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MSU Alumni Reunion in Hong Kong and Beijing

Published: Thursday, 01 Jun 2017
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

More than a hundred MSU alumni attended the MSU reunions and events named Engage in Hong Kong on May 19-21. Alumni from Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and U.S. participated in a range of events over the weekend including sustainability seminars, panel discussions, beach clearing, networking reception and gala dinner. Starting this year, the MSU's reunions integrated a thematic element involving solving today's grand challenges across the world, whether it is about education and youth empowerment, health and nutrition, or food, water, energy and environment. This year, the reunion is around sustainability. A series of seminars delivered by MSU faculty, students and alumni demonstrated MSU's commitment to sustainability.

MSU Spartans make a difference! Participants cleaned beach as a part of International Reunion Events.

Microbiology researcher Cheryl Kerfeld shared her understanding and passion of the global sustainability energy research through a video Geographer Dr. Jiaguo Qi talked about his work in many developing countries and marginalized communities to develop solutions to address the local needs on water and food, and to deal with harsh climate extremes such as droughts and floods. MSU graduate Dr. Patricia Werner who received her PhD in Botany and Plant Pathology came all the way from Australia to join the reunion, and she talked about her journey to MSU and her personal and professional efforts in conservation. Another MSU Fisheries and Wildlife graduate Petrus Gunarso from Indonesia has committed his life to protecting the forest of Indonesia, and he shared his story of creating sustainable forests. The highlight of the seminars was probably the story of an outstanding MSU student Thiramet Sotthiyapai who is known as Dream among his friends. Thiramet is from Thailand and is a Biosystems Engineering major student. He spends much of his time in a greenhouse, and loves to learn from the nature around us. He is very passionate about the MSU Residential Initiative of Study of the Environment (RISE), an interdisciplinary living-learning program focused on sustainability and environmental stewardship. He and other students get their feet wet and their hands dirty while applying their knowledge to address real problems and projects on campus, in the community, and globally.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon (at center front) posed with MSU international alumni in Hong Kong 2017.

President Lou Anna Simon spoke at the reunion gala dinner. She encouraged MSU international alumni around the world to continue MSU's land grand tradition and work together to address today's world grand challenges. In answering alumni's questions, President Simon emphasized that MSU's value of working for the common good and making positive impact to people's life around the world remains to be our core principle regardless of how today's politics and policies may change.

MSU President Simon with Steven Wong, President of Hong Kong Alumni Club

Following the Hong Kong reunion, VIPP in partnership with MSU Alumni Relations and Development and the China Program hosted a reception in Beijing on May 22. More than 70 VIPP alumni, MSU partners and degreed alumni attended the event.

"Once a Spartan, forever a Spartan" MSU and VIPP alumni attended the MSU Reception in Beijing.

VIPP alum Professor Yehu Zhai from Beijing Capital University of Economics and Business spoke at the reception on behalf of VIPP Beijing alumni. Known as Tiger among VIPP participants during his time at MSU, Professor Zhai remembered his time at MSU in 2015-16. He paid tribute to VIPP faculty and staff, especially Dr. Xiaoqing Chen, Ms. Xuefei Hao and Ms. Qing Xia for their dedication that made participants experience in MSU a rewarding and positive one. Tiger ended his speech with a MSU familiar slogan: "Once a Spartan, forever a Spartan", which received a round of applause.  

It was great to meet many alumni hearing their stories and achievements. One particular young alum Ms. Yuting Zhao is a familiar face in the VIPP family. Yuting was a Master graduate from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. She worked in VIPP for more than a year as a communication assistant until returning to Beijing in June 2016. "The year in VIPP was an invaluable training. I developed a true understanding of real professionalism through working with participants and MSU colleagues." Yuting is working in IBM Beijing currently. We look forward to her exciting career and personal development stories.     

VIPP director Dr. Xinyu Wu (left) with Ms. Yuting Zhao, a former VIPP communications intern.

During this trip to Beijing, ISP Dean Steve Hanson visited VIPP long-term partners including Beijing Capital University of Economics and Business and China Scholarship Council Dongfang International Exchange. More than 80 scholars from these two partners attended VIPP since 2010. The meetings between the senior leaderships will encourage further collaboration with VIPP on both long-term programs and executive workshops.

ISP Dean Hanson and Ms. Fang Xu, Vice Chairperson of CUEB Council signed a MOU in Beijing, China   

VIPP is excited to partake in the MSU international alumni unions in Hong Kong and Beijing. We are proud of MSU and VIPP alumni playing key roles everywhere in the world. It's always good to say and hear Go Green!  

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