. During the meeting, they exchanged ideas on the current development of the Chinese program in the school district and further collaboration in the coming year. Dr. Poore and principals spoke highly of the Hanban teachers for their devotion and engagement in the Chinese teaching and they are glad their students can have more opportunity to experience culture with the support of UCACI.

After the meeting, Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu observed Chinese class in the Bentonville High School. The students of Chinese class already waited in front of the classroom even before the class started. When Hanban Chinese teacher Ms. Lu Chen appeared, students greeted her with excitement. Ms. Chen’s Chinese class is one of the most popular teachers in the school. Ms. Chen received 2014 Teacher Appreciation Award in Bentonville School District for her outstanding work. Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu talked to students and introduced the programs offered at UCA Confucius Institute, “Chinese-Bridge” Summer Camp. They encouraged students to keep on learning Chinese and to become more competitive in the future job market.

On the same day Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu continued their visit to Rogers School District and met with Dr. Janie Darr, Superintendent, and Ms. Karen Steen, Principle of Rogers Heritage High School.

On Nov.18th, Dr. Lu, Mr. Michael Rowland from Arkansas Department of Education, Ms. Ashley Pettingill, Interim Director of International Engagement, went to meet with Dr. Greg Murry, Superintendent of Conway School District, Mr. Tod Edwards, and Mr. Joel Linn, Principles of Conway Junior and High Schools, discussing about the Chinese program and further collaboration and cooperation in establishing Confucius Classroom in Conway School District in the years to come.


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Chinese Karaoke Competition Hits UCA

On Oct. 24th, Chinese Karaoke Competition was held at UCA. Students from school districts and UCA participate in this event. The Confucius Institute was heated up by their enthusiasm.

The competition started at 1:30 in the afternoon. Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI gave an opening remark. He encouraged the participants to learn Chinese by citing the example of Mark Zuckerburg, Founder of Facebook, who began to learn Chinese in 2010 and was able to give a talk in Chinese at an interview in 2014.

The following performance gave audience a great enjoyment. Some contestants wrote songs themselves, some danced to the pop songs; some chose the most popular songs while some the classic. Their excellent performance received favorable response from all audience.


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UCACI celebrates Confucius Institute Day Worldwide

  • Art Performance of “Enchanting Melody from China”

To join the celebration of Confucius Institute Day worldwide, UCACI invited Beijing Normal University Youth Art Troupe to give an art performance. Sept.20th 2014, the performance named “Enchanting Melodies from China” was held in Reynolds Performance Hall at University of Central Arkansas.UCA faculties and students, teachers and students from local schools, American communities and local Chinese communities came and watched the show.

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  • UCACI celebrates Confucius Institute Day in Clinton Presidential Center


On Sep.26th, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the first Confucius Institute worldwide, Confucius Institute of the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) invited Dr. Shijun Tong, Chairman of ECNU Council (partner school with UCA), to give a public lecture entitled “the idea of multiple democracies” in the Clinton Presidential Center in cooperation with Clinton School of Public Service. In his lecture, Dr. Tong discussed the development of the idea of democracy in China and explained the concept of “Overlapping Consensus”, citing examples from his own experience. The lecture addressed the current political, economic and cultural development of China and its worldwide effects. It was well-received by the audience.

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  • To celebrate and to experience in the China Pavilion

Sep.27this the day when the whole world celebrates the 10th anniversary of Confucius Institute. At 10:00am, a whole day event of “China Pavilion” sponsored by Confucius Institute for experiencing Chinese culture started at UCA practice field. The China Pavilion included exhibition, shows, culture experience& creation, “time traveler” area and a variety of games.

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  • Joint Concert by ECNU& UCA faculty and student musician




2014 Mid-autumn celebration

In celebration of 10th anniversary of Confucius Institute, UCA Confucius Institute hosted an autumn Festival Party as a start of CI Day celebration series activities.

Hanban teachers in different school districts worked hard to organize culture class and salon related to mid-autumn Festival with students. Na Li, Chinese teacher from Rogers, brought traditional garden party to the school. She helped students to set up a culture corridor in which students did mask painting, played lantern riddles and made round paper fan, which also allowed more teachers and parents to get involve; Students in Bentonville put on a skit based on mid-autumn Festival story under the instruction of their Chinese teacher Lu Chen. Chinese teachers also made moon cakes in front of the class and instructed students to make mid-autumn posters shown to all the students and teachers in school.


Sept.12th, UCA Confucius Institute held mid-autumn party in McCastlain Ballroom on campus. More than 200 hundreds people including UCA students, faculties and American families attended this event. During the party, UCACI invited them to taste Chinese food, moon cakes and watch wonderful performance.

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UCA and Arkansas School Districts Welcome New Hanban Chinese Teachers

On July 8th, 2014, the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) held a welcome luncheon for seven new Hanban Chinese teachers at the Student Center of the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).

Dr. Steven Runge, Provost of UCA, Mrs. Laura Young, Associate Provost of UCA, Mrs. Jane Ann Williams, Associate Provost, Dr. Maurice Lee, Dean of College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Phillip Bailey, Chair of World Languages and Culture, Ms. Ashley Pettingill, Director of International Engagement (IE), Mr. Michael Rowland, Ms. Ann Crosser from Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), superintendents, principals and mentors from school districts attended the event.

At the beginning of the luncheon, Provost Steven Runge gave a short but warm speech. He welcomed the new Chinese teachers to Arkansas. Then, Mr. Michael Rowland gave a brief introduction of the development of Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program to all attendees. He said it is a great honor to have the Chinese teachers in Arkansas and the district schools are truly glad to have Chinese class, Chinese culture experience.

After the welcome luncheon, UCACI hosts one week orientation for the new teachers, inviting Dr. Shoudong Feng, Dr. Dong Xie, professors from College of Education, and Mrs. Jamie Bird from Conway Junior High School to give them workshops about culture adaptability, American education and foreign language teaching skills in American schools. After that, the five new Hanban Chinese teachers will participate in the Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator License (APPEL) training at UCA from July17th to August 1stwith local teachers. This training is especially designed for those who are to teach in Arkansas K-12 schools. The new teachers will begin their Chinese classes in mid-August.


Arkansas Educators Group Visits the Institute of Global Chinese Language Teacher Education at ECNU

May 16th, 2014, Arkansas Educators Group visited the Institute of Global Chinese Language Teacher Education at East China Normal University (ECNU). The members of the Arkansas Educators Group include Harold Lloyd Criswell (Deputy Director of Arkansas Department of Higher Education), Shelley Mehl (Vice President of University of Central Arkansas), and other 6 educators. Dr. Youqun Ren, Vice President of ECNU, Dr. Yongyi Wu, Dean of International College of Chinese Studies, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCA Confucius Institute were present at the reception.

The 2014 Summer Arkansas Educators Group’s visit to China is organized by UCA Confucius Institute. Participants will visit ECNU in Shanghai and Hangzhou Normal University in Hangzhou. They will also go to Beijing to visit Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters.


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