Board of advisors

Jeff Bissell

Dr. Jeffrey W. Bissell is Head of School at Chinese-American International School (CAIS) where he has overseen the establishment of an innovative framework for curriculum development allowing for the effective integration of Chinese and English across multiple disciplines. CAIS, the nation’s oldest Chinese/English dual language immersion school, is located in San Francisco. Bissell has also led CAIS’s strategic initiative to develop language-based experiential learning programs for CAIS students in China and Taiwan. He has served as Resident Director of School Year Abroad (SYA) in Beijing, China, chair of the Board of Trustees at Western Academy of Beijing, and adjunct professor of Chinese language at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He has lived in China and Taiwan for a total of 15 years.

David Bong

Mr. Bong is the CEO of Avant Assessment. He co-founded Avant in 2001 with his wife, Sheila, and Dr. Carl Falsgraf, formerly the Director of the Center for Applied Second Language Studies at the University of Oregon. Earlier David was co-founder of Step.com, a Silicon Valley-based web service providing information on listed US companies to Japanese investors; Managing Director of Kroll Associates Japan, a leading international corporate investigative and security consulting firm; and the US Sales Manager for Takara Sake USA in Berkeley, CA. His experience working with Japan gave him a deep appreciation for the importance of language. As an investigator, David saw firsthand how both Japanese and western firms were victims of frauds or extortions when their expat managers did not understand the language or the culture of their host country. As a businessman he saw many opportunities lost because of the same lack of language or cultural understanding. That experience inspired him to co-found Avant. David speaks Japanese and is happy to be living in Eugene, Oregon with wife Sheila and their two sons. On the side he trains for, and occasionally runs marathons. He has a BA in the College of Social Studies and Japanese History from Wesleyan University, and long, long ago was a New England college wrestling champion.

Juan Carlos (JC) Morales

For over seventeen years, Juan Carlos (JC) Morales was a public high school teacher of German, Japanese, French, and ESL in Miami, Florida. In 2007, he was named SCOLT (Southern Council on Language Teaching) Regional Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) National Teacher of the Year. In 2011, he left the classroom to become a director of curriculum and content for the Advanced Placement World Languages and Culture program of the College Board. There, he oversaw the redesign of the AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP German Language and Culture, and AP Latin courses and exams, and led the development of teacher support materials, curriculum and assessment in those courses as well as in AP Japanese Language and Culture. From 2013-14, Dr. Morales served as state supervisor for world languages for the state of Delaware, working with schools to implement the state’s dual language immersion initiative in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish in the elementary schools, and helping to improve middle and high school world language instruction. Since 2014, he has been the World Language Department Chairperson at Miami-Dade College, where he also teaches German and Japanese. From 2014-2016, he served as an elected board member on the ACTFL Board of Directors, where he served as Program Chair for the 2015 and 2016 annual conventions. Dr. Morales’ dissertation on higher education leadership focuses on Latino students’ journeys from the English as a Second Language classroom to the Honors College at the community college level.

Janis Jensen

For decades, Ms. Jensen has been an independent consultant for world languages and global education. Currently, Janis serves as Program Director for STARTALK Grant Projects at Kean University, including oversight of Hindi and Urdu Student and Teacher Programs and the newly developed Master’s degree program in Hindi and Urdu Language Pedagogy.

Program liaison to the Kean University Graduate School of Education and graduate professor, Janis has also served as Director of the School for Global Education and Innovation at Kean, responsible for professional development initiatives focusing on 21st century learning and teaching and global education. As Director of the Office of Academic Standards at the NJ Department of Education, Janis oversaw the development and implementation of the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards and educational technology where she coordinated the implementation of world languages and international education policies, programs, and initiatives at the department. She is past president of NCSSFL, NNELL, and NJ ASCD. She co-authored the ASCD publication, The Essentials of World Languages, Grades K-12: Effective Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Janis is also an Advisory Board Member for the TELL Project and the NFLRC at the University of Hawaii, Manoah.

Luyi Lien

Academic Director of Yinghua Academy since 2006, Dr. Lien received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota and has taught and developed curricula at Yinghua. Her duties include overall design and alignment of Chinese curriculum with national and State of Minnesota academic standards; collection and evaluation of all Chinese materials; planning and conducting all-school, total-subject assessments; and developing and creating materials for Mandarin Literacy Assessment Tools. Dr. Lien has made presentations at national conferences, covering various topics in her field of expertise, such as Chinese language learning, language immersion programs, curriculum development, action research and Chinese literacy instruction.

Duarte Silva

Dr. Duarte Silva is Executive Director of the California World Language Project (CWLP) in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Designed to strengthen and enhance professional development opportunities for California’s language educators, CWLP has seven regional sites across California. These sites are located at campuses of the California State University, independent colleges and universities, and county offices of education. Silva is responsible for providing leadership to the Project’s programs statewide and for overseeing evaluation of the programs outcomes at each site. As a former member of the California Curriculum Commission, he chaired the Foreign Language Subject Matter Committee and was a member of several other committees that advise the State Board of Education on a variety of language-related issues. He has chaired several state adoptions of instructional materials for Foreign Language and English Language Development students and oversaw the development of criteria for the role of technology in supporting the teaching of languages.

Shuhan C. Wang

Dr. Shuhan C. Wang is Project Director of CELIN. She is President of ELE Consulting International, providing technical assistance, teacher professional development, curriculum and materials development, and program evaluation in language education to schools, districts, states, institutions of higher education, organizations, and governments. Shuhan is former Executive Director of Chinese Language Initiatives at Asia Society (2006–2009) and Deputy Director of the National Foreign Language Center, University of Maryland (2009–2012). Her work is published in books and peer reviewed journals, including Flying with Chinese, a series of textbooks for K–6 learners of Chinese. Dr. Wang serves as an advisor to the Ministry of Education in Singapore on the Mother Tongue Language and Chinese Primary Curriculum Projects and works with the Maryland State Department of Education to develop Elementary STEM-focused World Language Curricular Modules, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top initiative. Shuhan received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

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