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China Center Staff

Joan BrzezinskiJoan Brzezinski, Executive Director

Phone: 612-625-5080
Email: brzez001@umn.edu

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
Email: bai@umn.edu

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.


Chunhui MaChunhui Ma, Training Program Director

Phone: 612-625-2931
Email: maxx0153@umn.edu

Chunhui has lived in three countries: China, Canada, and the United States. Previously, she has worked in positions that utilize her Chinese cultural background and her substantial understanding of the North American culture. In Canada, she conducted numerous cross-cultural training and consulting sessions for employees from multinational companies and their families prior to their departure to China and other Asian countries. In the United States, she worked as a director of the EMBA Program for International Leadership at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. That program has provided management training for Chinese government officials and executives from state-owned enterprises. As the director of the Mingda Institute for Leadership Training, she hopes to leverage her prior experience, cross-cultural communication skills, and her research interest in the transfer of learning in training program development and implementation. She aims to develop better customized training programs for Chinese trainees and provide them an effective learning platform.


Merritt WilsonMerritt Wilson, Training Program Manager

Phone: 612-624-2372
Email: merrittw@umn.edu

Merritt first became interested in China at the age of five, when she was the only student in her kindergarten class able to point out China on a world map. Despite beginning university as a piano performance major, she elected to switch her focus and graduated with a degree in Mandarin Chinese language from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following graduation, she moved to Beijing, China and spent the next five years working in both the private and public sectors. Work experience includes serving as the Director of Youth Programs at the nonprofit Our Chinese Daughters Foundation; translating and editing white papers on China's development in the education, legal, and economic sectors for the Chinese government; and serving as a bridge between local Chinese offices and the US-based executive management group of an American engineering consulting firm. In early 2012, she returned to the United States to accept a position as Training Program Manager with the China Center. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has rich international management experience. She is also concurrently pursuing an M.A. in Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota. 


Zhengyang Gao, Training Program Specialist Zhengyang Gao

Phone: 612-626-9386
Email: gaoxx777@umn.edu

Zhengyang joined the China Center in summer 2014. He is pleased to be part of the China Center for increasing exchanges between the University of Minnesota and China. He graduated with the Leadership in Student Affairs Master's Degree from the University of St. Thomas. Prior to that he studied for his Bachelor's Degree in Korean Literature in South Korea. He is interested in learning new cultures and helping other international students understand the culture differences. He is excited to contibute to the China Center using his international education and communciation knowledges, and to work with Chinese training delegations.


Emily Hanson, Community Programs Specialist

Phone: 612-624-0016Emily Hanson
Email: hans0996@umn.edu

Emily joined the Confucius Institute staff in 2008 and in 2012 her position grew to also include the China Center. She has a master’s degree in Comparative and International Development Education and bachelor’s degree in Global Studies, both from the University of Minnesota. Emily serves on the board of Yinghua Academy, which was the first Chinese immersion charter school in the United States. 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 manages many of the China Center’s events and activities at the University and in the community.


Pashoua Vang, Program and Project Specialist

Pashoua VangPhone: 612-625-5210
Email: vang0851@umn.edu

Pashoua joined the China Center after earning her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota where she majored in Global Studies and Asian Languages and Literature. She studied in China through the U.S. Department  of State's National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, particiation in a Humphrey School of Public Affairs faculty-led program and has been a recipient of the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship in Taiwan. Pashoua's undergraduate experience included serving as a board member for the Hmong Minnesota Student Association (HMSA), providing mentorship to students in the President's Emerging Scholars Program, contributing to research at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and participation in the Community Engagement Scholars Program (CESP). Prior to joining the team, Pashoua was a scholar for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership and interned at an international education nonprofit in Washington, DC. Her research and professional interests include international education and development, culture preservation, refugee and immigrant acculturation, and civic engagement. 


