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UB Honors Outgoing CNU President Gong Huili

On December 3, 2017, advisory board members and directors of the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) held a luncheon at the Shanghai Xiao Nanguo restaurant in Beijing to honor President Gong Huili of Capital Normal University (CNU). Dr. Gong completed his term as CNU president in December 2017. As CNU president, Dr. Gong was an inaugural member of the UBCI advisory board and served as co-chair with Stephen C. Dunnett, UB Vice Provost for International Education.

On behalf of University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi, Dr. Dunnett presented President Gong with a plaque honoring him “for his exceptional leadership in strengthening institutional ties with UB and supporting the UB Confucius Institute’s mission to promote knowledge of Chinese language and culture.”

With President Gong’s leadership on the board of advisors and the support of the exceptional faculty and staff of Capital Normal University, UBCI has developed into one of the premier Confucius Institutes in North America. In December 2016, UBCI was recognized as a “Confucius Institute of the Year” at the annual global conference in Kunming, China, for its significant impact on teaching and research about Chinese language and culture at UB and throughout Western New York.

The UB Confucius Institute also honored President Gong with the “Confucius Educator Award” in recognition of his “stalwart support of the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute and outstanding contributions to international education as an administrator and scholar.

As his tenure as CNU president comes to an end, Dr. Gong plans to pursue his principal research interests in geological environmental and groundwater management, environmental remote sensing, and geological disasters. We are grateful for his work on behalf of the UB Confucius Institute and wish him well in his future endeavors.

 

UB Confucius Institute Sponsors Symposium on Chinese Language Programs for the 21st Century

By Ying Yue, Ph.D. candidate in Foreign and Second Language Education, University at Buffalo

A symposium on developing forward-looking Chinese language programs took place October 28-29, 2017, at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). The symposium, organized by the UB Department of Linguistics and sponsored by the Confucius Institute, attracted a large audience of faculty and students in linguistics and education and K-12 Chinese teachers from throughout New York State.

Professor Kai Li of Oberlin College presents at the Chinese Language Symposium.

Experienced teachers, scholars and program directors from Columbia University, Brigham Young University, Oberlin College, and UB shared their insights regarding the future development of Chinese programs to ensure that programs meet the needs of the broadest spectrum of students at today’s multicultural and multilingual universities. Presentations and discussion addressed the qualifications of Chinese instructors, the challenges of teaching students with various backgrounds, and the transition from high school to college-level Chinese.

The event offered an opportunity for attendees to have a genuine dialogue on program enhancement, especially regarding to the articulation of programs from the secondary to postsecondary level and the need for enhanced courses. One local high school Chinese teacher commented that in the 20 years she has taught in Buffalo, this is the first forum she is aware of that involved K-12 and university instructors in discussion of the transition from high school to college Chinese language courses.

Directors of outstanding and enduring Chinese programs presented their research and experience, specifically focusing on program innovations. Dr. Lening Liu, director of the Chinese Program and Confucius Institute for Chinese Pedagogy at Columbia University, emphasized in his keynote address the two factors he views as critical for a successful Chinese program—a well-designed curriculum and a high-quality faculty.

Professor Liu’s insights on some hotly-debated issues with regard to curriculum design were illuminating. For example, he mentioned the benefits and challenges the program faces in separating heritage and non-heritage students. He suggested that Chinese courses in specific content areas, including Media Chinese, Business Chinese, Academic Chinese, Medical Chinese and Engineering Chinese, should be offered for students at the advanced level. He argued for adopting task-supported pedagogy instead of fully embracing task-based teaching methods in college level classes. He concluded by presenting as a model the Chinese program at Columbia and its philosophy in teacher development and evaluation, which emphasizes the importance of the teachers’ knowledge and research ability in pedagogy rather than simply their skills as Chinese linguists.

In the second lecture, David Honey, Professor of Chinese at Brigham Young University, spoke about the content for Chinese cultural classes and presented his research comparing the teaching of Western and Chinese classics. In his afternoon lecture, Professor Kai Li of Oberlin College and Beijing Normal University, a pioneer in teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the United States, delineated his views regarding qualifications for Chinese instructors and provided new teachers with suggestions for improving their teaching skills. By presenting old photos he has treasured for decades, Professor Li portrayed the history of Chinese education in the United States, which was a real inspiration to the attendees working in this field.

l-r: Lening Liu, Columbia University, David Honey, Brigham Young University, Jie Zhang, Buffalo State College, and Xuehong Lu, University at Buffalo participate in a roundtable discussion at the Chinese language symposium.

