For the first time ever the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS)—along with its Office of International and Executive Programs (OIEP)—conducted an online welcome ceremony in honor of students newly enrolled in the UMD-Nanjing Normal University (NNU) joint Master's degree in Criminal Justice

OIEP director Mengxue Li introduced and moderated the event, which took place on October 15, 2020 and featured a series of speakers headlined by Dean Gregory F. Ball (UMD/BSOS), Director Zhijun Yan (NNU/Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges), Dean Daotong Cai (NNU/Law School), and Gary LaFree (Chair, UMD/Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice).

Collectively, the speakers praised the UMD-NNU partnership that has sustained the criminal justice program for nearly two decades, affirmed that the degree enjoys flagship status on both campuses, and cited the program as a model of collaborative international graduate education.  NNU and UMD leaders participating in the event also took the opportunity to pledge renewed support for the program and expressed confidence that it will continue to build on its demonstrated record of success and achieve increased stature in both China and the U.S.

In addition to remarks delivered by the featured speakers, event highlights included:

  • Student testimonials given by a representative of the 2019-2020 cohort (now delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 emergency) and a representative of the 2020-2021 cohort (both groups are expected to arrive at UMD in June 2021 to start their completion residency);
  • An OIEP-produced video short entitled "Portraits of the BSOS/OIEP Experience" containing scenes of recent and current criminal justice cohorts, OIEP-sponsored short-term training workshops, and views of the beautiful NNU and UMD campuses;
  • A lively Q & A session during which Dean Ball, Dean Cai and other faculty responded to student queries about UMD and NNU policies, American culture, and options for post-MA studies.

Key participants at both universities rated the virtual welcome ceremony as a milestone in UMD-NNU relations; in this regard, OIEP is determined to build on the momentum generated by the event by increasing the scope and tempo of the OIEP-NNU Law School partnership—which has now lasted eighteen years and is still going strong. 

Related Resources:

•  For excerpts from speaker remarks, please see below;
•  Learn more about OIEP programs by visiting our News Archive.

Remarks (Excerpts) from the Online Welcome Ceremony
in honor of members of the 2020-2021 Cohort
UMD-Nanjing Normal University Joint Master’s in Criminal Justice
15 October 2020

"The University of Maryland provides a very rich environment for our partnership with Nanjing Normal University, and I'm very pleased to reaffirm our college's strong commitment to UMD-NNU cooperation, and to this joint program in criminal justice in particular, which has been so successful.  At the University of Maryland and BSOS, we remain committed to our international partnerships that welcome international students and scholars from all over the world, including China."
Gregory F. Ball, Dean, UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

"Nanjing Normal University values our partnership with the University of Maryland.  This program has become highly recognized by the Jiangsu Province Department of Education and every year we attract applicants from all over China....I think today every one of us is showing our courage, determination and professionalism, which are all needed for this program to thrive and develop further."
Zhijun Yan, Director, NNU Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges

"On behalf of the students and faculty of the NNU Law School, I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the leaders and teachers of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences....This joint program in criminal justice started in 2003, and since then both NNU and UMD have engaged in sincere, beneficial, and win-win cooperation.  Over the years, both sides have overcome many difficulties and established a relationship of mutual trust."
Daotong Cai, Dean, NNU Law School

"The University of Maryland and BSOS are highly committed to sustaining our international graduate programs, including this flagship international program with NNU.  There are many challenges these days—we all know that—but please know that you [the students] are integral to the intellectual vibrancy of our campus.  We value you and we are proud to have you as a part of UMD and BSOS."
Jean McGloin, Associate Dean, UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

"Congratulations for selecting this program, and for being selected into it.  The criminal justice program was established in 2003, so it is one of the oldest programs on our campus and one of UMD's most important international partnerships....We in BSOS are proud to have the number one graduate program in criminology and criminal justice in the U.S., and I'm pleased to say that our faculty are not only highly qualified, but they are also very much engaged in the program." 
Wayne McIntosh, Special Assistant to the Dean, UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

"I think anyone who teaches for a living quickly realizes that you learn as much from your students as they learn from you, and I've really learned a great deal by participating in this program over the years.  I'm continually struck both by the similarities between American and Chinese students and also, of course, by some of the differences.  As chair of UMD's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, I'm very happy to support our partnership with NNU.  I think these programs highlight in a very important way our common goals and strengths; they show us that students in the two countries are not as different as many people might think."
Gary LaFree, Chair, UMD Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

"This is the beginning of your journey, and I hope you are very excited about this learning opportunity....I hope that through our program you will learn about the criminal justice systems of the U.S. and about major sociological and criminological theories that can challenge you to think about the world so that together we can build a society that's really more prosperous, sustainable, and equitable for all people." 
Min Xie, Director of Graduate Studies, UMD Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

"The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences is a most vigorous and diversified school, and it provides us with many opportunities and an inclusive atmosphere to achieve all kinds of potentials.  Students of UMD go on to excel throughout the whole world, working for prominent companies, starting their own businesses, or pursuing further studies....We are facing a complicated and changeable world, what should we do, and how can we become responsible citizens and make the world a better place?  I think the answer lies in three words: vision, passion, and professionalism; a 'vision' of global awareness, 'passion' to deal with all kinds of challenges, and 'professionalism' in academic research and the pursuit of truth."
Yulun Wu, representative of the 2019-2020 cohort

"In my view, a university should be a 'goodbye' to the past as well as a brand new start.  Postgraduate studies will bring us challenges we probably have never faced before and will test our ability to dream, to act, to create, and to have self-discipline.  I'm really excited to learn that the University of Maryland is an energetic and creative university with a serious academic atmosphere.  UMD attaches great importance to the personal development of each student, allowing us to grow at our own unique pace into well rounded individuals." 
Wenrui Ding, representative of the 2020-2021 cohort

"On behalf of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and OIEP, I would like to congratulate you [the students] and commend you for your determination to join the UMD-NNU program.  Congratulations to each and every one of you!...I would also like to express deep gratitude to distinguished members of the NNU and UMD faculties for participating in this important event, and also to the BSOS Dean's Office, the CCJS department, the UMD Graduate School, and the UMD Office of International Student and Scholar Services for their outstanding support."
Mengxue Li, BSOS Principal Dean for International Affairs and Director, Office of International and Executive Programs


Speaker collage