Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2016 MAIS Thesis Defense Topics

At the end of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center’s academic year, MAIS students defended their theses to their chosen thesis adviser, as well as other HNC faculty members. While at the HNC, MAIS students declare a concentration area from among the five different areas of study offered: Chinese Studies; International Politics; International Economics; International and Comparative Law; and Energy, Resources and Environment. At the end of their two years of study, international MAIS students are required to write and orally defend a thesis in Chinese which relates to their chosen concentration area, while Chinese MAIS students complete their thesis in English. To help prepare for the thesis writing process, international MAIS students choose a thesis adviser from among the Chinese faculty members. In addition, MAIS students participate in thesis prep courses to learn about different research techniques, and to discover how their thesis topic might relate to a wider range of Sino-global relations.

Below are some examples of different thesis topics, which cover a diverse selection of research areas, presented by MAIS '16 students:
  • US-China Trade Disputes in the WTO
  • Development of American Football in China
  • Sub-Sexualities in Rural China
  • Chinese Attitudes on the Modern Medicine Approach of “Whole Person Care”
  • Factor Decomposition of China’s Wine Import Growth
  • Analysis of the PostSunflower Movement Social Thought
  • Political Hurdles to Photovoltaic Electricity  Generation in China

To learn more about the HNC MAIS thesis, check out this post to hear from MAIS alumni about the challenges and successes they encountered throughout the process.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The HNC Dragon Boat Team

Congratulations to the HNC Dragon Boat team for their third place finish in the Nanjing city competition this past June! Our student blogger, Andrew, looks back and shares his experience as a member of the team.

HNC students participated in this year’s Dragon Boat Race in Nanjing. My team members and I have been training for almost two months getting ready for the competition. Every week we worked out in group plyometrics workouts and weight lifting workouts, and practiced on Mo Chou Lake with our coach.

Finally on June 9 we competed against over 20 other teams from Nanjing and… we came in THIRD!

Outside of those that were rowing in the competition, this event really included so much of the HNC. Some students formed their own cheerleading squad and danced in a competition before the actual dragon boat race. Students and professors came out for the race and cheered us on all day with lots of new HNC paraphernalia, including HNC flags.

Many of the people from Nanjing who came out to watch the dragon boat race were quite surprised at our success and were really excited to talk with us. A local news station interviewed us and some of our responses even made it into a Nanjing newspaper.

The day of the race, everyone got to the lake bright and early around 7:15 am. Despite some setbacks (especially one where one team decided to ram our boat and cut us off mid race) all of our hard work paid off and after four races, we were ecstatic to find that we had made it to the finals. We raced in a final marathon style race, which was 1000m and a final normal race, which was 300m.

In the final 300m race we raced three other teams and came in third. It was so much fun for everyone and I know, especially for all those who rowed, it is an experience we will never forget.

In addition to dragon boat, the HNC also had its end-of-semester barbeque. It was a great way to begin winding down at the end of the semester with good barbecue, games, and live band performances from the HNC’s band (the Chuar-zards).

Written by Andrew Retallick

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

HNC 30th Anniversary Forum on Sino-Global Relations

An academic forum on Sino-Global Relations was held at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center June 18, bringing together experts from both academia and the private sector to discuss core issues at the intellectual heart of the HNC. The Forum was attended by an overflow crowd of alumni, students, and other guests taking part in the HNC’s 30th anniversary celebrations in Nanjing.

Professor Shi Bin, Academic Dean and former student of the HNC, opened the forum and introduced Nanjing University Vice-Chancellor Zhu Qingbao and Johns Hopkins University SAIS Dean Vali Nasr. They set the stage with remarks on the HNC’s role within the two universities that created the HNC and have nurtured its development.

Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean Vali Nasr gives introductory remarks
The first panel, on China, the U.S., and the World, provided both professional and personal views on how the U.S.-China relationship has been transformed and, in turn, impacted the world in the past three decades. Panel moderator David M. Lampton, SAIS Professor and China Studies Director, talked about relative changes in the positions of China and the US in terms of their global capacity and their share of world GDP, and how this impacts the current world order.  Amy Celico, a SAIS and HNC graduate who leads the Albright Stonebridge Group’s China and East Asia practice, focused on economic and commercial relations. She drew on her rich professional experience in government and the private sector to outline commercial challenges the two countries face today, as well as those they have met and overcome in the past. Professor Zhu Feng, who directs Nanjing University’s Institute of International Studies and the China Center for Collaborative Studies of the South China Sea added his insights on political challenges in the relationship, both those of immediate concern and historical importance.

