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Three Engineering Students Blog About Their Current Co-op Experiences in China

Three engineering students, Alyssa Kaine, Brandon Michaud and Desiree Sanchez, have been spending their spring-semester cooperative experience in Chongqing, China. The students are serving as teaching assistants at UC partner school, Chongquing University.

Date: 4/22/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Ashley Duvelius
Other Contact: Arthur Davies
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-9181

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From left to right: Brandon, Alyssa and Desiree posing on the Great Wall of China.
From left to right: Brandon, Alyssa and Desiree posing as proud Bearcats on the Great Wall of China.

University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) students Alyssa Kaine, Brandon Michaud and Desiree Sanchez have been spending their spring semester in Chongqing, China. As a part of their cooperative education, the students are serving as teaching assistants (TAs) at CEAS’ partner school, Chongquing University (CQU). To document their personal and academic experience, each student has been keeping a blog.

Alyssa Kaine, a second year biomedical engineering student, grew up on the west side of Cincinnati. The proud Bearcat is excited to venture outside of the Queen City to China and enjoys teaching her fellow classmates. Kaine’s become quite the ping pong player as well. Check out her adventures by visiting:

Brandon Michaud grew up in Cleveland and moved to Cincinnati to attend UC CEAS for his mechanical engineering degree. The seasoned ultimate frisbee player has been enjoying his sight-seeing quests outside of the city. To see what cultural treasures he’s discovered, please visit:

Desiree Sanchez graduated from East Chicago Central High School in 2003, earned her bachelor's of science in management from Purdue University in 2008 and recently decided to go back to school at UC CEAS for her bachelor's and master's in electrical engineering. She is also working on a non-profit organization to encourage women/minorities to pursue a STEM education and she’s been enlightening the CQU students about her mission. To view Sanchez’s blog, please visit:

UC President Ono, CEAS Dean Lim, and CEAS Professor Orkwis meet CQU faculty and students.
UC President Ono, CEAS Dean Lim, and CEAS Professor Orkwis meet CQU faculty and students.

About the CQU-UC CEAS Alliance

CEAS partnered with CQU to introduce the first mandatory cooperative engineering education program in China, named the Joint Engineering Co-op Institute (JCI). The final agreement between the two institutions was signed on Oct. 11, 2013 and included a $1 million start-up grant from CQU. UC expects the alliance to generate $10 million in tuition revenue.

Members of the UC delegation for the JCI alliance include UC President Santa J. Ono; UC CEAS Dean Teik C. Lim; UC CEAS Academic Director Anne C. Hoehn Paul D. Orkwis, head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; Ted W. Baldwin, associate senior CEAS librarian; Gayle G. Elliott, Professional Practice associate professor; Raj Mehta, vice provost of UC International Services; Caroline Miller, senior associate vice president of the Office of Enrollment Management; Kathy Qualls, senior vice provost of business and financial affairs; Anita Todd, Professional Practice associate professor; Xuemao Wang, dean of University Libraries; Chao Wang and Brian Waring.

The JCI curriculum is identical to that of UC CEAS. For academic years one through four, JCI students study with internationally recognized UC faculty. In year five, JCI students will enroll in the same UC courses as traditional CEAS students, on UC's campus. Throughout their education, students will experience cooperative learning for five semesters at leading and multinational corporations in China.

The first UC faculty who are teaching at CQU are Bruce Walker, aerospace engineering professor, and Yizong Cheng, electrical engineering associate professor. In a steady state, more than ten UC instructors will teach at CQU each semester. Currently, two CQU faculty members are at UC learning how to teach the UC courses, Xingxi He and Guanqjin Peng.

There are approximately 70 electrical and mechanical engineering students enrolled in the JCI program. Within three years, UC expects total enrollment to grow to 1,000 students across four academic programs. Each year, 800 students will be in residence at CQU or on co-op assignment in China, and 200 seniors will be at UC.

For more information about the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, please visit:

For more information about the University of Cincinnati, please visit: