Getting to Know Diana Duan, Visiting Scholar

at a Tibetan village near my hometown ChengduDiana Duan is a visiting scholar who comes to us from Suzhou University of Science and Technology in Jiangsu Province, China, where she is Professor of Interpretation and English. Her past research has focused on the teaching of interpreters, with an emphasis on pedagogy and short-term memory. She also works as a freelance interpreter. Diana’s stay here at UCSC is made possible through the Jiangsu Government Overseas Study Foundation, which has a competitive selection process, and is sponsored by the Chinese government.

Originally, Diana had intended to use her fellowship to study at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to continue her studies on interpretation research within the context of international relations. However, after meeting UCSC Professor June Gordon in July 2013 – during Dr. Gordon’s visit to various cities in China – Diana decided to take a broader look at the issue of education. She applied to be a visiting scholar at UCSC and arrived at our campus in September 2014.

Since arriving at UCSC, Diana has been busy finding opportunities for both intellectual and personal development. Her research interests have also branched out into several new areas: worldwide alternative education, international student presence, and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Diana came to UCSC intending to develop a better understanding of the quintessential American curriculum, and feels that what she has actually discovered is that no such curriculum has existed. She sees CCSS as breaking away from the American tradition of curricular diversity, and understanding the outcomes of this transformation is an important part of her research. Diana notes that within the Education Department, she has especially enjoyed discussing the pros, cons, and context of Common Core State Standards with first year student, Heather Schlaman. (Heather is a first year PhD student who comes to us from Roseville Joint Union High School District, where she served as Assistant Principal.)

Not only has Diana networked with the UCSC community by attending a variety of seminars and lectures, she has also found social opportunities to interact with the UCSC community of scholars and friends by participating in activities sponsored by International Students, Inc. Through this program, she came into contact with a local artist who is currently giving Diana watercolor lessons, which has been a special highlight of her UCSC experience.

If you haven’t had the chance to meet Diana, do so soon! She will be heading back to Suzhou University at the end of winter quarter. You can contact Diana through her personal email address: dianaduan1@hotmail (dot) com.

Fun Facts about Diana

Favorite local food: Avocados (Avocados are available in Suzhou, but they’re expensive!)

Last movie watched: Interstellar

Something special about her city: Suzhou has a 2500-year-old history, and is called “Venice of the East” for its extensive canals.

Experimenting with watercolors in Santa Cruz:

my first serious watercolor painted under the guidance of my friendship partner 90-year-old Ms. Dorothy

Visiting the Badlands in Wyoming:

a snapshot at the Big Badlands in Wyming

Contributor: Mecaila Smith, Second Year PhD Student

2 thoughts on “Getting to Know Diana Duan, Visiting Scholar

  1. brad olsen

    Thanks to both Diana and Mecaila for this. A really nice profile of a very interesting person. Great to have her in our department for awhile; I’ve personally enjoyed talking with, and learning from, Diana.


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