Chinese scholars impressed by SIUE students' 'good study habits'

News-DemocratOctober 30, 2013 

Chinese students visiting Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to learn about the American education system told Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe they were impressed with what they've seen.

The scholars, from Northwest Normal University in China, will be on campus through December. They're working with faculty members in the School of Education.

Huaibo Xin, an SIUE assistant professor of kinesiology and health education in the School of Education, translated during an informal chitchat between students and Furst-Bowe.

The scholars represent a mix of disciplines. They are:

* Weijun Wang, associate dean of the School of Educational Technology;

* Huajun Xiong, higher education;

* Zuhua Dai and Honghong Chen, both in computer science and engineering;

* Kun Li, music;

* Zhihua Wang, analytical chemistry;

* Aiping Guan, business; and

* Lan Wang, social work.

"I think it is important to work on assessment, but that alone is not enough," Wang said of what he has learned from the U.S. education system. "Online course assessment tools need to be integrated in China. The focus needs to be on quantitative and qualitative analysis, and we're examining ways to begin with qualitative analysis and turn that into quantitative."

Xiong noted being impressed by the students "good study habits," and added, "Students here are motivated to work and think about questions deeply."

Dai had what she called a "life" observation.

"The cross walks here are something we don't have" Dai said. "It is critical for people to be reminded to take care of the people who are walking. I was astonished when I saw people stopping at a cross walk for me."

Chen was "fascinated by the students sitting together outside areas to study together after classes. There are so many places to converse and put their thoughts together. It is very impressive to see this before and after class."

***

The Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus, at 2500 Carlyle Ave., will honor all veterans and current military members with a week-long schedule of events Nov. 5-8.

The highlighted events include:

* Veterans Salute and Honoring the Fallen - Students, employees and community members will salute current veteran students and staff, and hold a ceremony to honor Illinois service members that have given their lives in the past year at 12:15 p.m. Nov. 5 at the main complex flag pole.

* Veterans Job Fair to be held from 9 a.m. until noon in the main complex varsity gym. More than 80 companies will attend this job fair. Dress professionally and bring plenty of resumes.

* Through Their Eyes - Take part in a panel discussion with veterans who served in every major conflict from WWII through Afghanistan at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the main complex theatre.

SWIC's Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, at 4950 Maryville Road, will hold a Veterans Services and Benefits Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13.

For more details about these events, visit swic.edu/veterans.

***

Anthony Rhoads, a senior honors student from Litchfield with a 4.0 GPA and a strong commitment to community service, is McKendree University's 2013 Lincoln Laureate.

Rhoads will receive the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion Nov. 2 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Each year the Lincoln Academy of Illinois recognizes an outstanding senior from each of the state's four-year colleges and universities for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Rhoads has taken numerous advanced courses and aced all of them while working toward a bachelor's degree in two majors, mathematics and computational science, and a minor in biology. As a lab assistant, he helps prepare materials for introductory biology courses. Two summer research programs have bolstered his McKendree studies--a mathematical biology project involving HIV, at the University of Tennessee, and an internship in biostatistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He plans to pursue a graduate degree and a career in biostatistics, which applies statistical analysis to various topics in biology.

"I am interested in many branches of the field, including research in public health, the design and analysis of clinical trials in medicine, and statistical genetics, which can be used to identify genes that can cause predispositions to certain diseases," Rhoads said.

McKendree faculty members said they have great expectations for Rhoads.

"Anthony is serious, focused, diligent and clearly dedicated to his education," said Alan Alewine, chairman of the division of science and mathematics at McKendree. "We envision his contributions to the mathematical and biological sciences to be significant."

Rhoads' accomplishments outside the classroom have been equally impressive. He is: the McKendree chapter president of the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity; vice president of the Rotaract leadership and service organization; and a member of the Green Team environmental club, Phi Kappa Phi collegiate honor society, and Sigma Zeta science and mathematics honor society. Since 2010 he has volunteered more than 250 hours, including tutoring children in Lebanon and East St. Louis, visiting local nursing home residents and organizing blood drives.

Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or 618-239-2626.

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