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September newsletter: New school year begins, GBJ grads teach in US, and a visiting scholar arrives

Updated: Oct 8, 2023


GLOBAL BUSINESS JOURNALISM NEWSLETTER

September 2023


GBJ = Global stature + Business expertise + Journalism excellence. (TSJC photo)


1. ONE BIG THING: A FAST START TO THE 2023-2024 ACADEMIC YEAR


We're back! For the first time since 2019, every Global Business Journalism program student and professor was able to attend orientation on campus.

  • First-year student Tudor Finneran of England was chosen to speak for the international students of the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication at the Sept. 16 opening ceremony.

  • Fall semester classes began two days later with a full complement of international students and faculty.

  • Cooperation between Global Business Journalism and Schwarzman College reached a new high. GBJ students enrolled in several Schwarzman courses, and a group Schwarzman Scholars joined Professor Rick Dunham's Multimedia Reporting course.

  • Wang Feng, the editor-in-chief of the Financial Times Chinese-language edition, has joined GBJ as a visiting professor teaching English News Writing.

  • The incoming Class of 2023 has nine international students – the smallest cohort in more than a decade. Three of the students are American citizens. Others hail from Canada, Great Britain, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan. The class size reflects a decline in the number of international university students choosing to pursue higher education in China.

 
For Stephanie and Alicia, the long COVID exile is over

2. MIND THE GAP (YEAR)


Global Business Journalism program students Alicia Zeng of the United States and Stephanie Fallas of Costa Rica wanted to experience China and study on the Tsinghua campus before they graduated. The COVID pandemic forced them to begin the program in 2021 remotely from Lincoln, Nebraska, and San José, Costa Rica. When they realized they would not be able to obtain visas to travel to Beijing for their final year of master's studies, they decided to take a gap year in hopes of returning to campus in the fall of 2023.

  • Stephanie went to work in the financial sector in Costa Rica.

  • Alicia was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Information Systems at City University of Hong Kong.

  • Finally, their mainland visas came through and they arrived on the Tsinghua campus in September. They're both hard at work on their master's theses.

Alicia explains: "I decided to take the gap year because I wanted to experience the entirety of being a Tsinghua student, including being on campus. The wait was definitely worth it, and I finally feel like I’m a part of the 'team'!”

 

3. FROM TSINGHUA TO UNIVERSITY PROFESSORSHIPS IN THE U.S.


Congratulations to Yingdan (Rita) Lu, a 2015 graduate of the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication, for starting a job as an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies in the School of Communication at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

  • Rita (pictured above left) received her Ph.D. in Communication at Stanford University in 2023.

  • Her research specialties are digital technology, political communication, and information manipulation in authoritarian and democratic contexts.

  • Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Rita is the second Tsinghua grad to score coveted university teaching posts in the United States. She joins Weiyue (Cynthia) Chen, a 2016 master's graduate from TSJC who is teaching Media Entrepreneurship and Audience Research/Analytics at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Cynthia (pictured above right) completed her Ph.D. in Information and Media at Michigan State University in 2021.

  • Her research specialties are news consumption (including paying for news), management issues within media organizations, and media consumers' behavior.

  • Cynthia specialized in Global Business Journalism and Media Economics and Management at Tsinghua and won the "Outstanding Thesis" award in her graduating class.

  • Connect with her on LinkedIn.

 
Michelle Ng

4. A REPORTER FROM SINGAPORE JOINS THE GLOBAL BUSINESS JOURNALISM PROGRAM AS A VISITING SCHOLAR


There's an added voice in many of Global Business Journalism's courses this fall. Michelle Ng, a business reporter from The Straits Times, Singapore's top newspaper, has joined GBJ as a visiting scholar this fall. In addition to learning from Tsinghua professors, Michelle will share her journalism expertise and experience with GBJ students.


A capsule bio:

  • Michelle has carved out a specialty in real estate issues. She has written compelling and understandable stories about Singapore's real estate industry, urban planning, land use and property financing.

  • She started her journalism career at Time Out Singapore, specializing in topics including shopping, style, health and beauty, and travel.

  • She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of New South Wales in 2015.

Her journalism philosophy: "I take complicated and hard topics presented by policymakers, businesses and thought leaders and break them down for the everyday person to tell them why it matters and how it affects them."

 
Corazon Scheppy

5. WHY GBJ? CORAZON SCHEPPY EXPLAINS HER DECISION TO ENROLL IN THE GLOBAL BUSINESS JOURNALISM PROGRAM.


Corazon Scheppy is a first-year Global Business Journalism student from the United States. Her hobbies include learning new languages, reading, violin and horseback riding.


Born in Guangdong province in southern China, she moved to the United States after completing primary school. She earned her bachelor's degree from Tsinghua, majoring in Chinese Language and Literature. During her undergraduate years, she said, she became interested "in the dynamic world of business and its influence on our daily lives."


Corazon explains why she chose Global Business Journalism:

"The GBJ program’s reputation for excellence in training future business journalists caught my attention early on. The GBJ program is a perfect combination of my passions and skills. Its fusion of business insights with journalistic prowess is unparalleled, which offers a unique avenue to meld my language proficiency with a deep-seated curiosity about global markets. I think that in today’s interconnected world, the ability to translate intricate financial information into accessible, engaging stories is an invaluable skill."
 

6. GBJ NEWCOMERS SHARE THEIR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF TSINGHUA


Each month, we highlight journalism work created by Global Business Journalism students. This month, we share a multimedia post by first-year student Vicki Chalermlapvoraboon of Thailand. Vicki asked her classmates to describe their first impressions of Tsinghua University and its campus. Here are a few answers:

  • Shirley Chen, Canada: “There are so many green trees, people are very welcoming and it feels like a community here."

  • Corazon Scheppy, United States: “Huge campus, friendly people… horrible traffic. Also, very nice food.”

  • Tudor Finneran, England: “Every plant requires certain soil to grow and Tsinghua, to put it plainly, has great soil. It’s the best place in the world to meet interesting, intelligent but actually quite fun (yet grounded) people."

 

7. WHAT DO GBJ STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT CHINA?


A month into their GBJ journey, we asked our newest students what they liked about China. Here are some of their responses:

  • Tudor Finneran, England: "The people."

  • Irene Tumbel, Indonesia: "Food!"

  • Evender Hsu, Malaysia: “Opportunities. "You can always find a community for your interest: a sports club, the entrepreneurship club or even the Mahjong Club.”

  • Michelle Ng, Singapore: “My new GBJ friends!”

 
Women rule! The 2023 GBJ graduating class.

8. BY THE NUMBERS: WOMEN DOMINATE


GBJ GRADUATES BY GENDER (since 2017)

  • Women 72%

  • Men 28%

GBJ ACADEMIC HONORS BY GENDER

  • Women 89%

  • Men 11%

 

Share your GBJ stories with us. We'll include as many as possible in future newsletters. Contact us at GBJprogram@gmail.com or tsjcws@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn.


That's it for the September GBJ newsletter. We'll be back next month with more news, notes and fun items from our global GBJ community.


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