Photo of Sharon Gou and her family

Meet Sharon Gou, director of the China Outreach Institute and OU Confucius Institute

With a mentality of helping others, Sharon Gou, director of the China Outreach Institute and OU Confucius Institute, enjoys aiding Chinese students who are new to the community and building bridges between America and her home country of China.

“I like to make friends,” Gou said. “If I can offer any help to people who want to learn Chinese or go to China, I will be very happy to share information with them.”

Gou came to America in February 1991 with her husband Dr. Guoqiang Shen, who came to pursue his PhD degree. The couple later moved to Oklahoma when Dr. Shen began a job at OU. They have two daughters, Angela, 19, and Annie, who will turn 17 soon. Gou began her job at Outreach in 2000.

“We feel very blessed and fortunate that after we came to OU, I was offered a job in Outreach. The job matched with my skill very well, so I was excited,” Gou said. “I later found out that university leadership really supports international cooperation, so I proposed to start the China program.”

Other interests of Gou’s are music and dance. Currently, she tries to attend a Zumba class at the YMCA as many times as possible during the week. In the future, she hopes to join the Horizon program at OU to learn to play a new instrument. Gou also enjoys reading, spending time with friends in a local singing group, listening to music and swimming.

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