Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The HNC Cafeteria

The HNC Cafeteria Then
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center cafeteria has been operating since the early days of the Center.  Located in the same building as the dorms, the cafeteria offers a quick, convenient, and inexpensive option for hungry students.  Filtered water and proper refrigeration are
The HNC Cafeteria Now
provided, so that students can focus on their studies instead of worrying about food safety.  Many faculty and staff members also eat meals in the cafeteria, so this is a great opportunity for students to get to know their professors outside of the classroom.  Some years, depending on the nationalities and backgrounds of the students, there have even been language tables devoted to conversation in Spanish, Cantonese, and other languages, to allow students the opportunity to practice their language skills.  While that varies each year, you will always hear conversations in Chinese and English throughout the cafeteria.

However, the cafeteria's history hasn't been entirely happy.  In 1995, much of the cafeteria was destroyed when a fire damaged the building.  It has been fully restored since then, and we expect it to continue to be a gathering place for the entire HNC community for many years to come.

Today, the cafeteria is host to several celebrations throughout the year, from Christmas and New Years dinners to the annual graduation banquet.   The residential nature of the program is especially obvious when students, faculty, staff, and their families gather together for these celebratory meals. 

2012 Christmas Banquet in the HNC Cafeteria

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The HNC Energy, Resources, and Environment (ERE) Group

This academic year, a group of nine HNC students committed to addressing issues related to energy and the environment formed the HNC Energy, Resources, and Environment Group in Nanjing.  Current HNC Certificate student Mallory LeeWong sends an update from Nanjing on the many activities organized by the group:

The HNC ERE Group
Last fall at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC), nine students passionate about solving the toughest energy, environmental, and sustainability challenges facing the U.S. and China established the HNC Energy, Resources, and Environment (ERE) Group. The group –  consisting of master’s and certificate students from China, the U.S., and Germany – has furthered opportunities for HNC students to discuss ERE issues related to China, engage with leaders in these fields, and conduct hands-on local research to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world situations in China.

This year the HNC ERE Group’s main focus is its research partnership with the Nanjing office of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), an international nonprofit with a history of active cooperation on energy and environmental policy issues in China. The students are engaging in a three-month academic research project with GIZ to produce detailed policy recommendations in Mandarin and English for the Jiangsu Provincial Government on how to spur low-carbon development in the highly industrialized areas surrounding Nanjing. The HNC ERE Group’s work with GIZ embodies the innovative, cross-cultural, and practical approach that HNC and SAIS students strive to take in solving global challenges.

HNC ERE Group with Beth Keck at the Ming Tombs
The HNC ERE Group has also helped forge connections among the ERE communities in D.C., Bologna, and Nanjing as well as with the greater SAIS community. This spring the group helped organize the first tri-continental online video conference between student ERE leaders at all three campuses to strengthen cooperation.  The HNC ERE team also recently spent a morning at the ancient Ming Tombs (明孝陵) in Nanjing with SAIS alum Beth Keck, Sr. Director for Women's Economic Empowerment and former Sr. Director for Sustainability at Walmart. Ms. Keck shared with students her insight into Walmart's efforts to lead in global sustainability.

This fall the group looks forward to expanding its role as a forum for students at HNC interested in ERE issues and plans to engage in another in-depth research project with a local organization. Students enrolling at HNC in the fall who are interested in ERE can look forward to joining and helping to grow the exciting initiatives started by this year’s ERE Group.

