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UB Confucius Institute Presents 2018 Awards for Excellence in Chinese Language Learning

Awardees Greet a Large Crowd in UB’s Mainstage Theater on Chinese New Year

The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) recognized 13 local students for excellence in Chinese language learning during the 2018 Chinese New Year Celebration at UB on February 17, 2018

The students received their awards at a ceremony at the Confucius Institute, then in the afternoon participated in the opening ceremonies of the performance gala in UB’s Center for the Arts. In their welcoming remarks, the students introduced themselves in Chinese and wished the large audience happiness and good fortune in the New Year.

The 13 award winners were selected for dedicated study, excellence in Chinese language proficiency, and enthusiasm for Chinese culture. The awardees are all middle or high-school students at Western New York schools with exemplary Chinese language programs. Nine of the awardees study at schools with Confucius Institute guest teachers from China, and four attend schools with locally-hired Chinese language teachers.

The winners of the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Chinese Language Learning are:

Amelia Cheney
Nardin Academy

Jack Dudek
St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute

J’Nae Fields
Nichols School

Victoria Marie Franz
Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

Dylan Hall
Nichols School

Angela He
Elmwood Franklin School

Leanna Ingelfinger
East Aurora High School

Olivia Kisiel
Lewiston Porter High School

Autumn Kline
Niagara Catholic High School

Alexis Marshall City
Honors School

Everitt Owen
Lewiston Porter Middle School

Nathaniel Spencer
City Honors School

Mara Tysick
St. Benedict School

Each student received a $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Following the opening ceremonies, the winners and their families joined the audience of about 1,500 people for a colorful program of traditional and contemporary performances to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Dog. The show illustrated the dynamism of Chinese culture through music, dance, martial arts and theatrical presentations. Performers included students from schools affiliated with the UB Confucius Institute, members of the Chinese Club of Western New York, and students from Gold Summit Martial Arts Institute.

The UB Confucius Institute supports China-related teaching and research at UB, Chinese language teaching at UB and in local K-12 schools, and community cultural events that foster a better understanding of Chinese traditions and contemporary culture. Among its programs, the Institute places language teachers from China in schools throughout Erie and Niagara Counties. Currently, the Confucius Institute sponsors 14 guest teachers in K-12 schools and 2 visiting professors at UB.

For more information about the Confucius Institute, email, visit, or call 716-645-9090.