During the Saturday afternoon roundtable sessions, scholars and veteran teachers further exchanged ideas on the challenges faced by K-12 teachers in private and public schools, and on the expectations of college Chinese instructors for students who learned Chinese in secondary school. New instructors at various levels also had a chance to ask these experts questions about their teaching, such as how to incorporate technology into the classroom, how to foster students’ interest, how to nurture students’ sense of the language, and how and when to correct students’ pronunciation. In a concurrent breakout session, students at the advanced level in UB’s Chinese Language Program contributed their valuable thoughts about the reasons for student success in the study of Chinese.

Professor Xuehong Lü, symposium organizer and director of the Chinese program at UB, spoke about the design and results of the UB Chinese program and presented locally-developed teaching materials. Students in UB’s rigorous Chinese program graduate with impressive mastery of the language and go on to work in different areas, including as interpreters, foreign-service officers, educators and businesspeople.

As a Ph. D student conducting research on foreign language pedagogy focusing on Chinese, I found the event particularly rewarding and beneficial. The speeches and discussions updated my knowledge and thoughts on the future direction of Chinese education. As a practitioner, I also gained many constructive suggestions about detailed teaching practices.

UB Hosts Performance Tour by Capital Normal University

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute hosted a brilliant performance of Chinese music and dance by students and faculty from Capital Normal University (CNU) in Beijing. The afternoon performance was held in the Student Union Theater at the University at Buffalo (UB) in front of a large and appreciative audience.

The program included ensemble, duet and solo music performances of “Dance of the Golden Snake,” “A Trip to Gusu,” and other traditional Chinese pieces; magnificent dance numbers, including a spectacular sword dance by CNU dance professor Wu Weifeng and a colorful fan dance by the CNU student dance ensemble; and the Peking opera piece “Dui Hua Qiang” from the contemporary Peking opera Silver Spear. The performance concluded with a creative dance interpretation of popular Chinese paper-cutting, performed alongside an expert paper-cutter who demonstrated the art onstage.

Capital Normal University is a valued partner of UB in the Confucius Institute project. In addition to sending talented performance groups, CNU appoints an associate director to assist in the academic work of the Confucius Institute at UB, CNU’s College of International Education hosts UB students in Beijing, CNU deans provide expert advice on the operations of the Confucius Institute, and CNU and UB professors collaborate on internationally-significant research projects. The CNU-UB relationship dates back to 1980 and is one of the longest-standing partnerships between U.S. and Chinese universities since the normalization of relations in 1979.

As part of their two-week performance tour, the CNU group also performed at Lewiston Porter High School in Youngstown, New York, on November 6. Following their stay in Buffalo, the group traveled to Minneapolis, where they were hosted by the University of Minnesota—also a Confucius Institute partner of CNU—for a tour of universities and schools in the upper Midwest.

Confucius Institute Celebrates Worldwide “Confucius Day” with Week-long Series of Events

Buffalo. NY – From September 27 to October 4, the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) held a week-long series of lectures, demonstrations and other activities to celebrate the global commemoration of Confucius’s life and teachings. The theme of the 2017 Confucius Day events was Traditional Chinese Medicine, and topics related to medicine and health were interwoven into many of the activities.

The week began with UBCI’s regular Tai Chi class, held 5:00-6:00 each Wednesday in 145 Student Union. Led by Tai Chi instructor Qiuyu Hu, a graduate student in the Department of Economics, the students practice Yang-style Tai Chi, including movement and breathing techniques.

Professor Yan Liu lectures on the history of Chinese medicine at the Confucius Institute.

Later in the evening of September 27, Yan Liu, assistant professor of History at UB and an expert in the history of Chinese Medicine, presented a lecture at the UB Confucius Institute entitled, “Traditions and Transformations: A Historical Survey of Chinese Medicine.” Professor Liu outlined the development of Chinese medicine over several millennia, explored differences between Chinese and European/American ideas about the body and healing, and discussed recent scientific findings about the benefits of some traditional Chinese medical techniques.

A featured event of the week was the September 30 Confucius Day Gala and presentation of the Confucius Educator Award. For this event, UB faculty and administrators, local school officials, Chinese language teachers and other friends of the Confucius Institute joined together to celebrate UBCI’s many accomplishments.

