Southeast Technical President Jim Johnson speaks at Quzhou College of Technology's Mechanical Engineering Graduation Ceremony via Skype
High technology was highly effective on Thursday evening, June 12, when Southeast Technical President Jim Johnson gave a speech via Skype to the graduating Mechanical Engineering class at Quzhou College of Technology in China. Speaking at about 9:00 pm in the evening from the Winona campus, the students heard the address at their 10:00 am ceremony - a 13 hour time difference.
Jim Johnson said he was "honored and humbled" to have been asked to give the address. "The online connection was a success, and the speech went very well," he added.
Translation services in China were provided by Quzhou College's English professor Wang Pei Hui, who visited the Southeast Technical community for two months in fall 2013. In Minnesota, technical and linguistic help was available from Southeast Technical's IT specialist Tao T. Peng, a native Chinese speaker and expert on intra-campus communications.
Southeast Technical automotive program instructors Niel Christensen and Tom Brandt were in Quzhou, concluding a two week faculty exchange, and attended the ceremony in China.
Jim Johnson's speech touched on the partnership between Quzhou College of Technology and Southeast Technical. "One of the major goals of this developing relationship is to gain a better understanding of each of our respective cultures through faculty, staff and student interactions. This cultural understanding is an absolutely necessary skill set for all of us working in this vast global environment."
Future faculty exchanges are planned for fall 2014, with several Quzhou instructors visiting Southeast Technical for a number of weeks, and student exchanges beginning in spring and summer 2015.
"Words cannot express how much we have appreciated the generosity shown by students, staff and faculty of Quzhou College of Technology towards myself, our visiting scholars and others over the last few years," said Jim Johnson.
Download the full text of the commencement address (PDF)