The second panel examined issues of Energy and the Environment, with particular attention to how the U.S. and China approach the problem of finding and developing renewable energy resources. The panel was moderator by Peking University Professor Huang Haifeng, an HNC graduate who is now assistant Dean for International Relations at Peking University’s HSBC Business School.  He was joined by two distinguished energy industry experts—Mr. Zhu Gongshan, founder and chairman of Golden Concord Holdings, and Mr. Peter Li, General Manager of GE Renewable Energy Greater China.  They highlighted both the importance and the tremendous ongoing potential for collaboration between the United States and China in resolving important energy and environmental issues.

Panelists focus on Energy and Environment issues

The combination of industry and academic expertise on both panels led to broad-ranging presentations and a lively discussion between the panelists and the audience. Running through the presentations was the theme of the important role the U.S. and China play in shaping the current global order, and the need for the two sides to achieve understanding, if not always goal alignment, in solving many pressing international issues. As Amy Celico noted, HNC graduates of the past 30 years are now making important contributions to this process across a variety of sectors and issues in both countries and around the world.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

SAIS China and Project Pengyou “Building Your China Career” Event

Last month, SAIS China, in cooperation with Project Pengyou, co-hosted Building Your China Career: Opportunities in the U.S.-China Space at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC. Project Pengyou is part of a growing national movement to increase the number and diversity of Americans studying abroad in China. The event included a panel discussion that explored the rewards and challenges of working across U.S.-China sectors as well as the growing opportunities that China is creating in the U.S. job market.

The three panelists currently work in the U.S.-China relations sphere across a variety of sectors. Panelist Serena Lin from CCTV America was part of the founding team of CCTV America in Washington, DC. Gabriel Morris, previously the Vice President of Chinese-owned enterprise CITIC Securities and now working for Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, shared his experiences from the financial sector. Travis Thompson, Executive for the Brunswick Group, shared his perspective from the public relations angle. The panel discussion was moderated by Mei Yan, Senior Partner of the Brunswick Group and Holly Chang, Founder of Project Pengyou and Executive Director of Committee of 100.

Panelists addressed the challenges of adapting to a different cultural environment that come with working in a foreign country or for a foreign organization. To overcome these barriers, panelists encouraged students to be active problem solvers and emphasized that working in the U.S.-China sphere requires flexibility, resilience and an open mind.

SAIS China and Project Pengyou welcomed 25 Project Pengyou student leaders representing colleges and high schools from across the nation to this event. Project Pengyou student leaders are American and Chinese students who have lived or studied in the United States and China. These students lead the Project Pengyou Chapters at their home institutions to promote U.S.-China exchange.

To learn more about the event and Project Pengyou, please click here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

HNC 30th Anniversary Recognizes Alumni Achievements

“Through 30 years of ups and downs in the relationship between China and the United States, the HNC has overcome its own challenges and thrived.  It has done so because at its core is a simple, and vital, mission – to help Americans learn about the real China and Chinese to learn about the real United States.”
Former U.S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaking at  the Hopkins-Nanjing Center’s 30th Anniversary Convocation, June 2016
Keynote speakers, former Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright 
More than 200 Chinese and international alumni of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center returned to Nanjing June 17 to June 19 to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the HNC,  joined by the leaders of Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University, distinguished guests, and several hundred students, friends, and supporters.  The centerpiece of the weekend was the 30th Anniversary Convocation, featuring former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, an HNC alum himself who is currently the President of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits. In their keynote speeches, Albright and Chen included personal perspectives on the astonishingly rapid growth of US-China relations in the past 30 years and spoke to the key role that HNC graduates continue to play in all aspects of these relations. Minister Chen remarked that his “unforgettable experiences [at the HNC] not only broadened my horizons, but also helped me open my mind and develop a deep understanding of market economy.”  Secretary Albright reviewed many of the US-China challenges she addressed as Secretary of State and noted that “There is no magic formula for avoiding such difficulties, but the one thing that helps is the sort of deeper mutual understanding and personal relationships such as those forged here at the HNC.”

The 30th anniversary weekend opened with a concert by the Nanjing University Folk Music Orchestra, and included the HNC graduation ceremony and dinner, a Forum on Sino-Global Relations, the Convocation, and a Gala Dinner.  HNC alumni Amy Celico (HNC ’94), currently a principal of the Albright Stonebridge Group, and Huang Haifeng (HNC ’92), professor of International Relations at Peking University, were featured speakers at the Forum. HNC students and alumni were also treated to a private session with Secretary Albright on the making of US foreign policy, and to a breakfast with the current and former Chinese and American co-directors.  Throughout the weekend, the HNC was recognized for its history, its unique bilingual graduate education program, and for training a cadre of specialists who understand international relations and have gone on to play important roles in managing US-China relations.

