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University of Minnesota
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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
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.

 

Merritt WilsonMerritt Wilson, Training Program Manager

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

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.

 

Zhengyang Gao, Training Program Specialist

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.

 

Emily RuskinEmily Ruskin, Project & Program Specialist

Phone: 612-625-5210
Email: ecruskin@umn.edu

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.

 

Jacquelyn RuppJacquelyn Rupp, Executive Office & Administrative Specialist

Phone: 612-625-5080
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

Hui BiHui Bi, China 100 Project Assistant

Email: bih00001@umn.edu

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.

 

 

Chuqing Dong, Training Program Assistant

Email: dongx239@umn.edu

Chuqing Dong joined the China center in June 2014. She was born and raised in Hangzhou, China, where she received her B.A. in Public Administration and English. During her undergraduate years, she taught TOEFL with the New Oriental Education & Technology Group and worked with Alibaba.com on its international wholesale site. She is currently pursuing Master Degrees in Public Policy and Mass Communication. Prior to working with the China Center, she gained diverse work experience with the Minnesota state government, local nonprofit organizations, and educational institutes. She is looking forward to leveraging her knowledge and skill sets to facilitate communication between China and the United States.

 

Rong Cao, Training Program Assistant

Email: caoxx256@umn.edu

Rong Cao joined the China Center in June 2014. His primary responsibilities include English-Chinese interpretation and program coordination. He is pursuing his master’s degree in Development Practice with a minor in Program Evaluation at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. His specialties are program evaluation and international nonprofit management. He has carried out multiple consultancy and training projects in the US, Egypt, and China. Before coming to the UMN, he worked as a project manager in charge of a rural teacher training project with Adream Charitable Foundation in China. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in 2010 from Fudan University, Shanghai, China majoring in Statistics and Law. As the president of the Red Cross Fudan University branch, he dedicated himself to HIV/AIDS prevention and first aid skills training.

 

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.

 

 

 

中国中心职员

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。

 

 

 

 

白雪,副主任

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)。

 

 

 

林雅慧,培训项目经理

电话: 612-624-2372
邮件: merrittw@umn.edu

在北京生活了四年后,林雅慧最近回到了美国,而且特别高兴能有机会在中国中心工作,与中国中心的同事们共同建设美中两国文化和人民之间的理解、友谊及合作之桥。 2006年,林雅慧到达中国为那里的高级管理人员教授商务英语和美国文化,帮助他们做好语言和文化沟通方面的准备,以迎接2008年奥运会。她的第二份工作是为中国社科院编辑和翻译有关中国法律、经济和教育发展白皮书。她对弥合中美文化之间的差异充满了热情,这促成了她在2010年与我们的中国女儿基金会的合作。另外,她曾加盟Exp Global,Inc. 担任大中国地区营销经理。现在,她非常高兴能有机会在明大中国中心工作,并继续致力于促进中美之间的理解与合作。

 

 

 

 

高正旸培训项目专员

电话: 612-626-9386
邮件:gaoxx777@umn.edu

高正旸是毕业于明尼苏达州圣托马斯大学学生事务专业的硕士。就读于圣托马斯大学之前,高正旸在韩国得到了他的学士学位。他对于了解新文化、帮助其他与他有同样背景的国际学生去了解文化差异有很大的兴趣。他于2014年夏天加入中国中心明大培训项目办公室,成为办公室的培训项目专员。他期望在今后的工作中,能够利用自己的国际教育与交流的经验与知识更好的为中国中心服务。也非常荣幸能为促进明尼苏达大学和中国其他大学之间的交流尽自己的绵薄之力。

 

 

 

何凤,社区项目专员

电话: 612-624-0016
邮件:hans0996@umn.edu

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。

 

 

 

 

 

 

