University of Minnesota, School of Kinesiology - Tianjin University of Sport

American Cultural Center for Sport



The American Cultural Center for Sport was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State and is a partnership between the University’s China Center and School of Kinesiology and the Tianjin University of Sport in Tianjin, China. The main objective of the center is to demonstrate to the Chinese people how sport culture and values are integrated into the larger American society and how these cultural values influence American viewpoints, global outlook and engagement in everything from business and politics to arts and communication. The center will organize events and provide resources such as athletic exchanges and collaborations, guest lectures by university faculty and other experts, a reading room of print and online resources, and training for teachers to integrate the culture of sport into their curricula.


The main objective of the American Cultural Center for Sport in Tianjin is to bring culturally-oriented instruction, exchanges, and engagement to Chinese people. The center uses the medium of sport to examine deeply held cultural values within American society. The unique sports-focused programming reaches a broad audience through public lectures, presentations, and education initiatives—all designed to develop a deeper understanding of fundamental American values through the education, language, and play of sport.  



2015-2016 Programming Highlights

  • Visiting scholars and lectures – Bob and Kim Griffith lecture series


  • Received a grant from Centers for International Business Education & Research 
  • China 100 – 100th anniversary for the first Chinese student at University of Minnesota 


  • Fourth Annual American Sports Film Festival


Tianjin University of Sport

Jin Zongqiang


Tianjin University of Sport

•    2001.9——2004.6 北京体育大学 体育教育训练学专业,获教育学博士;
•    1998.9——2001.7 天津体育学院 体育教育训练学专业,获教育学硕士;
•    2012.9——2013.2 美国春田学院 体育教育专业 访问学者


University of Minnesota

Joan Brzezinski

Executive Director

China Center and Confucius Institute

University of Minnesota 

Joan Brzezinski, executive director of the China Center and Confucius Institute, graduated from Hamline University with a bachelor’s degree in East Asian history and later finished a Master of International Management degree at the University of St. Thomas. While at Hamline University, she was selected to participate in the reciprocal exchange program at Peking University, the first undergraduate-level exchange program with a private university in the U.S.

For more than twenty years, Joan worked in tourism and travel marketing and operations in China and the U.S and later as a business consultant to companies working in China. She has made more than thirty trips to China and has visited most major regions of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 1997, she joined the China Center where she administered the China Center’s business and activities. In 2008, Joan became the director of the newly established Confucius Institute. Since then, she has assisted the State of Minnesota in their discussions with the Hanban regarding a state-level visiting teachers program, developed a number of professional development seminars and meetings for Chinese language teachers throughout Minnesota, and worked with school districts to bring quality Chinese language programming to schools and enhance Chinese cultural offerings throughout Minnesota.