In his address at the gala, Stephen C. Dunnett, Professor of Education and Vice Provost for International Education, summarized the illustrious history of UB’s involvement in China since 1978 and the excellent partnership UB has maintained over four decades with Capital Normal University (CNU). The Confucius Institute, which benefits from this strong partnership with CNU, is a logical step forward in China-related activity at UB. Dunnett noted that the outstanding partnerships, hard work, and vision of former director Jiyuan Yu culminated in UBCI being named a Confucius Institute of the Year at the 2016 Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China.

Confucius Educator Award recipient Paul Casseri with Stephen Dunnett, UB Vice Provost for International Education.

Special guest Dr. Herbert K. Lau, a licensed acupuncturist and expert in Chinese herbal medicine, introduced and discussed the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine as part of the formal program, and demonstrated acupuncture and cupping techniques during the informal gathering. Dr. Lau subsequently gave a full lecture at the Confucius Institute on October 18 entitled, “Chinese Medicine: An Ancient Art for Today’s Healthcare World.”

Also at the Confucius Day ceremony, UBCI presented the 2017 Confucius Educator Award to Mr. Paul Casseri, Superintendent of the Lewiston Porter Central School District, for his pioneering work developing collaborative projects that benefit Chinese and American students. In particular, the Confucius Institute acknowledged Mr. Casseri’s support for Chinese language teaching in the Lewiston Porter district, which has three Confucius Institute teachers, his initiative to bring Chinese international students to Lewiston Porter, and a recent joint-venture with Tianjin No. 2 High School to prepare students for study in America.

Confucius Day gala attendees enjoy knot-tying and other Chinese crafts.

Attendees at the Confucius Day Gala also enjoyed traditional Chinese crafts, a tea ceremony, mooncakes, an erhu performance by Wei (Shirley) Wang, Confucius Institute guest teacher at Elmwood Franklin School, and a Tai Chi performance by Shuping (Rachel) Song, Confucius Institute guest teacher at Lewiston Porter.

The commemoration of Confucius Day quickly merged into the traditional Mid-autumn Festival (aka Moon Festival) celebration. On September 30, following the Confucius Day Gala, the Confucius Institute and Chinese Students and Scholars Association co-sponsored a performing arts festival for UB students in the Student Union Theater. The performances featured, among other acts, a vocal performance by Xi Nie, Confucius Institute guest teacher at Nardin Academy in Buffalo.

The following day, Confucius Institute staff and guest teachers participated in two separate Mid-autumn Festival events. The first, organized by the Chinese Club of Western New York, involved demonstrations, performances, and Chinese cultural displays at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence, NY.

UBCI table at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.

Also that afternoon, UBCI, together with Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, organized a special activity to demonstrate and promote Chinese culture to local and international shoppers. The Confucius Institute organized a Chinese culture display table in the center of the shopping mall, where families had a good time practicing brush painting, calligraphy, Chinese knot tying, paper cutting and Chinese yo-yo (kongzhu).

Finally, on October 4, the actual day of the Mid-autumn Festival, the Confucius Institute’s Chinese Language Club and the Chinese Language Program in the Department of Linguistics jointly presented a special lecture about the tradition of the Mid-autumn Festival, followed by a calligraphy demonstration by local calligraphy expert Theresa Lee. After practicing calligraphy, many students returned to Tai Chi class in an adjacent room to finish off the week-long celebration in the same way they started, by practicing the traditional Chinese mind/body exercise of Tai Chi.

UB Confucius Institute Holds Teacher Training

New Confucius Institute Associate Director Mark Yin presents at the teacher workshop

Buffalo, NY – In August 2017, the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) welcomed three new teachers from China: Sainan Zhao, who will be teaching in the City of Tonawanda School District, Yan Lin, teaching in Akron Central Schools, and Zhicui Qi, who will teach at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. These teachers join 11 returning Confucius Institute guest teachers in K-12 schools and two visiting professors at the University at Buffalo (UB). To help the newly-arrived Chinese teachers quickly adapt to their U.S classrooms and returning Chinese teachers develop more effective teaching strategies, UBCI hosted a professional development workshop on September 16, 2017, in Park Hall 280, UB North Campus.