Jacquelyn RuppJacquelyn Rupp, Executive Office & Administrative Specialist

Phone: 612-624-1002
Email: ruppx077@umn.edu 

Jacquelyn joins the China Center after earning her bachelor’s degree in business marketing education and minor in leadership from the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about international education and has traveled and studied abroad extensively, including a high school trip to Beijing and Shanghai, a foreign exchange program in France, two college study abroad trips in South Africa and Senegal, and a post-graduate English teaching fellowship in Germany. During her time as an undergraduate student, Jacquelyn also participated in the University of Minnesota Marching Band and volunteered with various organizations on youth and education as well as immigrant families in the Twin Cities. Her research and professional interests include language acquisition, international education policy and the interaction of study abroad experience and personal leadership development in college students.  As an executive support specialist, Jacquelyn helps manage the business and administrative efforts of both the China Center and Confucius Institute.


Wanling QuWanling Qu, Beijing Office Coordinator

Phone: 86-10-8532 4068 (China)
Email: wanling@umn.edu

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)
Email: ddkonold@umn.edu

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.


Student Staff

Qian Wang (Elly), Training Program Assistant

Email: wang4095@umn.edu

Elly joined the China Center Mingda Training Program team in June 2014. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education and Translation at Fujian Normal University. After a one-year exchange program at the University of Central Arkansas, she graduated from her university in China and began working as a TOEFL and IELTS instructor for one of the pioneers of English education in China, New Oriental Education and Technology Group. After a year’s work experience at New Oriental, she decided to pursue a Master of Education degree in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. She is looking forward to using her professional knowledge and experience to promote intercultural communication in higher education between the U.S. and China.





琼 • 布热金斯基,执行主任

电话: 612-625-5080
邮件: brzez001@umn.edu

孔子学院院长,中国中心执行主任琼• 布热金斯基毕业于汉姆林大学东亚历史系并获得圣•托马斯大学国际管理学硕士学位 。 琼就读于汉姆林大学期间,曾被选送前往北京大学参加交流学习项目。该项目也是北京大学与美国私立大学之间的第一个本科交流项目。

琼在中美旅游市场营销和运营及中美商务谘询方面有超过二十年的工作经验。她曾到过中国三十多次,足迹遍步中国大陆、香港和台湾。琼于1997年加入中国中心并主管中国中心业务与活动。 2008年,琼成为明尼苏达大学孔子学院的首位院长。期间,她帮助明尼苏达州和中国汉办达成了国家级的教师访问项目,为明尼苏达的中文教师组织了诸多专业发展讲座和研讨会,为当地学校引进了大批高质量的中文项目以促进中国文化在明州的传播。






电话: 612-626-2287
邮件: bai@umn.edu

白雪负责协调中国中心的奖学金项目、社区参与和企业合作。 她积极推进中国中心与明州各界的良好关系,促进校外社区与师生的互动,期待中国中心为明州与中国的商业、教育、文化交流做出更多的贡献。 在加入中国中心之前, 她就职于明尼苏达大学卡尔森商学院的国际项目办公室,负责部份亚洲、南美洲和欧洲国家的短期海外学习项目。来明尼苏达州之前,白雪在位于北京的中国技术创新公司做北美和西欧市场拓展工作。她本科毕业于中国北京的外交学院英语和国际研究专业,后获得明尼苏达大学公共政策硕士学位(杭弗瑞公共事务学院)和工商管理硕士学位(卡尔森管理学院)。





电话: 612-625-2931
邮件: maxx0153@umn.edu

春慧在中国,加拿大 和美国三个国家生活过。她曾将自己的中国文化背景和对北美文化的深度了解运用在她之前的工作中。在加拿大的时候, 她多次给派往中国和亚洲国家的跨囯公司雇员及家属提供了跨文化沟通方面的培训和咨询。在美国伊利诺伊州期间,她在芝加哥罗斯福大学任EMBA项目的主管。该EMBA项目为中囯的政府官员及国企高管提供了管理方面的培训。作为明大培训学院的主管, 她希望能将其以往的经验 ,跨文化沟通的专长和对迁移学习的研究兴趣结合起来用于培训项目的开发和实施过程中。她力求为来自中国的培训人员更好地开发量身定制的项目并给他们提供一个有效的学习平台。






