10th Anniversary Celebration

Paul Manfredi’s research concerns modern and contemporary Chinese poetry and art, modernism, and urban culture in China. His articles have appeared in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, while his translations have appeared in various collections of modern and contemporary Chinese poetry. He now lives with his family in Bellevue, WA, a small city that is slowly but surely surpassing its status as mere “Seattle suburb.”

Paul Manfredi

Geoff E. Foy, Ph.D.傅逸哲博士
Associate Provost for Graduate Programs and Continuing Education, Pacific Lutheran University 太平洋路德大学研究生和继续教育中心副教务长

Dr. Foy is the Associate Provost for Graduate Programs and Continuing Education at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). In his position, Dr. Foy provides leadership and administrative support for existing programs as well as strategic planning for developing new graduate degree and continuing education offerings. Dr. Foy also oversees PLU’s international recruitment and admission, which gives him opportunities to travel to China two to three times a year to visit current and prospective partner universities. One of PLU’s oldest university partnerships in China is with Sichuan University. PLU has had a cooperation with Sichuan University for thirty-three years.

Foy博士是太平洋路德大学(PLU)的研究生和继续教育中心的副教务长。Foy博士的 职责是为现有项目提供领导和行政支持,并为开发新的研究生学位和继续教育课程 提供战略规划。Foy博士还负责监督PLU的国际生招聘和录取,这使得他有机会每年 到中国两到三次,以访问现有和潜在的合作大学。四川大学与PLU已经合作了三十 三年,是最早与PLU合作的中国大学之一。

Dr. Foy received his B.A. in Psychology from Gonzaga University in 1988. His M.A. in Religious Studies was also earned from Gonzaga University and was completed in 1992. In 2003 Dr. Foy completed his Ph.D. in the Historical and Cultural Study of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California, with a specialization in Chinese Religions.

Foy博士于1988年获得Gonzaga大学的心理学学士学位。他的宗教研究硕士学位也 是从Gonzaga大学获得的,并于1992年完成。2003年,Foy博士在加利福尼亚州伯 克利的研究生神学联盟取得了宗教历史和文化的博士学位,专门研究中国宗教。

Dr. Foy has worked at National Donghua University in Hualien, Taiwan, Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, Shanghai Maritime University in Shanghai, and Beijing University of Technology in Beijing.


Geoff Foy

Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki, is an International Education and World Languages Advocate, who recently retired as International Education Administrator for Seattle Public Schools, where she was responsible for developing and supporting the ten international schools in the district and their K-12 Dual Language Immersion programs in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish, as well as supporting all World Language teachers throughout the district. She was Co-Director of the Confucius Institute of the State of Washington, a partnership among the University of Washington, Seattle Public Schools, the Governor’s Office, and Hanban in China. From 2008 to 2014, Michele served as World Languages and International Education Program Supervisor at the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). While there she worked with the State Board of Education and Washington State School Directors Association to develop and implement a model policy and procedure for Competency-Based Credits to award high school credits to students with demonstrated language proficiency. She was instrumental in introducing the Seal of Biliteracy in Washington State. Since 2011, Michele has partnered with the University of Washington on their Russian and Portuguese STARTALK Teacher and Student Programs. Michele has a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics and taught Russian language and English as a Second Language at the University of Washington for a number of years and as a Fulbright lecturer in Romania. She has received two leadership awards from the Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT), and the Consul General Award from the Consul General of Japan, and continues to volunteer as an advocate for languages.


Dr. Thad Williams is the Director of the K-12 Confucius Institute of Washington. He is in his second year as director after taking over from the now retired Dr. Michele Aoki. Thad works closely with co-director Dongmei Huang to support K-12 CIWA projects and Confucius Classrooms across the state of Washington and in Seattle Public Schools. Dr. Williams is also the International Education Administrator managing dual language and world language in Seattle Public Schools.

Thad Williams

Mr. LI Bin is the Executive Deputy Director of the International Office of Chongqing Municipal Education Commission(CMEC), People’s Republic of China. His office is responsible for international Chinese language education at all levels and oversees altogether 53 Confucius Institutes and Classrooms operated by various local educational institutions worldwide. Mr. Li also works closely with colleagues at Seattle Public Schools as CMEC is a co-founder of Confucius Institute of Washington.

Li Bin

Ms. Weiwei Peng is program officer of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Chongqing Municipal Education Commission. She is in her fourth year working as a coordinator managing international education programs in the department. She has begun to be in charge of Chinese language education and cooperation since September, 2020.

Weiwei Peng

Bridget Yaden, Ph.D., is Professor of Hispanic Studies and Director of the Language Resource Center at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, Washington.  She holds a PhD and MA in Romance Linguistics (UW) and a BA in Spanish (WWU). She began her involvement in language centers during her graduate studies at the University of Washington (1995-1996, Language Learning Center) and has continued this work at PLU since 1996.  Her research interests include online language programs, bilingual education, and world language teacher preparation.  She has served on many professional boards, including ACTFL, NWALL, AATSP Juan de Fuca Chapter, WAFLT, and PNCFL.

