Sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language International Council (Hanban), Confucius Institute at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA-CI) was established in November 2008. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Confucius Institute helps to better prepare UAA students and Alaska K-12 school students in terms of learning the Chinese language and culture. It also serves as a bridge to connect the University of Alaska Anchorage and the World Trade Center Alaska to related Chinese institutions for academic and business cooperation.
Northeast Normal University (NENU), based in Changchun, Jilin province in China, is UAA's academic partner to further the CI's mission to promote understanding of Chinese language and culture in the communities served by the university. This partnership aims to strengthen educational and cultural cooperation between China and the United States. NENU provides trained personnel to assist the UAA-CI achieve its core mission.
To carry out Hanban's mission, the UAA-CI makes Chinese language, cultural and educational resources, and services available to the public, and promotes cross-cultural interactions and communication in the State of Alaska that is featured by cultural diversity. Through Chinese language and cultural courses, conferences and cultural events such as the summer camp program, the UAA-CI provides a variety of opportunities for UAA students, Alaska K-12 school students, and local residents to learn the Chinese language and experience the Chinese culture in China.
Annie Ping Zeng is the current Director of the UAA-CI and Assistant Professor of Chinese at the Department of Languages at the College of Arts and Sciences, UAA. She teaches Chinese language courses and conducts research in the Chinese language teaching pedagogy, linguistic pragmatics in terms of language conventions under the social influence, and language education. She has published articles in some Chinese key academic journals such as Journal of Foreign Languages Teaching (Xi'an, China) and Journal of Foreign Languages and Their Teaching (Dalian, China).
The UAA CI Board of Directors oversees the activities of the UAA-CI. It is chaired by Tom Case, Chancellor of UAA and co-chaired by Yichun Liu, President of Northeast Normal University. Other members include Provost Elisha "Bear" Baker of UAA, Director Zhao Junfeng of NENU, Dean John R. D. Stalvey,UAA College of Arts and Sciences, Section Chief Li Yingge of NENU, and Greg Wolf, Executive Director World Trade Center Alaska.
The UAA Confucius Institute: Forging Connections between China and Alaska
Each Confucius Institute is free to develop its own range of programs and services depending on the local conditions. At UAA-CI, the yearly programs include assistance in providing undergraduate instruction and curriculum development in the Chinese language program at UAA, offering non-credit courses about the Chinese language and culture to the Anchorage community, presenting academic lectures on a variety of topics about the Chinese language and culture, supporting K-12 Chinese programs in curriculum development and with material resources, and facilitating students’ Chinese culture experience through summer camp program.
The UAA-CI is exploring more opportunities to assist local business, schools and ordinary citizens to learn more about China and to facilitate their possible interactions with China for academic exchange and business programs.
The vision of UAA CI is to become an important center for the cultivation of Alaska-China relations, to provide expertise in Chinese language and culture training, and to be an important resource for our educational institutions. Our mission has therefore five folds: