CPE 2014: Project Pengyou and China Scholarship Council Celebrate 35 Years of US-China Student Exchange at the Great Hall of the People

by Project Pengyou on July 10th, 2014   6520 views

Project Pengyou was in the middle of all the action during the fifth annual CPE on July 10th at the Great Hall of the People!

IMG_5541

On July 10th, 2014, Project Pengyou was honored to co-organize a major event at the Great Hall of the People celebrating 35 years of US-China student and scholarly exchange.

The program was a collaboration with the China Scholarship Council and held in conjunction with the fifth annual US-China Consultation on People to People Exchange (CPE), a high level bilateral forum led by Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice Premier Liu Yandong for government and private practitioners to discuss strategic cooperation and deepen mutual understanding. The invite-only gathering brought together two hundred and fifty people from over 20 institutions involved in US-China educational exchange  (See below the full list of American programs involved).

Speakers of the 35 year celebratory event included prominent alumni representatives who studied in the other country from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Eight speakers told stories of their journeys and lessons while studying in the US or China, reflecting on how studying abroad and student exchange affected their lives. The historic event was also attended and highlighted by the US and China government leads of the CPE.

We were grateful for the hard work and support of our co-organizer, our staff and interns at Golden Bridges, and the many partner organizations who helped us ensure the entire day of intense security protocols and logistics went off without a hitch.

After the event, all participants took part in a group photo with the honorable U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and China Vice Premier Liu Yandong as part of the 5th Annual CPE. (Basketball legend and US-China bridge-builder Yao Ming even made a surprise appearance!). See below for a full list of speakers and participants.

Group photo with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice Premier Madam Liu Yandong

Group photo with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice Premier Madam Liu Yandong. (Photo credits: U.S. Department of State)

The Speakers:


VIP Speakers

China Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping
United States Under-Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel

Emcees of the Event

YANG LAN: Yang Lan is a well-known celebrity in China, often nicknamed the “Oprah” of China. She studied in Columbia University in New York, and is a Chinese media proprietor, journalist, and talk show hostess. She is the co-founder and Chairperson of the Sun Media Group and the Sun Culture Foundation. In 2013, she was included in Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women.

JOHN THOMSON: John Thomson was a career diplomat with the U.S. Foreign Service from 1970 to 1997, serving in Beijing during the historic normalization period of US-PRC relations. He oversaw all first American cultural and educational exchanges in China from 1978-1981, including placements of the “Beijing 8”, the very first group of Americans to study in China, and the establishment of Fulbright exchanges in China. John is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

John Thomson and Yang Lan take the stage as the Emcees for the event celebrating 35 years of exchange between China and the US

John Thomson and Yang Lan take the stage as the Emcees for the event.

Alumni Representatives from 1970s

IMG_5316IMG_5325

LIU BAICHENG: Liu was appointed by Deng Xiaoping to lead the first batch of Chinese students to study in the US from 1978-1981. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1999, Liu was elected as a fellow at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and a 2002 recipient of the Guanghua Engineering Technology Prize, China’s top prize in engineering). He is currently a professor at Tsinghua University.

FRANK HAWKE: Frank Hawke was in the group of the very first American institutionally-sponsored exchange scholars to study in China, at Peking University in 1979. With a prolific career in the corporate and nonprofit sector, Frank has stayed in Beijing his entire 30+ year career and is currently serving as the China Director of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business at Peking University.

Alumni Representatives from 1980s

IMG_5375David Moser, Academic Director at CET Chinese Studies.

PEI GANG: Pei Gang is President of Tongji University (PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and undertook post-doctoral training in Cell Biology and Signal Transduction at Duke University. Former President of Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and elected to the Third World Academy of Sciences in 2001.

DAVID MOSER: David Moser holds a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan, with a major in Chinese Linguistics and Philosophy. He was a visiting scholar at Peking University in 1987-89, and a visiting professor for five years at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, where he taught courses in Translation Theory and Psycholinguistics. He currently serves as Academic Director at CET Chinese Studies at Beijing Capital Normal University.