The topic of the training was classroom management and effective strategies for teaching Chinese in K-12 schools. Presenters included Dr. Corinne Kindzierski from the Department of Elementary Education and Reading at Buffalo State College, Professor Jijun Yu from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, UB students of Chinese language, and five experienced K-12 teachers in local schools. UB Confucius Institute director Zhiqiang Liu, associate directors Bruce Acker and Huadong (Mark) Yin, as well as 16 teachers from China participated.

Professor Corinne Kindzierski presents on classroom management

Professor Corinne Kindzierski of Buffalo State College presents on classroom management

Dr. Kindzierski presented on “Behavior Management Strategies and Effective Instruction Principles.” She addressed students’ classroom behavior problems, student motivations for cooperating or being disruptive in class, and methods for creating a productive learning environment. Dr. Kindzierski stressed proactive strategies—especially positive reinforcement and interactive lessons—but also discussed appropriate consequences for behaviors that are not conducive to learning.

Professor Yu shared his experiences relating to schools and teachers as an associate director of a Confucius Institute in New York State. He offered guidance to the teachers on effective communication strategies in American schools and local communities.

Two current UB students, Norman Yu and Russell Guilbault, who were successful Chinese language students in American high schools, talked about their experiences learning Chinese. They discussed the factors that generate interest among American students and the characteristics of an effective foreign language classroom.

Five members of UBCI’s local Chinese Language Council of Buffalo—Ming Yu and Yan Li of Stanley M. Makowski Early Childhood Center, Shue Zheng and Qianwen Lu of City Honors School, and Yajie Zhang of Nichols School—gave presentations on teaching philosophy and strategies. Specifically, they focused on the differences in teaching and learning styles among different age groups and differences between public and private schools.

Professor Zhiqiang Liu and Professor Huadong Yin gave concluding remarks, encouraging teachers to actively integrate into local schools and communities, work enthusiastically, and live happily.

For more information about the UB Confucius Institute’s Chinese guest teacher program, visit http://confuciusinstitute.buffalo.edu/language-programs/chinese-guest-teacher-program/.

Western New York Students Receive Awards at Chinese Language Competition in Boston

Three students from the Buffalo area received awards at the annual Chinese Bridge Speech Contest in Boston, MA, on Saturday, April 22. The awardees are Russell Guilbault, a sophomore at the University at Buffalo; Oliver Derrah, a senior at Orchard Park High School; and Grant Smith, a freshman at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.

The students were invited to Boston based on the results of a preliminary competition in February. In that first round, students were asked to send sample recordings of their spoken Chinese for initial judging.

In Boston, separate competitions were organized for university and high school students. Participants were required to give a speech about themselves or some aspect of Chinese culture and answer questions from judges. They were also invited to give an optional cultural presentation, which could include singing, dancing, martial arts, poetry recitation, or Chinese opera.

Based on his performance in the three components of the competition, University at Buffalo Sophomore Russell Guilbault was one of five university students selected as a “Cultural Ambassador” to travel to China in June. The delegation traveled to Beijing and met with officials from Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, Renmin University, and Hainan Airlines.

Guilbault, a native of Rochester, studied Chinese for a year before coming to UB. In his speech at the competition, he spoke on the topic of the “virtue of water” in the Dao De Jing. For his cultural performance, Guilbault recited a famous modernist poem by Hai Zi entitled “Spring Warms Flowers Open.

Gulbault says, “I am very grateful to Hainan Airlines and Hanban for the opportunity to travel to China for the first time and meet such passionate fellow students. This trip has given me great motivation to continue my Chinese language education.”

Oliver Derrah takes time out from tutoring students in English while on his Chinese Bridge “Cultural Ambassador” tour to China.

Local high school students also competed successfully in the Boston competition. Orchard Park senior Oliver Derrah has been studying Chinese for three years. He first started learning Chinese as a tutoring student at the Confucius Institute. More recently, Derrah has been studying with Yanfang Xu, a Confucius Institute guest teacher assigned to the Orchard Park School District.

Derrah also received an all-expenses-paid trip to China based on his second-place finish. His delegation of high school students traveled to Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Beijing.

In his speech, he talked about his experience learning Chinese with Confucius Institute tutor Guo Wen and his previous travels in China. For the performance, Derrah sang “Chinese Kung-fu” (中国功夫) while performing various martial arts styles.

Derrah says, “The contest was a great way for me to show my progress in learning Mandarin, and to learn even more about the Chinese language and culture from the other contestants. I’m thrilled to have been chosen as a high school Cultural Ambassador and am very excited to travel to China again.”

