C.I. In the Spotlight


Perlman receives Confucius Institute award

Chancellor Harvey Perlman is one of 30 individuals from around the world to receive a 2013 Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence Award.

The honor was presented during the Eighth Confucius Institute Conference held Dec. 7-8 in Beijing, China. The awards were given to 30 individuals — five from the United States — honored for their work with the 440 Confucius Institutes located in 120 countries around the world.

The award citation noted Perlman's assistance in establishing the Confucius Institute at UNL and creating the American Exchange Center at Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, China. The citation also credited Perlman for engaging Nebraska public officials in Confucius Institute activities.

"Under Chancellor Perlman's leadership, the UNL Confucius Institute continues to carry out the mission of promoting and teaching Chinese language and culture to students and the community," reads the award citation. "Due in large part to Chancellor Perlman's leadership, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Confucius Institute was recognized as CI of the Year in 2012."

Perlman directed credit for the honor to the UNL Confucius Institute staff, which includes David Lou, director; Rachel Zeng, executive associate director; Pingan Huang, associate director; Lei Shi, program coordinator; and Angela Rystrom, office associate.

"I am honored to receive this award," Perlman said. "This is acknowledgement and recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff and teachers who make UNL's Confucius Institute one of the best in the world."

The UNL Confucius Institute was founded in 2007. The non-profit public institute is tasked with promoting and teaching Chinese language and culture in Lincoln and the state of Nebraska. It was the 20th Confucius Institute in the United States.

The Chinese Ministry of Education's Office of Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban, establishes Confucius Institutes worldwide. Hanban aims to promote friendly relationships with other nations, enhance understanding of Chinese language and culture and provide a good environment for learning.

In six years, the UNL Confucius Institute has established language education programs at three Nebraska universities and five public school districts in six cities across the state. The program offers 588 classes to nearly 8,650 individuals.

Perlman has served as chair of the UNL Confucius Institute's board of directors since 2007.

UNL's American Exchange Center at Xi'an Jiaotong University opened in April 2012. The center serves as a bridge to facilitate academic and cultural exchanges between the two universities.

In recognition of Perlman's personal involvement with the creation of the center and establishing relationships on the Xi'an campus, he was named an honorary professor of Xi'an Jiaotong University in 2011.