Alumni Representatives from 1990s

IMG_5411Sandra Jeffrey, Executive Director of Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA).

SHI YIGONG: PhD Dean of Research Institute of Institute of Life Science and Medicine Science at Tsinghua University. Shi received his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1995. Following post-doctoral training at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, he became a professor at Princeton University. Yigong Shi is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

SANDRA JEFFREY: Sandra Jeffrey is the Executive Director of Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA). APSA provides international opportunities for young and talented underserved Americans, who are not traditionally exposed to the chance to study abroad. She studied at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese Studies and holds a law degree from Michigan State University (J.D). She received her bachelor of arts from the City College of New York. Sandra was also a Rotary Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar for Chinese language studies. Prior to joining APSA, Sandra practiced law as an attorney in New York City and managed a wide range of community and education based programs in New York City.

Alumni Representatives from 2000s

Robin Li, Founder and CEO of BaiduIMG_5509

ROBIN LI: Robin Li is the founder and CEO of internet giant, Baidu Inc. He is also a director of New Oriental Education, a New York-listed company that provides private educational services in China. Robin holds a bachelor’s degree in information science from Peking University in China and a master’s degree in computer science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

HOLLY CHANG: Holly is a Chinese-American social entrepreneur with formal education in engineering, psychology and business. She came to China and studied Mandarin in 2006 at Tsinghua University, and later established the Golden Bridges Foundation to work on nonprofit and educational projects between the US and China. Holly founded Project Pengyou in 2011 to empower and mobilize a new generation of US-China bridge-builders to serve, inspire and transform lives.

 

The Stories:


Each of the speakers had a unique and interesting story to tell of their time abroad, spanning the decades from the 1970 through the 2000.

Emcees John Thomson and Yang Lan set the tone, explaining that in tribute to the ideals of exchange each of the speakers would be giving their speech in the target language.


“There are no better ways to build bridges than to go abroad.” – Robin Li, Founder & CEO of Baidu.com


Liu Baicheng, invited by Deng Xiaoping to lead the original fifty-two Chinese students to study abroad in the US kicked off the event. He recalls stepping off the plane and expressing to reporters “Chinese people are great people, American people are also great people. We come not only to study science and technology, but also to befriend the American people.”

Liu was followed by Frank Hawke, who reflected that upon being asked by reporters whether or not he was afraid of going to China, he lamented that since they were the first group of students invited by the Chinese government, they would surely take care of them, and thus he had no reason to be afraid (original quote in Chinese: 他问我去中国怕不怕?我有有序。。我该怕?我们是第一些学生被中国政府邀请了不用害怕。)

The other speakers reminisced on their experiences abroad, and with each progressive generation the tone shifted from reflective to hopeful. Speakers Vice Minister Hao Ping and Professor Pei Gang talked about their time abroad and the creation of “sweet memories.” David Moser spoke of a friend that described Beijing in the 80s as romantic, (“浪漫”) remembering a time when the city was full of dreams (original Chinese quote: 八十年代的北京, 大家都有梦, 留学的梦,发财的梦;这不是浪漫吗?) .

Chinese speakers Shi Yigong and Robin Li from later generations emphasized wonder and gratitude for the opportunities they received in America; being able to achieve amazing personal growth and their own American Dream.

Guests walking toward the Great Hall.

Guests walking toward the Great Hall.

However, as China was rapidly becoming a major world power, they weren’t satisfied sitting on the sidelines. Shi Yigong said of his return home to share his knowledge and experiences with a rapidly changing China: “I could no longer remain a witness to China’s change, I wanted to be an active participant.” He also noted that the amount of Chinese students overseas is “perhaps the largest wave of studying abroad in the history of mankind” and that he shares the dream of Rong Hong (the first Chinese student to graduate from a US University) who believed in China’s ability of a peaceful rise to prosperity.

