Chinese contingent to visit before, during U.S. election

October 20, 2008

University Park, Pa. -- A 10-member contingent of communications students and faculty members from Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) in Shanghai, China will visit Penn State's University Park campus for five days in early November -- just in time for Election Day -- giving the visitors an up-close glimpse at the U.S. system of government.

During their visit, the Chinese faculty members and students will meet with their counterparts from the College of Communications at Penn State and sit in on journalism classes. In addition, they plan to attend a State College Borough Council meeting and meet with Mayor Bill Welch as well as work with Penn State journalism students who will be covering the election.

“We’re honored and elated to be able to play host to this group of students and professors,” Dean Doug Anderson said. “SISU is a great university, with terrific students and faculty members. I can’t think of a better time for their visit. They’ll be in the thick of observing and covering democracy in action.

“And our professors and students will learn as much from our visitors as they will from us.”

Those organizing the visit include: Bu Zhong, an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism; Russ Eshleman, a senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism, who will deliver an opening lecture on press coverage of local, state and national U.S. elections; and Ford Risley, head of the Department of Journalism.

They hope the long and busy days for the visitors -- additional plans include interaction and visits with student media members at ComRadio, the College’s Webcasting station; the "Centre County Report," the College’s weekly 30-minute television newscast; and The Daily Collegian -- will provide valuable information and insight into communications efforts at Penn State as well as elections and presidential politics.

"I am sure the six Shanghai students will have a memorable visit. This is the first time for them to visit the United States, and the first time to experience an election of any kind," Zhong said. "They plan to join our students to cover this historic election. And this should be quite memorable to our students, too."

Earlier this year, Anderson and Zhong conducted a 12-day trip to China that took them to journalism-mass communication programs at four universities, two major television operations, a huge news agency and the media headquarters for the 2008 Olympic Games. Their visit paved the way for faculty exchanges, student programs, research collaborations and internships at SISU, several other schools, news agencies and television stations in China.

SISU, founded in December 1949, is a key university in China and one of the universities of Project 211 -- the Chinese government’s effort aimed at strengthening some 100 institutions of higher education and key disciplinary areas as a national priority for the 21st century.

Under the direction of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, SISU has been jointly nurtured by the Ministry of Education and the Municipality of Shanghai.

The mission of SISU is to cultivate students with multidisciplinary knowledge, multiple skills and international orientation. With a long tradition of conscientious teaching and learning, SISU enjoys a good reputation at home and abroad. The university has two campuses, an elegant one in Hongkou District and a picturesque 53.3-hectare one in Songjiang New District.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009