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The China Connection will lead you to take a look at how China's growth as a world power has already affected Missourians, and what we should expect for the future. It focuses on Missouri-China links in three areas: economy, education and culture.The China Connection is a production of the Reynolds Journalism Institute and KBIA. This multimedia reporting project is produced by reporters Chenfei Zhang, Eva Dou and Rachel Rice.

Mid-MO student's internet fame impacts UCM Chinese program

Briana Marsh, the Columbia native known as "Malina" to her online audience
Chenfei Zhang
Briana Marsh, the Columbia native known as "Malina" to her online audience

We’ll introduce you to a Mid-Missouri teen who has become famous for her singing… in Chinese. Plus, we’ll talk to the University of Missouri English professor behind the e-book “Is a college education still worth the price?”

The Chinese program at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg is still pretty new. But one of the students there – in fact, the only one majoring in Chinese – is a celebrity of sorts among the Chinese-speaking community. She’s actually from Columbia originally, and owes most of her renown to – what else, the video sharing website youtube. Some of her videos have been watched more than a quarter of a million times.KBIA’s Chenfei Zhang introduces us to Briana Marsh, and explains how the college student rose to online fame.

This story is part of the China Connection, a multimedia project that explores various economical, educational and cultural links between Missouri and China. To see the audio slideshows about how Marsh’s passion in Chinese music has impacted her family, or other China Connection stories, see more of this story.

With the cost of a college education continuing to increase and state funding simultaneously decreasing, some are beginning to question the value of attending a university at all.  In his e-book, “Is a College Education Still Worth the Price?” MU English Professor Richard Schwartz reminds students why their educations have become so costly.  Schwartz says that the more vocational education system that universities have developed isn’t preparing students as well for the world.  He spoke with KBIA’s Erin Dismeier.

Ryan served as the KBIA News Director from February 2011 to September 2023
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