July 30th, 2012 - The Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) held a reception for the seven new Hanban volunteer teachers, who will be teaching Chinese in primary and secondary schools throughout the state. Dr. Steven Runge, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Laura Young, the Associate Provost of UCA, Michael Rowland, the Public School Program Advisor of Arkansas Department of Education, Jane Ann Williams, Director of International Engagement, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, the Director of the Confucius Institute, as well as principals and representatives from seven Arkansas school districts attended the reception.
Dr. Runge, spoke briefly at the reception stating that in the past five years, the Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program has made great strides despite the setbacks from the State Department last November over visa classifications. He expressed his thanks to the Arkansas school districts and to the Confucius Institute for their continuing support for the Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program.
Michael Rowland stated with pride that his son will take Chinese at Maumelle High School this coming fall term. He was one of the interviewers for the Chinese teachers’ selection in Shanghai, last December.
Once the reception ended, the seven Hanban volunteer teachers were taken to their districts by officials from their new schools.
The Confucius Institute for Arkansas assisted the Arkansas Economic Development Committee to receive the delegation from Henan, China
July 13, 2012 - The Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA CI) along with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission hosted a visiting nine-member delegation from Henan Province, China. The delegation was led by Zhao, Qing, the Director of Henan Council for the Promotion of International Trade for Foreign Economic Cooperation.
Governor Mike Beebe hosted the delegation for breakfast, where he extended a warm welcome to the delegation as well as discussing his trip to China this past April. He hopes that their visit will strengthen the relationship between Henan Province and Arkansas. During the breakfast, Dr. Zhuang, the Director of UCA CI, introduced the “Teach Chinese in Arkansas” project, a program that Governor Beebe is very proud of. The program will strengthen the connection between the State of Arkansas and China.
Dr. Zhuang was accompanied by Jingjing Li, the Deputy Director of UCA CI, Mark Hamer, the Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s projects in Asia and Cindy Huang, one of the Chinese language teachers working in Arkansas.
The delegation was then taken on a tour of various Little Rock buildings, including the Bil Clinton Presidential Library, the Arkansas Department of Biochemistry Certification Office, the North Little Rock Development Planning Office as well as other governmental buildings to learn how Arkansas’ economic development plan as well as economically feasible programs of cooperation. It was a very informative trip and the delegation hopes this will strengthen the relationship between the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the Confucius Institute and Henan Province, China.
May 21 and 22, 2012 – The Confucius Institute for Arkansas held a seminar for Dassault Falcon Jet entitled “Doing Business with China.” It was part of the Confucius Institute’s ongoing mission to educate students and businesses on cultural understanding. The seminar was an all day affair, given twice.
The seminar covered a series of topics that will benefit Dassault Falcon in their future business dealings with China. It began with a brief discussion of the elements of Chinese culture that can be involved during business dealings and how these elements are changing as the younger generation gains prominence in the business world. One of the main components of the seminar was a discussion of etiquette during business meals and banquettes. Lunch was served after this discussion, allowing those in attendance to practice what they learned.
The afternoon was spent on the discussion of negotiation strategies that can be used in their business meetings. This ranged from what gifts are appropriate to what colors or numbers used on their products would increase sales to ways to adapt to the negotiation strategies used by their Chinese counterparts.
Those in attendance appreciated the real world skills taught by the Confucius Institute that they were able to take back to their company, as well as the stories from history when cultural misunderstandings halted the business process. They also benefited from the exposure to Chinese history and culture, which was the first experience for many who attended the seminar.
UCA CI held a one-month calligraphy class for the community at Faulkner County library. The class was held from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, every Monday during the month of April, allowing the community the opportunity to learn and practice an art form that is a novelty to the community. The goal of this class was to introduce traditional Chinese calligraphy to the community and help them understand Chinese culture through calligraphy.
32 community members signed up for the class. One of the students, Kevin Mequet said, I have been wanted to learn Chinese calligraphy for a long time, thanks for this great experience, I enjoyed every minute of it.
By the end of the one-month class, the Faulkner County Library wrote a letter of appreciation to the instructor, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, director of UCA Confucius Institute, in which they express gratitude to the Confucius Institute for offering the April series of Chinese Calligraphy classes to the patrons and the general public. The library received only praise from the participants, who have expressed pleasure, a sense of inspiration and joy, and a deep interest in the art of Chinese Calligraphy.
