The 2023 University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) Graduate Commencement Ceremony was held at Long Bin Building on March 24.
In his congratulatory speech, Dean Chien-Pin Chen said JI’s education, an excellent combination of internationalization, interdisciplinary research and innovation, is based on a notion that teaching and learning involve not just the transfer of specialized knowledge but also a commitment to developing the whole person. He praised the graduates’ outstanding abilities and research progress in renewable energy, visual measurement, sensing, and other fields, as well as their perseverance in the face of the epidemic. “I would like to leave each of you with the hope that as you make your own choices over time; you will be able to balance your drive for achievements with a commitment to love and to play, to family and friends, to your community, to the nation and to the global community. Forge your own path but always drive for positive change,” he said.
Keynote speaker Lin Zhang, founder and chairman of Freetech (Zhejiang) Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd. and director of UM-SJTU Joint Institute Development Advisory Board, shared his life experiences studying at both SJTU and UM, working for global leading companies and setting up his own company. He advised the graduating students to keep learning, act strategically, stay positive, and work well with others, while finding their passion and forming a global perspective.
JI Associate Professor Shane Johnson spoke as a faculty representative to congratulate and offer his blessing to the graduates. Mine for integrity, strive for common vision, support in critical times, apply grit and polish are what he summarized as steps of talent development. He advised the graduates to develop reasonable visions for themselves and their teams, receive or provide support at critical moments, make best out of their strengths while making up for their weaknesses, and constantly motivate themselves to be a better person in the future.
As a JI alumni representative, Assistant Professor Chengzhi Shi at Georgia Institute of Technology shared his life experience and offered four suggestions to graduates via video. He advised them to express gratitude to their supporters, choose jobs that align with personal growth, pursue their passions, and challenge themselves to achieve a brighter future.
Alumni representative and Tongji University Assistant Professor Zeeshan Qaiser expressed deep gratitude for his nearly eight years at JI and emphasized the importance of diligence and perseverance. JI students will excel in challenging real-world environments after undergoing solid training. The graduates should stay connected with the joint institute, remain loyal to their values, and bravely bring about change to the world with passion, he said.
In her speech on behalf of the doctoral students, doctoral graduate Qinrui Cheng expressed her gratitude to the joint institute and its faculty and staff. Cheng also shared how her interdisciplinary background will benefit her in her job search and future development, and encouraged her fellow graduates to remain optimistic and adaptable in the face of future uncertainties and challenges.
During the ceremony, Peng Du and Anqi Zhang were appointed Class Directors for the new graduates of Class 2023.
Degree awarding ceremony was held afterwards. The graduates in personalized academical dresses had their tassels turned and received their degree certificates.
A signpost reflecting internationalization of the joint institute was unveiled by Chien-Pin Chen, Lin Zhang and graduate representatives after the ceremony.
This year, JI bestowed a total of 13 master degrees and 6 doctoral degrees. Among the graduates, three master students will pursue further study at top universities overseas while the rest have successfully landed jobs at leading multi-national or domestic companies such as the China Aerospace Science and Technology Innovation Institute, Baoshan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., Shanghai Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., CATL, Alibaba, and Intel.