As the global COVID-19 pandemic began its spread across the United States, educators from China generously sought to help their SUNY New Paltz partners in the Center for International Programs.
The Ambright Education Group, Shanghai Star Education and Chongqing University of Education (CQUE) in Chongqing, China, sent the College more than 300 N95 masks for the health and safety of the campus community.
“This outpouring of support and care lifted everyone’s spirits,” said Director of the Center for International Programs Beth Vargas. “Over the years we’ve developed very close ties among faculty, staff and students both here and in China. Having them reach out to us with support in such a tangible way was really meaningful.”
Upon receipt of the masks, Vargas contacted the SUNY New Paltz Health Center and the College’s COVID-19 Task Force. Given the FDA “safe for health care workers” status on the masks – it was decided that they would be donated to the Ulster County Department of Health. There, they will be distributed among local healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
“When Joyce Chen of Shanghai Star Education contacted me to ask for my home address so that she could send a few masks to my family, I was not expecting that she would send hundreds,” said Vargas. “The outreach was such a bright spot in these dark times. We are so pleased that we have an opportunity to share their generosity with medical personnel in the Hudson Valley.”
Initial conversations between SUNY New Paltz and Chinese officials at CQUE began in 2014. A Dual Diploma program was later created in response to the growing demand for bilingual educators in major cities like Chongqing. The first cohort of students in the Dual Diploma program are set to graduate May 2020.
Visit the Center for International Programs at SUNY New Paltz to learn more about opportunities for international students, and the School of Education for info about programs for future teachers.