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Global Programs and Strategy Alliance > China Center

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China Center Staff

Joan BrzezinskiJoan Brzezinski, Executive Director

Phone: 612-625-5080

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.

Mandy BaiMandy Xue Bai, Assistant Director

Phone: 612-626-2287

Mandy drives the China Center’s scholarship programs, community outreach and corporate engagement. With passion in advancing the China Center’s role in supporting the education, business, and cultural exchanges between Minnesota and the Greater China area, she works on building positive relationships with the Minnesota community and leverages these resources with students and faculty members. Before joining the China Center, she worked at the Carlson Global Institute on the business school education abroad programs across Asia, South America, and Europe. In her early career in China, she worked for China Technology Innovation Corporation in Beijing to explore international markets in America and Western Europe. Mandy has a B.A. in English and International Studies from China Foreign Affairs University, an M.A. in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Emily HansonEmily Hanson, Community Programs Specialist

Phone: 612-624-0016

Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in global studies from the University of Minnesota and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Comparative and International Development Education in the College of Education and Human Development. Emily began her study of Chinese language at Minneapolis South High School. During her junior year she participated in School Year Abroad, a semester-long high school program in Beijing. She continued her study of Chinese at the University of Minnesota and Lewis & Clark College. Emily has spent the majority of her career in the nonprofit sector, including positions with a Chinese adoption agency and educational organizations in literacy and the arts. As Community Programs Specialist,  Emily coordinates many of the China Center's events and activities.

Emily RuskinEmily Ruskin, Project & Program Specialist

Phone: 612-625-5210

Emily joins the China Center directly from Thailand, where she served as a volunteer in the US Peace Corps. While in Thailand, she served as a Teacher Collaboration and Community Outreach volunteer, training Thai teachers in student-centered teaching methods, assisting the Ministry of Education develop EFL programming, and creating English Language libraries at the schools where she served. While still at university, Emily studied abroad at the China Ocean University in Qingdao, Shandong Province. She continued her studies at the Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, where she lived for two years. Emily graduated with a B.S. in International Relations with a minor in Asian and Honors studies from Seton Hall University.

Chelsea KeeneyChelsea Keeney, Executive Office and Administrative Specialist

Phone: 612-624-1002

Chelsea joined the China Center after four years of working and travelling in Eastern Europe and Asia. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from Creighton University, and then worked as a crime reporter for the Omaha World Herald for a year after college. Interest in international education led Chelsea to work in Poland, Finland and Japan as an English teacher, language school office manager and recruiter for privately owned and nonprofit entities before landing at the University of Minnesota.

Xingcai Liu, Ed.D., Mingda Training Program Director

Phone: 612-625-2913

Xingcai Liu joined the China Center in May 2011. He began his journey in Minnesota as a visiting faculty member and was amazed by the higher education field of Minnesota. He received his doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration from St. Cloud State University, and his research interests focus on the internationalization of higher education and comparative studies of higher education in China and the United States. Prior to moving to the United States, Xingcai worked in China’s higher education contexts for fifteen years, engaged in teaching and administration. As the Training Program Director of the China Center, he is excited to work with his colleagues to strengthen the bridge and increase exchanges between the University of Minnesota and China.

Merritt WilsonMerritt Wilson, Mingda Training Program Manager

Phone: 612-624-2372

Merritt Wilson joined the China Center in 2012 having recently returned to the United States after four years in Beijing. Merritt is pleased to contribute to the China Center’s mission of strengthening the bridge of understanding, friendship and cooperation between U.S. and Chinese people and cultures. Merritt began her adventure in China in 2006 training Chinese executives in business English and American culture in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. This position led to work with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences editing and translating white papers on legal, economic, and educational development in China. Her passion for bridging the gap between cultures led her to work with Our Chinese Daughters Foundation in 2010, followed by an opportunity to ease East-West communication difficulties as the greater China region marketing manager for Exp Global, Inc. She is delighted to have the opportunity to continue facilitating understanding and cooperation between the United States and China with the University of Minnesota China Center.

Hui BiHui Bi, Project Assistant


Hui Bi joined the China Center in 2013 as a project assistant. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Comparative and International Development Education in the College of Education and Human Development. Prior to enrolling at the University of Minnesota, she obtained her master's degree in Cross-Cultural and International Education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Her current research interests focus on international education, especially internationalization of higher education and related critical issues in China and throughout Asia.

Wanling QuWanling Qu, Beijing Office Coordinator

Phone: 86-10-8532 4068 (China)

Wanling Qu has been an advocate of expanded academic, business, and cultural exchange between China and the United States since becoming director of the Freshman Program at the Cultural Exchange College of Sichuan International Studies University (SISU) in the early 2000s. She has earned degrees in International Business and English from SISU, as well as a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Industrial Relations (HRIR) from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Wanling’s professional background includes working for premier institutions of higher education and large corporations in both China and America. Wanling speaks fluent Chinese and English, and is passionate to develop the Beijing Office into a conduit to rapidly and effectively advance the China Center’s mission.

