Former U.S. Sec. of State Appointed Prof. of Hunan Uni. Zhang Fangping (Right), president of Hunan International Economics University, issues a certificate of appointment to former U.S. secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, appointing her as an honorary professor of the university at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing on April 27, 2014. [Photo: voc.com.cn/Deng Jianping] Former U.S. secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, accepted an appointment as an honorary professor of Hunan International Economics University at the university's Youth Leadership Forum at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing on April 27, Hunan-based newspaper website voc.com.cn reports. The former secretary of state shared her own experience at the forum with students from central China's Hunan Province under the theme, "The Importance of Education". After Rice knew many of the students in attendance will take this year's university entrance examination, she told them that studying in university is the way for them to realize their dreams, not only to look for a good job. She also suggested that students should not only find out what they are really interested in and good at, but also challenge themselves in the areas they may initially find difficult during their time at university. Rice believed that a university education should serve as a platform for students to get in touch with knowledge from different areas. Likewise, she feels that the experience should help students find what they would love to do in life and develop an open mind. Among her duties as professor, she plans to share her experiences with Hunan scholars on topics like "how higher education can deal with internationalization challenges." Condoleezza Rice is the first African-American female secretary of state. She was once a professor of political science at Stanford University, where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999.