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UW hosts summer 2016 symposium on family medicine in China


Alumni launch new fund for Chinese language learners


Research center in China named after UW-Madison’s own Professor Thomas Popkewitz.


1979 Delegations to China have Enduring Impact


More WCI stories...


The Wisconsin China Initiative was launched in 2007 to both serve as the contact point for information about UW-Madison connections with the China region and to bring together cross-disciplinary faculty, alumni and leaders in business and government.  The Initiative is housed in the International Division at the University of Madison. It is staffed by Associate Director Laurie Dennis.



Former UW-Madison Chancellor Irving Shain dies at 92

Irving Shain, a chemistry professor and UW–Madison chancellor emeritus who advanced the university’s interests in China died peacefully Tuesday, March 6, in Madison after a brief illness. He was 92. (Click here to see the full UW-Madison news release on Chancellor Shain's obituary.)

Chancellor Shain led one of the first American university delegations to China of the post-Mao era, in the process launching a visiting scholar program that attracted hundreds of Chinese academics to Madison. Many of these scholars returned to China to become leading scientists and engineers

“I thought there would be, maybe, 10 or 15.”

That was the guess of Chancellor Shain as to how many visiting scholars he expected would come to Madison as a result of his two delegations. In fact, from 1979-1984, over 450 scholars came to the university from across China through the program that Irving Shain launched.

To watch a 2015 videotaped interview of Chancellor Shain on his 1979 delegation, click on the WCI Facebook page.

To read a feature on the impact of Shain's work in China, click on "1979 delegations to China have enduring impact.'

(Photos are of a 2011 interview with Irving Shain about his work with China scholars, and a 1979 delegation photo from Changsha, China. Irving and his wife, Millie, are seated in the center front.)


WCI hosts "welcome new students" events in China

The Wisconsin China Initiative coordinated a new pilot program in May 2017 to meet with incoming students and their parents in China prior to the start of the new school year.

The "New Student Welcome Sessions" for the Class of 2021 were held in Shanghai and Beijing May 27-28. Close to half of the approximately 350 newly accepted Badgers from across China - along with 75 parents - were able to attend the sessions. Attendees met with UW-Madison faculty, alumni, current students and an advisor in afternoon sessions designed to prepare them to make the most of their campus experience.

Families traveled from as far as Shenzhen, Wuhan, Changchun, Jinan, Xian, and Hefei to attend the events. Teams from the Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA) assisted with both sessions. Alumni coordinated the venue sponsorships, including Kening Li of Miller Canfield and Kelvin Ma of the De Mei Law Firm, in Shanghai; and Gao Xiang of the Silver Lining Group 光合派 in Beijing.

"I met lots of inspiring friends and alumni, which made me more eager to join the community," commented one student.

"I received clear answers to many of my questions," said another.

Photos (clockwise from top): group shot of the Beijing session, new students in Beijing, the alumni panel in Shanghai, group shot of the Shanghai session.


Chinese language fund awards 2nd scholarship

The two founders of the new Chinese Language Learners Bridge Fund (CLLBF) awarded a second annual scholarship and achieved their start-up goal for the fund at an event in May.

Alums Jarrett Wiesolek (Class of 2011) and Ali Dibble (Class of 2012) launched the fund last year. CLLBF is designed to award scholarships to students who are passionate about learning Chinese and building bridges between UW-Madison and China. 

Mr. Wiesolek was on campus in May to award the second annual $250 CLLBF Scholarship to UW-Madison undergraduate student Francesca Veto at the end-of-year banquet for the student organization CLACC (Chinese Language & Culture Club). Ms. Veto (see photo at right) is attending the UW-Madison Tianjin Summer Program this summer, a Chinese language intensive program.  She will also be the incoming CLACC co-president in the fall, along with Jensen Sang

“After winning the CLLBF scholarship I felt so happy,” Ms. Veto wrote to Ms. Dibble, adding that she would be using the scholarship to cover her visa application costs.  “I think the best part is that my mother was very proud, and that is what is most important to me.”

An audience of 55 people, including students, faculty, community members, and alumni, attended the banquet, at which Mr. Wiesolek spoke about the fund launch.  Afterwards, alumni attending the dinner – including Tom and Cheryl Sternberg – offered donations that resulted in the principal of the fund topping the start-up goal of $10,000. Mr. Wiesolek explained that, upon reaching this amount, the fund became endowed and can now generate interest that will be awarded to students and the Chinese program in the UW-Madison's Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. At its current level, the endowment will generate approximately $500 a year in interest. 

Mr. Wiesolek and Ms. Dibble have set a new goal of reaching $15,000 in the fund by the end of 2017. They are reaching out to alumni, corporations, and members of the community to support their efforts.

