International Alumni & Friends
Chinese alumni help Ball State recruit students

Ball State alumni Charlene Zhang (L) and her husband
Ball State alumni Charlene Zhang (L) and her husband Dr. Grandy Xia (R) are pictured with International Programs director Marty Bennett (C) on the Bund in Shanghai.

International services director Marty Bennett travels the world to recruit top students to come to Ball State University.  His efforts are reflected in the substantial growth in international student enrollment, exceeding 500 students, in fall, 2006.  As part of a two week trip to China in June 2006, Bennett visited Nanjing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Deyang (Muncie's sister city) and Beijing for a combination of interviews with incoming 1+2+1 dual-degree undergraduate students, visits to partner institutions in those cities, and meetings with the Education Bureau of Deyang Municipality to discuss new initiatives between BSU/Burris and institutions in Deyang. 

In Shanghai, Bennett also had the opportunity to meet a married couple who earned masters degrees from Ball State, Charlene Zhang and Grandy Xia.  Both came to Ball State in the mid-80s from Wuhan Institute of Physical Education, one of Ball State's first university partners in China.  Dr. Sung-Jae Park was their mentor during their stay, and both Charlene and Grandy consider him their surrogate father.

Charlene is president of a medical equipment company, Amsino Medical Group, founded by another Ball State alumnus, Ya Li (MA 1987).  Grandy  is involved in several different ventures including the American Education Foundation in Shanghai.  He has already referred two students to Ball State who will hopefully be joining Ball State this coming year, and is working with the Rinker Center for International Programs to arrange for special short-term training programs for different groups from China here at Ball State.

According to Bennett, "Grandy and Charlene have such fond memories of their time at Ball State, in particular Dr. Sung-Jae Park.  Both are very willing to assist the Rinker Center in providing opportunities for more students from China to experience even a portion of the quality experiences they enjoyed here in the mid-80s."