Grant Smith, a freshman at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, NY, finished in third place in the level one competition. Smith, a native of Amherst, NY, has only been studying Chinese since September 2016, yet competed successfully against a field of students who were already in their second year of Chinese language study.

Confucius Institute Hosts Week-long Seminar for Pre-college Teachers

Buffalo, NY – Many teachers in New York State are required to teach about the history and culture of China, but very few have any significant background in China studies. In order to provide teachers with better information and resources about China, the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute hosted a week-long seminar for K-12 teachers, June 26-30, 2017.

The seminar was organized in affiliation with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia and cosponsored by the Five College Center for East Asian Studies and the Buffalo Teacher Resource Center. Major funding was provided by the Freeman Foundation and Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters. The Confucius Institute is also grateful to the UB Honors College for providing its seminar room for this professional development program.

In all, 18 teachers from public, private, and charter schools in the Buffalo area participated in the week-long program (with one teacher from Norwalk, Connecticut, also spending the week here).

Presenters included University at Buffalo Professors Kristin Stapleton (History), Yan Liu (History), and Nicolas Bommarito (Philosophy), Confucius Institute Associate Director Maggie Lu (Language), Buffalo State College Professor Stephen Vermette (Geography), Binghamton University Professor Nick Kaldis (Literature and Film), Alfred University Visiting Professor Zhongbei Wu (Music), Gold Summit Martial Arts President Erin Markle, and independent scholars Herbert Batt (Literature) and Jean Jain (Art).

Participating teachers received a wealth of textbooks and teaching materials about China, and are required to prepare an implementation plan to demonstrate how information and the materials from the seminar will be used in their classes going forward.

Paula Fortuna, a high school world literature teacher at the Center for Global Studies in Norwalk Connecticut, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Understanding China’ seminar and learned so much in a short time.  Each professor’s robust knowledge and ability to share fascinating stories and facts about China inspired me, and the information will definitely enrich my curriculum and practice. The Confucius Institute was exceedingly generous in providing us with so many great books and reference pages that I will bring back to my school and share with my students and colleagues for years to come.”

Mark Dodge, a social studies teacher at East High School in Buffalo, summed up the experience this way: “I was amazed by the variety and richness of the resources provided.  The course covered everything from science and medicine to painting and poetry, I would have entitled it 1000 ways to insert China into your classroom.”

UB Linguistics Department Seeks Chinese Language and Culture Professor

The University at Buffalo Department of Linguistics invites applications for a new position in Chinese Language and Culture.

A brief job description is below, and the full announcement can be found at https://www.ubjobs.buffalo.edu/.

Posting Number F1700097

The University at Buffalo invites applications for a full-time, clinical assistant professor (10-month) position in Chinese Language and Culture. The appointment will be made in the Chinese Program in the Department of Linguistics. The position requires teaching content-based Chinese language courses for professionals (e.g., Business Chinese, Chinese for healthcare professionals) and courses in language and cultural competency such as Chinese popular culture and business culture. The courses will be taught at the undergraduate level initially with the potential to develop graduate courses, to students in business, health, and liberal arts programs. The clinical instructor will play an important role in developing and managing a professional language track in Chinese. The position will begin in the 2017-2018 academic year and will normally require teaching 4 courses per semester. There is no research obligation. The position offers comparable clinical faculty salary and state employee benefits.

Candidates must have a PhD and demonstrate experience and excellence in teaching Chinese language and culture courses at all levels, content-based and on-line courses.

Deadline for Applicants Open Until Filled

Please submit teaching demonstration video to Department of Linguistics, University at Buffalo, 609 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260-1030 or provide a link via the optional document below.

Required Documents

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Teaching Statement
  4. Contact Information for References
  5. Sample Syllabus

Optional Documents

  1. Link to Teaching Demonstration Video

Contact Information
Contact’s Name EunHee Lee, Associate Professor
ehlee@buffalo.edu, 716-645-2177

Professor Zhiqiang Liu Appointed Director of UB Confucius Institute

Buffalo, N.Y. – Zhiqiang Liu, associate professor of economics at the University at Buffalo, has been named director of the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI).

Established in 2009, UBCI supports China-related research and artistic production at UB, Chinese language teaching at the university and in local schools, and cultural events that foster a better understanding of Chinese traditions and contemporary culture throughout Western New York.

