Faculty Reflections: Teaching at the HNC

Faculty Reflections: Teaching at the HNC

Elizabeth Gonzales interviewed several Hopkins-Nanjing Center professors, who shared the inside scoop on their favorite thing about teaching at the HNC and their best advice to incoming students. 

What do you like about teaching at the HNC?

Qi Lingling 祁玲玲, Associate Professor, School of Government, Nanjing University:
I like the multicultural communication in the HNC classroom. The students come to the classroom with their different educational and cultural backgrounds, which brings out a lot of riveting exchange of ideas.

Wang Changjiang 王长江, Professor, School of Business, Nanjing University:

I have been teaching at the Center for nearly 20 years. The main content of my teaching is on the introduction to finance. Due to the different cultures of different countries, the understanding of finance is quite different. Through many years of teaching, I have had the opportunity to communicate with international students on the fundamental issues of financial investment in class and after class, allowing me to have a deeper understanding of the practice of finance and to broaden my vision in research. At the same time, the Center's teaching organization and administrative services have created an excellent environment, which makes me feel that I can engage in teaching happily and smoothly.

David Arase 艾大伟, Resident Professor of International Politics:
The simple answer is that I really enjoy my students, and that I enjoy teaching what I do. What more is there to say? A lot actually, but I will be brief. I admire the “angularity” of my international students. This is what college admissions committees name applicants who are the opposite of the “well rounded” candidate. Angular students have quirky, unconventional passions and talents that lead to rare achievements. Maybe Chinese studies tends to attract angular students. If so, for that I am thankful. Each international student that I have had has been memorable in one way or another, and in a good way. I admire their courage to take on the work and the risk of learning a challenging language and culture. Their desire for better relations with a very different society with whom we must find a way to get along is indispensable. 

What advice would you give students so that they can not only survive but also thrive in the first semester?

Roda Mushkat 马儒达, Resident Professor of International Law

Manage your resources (including time) effectively, do not settle for "second best" just because you have a crowded agenda, choose courses that genuinely interest you and with a view to maximizing synergies, do not hesitate to seek support (including from your professors) when necessary, do not hesitate to collaborate with your classmates where appropriate, and do not hesitate to exercise your legitimate voice through the available channels if not content with any aspects of the institutional environment. 

Adam Webb 魏亚当Co-Director and Professor of Political Science:
Don't just read or listen passively. Try to figure out what is most significant in what you are seeing and hearing.  What are the underlying approaches to the world? Where does this idea or that phenomenon fit on a broader landscape?  On a practical level, while the challenges of our different time zones right now are unavoidable, in general getting enough sleep is important. Studies have shown that people who sleep less don't necessarily end up getting any more done; they just function more slowly during the day.
Yang Liu 杨柳, Associate Professor, School of Liberal Arts, Nanjing University:

It is best for you to have an independent personality. In the process of adapting to a new environment, you may go through certain painful or frustrating stages in your life and study, but if you have an independent, strong, mature personality, I think you may maintain your thinking and judgment, be able to evaluate your state more rationally and objectively, and then make the best development strategy and put it into action. In this way, you can independently solve most of the problems you may encounter in any language environment.