Due to increased student interest in these topics, in fall 2014 the HNC is excited to begin offering a fifth concentration in Energy, Resources, and Environment (ERE). 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five-Semester Students Participate in SAIS Crisis Sim 2014

Over the weekend of March 7-9, 65 students participated in the annual SAIS Crisis Simulation in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest and most popular traditions at SAIS. They represented the countries of Bahrain, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and various press agencies. Margaux Fimbres, a current HNC/SAIS 5-Semester Option student, discusses her role in the crisis simulation as Minister of Energy for China:
The SAIS Crisis Simulation 2014 was one of the most exciting and engaging events that I have been a part of at SAIS DC, and I was especially honored to be selected as Minister of Energy for China. For the weekend of March 7-9, my seven-person China team dealt with an oil crisis, terrorist attacks in the Middle East, espionage, and an expanding role for China in the wake of declining U.S. power.
The simulation was set in 2018 and three weeks prior to the start of the simulation, all participants received a 17-page “State of the World: 2018” to set the scene. Participants were assigned countries and roles, but were not aware of the other countries involved or what kind of crisis would occur. Come crisis day, we relied on our own background knowledge of our assigned country and issues (luckily I went to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and am also an Energy, Resources, and Environment concentrator at SAIS). All participants had access to a shared gmail account as well as blog access to the Crisis Sim Wordpress blog (check it out here Team China also had a reporter from China Daily who would write breaking news updates with some, ahem, “guidance” from the leadership. Lastly, students in the Seminar in Crisis Simulation course at SAIS were responsible for designing, leading, and ultimately carrying out the simulation. During the simulation, they were the “Control” group and also played the role of the United States. They had access to all groups’ gmail accounts and would occasionally stop by our individual situation rooms (classrooms in the Rome Building at SAIS) to see what we were up to. We often had to adapt our strategy to the curveballs thrown our way from Control as well as google (or baidu) estimates of our petroleum reserves or military presence in the East and South China Seas. Overall, the simulation was a mix of real-life potential scenarios and lighthearted fun.
The Chinese Energy Minister Margaux Fimbres visited Pakistan’s port of Gwadar (aka the SAIS Rome Building in DC) to assess pipeline damage, following the official invitation from the Pakistani Prime Minister Elizabeth McGovney.
Here are some highlights from the simulation:
1)      Terrorist attacks cut gas pipelines in eastern Europe and a massive explosion destroyed Pakistan’s major energy hub
2)      China increases People’s Armed Police presence in Xinjiang as protests mount
3)      France and Iran deepen economic and diplomatic ties
4)      China dips into its strategic petroleum reserves, signs energy deals with Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and increases oil production in Angola and Sudan amid the oil crisis
5)      China builds military bases in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
6)      Iran goes nuclear!
7)      India declares a “New World Order”
8)      China plants false intelligence which implicates India in supporting Iranian terrorist groups
9)      Russian spies bug the Chinese Situation Room and broadcast a live video stream to other countries
10)   The Bahrain team deciphers gmail password codes and hack into other countries’ email accounts; sends misinformation to other countries
11)   Iran has a nuclear fallout with “Chernobyl-like” levels of nuclear radiation
12)   China employs its soft power through “panda diplomacy”

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reminder: Admitted Student Online Chat TOMORROW

Tomorrow Thursday, March 20 from 10am to 12pm EDT, join admissions staff as well as a current Five-Semester Option student in an online chat.  This is your opportunity to ask questions about academics, student life, the city of Nanjing, and more!  Click here as early as ten minutes prior to the start of the chat to log in.  Enter as a guest, but remember that this chat is reserved for admitted students only, so check your email from Monday for the room passcode.  Email if you need help accessing the chat.  We look forward to chatting with you soon!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Admitted Student FAQs

Admissions notifications were sent to all applicants last week.  Congratulations again to those who were admitted!  Below are the answers to some common questions we have received so far from admitted students:

