2005 CAFA Awards

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Achievement Award - Professor Dominic Cheung

DOMINIC CHEUNG, Ph.D., Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and also of Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California (USC), is an internationally respected poet, scholar and a facilitator of East-West cultural exchange. He is best known for his several dozens of collected works of Chinese poetry and prose writing, mostly published in Taiwan, and for which he won several Taiwan national prize awards. As a scholar, Prof. Cheung is the author of several books, anthologies and numerous articles in both English and Chinese. His works range widely, from literature to literary criticism, from cross-cultural history to translations of Chinese into English, and of English into Chinese. For example, two of his anthologies introduce modern Chinese poetry and short stores from Taiwan by translating them into English; while a third one translates the works of ten contemporary American women poets into Chinese. And in 2002, the City University of Hong Kong Press in Hong Kong published his most recent book Matteo Ricci in China and Other Essays in Chinese. Here he shows how Ricci, the Italian Jesuit and the first Catholic priest permitted to live in Beijing during the late Ming period, facilitated the introduction of western mathematics, science and Christianity into China by first turning himself into a formidable Chinese scholar who won the respect of Chinese scholar officials at the Ming court.

Prof. Cheung, whose Chinese name in Romanization is Chang Ts'o, attended secondary school at the Kowloon Wah Yan College, an Anglo-Chinese school run by the Jesuit Fathers in Hong Kong. He then went to Taiwan where he graduated from the National Chengchi University with a B.A. in English Literature. His M.A. and Ph.D. are from Brigham Young University and University of Washington respectively. He has been teaching at USC since the 1970s, and at various times, served as chair of both the Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures as well as of Comparative Literature. In recent years, Prof. Cheung has also served as visiting professor at the City University of Hong Kong, where he has been making frequent trips to the China mainland, to lecture and to participate in seminars. Prof. Cheung is, moreover, a collector and connoisseur of art objects and old manuscripts. Nothing delights him more than to make use of these visits into opportunities for touring museums, antique shops and archives and enjoying the view and, on occasion, the acquisition of cherished objects.

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Service Award - Professor Andrew C. Yao

To the average individual, the duties of service to a group generally dictate giving of yourself unlimitedly and receiving minimal retributions in return for your selfless efforts. However, the return I have received from being on the board of CAFA has giving back to me tenfold. While other organization may seem dull and at moments a waste of your personal time, this is not so in the case of CAFA where the camaraderie and bonds of friendship gained between members is infinitely beyond all measures.

The beginning of my service career started at college where I began my endeavors to contribute. As a freshman, I was elected to serve as the chairperson of Associated Student Body serving the entire student societies at the university. Since those days, I have inherited an abundance of valued colleagues and personal lasting relations with individuals that I have encountered within those years. During my time of service to the China Youth Corps (救國團), I contributed my summer and winter vacations organizing gatherings, excursions and different activities, at various locations, for the purpose of training myself and giving happy times to the young students recipients of the program. I felt a great sense of self-worth in being able to provide a safe and entertaining social atmosphere for young adults for the purpose of enhancing their lives. As a junior, I was given a very highly honored award for my volunteering, the Honorable Service Volunteer of the Year (模範服務員獎) for my intelligence, tireless efforts, and dedication.

My history of service in the United States began with Lu La La, Overseas Chinese Youth Association, an organization I founded in 1980. Together with hundred of young volunteers and my efforts, we focused on serving all different age groups with in the Chinese communities of Southern California. Such services included summer camps and winter camps, cultural shows, art exhibitions, concerts, fund raising activities, hospital visitation to the ill, assistance with homeless population etc. It is true that a great deal of my valuable time during my youthful years were sacrificed, but developing and transitioning the Overseas Chinese Youth Association into a financially strong and active organization was truly worth the effort.

To express my personal feelings for my many years of servitude to all my societies of involvement, I have learned many valuable experience and gained infinite number of additional traits to my existence. Above everything else, I must say, above all, I value the lasting relationships that have come along and endured throughout the years.

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