The Confucius Institute of the University of Central Arkansas held the Third Annual Hanban Teacher Workshop
March 31st- April 1st, 2012—— The Third Annual Hanban Teacher Workshop was successfully held by the Confucius Institute from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
Michael Rowland, the Public School Program Advisor of the Arkansas Department of Education, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, the Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas, Dr. Shoudong Feng, professor of Education from the University of Central Arkansas, Dr. Dong Xie, professor of Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas, Dr. Jia Zhu, professor from the World Languages department, and 16 Hanban Chinese teachers attended the workshop.
Michael Rowland delivered the keynote address at the workshop. On behalf of the Arkansas Department of Education, he expressed his heartfelt thanks to Hanban and the Confucius Institute for their support for the Teaching Chinese in Arkansas Program and lauded the success the program had during the previous year. Mr. Rowland was one of the administrators who went to China to interview new teaching applicants for the coming school year and understood that these Chinese teachers can have many difficulties during their two years in the state and commended their ability to cope. Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, the Director of the Confucius Institute announced plans for the program’s future. The mentors from each school district appreciated the wonderful work of the Chinese teachers and expressed their desire to help build a supportive network between all the districts dealing with the Confucius Institute.
Six Chinese teachers working in different Arkansas public schools, as well as a long distance education center, gave brilliant demo classes, sharing their teaching resources and working experiences. Dr. Shoudong Feng gave a speech on integrating technology into lessons and helped these teachers analyze any problems they had in the classroom. Dr. Dong Xie gave a speech on the usage of coping skills and stress management in working and living in foreign countries.
All representatives appreciated the workshop in the process of promoting Teaching Chinese in Arkansas Program and looked forward to attend the workshop next year.
March 1, 2012 – The UCA Confucius Institute for Arkansas hosted a public lecture by Dr. Clayton Crockett, an Associate Professor and the Director of the Religious Studies Program here at the University of Central Arkansas.
His lecture, which was entitled “Chinese Postmodernism”, was held in room 213 in the UCA Student Center during X-Period. Dr. Crockett’s lecture consisted of two parts. The first was a brief historical survey of Chinese and French thought from 1967 to the present, including statements on French and Chinese revolution as compared to the revolutionary fervor that was occurring throughout the world, particularly in the United States.
The second half of Dr. Crockett’s lecture discussed the contributions of the French Sinologist François Jullien for understanding French philosophy in light of Chinese thought and culture.
February 7, 2012 – The art troupe from Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) presented a series of cultural performances in celebration of the Chinese Lantern Festival at 7:00 PM at UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall. The theater was filled with UCA teachers and students along with members of the Conway community.
The troupe had been touring the American south, performing in venues from Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. This tour was sponsored by the University of International Business and Economics as well as Hanban, the Chinese office dedicated to the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language. This performance was also sponsored by the UCA Confucius Institute of Arkansas.
Dr. John Parrack, the interim Director of International Engagement, opened the show with warm remarks welcoming the performers from UIBE, along with the university officials who were traveling with them, and expressed the desire for continued collaboration between UIBE and the University of Central Arkansas. The performance featured two traditional dances from Chinese ethnic groups, the Dai and the Xinjiang. There were Shaolin and Taiji martial arts demonstrations as well as a snippet from the Beijing Opera Tiannvsanhua. Along with the traditional Beijing Opera performance, the UIBE troupe had a Face Changing performance that has its roots in Sichuan Opera as well as a Chinese acrobatic balancing act. Also, the troupe performed the Chinese song Good Life and gave the Americans in the audience a taste of the festivities from Chinese New Year. Rounding out the traditional Chinese performances was a rendition of the Alan Jackson song, Little Bitty.
February 7, 2012 – Two professors from Beijing, China’s University of International Business and Economics, Dr. Men Ming and Dr. Feng Naixiang spoke to an auditorium filled with business students from UCA’s College of Business about China’s economic development over the past 30 years.
February 8, 2012 – The art troupe from Beijing, China’s University of International Business and Economics performed for the students of College Station Elementary School in College Station, Arkansas, just southeast of Little Rock. All of the students in attendance were excited for the show and many were eager to volunteer for the audience participation portions of the show. After the performance, the performers from UIBE posed for photos alongside the students and teachers.
Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA CI) and the College of Education joined hands with the Gongshu School District from Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province and launched a 16-day professional training seminar for a delegation of 24 Chinese educators.
On November 2, 2011, a group of Chinese guests arrived at the University of Central Arkansas. They were 24 educators from the Gongshu District of Hangzhou City. The Assistant Superintendent, Liqun Dai and Yan Zheng, the Principal of the Teachers’ Professional Development Training school led the delegation. The other members were different school principals and teachers representing the different schools of the Gongshu School District. These teachers taught a wide range of subjects, from mathematics, sciences, English, Chinese, civics education and physical education.
