2008 Events & News

Big 12 Confucius Institutes - Directors Meeting

The first Directors meeting of the Big 12 Confucius Institutes was held at UNL's Confucius Institute in Nebraska Hall on April 28, 2008. Those in attendance were William Tsutsui - Executive Director and Sheree Willis - Associate Director from The University of Kansas; Jessica Stowell - Associate Director from The University of Oklahoma; Evelyn Jacobson - Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, David Lou - Director, Rachel Zeng - Associate Director, and Yuxia Song - Associate Director from UNL. The purpose of the meeting was to identify common issues all Big 12 CI's are facing and possible solutions. Also to identify ways the Big 12 can work together and share resources in sponsoring Chinese cultural activities. A lunch was hosted by UNL's Senior Vice Chancellor Barbara Couture for Big 12 CI Directors and senior officials from University of Kansas and University of Texas at Austin.

Lunch3

(From left to right) Rachel Zeng, David Lou, Sheree Willis, Richard Lariviere-Provost at The University of Kansas, Steven Leslie-Executive Vice President and Provost at The University of Texas at Austin, William Tsutsui, Barbara Couture-Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UNL, Jessica Stowell, Evelyn Jacobson

2008 Chinese Language and Culture Tour for Nebraska Education Leaders

A group of 15 Nebraska education leaders just returned from a Chinese language and culture tour in China, October 26 to November 8. This tour was sponsored by a Chinese Bridge Fund from Hanban (The Office of Chinese Language Council International), a branch of Chinese Ministry of Education; Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), the partner University of the UNL Confucius Institute; and UNL. Members of the group included Lincoln Superintendent Susan Gourley, Curricular Specialist Jami Holbein-Swanson, Director of Media Services Mary Reiman, Principals Bill Bucher and Susan Cassata from the Lincoln Public Schools (Lux Middle School and East High); Scottsbluff Superintendent Gary Reynolds, Principals Matthew Huck and Karen Johnson from the Scottsbluff Public Schools; Director of World Language Education Vicki Scow from the State of Nebraska; Dean of College of Education and Human Sciences at UNL Marjorie Kostelnik and Chairman of Education Administration Department Larry Dlugosh; and Confucius Institute Director David Lou, Associate Directors Susan Song (XJTU) and Rachel Zeng. Participants visited some schools and cultural sites in Xi'an and Beijing, two ancient cities in China; engage in discussions with officials, principals and school teachers in Chinese public school systems and attend seminars on Chinese language, history and culture.

Group 1

"We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to interact with students from preschool to the university level. These interactions were so valuable to us and made us realize that as people of the global community we have many more similarities than differences." Vickie Scow, Director of World Language Education, Nebraska Department of Education

Group 2

"We saw glimpses of China's past, were engaged with the present, and were able to see part of China's future unfolding. When a four or five year old Chinese student could converse with you in nearly perfect English it makes one wonder about our ability to embrace Chinese as our second language!!" Larry Dlugosh, Professor and Department Chair, Educational Administration Department, UNL

Group 3

"It was an amazing adventure! Thank you so much for a life changing experience. My appreciation, understanding and interest in China have grown exponentially." Gary Reynolds, Superintendent, Scottsbluff Public Schools

Group 4

"For this world traveler, it was a life changing experience. I have been all over the world, but never to China. I learned so much about people, culture, history, food, traveling in China and myself. Visiting the schools was the most impressive part of the trip." Jami Holbein-Swanson, Curricular Specialist, World Language Office, Lincoln Public Schools