The HNC’s alumni network has grown from 60 graduates in 1986 to almost 3,000 alumni now

Former Chinese and American Co-Directors meet with HNC alumni. From left: Chen Yongxiang,  William Rope, He Chengzhou, Cornelius C. Kubler, Elizabeth Knup, Richard Gaulton and Huang Chengfeng

Guests outside the Convocation hall 

Alumni from all HNC years reconnect at the gala dinner
Read more about the HNC 30th anniversary and history in the Johns Hopkins Hub.
See more event photos on flickr. Photos courtesy of Carl McLarty

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hopkins-Nanjing Center 2016 Commencement

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center's 30th Anniversary Celebration kicked off on June 17 with commencement at the HNC. Congratulations to to the class of 2016!

The commencement ceremony featured keynote remarks by Lisa Heller, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and Zhou Wei, Deputy Director-General at the Jiangsu Province Foreign Affairs Office. President of Nanjing University, Chen Jun and President of Johns Hopkins University, Ronald J. Daniels also made remarks to the class of 2016.

2016 MAIS graduates

Emily Shea, International Student Representative

International student and MAIS graduate, Emily Shea, and Chinese student, Caixiao Chen were selected as student representatives. In the spirit of the HNC's bilingual community, student representatives delivered their addresses in their target languages.  Below is the full transcript of Emily's speech.


大家好! 我叫沈琳,我是今年二年级硕士班的毕业生。





Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels presenting graduation certificates 

你们具有很强学习能力和逻辑思维能力, 你们会用多种语言讨论你们所关心的话题;


Nanjing University President Chen Jun presenting graduate certificates



Emily Shea with her fellow MAIS graduates

Photos courtesy of Carl McLarty

Friday, June 10, 2016

30 Things to Love about the HNC

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center’s 30th Anniversary Celebration is just one week away! In honor of the 30th anniversary year, we have compiled a list of 30 things to love about the HNC.
  1. HNC graduates become part of the 2600 HNC alumni network who occupy positions of responsibility in all areas of China’s global relations.
  2. The HNC has intellectual freedom to discuss, debate and learn with Chinese peers and faculty.
  3. HNC students form a dragon boat team and participate in the Nanjing dragon boat competition, a time honored tradition in China. This year the HNC team placed third in the final competition!
    2016 HNC Dragon Boat Team
  4. Nanjing is less than a 2 hour train ride away from the international center of Shanghai.
  5. HNC Students and faculty have access to the HNC’s uncensored library with over 120,000 volumes in Chinese and English.  
    Hopkins-Nanjing Center Library
  6. Students get one-on-one attention from faculty members with small class sizes and weekly office hours.
  7. HNC grads can be found at Apple, the U.S. Treasury, U.S. State Department, the U.S.-China Business Council and in jobs where China matters around the world which emphasizes China’s continued importance.
  8. Students have free access to a 24/7 fitness room at the HNC in addition to discounted rates at all of Nanjing University’s facilities. 
  9. HNC students have the opportunity to take multidisciplinary classes—from environmental law to game theory to anthropology.
  10. There are opportunities to learn about Chinese culture through calligraphy, Tai Qi and Erhu classes.
  11. Every year HNC students form a student band (or two) and perform at HNC events throughout the year.
  12. The HNC has modern facilities including heating and dryers—a rarity in southern China.
  13. Double the holidays! The HNC celebrates Chinese and American holidays like the Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  14. HNC students (and professors!) hang out and chat at the HNC’s student-run coffee shop.
  15. The HNC career treks bring students to organizations in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing to hear firsthand from professionals in the field. 
    2016 Beijing Trek
  16. The HNC hosts talks from leaders in the field. The HNC has welcomed Former US Sectary of State, Henry Kissinger, Former US President George Bush and former US Ambassador to China, John Huntsman Jr.—just to name a few.
  17. The bilingual environment extends outside of the classroom. International and Chinese students live together as roommates in the student dorms.
  18. The HNC students participate in the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. In 2012 and 2016, the HNC team placed in the finals in DC—an extraordinary result for a small institution with no law school.
    HNC 2016 Moot Court team at the Jessup International Law Moot Court finals
  19. Faculty members take students outside of the classroom on field trips to international organizations, power plants, rural villages and court rooms.
  20. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center makes every effort to support students with funding their education. 100% of students who apply for financial aid by the application deadline of February 1st receive a fellowship.
  21. There are endless activities to take part in: board games in the lounge, movie showings, student interest groups that range from philosophy to basketball.
  22. Students, faculty and staff show off their skills in ping pong, badminton and billiards tournaments.
  23. A full-time Career Services Officer invites organizations to the HNC, holds skills workshops and provides assistance with internship and job searches. 
  24. HNC students give back to the Nanjing community by volunteering as student teachers at local schools. 
  25.  The HNC is a multicultural community with about 15% of students coming from countries other than the US and China. This year we have students from South Korea, Israel, Jamaica, Peru and Russia—just to name a few.
  26. Students use holiday and summer breaks to travel all around China and Asia. Students’ self-travel have taken them to places like Japan, Cambodia, Sichuan, Huangshan and Guangdong.
  27. The HNC is located in the heart of Nanjing and yet close to Xuanwu Park and Purple Mountain.
  28. The HNC curriculum reflects current issues facing China’s global impact and US-China relations. Courses range from China’s Development and Environment to the Politics of Rural China.
  29. MAIS students research, write and orally defend theses all in Chinese. Past topics have included the Role of the Maritime Militia and the Challenges of Building a Child Protection System in China.
  30. The HNC was founded just after the US and China formalized relations. With 30 years of history, the HNC continues its longstanding commitment to US-China relations.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

