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University of Wyoming student Cobus Block is the first recipient of a new scholarship program established by the Chinese ambassador to the United States. He will spend his 2008-2009 academic year studying in China.
Block, from Gothenburg, Neb., is an international studies major with an Asian studies minor. He received the Chinese Ambassador's Wyoming Scholar Program award based on his academic achievements and desire to study and strengthen relations with China.
"I am interested in China for several reasons," says Block. "China has a fascinating history and culture, which does not receive proper attention here. Many perceptions of China, good and bad, are simply false. If Americans don't understand the Chinese people, we will be at a great disadvantage in the future."
Block sees this as an opportunity to study various aspects of Chinese society, politics and economics.
"I hope to be able to study emerging food supply chain structures, especially those that deal with changes in Chinese agriculture," he says.
Garth Massey, UW director of international studies, says, "Cobus is poised, very comfortable interacting with individuals from other countries, and will represent the University of Wyoming well."
The Chinese Ambassador's Wyoming Scholar program was established in 2007 through the government of the People's Republic of China and its ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong. The award is presented to one outstanding student with a desire to pursue study in any field in China, including but not limited to study of the Chinese language.