International Graduates

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GLOBAL UMD: We Are Going to Graduate

chernping piano  
Chernping Wong, from Malaysia, is going to pursue his masters degree in piano performance at UMD after graduating as an undergraduate. Besides getting more experience as a solo pianist, Wong is excited about his new identity as a teaching assistant.  

Global UMD is a new podcast series for Spring 2015. Follow the episodes on the UMD Homepage.

Radio Transcript

(Intro Music)

Narrator Jiaxun Fan: This is Global UMD, presenting you stories about the diverse voices on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.

Fan: May is a complicated month, especially in Duluth where the weather can be quite warm until it surprises us by turning cold after a sudden rain. In May, we also feel complicated emotions when we celebrate our graduates’ accomplishments at the commencement ceremony, but at the same time already start missing them as they part to start their new journeys. For this episode, I would like to share with you some of the international graduates’ experiences at UMD.

Fan: Haitao Shang, from China, is a triple major at UMD. After transferring from Ocean University of China, Shang started his studies and researches in the departments of mathematics, geology, and physics. Speaking of his most unforgettable experience at UMD, Shang told me about the global research opportunities he received with the help of his professors.

Shang: UMD’s professors helped me to get some research experiences. In Hong Kong, I did a research in the ocean circulation of South China Sea. In Houston, I did a research in dynamic systems, and in Indiana I did a research in complex systems theory.

Fan: Like Shang, many other international students at UMD are involved in all types of research and projects. Husam Ismail, from Syria, even got the opportunity to put his research project into practice. Ismail graduated from UMD this February with a masters degree in electrical engineering. His project on developing a LED warning system for rural intersections was actually implemented in Duluth beginning in 2013.

Ismail: The most important thing to me is my master research project, and the reason behind that is because it was able to transform an idea from paper and pencil to an actual system and to an actual implementation that actually got implemented in Duluth.

Fan: For most of the international graduates, studying and living at UMD has changed their lives. Mounika Alla, from India, will be the only female international graduate from computer science department this year.

Mounika: UMD has changed my life. In UMD, I got to work on real world projects which were really huge and added up to my resume. And I also learned a lot on how to manage time and how to do multi tasking.

Fan: Every year, there are always some students who choose to stay at UMD for further study, and Chernping Wong, from Malaysia, is one of them. To Wong, the main reasons for him to stay at UMD are the weather and professors.

Wong: My instructor; I think he helps me a lot in my study. And the other thing is when I talked to him and then we have another plan; we might go to Russia and to see the culture and music. The weather too; it is cold and I like cold.

Fan: We asked our international graduates to describe their experiences at UMD with one to three words, and here are what they said:

“Milestone”, “Fantastic, Great”, “Those who can”, “Exciting and challenging.”



Fan: Congratulations to all the international graduates, we wish you the best luck. This is podcast Global UMD, and we tell you about the many voices on our campus.


haitao and professor mounika husam
Haitao Shang, from China, just received a fellowship from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his PhD program, Shang is going to devote his knowledge and research experiences into the field of geophysics. He wants to say thank you to his professors for giving him research opportunities all around the world.
Mounika Alla, from India, just came back from California where she got several interview opportunities for jobs. Alla's dream is to be a software engineer for one of the best corporations in the United States.
Husam Ismail, from Syria, graduated from UMD this February. Now, he is working at Ecolab in St. Paul as a senior software engineer. He said Ecolab is his dream job where he can make the earth cleaner and save people's lives every day.

Listen to other episodes of Global UMD:

Celebrating the Chinese New Year

A Warmer Campus

A Global Living Experience

Get Your Internships in America

A Mentor, A Friend

Their American Lives



Podcast and story by Jiaxun Fan, May, 2015.

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