Our Team

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Our Team

Our APA team is located across the Asia-Pacific and the United States with our headquarter in Shanghai. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” It takes a team effort to bring the Asia-Pacific to you. Meet the people who make your experiential learning possible in this region.


Sharon Jiang

Founder & Managing Director

With 13 years of experience in the field, Sharon is APA’s Managing Director and co-founded the organization with Daisy Ouyang. She has a BS in Statistics from Chongqing University of Technology and a MA in Comparative International Development Education from the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about working with international educators and customizing programs based on different topics and fields for students. She loves exploring new ideas and innovations. Before COVID, she always spent much of her time traveling in the US and the Asia-Pacific region to discover sustainable community resources for students from both sides of the globe. She believes that students can better understand and appreciate people in different cultures by studying abroad. When these students become our future leaders, they will hopefully remember what they learned and make positive changes for the whole of society.

Daisy Ouyang

Co-Founder & New Initiatives Director

Daisy, the Co-Founder and New Initiatives Director at APA, has about 10 years of experience working in international education. In this role, she provides leadership and strategic plans in academic engagements for APA international programs. Daisy is the key person that expands and maintains strategic partnerships with our corporate and university partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

She is constantly engaged in exploring unique experiences and believes that “one’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Daisy earned her MA in Translation from Anhui University and now resides in Shanghai, China.

Biying Ding

Program & Operations Lead

Biying Joined the team in 2018 and is currently the Program Lead at APA. She works directly with our US university partners as well as the local logistics partners on APA programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Event Management and Economics from Beijing International Studies University. Biying also spent her senior year at the University of California San Diego as an exchange student. In the past four years, Biying has enjoyed working with international educators and she loves interacting with both faculty and students to learn about different cultures and different ways of thinking.

Through her own experiences of studying and working in various countries, she believes that international communication and exchanges are the key to creating a more peaceful world based on mutual respect and understanding. Her passion lies in providing these opportunities to the next generation so they can explore the larger world through their own eyes.

Adeline Wang

Marketing Coordinator

Adeline Wang is currently the Marketing Coordinator whose responsibilities include research and campaign deliverables, as well as attempting to find sources of new customers. Adeline holds a BA in Linguistics from the University of Kansas. During her studies in social linguistics, behavioral science, and Asian cultural studies in the US, she began to realize how important communication is for bridging cultures. Since then, providing opportunities to connect cultures has been her daily work. As one Asian saying goes, “Dripping water can penetrate stone.”

She believes that through education abroad, she and her teammates will be able to help students gain a better understanding of each other and make the world a better place.

Catherine Chen

Manager of New Initiatives and Partnership

Catherine has over five years of experience in higher education and project management. As the Manager of New Initiatives and Partnership, Catherine leads partnership development with corporate partners, universities, and NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure that academic arrangements for APA’s programs are of the highest quality. She holds a master’s degree in Banking and Finance from Lancaster University.

With her passion for providing international students with the best learning experience in Asia, Catherine has been dedicated to working with our partners in service development and program design. She is highly empathetic and believes that diverse experiences help us better understand the world.

Yannan Liu

Assistant Program Manager

After interning as a Program Coordinator, Yannan found herself identifying with the goals and values of APA and decided to join the team full time. Yannan holds a BA in Tourism Management from Beijing International Studies University and an MA in Sustainable Tourism from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She also spent half a year at Griffith University (Australia) as a visiting scholar. Yannan is now an Assistant Program Manager responsible for faculty-led study abroad programs and international internship programs. She works directly with faculty and students across programs.

With a diversified education herself, Yannan understands the value of intercultural learning and communication, and is working hard to bring it to as many students as possible.

Issa Wang

Admin & HR Manager

A graduate of Heilongjiang University with a BA in Tourism Management, Issa has 5 years of work experience in the HR field. Her job responsibilities at APA mainly include recruitment and the allocation of various positions, salary and welfare management, training and development, labor relations, and management and administration. She values efficient communication and thoroughness in the completion of her work; she also firmly believes that through their own efforts, every outstanding APA creator can be placed in the best, most suitable position to maximize their potential and work input. Issa is committed to the idea that through study abroad programs, every participant can become a great global citizen.

Chengyu Liu

Program Assistant

Chenyu is currently a Program Assistant at APA. She has a BA in Music Education from East China Normal University and an MA from the Institute of Education, University College London. During her international study experience in London, she became much more conscious of cultural differences and the impact that different systems of education can have. Therefore, she has a keen interest in the field of international education. In her role as a program assistant, Chenyu is assisting program management team on short-term faculty-led programs on program set up on academic arrangements and logistics set up. Her goal is to contribute to international education in order to help more people to experience the changes and growth that it brings. She believes that high-level intercultural communication skills are extremely important in the workplace and she is working to become more proficient in this area.