电话: 612-624-2372
邮件: merrittw@umn.edu

林雅慧5岁时就开始对中国产生浓厚的兴趣,因为她是幼儿园里唯一一个能在世界地图上指出中国的学生。尽管刚开始上大学的时候她选择了钢琴表演专业,但她还是决定把专业换成汉语言文学,并最终从威斯康星大学麦迪逊分校毕业。毕业后,她搬到了北京, 在接下来的五年时间里为私营和公共部门工作。工作经历包括如下:在非盈利机构 “我们的中国女儿基金会”担任青少年项目主任; 为中国政府做了关于中国的教育,法律以及经济部门发展的白皮书翻译; 还为中国本土的办事处和美国工程咨询公司位于美国总部的高级管理组之间牵线搭桥。 2012年初,她回到美国接受现在中国中心明大培训项目经理的职位。她会说流利的普通话以及有着丰富的国际化管理经验。她同时在明尼苏达大学读研究生,专业是国际教育比较和发展。






电话: 612-626-9386






电话: 612-624-0016

何凤在明尼苏达大学取得了全球研究的本科学位,现在正在教育和人类发展学院进修比较国际发展教育的硕士学位。何凤在明尼阿波利斯的South高中开始了她的中文学习,在十一年级的时候,她曾去中国北京参加了一个学期的高中海外留学项目。之后她回到美国在明尼苏达大学和Lewis & Clark 大学继续中文学习。何凤在中国儿童收养机构和文化艺术等教育中心工作过,在非盈利部门工作方面有丰富的经验。作为社区项目专员,何凤组织和协调中国中心的多项活动。







王佩霜, 项目专员

电话: 612-625-5210

在明尼苏达大学取得全球化研究和亚洲语言文学双学士学位后,王佩霜成为了中国中心的一员。她参加过由美国国务院赞助的国家安全语言促进项目青少年组在中国学习,参加过明尼苏达大学杭弗瑞公共行政管理学院的中国访问项目,之后在台湾也学习过中文。在本科阶段,佩霜积极参与校园生活:她是苗族裔美国学生会的成员之一, 并作为高年级生为在校长新兴学者计划中为一年级新生提供入学指导, 同时她也供力于汉弗莱公共事务学院的研究和社区参与学者计划。佩霜也曾参与亚太裔美国人领导力会议,并在华盛顿特区的一个有关国际教育的非营利组织中实习。她的研究和专业兴趣包括国际教育和发展,文化保护,难民与移民的文化导入以及公民参与。





瑞洁琳, 办公室行政专员

电话: 612-624-1002

瑞洁琳毕业于明尼苏达大学市场营销及领导学本科专业。之后加入中国中心。她对于国际教育充满热忱,并多次海外旅行和交流学习,其中包括高中时期北京上海之旅和在法国一年的交流项目,大学时期去南非和塞内加尔留学, 毕业后在德国做英文教师。在本科期间,瑞洁琳还是明尼苏达大学校仪仗队的一员,并在双城多个青少年教育以及移民家庭相关的机构里做志愿者。 她的研究和专业方向包括语言学习、国际教育政策、海外留学以及大学生领导力发展。作为行政专员,瑞洁琳协助中国中心和孔子学院的行政管理事务。







电话: 86-10-8532 4068
邮件: wanling@umn.edu







手机: 86-158 2200 6352
邮件: ddkonold@umn.edu








邮件: wang4095@umn.edu

王倩于2014年夏天成为中国中心明大培训项目的一员, 她担任项目培训助理一职,主要负责项目信息维护、行政和翻译工作。 王倩毕业于福建师范大学英语教育与翻译专业。在中央阿肯色大学结束访学后,王倩加入了新东方教育科技集团,并教授托福与雅思两门课程。在新东方一年的工作经历使她受益匪浅,同时,也让她做出继续出国深造的决定。 目前,王倩是一名读于明尼苏达大学教育与人类发展学院的研究生。目前,她非常享受在明州的学习,工作与生活, 而且她也期望为中美高等教育中的跨文化交际贡献自己的一份力量。