Chinese Director of Pitt’s Confucius Institute Wins International Award

Ying Xiao, PhD, Chinese director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Confucius Institute, is a recipient of a 2017 Confucius Institute Excellence Award.

Xiao is one of only six Confucius Institute Chinese directors internationally to receive the award—selected from a pool of 521 institutions. She was one of only two Chinese directors chosen from Confucius Institutes within the United States. Xiao received the award during a ceremony November 13, 2017, at the 12th annual Global Confucius Institute Conference held in China's Shaanxi province.

Xiao’s specialty is Chinese linguistics. She has been affiliated with Pitt’s Confucius Institute for six years and is focused on the oversight and training of the institute’s volunteer teachers, including the integration of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standards for Chinese language education.

The Confucius Institute Award of Excellence is given to directors who have created outstanding programs which serve as a models for other Confucius Institutes.

Founded in 2007 as part of the University Center for International Studies, Pitt’s Confucius Institute is best known for teaching the Mandarin language and Chinese culture to students from kindergarten through college.

Pitt’s Confucius Institute has one of the most comprehensive guest teacher programs in the United States and has hosted and trained more than 260 guest intern/teachers over the past 10 years. The institute has four times been honored as an Outstanding Global Confucius Institute of the Year, an award given annually to only a select few institutes among the more than 510 worldwide. In total, it has received more awards than any other Confucius Institute around the globe.

Classes are taught in classrooms across Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio and New York, as well as through an integrated distance education program. Evening Chinese programs, a Chinese Culture Corner, and short lessons on Chinese culture are also available.