Brother Robert Smith, FSC, Ph.D., chief academic officer and vice president of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, and Tracy Lehnertz, associate dean for International Programs, recently visited Xi’an Polytechnic University (XPU) in Xi’an, China, one of Saint Mary’s partner universities. The visit included meetings with XPU International Relations staff and the XPU president about how to deepen and enhance the relationship; participation in a two-day student recruitment fair; and attendance at XPU’s 40th anniversary celebration. Suzanne Deranek, director of College admission, also made the trip for the XPU recruitment fair. Chao Hong, a current Saint Mary’s Ed.D. student and international recruiting assistant who lives in Xi’an, China, accompanied them throughout the trip to help with translation.
The Saint Mary’s visitors engaged with staff and faculty from XPU to further the partnership and draw on commonalities between the two universities, such as the importance of character education — developing the whole person in light of morality and virtue. The Saint Mary’s Winona Campus has hosted visiting faculty members from XPU the past two years. Dr. Fan Yang, faculty member in the XPU School of Management, is the current visiting scholar collaborating in the Saint Mary’s Business Department. Saint Mary’s has also enrolled students from XPU over the past eight years. Saint Mary’s and XPU have agreed to continue their partnership in hopes of creating more opportunities for students and faculty exchanges in the future.