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The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has a global alumni network — and UNC-Chapel Hill’s alumni presence is particularly strong in China.

The Carolina China Club, UNC’s alumni association in China, has over 500 members across UNC-Chapel Hill’s various schools, about one-fifth of whom are health sciences alumni. The club hosts events ranging from lectures to Carolina basketball watch parties.

Members of the club’s health sciences group met with Stephen Eckel and Ashley Qi during their visit to Beijing last November. Eckel is the School’s associate dean for global engagement and Qi is its associate director of China initiatives.

Qi said she was excited to see how engaged the alumni were.

“Our alumni association holds forums with topics in the healthcare space regularly,” she said. “It was encouraging to see the culture of sharing within the group. They are eager to interact with UNC and I’m sure we will achieve greater success in China with their support.”

Their visit coincided with a forum discussion led by keynote speaker Zhijie Zheng. Zheng, who earned his Ph.D. at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the chair of the department of global health at the Peking University School of Public Health.

Many other members of the club’s health science branch work as leaders of academia and industry in China.

“It was amazing to see how successful our alumni have been in China,” Eckel said. “They have taken their education and training and using it to advance science and practice. Our hope is to ensure that we are able to engage all of our alumni in China and use future visits to bring UNC to them.”

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