American Cultural Center Grant Program in China
Between 2012 and 2022, Dr. Shao secured $440k from the U.S. State department in 6 grants for the American Cultural Center (ACC) programs. The aim of the ACC grants was to promote American culture and academics, as well as to facilitate cultural exchanges between China and the United States. The ACC activities provided opportunities for young students, faculty, and staff members, both in China and America, to interact and learn about each other’s culture firsthand. Under the ACC’s auspices, Appalachian State University sent 21 faculty members from 10 departments and 7 librarians to China to share their expertise on American culture and on several topics, such as American history, arts, music, sustainable development, business practices, and academic writing and publishing. Approximately 20 faculty members were involved in teaching and hosting Chinese faculty visitors on campus as well as creating instructional materials for teachers and students in China. Overall, 140 students from App State participated in ACC-related programs, and over 9,000 students, faculty and staff members from six universities in China attended ACC project activities. ACC grants have also enabled 15 faculty members from Northeastern University to visit App State for their professional development and cultural experience.
The ACC has an office and a reading room that houses approximately 8,260 books in English, 3,500 books in Chinese, 68 magazines and journals in Chinese, 90 magazines and journals in English, and 1,400 films and music CDs. In addition to the general materials on American studies and classic literature, the Center’s collection has been growing with purchases and donations in sustainable development, environmental issues, and academic writing.
Since its inception in 2012, the ACC has successfully implemented 23 major programs and more than 65 activities in collaboration with Appalachian, Ping Pong Productions, Fulbright Scholars as well as the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang, other ACCs and universities in both China and the U.S. These activities include public speaking, film showings, American culture lectures, student leader programs, faculty development and exchanges, academic writing programs, English speech and American culture knowledge contests, arts and music performances, and Fulbright lectures. ACC also promotes student activities including a student club devoted to having an environmentally green campus, cooperating on international video conferencing courses, and student exchanges.