Project Pengyou Eagle Chapter Awarded Best New Student Organization at their University


The Project Pengyou Eagle Chapter at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) soared to success this year, finishing up the academic year with a win for Best New Student Organization at their university.

Former secretary, Cameron McCauley, faculty adviser, Hong Zhan, and incoming president, Nick Reinders

In addition to strong commitment from the Chapter members, the Eagle Chapter was also blessed with an amazing faculty adviser, Hong Zhan, a Mandarin professor at ERAU, who also won an award this year for Most Outstanding Faculty member for her involvement in Project Pengyou’s efforts. Zhan says she is inspired by the ERAU students efforts with Project Pengyou:

“It is fantastic to see students are so enthusiastic about learning Chinese language and culture at home and abroad. Seeing the students reach out to encourage others to go down the same road is even more inspiring. “

The Eagle Chapter Faculty Adviser, Hong Zhan, shows a little girl how to write Chinese characters in a “Pay it Forward” community engagement event

Throughout the year, the Eagle Chapter team has held many successful events including fund-raising, tabling, and even piloting a Pay it Forward project which reaches out to nearby communities that have limited access to study abroad or China. According to next year’s incoming Chapter President, Nicholas Reinders, their pilot community is located in rural Arizona, more than an hour from any major city, and thus unlikely to to have received much prior exposure to Chinese language and culture.

In addition to their award, the Eagle Chapter received an abundance of positive feedback from their events, and they plan to build on their success next year. Of the Chapter’s growth this year, Pengyou Chris Zbojniewicz says:

“…it really has been amazing to see how much and how quickly we have grown…I can’t wait to see how much we will grow and how many more interesting cultural experiences we can provide for people. “

Leili Davis, Project Pengyou Eagle Chapter’s incoming secretary, hopes to help increase the number of those interested in Chinese culture and  the US-China relationship by sharing his experiences. Former secretary Cameron McCauley said: “…Project Pengyou has taught me a lot about Chinese culture. I want to see the foods, places, and customs we have learned about in person.” He will soon study abroad in China, and plans to remain dedicated to Project Pengyou upon his return.

Excellent work Eagle Chapter! We are proud of what you’ve accomplished this year, and we look forward to the great things you will do in the future! Jiayou!


Check out our photo gallery of other Project Pengyou chapters Paying it Forward on their campuses!

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