2019 People-to-People Award Honorees

Every year, the Confucius Institute U.S. Center recognizes ten outstanding students from Confucius Institutes across the United States for their inspiring engagement with Chinese language and culture. On September 14, 2019, these ten stellar students will travel to Washington, DC to be honored at our National Honors Gala and receive the People-to-People Award for their dedication to global education and mutual understanding between the U.S. and China. Honorees are selected through the CIUS Center’s annual ‘My Confucius Institute Story’ Essay Contest, and this year’s collection of stories truly represents the value and impact of Confucius Institutes from a variety of perspectives.

Meet the 2019 Honorees

Michael Briggs

Confucius Institute at William & Mary College Michael Briggs is a rising Senior at the College of William and Mary, where he studies Mathematics and Data Science.Michael is active on campus and involved in a variety of clubs on campus. This past year he was the Vice President of the Residence Hall Association, Service Chair for an anti-trafficking club on campus...

Jaivi Chandola

Confucius Institute at The University of Buffalo Jaivi Chandola is a nine-year-old girl finishing third grade at Maple West Elementary School in Williamsville, New York. She is in the middle of her 4th year of studying Mandarin Chinese with the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo. She plans to become proficient in reading, speaking, and writing Mandarin...

Sharon Dang

Confucius Institute at San Diego State University Sharon Dang is a Compass real estate broker who travels between California and New York, with her daughter Ava, who has been studying Chinese for the past seven years.

Carly O'Connell

Confucius Institute at George Washington University Carly is a young professional working in higher education. She began studying Chinese in sixth grade and has made it a major part of her life ever since. Carly attended the College of William & Mary where she double-majored in Chinese and Linguistics...

Frida Niebla

Confucius Institute at San Diego State University Frida Niebla is a Project Manager at a digital marketing agency in San Diego, CA. Before graduating from San Diego State University in 2017, Frida had the unique opportunity to visit China twice. Her first experience in China was possible through SDSU’s Confucius Institute,

Jerrad Solberg

Confucius Institute at St. Cloud State University Jerrad Solberg has cerebral palsy and is currently attending St Cloud State University where he is earning a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity...

Olga Stein

Confucius Institute at Pace University Olga Pang Stein is a global executive coach and a trainer currently based in the United States. Olga has coached team leaders and managers at various levels, including C-level executives, as well as multicultural teams within organizations, such as Lufthansa Technik AG, Deutsche Telekom, UN Agencies, and the World Bank Group...

Arthur Stachowski

Confucius Institute at The University of Buffalo Arthur Stachowski resides in Buffalo, New York with his wife of 42 years, Patricia. He is the father of two daughters: Natalie of San Francisco, California and Alexis of Williamsville, New York. He is also a graduate of the State University College of New York at Buffalo holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Technology...

Kiietti Walker-Parker

Confucius Institute at Alabama A&M University A Georgia (USA) native, Kiietti Walker-Parker has been teaching, instructing, and guiding students for 17+ years at Alabama A&M University. A former engineer and computer scientist, she has a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing...

Dean Zollman

Confucius Institute at Kansas State University Dean Zollman is a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Kansas State University. He also holds the title of Distinguished University Teaching Scholar Emeritus. From 2001 to 2011 he was William and Joan Porter Professor and Head of Physics...