Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alumni Spotlight: Nick Marro

"The bilingual educational environment at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center has afforded me a deeper perspective in understanding Chinese political and economic affairs. Developing professional competency in Mandarin has been a key component in my personal career development, and the research and language skills I honed at HNC are now essential in my current work in US-China commercial relations." 

Nick Marro, HNC Certificate '13
Business Advisory Services Manager, The US-China Business Council

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Faculty Spotlight: Paul Armstrong-Taylor

Resident Professor of International Economics Paul Armstrong-Taylor reflects on what makes HNC a special place.  Professor Armstrong-Taylor teaches courses on Comparative Economics, Economics of Strategy, Financial Crises, and Corporate Finance. Prior to coming to the Center, he worked at Morgan Stanley, Monitor Group and Shanghai Jiaotong University. He earned his PhD in Economics from Harvard University, and his BA and MPhil from Cambridge University. He is British. And, most importantly, he has been voted the three time winner of the best laugh at HNC award.

This year's students have just graduated and this is always a time of mixed feelings for me: on the one hand, there is pride at seeing my students complete their studies successfully; on the other, a sadness that they will be leaving soon and that I will not see many of them again. It is also a time of reflection on my experiences at HNC and what makes this such a special place.

While our academic program is very strong (as any perusal of the backgrounds of our faculty or success of our alumni will attest to), for me HNC's unique strength is its community.  There are about 200 faculty, staff and students at the Center who all live, eat, and sometimes play together. This allows us to know each other in a way that is not possible at most other institutions.

As an example, four years ago I cofounded the Migrant Student Learning Initiative (MSLI) with Angela Chang (then a Master's student, now HNC Academic Coordinator). MSLI gives opportunities for Chinese and international student pairs to teach English to children of migrants or rural residents who are both poor and excluded from the mainstream urban schools. 

Stronger Together: HNC Students Teaching at Bainian
Currently we work with the Bainian Vocational School in Nanjing. This school is special because it is not only educates students, but also places them in jobs at top hotels in Nanjing. Teaching English is not an academic exercise here – students need these skills and we feel we can have a real impact on their future career.
Not all work:  Thriller Dance at Bainian Halloween Party
For the volunteers too, there are real benefits. Our students work in pairs of international and Chinese students to co-teach classes. This has turned out to be a great strength: international students may have better knowledge of colloquial English, but Chinese students understand the challenges of learning English as a second language. The combination is more effective than the parts: an excellent example of the culture of the Center.

MSLI is far from the only example of interactions between international and Chinese students, and between faculty and students at the Center. At least in my experience, this is a special and very rewarding feature of our community.

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Graduation at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

HNC commencement took place this past Friday, June 13.  

SAIS Dean Vali Nasr and former Nanjing University Chancellor Hong Yinxing were the commencement speakers for the class of 2014.  Dean Nasr told the graduating class:

"You are entering a truly multipolar world in which cultural understanding has to be deep and multidimensional... You are ahead of your peers in rising to this challenge... As of today, you will be joining a family of over 16,000 alumni and the larger community of Johns Hopkins alumni... In your careers, you can rely on [their] support."
  Outgoing American Co-Director Jason Patent also gave farewell remarks:
"For three years I’ve had the great privilege of serving this deeply special institution, and I’ve had much occasion to reflect on what it is that makes the HNC so unique and so valuable. After three years I have a long list."

For more pictures from the day, see below.  Congratulations to the class of 2014! 

SAIS Dean Vali Nasr was the American speaker
Former NJU Chancellor Hong Yinxing was the Chinese speaker

American Co-Director Jason Patent

Chinese Co-Director He Chengzhou

International student speaker Laurel Mills
Chinese student speaker Constantine Yu
MAIS graduates pose for a photo

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Milo Manley at the HNC

Yesterday SAIS recognized staff members celebrating milestone years of service at Johns Hopkins University.  Although HNC Deputy American Co-Director Milo Manley could not be there in person, we here in the HNC Washington Support Office would like to acknowledge his 25 years of service in Nanjing at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

A graduate of the HNC certificate class of 1989, Milo began working for the Center on June 11, 1989, one week after the Tiananmen protests (read about Johns Hopkins' decision to keep the HNC open in 1989 here).  In the 25 years since, Milo's knowledge of China and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center has been invaluable to the success of the Center.

