The 2018 University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI) Opening Ceremony was held at the Jingjing Hall of SJTU Minhang campus on September 9.
In his opening remarks, Dean Peisen Huang welcomed all the new students and their parents. He gave a brief introduction of JI, highlighting JI’s achievements. Over the past 12 years, JI has built a strong and highly international faculty team. Its curricula emphasize both academic and professional skills such as creativity, teamwork, communication, leadership, and real-world problem solving skills. JI has successfully graduated batches of excellent students. Many graduates have been highly recognized in their industries and achieved outstanding results. He advised the new students to start their journey at JI under the guiding principles of I3Q, namely, internationalization, interdisciplinarity, innovation and quality. The students should take full advantage of the opportunities provided by JI and learn and grow to become outstanding and reliable engineers to make the world a better place for all.
Alumnus of 2012 Zongchang Liu delivered a keynote speech. As joint founder and CTO (chief technology officer) of CyberInsight, Zongchang Liu was selected as one of the 30 most influential outstanding young manufacturing engineers by the US-based Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He shared his thoughts about “choice” relating to his personal experience starting from 10 years ago when he started his undergraduate study at JI. Liu encouraged the students to follow their hearts, choose what they are passionate about, work hard and contribute to the development of JI. “When you make your own choices, be flexible and focus, because flexible will help you do right things, and focus will make you do things right,” he said.
Then, Party Secretary Xinwan Li announced the winner lists of the John Wu and Jane Sun Endowed Scholarships for Outstanding Students/Excellent Students, JI Scholarships for New Doctoral Students, China/Shanghai Scholarships for Foreign Students, SJTU Scholarships for Foreign Students and JI Scholarships for Foreign Students.
Speaking on behalf of the current students, Yuefeng Jin, President of JI Student Union, shared her thoughts and experiences of the previous year studying at JI. “JI provides lots of choices and lots of activities. If you ask me to describe JI with one word, I will use diversity. You meet with different people, coming from different places, with different cultures and backgrounds and speaking different accents. Life here is rather challenging, but it is also greatly rewarding.”
Representing the freshmen, Yuchen Xia said JI has long been his desired college choice and he looks forward to a new life here. He quoted Einstein as saying: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one has learned in school. Here, we gain knowledge, we learn skills, but more importantly, we cultivate the ability to explore and to make changes fearlessly. The road is definitely going to be tough, but we must learn not to give up.”
Speaking on behalf of foreign students, Kharitonova Elizabeta from Russia expressed her happiness of coming to JI from Europe. She was attracted by the rich international atmosphere and innovative teaching philosophy of the institute. Although there exists uncertainty, she was passionate about studying here and she expects to move forward fearlessly with gratitude.
Representing the new graduate students, Longfei Yan, a new doctoral student, shared his thoughts about joining JI, “ Embarking on my new journey in JI, I keep asking myself what we can do for JI in the future. As graduate students, we can bring our bright ideas and enterprising spirit to JI. The better we are, the better JI is.” He hoped JIers can learn from each other and join hands to work out innovative research results together.
This year JI welcomed a total of 319 undergraduate students and 56 graduate students. There are 82 international students from 19 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Serbia, India, Korea, Mongolia, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria, Congo and Tunisia. The convocation served as their first class to deepen their understanding of JI and help them quickly adapt to JI life.