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Shu-Chuan Cheng to Coordinate
Chinese Programs at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Aug. 17, 2007

Shu-Chuan Cheng
Shu-Chuan Cheng

EAU CLAIRE — Shu-Chuan Cheng has been hired as the Chinese programs coordinator for the Center for International Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

UW-Eau Claire recently announced that it had been accepted into a prestigious international exchange program with China, the China 1-2-1 Program facilitated through the China Center for International Educational Exchange and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in collaboration with the U.S. State Department. The program will allow Chinese students to spend their first year at a Chinese university, then study for two years at UW-Eau Claire before returning to China for their final year.

Cheng started in her new position June 11 and accompanied Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education, on a trip to China June 22-July 1, where they attended a conference and Markgraf signed agreements with 16 Chinese universities that will begin sending students to UW-Eau Claire in fall 2008.

"It was so wonderful meeting face-to-face with all our counterparts from the other American and the Chinese universities," Cheng said. "Being able to put a face to a name when we're communicating via e-mail has already been very beneficial and brought a more personal dimension and greater understanding to our communications."

Markgraf and Cheng also visited three of the 16 universities with which agreements had been signed: Yangzhou University, Changshu University of Technology and Nanjing University of Technology.

Markgraf said the universities were carefully selected to be a good fit with UW-Eau Claire, as were the programs of study open to the visiting students. Initially the Chinese students will be allowed to major in computer science, information systems, physics, mathematics, chemistry or kinesiology. More majors may be added later as the program matures.

In the meantime, Cheng work with the deans and department heads of the various majors on course articulation, making sure that the content and sequence of all classes the students will take over the four years at both universities will be equal to a degree from both institutions and maintain the quality of education for which UW-Eau Claire is known. She also will coordinate the development of promotional materials for student recruitment and serve as a liaison with CCIEE and ASCUA officials.

Cheng, well known in Eau Claire because of her 20 years as a children's librarian and a community program coordinator at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, hopes she will also be able to help the Chinese students bridge the gap between the two cultures.

"I hope all my years of community programming and all the contacts I've made at the public library will help me get the Chinese students integrated into both the on-campus and off-campus communities so they can know the people of Eau Claire and its surrounding areas and we can also benefit from what they have to contribute to all of us," Cheng said.

Cheng also served as adviser to the library's Young Adult Advisory Board, and since one of her own children recently graduated from college, she feels she has a good understanding of many of the current challenges faced by university students. Her own undergraduate degree is from Tunghai University in Taiwan, where she studied English, European literature and library science. Cheng noted that Tunghai is a sister school of Oberlin College, and a similarly progressive school. She later took graduate courses in English at UW-Eau Claire before beginning her decades-long career as a librarian.

"I loved my work at the library," Cheng said, "but I'm ready for a new challenge and I hope my background and experiences will make me the ideal person to welcome the new Chinese students to UW-Eau Claire and this community and help make it a smooth transition for them."

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NW

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