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China Center Staff

Joan Brzezinski, Executive Director

Joan BrzezinskiPhone: 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.


Rusty McLagan, Training Program Director

rusty_mclaganPhone: 612-625-2913
Email: mclag013@umn.edu

Rusty graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in Chinese Language Studies. He was invited by Nankai University to be the first American undergraduate student from the University of Minnesota to spend the academic year at Nankai in 1980s. He joins the China Center with more than 30 years of international experience and twenty years living and working in China. After graduating from the university, Rusty started his career working in China tourism and later worked for the former Northwest Airlines (now Delta Airlines) during which time he successfully inaugurated the flights to Beijing. Later he moved into a career in Corporate Real Estate when he joined AT&T China and continued his career with Lucent Technologies and Alcatel-Lucent. During his tenure in corporate real estate he had several assignments working in China, Saudi Arabia and South America. Rusty speaks five languages including English, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, French and Spanish.


Zhengyang Gao, Training Program Manager

Zhengyang GaoPhone: 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, Programs Director

Emily HansonPhone: 612-624-0016
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 in Global Studies and Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Minnesota. She studied in China through the U.S. Department  of State's National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, participated in a Humphrey School of Public Affairs faculty-led program, and was 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. 


Rachel Baumhover, Executive Office and Administrative Assistant

Rachel BaumhoverPhone: 612-625-5080
Email: baum0485@umn.edu

Rachel joined the China Center and Confucius Institute after working as a student office assistant with the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance Dean's Office for two years. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in both Journalism and Global Studies, with a focus on ESL Education. She has always been interested in working with the international community, and has formally studied Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. In Summer 2014, her passion for travel led to studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she studied Russian Language and Culture and worked as an English teacher. She has previously worked as an intern at the University of Minnesota's Learning Abroad Center, as well as in nonprofit settings. Rachel has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East -- with plans to have China as her next stop.



Wanling Qu, China Office Director


Wanling QuPhone: 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 China Office into a conduit to rapidly and effectively advance the China Center’s mission.



琼 • 布热津斯基,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。







马瑞民, 明大培训项目主任

电话: 612-625-2913
邮件: mclag013@umn.edu

马瑞民毕业于明尼苏达大学中文系,是八十年代初美国明尼苏达大学 派往南开大学学习中文的第一位美国留学生。 他加入明大中国中心之前,有三十余年的国际跨国工作经验,在中国居住和工作了近二十年。他曾从事中美旅游业, 之后供职于美国西北航空公司(现达美航空)并成功负责执行了首航 北京的航线协调工作。之后服务于世界知名的美国电信公司AT& T、朗讯科技以及阿尔卡特-朗讯公司负责公司地产管理。 他曾在中国、沙特阿拉伯和南美洲工作。马瑞民说英文、中文、 葡萄牙语、法语和西班牙语。 






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。






包瑞雪, 执行办公室和行政助理

电话: 612-625-5080

包瑞雪在加入中国中心和孔子学院之前,已经有两年在国际项目与规划部部长办公 室任职学生办公室助理的经验。瑞雪毕业于明尼苏达大学并获得新闻与全球研究的 双学位,她的研究重点是ESL教育。她一直有意愿在国际事务领域工作,并已正式 学过西班牙语,俄语和阿拉伯语。在2014年夏天,她对待旅游的热情让她前往俄罗 斯圣彼得堡留学,在那里她学习俄罗斯语言和文化,并当过英语教师。她曾在明尼 苏达州大学留学中心和非营利部担任实习生。瑞雪在整个欧洲,拉丁美洲和中东地 区都有广泛的游历 -- 并计划将中国作为她的下一站。





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