Meet CIEE's Pacific Rim Directors

Authored by:
Caroline Maas

I'm pleased to introduce you to the CIEE Directors from the Pacific Rim. These are the educators entrusted to oversee students' academic and intercultural experiences, as well as their safety and well-being when they're studying or interning far from home. 

Australia

Paul Hollick
Center Director, Perth

Paul has worked with the CIEE program in Perth since 2001 and has a range of experience in the fields of tertiary and sports administration. His work with CIEE equips him with considerable experience in revealing his native state of Western Australia to students from across the United States. Though he has lived most of his life in Perth, Paul has traveled extensively in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Paul earned a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from Edith Cowan University, and postgraduate study in Sustainability and Climate Change Policy at Curtin University, demonstrating his lifelong commitment to the environment and all things green. His other interests include Australian football, rugby union, camping, water sports, and all outdoor recreation.

Tonia Gray, Ph.D.
Center Director, Wollongong

Tonia has a wealth of experience leading students, particularly in outdoor education. Her degrees include a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education, an M.A. in Community Health, and a Ph.D. in Outdoor/Experiential Education. In addition to her role as director, she is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong. She received an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) for Excellence in Teaching in 2014.  In 2009, Dr. Gray received the highest teaching award at the university: The Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning. She was also awarded a Citation for Contribution to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council for: "Engaging students in life-altering learning experiences, providing an enduring role model for scholarly activity in Outdoor Education, and building an internationally recognized innovative program."

China

Yuke Jiang
Center Director, Beijing

Yuke holds a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Shaanxi University of Technology and a master’s degree in teaching Chinese as a second language from Minzu University of China. Previously, she taught Chinese for the Columbia University Summer Language Program and Clemson University language program, and was an administrative assistant for the College of International Education, Minzu University. She was a volunteer of Bring Me Hope Camp for orphans in Xi’an 2009 and in Kunming 2010. After working part-time for CIEE as a language tutor, she started working full-time in 2015, coordinating the Minzu programs and International Faculty Development Seminars, Faculty-led Custom programs, and student services. She has served as the Beijing Center Director since 2018.

Yanfei Fu, Ph.D.
Center Director, Nanjing

Yanfei has been in the field of pan-Pacific education for 13 years. Before joining CIEE in 2011, she directed the study abroad program for the University of Arizona. She also worked at a prestigious high school and sent outstanding Chinese students to top universities in the U.S. She has a strong interest in intercultural communication and teaches Chinese language and Intercultural Communication and Leadership at Nanjing Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona and a M.A. in linguistics from Syracuse University.

Steve Chao
Director, Global Institute - Shanghai

Steve is the Director at CIEE Shanghai Global Institute. He has extensive professional experience in global education as both faculty and senior administrator in U.S. higher education institutions since 1988. Before joining CIEE in 2010, he was responsible for campus globalization at three universities in Missouri, Indiana, and Massachusetts. He holds a doctorate of education degree from Saint Louis University, and has far-reaching international teaching and research experience in Taiwan and China. Steve was born in Taiwan, has two grown children and a beautiful wife originally from Shanghai. 

Rebecca Chow
Academic Internship Council Site Director, Hong Kong

Rebecca joined AIC in 2014.  Previously she served as assistant lecturer for a renowned university in Hong Kong, and has extensive professional experience in career advising and developing overseas internship opportunities in London and Germany. Earlier in her career, Rebecca spent time in the aviation industry and at the Hong Kong Productivity Council, working with clients such as the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and trade associations. Rebecca earned a research master’s degree in media and communication from Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany, with a focus on cross-cultural communication, strategic communication management, and entrepreneurship. Rebecca has travelled to more than 30 countries and cities, and she is passionate about inspiring others to reach their potential and improving international understanding.

Japan

Darren Biggs
Center Director, Tokyo

Darren has a B.A. in Media Arts with a minor in East Asian Studies from the University of Arizona, and an M.A. in Global Studies from Sophia University in Tokyo. He was awarded a full scholarship by Japan's Ministry of Education to pursue his graduate degree in Japan. Prior to joining CIEE, Darren taught English in rural Japan through the JET Program, taught Japanese at a community college in Arizona, and worked in language interpretation services. 

Singapore

Shannah Teo
Academic Internship Council Site Director, Singapore

Since 2012, Shannah has been focused on AIC program delivery and professional practice internship placements in Singapore. Previously, whe managed a recruitment division dealing with job placements in Singapore, co-headed a private college for UK tertiary programs, and also served as an Education Officer / School Counsellor under the Singapore Ministry of Education. Shannah has dedicated her entire career to education and has a genuine passion to help others improve their lives and excel in their careers. She enjoys music and travelling, is fluent in both English and Mandarin ,and holds a B.A. with a diploma in education from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE/NTU).

South Korea

Suzanne Crowder Han
Center Director, Seoul

Suzanne has lived in Korea since 1977, when she first came to the country as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, and has been serving as the Director of the CIEE Seoul Center since its founding in 2005. Previously, she was a writing consultant for the Korean Ministry of Culture and Information, and later for Korea Telecom. She has an M.B.A. from Yonsei University, a B.A. from the University of South Carolina, and has trained at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication. An accomplished author, Suzanne has published several books and articles on Korean customs and traditions. Her stories based on Korean folk-tales are included in a number of anthologies and children’s reading textbooks in North America. Her works have also been translated into numerous foreign languages and her books Notes on Things Korean and Korean Folk & Fairy Tales are used as resource materials in schools around the world. Suzanne likes to play tennis, cards, and board games as well as visit museums.

Taiwan

Christie Chang, Ph.D.
Center Director, Taiwan

Christie earned her B.A. in foreign languages and literature from National Taiwan University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Hawaii, specializing in second language acquisition, literacy, and pedagogy. She wrote her dissertation on heritage language teaching in Chinese language schools in Hawaii. She has taught undergraduate linguistics courses, as well as English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese as second languages. Before joining CIEE, Christie held the positions of Principal and Academic Dean at a prominent local Chinese Language School in Hawaii. She has native knowledge of Mandarin and Taiwanese, sensitivity to cultural differences, and an ability to bridge these differences. She also served as President of Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women and is founder of its branch in Taiwan.

Thailand

David Streckfuss, Ph.D.
Center Director, Khon Kaen

David has been the director for CIEE programs in Thailand since 1994.  He has a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoys baking, reading, writing, yoga, and discussing. His book, Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté, was published by Routledge Press in 2011. He is working on his next book, which will be a comparative treatment of lèse-majesté in world history. Dave is also occasionally published in The Bangkok Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

 

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