SF State News {University Communications}

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Top Taiwan educator named Alumna of the Year

May 4 , 2011 -- President of Tamkang University Flora Chia-I Chang has been named the 2011 Alumna of the Year by SF State. She will be honored at the University's 110th Commencement exercises on May 21, in Cox Stadium.

A photo of Alumna of the Year, Flora Chia-I Chang, president of Tamkang University

Alumna of the Year, Flora Chia-I Chang, president of Tamkang University

Tamkang University (TKU), a private university in Taiwan that serves 28,000 students annually, is known for its global approach to higher education, combining tradition and innovation. Since becoming president in 2004, Chang has applied her expertise in total quality management and distance learning technology to streamline university operations. In 2009, TKU was the first academic institution in the world to receive international accreditation for its comprehensive information technology data and service management.

Chang's administration has also focused on ensuring that students are prepared for the global workforce. The language of instruction at TKU's pioneering Lanyang Campus in eastern Taiwan is predominantly English. Communications technology and multicultural awareness are required fields of study at all four TKU campuses. Chang has initiated academic partnerships and exchanges for TKU in 28 countries with 110 universities, including SF State.

TKU is consistently ranked among the 50 best universities in Asia. In 2009, the university was awarded the 19th National Quality Award from the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs.

"Dr. Chang's ideas, ideals and innovative spirit make her a leader among leaders," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "She has harnessed modern technology to create global connections among students and scholars, and has contributed greatly to workforce development in Taiwan and beyond."

A native of Taipei City, Chang earned a master's degree in economics from SF State in 1982 and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University in 1983. Prior to becoming TKU's eighth president, Chang was vice president for administrative affairs and taught banking and finance. After earning a doctorate in education from Stanford University in 1995, she became an associate professor in TKU's teacher education program and Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership.

"I hope that the academic partnership between TKU and SF State will continue well into the future," Chang said. "Out of all my years as a student, those few years at SF State were my happiest."

SF State's Alumnus of the Year award recognizes significant contributions in an alumnus' field of work. Previous honorees include environmentalist Randy Hayes; actor Jeffrey Tambor; singer Wesla Whitfield, Kenneth Fong, chairman of Kenson Ventures LLC; Manny Mashouf, founder and chairman of bebe stores, inc.; E-LOAN co-founder/CEO Chris Larsen; actress Annette Bening; former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown; and physician and NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle.

-- Denize Springer


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