Growing up in Harbin, China, Lin Hong always felt a strong connection to school—the blackboards, the friendships, the dedicated teachers. It was the impact of those early educators that put her on her career path, one that ultimately lead her overseas and then to points across the United States.
After earning degrees in Chinese language and Chinese linguistics in her home country, and then teaching Chinese language to China-based international students for over a decade, Hong landed exchange program positions at both Clemson University and Penn State. But she kept her sights on COCC and Central Oregon, places that she had visited with her family.
In 2015, she leapt at a chance to join the college as it set out to establish a Chinese language program. Hong helped design the curriculum and now teaches courses in subjects like Chinese mandarin and Chinese film. "It's the perfect job for me," says the assistant professor. Student enthusiasm for Chinese studies, she says, has been gratifying. "They have the passion to know the country, to know the culture... I feel I'm really lucky."
Along the way, she has helped expand and promote multicultural programs at the college, and is also working to develop a COCC relationship with the Confucius Institute, a Beijing-based educational nonprofit that would bring more language and cultural offerings to the region.
Though COCC doesn't offer a degree in Chinese studies, the coursework can fulfill some of the requirements for an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree. Additionally, there are Chinese program opportunities available through the college's Community Learning department.