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Newsbeat

Feberuary 6, 2017

Garrett College names Yuan Chief Academic Officer

Dean to emphasize leveraging technology and partnerships on behalf of students

Qing Yuan

Dr. Qing Yuan hopes to leverage technology to increase the value of a Garrett College education and build stronger partnerships in her new role as the college's chief academic officer.

"What most impresses me about Dr. Yuan is that she combines exciting, forward-thinking ideas with the discipline and hard work necessary to fully implement them," said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College's president. "One of Dr. Yuan's initiatives of using Open Educational Resources (OERs) is an excellent example. With the increasing cost of traditional textbooks, Dr. Yuan wants us to be a leader in OER adoption, and she's working very hard with a committed and visionary faculty team to realize that goal."

Leveraging technology is just one strategy the college plans to employ to increase the value of Garrett College education, according to Dr. Yuan. Another significant thrust will be strengthening the college's partnerships with Garrett County Public Schools and the college's chief transfer partners.

"Over the years, Garrett College has established good relationships with the public schools, especially the high schools," observed Dr. Yuan. "We've been expanding our Dual Enrollment course offerings and increasing our emphasis on attracting students graduating from our local high schools. I think it's important we offer as seamless a transition as possible from high school to Garrett College to our four-year transfer partners."

Paul Edwards, director of secondary education for Garrett County Public Schools, praised Yuan's selection.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Qing for several years on partnerships between Garrett College and Garrett County Public Schools and know she is very dedicated to the students of our county and the success of the Garrett College students," said Edwards. "I can't think of a more deserving choice, and I'm very happy for her." While GC should create seamless transfer paths with as many four-year institutions as possible, Dr. Yuan said she plans to emphasize creating those paths first with Frostburg State University and West Virginia University.

"FSU and WVU are two of the most popular four-year options among Garrett College students," observed Dr. Yuan, who just concluded an articulation agreement with FSU in which all 60 GC credits in the Associate of Science degree in Computer Science can be applied to FSU's 120-credit degrees in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems.

Dr. Yuan is also looking forward to the grand opening of GC's new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Building in the fall.

"The new STEM building will open more educational opportunities for our students." said Dr. Yuan. "We expect to use our new STEM Building to help expand STEM offerings."

Dr. Yuan, who has worked at Garrett College since 2009, emigrated from China to the United States in 1987. "Coming to America was a dream for everybody – except Americans," Dr. Yuan said with a laugh. "I flew into New York City and didn't know anybody. I didn't know enough to be scared."

Dr. Yuan earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English at Northeast Teachers' University in Changchun, Jilin Province, China before emigrating to the United States. She completed both a master's degree in computer science and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis at East Tennessee State University.

Dr. Yuan started her academic career at Walters State Community College. She began as a programmer and analyst before moving over to the computer science faculty and eventually becoming department chair.

Dr. Yuan later returned to ETSU as an associate professor of computer science. Prior to the current role as the dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer, Dr. Yuan served as the director of GC's Business, Information Technology and Engineering Program since 2009.

After living in Garrett County for nearly 10 years, Dr. Yuan said "looking back, coming to Garrett College was one of the best choices in my life – I love the area and the people as well as my job."