Daniel KonoldDaniel Konold, American Cultural Center Program Coordinator

Cell: 86-158 2200 6352 (China)

Daniel Konold joined the China Center in 2012 as the Program Coordinator of the American Culture Center for Sports, based in Tianjin, China. Being born and raised in Minneapolis, he will always call Minnesota home, but after moving to China in 2009, he can now really say that he has two homes. Daniel graduated from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN, with a degree in Intercultural Studies. He has put his education to good use, having traveled to over 30 countries, observing and enjoying the culture in every new place he visits. He has experience creating cross-cultural programming for American students and is looking forward to doing the same for Chinese students using sports cultural values.


瓊 • 布熱金斯基,执行主任

電話: 612-625-5080

孔子學院院長,中國中心执行主任瓊• 布熱金斯基畢業於漢姆林大學東亞歷史系並獲得聖•托馬斯大學國際管理學碩士學位 。 瓊就讀於漢姆林大學期間,曾被選送前往北京大學參加交流學習項目。該項目也是北京大學與美國私立大學之間的第一個本科交流項目。

瓊在中美旅遊市場營銷和運營及中美商務諮詢方面有超過二十年的工作經驗。她曾到過中國三十多次,足跡遍步中國大陸、香港和台灣。瓊於1997年加入中國中心並主管中國中心業務與活動。 2008年,瓊成為明尼蘇達大學孔子學院的首位院長。期間,她幫助明尼蘇達州和中國漢辦達成了國家級的教師訪問項目,為明尼蘇達的中文教師組織了諸多專業發展講座和研討會,為當地學校引進了大批高質量的中文項目以促進中國文化在明州的傳播。





電話: 612-626-2287

白雪負責協調中國中心的獎學金項目、社區參與活動和企業合作夥伴計劃。 她積極推進中國中心與明州各界的良好關係,促進校外社區與師生的互動,期待中國中心為明州與中國的商業、教育、文化交流做出更多的貢獻。 在加入中國中心之前, 她就職於明尼蘇達大學卡爾森商學院的國際項目辦公室,負責部份亞洲、南美洲和歐洲國家的短期海外學習項目。來明尼蘇達州之前,白雪還曾在北京做中國技術創新公司的美洲和西歐市場拓展工作。白雪本科畢業於中國北京的外交學院英語和國際研究專業,後獲得明尼蘇達大學公共政策碩士學位(杭弗瑞公共事務學院)和工商管理碩士學位(卡爾森管理學院)。





電話: 612-624-0016

何鳳在明尼蘇達大學取得了全球研究的本科學位,現在正在教育和人類發展學院進修比較國際發展教育的碩士學位。何鳳在明尼阿波利斯的South高中開始了她的中文學習,在十一年級的時候,她曾去中國北京參加了一個學期的高中海外留學項目。之後她回到美國在明尼蘇達大學和Lewis & Clark 大學繼續中文學習。何鳳在中國兒童收養機構和文化藝術等教育中心工作過,在非盈利部門工作方面有豐富的經驗。作為社區項目專員,何鳳組織和協調中國中心的多項活動。





電話: 612-625-5210

冉恩明在完成了美國和平隊派往泰國的志願者任務後,直接回到美国加入了中國中心。在泰國期間,冉恩明擔任教師合作和社區發展項目的志願者,培訓泰國教師使用以學生為中心的教學法,協助當地教育部拓展英語作為外語的教學項目,以及在她服務的學校創設英文圖書館。冉恩明在讀大學期間,就已經去過中國青島海洋大學留學,之後又在台北的台灣師範大學留學兩年。冉恩明取得了Seton Hall大學的學士學位,主修國際關係和輔修亞洲語言文學。




電話: 612-624-1002






劉興才, 教育博士, 明大培训项目主任

電話: 612-625-2913






電話: 612-624-2372

在北京生活了四年後,林雅慧最近回到了美國,而且特別高興能有機會在中國中心工作,與中國中心的同事們共同建設美中兩國文化和人民之間的理解、友誼及合作之橋。 2006年,林雅慧到達中國為那裡的高級管理人員教授商務英語和美國文化,幫助他們做好語言和文化溝通方面的準備,以迎接2008年奧運會。她的第二份工作是為中國社科院編輯和翻譯有關中國法律、經濟和教育發展白皮書。她對彌合中美文化之間的差異充滿了熱情,這促成了她在2010年與我們的中國女兒基金會的合作。另外,她曾加盟Exp Global,Inc. 擔任大中國地區營銷經理。現在,她非常高興能有機會在明大中國中心工作,並繼續致力於促進中美之間的理解與合作。








電話: 86-10-8532 4068





手機: 86-158 2200 6352