University of Central Arkansas held an opening ceremony for the seminar on November 3, 2011. UCA President Tom Courtway, Provost and Vice President Lance Grahn, as well as Dean of Education Diana Pounder attended the opening ceremony. President Courtway made the opening remarks and expressed his best to the educators during their stay in the United States.
UCA CI designed the training sessions for the delegation. Training included lectures as well as tours to six different school districts throughout Arkansas.
UCA CI invited professors from the College of Education to give the lectures. The themes involved many aspects of American education, ranging from the history of the American education system to the United States’ special education programs, to school education to the classroom management. After these lectures, the Chinese teachers had a better understanding of the American education system.
The delegation visited the Conway, Cabot, Harrisburg, Beebe, North Little Rock and Maumelle school districts to get information about the American K-12 school education systems, curriculum arrangements and culture. The six school districts prepared for the arrival of the delegation by arranging special performances from the school bands, special tours, classroom observations and question and answer sessions.
The Conway School District was the last stop for the Gongshu District School delegation. Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry expressed a warm welcome to 24 Chinese educators. Dr. Greg Murry went to Shandong province of China with a group of American principals in the Chinese Bridge for American schools sponsored by Hanban. Dr. Murry had a good time in China and he hoped that the Chinese teachers will have a pleasant and fruitful journey in the United States. He believed that the exchange of educators between two countries will enhance mutual understanding and promote educational reform.
On November 18, 2011, UCA Provost, Dr. Lance R. Grahn, attended the graduation ceremony of Chinese teacher delegation. He awarded certificate of completion to every teacher who attended the seminar and congratulated the success of the tour. At the end, Dr. Grahn commented that he hopes there will be more opportunities for exchanges and cooperation with China.
On November 14, 2011, the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) held a gallery opening for the China Wind exhibit. The opening was held at the Atrium Gallery at the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) building on the UCA campus. At 4:00 P.M., there was an opening, ribbon cutting, ceremony where Dr. Lance Grahn, the vice president of academic affairs of UCA and Jun Fan, the vice president of East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai, China spoke, welcoming those who came and to praise the continued collaboration and exchange of ideas between UCA and ECNU.
Along with the vice president, a delegation from the ECNU Art Department was in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The delegation from ECNU consisted of Xiaoying Li, the Associate Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Changjiang Zhou, the Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Genxiong Tan, the chair of the Arts Department and Peng Ye, a professor from the School of Fine Arts. In addition to Dr. Grahn, the UCA faculty and staff that was in attendance consisted of Dr. Rollin Potter, Dean of Fine Arts and Communication, as well as professors from the Geography, Philosophy, Music, and Business Departments and representatives from the Office of International Engagement and around 100 UCA students.
After the opening ceremony, the attendees were able to view the artwork and had the chance to talk to the artists themselves about their works on display.
The exhibit commemorated the 60th anniversary of ECNU’s founding in October 1951. It featured contemporary artwork from the faculty and students of East China Normal University.
China Wind also kicked off UCA’s International Education week, a weeklong series of events aimed to promote awareness of the various international programs at UCA and for international students to share their culture with the UCA population. The exhibition will run until December 30 of 2011.
Conway, Arkansas, USA, September 9th, 2011 — Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas held a celebration for Mid- Autumn Festival in the Student Center Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. UCA students, faculty, staff and local families, more than 300 people, attended the celebration. They experienced a wonderful Chinese cultural night by enjoying moon cakes, watching performances, and playing games.
Dr. Lance Grahn, the Provost of the University of Central Arkansas, Dr. Alexander N. Chen, the Associate Vice President for International Engagement, Dr. Elaine McNiece, the Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Maurice Lee, the Dean of Liberal Arts College, Dr. Horst Lange, the Chair of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Dr. Chenyi Hu, the Chair of Computer Science attended the festival celebration. Dr. Grahn and Dr. Chen made the welcome remarks for the celebration. They expressed sincere thanks to UCA Confucius Institute for bringing the Chinese traditional festival culture to UCA campus, spoke highly of the UCA students’ affection for Chinese culture, and wished everyone a wonderful Mid Autumn Festival.
The performers gave a brilliant show for the guests. The string trio from East China Normal University played Chinese folk music and famous western music, one Japanese student studying Chinese in the Confucius Institute of the UCA did the popin dance together with two Chinese students, and the balloon trample games heated the ballroom with dozens of people joining in the game. The performance ended with a chorus performed by exchange students from China.
The Mid- Autumn Festival celebration was adjourned in an atmosphere of great joy. Many took pictures together to commemorate the wonderful night. They all look forward to another marvelous Mid-Autumn Festival celebration next year!