Bridget Yaden

Tamara R. Williams is a Professor of Hispanic Studies with expertise in the Latin American region. Before assuming the role of Executive Director of the Wang Center, she taught Spanish Language at many levels as well as courses focused on Latin American literatures and cultures. She is the author of several articles on Latin American poetry and project coordinator of the bilingual edition of Ernesto Cardenal’s El estrecho dudoso/The Doubtful Strait published by Indiana University Press. Her current research interests focus on masculinities as they relate to the recovery of lyrical subjectivities in contemporary Mexican poetry and fiction. She pioneered PLU’s first J-term Study Away Spanish immersion course in Costa Rica (now offered in Uruguay) and is co-founder, with Professor John Lear (UPS) of PLU’s Fall Semester Program in Oaxaca, Mexico. At PLU, she has been a tireless advocate for global education.

Tamara Williams

As Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Joanna Gregson, Ph.D. leads the academic division and collaborates with, supports, and advises the President’s Council and President Allan Belton on strategic planning for the academic division, including advising on new academic initiatives, faculty affairs, and advancing the academic mission and intellectual positioning of PLU.

Gregson joined the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at PLU in 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Washington University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2012.

As a faculty member, Gregson has taught and conducted research in the areas of deviance, gender, and qualitative research methods. Over the span of her career, she has published on such topics as teenage mothers, incarcerated mothers, and divorced women. Since 2010 she has been conducting participant observation research with the authors of romance novels, examining the gendered aspects of the career and how women experience writing what has been described as the most popular, least respected literary genre.

At PLU, Gregson has a long record of faculty governance and leadership experience. She has served on and chaired the Campus Life Committee, the Rank and Tenure Committee, and the Governance Committee, and has served as Chair of the Faculty, Vice Chair of the Faculty, and Faculty Secretary. Her service record also includes chairing the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Gregson was honored with the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2011, and the PLU Mortar Board Society “Top Prof” award in 2017.

Joanna Gregson

Carla Santorno

Carla Santorno, a national award-winning superintendent, has led an academic improvement effort that has increased the Tacoma Public Schools graduation to 89.8 percent for the class of 2019. That’s up from 55 percent when she joined the district in 2009 as deputy superintendent. AASA, the School Superintendent’s Association, named Carla the winner of its national 2016 Women in School Leadership Award. Carla consistently acts on her primary goal as superintendent which is to increase student achievement. She stays close to teachers and strives to provide them the support they need to effectively educate Tacoma’s students. Connecting with all the players in the district – from parents to teachers, food service workers, bus drivers and custodial staff, is a part of her vision to create an aligned focus from classroom to classroom and school to school. Carla got her start in education in Denver, Colorado, where she began as a student, then became an elementary school teacher and grew into an accomplished area superintendent. She developed a strong, solid ability to raise student achievement in tough urban districts. Carla and her husband, Larry, raised four children in Denver. Just prior to coming to Tacoma in 2009, she worked as the chief academic officer for the Seattle School District. Carla collaborated with the Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors to adopt the district’s first strategic plan in 2011 with four goal areas and 35 benchmarks of success. An advanced data system and a strong project management office insures transparency regarding that progress. All results are posted on the Tacoma Public School website. As Carla often says, “What gets measured gets done.” That strategic work has led to a growing number of unique partnerships, which have generated positive community support and results for the Tacoma school children. For example, a partnership with the Tacoma Housing Authority has provided housing vouchers for families of students at a low-income, high-mobility elementary school. The vouchers come with strings—parent involvement and housing stability—that benefit students. Partnerships with three local, four-year colleges and universities, both public and private, have yielded gap financial funding for qualified low income students, priority admission to education programs with guaranteed teacher interviews at graduation from college, and a whole child district initiative designed to provide a sustainable system for ensuring high-quality social emotional learning for students PreK-12.

Allan Belton was appointed by the Pacific Lutheran University Board of Regents to serve as the University’s 14th President as of April 3, 2019.

Prior to that he was the Acting President, and before that he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for the University’s administrative functions including Business Operations & Finance, Human Resources, Facilities & Construction Management, Information Technology, and Risk Management. Allan joined PLU in 2015 as the University’s Chief Financial Officer.

Prior to joining PLU, Allan enjoyed a 25-year career with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he served most recently as Managing Director and Chief Operations Officer for global treasury management.  He holds a B.A. in Business Administration and an M.B.A. from Washington State University.

Allan is married to Melinda Krotz Belton, PLU Class of 1991; they live in Gig Harbor with their three children.

Allan Belton

Dr. Yao Leye, Vice President of Sichuan University. He is a professor in history. He used to be Deputy Director and Director of the Library of Sichuan University, Director of the Social Science Research Department of Sichuan University, and vice President of the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences.

Yao Leye

Dr. Gao Wei, Dean of the oversea education school of Sichuan University, Director of the Confucius Institute Office of Sichuan University. He was the vice Director of of the Social Science Research Department of Sichuan University. His academic field is studies of Taoism and Chinese ancient writing system.

Gao Wei

Dr. Deng Bo is Senior Visiting Scholar at PLU. In China, he is an associate professor at Sichuan University and came to the United States in August 2019. Dr. Deng was the Founding Chinese Director of CIWA from Dec.2010 to Dec.2014. His academic field is second language acquisition and intercultural communication.

Deng Bo

Prof. Dongmei Huang is the co-director of the K-12 Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (CIWA). From June 2018 up till now, Prof. Huang is devoted to supporting K-12 CIWA projects and Confucius Classrooms across the State of Washington and in Seattle Public Schools by collaborating with Dr. Michele Aoki and Dr. Thad Williams. Prof. Huang is also a visiting scholar of Pacific Lutheran University, doing research on Strategies of Teaching Chinese Language Online as a Second Language.

Dongmei Huang
Seattle Public Schools