PENSACOLA — Kathleen ‘Katie’ Hudon of Pace was one of three faculty/staff members receiving a scholarship to China from the University of West Florida’s Confucius Institute. 

Hudon, who is a UWF instructor and assistant director of Career Services, received the highest score of all test takers for the HSK Chinese proficiency examination after also successfully completing a rigorous Chinese language course. In addition, Hudon received the Faculty/Staff Chinese Language Excellence Award.

With a group of 14 others from UWF (12 students and two other faculty/staff), Hudon toured Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu this summer. The itinerary for the trip included visiting famous historical and cultural sites including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Chengdu Panda Research Center, the Bund, the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Beijing Olympic Village, Yuyuan Garden, and Ciqikou Town.

Participants engaged with Chinese arts and crafts, such as Chinese painting, Chinese character drawing, stamp engraving, and paper cutting. This was in addition to increasing member knowledge of the language through an intensive program from which all group members graduated after successful completion of a proficiency examination. Cultural activities such as karaoke, Chinese games, and Chinese tea time were a part of the experience as well.

In addition to the group excursions, Hudon was able to enjoy boat cruises on the Shanghai and Huangpu Rivers and attend Chinese performances, such as Kung Fu, Acrobatics, Chinese Folk Opera, Shadow Puppetry, Chinese Theatre, Chinese musical instrument demonstrations, Chinese dance, fountain shows and light shows, among others. Hudon was also able to travel to Xi’an (famed for the Terracotta Soldiers and the Great Wild Goose Pagoda), Suzhou (of Silk Road and World Heritage historical garden acclaim), and various water towns. 

In addition to Hudon, UWF faculty and staff attendees included George ‘Bolton’ Ellenberg (Library Circulation) and Suzanne Tuzzeo (university instructor). Students and alumni participating in the program included Mark Chasteen, Aliya Eggleton, Mazen Hindawi, Michelle Kelley, Basil Kuloba, Eduardo Mendoza, Morgan Powers, Jodi Sanders, James Straughn, Gregory Townsend, Eric Vidrine and Robert Vinson. Pengpai Li, instructor with UWF’s Confucius Institute, also went with the group to facilitate travel.