WEBINAR [9/22] – Chinese Students in America: Still Caught in the Crosshairs?

Chinese Students In America: Still Caught in the Crosshairs?

via Zoom Webinar

Thursday, September 22nd
8pm Washington DC | 7pm Chicago | 5pm Los Angeles

As pandemic travel restrictions ease and international students return to American campuses, will Chinese students and scholars still be the largest international presence on campus?  Will Chinese students and scholars still find themselves caught in the crosshairs of tensions between the United States and China? How are American universities navigating continuing concerns about Chinese influence and sensitive research? A group of professors and senior administrators from campuses around the US will help us understand how American universities are ensuring  that Chinese students feel welcome while navigating the politics of their campus China connections.

This webinar is a follow up to the Carter Center’s spring 2022 report on “Finding Firmer Ground: The Role of Higher Education in U.S.-China Relations,” which can be accessed here, and also a precursor to a survey and report on Chinese Students in America that will be done by USCET in 2022-23.


Introductory Remarks

Bob Holden

Governor Bob Holden is the Chairman and CEO of the US Heartland China Association. He served as Missouri’s 53rd Governor, from 2001-2005. Holden previously served two terms as Missouri State Treasurer and three terms as a Missouri State Representative. After leaving public office in 2005, Holden founded the Holden Public Policy Forum. He was also a professor at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, for ten years. And helped bring the first Confucius Institute to Webster University. For over 40 years, Bob Holden has been an active participant in the American Legion Missouri Boys and Girls State Program, and led efforts to bring the first delegations of Chinese students as participants in this historic program.

Opening Speaker

Karin Fischer

Karin Fischer is a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where she covers international education, colleges, and the economy, among other topics. She also publishes a popular weekly newsletter on global education, Latitudes. Her reporting has appeared on NPR and in The New York Times, EdSource, and the Washington Monthly. She is a research associate at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley and an international education leadership fellow at the University at Albany. She is a recipient of the East-West Center’s Jefferson Fellowship for reporting in Asia and the International Reporting Project fellowship. Her work has been honored by the Education Writers Association, the National Press Foundation, and the Poynter Institute.


Yingyi Ma

Yingyi Ma is Professor of Sociology and Director of Asian/Asian American Studies at Syracuse University. Professor Ma is a sociologist of education and migration. In 2019, she was selected as a Public Intellectual Fellow at the National Committee on US-China Relations. Her monograph Ambitious and Anxious: How Chinese College Students Succeed and Struggle in American Higher Education, published in 2020 by Columbia University Press, has won Best Book Award, Higher Education Special Interest Group, Comparative and International Education Association, 2021, and Bourdieu Book Award Honorable Mention, American Sociological Association. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Johns Hopkins University in 2007.

Frank Neville

Frank Neville is Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Neville previously served as Chief of Staff and Vice President for Communications and Marketing at George Mason University, vice chair of Mason Korea, LLC, and in leadership roles at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Prior to his work in higher education, Mr. Neville was a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, serving in Taipei, Chengdu, Guatemala City, and Beijing. In Beijing he helped design and execute U.S. public affairs strategy during the 2001 EP-3 hostage crisis. At the time of his resignation, Mr. Neville was the most decorated Foreign Service Officer under 40 years of age. He also worked in the Secretary of Defense’s Office of Chinese Affairs.

Samantha McCabe

Samantha McCabe leads the office of International Student Services at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she advocates on behalf of the university’s international students, more than half of whom are from mainland China. She works closely with campus administration and Big Ten University colleagues to create policies and practices that support international students in an inclusive and engaging way. Her decade of experience in the field includes work as assistant director for SEVIS Compliance and as an international student advisor. Samantha has traveled widely in Asia and Latin America and lived in Spain, Namibia, and Brazil. Outside of her volunteer duties, she enjoys playing volleyball and exploring different cultures and countries through food and social exchange.

Yong Chen

Yong Chen, professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, serves as Associate Dean in the School of Humanities. He is the author of Chinese San Francisco: A Transnational Community, 1850-1943 and Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America, which received honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards. He co-curated “‘Have You Eaten Yet?’ The Chinese Restaurant in America” in the Atwater Kent Museum, Philadelphia, and the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, NYC. He has been frequently called upon by the print, online, broadcast, and TV media to comment on issues concerning food, Chinese/Asian Americans, and U.S.-China relations. US-China educational exchange is among his current research topics. He served on the National Park System Advisory Board National Historic Landmarks Committee from 2014-2018. 


Madelyn C. Ross

Madelyn Ross is the president of the US-China Education Trust. Ross is the former Associate Director of China Studies, Executive Director of SAIS China, and Washington Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She was Director of China Initiatives and the Global Consortium at George Mason University and spent nine years at the US-China Business Council, as editor of The China Business Review and Executive Director of The China Business Forum. Ross holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University and did graduate work at Fudan University in Shanghai in 1979-1980, where she was one of the first American students to study in China following normalization of relations.

Closing Speaker

Min Fan

Min Fan is the Executive Director of US Heartland China Association. Prior to joining the US Heartland China Association, Min launched US China Now, a not-for-profit endeavor, which partnered with a broad spectrum of organizations to build a bridge of understanding across the cultural divide between US and China. From 2018-2019, Min brought her entrepreneur experience and passion for US and China collaboration to the nonprofit sector as the Executive Director/COO of US China Innovation Alliance (UCIA). Min had a successful career in the corporate world at Hewlett Packard (HP) Global Corporate Services and in the startup world. Min Fan was born in China and studied at Peking University before immigrating to the United States.