Over the years I have enjoyed a fruitful and stimulating relationship with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), located in Shatin. I have been pleased to serve as an External Examiner for their students and to provide External Assessment for their MSc curriculum in occupational and environmental health and for evaluation of their faculty. Most of all, I have enjoyed serving as the external member of doctoral thesis committees at CUHK.
In 2003, I served as External Examiner for Tse Lap Ah, a fine PhD candidate in epidemiology who did excellent work. “Shelly” (as she is called by those challenged by Chinese names) stayed at CUHK on the faculty. I was deeply honored, then, when I was called back nine years later to serve in the same role for Dr. Tse’s student Chen Minghui! As I fully expected of a student of Dr. Tse, the now-Dr. Chen also did brilliantly, defended her thesis well (in English), and finished in summer 2012. I am very proud now to have served two academic generations at CUHK.
The CUHK connection began (at least for me) in June 1997, when I visited my colleagues at the Department of Community and Family Medicine, exiting from a long trip through southern China. Hong Kong was returning to Chinese rule, after 156 years as a British colony. There were ceremonies and celebrations all over Hong Kong, culminating in a fireworks display over the Harbor. The HK ensign came down as the British Governor’s boat left the dock, and the new, 5-petaled flower flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Area of the People’s Republic of China went up. A remarkable moment in history.