冉恩明,项目专员

电话: 612-625-5210
邮件:ecruskin@umn.edu

冉恩明在完成了美国和平队派往泰国的志愿者任务后,直接回到美国加入了中国中心。在泰国期间,冉恩明担任教师合作和社区发展项目的志愿者,培训泰国教师使用以学生为中心的教学法,协助当地教育部拓展英语作为外语的教学项目,以及在她服务的学校创设英文图书馆。冉恩明在读大学期间,就已经去过中国青岛海洋大学留学,之后又在台北的台湾师范大学留学两年。冉恩明取得了Seton Hall大学的学士学位,主修国际关系和辅修亚洲语言文学。

 

 

 

瑞洁琳, 办公室行政专员

电话: 612-625-5080
邮件:ruppx077@umn.edu 

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。

 

 

 

 

 

屈婉玲,北京办事处主任

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

屈婉玲,中国中心北京办事处第一任负责人,直接参与了明尼苏达大学中国中心北京办事处的创立和拓展,积极致力于推动中美两国,尤其是中国与明尼苏达州经济、文化和学术方面的交流与合作。先后就读于四川外语学院、明尼苏达大学,获得英语专业学士、硕士学位,人力资源专业硕士学位,具有丰富的履职经历,担任过重庆啤酒集团公司销售代表、经理助理,四川外语学院国际文化交流学院一年级教研组长,卡森集团公司总部项目负责人等职。

 

 

 

 

大牛,中美体育文化交流中心主任

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

大牛先生于2012年初加入中美体育文化交流中心。该中心位于中国天津体育学院。作为该项目的协调人,大牛先生在明尼阿波利斯出生长达,明尼苏达州是他的家乡。自从2009年来到中国,中国即成为他的第二故乡。他毕业于明州圣保罗的西北大学,获得跨文化研究专业的学士学位。他学以致用,游历了三十多个国家,观察当地文化并乐在其中。他拥有创建跨文化项目的经验,为国际学生服务,并期待在体育文化价值观下为来自中国的学生服务。

 

 

 

学生雇员

毕慧,明大中国百年历史项目助理

邮件: bih00001@umn.edu

毕慧于2013年6月加入中国中心,担任明大与中国教育交流一百周年(1914-2014)项目的项目助理。她目前是明尼苏达大学教育与人类发展学院比较与国际发展教育专业的博士生。来明大之前,她在俄亥俄州的鲍林格灵州立大学获得跨文化与国际教育专业的硕士。她的研究兴趣主要是国际教育,尤其是中国及其他亚洲国家高等教育国际化的相关问题。她对于一百周年项目非常有热情,并且希望能通过这个项目来展示历史,从而让大家更好地了解我们在与中国教育交流方面所做的努力和所取得的显著成绩。

 

董初晴,培训项目助理

邮件: dongx239@umn.edu

董初晴于2014年夏天参与中国中心明大培训项目, 担任培训项目助理。她来自中国杭州,本科学习公共管理和英语双专业。在本科期间,她曾在新东方教授托福课程以及在阿里巴巴国际站实习。本科毕业后,初晴决定前往明尼苏达大学双城分校继续深造,学习公共政策与新闻传媒。她有丰富的实践经验,曾工作于州政府,非营利组织,以及教育机构。这些经历让她对美国的政治,文化和高等教育有了更深的理解。她希望能充分运用这些经验促进中美文化交流与合作。

 

 

 

 

 

曹嵘,培训项目助理

邮件: caoxx256@umn.edu

曹嵘2014年6月加入中国中心参与项目组织协调和翻译工作。曹嵘目前就读于明尼苏达大学汉佛莱公共事务学院发展实践硕士专业,专长为项目评估和国际非盈利组织管理。他有着丰富的国际非盈利项目执行经验,曾经在中国、美国和埃及负责或参与了多个培训及咨询项目,客户包括企业、非盈利组织和高校。在赴美学习之前,他曾在上海真爱梦想公益基金会担任项目经理,负责志愿者和乡村教师培训项目。曹嵘于2010年在复旦大学取得了统计学和法学双学士学位。在校期间,他曾担任复旦大学红十字会学生分会会长,致力于在校园里推广艾滋病同伴教育和急救技术培训。

 

 

 

王倩,培训项目助理

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。