Students from Taiwan look forward to acclimating to suburban Chicago life

Students from Taiwan look forward to acclimating to suburban Chicago life
July 29, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Chieh-Ming “Jay” Chiang of Kaohsiung, Taiwan would like to visit some of the more interesting sights of the metropolitan Chicago area this summer. He just doesn’t know if he will get the chance. “They just gave us a lot of books to read,” he said. “They” are the faculty and staff of the Ph.D. program in Organization Development (O.D.) at Benedictine University, one of the oldest programs of its kind in the United States. The O.D. program at Benedictine has prepared hundreds of advanced professionals to become leaders in understanding and managing change. But few of the visiting students from Taiwan were prepared for the workload they were given on the first day of the program. “Like the professors tell their students at Stanford, ‘We turn on the hydrate for you to drink it all,’” Chiang said. Chiang is one of seven students from Taiwan who recently began the O.D. program at Benedictine. Another is Yi-Hsiu “Stanley” Hsieh, the director of counseling at Chong-Loi Junior High School in of Taoyuan, Taiwan, who has taken a leave of absence to study in the United States. Hsieh hopes that earning a Ph.D. from Benedictine will help him to assume a higher-level administrative position at his school. He, too, was a little overwhelmed by the stack of books he was given on day one of the three-year program. “If they were in Chinese, I could probably read them in a couple of weeks.” Hsieh said. “I can read Chinese very fast.” Organization Development is the process that applies behavioral science knowledge and practice to help organizations achieve greater effectiveness, including increased financial performance and improved quality of work life. “Our mission is to help today’s leaders generate a professional environment where people work together toward better solutions…where change is not only accepted but encouraged, and where high performance is achieved by building trust, valuing teamwork and fostering employee development,” said program director Peter Sorensen, Ph.D. Chiung-Wen “Vivian” Yeh, who is from Taipei and earned a Master of Business Administration from Long Island University, was attracted to Benedictine’s O.D. program by its reputation. “I worked in management at a large delivery company in Taiwan, similar to UPS and FedEx,” she said. “Benedictine has a high reputation in the O.D. field. I would like to find a job here after graduation, but if I go back to Taiwan I want to work in human relations or the organization consulting business.” All of the students from Taiwan said the biggest difference between their homeland and the western suburbs of Chicago was the living conditions. Taiwan is the world’s second-most dense geographic area with more than 23 million people living on an island roughly the size of Maryland (pop: 6.5 million) and Delaware (pop: 800,000). “Taiwain is crowded,” Chiang said. “It’s very comfortable here.” For more information about the Ph.D. in Organization Development program at Benedictine University, visit http://www.ben.edu/programs/graduate/program_detail.asp?gProgramID=8, e-mail psorensen@ben.edu or call (630) 829-6207.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.