Sandra Jeffrey spoke of challenging the stereotypes at home and abroad through continued study and exchange of culture. She said that despite friends at home warning against going to China a place where “no one like her goes”, she decided she wanted to stay in China and share her culture: “I wanted to tell them that we are the same, there’s no reason to be afraid, but they (the Chinese people from a small rural village,) had already run away. There are too many experiences similar to this, but I still want to stay in China and show people that America is a diverse place.” (the original quote in Chinese: “我想告诉他们我们和他们一样,没有他们想的那么可怕,可是他们已经跑掉了。 这样的经历太多了,但是我没有再也不来中国的想法。我必须留在中国让他们了解我们黑人,也是美国人。”)

Although Robin Li and Holly Chang both pointed out that this journey will not be one without some hardship and misunderstanding, to quote Mr. Li “When it comes to the relationship between our two countries, we need that ability to give and accept challenges. When we don’t dwell on what separates us (China and the US), as we too often do, we’ll see that we’re all decent people who believe in the success of meritocracy.” He added, “I don’t think any young person preparing to study abroad really understands the ways in which it will change them. There are no better ways to build bridges than to go abroad.”

Holly Chang, our Chief Pengyou, spoke last to close the event with her own personal experience, a moving story of “cold war” between herself and her parents based on American and Chinese cultural differences. The challenges she experienced personally spurred her to establish the Golden Bridges Foundation and later develop Project Pengyou to build a community of bridge-builders and strengthen people-to-people ties between the U.S. and China.

 

