The grand opening for the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS) Exhibition of Student Achievements 2019 for Best Final Year Projects (FYPs) and Award-Winning Projects was held on 6 May. This exhibition included student's FYP as well as award winning projects submitted by students.

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Vice President Prof Zhang Cong listens to a student presenting her FYP

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Associate Vice President Prof George Wei (3rd from right, second row) with SWSA staff and students

The Dean of DHSS, Prof Sung Mei-hwa, gave a warm welcome to all before beginning her speech as well as offering some remarks. “These projects, put in poster form, represent the best works of the Division’s students as selected by their faculty mentors. These works, as such, realize our commitment at UIC to nurturing and celebrating excellence while on a broader level to creating an innovative and international model for the teaching of the humanities and social sciences.”

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Prof Sung Mei-hwa delivering a welcoming speech

Following Prof Sung’s speech was the students’ sharing experience. First up was Year 4 Applied Translation Studies (ATS) student, Ye Chengyao. He shared his experiences about the workings of his FYP titled ‘Cognitive Effects and the Translation of Mind in Poetry Translation – A case study of Mark Strand’s Your Dying’. He described his FYP experience: “I believe it’s been quite a journey for all of us. For me, it’s a journey with no destination. I learnt more not in giving the right answers, but asking the right questions.” He also expressed his sincere gratitude to his project supervisor, DHSS Associate Professor Dr Lam Siu.

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Ye Chengyao shares his FYP experience

The second student to speak was Teaching English Second Language (TESL) student, Li Huile. Her project was a case study about ‘Singing to Improve Chinese EFL Learners’ English Pronunciation’. She said that “Academically, I gained a deeper understanding of the areas of both linguistics and education. I also learned many research skills that will be useful in my future learning. Mentally and spiritually, I’m more confident in dealing with pressure and facing more difficult challenges.”

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Li Huile explains how she learnt many research skills

The last student to speak was Year 4 International Journalism (IJ) student, Qian Xiaonan, spoke about her experiences with her project ‘A life of Lives: The story of Huang Yabings Quest to Help Drugs Addicts in China’. She said “Although it takes a lot of patience and times to dig deep on the story, I felt a sense of achievement more than struggling.”

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Qian Xiaonan says she has felt a sense of achievement

The FYP award presentation followed the students sharing experience. Associate Dean of DHSS as well as the Acting Programme Director of ATS and Director of Contemporary English Language and Literature (CELL), Dr Charles Lowe came on to the stage to present the awards to his students.

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Dr Charles Lowe with the ATS students

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Dr Charles Lowe with the CELL students

Programme Director of Government and International Relations (GIR) as well as Associate Professor, Dr Edoardo Monaco came on the stage to congratulate the CELL winners and present them with their certificates.

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Dr Edoardo Monaco with the GIR students

Programme Director of IJ and Assistant Professor, Dr Rachel Chen, presented the winners from IJ.

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Dr Rachel Chen with the IJ students

Programme Director of Public Relations and Advertising (PRA) and Assistant Professor, Dr Hu Fan, congratulated and presented awards to the PRA winners.

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Dr Hu Fan with the PRA students

Programme Director of Social Work and Social Administration (SWSA) and Associate Professor, Dr Chan Kam Tong, gave his students their awards.

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Dr Chan Kam Tong with the SWSA students

Programme Director of Teaching English as a Second Language and Associate Professor, Dr Edith Yan, gave the TESL students their certificates.

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Dr Edith Yan with the TESL students

Students, staff and faculty attended the exhibition and enjoyed learning about the different types of research students were working on. TESL student, Chen Zhengzheng, spoke about her project ‘Cross-Differences in the Refusal Strategies Employed between English Native Speakers and Chinese EFL Learners’. She explained about how Chinese EFL learners were more likely to consider ‘face’ when refusing, while an English native speaker would consider honesty for their refusal.

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Chen Zhengzheng happily standing next to her poster

SWSA student, Liu Yun, gained attention with their FYP poster 'Attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help among community residents in Guangdong Province'. Yun explained about the public stigma and self-stigma were found to be negatively related to attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. She explained that mental health literacy had found positively related to community residents.

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Liu Yun attracted attention with her poster

TESL student, Wang Yichen's project was a little controversial as it was about 'Emotional Impact of Swear Words in Chinese and English on Chinese-English Bilingual Speakers'. He explained how he conducted his research before concluding that "Chinese Abusive speeches were perceived as more offensive than English Abusive speeches, while English Casual speeches were perceived as more offensive than Chinese Casual speeches."

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Wang Yichen stands proudly with his poster

Ye Chengyao, who had shared his FYP experiences publically before as part of the student sharing session at the beginning went into more depth about his project. He explained how he used questionnaires and in-depth interviews to examine the participants’ reading experience, further justifying the cases found in the analysis of the texts.

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Ye Chengyao with his poster

Overall the event was a success, which garnered a lot of interest from faculty members and other students. The feedback was positive as with the participants’ behaviour and atmosphere being incredibly professional.

Reporter: Samuel Burgess
Photographers: Liang Jianhao, Aria Wu
Editors: Deen He, Marissa Furney
(from MPRO)