Fulbright Award Winner Professor Ning Guan

Each year, LMU welcomes new students and faculty members who hail from various places all over the world. One of LMU’s newest faces is Ning Guan, a professor from China who received the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Award.

For the next 10 months, Guan has the opportunity be both professor and student at LMU: She will be teaching several Chinese language courses, but will also be taking several classes herself each semester. This is the first time Guan has visited the United States, and she is excited to soak in as much knowledge as she can during her time here.

“This is my first time in America ... everything is new and exciting for me. Every day I ask myself to experience something different,” she said. “During my time at LMU and in the United States, I want to know more about American culture from different aspects: campus life, community service, traveling around, making friends.”

Guan is here as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program, an international program hosted by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Once accepted, young professors from around the world, are given the opportunity to spend time in the United States and to help Americans learn their languages and cultures.

While this is only the second year that LMU has hosted an international professor through the FLTA Program, many LMU students have actually gone abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, according to Chan Lu, a modern languages and literatures assistant professor. Much like the FLTA program, this is an exchange program that gives students the opportunity to conduct research or teach the English language in different countries.

Before coming to LMU, Ning Guan was an English professor at the Harbin University of Science and Technology, located in the Heilongjiang Province in China. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English literature.

Guan was chosen to receive this grant to teach at LMU after fulfilling a number of steps in an application process. Guan applied for the program in June 2014, and in October, she received the news that she had been selected to participate in the program, over a large pool of applicants.

Lu shed light on the process, emphasizing how competitive it actually is. She explained that Guan was chosen to be a candidate after she was interviewed by an IIE panel. Next, host colleges like LMU received various candidates profiles. Lu was then responsible for ranking the profiles on a scale of one to five, while each candidate did the same with different host institutions. Candidates and institutions are then matched up based on the rankings. Lu worked closely with LMU’s Office for Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) and the Dean’s office to ultimately select Guan for the position.

“LMU was my top choice,” said Guan. “After one month’s matching process, [I] finally knew that I was admitted to LMU, and my dream [came] true.”

Lu hopes that this experience will foster strong relationships between Guan and LMU students. She further hopes that Guan will take away long-term and impactful interactions from her time in the United States.

Although she has only been here for a very short period of time, Guan expressed how much she has enjoyed her time at LMU so far. She recalled specific instances when the LMU community made her feel welcome.

“I just want to say everybody here is so nice. Whenever I have difficulties in my life, I reach out to people around me and they are always glad to help,” she said. “The other day, a kind girl walked me all the way to the place I wanted to go, though it [was] in the opposite direction to her destination. Every day I get moved by friendly behaviors like this.”

Guan shared how she plans to take all that she learns at LMU back to China with her. Meanwhile, she hopes to get to know as many people as possible during her stay.

“I love this place. And I want to know more people on campus; if anybody wants to make friends with me, please ask them to write emails to me,” she said.

Anyone interested in getting to know Professor Guan can contact her at ning.guan@lmu.edu.

The Fulbright grant will give Professor Guan the opportunity to share the Chinese language and culture with LMU this academic year.

Amanda Lopez is a junior Marketing major in the M-School and a Journalism minor. She is from Chino Hills, California and has a huge obsession with Pinkberry. She loves puppies, going to concerts and re-watching The Office over and over again.

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