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Inside Morehouse. ([Atlanta, Georgia]) 2008-????, September 01, 2008, Image 4

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SNEWS INSIDE MOREHOUSE, SEPTEMBER 2008 Henrietta Yang Introduces Chinese Language to Morehouse Students Henrietta Shu-Fen Yang, assistant professor of Chinese. 50 Million Pound Challenge Gains Morehouse Members By Vickie G. Hampton Trade Daniels’ 14-year-old son, Austin, wanted to try out for his school's football team. He was side lined before even hitting the turf be cause at the required sports physical exam, his 219-pound girth and high blood pressure - "and I'm not talking about borderline," said his mother - kept him off the field. Trade Daniels was inspired by her son, Austin, to take part in the 50 Million Pound Challenge. Daniels made a move of her own by signing up for the 50 Million Pound Challenge, a national weight-loss cam paign created by Dr. Ian Smith, spon sored by State Farm Insurance and aimed specifically at African Americans. "My son is from a diabetic family, and most of them are younger than 50 and on disability," said Daniels, the ad ministrative assistant for General Edu cation who plans to lose 80 pounds. "This challenge will help us eliminate the biggest risk factor - obesity - that we can eliminate." Obesity is a national epidemic, according to a 50 Million Pound Chal lenge brochure. But the news is graver for African Americans: nearly 80 per cent of black women, 67 percent of black men and 20 percent of black teenagers are overweight. This leaves African Americans disproportionately afflicted with high blood pressure, diabetes, and various forms of cancer. Judith Richmond, administrative assistant for the Andrew Young Cen ter for International Affairs, signed up because dieting alone has not worked for her. "I've tried many times to go on my own, but you take a pass one day, then one day becomes two and even tually you don't do it anymore," she said. "With this competition, I think that I will be more motivated because there will be a group of people doing the same thing." Eddie Southard, a 50 Million Pound Challenge Coordinator, distrib uted 2,000 bottles of water, bags, towels and pedometers as incentives to sign up. He said targeting college students is essential because "if we can impress upon them to stay on top of their health then they will lead a healthier lifestyle." To sign up for the challenge, visit ■ By ADD SEYMOUR JR. Henrietta Shu-Fen Yang remem bers the talk about 20th century People’s Republic of China (com monly known as China) becoming a future player on the political and economic world stage. “I had been hearing that the 21st century would be China’s century,” said Yang, who goes by Henrietta. “Well, there’s no doubt that China has gotten stronger and stronger in politics and the economy.” Because of that, Yang hopes to get the men of Morehouse out front on the global surge of interest in Chinese business, trade and culture. Yang, an assistant professor of Chi nese, is the new director of Chinese Studies at Morehouse. With the ever-increasing potential that students could someday be working or doing business in China - the world’s most populated coun try with 1.3 billion people - Yang will be teaching mandarin Chinese, which is spoken by nearly three- fourths of the people in China. That makes it the world’s most-spoken, indigenous language. Tears and Cheers (Continued from the cover) television and a refrigerator from a moving truck. Even though Ryan is from Fayette County, a suburban com munity just south of Atlanta, he was like any other freshman. “Uh, a little nervous,” he said as he shuffled his hat. “I’m used to being comfortable being at my house. And now it’s a big change, leaving Mom and Dad.” “I’m somewhat nervous too,” his mother added. “But I know that he’s well able.” No matter how far their journeys to campus, the Bain and Hobbs families typify the bundle of emo tions that united many of the new men of Morehouse. The eight-day New Student Ori entation (NSO) helped to ease some of those fears and calm the nerves of new families who became part of the Morehouse family. “The activities of Freshman Week are designed to expose new students and their parents to the history, traditions, resources, aca demic programs and overall pur pose and presence of Morehouse College,” said Anne Watts, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. “Parents, in particular, can leave their sons with a reassurance that Morehouse is the place for their son and that he is in good hands.” More than 900 freshman and transfer students took part in NSO 2008, which ranged from the enter taining “Welcome to the House,” The XXIX Summer Olympics in Beijing also gave the world audience a good look at the glistening and modern Chinese capital city. “Because of business and the economy, there is lots of interaction - plus the world has gotten smaller and smaller (because of the Inter net),” she said. “The Chinese market has drawn people there. And in order to do business in China, you have to speak their language and understand their culture.” Anthony Pinder, executive direc tor of the Andrew Young Center for International Studies believes bring ing Yang to Morehouse is the right step in the College’s increasingly-in- ternational direction. “We are at a point in the College’s history where we are really focusing on producing globally competent graduates who are proficient in languages and are exposed to multi ple cultures around the world,” he said. “For an institution... Chinese fits naturally. We have to begin looking at other parts of the world that are serious partners in our major interests. And if we are to train globally competent leaders, production on the first day of NSO to the emotional Parents’ Parting Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 21. Sterling Hudson, dean of Admis sions and Records, said the class represents 40 states and seven coun tries, mostly from the Caribbean and Africa. The sliding world econ omy held down the normal number of international students, he said. Hudson said the class of 2012 is academically on par with previous classes, but their commitment to serve is what most impresses him. “I think we’ll be feeling the we have to make sure we are train ing a diverse amount of globally- competent leaders.” Yang is a native of Taiwan who came to the United States to study linguistics. She had already studied journalism in Taipei, but developed a love for linguistics and in teaching Chinese language and culture. She comes to Morehouse after teaching stints at the University of Texas-Austin and most recently the impact of this class, possibly like none other, through their desire to contribute to the Morehouse environment, the surrounding community and in exerting their leadership skills,” he said. “I think if there is one thing I would point to about this class [that stands out] is that it is full of students who have leadership credentials.” President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75 greeted parents and students during the NSO Opening Convoca tion, assuring parents that their sons would be fine. Defense Language Institute’s De partment of Chinese in Monterey, Calif., where she had been teaching team leader. “I think (Morehouse) is a very good place to create my ideal lan guage program,” said Yang, who will incorporate new technology in teaching mandarin Chinese. “I was impressed by our students. It is the whole package and makes me feel like this is the place I want to be.” ■ “Leave your son or grandson at Morehouse and be proud of what you have done in rearing and nur turing them,” he said. “We will make him into a Morehouse Man. And because of that, the world will be a better place.” During the emotional Parents’ Parting Ceremony, the new men of Morehouse, class of 2012, - all wearing their new maroon sports coats and maroon and white ties - marched out of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel through the gates of the campus. Under dark, yet cloud-swept skies, tears fell as families and their sons were symbolically separated by the closed gates that ceremoniously welcomed the students into the Col lege’s fold. “You feel a little sad that he’s leav ing you, but you know that he has to move on,” said Claudia Bain of her son Charlo. “It’s something he has to do. Now that I’ve gotten here, I can see that people are friendly and everybody is trying to help out. 1 think he’s going to be alright.” “Our family will never be the same as far as all of us being to gether,” said Kimberly Hobbs about her son Ryan. “Now he’s leaving. He’s my first and only son, but I trust that God will bring him through it.” Though nervousness and uncer tainty abound, Bain and other first- year students are looking forward to the next phase of their lives. “For me, right now, being a man of Morehouse it’s just being inde pendent and being able to make wise decisions,” he said. ■ African drummers lead the newest men of Morehouse into the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel during New Student Orientation Week.