Financial Aid:
Due to a technical glitch, financial aid award notices were sent to the email address you listed as the "secondary email address" on your online application.  Please check that email address to view your award and access instructions on accepting or declining any financial aid received.  If you are unable to access that account and have any questions about the status of your financial aid award, please contact us at
Connecting via Facebook:
We’ve received a few questions about a Facebook group for incoming students to connect.  We will be creating such a group for everyone to get to know each other over the summer, but it will not go live until shortly after the April 21 decision deadline when we have a confirmed list of incoming students.
Chinese Visas:
We’re glad to hear that many of you are planning ahead with regards to Chinese visa applications, but we will not be collecting information from you in order to process the visa paperwork until after the April 21 deadline.  Supporting visa documentation will be mailed to you in late-June, along with detailed instructions on obtaining your visa.  More information on this entire process will also be included in the orientation handbook that will be emailed to incoming students in May.
Upcoming Events:
Have questions as you make your decision?  Connect with us in Washington, Nanjing, or online!
  • March 20: Online chat- This chat will be for admitted students only.  Check your admit pack for specific times and entry codes.  Joining admissions staff in answering your questions will be a current Five-Semester Option student.
  • April 7: Happy hour in Washington, D.C.  A formal invitation will be sent to admitted students shortly.
  • April 13-14: Admitted student open house in Nanjing. A formal invitation will be sent next week to students who indicated a current address in Asia on their application.
  • April 15: Online chat- This chat will be for admitted students only.  Check your admit pack for specific times and entry codes.
  • April 21: Decision deadline. Please use the online reply form that was emailed to you with the admit pack.
  • Ongoing:  Feel free to contact us anytime by email at!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Nanjing's Plum Blossom Festival

While here in the DC-based admissions office we have yet to see any signs of spring, the flowers are beginning to bloom in Nanjing.  HNC Academic Coordinator Angela Chang and Career Services Counselor Robbie Shields recently visited Nanjing's annual plum blossom festival at Mingxiaoling.  Running from February 20 through March 31, the festival features performances and photo opportunities on Plum Blossom Hill and the spirit walk.  Thanks to Angela for the pictures below!



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HNC at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

The 2014 Jessup Moot Court team at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center recently participated in the Chinese National Round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.  Read on for an update from the team and a summary of their experiences in Shanghai:

"The HNC team, consisting of Chang Yuqing, Geng Yangyang, Li Hengxue, Joshua Kim and Zhang Wei achieved both collective success and personal growth in the Chinese National Round for 2014 Jessup International  Law Moot Court at East China University of Political Science and Law. Forty-one teams, with over 200 mooters, participated in this year's Jessup competition and the HNC Team was awarded the Best Performance (2nd), the Best Applicant Memorial (3rd), and the Best Oralist (Chang Yuqing, 3rd).

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is one of the most  prestigious competitions in the world, and every year, it simulates a legal dispute between two fictional states before the International Court of Justice. This year the topic was on the law of the sea. With at least half the team members previously inexperienced in mooting, and only one  disciplined in the study of law, the Team had a shaky start.  However, after sleepless nights of perusing legal documents and carefully formulating their submissions, and with warm guidance and inspiring coaching by Professor Simon, Professor Mushkat, Professor Feng, and Puiman Chau, the Team proved itself more than ready to participate in the Competition. Finally, on the 18th of February,  the Team embarked on a train to Shanghai, where 41 other law schools from all over the country also were headed with the same goal in mind.

Over the course of two days, the Team competed against four teams; during these days, each and every member displayed confidence and knowledge on the subject, learned to support  and have faith in one another, and most important of all, matured as a representative not only of this institution, but also of a sovereign state, albeit fictional. Unfortunately, the Team was a few points short of qualifying for the tournament rounds (placing 9th instead of 8th), but at the end of  the day, the Team was awarded the Best Performance (2nd), the Best Applicant Memorial (3rd), and the Best Oralist (Chang Yuqing, 3rd). Judges, including representatives of Clifford Chance, one of China’s leading foreign law firms, sought out the Team to give personal praise for their performances and expressed surprise at not finding the Team in the finals.  One thing is clear to all of the members and the coaches: the past four months for the 2014 Jessup Team will prove a memory hard to forget.

Best Regards,
The 2014 Jessup Team"
To read more about HNC's participation in the competition in past years, click here.