Stephen C. Dunnett, professor and vice provost for international education and chair of the UBCI board of advisors, said, “We are very pleased that Zhiqiang Liu has been appointed director of the Confucius Institute. Professor Liu is a prominent scholar in his field and maintains an active research agenda with a focus on the Chinese economy. He is in an excellent position to direct the work of the institute moving forward.”

UBCI is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at UB. Liu was appointed to the position by Robin Schulze, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Confucius Institute also works in collaboration with Capital Normal University, one of UB’s long-time partners in Beijing. A board of advisors consisting of faculty and administrators from UB and Capital Normal University oversees the work of the institute. Major funding is provided by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in China and the University at Buffalo.

Professor Liu succeeds Professor Dunnett, who served as interim director following the untimely death in November 2016 of former director and professor of philosophy Jiyuan Yu. Liu said, “I am honored to be appointed director of the Confucius Institute. My good friend and colleague Jiyuan Yu did exceptional work to build the Institute into a prominent center for teaching and research about China at UB and in the community. I look forward to building on the significant accomplishments of the previous directors and dedicated staff to further strengthen the Confucius Institute as a dynamic and effective academic unit.”

Professor Liu’s research interests include applied microeconomics, economic growth and development, the economics of crime, and the Chinese economy. He has published numerous articles in leading economics journals, including Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of Urban Economics, among others. He has served on the board of directors and board of regents of the Chinese Economists Society. He also sits on an advisory committee of the Natural Science Foundation of China. He is currently on the editorial board of China Economic Review.

Professor Liu has been on the faculty in UB’s Department of Economics since 2000. Prior to joining UB, he was lecturer of economics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.  He is also special-term professor and deputy director of the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research at Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. He earned an MBA and a PhD from UB and a B.S. from Tianjin University.

The UB Confucius Institute is part of a network of more than 500 such institutes around the world. In December 2016, UBCI was named “Confucius Institute of the Year” at the annual Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China.

Professor Dunnett said, “The Confucius Institute has been very effective in supporting teaching and research about China at UB, and this development was specifically noted by Hanban when it named UBCI a Confucius Institute of the Year. Our partners in China look forward to supporting Professor Liu in his efforts to further expand the programs and increase the impact of UBCI on campus and in the community.”

UBCI Honored as Confucius Institute of the Year

The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) has been named the “Confucius Institute of the Year” by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, which administers more than 500 such institutes worldwide.

Stephen C. Dunnett, vice provost for international education and chair of the UBCI board of directors, accepted the award on Dec. 10 at the annual Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China.

The award was presented by Liu Yandong, vice premier of the State Council, China, and chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

The award recognizes UBCI for its efforts to develop programs to support UB research and teaching relating to China. Academic-focused programs supported by the Confucius Institute include scholarships and fellowships to study and conduct research in China; funding for conferences and symposia; funding for new China-related courses; master’s degree and teacher certification programs in Chinese language pedagogy in the Graduate School of Education; visiting professors to teach China-focused courses at UB; a lecture series featuring prominent scholars in the field of China studies from across North America and China; and annual contributions of books and online databases to the UB Libraries.

“This honor is a tribute to the leadership of UBCI’s late director, Professor Jiyuan Yu, who passed away in November after a long bout with cancer,” Dunnett said. “As director, Professor Yu worked tirelessly and effectively to expand the institute’s impact within the College of Arts and Sciences and across UB. I very much regret that he did not live to see the UBCI receive the award he did so much to earn.”

Dunnett also praised the contribution of UBCI associate directors Qiaomei (Maggie) Lu, who also attended the ceremony, and Bruce Acker.

He was accompanied to Kunming by Joseph Hindrawan, associate vice provost for international education and director of UB’s China programs. Also attending the award ceremony were representatives from Capital Normal University (CNU), UB’s Chinese partner in administering UBCI: President Gong Huili, Dean Liu Xiaotian and Associate Dean Han Mei.

UBCI was established in collaboration with CNU and Hanban in 2010, with the agreements authorizing UBCI being renewed in 2015. In addition to its academic focus at the university, UBCI’s other major projects include placing 15 language teachers from China in local K-12 schools for periods of two to three years; organizing an annual Chinese New Year celebration in the UB Center for the Arts in conjunction with the Chinese Club of Western New York; organizing performances and lectures for fall celebrations of the Moon Festival and International Education Week; and administering standardized Chinese language tests for students of all ages.