The First Year Student Advisory Council involves 7-8 members to serve as a leadership group, providing informed feedback and advocating for the cohort of first-year students. The First Year Experience coordinator serves as the council advisor to bridge the communication between students and university offices.

FYSAC members commit to the following:

  • Serve on FYSAC for two semesters.
  • Attend monthly meetings.
  • Think critically, ask questions, engage in research, and participate in dialogues at monthly meetings to make progress on FYE initiatives.
  • Provide thoughtful comments and recommendations in a respectful manner.
  • Attend at least one FYE event during each semester of service.
  • Attend end-of-semester reflection meeting and help to develop recommendations through an annual or semi-annual report.
  • Work on campaigns and programming to increase awareness of and support FYE Program.

First Year Student Advisory Council Members

Xueqing Ding, Co-Chair

My name is Xueqing Ding, and I’m from the class of 2026. Before joining the First Year Student Advisory Council (FYSAC), I served as the Secretary of the DKU Consulting Club, Activity Assistant of the Student Interconnection Organization, and Program Assistant at DKU Athletics. I also actively participated in activities held by various departments at DKU. Being a part of FYSAC is a great opportunity for me to apply the knowledge and skills I gained from those experiences to help first-year students live and study better at DKU. I’m so excited to work on the FYSAC and make DKU a better place for freshmen through our collective effort!

Tekla Anna Takács, Co-Chair

My name is Tekla Anna Takács, but I go by Tekla. I am a freshman at DKU from Hungary, planning to major in Ethics and Leadership with tracks in Philosophy. I am a co-chair at the First Year Student Advisory Council (FYSAC). I believe that a major part of "the university experience" is the people, and a good group starts from day one. I would like to help the current and future first year students at DKU build a fun, comfortable, inclusive, and strong community.

Maxwell Bergen

My name is Maxwell Bergen and I am a freshman from Charlotte, North Carolina. I intend to major in Political Economy with a track in Economics. I am very interested in business and helping others through action. Communication and logistics are my strong suit and I am excited to apply those skills to the FYSAC.

Rhayssa Braz

Hello! My name is Rhayssa Braz, an International Class of 26 from Santos - Brazil. I am currently open minded about my future major, but also planning to explore more the Public Policy and Media Studies track. My previous experiences in a council committee come from my high school where my peers and I established the 1st Student Assembly and managed events and couple initiatives to improve student lifestyle and relationship dynamics between faculty and students. Outside of school, I love dancing, martial arts, vlogging and hiking!

Noah Caplan

My name is Noah Caplan and I’m a first-year student at Duke Kunshan University. I am interested in business and am currently considering a major in institutions and governance with a track in economics. Navigating the logistics of moving to China and/or university life can be challenging and create stress in addition to the rigorous course load DKU places upon its students. My aspiration is to provide newly arriving students with more cohesive information and resources regarding their transition to China and the campus. From facilitating Weixin/Alipay seminars to expanding CAPS resources, I intend to advance the quality of the first-year experience and enable students to be as successful as possible.

Xieling Li

My name is Xieling Li and I am a freshman from Taizhou, Jiangsu. My current intended major is economics, but I also still like environmental science and public policy. Enjoying social engagement, I participated in many group-based activities such as business competitions and an intramural soccer league. The reasons why I’m interested in FYSAC are students always face challenges in their first year and it’s necessary to help every freshman adapt to their life at DKU. Hoping that FYSAC can be a bridge connecting students and the campus office to create a better first-year experience.

Xinyi Ma

My name is Xinyi Ma (Serena) and I’m a member of Class of 2026. I’m from Suzhou, Jiangsu. Currently my intended major is Material Sciences with Chemistry track and Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences with Mathematics track. I love to travel around and explore everything in DKU. I’m so excited to serve on the FYSAC and help first-year students integrate into our big DKU family!

Felipe Silvestri

My name is Felipe Silvestri and I am a first-year student at DKU from São Paulo, Brazil, planning on majoring in Political Economy/Economics or Cultures and Movements/World History. I am interested in exploring China’s economic growth as a model for developing nations and also the country’s foray into sustainable development. I am also a keen language learner and am more than glad to try to learn some new words in your native language! Beyond the classroom, you can find me playing football (sorry, it’s not soccer) or volleyball. I’m very excited to be a part of the FYSAC and put forward my best effort into improving the first-year experience at DKU.

Hanyang Zhou

My name is Hanyang Zhou. I am a freshman and currently planning to major in Computation & Design / Social Policy track while still exploring other fields such as Environmental Science and Global Health. No matter which major I finally decide to choose, I have been passionate about taking an insight into social justice problems related to labor, environment, health, and gender. Now, I am engaging in some projects with topics of education in remote areas and bridging DKU students with professors. Apart from that, I am interested in running, reading, and science fiction. I am so excited to serve DKU FYSAC and hope that I could contribute to bringing first-year students an inspiring and fruitful experience!