UND culture center in Shanghai awarded U.S. State Department Grant

The University of North Dakota has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the U.S. State Department for an American Culture Center in Shanghai.

The award was announced today by Kathleen Tiemann, dean of the UND College of Arts and Sciences, who is also project director for the grant.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity to extend the many positive relationships that have already been established between Shanghai and Grand Forks,” Tiemann said. “We have a great deal to learn from each other in the days to come.”

The Center, which is housed on the campus of the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, will present a wide array of scholarly and cultural programs. The grant is one of 10 that has been awarded by the American Embassy in Beijing to pairs of Chinese and American universities throughout the United States and China.

UND and the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST) have had a relationship for more than 10 years that has promoted both student and faculty exchange.  

President Robert Kelley visited Shanghai last November to sign an agreement extending the relationship for another 10 years.  When USST decided two years ago to renovate seven of its original buildings to build an “International Cultural Park,” Chinese administrators consulted Victoria Beard, UND’s Associate Provost and head of the U.S.-China collaboration, for advice on the American Center.  Beard recommended a center director, Jennifer Tarlin, who was then executive director of the Grand Forks Symphony. Tarlin had also served as an adjunct professor in the College of Business and had been visiting Shanghai since 2002 as a member of the UND-China team.  She left Grand Forks to become the American Culture Center’s first director last October.

The State Department hopes that the network of American Centers and program partnerships funded through the 10 grants will promote greater understanding of the United States among the Chinese public and student community by providing access to a broad variety of American scholars, artists, writers and performers.  Public programs will introduce Chinese to the American experience and enhance the cultural and academic outreach of the U.S. Mission in China.

The Center is intended to be a permanent resource for USST and the surrounding community, a meeting ground for the exchange of ideas and information and a means of facilitating greater understanding and communication between Chinese and American students and faculty.

Further information:

Kathleen A. Tiemann, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, 701-777-2749 kathleen.tiemann@as.und.edu

Victoria Beard, Professor, UND College of Business and Public Administration and Director, UND China Program, victoria.beard@email.und.edu

Jennifer Tarlin, Director, American Culture Center, jennifer.tarlin@usst.edu.cn 147-8257-5964 (China), 701-740-2902 (US), 646-578-8752 (US to China)

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