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Chinese students savor summer in Nebraska

Chinese students visit UNL

On a postcard, their experiences would read like the quintessential Nebraska summer: visiting the state capitol and tourist attractions including the I-80 Arch and Pioneer Village. For Chinese students on a five-week undergraduate research visit at UNL, there was much to write home about.

The group from Zhejiang University worked with UNL faculty by day and also enjoyed evening and weekend cookouts and movies around Lincoln.

From the 25 Zhejiang juniors, all with GPAs of 3.6 or above, who applied for this opportunity, 16 were selected, said David Lou, director of UNL’s Confucius Institute that helped facilitate the visit.

Zhejiang, located southwest of Shanghai, is one of the top three universities in China and is well-known for its science and engineering programs, said Lou who is also a professor of mechanical engineering.

The participating students all had prior lab research experience, and Lou’s office ensured that each student was matched with a UNL faculty member who shared that student’s research interest. Faculty mentors included Jerry Hudgins, Wei Qiao, Sina Balkir and Mustafa “Cenk” Gursoy with Electrical Engineering; Jeff Shield, Brian Robertson and Carl Nelson with Mechanical Engineering; Greg Bashford and Shadi Othman with Biological Systems Engineering; Gustavo Larsen with Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Steve Reichenbach with Computer Science and Engineering; and Tim Arkebauer with Agronomy & Horticulture.

“I’d like to thank David Allen, dean of the College of Engineering, for contributing $1,000 for each of the 10 engineering students” to aid the program’s success, Lou said. The college’s associate dean Ray Moore and recruitment coordinator Rena Becker “also dedicated their time to ensure an excellent experience for the visiting students.”

“We do this because we want these exceptional undergraduates to come to UNL for graduate studies,” Lou said.

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