Published 08/11/12

Yang named VP for International Affairs

Global engagement is a cornerstone of Bryant’s plan Vision 2020: Expanding the World of Opportunity. To facilitate the robust exchange opportunities for students and faculty, the University plans for a powerful network of strategic outposts and international collaborations.

Consistent with Bryant’s emergence as a leader in international education, a new post has been created at the University to oversee and coordinate initiatives in the global arena. Bryant has established the position of Vice President for International Affairs, and Dr. Charles Jack Smiley Chair Professor Hong Yang, Ph. D., professor of science and technology and director of Bryant's U.S.-China Institute and Confucius Institute, has been appointed.

In addition to supporting development of the University’s ongoing international strategies, one of Yang’s first priorities will be the planning and coordination of Bryant University Zhuhai to build a stronger bridge for two way educational exchange between Bryant and China.

Yang, recognized as a U.S.-China Public Intellectual Fellow by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, is a distinguished professor and research scientist who has been a member of the Bryant community since 1998. He is the founding director of Bryant University’s U.S.-China Institute and has directed the Confucius Institute at Bryant since 2006. Yang established the University's Environmental Studies in China program in his first year. Since then, he has developed numerous programs of academic, business and cultural exchanges between the University and China. During his tenure as the director of U.S.-China Institute and Confucius Institute, he has helped secure more than three million dollars in grants and contributions for the University.

In addition to his work at Bryant, Yang held visiting appointments at Brown University and at Yale, and is an honorary professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and three Chinese universities. He has received numerous scientific awards, honors and recognitions, including the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award in Molecular Biology and Evolution. He is the author of more than 70 scientific articles and a co-editor of three recent books on geobiology, ecology, and conservation of Chinese Dawn Redwoods.  

Professor Yang received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan (BA) and in Beijing (MS), and his Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor before joining the Bryant faculty. Yang's research focuses on molecular investigations of modern and ancient organisms, global climate changes, and anthropogenic alterations of physical environments. He received Bryant University’s Research and Publication Award twice in 2001 and 2009 and was awarded Bryant University’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2006.