For more information about CLLBF (the application process opens in March 2018 for awarding a spring scholarship), contact Ali and Jarrett at this email address: applycllbf@gmail.com

Click here to donate to the Chinese Language Learners Bridge Fund.

Click here to read the story about the first CLLBF scholarship recipient, Sydney Farmer.


Video of the April 25 panel on Chinese Exclusion Act.

Chinese Exclusion Act 4.25.17 from Discovery Building on Vimeo.

Filmmakers Li-Shin Yu and Ric Burns of Steeplechase Films were in Madison April 24-26 for screenings of their new documentary, "The Chinese Exclusion Act." (see story below) They also participated in a panel discussion at the DeLuca Forum on why the film matters today and how the 1882 law impacted our understanding of what it means to be an American. Joining them were UW faculty Victor Jew of Asian American Studies, Law Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes and author/journalist Helen Zia.

At right: Ric Burns, seated next to Li-Shin Yu, discussed his new documentary. Below: Panelests Victor Jew and Helen Zia. Photos by UW-Madison student Ian Shuai.

New PBS documentary on Chinese Exclusion Act to be screened first in Madison

MADISON - The keys to understanding current issues on immigration, citizenship, and labor might be found in radical legislation enacted in the United States more than 100 years ago.

The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act is the only federal legislation to single out and name a specific race and nationality for exclusion from immigration and citizenship. The legislation, which was in place for more than 60 years, exposed Chinese Americans to forced registration, segregation, and violence.

The photo at right os of the Lim family in California, one of many that had to contend with the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The documentary exposes connections between the Chinese Exclusion Act and the history of American civil liberties and immigration. Experts explore how social, political, economic, and cultural circumstances paved the way for the legislation that continues to impact attitudes on race, culture, and identity in America.

“The issues discussed in the film are relevant to today's national conversation, and the filmmakers are to be credited for reminding us that history is a great teacher only if we pay attention to its lessons,” said Wisconsin China Initiative Director and Professor Jerry C.P. Yin. “The film and discussion on Tuesday should provide us with an opportunity to learn from some of our past mistakes.”

Click here to see the full press release.

Download the event poster.

The "Chinese Exclusion Act" campus events are made possible by an Anonymous Fund grant. Hosted by the Wisconsin China Initiative, with co-sponsorship from the WUD Film Committee, CEAS, and Asian American Studies.


WCI starts new Bubble Tea Mondays event

The WCI will be hosting a new community gathering event, "Bubble Tea Mondays," starting Monday, March 6, at 4:30 p.m. in room 336 of Ingraham Hall (1155 Observatory Drive).

These free public events feature free "Bubble Tea" (first come, first served!), conversation and camaraderie.

The opening March 6 event included screening and discussion of two short film clips, "Say My Name" and "Homesick," which are both focused on the experiences of Chinese students on American campuses. Future sessions will have the theme of the Chinese experience at UW-Madison.

March 12 - UW Professor Emeritus Paul Williams, a plant pathologist, on his research about Chinese cabbage.

March 27 - UW-China History Quiz! Special guest: the nephew of a prominent Chinese economist who was trained at UW in the 1920s, Chen Daisun 陈岱孙 (1990-1997).

April 3 - Session with filmmaker Kenneth Eng about his documentry, "My Life in China"

April 10 - Presentation by UW Math Professor Tonghai Yang talking about the Anhui-based charity he established: the Hometown Education Foundation.

Aprl 17 - The History of China and the UW (Part 2)
RSVP Now - http://ow.ly/1Gov30actPj

The WCI student team has given the event series the Chinese name of "麦屯奶茶日“ which focuses on the Madison location (麦屯, the nickname for Madison) and the student friendly beverage (奶茶) that will be served.

Bubble Tea Mondays is made possible by a "campus climate improvement" grant to the Wisconsin China Initiative from the Chancellor's Office and the International Division of the UW-Madison.


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Parent Program 家长项目 Connecting parents and families to the UW-Madison


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Jerry C.P. Yin, professor in the Departments of Genetics and Neurology, is the faculty director of the Wisconsin China Initiative (WCI). CLICK HERE to read more about him.


Red Cap

The "Red Cap Lecture Series on China & Global Economics," which was launched by Wisconsin China Initiative Board Chair Wade Fetzer in 2014 to raise the "China literacy" of the campus. CLICK HERE to read more about this series.


Language Corner


UW-Madison ranked 24th among world's universities

The University of Wisconsin-Madison was ranked 24th among world universities in 2014 survey by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University. Click here to read the full report...


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Wisconsin China Initiative, The International Division, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

phone: 608.265.6640 email: ldennis@international.wisc.edu