Alumnus Assimilates Chinese Culture On Campus

  • Peng Zhang, an alumnus of MSU turned staff, works to incorporate Chinese culture into the campus life.
  • “I work with Chinese students to create an environment for them to be successful,” said Zhang.
  • He works to show students on campus the Chinese culture and helps the Chinese students feel at home.
  • Zhang also assists the Chinese Students and Scholars Association host the Chinese New Year Banquet.

Traveling across the world is not always an easy task. From language barriers to adapting to the culture, it can be difficult to adjust to the different way of life in a new place. While some international students struggle with adapting, others are dedicated to helping ease the transition. Missouri State alumnus and graduate student Peng Zhang hopes to do just that.

First attending Qing Dao University in China with a major in International Economics, Zhang came to Missouri State University junior year of his undergrad program. He returned to MSU to complete his master’s in Business Administration.

MSU alumnus and faculty Peng Zhang.
Missouri State University alumnus and faculty Peng Zhang.

“I really enjoyed working with people who are here,” said Zhang. “I had a lot of friends here.”

After graduating with his master’s in the fall of 2012, he got the opportunity to work full time in the Office of China Programs as the China Operations Specialist.

“I work with Chinese students to create an environment for them to be successful,” said Zhang.

Not only is Zhang said to be helpful in student life, but in the office as well.

“He is very kind to everyone and has a sense of humor,” said Han Xiao, an assistant graduate student in Zhang’s office. “Everyone loves him.”

Peng's student and assistant Han Xiao
Peng’s student and assistant Han Xiao

Zhang helps run projects like the Chinese New Years Banquet, one of the most important festivals for Chinese students. The festival helps promote the Chinese culture to the community. It is hosted by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

As an adviser for the Chinese students and Scholars Association, Zhang helps the students organize and plan the events. He also handles the budget.

He plays a big part in the Chinese Student Leadership Program helping Chinese students develop leadership skills so that they can get involved on campus.

During the summer, there is a program where students have workshops and training to teach them how to get involved in the community. Once the new year begins, they also aid new Chinese students with things like registration and finding an apartment.

Xiao said he helps with the student leaders with the supervision of Zhang.

“He watches the process and gives us some suggestions to make sure we did it the right way,” said Xiao. “Peng made a really good decision of the organization this group.”

Reporting by Sadie Ferwalt

Videography by Jassie Lee

Editing by Callie Dunaway