Business, political leaders to discuss China’s role as a rising economic superpower

September 16, 2013

To enhance friendship and economic cooperation between the United States and China, Arizona State University’s Confucius Institute will host a symposium, titled “Working with China in the Global Market” from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22.

Now in its fifth year, the forum is part of the Chinese mid-autumn harvest Moon Festival and National Day celebrations that take place every year at the ASU Memorial Union on the Tempe campus. Download Full Image

According to Madeline K. Spring, director of the Confucius Institute, the event has featured speakers from business, academic and government agencies in the past, and provides students, academics, and business and community leaders the opportunity to keep up with the current business trends related to China in the global economic realm.

“The growth of the symposium since its inception signals a growth in awareness regarding China’s increasing influence over the global financial markets,” Spring says. “The speakers share insights about their own experiences and about the complexities of developing and maintaining professional interactions with China in the 21st century.”

Fannie Tam, assistant director of the institute, says more than 200 attendees participate in the event every year.

“Foreign direct investment in China has seen a phenomenal increase during the last couple of years,” Tam says. “Through the forum, our Confucius Institute hopes to provide business and community leaders an insight into China’s diverse marketplace in the context of the Chinese culture and language.”

This year, the forum will feature three speakers; namely, Chuck Gray, district director of Rep. Matt Salmon's congressional office, “China: Strategic Partner or Economic Competitor?”; Briand Greer, president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific, “Commercial Aviation in China: A Close-Up View”; and Steven Tu, chief architect of mobile product line at Intel Corporation, “Intel’s Next Pivot Point: Mobile in China.”

Gray will represent Salmon, who has visited China on more than 30 occasions and is the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. In his talk, Gray will discuss the need to improve U.S.-China relationship and push for trade policies to strengthen American economy and increase the number of jobs.

According to Intel’s Tu, a W. P. Carey School of Business alum, China is the great story that has fueled Intel’s growth in the past decade and continues to do so.

“As Internet growth continues, the mobile industry is building its aggressive momentum around the world, and it is especially evident in China,” Tu says. “This momentum is impelling a computing paradigm shift from PC to mobile. My presentation will reveal the mobile growth trend in China, Intel’s product development and manufacturing shift into mobile, the effect of China’s ecosystem to a new computing paradigm, and comments about why mobile is important to Intel in China.”   

Representatives of the Consulate General of People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, government dignitaries and community leaders will join in the celebration hosted by United Chinese Alumni Associations, Confucius Institute and the School of International Letters and Cultures. 

In addition to the China Forum, the roster of events includes a poster design competition for children in grades K-8 and a photography contest open to middle to college students. Participation is free and open to all Arizona students.

A reception for guests will take place from 5-7 p.m., inside the Memorial Union’s Arizona Ballroom.

For more information on contest registration, directions and parking, visit

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

Cronkite freshman aspires to be voice of his generation

September 16, 2013

Editor's Note: This story is part of an ongoing series about student excellence at the university. To read more about some of ASU's outstanding students, click here.

Aaron Atchison is one of the 10,149 academically distinguished students who joined Arizona State University this year as part of its 2013 fall incoming freshman class. The 18-year-old Chicago native joined the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to answer his true calling: storytelling. Download Full Image

Atchison got his start in his senior year of high school when a chance meeting with Linda Lutton, an education reporter at Chicago’s public radio station WBEZ, led to his first internship this past summer.

As the station’s first high school intern, he worked under Lutton’s mentorship, recording sound for stories and programs at school policy events and Chicago Public School budget hearings, and even helping her break news. Atchison also participated in an on-air panel discussion regarding racial profiling of young African-American youth, especially males, in Chicago.

“Aaron showed tremendous initiative and a strong interest in journalism during his time at the radio station,” Lutton said during a phone conversation. “We wanted a young person who could be representative of the challenges and emotions students experience when they are transitioning from school to college. He proved to be that voice.”

As part of his public radio internship, Atchison also produced a feature called In their own words: Fear of freshman year. The radio story focused on the anxieties, excitement and dreams of college-bound high school students ready to embark on perhaps their greatest adventure yet.

“It took about a month to produce, and blood, sweat and tears were involved,” he says, laughing. “It was stressful but a great learning process.”

And Atchison will continue to scale that learning curve during his time as a student at Cronkite, one of the top three journalism schools in the nation.

“I applied only to ASU and the University of Missouri,” he says. “I ultimately chose Cronkite because of its excellent reputation, faculty and opportunities. Also, Walter Cronkite is known for ethical journalism. I hope to model my career after him.”

Even though he misses family, Atchison loves being in sunny Arizona and on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

“I look forward to gaining new experiences, understanding everyone’s point of view on different issues and working on my biases,” he says. “I also wish to study abroad and visit maybe Norway or Sweden.”

The journalism freshman hopes to translate his penchant for storytelling into creating documentaries on social issues for a living.

Every turn in a conversation with Atchison reveals layers of maturity, drive and awareness – self and outward – that surpass his age.

“I don’t like to fool around with time because time is money,” he says. “I want to have fun but I’m here to figure out what my purpose is.”

Atchison says his mother’s struggle and determination to provide her four children with a good education and deep roots have shaped his perspective on life. Growing up in Chicago also has played a part.

“Chicago still needs to overcome many of its challenges related to economic, social and racial status,” he says. “Just observing these differences inspires me to draw attention to them and tell stories that are not usually heard.”

And this sense of responsibility toward others is why, according to Lutton, Atchison stands out in the crowd.

“Aaron is ambitious, dedicated to the craft of journalism, a great person and has a genuine awareness and concern for social conditions – even those outside of his social sphere and experiences,” Lutton said. “At this age, most young people are looking inwards but Aaron looks outwards, around him, to find compelling stories and address issues. That is remarkable for someone his age.”

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development