Pitt’s Confucius Institute Named Confucius Institute of the Year

Issue Date: 
December 9, 2013

The University of Pittsburgh’s Confucius Institute has been honored as a 2013 Confucius Institute of the Year, an award given annually to only a select few institutes among the 429 worldwide.

This is the third time in six years that Pitt’s Confucius Institute has received the honor for excellence in teaching the Mandarin language and Chinese culture to kindergarten through college students across Pennsylvania and in parts of Ohio. The award, given by the Chinese Language Council International, was presented Dec. 7 during the 8th World Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing.

“This award distinguishes the Confucius Institute at Pitt from its 90 peer institutes across the United States,” said Lawrence Feick, senior director of international programs at Pitt. “It is also a testament to the leadership and hard work of director Michele Heryford and her team of Chinese teachers and coordinators who have made a significant impact on Pitt’s international outreach endeavors to schools and communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio for the past six years.”

The University’s Confucius Institute is part of Pitt’s University Center for International Studies. Established in 2007, Pitt’s Confucius Institute was one of 20 original institutes created as part of the global Confucius Institute program. There are now 429 Confucius Institutes in operation around the world promoting Chinese language and culture.

As part of its mission to promote Chinese language education, Pitt’s Confucius Institute oversees seven Confucius Classrooms located at Winchester Thurston School in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh; Upper St. Clair School District south of Pittsburgh; A. W. Beattie Career Center in Allison Park, Pa.; St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.; Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.; John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio; and the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa. Through in-person teaching at these sites and by using distance-learning technology to provide remote instruction to 68 partnering schools in the region, the Confucius Classrooms reach 3,878 students in kindergarten through college in 15 counties in Pennsylvania and Ohio.