International Dispute Resolution Course by HNC Professor Mushkat

Hi Everyone!

Today I wanted to highlight one of my favorite classes at the center I’m taking this semester—Professor Mushkat’s International Dispute Resolution course. MAIS students at the Hopkins Nanjing Center are required to take at least one class in every concentration. While I’m not concentrating in International Law at the HNC, but I took this course to fulfill this requirement. On top of that, the course sounded really interesting to me as it touches on legal aspects and mechanisms vital to international relations and negotiations.

First and foremost, I will say I have the utmost respect for Professor Mushkat. I say this because I am definitely challenged in her class even though it is in my native language. However, Professor Mushkat makes the class accessible for non-law concentration students and non-native English language students. She provides useful readings, which she supplements with her succinct in-class lectures. 

Don’t expect to be sitting through lectures the entire class though because she will test your knowledge and ask for your opinion on dispute resolution methods. This will require you to understand context and meanings of legal ‘jargon’.

My favorite part of the class though are the simulation modules you begin halfway through the semester. The first module our class tackled was the Mekong River Dispute. Everyone in the class was assigned positions in a conference dealing with resolving dam building disputes along the Mekong River. I was the ASEAN 2016 Chair represented by Laos. Ultimately, we came to a successful resolution but only after some elbow jabbing. 

This week we are going to tackle the dispute between Georgia and Russia where we will evaluate the effectiveness of filing a case with the International Court of Justice. Lots of reading to do!

Written by Chelsea Toczauer, MAIS Student

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

HNC Student TED Talks

Hey everyone!

Today I wanted to highlight one of the Hopkins Nanjing Center’s most popular weekly student-run events, HNC Student TED Talks.

Every Friday before the Student Committee (banwei) student mixer, a student will volunteer to give a presentation on a topic of their interest. There is always a large turnout given the range of interesting topics. Some previous topics HNC students have presented on include: Deforestation in Indonesia, Suppression of Women in Chinese History, Milk Industry in China and Global Wine Trade.

Joaquin Matek, a first year MAIS student at the HNC, presented one of the most recent TED Talks on Memory and Mnemonics.
HNC Student Joaquin Matek gives a TED Talk on Memory and Mnemonics
I asked him to give a brief statement for the blog on his presentation. He explains, “We often think of memory as something mechanical and humdrum, but it is actually fundamental to our creative prowess as humans, and the greatest feats of memory are predicated on the power of imagination. Whether we are trying to master a foreign language or just trying to remember the name of that new acquaintance, context is important. Context is the web of connections and associations in which our memories are situated, and the more connections that exist for any given memory, the easier it is for us to recall. Mnemonics help us encode and retrieve information by creating additional ‘artificial’ context associated with the thing we want to remember. A memory palace may sound like an edifice only a Sherlock could build, but the basic principle is simply connecting our fantastic spatial memory (our memory of places and how to get around) with a piece of information that might otherwise be forgettable. Finally, as often as we might disparage our memories and wish we could remember more, the ability to forget is actually a crucial part of learning."

All of the students at the HNC have their own personal interests that they bring to the table and share in and out of class. Despite working hard throughout the week, this is always one of my favorite weekly events to go to and learn something new.

Hope this sparks some creative cells in your own memories!


Written by Chelsea Toczauer, MAIS Student