Below is a listing of current Pitt students and staff who will travel to China as part of the Pitt to You program. Selected from a highly competitive process, the 9 Pitt Student Ambassadors reflect a diverse array of majors, involvement, and backgrounds, and will serve as your guides during your transition to Pitt, Pittsburgh, and the United States. Each Ambassador will be assigned a group of mentees in both Beijing and Shanghai and will meet with their group while in China and throughout the fall semester when everyone is in Pittsburgh. The Student Ambassadors will help you connect with resources, services, and involvement opportunities both at Pitt and within the City of Pittsburgh. The Student Ambassadors are excited to meet you in June and help you feel a part of the Pitt community!

2017 Student Ambassadors







James Cook

WeChat ID: Kemuxian

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture. The introduction provides an overview of key issues in the development of visual culture in China over the last 200-300 years, while each chapter is an original scholarly study of a specific topic providing chronological coverage for that period. Topics include: Qing court ritual, peasant rebellions, folk art, modern urban media such as illustrated sports magazines and movies, Great Leap Forward film, visual commemorations of the Cultural Revolution, Overseas Chinese culture, and the Shanghai 2010 expo.

Channie Chen 陈倩怡

Qianyi ‘Channie’ is currently an Enrollment Services Manager at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up in Chengdu, China, went to college in Chongqing, and came to Pitt for her Master’s degree in Higher Education Management. She has been studying, working and living in Pittsburgh since 2008.
As an Enrollment Services Manager, she communicates with prospective students, applicants, high school counselors and parents through multiple venues on a daily basis, manages the Pitt Admissions WeChat account, serves as a committee member for both domestic and international admissions, and recruits both in the U.S. and in China. In the past few years, she has traveled to multiple cities in China for recruitment, including Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. She is also a member of the PittStart team. PittStart is the academic orientation for incoming freshman to meet with their academic advisors, register for classes, and social with peer students.
In her spare time, Channie enjoys playing the piano, watching movies, reading books to her daughters, traveling, and eating good food.
Channie is excited to come back to China to meet with incoming Chinese students and their parents. She is fond of sharing her knowledge and experience about Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh both as a current Pitt employee and as a previous international student. As always, she is also excited about enjoying authentic Chinese gourmet on this trip.

Jason Kane

WeChat ID:jasonkanepitt

Jason joined Institutional Advancement in February 2012 as the Director of Constituent Relations based out of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). In this role he works on leadership travel abroad, alumni relations outside of the US, institutional partnerships outside of the US and advises deans on international travel. His experience with the fundraising profession started in the stewardship office at Duke University in 2004 and then moving on to George Washington University where he served as the Director of Endowment Administration. In 2008, Jason was afforded the chance to return to Pittsburgh through the role of Assistant Director of Development at the Tepper School of Business. Jason holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, followed by a Master of Arts in History from Slippery Rock and a Master of Public Management with a specialization in Higher Education Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. His wife Kellie Kane, a dual graduate of Pitt BS 1999 and MBA 2004, also works as Pitt as the Director of Admissions for the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.