The Chinese Flagship: From SF State to China, Taiwan

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Photo of Taiwan President Ma and alum Erica Zamora

More than 1 billion people speak Mandarin Chinese, making it one of the most spoken languages worldwide. As the need for professionals fluent in Chinese continues to rise, the Chinese Flagship Program is helping SF State undergraduates in various majors master the language for long-term success.

Flagship students enjoy unique opportunities to study abroad. Scholarships have aided several recent travels to China and Taiwan.

Sara Valentine, an undergraduate with a triple major in International Relations, Music and Flagship Chinese, won the Boren Scholarship to study in China for her capstone year. Valentine spent her summer in China, having also received the highly competitive Critical Languages Scholarship, supported by the U.S. State Department. She is attending the Chinese Flagship Capstone Program at Nanjing University on the Boren scholarship, which funds up to $20,000 per awardee. Her experience will enable her to earn a superior-level Chinese language proficiency and a skill set she believes will make her a more competitive graduate school applicant as she seeks to pursue a Master’s degree in international relations and Asian studies.

Erica Zamora, a 2012 Flagship alumna, won a fellowship from the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to participate in the 2015 Taiwan Mosaic program. The program emphasizes the economic, security and cultural issues that Taiwan faces. As a Mosaic fellow, Zamora attended lectures and workshops and held audience with Taiwanese scholars, social leaders and high-profile government officials, such as President Ma Ying-jeou, New Taipei City Mayor and KMT Leader Eric Chu, Foreign Minister David Lin and Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih.

Chanel Phengdy, among Flagship’s capstone cohort in 2014 – 2015 cohort, was recently accepted to an internship with TEDx in Shanghai’s Fuxing Park. TEDx is a community-led development based on TED’s overall mission to share “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx enables community conversation by screening TED Talk videos and fusing these videos with a correlating live presentation. Phengdy completed her spring coursework at Nanjing University. She is passionate about learning about Chinese economic development and urbanization and aspires to an international career in U.S.-Asia relations.

Part of SF State’s newly admitted fall Nanjing cohort, Samuel Triplett — a double major in International Business and Chinese — has received the Gilman Scholarship to continue his Chinese language study at Nanjing University. Established in 2000, the Gilman Award provides scholarship funding for U.S. undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or internships abroad. Samuel is interested in studying how companies in China and the United States develop long term business models that are mutually beneficial.

About the Chinese Flagship Program

The Chinese Flagship Program at SF State is one of 26 critical language centers and programs funded by The Language Flagship, a component of the National Security Education Program. Through an innovative partnership among the federal government, education and business, The Language Flagship seeks to graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals.


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