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Associate Professor Wan Xiang Yao tapped to lead two UTSA institutes

By Jo Ann Jones | Date: September 02, 2014

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By: Rebecca Luther, Director of Communications/ Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


The UTSA Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs has named Associate Professor Wan Xiang Yao as director of both the East Asia Institute and Confucius Institute. His appointment was effective Sept. 1.


"Dr. Yao has been extremely active in pursuing international initiatives in support of UTSA's Tier One vision," said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "His efforts not only have enhanced university's presence and reputation around the world but have provided numerous learning and research opportunities for UTSA students as well as our faculty."


Yao joined the UTSA faculty in 2000 and served as chair for the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition from 2008 to 2014. He is the former president of the San Antonio Chinese Alliance and plays an active role in fostering Chinese-American relations. He has led several study abroad programs, taking approximately 100 students from both the College of the Education and Human Development and the Honors College to China since 2008. Yao has also assisted in the establishment of formal agreements between UTSA and several prestigious Chinese universities, and he has initiated joint research and teaching projects and scholar and student exchanges in support of those agreements.


"Dr. Yao has a wealth of international experience and will bring a new insight into the way these two institutes promote appreciation and understanding of Chinese and East Asian cultures through education, research, outreach and networking," said René Zenteno, vice provost for international initiatives and senior international officer.


The East Asia Institute promotes appreciation and understanding of East Asian societies and cultures both on campus and in the community through research, outreach, networking, education, student/faculty exchange, and business development and cooperation. The institute organizes seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, film festivals and visual art exhibitions, as well as performances by groups from China, Japan, Korea and other Asian nations. It also encourages faculty research collaborations both within UTSA and with participating East Asian university researchers.


The mission of the Confucius Institute is to promote Chinese language instruction, appreciation of Chinese culture, and understanding of Chinese history and society at UTSA and in San Antonio through Chinese language classes on campus and K-12 cultural programming.


"Positive things are happening for UTSA in the area of globalization, and I am grateful for this opportunity to build upon the established foundations of the East Asia Institute and the Confucius Institute," said Yao. "We will continue our initiatives to provide enriching experiences for students and faculty, while promoting the culture and languages of China and East Asia."


Yao completed his undergraduate and master's programs in exercise science at Beijing Sport University, and he earned his Ph.D. in motor learning and control at Auburn University with additional areas of study in biomechanics and statistics.


An accomplished scholar, he has published numerous research papers including articles in Journal of Motor Behavior, Journal of Neurophysiology, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Journal of Human Movement Studies and Acta Neuropathologica.



Events



The Bilingual Advantage: A Book Talk on New Studies in Bilingualism and the U.S. Labor Market

The Bilingual Advantage: A Book Talk on New Studies in Bilingualism and the U.S. Labor Market

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Time: 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Location: Main Campus

Building: University Center Denman Room, 2.01.28


P-20 Summit: Parent Engagement

P-20 Summit: Parent Engagement

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Time: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. OR 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Location: Downtown Campus

Building:


SAWP: Super Saturday Series Teacher Workshops

SAWP: Super Saturday Series Teacher Workshops

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Location: Downtown Campus

Building: Frio Street Building, 3.530



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