President Rosenberg blogs from China: May 11, 2012

Welcome to President Mark B. Rosenberg’s blog chronicling his visit to China.

Friday, May 11, 2012

If the six commencements on April 30 and May 1 were not enough, we have another one coming up in Tianjin, China, on Sunday, May 13!  A very small delegation from FIU is now in China preparing nearly 250 hospitality candidates for their ceremony this weekend. We have actually kicked off graduation ceremonies with what has now become an FIU tradition in China–a well-attended reception for members of our FIU-China Alumni Association! Held on May 11 in Beijing, our alumni gathering brought together nearly 200 graduates, most of whom are Chinese, from our Colleges of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Business Administration, Arts and Sciences, and, of course, our Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (CSHTM).

Close to 200 people showed up to celebrate the Blue and Gold at the FIU-China Alumni Association reception. Photo courtesy Duane Wiles.

Organized by the Office of Alumni Affairs and the FIU Marriott School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in Tianjin, the dinner featured presentations by Alumni Association Executive Director Duane Wiles, Alumni Association Vice President Kin Gao, FIU faculty member Yunfei Li and CSHTM Dean Michael Hampton, who emphasized the significant opportunities available to our alumni in China. I had the opportunity to speak to our alumni about the importance of building a strong alumni association, the value of their degree and pride in FIU. Consistent with our partnership logic and our commitment to preparing our students to take or create good jobs, I introduced our alums to two guests (David Ngan and Martin Chan) who were there from the Hong Kee Food & Beverages Group to meet and interview potential new company managers from among our graduates.

It was so special to meet Casey Arauz, a 2010 FIU hospitality degree holder who also graduated from Killian High School in Miami. Casey did Study Abroad at the FIU Tianjin Campus and is now learning Mandarin at Nankai University in Tianjin. She hopes to return to Miami soon and will most certainly get a great job with her speaking-knowledge of Mandarin and her obvious comfort in the Chinese marketplace. Born in Miami of Nicaraguan parents, Casey could not have been a better representative for the Worlds Ahead attitude and vitality of our students and graduates. She and our other alums at the event tonight make all our efforts worth it. The energy in the room tonight was priceless–setting us up very nicely for the happy graduation celebration in just a few days!

Note from FIU News: This is President Rosenberg’s third trip to China chronicling the TUC-FIU partnership, the annual China Commencement and our students in the China program. Click here to access the entries from his 2010 and 2011 trips.