Meet the Spring 2022 HNC Banwei!

Meet the Spring 2022 HNC Banwei!

Grace Faerber (MAIS '22) checked in with the newly-elected representatives of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center student committee, also known as the "banwei" (班委). These four students were chosen by their peers during an election at the start of the semester. The banwei is typically comprised of two students (one male and one female) representing the international student body, and two representing the Chinese student body. 

The banwei is an HNC tradition, serving as a valuable liaison between students and the administration. In addition to helping facilitate communication, banwei also take a leadership role in planning and organizing social events, extracurricular activities, and student engagement at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Let’s meet our new class of leaders:


Yang Jialin (杨佳霖)Candidate for Master of International Relations/International Politics (MA’22) at the HNC. He received a BA in English at Beijing Foreign Studies University before attending the HNC. His long-term ambition is to pursue a Ph.D. and position in international affairs. His areas of interest include cyberspace security, the psychology of the foreign policy-making mechanism (especially the making of containment strategy), and the study of China’s traditional diplomatic strategies. In his spare time he enjoys stand-up comedy and poetry. His favorite comedians include Bill Burr, Judah Friedlander, Bo Burnham, and Dylan Moran. Writers who have influenced him include Vonnegut, Bradbury, Andreyev, Amichai, Cernuda, Kim Ae-ran(金爱烂), and of course, Karl Marx and Lu Xun.


Hailey McGleam (刘霖): is a first year MAIS student focusing on Energy, Resources, and the Environment; specifically, policy pertaining to sustainable development and international cooperation. During her undergraduate studies at New College of Florida, she pursued an interdisciplinary and research-heavy curriculum, studying Chinese language and culture, environmental science and policy, and urban planning. Throughout her education, she tries to humanize the real experiences of people navigating the consequences of climate change despite the jargon that oftentimes makes creating positive change such a challenge. 


Chai Kunyu (柴坤宇): is a first-year student pursuing a Master of Law with a concentration in International Politics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Before starting at the HNC, she studied Russian Literature and International Politics at Nanjing University, even studying abroad in Moscow. 

Nathan Rose (任宏斌): Is an HNC MAIS ’23 student with a concentration in Energy, Environment and Natural Resources. Before attending the HNC he received a Bachelor’s in International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College. 


What motivated you to join banwei?  

Yang Jialin (杨佳霖): John Leighton Stuart once came up with a motto: Freedom through Truth for Service. I think the phrase “for Service” is very impressive. In a spring semester when we are moving forward respectively, especially in the graduation season for second year students, I would like to take on the role of linking the community.


Hailey McGleam (刘霖): Banwei connects students to staff and alumni, trying to make it the best experience possible. It sounds ambitious and optimistic, but I think the connections we make with people are the most valuable experience of our education. So, in the end, grades, awards, or acknowledgements don't matter to me as long as I am in the position to truly learn about students’ circumstances and help make their life a bit easier.

Chai Kunyu (柴坤宇): I've got some ideas for the activities we could hold this semester, so I really want to share them with classmates and realize them together. For me summertime really means something, so I want to make this semester in HNC memorable and interesting. I think joining banwei will provide me with more convenience to do such things. And I hope everyone in HNC can enjoy this semester and have great memories from it.


Nathan Rose (任宏斌): Paradoxically, I think the difficulties of last semester motivated me to join the banwei this semester. Last semester was challenging, but with these challenges came a lot of learning. Having observed what worked well and what didn’t last semester, I am coming into this semester with a lot of ideas and I'm excited to put them into action. Being a banwei means I’m in a position to start implementing some of these ideas.


What do you hope to accomplish? Given the exceptional virtual circumstances of this semester, how do you plan to use the banwei to encourage connections?

Yang Jialin (杨佳霖)We have the pressure of dissertations, communication, etc. and that’s why I felt an urgent need for setting the scene for trips and activities. Bonding activities with a picnic and several private parties have been held so far. I also hope to organize a table tennis tournament, a fellowship between Nanjing University and SAIS headquarters, a hiking event, a visit to the old city walls, and an online reading group (possibly with a movie viewing activity). Chai Kunyu, another banwei, expressed the hope that we could plan a play together, and I would be happy to help her with it.


Hailey McGleam (刘霖): Through banwei, I hope to be a helping hand for students in navigating the complex life of a graduate student during a global pandemic, where not one student quite has the same situation as another. I was in China when the pandemic started, I finished my undergrad degree and thesis on Zoom, and here I am with grad school still virtual. But that's just the way the world is right now, so as frustrating as it is, we have to make the best of it, and that's why this position is so important to me. In a world scarred by the pandemic, we need clarity, cooperation, and communication more than ever. I'm focusing first on listening to students, assisting students that are relocating to Asia, setting up a possible ERE trek in Taipei, connecting HNC students to those in D.C., and working with the other banwei in building a network over the summer with the incoming cohort. All of these are meant to enhance the overall student experience despite pandemic limitations.

Chai Kunyu (柴坤宇): Besides our traditional activities (like spring trip, summer barbecue, ping-pong games, etc.), the thing I want to do most is to hold an HNC theatre festival. When I was an undergraduate student, I would lead my classmates to rehearse a play basically every semester. And I want to continue this tradition. What’s more, I also want to make some innovations, such as combining prom and theatre. I believe that this can effectively enhance the friendship between our classmates and bring more fresh experiences. Last semester, the banwei held the language partner activity. That’s a great idea to encourage connections between Chinese and international students, and I hope to further advance this activity on this basis. We can organize some online games, online discussion and other activities for students to exchange their viewpoints, so they can get to know each other better.


Nathan Rose (任宏斌): If I were to summarize my goals as banwei this semester, it would be to turn the challenges of virtual into new opportunities. We as a cohort, and as a generation, are more familiar with virtual spaces than any previous cohorts. The truth is that we have been interacting in virtual spaces long before the pandemic. This suggests to me not that virtual is bad, but that we are doing virtual wrong. More specifically, we aren’t being creative enough with virtual. As banwei this semester, I want to tap into existing student virtual experiences to build a more varied and rich virtual experience. To articulate my vision in a more dramatic way, I want to use this virtual semester as an opportunity to establish an HNC metaverse, which, if successful, may even expand into a Johns Hopkins SAIS wide (virtual) student community which could last long after the pandemic is over. 

I hope to accomplish a lot this semester, but for simplicity’s sake I have two main goals. My first priority this semester is to create more rich (as in 丰富) virtual spaces. Many students are very understandably burnt out on virtual classes. For better or for worse though, virtual is our reality this semester, and so our priority is to make these virtual spaces better. I ran for banwei on the platform of making new virtual spaces, so this is something I want to focus on. A second goal is to work with students wherever they are. Like last semester, our student body is spread out all over the world. Unlike last semester, I believe students have naturally conglomerated in certain areas. By identifying where these student groupings are and working with students in these “nodes” we should be able to create an improved student experience for everyone.