Pre­par­ing the next China-US pi­o­neers BIO

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By LINDA DENG in Seat­tle lin­dadeng@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Grad­u­at­ing from Sichuan Nor­mal Univer­sity — the ear­li­est school au­tho­rized by China’s ed­u­ca­tion min­istry to re­cruit over­seas stu­dents — Deng Bo started his Chi­nese teach­ing ca­reer in 1997, first at the Chi­nese lan­guage teach­ing cen­ter at Sichuan Univer­sity, then at the school of over­seas ed­u­ca­tion.

He still re­mem­bers the day he first ar­rived in Seat­tle at the end of 2010.

“It was on Dec 29,” he said,“I was sent by Han­ban as the first Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Wash­ing­ton State to en­hance the op­er­a­tions of Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute. We were start­ing from scratch but I felt very ex­cited about the new po­si­tion.”

This was af­ter the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the State of Wash­ing­ton had been of­fi­cially opened on April 26, 2010. The first statewide Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute was a joint ef­fort of Han­ban in Bei­jing, the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton, the Seat­tle pub­lic school sys­tem, Sichuan Univer­sity and Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion of Sichuan prov­ince in part­ner­ship with the Gover­nor’s of­fice and the Of­fice of Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic In­struc­tion (OSPI).

Deng’s plan when he ar­rived was sim­ple. “Be­fore we try to help the com­mu­nity here study Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture, we first needed to get in­volved with the com­mu­nity and learn their needs,” Deng re­called.

The plan worked. On April 26th, the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute cel­e­brated its 4th an­niver­sary. Hun­dreds of lo­cal com­mu­nity lead­ers, school rep­re­sen­ta­tives and stu­dents and their fam­i­lies took part, show­ing their ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Deng and the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute for their ef­forts to ex­pand and sup­port Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture pro­grams all over the state of Wash­ing­ton.

The open­ing speech was from Jef­fery Riedinger, the vice- provost for Global Af­fairs at Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton and di­rec­tor of Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the State of WA. The an­niver­sary re­ceived greet­ings from Yan Shi­jing, vice-pres­i­dent of Sichuan Univer­sity, Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton pres­i­dent Michael Young, deputy su­per­in­ten­dent Alan Burke from Of­fice of Su­per­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic In­struc­tion, Seat­tle Pub­lic Schools su­per­in­ten­dent José Banda, and oth­ers.

Led by Deng over the past four years, the in­sti­tute has cre­ated four Chi­nese ed­u­ca­tion cen­ters part­nered with four uni­ver­si­ties: Wash­ing­ton State, Seat­tle, Puget Sound and Shore­line Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

“This year, we will work with Western Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity for a Chi­nese lan­guage pro­gram and send our cer­ti­fied Chi­nese lan­guage teach­ers to help them start a pro­gram,” Deng said.

From the in­sti­tute’s main of­fice on the UW cam­pus, Deng has ac­tively reached out to pro­fes­sors and stu­dents in­ter­ested in Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture, and vis­it­ing schol­ars from China. Work­ing with school de­part­ments like Asian lan­guages and lit­er­a­ture, Deng or­ga­nized sem­i­nars on Chi­nese cul­ture.

The in­sti­tute has helped pay for train­ing for Chi­nese lan­guage teach­ers, for sem­i­nars on how to start Chi­nese lan­guage pro­grams and for pub­lic events about China.

“At the same time I have mo­ti­vated more people from our lo­cal Chi­nese com­mu­nity to con­trib­ute to our pro­grams,” Deng said. “We have fa­mous Chi­nese-Amer­i­can painters, acupunc­tur­ists, ex­perts in Chi­nese his­tory and art who vol­un­tar­ily con­trib­ute their time and knowl­edge to our pro­grams.”

Deng also keeps up good re­la­tions with China-re­lated or­ga­ni­za­tions and as­so­ci­a­tions not only to co­op­er­ate with them in the dis­sem­i­na­tion of Chi­nese cul­ture but also to con­nect lo­cally with cities and people in China. Deng has helped a Seat­tle Chi­nese Gar­den del­e­ga­tion get to China; as­sisted Seat­tle Sis­ter City As­so­ci­a­tions by in­tro­duc­ing con­nec­tions in China; and co­op­er­ated with the Chi­nese Mi­crosoft Em­ployee Net­work on projects such as the Chi­nese New Year Cel­e­bra­tion.

“The in­sti­tute is about open­ing up China — it’s a two-way street. I hope my work will bridge lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties with China,” Deng said.

“One thing that makes me feel ful­filled is see­ing more and more young people get­ting into Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture and spend­ing more time study­ing Chi­nese, win­ning Chi­nese lan­guage and talent con­tests and get­ting scholarships to visit and study in China. Like Madame Xu Lin, di­rec­tor gen­eral of Han­ban, said ‘these young people will be the pi­o­neers be­tween China and the US,’” Deng said.

The Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the State of Wash­ing­ton also sup­ports the Chi­nese Bridge Sum­mer Camp for high school stu­dents to pro­mote friend­ship and ex­change in China and the US. The 2013 camp was a great suc­cess and in­cluded stu­dents from a va­ri­ety of districts in the state.

The two-week pro­gram for Amer­i­can high school stu­dents to ex­pe­ri­ence Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture took place July 10-25, 2013. Stu­dents ar­rived and de­parted through Bei­jing, with ac­tiv­i­ties in Jilin, He­nan, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Zhe­jiang and Fu­jian prov­inces and Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

Wash­ing­ton State has had long and close ties with China. The first ship af­ter the open­ing of re­la­tions came to the Port of Seat­tle in 1979. On a per capita ba­sis, Wash­ing­ton trades more with China than any other state. China is the largest trad­ing part­ner through Wash­ing­ton ports, one of the largest sources of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents at our

DENG BO

Chi­nese di­rec­tor, The Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the State of Wash­ing­ton

Age: 43

• Mas­ter’s de­gree, Sichuan Nor­mal Univer­sity (1997) Bach­e­lor’s de­gree, Sichuan Nor­mal Univer­sity in Chi­nese Lan­guage and Lit­er­a­ture (1994) Chi­nese di­rec­tor, the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the State of Wash­ing­ton (2010-present) Lec­turer, School of Over­seas Ed­u­ca­tion, Sichuan Univer­sity (1997-2010)

The in­sti­tute is about open­ing up China — it’s a two-way street. I hope my work will bridge lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties with China.” DENG BO DI­REC­TOR OF THE CON­FU­CIOUS IN­STITUE OF THE STATE OF WASH­ING­TON

ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, and the sec­ond-largest agri­cul­tural ex­port mar­ket with ex­ports of over $1 bil­lion.

DENG YU / CHINA DAILY

Deng Bo (right), di­rec­tor of the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute of the State of Wash­ing­ton, poses with Gao Mingqiang, di­rec­tor of the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute, at Port­land State Univer­sity, at the 4th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the CI of the State of Wash­ing­ton on April 26 at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton cam­pus in Seat­tle.

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