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Confucius Institute at WKU honored at Global Conference

The Confucius Institute at WKU received the prestigious "Confucius Institute of the Year Award" this week in Shanghai. Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China and Chairman of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Council, presented the award to Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, Director of the CI at WKU.

The Confucius Institute at WKU received the prestigious “Confucius Institute of the Year Award” this week in Shanghai. Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China and Chairman of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Council, presented the award to Dr. Wei-Ping Pan, Director of the CI at WKU.

The Confucius Institute at WKU was honored with its second prestigious “Confucius Institute of the Year Award” this week at the 10th Global Confucius Institute Conference in Shanghai.

More than 2,300 delegates representing 134 countries, including directors of Confucius Institutes around the world, principals, professors and leaders at all levels, attended the Dec. 6-8 conference.

Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China and Chairman of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Council, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and presented awards to the Confucius Institutes that won the title “Outstanding Confucius Institute.”

The Confucius Institute at WKU (CI at WKU) also won the prestigious award in 2013 and became one of 10 Model CI’s in 2014. Only 10 of 496 Confucius Institutes in the world received the distinction of Model CI, which demonstrates the unremitting efforts and outstanding contributions of all the staff within CI at WKU.

Invited by Director of Hanban Madame Xu Lin, Martin Cohron from CI at WKU delivered a speech at the conference. He shared his experiences aboard the CI mobile unit (Chinese Cultural Experience Mobile) over the past two years and how the students in Kentucky were impacted.

Martin Cohron discussed how the CI mobile unit has impacted students in Kentucky in the past two years.

Martin Cohron discussed how the CI mobile unit has impacted students in Kentucky in the past two years.

“I hope to continue taking the Chinese Cultural Experience Mobile to schools throughout the state, and use it to spread the Chinese culture to every corner of Kentucky and help more people get the opportunity of learn about the Chinese culture,” Cohron said.

The CI at WKU was established in April 2010, thus 2015 is its five-year anniversary. Since its inception, the institute has been committed to promoting the Chinese language and culture in the state of Kentucky. More than 13,580 students throughout Kentucky are studying Chinese, in more than 20 school districts and in more than 40 schools. The institute has established 15 Confucius Classrooms, and more than 187,348 people have participated in our cultural activities over the five years. In addition, more than 3,000 students take Chinese language exams (YCT/HSK/HSKK), becoming one of the largest comprehensive Confucius Institutes in North America.

President Gary Ransdell and WKU have provided the support necessary to meet these goals. While the CI at WKU is not an academic unit, it has supported the efforts made by various colleges/departments within WKU, such as the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Modern Languages in Potter College of Arts & Letters. These departments have made it possible for students/teachers to receive both undergraduate degrees in Chinese (major/minor) and Master’s in the Art of Teaching. In addition, they have made it possible for 51 Chinese teachers to receive Kentucky certification to teach Chinese in K-12 institutions throughout the state.

The CI at WKU makes constant strives in innovative ideas such as the “Chinese Cultural Experience Mobile.” The unit was unveiled in September 2013, and to date more than 30,000 people have experienced the mobile. Plus, it has driven more than 7,500 miles, which is equivalent to a one-way flight from Bowling Green to Beijing, China.

In January 2016, the CI at WKU will unveil the “Confucius Mobile Kitchen” that will introduce individuals to the Chinese culture through food. The unit will provide various Chinese cuisines to promote the Chinese culture in Kentucky.

In 2016, CI at WKU will continue to expand its programs into the fields of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and business.

About the Confucius Institute: The CI at WKU is a conduit of all that is China. These partnerships are far reaching that will not only create or advance research opportunities for faculty/staff, but offer research and internship opportunities for WKU students. Anyone interested in partnering with us or interested in creating programs, contact Betty Yu at (270) 745-2836 or Terrill Martin at (270) 745-2530.

Contact: Terrill Martin, (270) 745-2530

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