CICSU hosts 6th Midwest American Director Conference
On September 3 and 4, 2016, the Confucius Institute at Colorado State University (CICSU) served as the host location for the sixth Midwest American Confucius Institute Director Conference. The conference, held yearly, provides an opportunity for Confucius Institutes within the region to come together and share future goals, growth and successes from the past year. The theme of the conference was “Storytelling and Advancing the Confucius Institute,” and CICSU and the Chicago Chinese Consulate General served as co-hosts.
On the first day of the conference, opening ceremony speeches were delivered by Chinese Consul General Hong Lei and CSU Vice Provost for International Affairs Jim Cooney. After a warm welcome from Dr. Cooney, during which he reiterated Colorado State University’s strong and continued support for CICSU, Consul General Hong spoke. He noted that Confucius Institutes are constantly evolving as bridges for sharing Chinese language and culture, and are ideal platforms to promote cooperation between China and the world.
“CICSU is actively promoting cooperation between U.S. and Chinese universities and scientific research institutions in the field of water resource and environmental sustainability development,” said Hong, praising the center’s distinct characteristics influencing promotion of Chinese language and culture education.
Mike Palmquist, CSU Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation, the keynote speaker for the discussion, spoke about the power of storytelling and bridging cultural differences.
“As I have thought about what the Confucius Institute is designed to accomplish, I see much in common with the idea of sharing experience and building relationships through story,” said Palmquist. “Confucius, clearly, was a story teller. And he used stories to great effect.”
Nearly 50 directors attended the conference, including Chinese and American directors from 16 Midwest American Confucius Institutes in Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The conference culminated with directors holding discussions centered on development of Confucius Institutes in the Midwest U.S. and how to improve quality and influence in their region. They also discussed Confucius Institutes with special characteristics, how to connect through authentic stories about Confucius Institute teachers and students, and sharing resources to improve the quality of teaching. The directors agreed they will strive to implement the main mission of bringing China to the world and introduce China’s new developments to the world.