Cornell College Instructors Who Were Injured During China Visit Return Home to Family, Cancel Travel Plans

The faculty members from Cornell College who were wounded in a stabbing incident while on a teaching assignment in Jilin City, China, have all now either reunited with their families or resumed their travel plans following the episode, as per a Tuesday statement from the college.

In an update to the campus community, Cornell College President Jonathan Brand mentioned that the four instructors have been either reconnected with their family members or are moving forward with their summer travel itinerary after sustaining injuries in a “significant event” at a public park in the city last week.

Brand acknowledged the assistance provided by individuals and entities in both the United States and China to ensure the injured instructors received necessary care. He expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the “extended Cornell College community” during this challenging time.

“We are grateful for the assistance from our partners at Beihua University, and we have conveyed our appreciation to our state and federal elected officials, as well as the Department of State for their endeavors to aid our instructors and their families,” Brand stated in the release.

The educators were conducting classes at Beihua University as part of a collaboration with Cornell College. The incident on June 10 transpired while they were visiting a park in close proximity to the university, accompanied by a fellow faculty member from Beihua. Police in Jilin City reported that a man accidentally collided with one of them, following which the suspected assailant, identified as a 55-year-old named Ciu, allegedly attacked that individual and the three other instructors.

Among the individuals involved in the altercation was David Zabner, the brother of State Representative Adam Zabner. David, a Ph.D. candidate at Tufts University, was participating in the cooperative program between Beihua University and Cornell College in Jilin City when he sustained injuries to his arm during the incident. The identities of the remaining instructors have not been disclosed.

According to Adam Zabner’s social media post, his brother returned to Iowa towards the end of last week. The lawmaker expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Consulate in Shenyang in treating David Zabner and facilitating his return, along with the support from Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

Since 2018, Cornell College has collaborated with Beihua University to bring instructors from Mount Vernon to Jilin City for short teaching stints of two weeks at the university.

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