He Chengzhou

New Chinese Co-director at SAIS Nanjing

in On the Front Page
He Chengzhou
He Chengzhou

MARYAN ESCARFULLETT
Associate Editor at SAIS Nanjing

Joining the Hopkins-Nanjing Center as its new Chinese co-director is He Chengzhou.

Dr. He comes with extensive experience from his prior post as the deputy dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Nanjing University.

With a Ph.D. from Oslo University, He’s studies of western drama and extensive work in global communities have shaped his vision for HNC’s future. His primary goal for his tenure, apart from strengthening the ties between the three campuses, is to increase the amount of HNC’s collaborative work with Nanjing University.

“I really want to work together in more effective ways with the SAIS community,” He said. “But first, I want to strengthen the interactions between HNC’s American faculty, Nanjing University and the Chinese faculty.”

He hopes to achieve this by increasing the number of seminars, research workshops and interdisciplinary academic conferences held at HNC.

He noted, “HNC has a good tradition of bringing different cultures together, both Chinese and international students interact and communicate very well. This is our heritage.”

He believes, “our three parties [Bologna, DC and Nanjing] can work together to hold more academic events so apart from the courses students take, they can also participate in seminars, workshops and mini-courses, offered in collaboration with the faculty at DC and Bologna.”

Director He also hopes to bring more of the Nanjing University community on board with HNC’s scholarship.

“I would like to invite some SAIS professors to not only hold lectures at the center but also to hold lectures at NJU, making our presence more visible on-campus.”

Creating more opportunities for collaboration between Nanjing University and SAIS is a part of Director’s He goal of strengthening the center’s reputation among top-tier schools in China.

He said, “My belief is that unless we have a very visible and strong presence at Nanjing University, we can’t reach out to the rest of China.”

He continued, “In the near future, the center will face competition from similar programs in Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities. But what we can do is turn this competition into growth opportunities. For example, the Shanghai-NYU initiative is now admitting undergraduates, if we do very well we can attract these graduates to our school.”

Apart from attracting new students from internationally renown schools in China and America, He hopes the career choices Hopkins-Nanjing Center alumni make after post-graduation continue to expand.

“I would hope that future HNC graduates will not only seek jobs in finance and education. I hope that some of our alumni become leading diplomats in Chinese-American relations.”

To strengthen the relationships between Chinese and American students, Director He will also work to increase the number of Chinese students that enroll in pre-term in DC and experience life from an American point of view.

In continuing the founding presidents’ vision, Dr.He hopes the future American secretary of state and Chinese foreign minister can one day shake hands and bond over their shared experiences at the HNC.

Until then the center will continue to go through a series of transformational changes to strengthen its curriculum and ties to the rest of the SAIS community.