Faces of UWest: Jeff Chen


Jeff took some time out of his busy schedule to introduce himself and his music. What follows is an introduction to Jeff’s instruments and arrangements, as well as his interests and life plans.

Introducing Jeff’s Instrument

Jeff was introduced to the Liuqin (Chinese Mandolin) in high school and has been mastering it for over 18 years. The Liuqin is a soprano string-plucked Chinese instrument. A modernization in its usage has been springing up in recent years, leading to a gradual elevation in status of the Liuqin from an accompaniment instrument in folk Chinese opera and narrative music to a solo instrument.

Introducing the Concert’s Songs

The songs arranged for the recital represent different lifestyles of ethnic groups in different regions of China, including Chinese northern and southern folk music. Jeff and his peers have additionally arranged a set to highlight the aboriginal style music of China. The songs prepared will take the audience on musical tour around different areas of China, embracing the essence of Chinese culture.

Jeff’s Talents

In addition to his skillful solidity of the Liuqin, Jeff plays the piano and sings beautifully. He is frequently invited to join public performances, specifically in singing and choreography in Taiwanese Opera.

Jeff’s Campus Involvement

Jeff graduated from the Master of Arts program in Religious Studies at University of the West this past June. Currently, Jeff studies in the Doctor of Buddhist Ministry (DBMin) program at UWest and works as a student employee in the Enrollment Office.

Plans after Graduation

After graduating from the DBMin program, Jeff hopes to become an official in the cultural ministry or bureaus in Taiwan’s governmental system. His hope is to organize more cultural and religious events in order to help the country bring peace and harmony to people.

Jeff’s Hobbies

Jeff enjoys swimming and listening to all kinds of music in his free time. When he is in Taiwan Jeff uses his free time to attend artistic and music trainings and performances.


Master Hsing Yun: A Buddhist Visionary of Education


The founder of UWest, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, is a Mainland Chinese Buddhist Monk who grew up in a poor rural village and never received formal education, but managed to become the founder of five universities, sixteen Buddhist colleges, as well as high schools, elementary schools and kindergartens worldwide.

What aspects of Buddhism have contributed to Fo Guang Shan’s educational endeavors? What ideals of Humanistic Buddhism has made Venerable Master a great visionary of education? What are the core concepts of Buddhist education?

This talk will cover these questions as part of an introduction of the Venerable Master to the audience.

Venerable Miao Guang is the Personal English Interpreter of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. She also serves as the English Secretary at Fo Guang Shan Founding Master’s Office. She graduated with a Bachelors degree from the Department of Asian Studies, University of New South Wales and went on to complete her Master in Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University. She is currently serving at Fo Guang Shan Humanistic Buddhism Research Centre as both a Fellow and Director of the Department of International Affairs. She is also the Director of the Fo Guang Dictionary of Buddhism English Translation Project.

UWest Speaker Series: Michelle Telléz


The University of the West is unique in its small size and diverse student demographics, and benefits from the experiences and cultures that our students bring to campus. Our Latino students are a shining example of this and help make UWest a culture like no other.

Dr. Michelle Telléz makes a perfect addition to the Success in America Speaker Series by providing a dazzling example of academic success and academic work in diverse communities.

Dr. Telléz is a prolific writer, scholar, and activist in everything from gendered migration to transnational community building to Chicana mothering. Dr. Telléz has worked for over two decades in the fields of Chican@ studies, community studies, education, and sociology.

Her work in the lecture halls, in the community, and on text has been devoted to researching the intricacies of regional ethnic identities and speaking out on issues of social justice in Arizona and the United States southwest.

She is a member of organizations such as Arizona Workers Rights Center, which works to provide justice and community building to non-represented workers, and Entre Nosotr@s, which creates community events in collaboration with Chicana/Latina/Indigenous women and gender non-conforming artists.

On October 20, at 5pm, Dr. Telléz will be sharing her experiences with our community in all ways that inspire. Come join us at Ken Locke Hall to learn more about Dr. Telléz and share a bowl of Pozole (veggie or meat) with the community.

Showcasing Exodus

exodus-group-croppedOn Wednesday, September 28, UWest welcomed the return of documentarian and filmmaker, Elias Matar, as he showcased his new film Exodus.

Exodus sheds light on the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, as Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi refugees risk everything to cross the Aegean Sea in search of new lives in Europe. The film captures the humanitarian efforts of compassionate aid workers providing aid to families.

The event began with dinner and introductions, followed by the showing of the movie, and concluded with Elias answering questions from the viewers.

Elias explained the refugees’ recent situations and the dangers faced by all involved as smugglers ferry refugees from Turkey to Greece.

The content of the film was heavy as the audience followed refugees from their boats to desperate refugee camps. The filmmaker’s optimistic attitude in the discussion gave the audience hope and perspective to a crisis affecting the world.

Thanks go out to Elias and his wife, Ginger Fung, for offering the opportunity to view the film at University of the West. Kudos to UWest Chaplaincy Club for organizing the event.