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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Henrietta Yang Co-Director of Flagship Program

Henrietta Yang doesn’t have to say she loves her job. It’s obvious in her ever-present smile and energetic hand gestures she uses while explaining the merits of the University of Mississippi Chinese Language Flagship Program.

Yang, who joined the university’s faculty two weeks ago as the program’s new co-director, said she is excited to join in the university’s quest to educate and motivate diligent students who commit to the five-year study.

“UM’s program is intended to enable students to achieve professional proficiency in the language,” said Yang, also Croft associate professor of modern languages. “It’s a promise the faculty, staff and administrators at the University of Mississippi take seriously and it’s a promise they fulfill at the highest level. I am proud to be a part of this core group and it is my goal to help take this great program to even higher levels.”

Don Dyer, co-director of the Chinese Language Flagship Program, said he is proud of the program’s growth.

“Dr. Yang has a kind of energy and enthusiasm that’s infectious,” said Dyer, also professor and chair of the Department of Modern Languages. “The students and faculty can’t help but respond to her instruction and direction. When you mix that with her professionalism and expertise, you get something amazing. We know Dr. Yang will make our program even stronger.”

Yang holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from California State University at Fullerton and a master’s and doctorate in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining the UM faculty, Yang was associate professor of Chinese from 2008 to 2013 at Morehouse College, where she implemented and served as program director of Chinese studies.

She served as teaching team leader for an Intensive Foreign Area Officer Program at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., where she was an instructional technology specialist and Certified Government Oral Proficiency Interview tester, from 2005 to 2008. Her research interests include Chinese language pedagogy, Chinese linguistics, the interface between instructional technology and language teaching, and formal syntactic theory.

The UM Chinese Language Flagship Program, located at the Croft Institute of International Studies, was established in 2003 with a grant from the National Security Education Program. The goal of the flagship program is to create global professionals, individuals who possess superior-level proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and a deep level of cultural understanding necessary to succeed in working in China and with Chinese counterparts here and around the world. More than 80 students are enrolled in UM’s flagship program.

For more information on the Chinese Language Flagship Program, email Henrietta Yang at or visit