Team Biographies

Patrick McAloon, PhD

Chief Representative

Patrick McAloon serves as the Undergraduate Program Manager for the Ohio State University Chinese Flagship Program.  Off campus, McAloon has taught cross-cultural communication at Ohio Dominican University, and is an expatriate relocation trainer for Global LT and Prudential Intercultural.

After graduating with a degree in East Asian Studies from the College of William & Mary in 1998, McAloon interned in a Chinese state-owned shipping agency and then went on to become a manager in a US-based e-commerce firm in Beijing.  In that position, McAloon led a team of 60 Chinese staff and gave sales seminars across China to local businesspeople.  In 2001, McAloon returned to the US to pursue degrees in Chinese language pedagogy at the Ohio State University.

McAloon has also taken MBA courses in international business strategy, international human resource management, and managerial negotiation at the Ohio State Fisher College of Business. McAloon returns to China regularly with Ohio State’s language programs.

Monica Xia, CPA, MBA

Director, US Market

Monica Xia has been professionally bridging cultures since 1996, when she began translating NBC programs for Chinese audiences.  Over ten years later, she continues to facilitate cross-cultural interaction by facilitating Sino-US educational exchange and cross-border business.

In 1999, Xia joined the American e-commerce company in Shenzhen, China.  By coordinating the efforts of Chinese and American employees, she helped build what was then the largest online database of Chinese suppliers. Upon moving to the United States in 2001, Xia pursued a BSBA in accounting at the Ohio State University which led to positions at Ford and General Motors. During her tenure in Detroit, Xia completed an MBA at the University of Michigan.

Gao Jieping

General Manager

Ms. Gao holds a degree from Guangzhou Foreign Language Institute (GLFI, now Guangdong University of Foreign Studies) and has 25 years’ teaching experience in Shenzhen and Ji’an, Jiangxi Province.  Following a year as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher trainer in a central government program, Ms. Gao earned a seat in the competitive bachelor’s degree program in foreign language education at GFLI in 1987. In 1990, she won third place in the First Jiangxi Province English Teacher Model Class Competition, and has been teaching EFL in the Shenzhen Public School system since then.

In addition to her work at Columbus Culture, Ms. Gao’s international experiences include a two month visit to the United States in 2005, assisting with research on Chinese-speaking American and British professionals in China in 2007, and providing cultural training to an expatriate family in 2008.

Sophia Tong

Director, Beijing Branch

Sophia has 15 years of experience working and managing in cross-cultural environments, beginning at the Changsha Institute of Technology, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English. She went on to lead marketing projects at, an e-commerce website for international trade, and then became a product manager at Beijing Gehua Cable & Internet Company. She holds an MBA from the Sino-French School of International Management at the University of Foreign Economics and Trade in Beijing.

Li Ying

Director, Qingdao Office

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Matthew Hemm, PhD

Honorary Academic Director

Matthew Hemm    Dr. Hemm received his BS in Botany from the College of William and Mary, and went on to earn his PhD in Biochemistry from Purdue University. While at Purdue, he was awarded an Innovation Realization Lab Fellowship Award, funded through a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Engineering Research and Training Grant. This award allowed Dr. Hemm to spend two years working with business students at the Krannert School of Management to prepare a biotechnological product based on his research. 

After graduation in 2003, Dr. Hemm went on to do his post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health where he was awarded a Fellowship Award from Amgen, Inc. and the Life Sciences Foundation. He also received a NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence in 2007. In 2009 Dr. Hemm moved to Towson University in Baltimore, MD where he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Kenneth Mossman, BSC

Cultural Consultant

Ken Mossman is expert in mathematics, finance and computer science and has worked in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore and Korea.  He has taught business English to working professionals as well as high school English as a foreign language.  In addition to teaching in Shenzhen, Mr. Mossman has also taught in Nanjing at the Nanjing International Education Academy.

Ross Snively

Cultural Consultant

Following graduation from the Ohio State University, Mr. Snively taught in the United States for 12 years. Since leaving the US, he has taught tourism, trade and conversational English in many cities across China.

Anthony Anderson

Cultural Consultant

Mr. Anderson hails from Florida, where he began public speaking at the age of five.  He holds an advanced TESOL certificate and is a skilled K12 foreign language teacher.  Mr. Anderson has served as a community educator as well as tutor of French and Spanish.

Michelle Ceballos

Cultural Consultant

Ms. Ceballos draws on experience and training in nursing, anthropology, and Judaic studies in her teaching of English as a second language.  A holder of the American TESOL institute’s Advanced TESOL Certificate, Michelle is a popular teacher among her students. She has taught English and Spanish and can speak Hebrew and French.

Rue Moyer

Cultural Consultant

Mr. Moyer is a graduate of Lycoming College in Pennsylvania  and has extensive experience teaching English to Chinese learners. He has taught conversational English, business English, TOEFL and SAT prep classes as well as conducted an English-language debate club for university students in Shenzhen. Mr. Moyer is an accomplished musician and now a speaker of Mandarin Chinese.

Meng Nan

Process Manager

Meng Nan is a graduate of the School of Foreign Languages at Shandong University. During college, she worked at several organizations that help Chinese students study abroad and has much experience in the areas of school and visa application. Upon arrival in the US, she earned an M.A. in the teaching of English as a Second Language at Bowling Green State University while being responsible for the schools’ cross-cultural communication activities and international student English placement test.

