I. Thankfulness and Happiness: Chou Enjoys His Work
“Without these excellent teams as my strong backup, I would not be able to receive this Excellent Service Award,” said Professor of the Department of History, Dr. Whei-ming Chou. This was Chou’s short and only acceptance speech. Chou was awarded for his excellent performance in the year of 2014, and he shared this honor with his colleagues and work teams.
In addition to teaching students and doing research, Chou is also the director of both the Chinese Language Center and the Humanities Research Center, and the chief editor of Chengchi University Press. Chou gratefully said that thanks to hardworking and reliable colleagues, these three institutions developed smoothly.
II. Good Colleagues: Smooth Development of Three Institutions
Ms. Su-qiong Lee, a senior administrator of the Humanities Research Center, described Chou as an ambitious and passionate leader. Because this center was not classified as a university-level institution, they had to find funding themselves to cover expenses. “This is a tough task!” Lee said. Fortunately, under the leadership of Chou, this center successfully received external sources and funding to run its business.
For example, with the celebration of Republic of China Centennial in 2011, the center was granted a sum of money by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Therefore, the center could invite 149 scholars to jointly write a new book series of History of the Republic of China in 12 volumes. This experience was happy and unforgettable to Chou himself. He felt honored that he could work with so many scholars and experts for this big project.
Chengchi University Press also faced the same problem of money shortage. With holding the spirit of “surviving in the predicament” and under Chou’s leadership, Chengchi University Press had excellent business achievement. Again, Chou thanked two professional colleagues. Ms. Shu-chen Lin, an administrator of Chengchi University Press, praised Chou as “a friendly and responsible leader.” Besides, Chou is good at Chinese calligraphy, so sometimes he would use this talent to help design propaganda.
As for the Chinese Language Center, there was a steady growth in these years. The ratio of teacher to student is 1:8. Due to this high quality of teaching and learning, for many international students, learning Chinese at NCCU is their first choice. The fame also brought profits which could be used as scholarships. In this way, the center can attract more and more international students to Taiwan for Chinese learning. Chou felt satisfied with this achievement. “This is not only the success of the center but also a great benefit to NCCU,” he said.
Chou further explained that “International students come to Taiwan for not only Chinese lessons but also culture and history of Taiwan.” NCCU is a good place for them because of its professional courses and colorful campus life. Wonderful experiences of these international students are the best promotion of NCCU.
III. Always be Thankful: Teaching and Doing Research Complement Each Other
How did Chou arrange his time to deal with so much work and do his research at the same time? Chou replied that he has taught at NCCU more than 25 years and developed a unique web of his knowledge. He said “Sometimes, I feel that I was spurred by my students. I have to keep on learning new things and moving forward. I must make myself more experienced. So I do not see teaching a hard work.”
Chou also had good performances in research. He thought he was fortunate to have opportunities to participate in lots of research projects, especially those of the Humanities Research Center. Administrative work and research complemented each other. “I enjoyed all these work,” he said.
Chou shared us his tip to keep himself in a good mood: a sense of accomplishment. Every time when he successfully solved a problem or completed a task, he could gain more power to face the next challenge. He also thanked his friends and other professors for their sincere help. For example, as the Humanities Research Center invites them to review books or hold conferences, they always say “yes” immediately. “Their positive attitude is the biggest reward and encouragement to this center,” Chou said.
“Without efforts of these colleagues, I could not go so far and even receive this award. The honor belongs to them. They deserve it!” Chou said certainly. With a thankful heart, Chou shared his happiness with his colleagues and thanked NCCU again for giving him this award.