Zhuojun "Georgie" Fu
It is hard to believe that Zhuojun (Georgie) Fu has time for anything extracurricular. She’s a double major in public relations and computer science, with minors in leadership studies and applied mathematics.
Yet, this remarkable young woman from Shanghai, China, is also the president of both the Chinese Club and SUNY Fredonia’s chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society.
Despite being one of only 30 Chinese students and 100 international students on a campus of 5,700, she is making sure she makes the most of her Fredonia experience – and she’s creating a lasting impact for the benefit of international and domestic students alike.
Georgie joined the Chinese Club because of the familiarity it offered her as a freshman in 2008 while she was acquainting herself with the U.S.
Since then, she has made the club into something more than just a comfort zone for Chinese students.
When it began in 2008, the club had only 20 to 30 members.
Now, Georgie and her classmates have helped it reach 120 – only 25 of which are of Chinese descent. The rest are made up of campus members who were drawn into the culture by Georgie’s passion and enthusiasm. By serving first as publicity chair and later as president, she helped the club establish a signature event: the Chinese New Year Dinner Party. Georgie vigorously promoted the event through fliers, in-class announcements, and word-of-mouth methods at any opportune chance.
“I want more people to see the importance of diversity, and to help retain Chinese students here at Fredonia,” she said.
What originally started as an internal celebration has now evolved into a well-known, campus-wide event that shares the Chinese culture with everyone.
Georgie’s campus contributions are inspired by dedication, diversity, collaboration and enthusiasm–all of which are values of Golden Key. Georgie has made her mark with this organization as well, becoming the first international student to serve as president of the Fredonia chapter.
Between classes and clubs, you can find Georgie at one of her on-campus internships. She served in the Admissions Office in the spring of 2010 because she knew it would help her learn more about SUNY Fredonia. During her time there, she gained a different view of the university, one that she wants to pass on to others through the “Lu Wan Exchange Program.” This self-made internship has since been incorporated into the Admissions Office to link students from Shanghai’s Lu Wan High School–her alma mater–to SUNY Fredonia.
“I’ve had such a positive experience at Fredonia,” Georgie said. “I want to bring students from my high school to Fredonia, so that they can experience the same; I want to be the bridge.”
As the student coordinator, Georgie explores options for further relationships between the two countries. Six Lu Wan students and an instructor traveled to Fredonia this summer to explore all that the university has to offer. Georgie was part of this initial endeavor to share her experiences and help them get acclimated. “This is one way I could contribute to both of my schools,” she said.
The program is a two-way venture. Through the university’s TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program, Georgie wants to help Fredonia students experience her high school in Shanghai. She hopes this initiative forges a lasting impression on the two institutions that have helped her to get where she is today.
Georgie has only gone home once since the fall of 2008, and while she’s enjoyed her time here in the U.S. immensely, she remains committed to sharing what she’s learned with others back home.
“I am grateful for the working experiences here, but if an opportunity takes me back to China, I want to be able to contribute to my country,” she said.
While here, Georgie has enjoyed spending time with friends, building memories and having
an impact that will last a lifetime–far beyond her time in Fredonia.
“Being in America, I truly see my potential,” she added. “I feel like, as long as I put in effort, there will be opportunities – regardless of ethnicity, race and gender. Everyone has equal opportunity.”