Duke Kunshan University Holds Its First Graduate Colloquium

December 15, 2017

On the morning of December 1st, the graduate students from the oral communication courses in Environmental Policy, Global Health, and Medical Physics shared some of their research and recent course work with the Duke Kunshan community at the Duke Kunshan Graduate Colloquium, a mini-conference for students in the graduate school sponsored by the Language and Culture Center. In all, twenty students presented their work in twenty-minute long conference-style presentations followed by five minutes of questions. 

“I attended this event. It was indeed very good, and I was impressed by the standard of the presentations,” said Kathy Robertson, director of faculty affairs at Duke Kunshan. 

The breadth of the presentations can be seen in some of the students’ abstracts:

  • How to Read a Radiograph
    Peter Sha and Gong Wang
    Do you want to know how to read an X-ray image by yourself? Are you interested in how to distinguish different organs in your X-ray film? In this presentation, we’ll talk about how to read X-ray planar and CT images. By the end of this presentation, you will know the basic steps to read an X-ray image.
  • HPV Vaccine: A Protection for both Male and Female
    Pan Zixian and Xiao Ji
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has recently entered mainland China. Although HPV infection is of high prevalence worldwide, few people know about it. In this presentation, we convey that vaccination is the effective way for preventing HPV infection and it is necessary to promote HPV vaccine programs.
  • Radiation in Daily Life
    Deqi Chen and Chenyang Liu
    Radiation is everywhere, but do you really know what is radiation? Are they all harmful to our bodies? Can using a cellphone lead to cancer? What about living close to a nuclear power plant? This presentation will answer these questions by introducing different types of radiation and methods to protect ourselves from harmful radiation.
  • Greening the Belt and Road Initiative
    Cui Liu and XiaolinXie
    The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is advocated to be a win-win economic and cultural cooperation between China and 68 host Eurasian countries. Yet many are concerned that massive development projects may seriously affect local environment and ecosystem. The presentation will use two examples to introduce how iMEPers are contributing to greener development pathways for BRI.

The colloquium presented the opportunity for the Duke Kunshan community to learn about what the graduate students were studying and to learn about a diverse range of subjects that connect to daily life, which in addition to the subjects above, included coffee, machine learning, the safety of caesarian sections, and Duke Kunshan’s LEED certified campus. Undergraduates in attendance got a chance to see what kind of work graduate students engage in, and if they might be interested in pursuing a graduate degree.

For the graduate student presenters, this colloquium was not only a chance to share insights from their field but also to practice giving academic presentations to an audience outside of their respective disciplines, thus contributing to Duke Kunshan’s interdisciplinary mission. They were able to practice skills related to effective PowerPoint use, creating conference handouts, and fielding questions from the audience. Working in pairs or a group of three also gave them practice presenting with others, which requires smooth transitions and an appreciation for what each person can contribute. Because of its success as a teaching tool and as a way to promote the work of Duke Kunshan University’s graduate students, the Language and Culture Center hopes to make the colloquium an annual event.