International Summer Immersion Program completes seventh year

Twelve students from China’s Zhejiang University successfully completed the 2016 International Summer Immersion Program (ISIP) on August 12.  

The six-week ISIP program coordinated by the ACES Office of International Programs included a research apprenticeship with an ACES faculty member as well as a series of educational seminars and cultural field trips. The program culminated with a poster session, where the students had the opportunity to showcase a research project, and a celebratory luncheon and certificate presentation.

The students, many of whom hope to return to the University of Illinois for graduate study, left with new skills, fond memories, and strong friendships.

Fangying Qui, a participant, said, “The ISIP program will benefit my future educational and career prospects. I worked with Prof. Margarita Teran-Garcia to study childhood obesity and the difference in recommended dietary guidelines in China compared to America. I improved my communication and professional skills.”

Yuefan Wu, who worked with Dr. Yilan Xu, said, “The program not only taught me how to think critically but also educated me how about research can make changes possible.” 

In addition to the research work, the students enjoyed an active social program that included cultural activities in Springfield, Chicago, St. Louis, and on campus.

In the past seven years, more than 130 students have graduated from this unique program. Its quality and value have been repeatedly recognized by faculty and students at our key partner universities. At Zhejiang University, the program has repeatedly received the “Best Summer Group Program” award.  

OIP is thankful for our ACES faculty mentors and their graduate students without whom this program would not be possible:

Crop Sciences: Dr. Matthew Hudson, Dr. Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, and Dr. Alexander Lipka

Agricultural & Consumer Economics: Dr. Yilan Xu

Agricultural & Biological Engineering: Dr. Xinlei Wang and Dr. Luis Rodriguez

Animal Sciences: Dr. Megan Dailey

Food Science and Human Nutrition: Dr. Hannah Holscher, Dr. Margarita Teran-Garcia, Dr. Hao Feng, Dr. Keith Cadwallader, Dr. Yong-Su Jin

The College of ACES’ longstanding relationship with Zhejiang University dates back to 2002 when an ACES delegation first visited the University. Currently ACES have several ongoing collaborations with Zhejiang, and this program continues to facilitate strategic partnerships with this university and other universities. Past programs have included students from South Korea’s Chungnam National University, and next year’s program may expand to include students from Mexico and Ghana.

For more information about the ISIP, visit:  http://intlprograms.aces.illinois.edu/content/international-summer-immersion-program.

Article submitted by Leslie Myrick, 217-244-5373

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