NYU Shanghai Celebrates 122 Graduates at 2022 Graduate Convocation

OGAE Convocation
May 29 2022

NYU Shanghai held its third Graduate Convocation on May 29 with a worldwide audience tuning in to celebrate the graduation of 122 PhD and master’s graduates from six programs: Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science, Doctor of Philosophy in Neural Science, Doctor of Philosophy in Physics, Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Master of Science in Data Analytics & Business Computing (MSDABC), and Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MSQF).

This year, with most of Shanghai in a strict lockdown due to a resurgence of COVID-19, the ceremony was held in a live webinar format. Convocation traditions of the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science, the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and the NYU Stern School of Business, each of whom have partnered with NYU Shanghai to offer the PhD, TESOL, MSDABC, and MSQF programs were incorporated throughout the ceremony. 

The convocation kicked off  with a virtual procession of the graduates, followed by welcomes from Chancellor Tong Shijun and Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman and a Pronouncement by Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen.



Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen 

“You have accomplished all of this at a time of great stress in the world, stress affecting the global connections that you, and your studies, represent and stress affecting the individuals, such as yourselves, who have navigated the shoals of global mobility and of unpredictably changing modes of study. All of you have much to be proud of,” Waley-Cohen said. 



Chancellor Tong Shijun

“This year marks the 10th Anniversary for NYU Shanghai,” said Chancellor Tong Shijun, “As the last graduating class in NYU Shanghai’s first 10-years, your achievements will be the source of courage for our university to conquer challenges and embrace success in another 10 years while we keep developing ourselves as an institution of research and higher learning.” Tong thanked the graduates for their contributions and conveyed his hope that their future successes would also benefit the university’s growth and the development in the future.



Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman  

Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman praised the graduates for the grit, tenacity, and perseverance they displayed when completing their studies despite the challenges of the pandemic. “To earn a graduate degree from a great university requires a remarkable combination of qualities. It requires intelligence. It requires discipline. And it requires an ambition to acquire new knowledge, to develop new skills. You, Class of 2022 PhD and master’s graduates of NYU Shanghai, have proven that you possess all those qualities, and many more.” 

NYU GSAS Dean Lynne Kiorpes applauded the five Class of 2022 NYU Shanghai PhD graduates for their hard work, perseverance and success. “This moment is a highly significant milestone in your lives. It represents the culmination of your studies, and the official recognition of your accomplishments,” she said. NYU Steinhardt Dean Jack H. Knott cheered for the MA TESOL graduates, “You’ve shown us that you’ve got talent and that you are committed to working to be the very best teacher you can be.” And NYU Stern Dean Raghu Sundaram congratulated the MSDABC and MSQF graduates and welcomed them to join the global NYU network of more than 600,000 alumni worldwide. 



Student Speaker Jin Ye MA ’22

Student speaker Jin Ye MA ’22 used the word “unprecedented” to describe the collective journey of the Class of 2022 TESOL graduates and expressed her gratitude to all of the faculty members for the great support they provided during the two years. “Each of us, I believe, is unprecedented, for we have successfully navigated through this roller-coaster ride experience. We have been through so much!”

Quoting American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all,” Jin hoped the Class of 2022 could “draw from our experiences and keep in mind the steps we took during the journey”, and encouraged everyone to “never stop trying and improving ourselves although the pandemic is making everything difficult.”


yao yao

Student Speaker Yao Yao MS ’22

Representing the MSDABC and MSQF programs, student speaker Yao Yao MS ’22 reflected on the intensive study journey and said, “All professors in the program made sure we have learned the things that matter in spite of our differences in cultures and perspectives - their passion, patience, and amiability truly made our learning experience insightful and pleasant. ”

Yao noted that among all the things he acquired from this journey with NYU Shanghai and NYU Stern the one he cherished the most was the increased ability to think critically as well as cross-culturally. “I believe that critical thinking in the cross-cultural context is extremely crucial in the world right now where mutual understanding is urgently and imperatively needed. After all, there is no room for prejudice and bigotry when the stakes are high. We are living in a truly fascinating yet dangerous time in human history, and I believe what we have learned here in this all-encompassing institution, our cultural empathy and open-mindedness, can go a long, long way,” he said. 


Clockwise from top left: Associate Dean Eric Mao, Professor Kentei Takaya, Professor Han Shen Lin, Professor Liao Ming

Associate Dean of Graduate and Advanced Education Eric Mao presented the 5 candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, Professor and Program Director Kentei Takaya presented the 11 candidates for the MA in TESOL degree, while Professor and Capstone Director Liao Ming presented the 43 candidates for the MSDABC degree, and Professor and Capstone Director Han Shen Lin presented the 63 candidates for the MSQF degree.

Feng Sheng MA ’22, Zou Lichen MA ’22 from TESOL, Kong Letian MS ’22 from MSDABC and Pu Mingqi MS ’22 from MSQF were honored with excellence awards for their outstanding performance throughout the programs.

NYU Shanghai’s advanced degree class of 2022 will be continuing their careers in a variety of industries and sectors. PhD graduates will be working as industry scientists in companies such as Lyft and GoGuardianMSDABC and MSQF graduates have accepted offers from Apple, Deloitte, Huawei, and Commercial Bank of China, among others. TESOL students will continue to advance in their education careers in China and around the world.