Dr. Huajing Maske, Executive Director, University of Kentucky Confucius Institute; Executive Director, University of Kentucky Office of China Initiatives.
“I grew up in rural China during the Cultural Revolution. Because of poverty and political disruptions at the time, I ended up being born on the side of a dirt road on the way to the hospital where my mother was being taken on the back of a bicycle! Somehow, I survived, but spent my first eight years living with my grandmother in a tiny village in Shandong Province because the chaos in the cities made it safer to be in the countryside. After rejoining my parents, I did well in school and was able to complete high school at age sixteen. That same year (1982) I was accepted into an elite university in Beijing, which gave me the chance to travel by train for the first time. After completing my Masters degree in International Relations at Beijing University, in 1990 I won a full scholarship to study for a doctoral degree at Oxford University. At Oxford, I earned my DPhil (PhD) in Art History and met my American husband. After finishing our degrees, we moved to the Boston area, where we lived from 1994 to 2008.
Since arriving in Boston, I have been working to help Americans understand China better. I have taught university courses, led educator group tours to China, and even set up a Chinese language in a prominent Boston-area K-8 school. I have been serving as the Executive Director of the University of Kentucky’s Confucius Institute since 2010 and as the Executive Director of the University of Kentucky’s Office of China Initiatives since 2014.”