Jianhui Zhang, a doctoral student in the College of Education (COE) Department of Educational Foundations (EDEF), won the 2022 Chung-Fong and Grace Ning Graduate Student Prize in Chinese Studies. She was unanimously selected by a faculty committee in the College of Arts, Languages and Letters Center for Chinese Studies for her dissertation research, A Comparative Study of COE Graduate Students’ Moral Education Experiences in China and US.
“My research aims to explore what role graduate education play on students’ moral development in the College of Education, the United States, and China,” Zhang said. “With this study, I hope to increase the global emphasis on Chinese moral philosophy to the educational environment of different countries and to promote more understanding between the United States and China, especially during a time of chaotic trade wars and other conflicts.”
Zhang uses Daoism and Confucianism as literary background and Wang Yangming’s “Pure Knowing” as the theoretical framework in her dissertation research. From Fuyang, Anhui Province, China, she earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MEd from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently in the EDEF Global and International Education track.
“This is the first time a COE student has received this honor, which usually goes to those who study Chinese language, art, history, or philosophy,” said EDEF Professor Di Xu. “Jianhui is a highly motivated and dedicated student with clear scholarly and professional goals. She won this award for her research and solid scholarly publications.”
The Chinese Studies award includes a certificate of recognition and a $500 cash prize. Zhang says she is grateful to Professor Xu for nominating her for this award and hopes to continue conducting research and teaching at the university level after graduation.
“During my internship at UNESCO, I saw how an underdeveloped educational system could negatively impact a country’s economy,” Zhang stated. “The process of moral education in colleges and universities and the moral level of students all need to be strengthened.”