I’m pleased to announce that a very cool friend of ours, Kate Baxter, a student now at Brigham Young University whom we met at Shanghai’s best bakery (Nancy’s Bakery in PuDong), is about to receive a significant award from China for her impressive contributions during her recent work here. She exemplifies some of the skills and values that I see in many other Brigham Young University students, including great foreign language skills (from serving a Mandarin-speaking LDS mission plus a lot of additional hard work), excellent work ethic, bold vision of the future, the ability to understand and negotiate with others, and a hunger to learn and make a difference in the world. She and her equally outstanding husband, Weston, are well on their way to doing that. Congratulations, Kate, and may the unique talent base at BYU continue to strengthen China and all the nations of the world.
Here’s the press release from the Utah-Qinghai EcoParntership:
BYU Public Administration Student Honored with International Chinese Award
Xining, Qinghai—Xining City, the capital of Qinghai, announced that Kate Baxter will be honored with the Xining International Friendship Contribution Award for her work with the Utah-Qinghai EcoParntership. Kate Baxter, a second year graduate student in the Romney Institute for Public Management at Brigham Young University (BYU), is receiving the award for her work fostering stronger relations between the state of Utah and Qinghai province. Her work has included a wide range of programs including the establishment of Chinese and Utahan government official cultural exchange and training program, student exchange programs, continuing the ongoing efforts of the Utah-Qinghai EcoPartnership to establish green technology cooperation between the US and China, and so on.
“This award announcement is a wonderful recognition of the effort Kate has devoted to building this critical relationship.” Says Diana Bao, Deputy Secretary General of the Utah-Qinghai EcoPartnership. “Kate has made a lasting impact on both sides of this relationship and has been instrumental in the success of the programs coming from Xining City.”
CPC head and Mayor of Xining, Wang Yu Bo and his office, in conjunction with Qinghai province’s office of Foreign Affairs announced Baxter as the recipient of their Xining International Friendship Contribution Award in mid-October. Mayor Wang stated the following concerning the decision to award Baxter, “Kate Baxter’s excellent work enlarged the depth and width of the cooperation between Xining and Utah. Kate has made noticeable contributions to the friendship between the people of Xining and Utah, as well as the international development of Xining city. We, the city of Xining and its people, sincerely express our appreciation to Kate’s diligent work.”
An award ceremony will be held in November on Brigham Young University campus. The award, which is approved by the Qinghai provincial government, Xining city government, and Xining Friendship Association, promotes public and private partnership as well as citizen diplomacy. It emphasizes contributions to Qinghai and Xining, especially in connecting international resources to the supporting and building of Xining as a model for western China as an innovation hub. Baxter is the first recipient of this award which has been described by Xining city officials as a similar recognition to a lifetime achievement award. Baxter is the first student to ever win an international award in the city, province, and possibly nation.
Upon hearing of Baxter’s nomination for the award, Utah Governor Gary Herbert stated that “Kate Baxter’s efforts and contributions have earned recognition for the state of Utah, as well as promoted exchanges between China and the US. Utahans like Kate Baxter are committed to international service and outreach. Her work is a symbol of trust that we have built, and hope to continue to build.”
About the Utah-Qinghai EcoPartnership
The Utah-Qinghai EcoPartnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to building relationships, encouraging all levels of government and business exchange, protecting intellectual property, and developing green technologies. Some examples of their work include aiding the creation of the sister-city relationship between Xining City and Utah County governments, Qinghai Normal University and Utah Valley University’s sister-school exchange program, the partnership of Xining middle school district with the city of Bountiful for a student exchange program, as well as a training and cultural exchange program for Chinese and Utahan government officials called the green town development.
These partnerships and cooperative programs have resulted in several awards and recognitions including that in September of 2012, Qinghai Province and Utah State were honored with the national award for Best Cooperation from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. Earlier, in June of 2012, Xining City (the capital of Qinghai) won the service award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Even further back on July 13 of 2011, Utah and Qinghai became sister-states. This relationship is recognized at the US and China national level as the Utah-Qinghai EcoPartnership, the only state level EcoPartnership program through the US Department of State.
For Further Information