Alumnus makes cultural connections on campus

Traveling across the world is not an easy task. From language barriers to adapting to the culture, it can be difficult to adjust to a different way of life. Some students are dedicated to helping ease the transition for others. Missouri State alumnus Peng Zhang hopes to do just that.

Peng Zhang first came to the Missouri State University campus during his junior year. At that time, Peng was a student at China’s Qingdao University, majoring in international economics. He later returned to MSU to complete his master’s program in business administration.

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

Peng's assistant
Peng’s student assistant Han Xiao

He graduated with his Master of Business Administration in the fall of 2012. After graduation, he jumped at 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,” he said.

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

Peng helps run projects like the Chinese New Year celebration, one of the most important festivals for Chinese students. The events are hosted by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and help promote Chinese culture to the community.

Peng plays a big role in the Chinese Student Leadership Program, which helps Chinese students develop their leadership skills and get involved on campus. During this summer program, students attend workshops and training sessions that teach them how to get involved in the community. Once the new academic year begins, these student leaders help new Chinese students with things like registration and finding apartments.

Han assists with the program and appreciates Peng’s leadership. “He watches the process and gives us some suggestions to make sure we do things the right way,” said Han. “Peng made really good decisions about the organization of this group.”

Story credits

This story was created for JRN 478 (Multimedia Reporting). All content was created by Missouri State students from the departments of communication and media, journalism and film. This story was originally published on The Springfield Report, a multimedia journalism project by Missouri State students.

  • Reporting by Sadie Ferwalt
  • Videography by Jassie Lee
  • Story editing by Callie Dunaway
  • Editor-in-chief: Beaunea McNeil
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