As Deputy American Co-Director, Milo's responsibilities include logistical and technical support, fiscal management, orientation of new personnel, and general administrative support of the Center. Milo also serves as Acting American Co-Director when the American Co-Director is away from the Center.  However, he does so much more than is reflected in his job description.  

Carolyn Townsley, Director of the HNC's Washington Support Office, says "Milo's dedication to and love for the Center has been boundless and exemplary.  His dedication and consistent efforts have been a stabilizing force over 25 years of transition."

Thank you, Milo!

HNC Class of 1989

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Alumni Spotlight: Jonathon Day

Alumni from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center can be found all over the world!  We recently checked in with Jonathon Day, a 2013 certificate graduate, on how HNC has helped him with his current position in Australia:

"Being able to talk about and discuss Chinese history and politics in the Chinese language, while also understanding Chinese views on such topics was an important factor that led me to secure my current position as Relationship Manager at the Shenzhen Economic and Trade Representative Office (SETRO) in Sydney, Australia. On a daily basis, I’m working at the forefront of China’s economic engagement with Australia, whether in trade or investment. Just last week I returned from a business trip to three Australian cities, where our office hosted and facilitated high level meetings between a Chinese company and key Australian stakeholders from government, education through to private enterprise. I used my cross cultural communication and relationship skills learned at HNC to help break down barriers and improve trust between the two sides."

Jonathon Day, HNC Certificate '13
Relationship Manager
Shenzhen Economic and Trade Representative Office
Sydney, Australia

Friday, June 6, 2014

My Year Working for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

HNC Admissions Coordinator Sallie Ly reflects on her year in the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Office of International Admissions:

It has been about a year since I began working for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and the time has flown by. It's been an exciting year working for an institution with such unique programs and students. As the academic year comes to an end, today I'm looking back on my journey at the Washington Support Office in 2013-2014.

My role as the new Admissions Coordinator at the HNC started with a trip to Nanjing. I visited the HNC campus, attended the 2013 commencement ceremony, and mingled with students to familiarize myself with the Center. On the way back from Nanjing to the US, I had an opportunity to visit Beijing for the first time.
During my first week of working for the HNC, I met the unofficial mascot of Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Thomas Mao

Me at the Great Wall for the first time!
Following my return, I dove right into preparations for the fall recruiting season. Then came the fun part, recruiting! In two months, I visited over 50 schools including my Alma mater, Michigan State University. Also, in the fall I tied the knot and changed my last name from Sallie You to Sallie Ly!

Visiting the Spartan Stadium during my visit to my Alma mater, Michigan State University
Last year, the HNC started using the STAMP proficiency exam as the official Chinese language proficiency test so all of us on the HNC admissions team familiarized ourselves with the new test. As fall came and went, the Admissions Office read and processed applications to select the incoming class for the 2014-2015 academic year. In February, we took a break from reading applications to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a wonderful reception with students, alumni and friends.

At the Chinese New Year Reception 
In March, during my vacation to visit family, I recruited at some of the top universities in South Korea - you can read more about my trip here!
We welcomed Chinese Co-director He in 2013 and this summer, we will be welcoming our new American co-director Dr. Cornelius Kubler . We will also say good bye to our current American co-director, Jason Patent.

Looking back on 2013-2014, there have been lots of changes. I'm very excited to see what my second year at the HNC Washington Support Office will bring!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nanjing in 1989

As we look back on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, we opened our vault of Hopkins-Nanjing Center history and found two articles, one from the Baltimore Sun from August 23, 1989 and one from the Washington Post from August 26, 1989. The articles state that the Johns Hopkins University decided to keep the doors to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center open in the wake of Tiananmen. Johns Hopkins University was initially concerned about possible repercussions in Nanjing, but the university ultimately made the decision to keep the Center open.
“After the Tiananmen massacre, the United States imposed limited sanctions on China—such as suspending arms sales—but President Bush said he wanted to safeguard the educational and cultural exchanges that had been established. ‘The Hopkins program is just the kind of thing the president had in mind,’ a State Department official said.” -The Baltimore Sun, August 23, 1989
“Perhaps the Chinese authorities decided to let the Hopkins-Nanjing Center continue because it is small and far from Beijing. Perhaps the decision also reflects a rising sense in China of the cost of academic isolation and the attempts to control students’ ideas. Johns Hopkins is delivering a valuable message. There is much interest in China among Americans, and much willingness to work with the Chinese—but only as long as certain fundamental principles are observed.” -The Washington Post, August 26, 1989
For the full text of the articles, please see our archived selections below. (Click to enlarge).