American Student and Alumni Attendees


John Thomson Director | Emcee UC EAP at PKU
Frank Hawke China Director | VIP Speaker Stanford University Graduate School of Business
David Moser Academic Director | VIP Speaker CET at CNU Beijing
Sandra Jeffrey Executive Director | VIP Speaker Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Holly Chang President | VIP Speaker Golden Bridges Foundation | Project Pengyou
Abigail Coplin PhD Student Fulbright Scholar at Peking University, Columbia University
Abraham Sorock Alumnus Atlas China \ Hopkins Nanjing Center
Adam Jones Senior Manager, Asia Programs CET Washington D.C.
Alexa Burkus Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Alexander Nourse Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Alice Sato Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Alison Friedman Alumni / Director, Founder Fulbright / Ping Pong Productions
Alvin Wong Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Alyshea Francis Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Alyssa Farrelly Program Manager Golden Bridges Foundation / Project Pengyou
Ann Teresa Gore Alumni / Associate Fulbright / Albright Stonebridge Group
Annabel Virella Student Critical Language Scholar / Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow
Ashley Olvera Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Austin Dean PhD Candidate I.I.E. Fulbright Scholar at Renmin University / Ohio University
Ben Manthey Alumni / International Property Paralegal Princeton in Beijing / Hogan Lovells
Brendan Moreira Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Cajonna Lewis Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Carola McGiffert President 100,000 Strong Foundation
Catharine Crandall Student Associated Colleges in China, Hamilton College | Project Pengyou Intern
Cecila Garcia Student APSA/i.am.angel scholar
Chloe Miyachi-Cabanting Student APSA/PAAC
Chris Clayman Alumni / Director of Development and CTO Teach for China / BEAM (学愿桥)
Christopher Chan Student UC EAP at PKU, UC Santa Barbara | Project Pengyou Intern
Connor Fairman Student University of Pennsylvania, IIP | Project Pengyou Intern
Crystal Waller Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Dana Fong Residential Assistant IES Abroad Beijing Center
Daphne Chen Student UC EAP at PKU
Deven Ropes Residential Assistant IES Abroad Beijing Center
Devin Nickell Resident Advisor IES Abroad | Golden Bridges Foundation
Diane Hernandez Student UC EAP at PKU
Eleanor Goodman Independent Scholar Fulbright Scholarship Program
Elizabeth Stephenson Student IES
Elvira Hammond Academic Director CET / Junior State of America Diplomat Program
Emily Ullberg Alumna Fulbright Scholarship Program
Emily Cheung Student University Studies Abroad Consortium, UM / Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow
Enya Liu Kent Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Evan Thornton-Kolbe Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Evan Kornbluh Associate Director Teach for China
Frank Dolce Graduate Student University of Pittsburgh / Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow
Galen Green Student Gilman Scholar, Beijing Language and Culture University
George Ding Media Producer Golden Bridges Foundation / Project Pengyou
Giselle Ashby Student APSA/NSLIY
Harold Owens Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Hector De La Rosa Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Ilda Delgado Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Jaecena Howell Student CET / Junior State of America Diplomat Program
James McCarthy Student CET / Junior State of America Diplomat Program
Jeremiah Jenne Center Director IES Abroad Beijing Center
Jeremy Friedlein Director CET at Shanghai
Joe Wood Alumni IES Abroad Beijing Center, The Hutong
John Holden Associate Dean Peking University Yenching Academy
Jonathan Kaiman Alumni Fulbright Scholarship Program, The Guardian
Jonathan Ashley Ellis Program Coordinator Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Jose Acquino Student APSA / i.am.angel scholar
Joshua Linder Alumnus American University, China Studies Institute
Justin Perkinson Student Fulbright at China Communications University / UCLA
Kameron Carino Student APSA / PAAC
Kitty Poundstone Resident Director Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Katherine Guidel Alumni Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Keith Clemenger Vice President, Alumni Greenpoint Group, CET
Kening Li Resident Director IUP for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University
Kevin Lam Student APSA / NSLI-Y
Kimberly Ortega Student APSA / i.am.angel scholar
Kristen Lum Director of Public Relations and Events / Alumni Hatsune Restaurant Group / World Link Education
Lei Chen Wong Executive Director Jane Goodall Institute / Hopkins Nanjing Center
Letitia Liu Student UC EAP at PKU
Lilach Brownstein Student University of Pennsylvania, IIP | Project Pengyou Intern
Madeleine Norman Student CET / Junior State of America Diplomat Program
Madison Gates Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Marianne Craven Managing Director for Academic Programs ECA, U.S. Department of State
Matthew Davoodian Student UC EAP at PKU
Matthew McMahon East Asia Pacific Fulbright Branch Chief ECA, U.S. Department of State
Meagan Seitz-Smith Program Director CET / Junior State of America Diplomat Program
Meryl Drew Ertelt Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Michael Aaron Pareles Scholar Fulbright US Student Program, Zhongyang Minzu Daxue
Molly Manning Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Morgan Banaszek Student University of Nottingham, Ningbo / Project Pengyou
Nathan Keltner Cultural Affairs Specialist U.S. Embassy in Beijing
Nathan Kovar Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Nazimuddin Hakimi Student UC EAP at PKU
Nicole Cruz Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Olafende Akinleye Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)
Olivia Naegele Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Phillip Merlo Student UC EAP at PKU
Ross Dodson Student IES
Rozanna Caberto Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Sahra Ibrahim Student APSA/NSLI-Y
Sijia Jin Student UC EAP at PKU
Tammy So-Jung Yang Student The Alliance for Global Education, Beijing Language & Culture University
Timothy Liu Student CET / Junior State of America Diplomat Program
Tom Healy Chairman J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
Travis Smith Alumni / Professor Fulbright / Yuba College
Travis Tanner ‎Senior VP & COO 100,000 Strong Foundation
Victoria Chan Student UC EAP at PKU
Willa Mei-Chen Dong Student / Research Associate Fulbright, Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
William Brent Haas Director UC EAP at PKU
Zelda Glenmore Student Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA)

 

Thank you!


This event would not be possible without the support and participation of students, alumni and leaders of the following organizations. Thank you for your continued support and for making this day unforgettable!

For more event photos, see our photo gallery here. See our press release about the event here.


Related Blogs


Project Pengyou is building the first social
network for people with firsthand China
experience.

Comments are closed.