UHD Welcomes Visiting Taiwanese Cadets Back to Campus
By Ashley Kilday
As 2023 opened, a cohort of 21 Taiwanese students dressed in smart police uniforms could be spotted at the College of Public Service (CPS) as UHD welcomed the Central Police University (CPU) Study Group to campus. The event was planned and moderated by UHD’s Dr. Hsiao-Ming Wang, Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the UHD Bayou Connection, a grass-roots international program established in 2002 to promote academic and cultural exchange between UHD and several universities in Taiwan, CPU among them.
The students visit for about two weeks, staying within walking distance of UHD, and on returning to Taiwan, present information about what they learned to their fellow students. This is the 16th group to visit UHD, with a total participation of more than 400 students since 2005.
The 2023 cohort is the first group to visit UHD since the pandemic. During their stay in Houston, the group studied American policing and the criminal justice system, and visited justice-related sites such as the Houston Police Academy, Houston’s mounted patrol unit, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Academy, the Harris County Jail, the Constable Precinct One, the Harris County Civil Courthouse, and the Houston Port.
The University's proximity to the Harris County Jail and UHD's partners with law enforcement agencies make it a perfect host for these students, according to Wang. “This partnership with CPU is one of UHD’s largest global projects and continues to make an impact on students seeking to broaden their understanding of both the English language and policing techniques.”
Wang, a former law enforcement officer in Taiwan with a 15-year career, has led two groups of UHD criminal justice students to visit Taiwan. “Students are the future of our world,” he said. “The UHD program provides a unique opportunity for American and Taiwanese students to learn from one another. Through this process of exchange, they will be equipped with a global perspective and will become leaders that will make our world better.”
The welcome ceremony on January 9 included opening remarks from Dr. Deborah Bordelon, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Dr. Jonathan Schwartz, Dean of the College of Public Service; Dr. Kevin Buckler, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work; Dr. Casey Davis, Chief of the UHD Police Department; Mr. Robert Lo, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston; Ms. Chandra Hatcher, Assistant Chief of the Houston Police Department; and Ms. Heide Laser, Program Coordinator, Reentry Services, at Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Ms. Cecilia Chang, Vice Chair of the Bayou Connection Advisory Board, donated $1,000 to UHD during the greeting ceremony in support of the Bayou Connection program and its effort to promote international academic collaboration.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students, boasts more than 64,000 alumni, and offers 46 bachelor’s degrees, 11 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences & Technology. For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution, and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.