Since 2004, Ms. Meng has been a program specialist at the National East Asian Languages Resource Center at the Ohio State University, where she earned her M.A. in Chinese language pedagogy. She has extensive experience designing and implementing language classes, instructional materials, and teacher training programs at OSU.

Zeng Zhini

Process Manager

Zeng Zhini holds a bachelor’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language from Shanghai International Studies University. Following graduation, she applied to three key American universities and was accepted and offered full scholarships to all three. She chose to pursue her master’s degree in Chinese language pedagogy at the Ohio State University. As a graduate assistant, she has created teaching materials for and taught in the Chinese Flagship Program.  Prior to coming to the US, Ms. Zeng taught Chinese to the education consul and staff at the British consulate in Shanghai.

Zheng Yawen

Process Manager

Passionate about US-China cross-cultural communication and bilingual education, Zheng Yawen is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Chinese language pedagogy at the Ohio State University. Following her graduation from the School of International Relations at Qingdao Technological University, Ms. Zheng was a lecturer at a Qingdao foreign language training school, teaching advanced English and serving as a study abroad consultant. Prior to coming to the US, Ms. Zheng was a reporter for Qingdao Television, covering Sino-foreign cultural activities and education news.

Gao Yuxin

Process Manager

Helen Gao was born in Beijing and lived there until 2005, when she left Renmin University’s Affiliated High School went to the US to enroll in Deerfield Academy as a junior. While at Deerfield, she supplemented her curricular activities with volunteering at a nursing home and teaching Chinese to local elementary school students. Helen applied for and was admitted to Yale University and expects to graduate in spring 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Jessica Abrego

Application Editor

Jessica Abrego is a poet and performer from New York. She will graduate from Yale University this May with a BA in East Asian studies, specializing in Korean history and literature. She's passionate about art, interested in politics and history, and eager to travel the world.

William Alden

Application Editor

William Alden, a student of English literature and creative writing, will graduate in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, where he received the John Hubbard Curtis Prize for excellence in the English major. While at Yale, he has pursued his passions for journalism and playwriting. He served for a year as an editor of the Arts & Living section of the Yale Daily News, and he wrote numerous articles as a staff reporter for that newspaper. As a playwright, he has seen his work produced in Los Angeles, San Diego, New Haven, and Edinburgh. He has also mentored students in New Haven and Los Angeles schools.

Gregory Chase

Application Editor

Greg Chase grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, a suburb outside Boston. He went to high school at Milton Academy, from which he graduated in 2006. He then attended Yale University, where he majored in English, graduating in 2010. His particular area of focus has been 20th Century Literature, and he wrote his senior thesis on William Faulkner. He hopes to teach English at a school next year and eventually go to graduate school in English Literature. His interests include politics, hiking, and international soccer.

Monica Mark

Application Editor

Monica Mark    Monica Mark is a senior English major at Yale University. She is a former reporter for the Yale Daily News and currently works at two public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, helping to teach reading, writing, and math. In her spare time, she reads, works as an usher at the Yale Repertory Theatre, and plays number one women's singles on her college ping-pong team. She plans to continue on to law school after her graduation in May 2010.

Hugh McAloon

Application Editor

Hugh McAloon applied to, and gained acceptance from, Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA and Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, where he earned a B.A. in Historic Preservation, and an M.A. in Television/Radio/Film, respectively.  His work experience includes service as a paralegal, where he transcribed depositions and proof-read coworkers writing; as an architectural historian, where he researched and wrote reports, and edited coworkers' work product; and as a writing assistant in Los Angeles, where he supported the writing staffs of television productions, transcribing writing sessions and proofreading scripts.  Currently he is employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Biloxi, Mississippi.  He has two dogs, and enjoys boogieboarding, cycling, and hiking.  He also enjoys studying film and the American Civil War.

Katherine McAloon

Application Editor

Kate McAloon is a research librarian with over ten years of experience in that field.  She has held various positions in libraries from the Library of Congress, to a trade association and to, currently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  She has a B.A. in geography from Mary Washington College, graduating magna cum laude, and a Master's in Library Science from The Catholic University of America. 

Kate was born in Taiwan and enjoys travel, languages, and being outside.  She has studied French, Italian, and German and has visited Ireland, France, Italy, Canada, Japan, England, Tunisia, and China.  She also has only five more states to visit of the 50 United States.

Hannah Rochau

Application Editor

Hannah Rochau grew up in Davenport, Iowa, where she was raised on a pig farm.
She currently attends Yale University, where she expects to earn her degree in English Literature in May 2011. On campus, she is involved with a cappella singing, writing, and a community-service youth running club. Her hobbies include reading, music, baking, running, biking, and playing with her nieces
and nephew. Hannah spent the spring of 2010 studying abroad at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

Kate Williams

Application Editor

Kate Williams graduated from Yale University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. While an undergraduate, Kate studied Mandarin and traveled to Beijing for a journalism internship at Caijing magazine. Kate will continue her studies at a Master of Arts writing program this fall. Kate is also an avid sailor and competes on the weekends.