Visiting Scholar Yingying Chen from Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic, Hangzhou, China, Says Goodbye

Her time on campus has come to a close, but Yingying Chen (in photos)will take back to China many 
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lessons from her time on the Crookston campus as a visiting scholar. Chen came to the Business Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston in late January 2013 from Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZJETP), in Hangzhou China. The U of M Crookston established an international partnership with ZJETP in late 2005 to enhance opportunities for students to study and faculty to work collaboratively and Chen, the director of finance and insurance teaching and research at ZJETP.  

It was Chen's first time in the United States, and when she arrived, she was immediately impressed by the welcome and the helpfulness of others who introduced her to the Crookston campus. She is particularly grateful to Susan Brorson, head of the Business Department for the opportunity to be involved in a variety of learning environments. 

Brorson enjoyed the opportunity to host Chen. "It has been a pleasure to host Yingying Chen as a visiting scholar from ZJETP, one of our international partners," Brorson says. "Although she came to learn more about the U.S., the U of M Crookston, and teaching, we have learned much about China and ZJEPT from her." 

Chen and Brorson have discussed the potential of additional collaborative efforts between business programs in both universities.

The opportunity has been a powerful one for Chen. "I will use what I learned about the different styles of classroom teaching here when I return to my own classroom," Chen says. "I enjoyed the personalized, student-oriented teaching style that inspires students to learn more self-consciously, independently, and produces a good result."

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Chen observed classes in macro economics, managerial finance, risk management and insurance, and principles of management, Internet marketing, principles of marketing, along with some online courses. She has also presented to groups on economic growth in China, Chinese history, culture, geography, and demographics. These presentations she says "helped her to make comparisons between the two countries and allowed her to interact with students from different countries and backgrounds on campus."

Chen is also grateful to Kimberly Gillette and the faculty in Business Department. "I appreciate their help," she says. "And, I am thankful they allowed me to observe classes and have a chance to learn their diverse, distinctive teaching method."

She participated in campus assembly, department meetings, and online course meetings that provided her the opportunity to learn more about shared governance, campus management, and more. Chen also compared the management of a typhoon in Zhejiang province to the flood insurance offered in Minnesota. The opportunity for deeper discussions with business instructors Ken Bulie, Les Johnson, and Oxana Weiland gave her ideas and provided her with inspiration to further her research.

As a visiting scholar, Chen offered assistance to the Confucius Institute site located on the Crookston campus, working with Chunhui Wang, the institute's assistant director, to build a better understanding of Chinese culture and the Chinese language. 

Her last day on the Crookston campus was Friday, May 17, but she is not leaving the United States yet. She is headed to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to continue her research, and she says she is sorry to go because of the many wonderful relationships she has made and the great learning experience she has had while she was here. 

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Sue Brorson, head, Business Department, 218-281-8186 (sbrorson@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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