SF State News {University Communications}

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New program aims to graduate global professionals

November 4, 2009 -- A new program will integrate Chinese language and culture with any academic pursuit, creating a strong foundation for a career focused on China. The Chinese Flagship Partner program is currently accepting applications for the spring semester. A three-year grant of $786,840 from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will support the program.

Photo of a young man writing in Chinese.

An artist demonstrates Chinese calligraphy. Photo by Brendan Allen.

"This program is designed to produce global professionals and leaders in many fields," said Charles Egan, associate professor of Chinese studies and director of the Chinese Flagship Partner program at SF State. "Whether biologists, economists or cinematographers, this directed language training will enable graduates to function at a high, professional level in Chinese-speaking work environments."

Successful candidates for the intensive four-year program will be highly motivated students in any field of study who have a minimum 3.2 GPA and at least intermediate Chinese language skills.

"This is not a program for persons who already possess superior Chinese skills," Egan said. "But I encourage those with minimal or no Chinese skills to talk to us."  The Foreign Languages Department is offering preparatory classes in Chinese for students who would like to reach the minimum skills required to apply for a spot in the core program.

One student hoping to apply for a spot is Adam Dehmohseni, a French major whose first language is Persian. While teaching martial arts in China last summer he learned to be conversant in Chinese. He would like to learn to read and write the language and eventually attend the Sorbonne to pursue an advanced degree in comparative philosophy. "Chinese makes romance languages look easy, but I enjoy the challenge,” he said. “It’s a huge advantage to be able to communicate with such a large portion of the world’s population in their own language."
An admissions committee, including Egan and Hsiu-Huei Lin Domizo, assistant professor of Chinese and associate director of the SF State Chinese Flagship Partner program, will select 10 students for the first cohort this semester. Once selected, the students will receive accelerated Chinese instruction that complements their academic and professional plans as they pursue the courses required for their major.

SF State is only the second university in California selected to host a Flagship program and the first in the California State University (CSU) system. Flagship Partner programs operate under Flagship Centers, which have been established with DOD support and are strategically located overseas and throughout the U.S. The SF State program will operate in partnership with the Chinese Flagship Center at the University of Oregon. The partnership enables exchanges in faculty, curriculum and expertise.

An informational meeting for all interested SF State students will be held Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. in HUM 587. For more information, visit http://www.sfsu.edu/~flagship/ or contact the Chinese Flagship Partner Program Coordinator Katie Walsh at (415) 338-7032 or flagship@sfsu.edu.


-- Denize Springer


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