Huang Qiu is the first graduate student to join the University of Maryland’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry through a joint Ph.D. program with East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. Students who complete this six-year program receive a Ph.D. from both institutions, as well as valuable personal and professional experience spanning two dynamic cultures.
“I wanted to come to the U.S. to learn,” says Qiu, a Ph.D. student working in Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Michael Doyle’s lab. “The U.S. has stronger academics and I wanted to go abroad for a different experience [than what I knew] in China.”
Qiu is ten months into a three-year period he will spend in the U.S. focusing on coursework and research. Following his time in College Park, he will return to China to complete additional education requirements.
Qiu, who hopes to pursue a career as a researcher, loves the idea of discovering something no one else has discovered.
“He has already done this in his research at Maryland,” says Doyle. “In one of his projects he has converted an ester to a diketone, and we are trying to find out how this has occurred.”
Qiu’s research focuses on gold catalyzed reactions, and he is submitting two manuscripts for publication.
“I want to find new tools for the chemistry tool box that anyone can use,” says Qiu.
Qiu’s transition to life in College Park has been exciting, but sometimes challenging (like learning to cook his own meals). He plays basketball with friends and enjoys the large amount of open space on campus.
When asked what advice he has for international students considering an education at the University of Maryland, Qiu offers:
“Language is very important, so prepare your English. Always communicate and be open with your group members. Make many friends. It’s very important if you come here alone. If you make friends, your life is very colorful.”