On Friday, April 29th, the Chinese Language Program hosted their annual students’ final project award ceremony where students from the Chinese language classes and their Chinese teachers got together to celebrate another fruitful year of Chinese language learning.
The ceremony started with a talk given by Dr. Bryan Van Norden entitled “What is Happiness? Chinese and Western Conceptions” in which Dr. Norden discussed several leading Chinese and Western views of what sort of life we should aim at. Dr. Bryan Van Norden is James Monroe Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Vassar College, and Chair Professor in Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (China). He is Penn‘s 1985 alumnus and studied Mandarin of all levels and Classical Chinese at Penn between 1981-1985. Dr. Norden also shared his Chinese learning experience in the EALC department at Penn and offered valuable advice and encouragement for the current Chinese language learners.
Following after the talk was students’ final project award announcement and first-prize video projects showcase. Forty-eight students ranging from heritage track, lower and higher proficiency levels won the awards and all of the audience got to watch the first-prize winning videos during the ceremony. This year’s award ceremony also featured a mental health special reward sponsored by the Matthew Wang Foundation which aims to promote students’ mental health awareness. “By making the final project video and watching other students’ videos,” as one student commented, “really gave me a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge about the Chinese culture.”