Yale-China Association Appoints Teaching Fellows

Six graduates of Yale College have been named Yale-China Association fellows. They will spend two years, fall 1996-spring 1998, teaching English in China and Hong Kong. One fellow is blazing a new trail for the program, serving as the first Yale- China representative at Zhongshan University in the city of Guangzhou, formerly called Canton.

“This year’s Yale-China teaching fellows are a particularly strong group,” says Program Manager Heather McGray. “They bring to the organization an exceptional amount of teaching experience for a group of recent college graduates. We are confident that they will be excellent teachers, and that their initiative, flexibility, and curiosity will serve them well as they adapt to China and Hong Kong.”

Expanding the Yale-China English Language Teaching Program, Katherine Tai Class of ‘96 will teach at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou Canton, located in Guangdong province. This is the first time Yale-China is sending a teacher to that site. Close to Hong Kong, the province is developing rapidly and its university is expanding along with the economy. Ms. Tai will teach English to Economics and Computer Science majors at the university’s Lingnan College, under funding from the Lingnan Foundation of New York City. Ms. Tai, a History major from Bethesda, Maryland, has extensive teaching experience: she designed curriculum and taught writing classes to immigrants at the Washington School for Chinese Language and Culture for three summers. At Yale she was a freshman counselor and seminar coordinator for her college. Ms. Tai is fluent in Mandarin and has traveled extensively in Taiwan and mainland China.

Two of the fellows, Jennifer Weyburn and Kate Schuler, will teach courses in “Writing About Language and Literature” to English majors at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They will also teach elective courses on American culture and history.

Ms. Weyburn Class of ‘94, from Brooklyn, New York, majored in History at Yale. She has extensive teaching experience, working with the Yale Dramat Children’s Theater program while an undergraduate, and teaching environmental education at the Chewonki Foundation during the summers. For the past year she has taught history and served as assistant to the Lower Middle School Head at Saint Ann’s School in New York. At Yale, Jennifer sang with Whim n’ Rhythm, Yale’s senior women’s a cappella group, and is now a member of the Blue Hill Troupe in New York City. She has traveled throughout Europe and Asia.

Ms. Schuler Class of ‘96 is a Humanities major from Silver Spring, Maryland. Throughout her years at Yale, she has been active in journalism, acting as managing editor of both The New Journal, an undergraduate news magazine, and the nationally published The Insider’s Guide to Colleges. During the summer of 1995, Ms. Schuler interned at The New York Times as a writer/editor. She has volunteered with AIDS Project New Haven and worked for a summer with City Year of Boston, a service organization.

At Yali Middle School in Changsha, Hunan, James Berger and Kristen McDonald will teach spoken English to middle school and high school students.

Mr. Berger Class of ‘96, from Beverly Hills, California, is an Ethics, Politics, and Economics major. He comes to the Yale-China program with extensive experience both in teaching and in living abroad. He taught English for a year in Austria and Hungary and has been active in the TIES tutoring program while at Yale. Mr. Berger interned with the ACLU of Southern California and has been involved in student government at Yale. He plans to attend law school after his two years in China.

Ms. McDonald Class of ‘95 of Eugene, Oregon, double majored in Literature and Studies in the Environment. She has been editor of Earth First Journal, crew member in a watershed survey for the National Forest Service, instructor of white water rafting, and certified nurse’s aid. She currently teaches environmental education in California. At Yale, Ms. McDonald led Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips, rowed competitively, and co-founded the Women, Environment, and Development Consortium.

Teaching at Hunan Medical University in Changsha, Hunan province, is Robert Schonberger Class of ‘96, a Philosophy major from Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Schonberger will teach English to physicians, medical students, and medical administrators. After his stint in China, he plans to attend medical school, himself. At Yale, he has been a Freshman Counselor and a leader of Freshman Outdoor Orientation Trips. During his years in New Haven, he has been involved in community service, volunteering with Youth N.H.E.T. and tutoring fifth and sixth graders through the Yale SMaRT program. In addition, he worked for four months on a kibbutz in Israel.

The Yale-China Association, founded in 1901, is a private, non-profit organization based at Yale University. Yale-in-China, as it was called in its early years, concentrated its activities in the fields of medicine and education. Today it promotes mutual understanding between the peoples of China and the United States through a broad range of educational, medical, environmental, and cultural programs in the United States, Hong Kong and China.

In 1906, a hospital and high school were opened in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in south-central China. By 1916, the campus had expanded to include a college, medical school, and nursing school. In 1929 the association helped to establish Huazhong University in Wuhan province in central China. Despite relocation caused by war and revolution, Yale-in-China continued to operate its educational institutions until 1951, when, like other American organizations, it was asked to leave China by the government.

In 1953 the association began its support of New Asia College in Hong Kong, which continues to this day. The college, now affiliated with two other institutions of higher learning, is part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 1980, Yale was invited once again to send teachers to its original site in Changsha.

For further information, contact Heather McGray, program manager of the Yale-China Association at 203 432-0880.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325