Yunpeng Cheng

Program Assistant

Yunpeng is currently working at APA as a Program Assistant. He has a BA in Business Management from Cleveland State University. Before joining APA, Yunpeng worked at C&Y Global, a U.S. import-export company located in Texas. With his own international study background and experience working abroad, he feels that understanding different cultures is of utmost importance. His experiences have also made him realize that his passion lies in career development. In his role as a program assistant, Yunpeng is assisting our program management team in customizing our study abroad programs based on the needs of various program themes and fields of study. He enjoys working with faculty and students from different cultural backgrounds and helping the students to have a meaningful experience while they are participating in our programs.


North America

Dr. Kristine Lalley

Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships

Kristine has dedicated her career to supporting the learning and development
needs of tens of thousands of college and university students, and was one
of the early pioneers of global education for STEM students in the U.S.,
starting as part of the College of Engineering at Penn State University in
their efforts to provide global experiential programs including internships
and cooperative education.  From there, Kristine became the founding
Director of International Engineering Initiatives for the Swanson School of
Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, where she built a diverse array
of global experiential programs alongside faculty and administrators, often
inspired by topics of global significance, such as climate change, social
justice, renewable energy, and the varied effects of technological
innovation.  Kristine also has extensive experience in academic advising,
teaching and learning, course development, student and academic affairs, and
crisis management in education abroad.  She is passionate about high impact
practices in higher education – where students can engage in challenging
experiences such as project-based learning, field work, internships, and
global community engagement.  Her scholarship focuses on processes of
learning in global education, and she is committed to helping others create
high impact practices for their own students.

Dr. Colleen Berry

APA U.S. Representative

Colleen, one of APA’s U.S. representatives, is a recently retired professor of Chinese and Asian studies. As a professional tour leader, she led 44 trips to China before becoming a professor; then, as a professor, she took over one hundred students to China on short-term, faculty-led study abroad trips between 2005–2018. She is passionate about the value of study abroad and about the ways that APA works with students and faculty to ensure smooth, successful trips.

Dr. Rose Hyson

APA U.S. Representative

Rose is an independent consultant for APA. She earned an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at SIT Graduate Institute and a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education from the University of Minnesota. Now, she uses her knowledge and skills to support APA as we continue to grow and thrive.


Mari Ohara

APA Japan Representative

An experienced communication expert, Mari holds the National Government License for Official Guide-Interpreter in Japan. She has hosted countless guests from all over the world, escorting them and introducing them to Japanese culture, art, history, and society, often while traveling with them. Mari was born in Tokyo, studied English linguistics and literature, and has an extensive background in intercultural business. She has gained invaluable experience in international exchanges while traveling and exploring many countries around the world. She is now based in Kyoto, an ancient capital city of Japan, and has more than 15 years of experience in tea ceremony as a specialist and lector, demonstrating the tea ceremony in programs in Europe and the U.S. for students and faculty. Trekking in nature is one of her favorite ways to meditate. Mari is a firm believer in “Seeing is believing—just open your eyes. Whatever you see can be an opportunity!”

Kyungsub Roh

APA South Korea Representative

Andy graduated from Gyeoungju University with a major in hotel management. He has worked as an inbound team manager at Sky Tour Co., Ltd. since 2013. He has handled ground logistics for schools, corporations, and incentive groups from all over the world. Andy now serves as local logistics support for APA’s programs in South Korea, while he is also the Director of Semin International Tour. He feels that making school tour arrangements has been his favorite experience because he felt so proud when he could successfully create opportunities for international students to visit various authentic Korean facilities. Because of this, he has decided to concentrate on school trips. He feels responsible for always doing his best to offer once-in-a-life time learning experiences to the students. Andy believes “You can learn things by traveling, but a well-arranged study trip will help you learn how to learn things and take you to next level.” 

Kriengkrai Punthata

APA Thailand Representative

Kriengkrai Punthata’s nickname is Noom. He was born and raised in Chiangmai, Thailand and has been working as a freelance tour guide in Thailand for 19 years. In addition, Noom has six years of experience working as a tour guide and facilitator for high school and university students. Noom likes to say, “Learning new things is kind of challenge. Just open your mind then you are ready for a new experience. Let’s explore the world!”

Richard Thong

APA Singapore & Malaysia Representative

Born and educated in Malaysia, Richard speaks and writes English, Malay, and Mandarin, as well as a few Chinese dialects. After finishing high school, at the age of 20 he ventured to Singapore alone to gain some international exposure. As a result, Singapore has been his home for almost 40 years. Before working as a facilitator for educational tours, he worked for 2 Japanese multinational corporations which allowed him to visit 39 countries. The experience made him feels truly international and beyond his dreams. His interests are Movies, Music, “Makan” (“eating” in Malay), and Model kit building—all the M’s! His favorite character is Homer—not the Greek one, but the Simpson one. He feels that this exemplifies his personality—easy going. Now he is in a very exciting phase of his life, working as a tour leader, through which he gets to meet many new friends from foreign countries. International travels have enabled him to see, understand, and appreciate the contrast in cultures, economic development, and nature. That have broadened his views, humbled him, made him more positive and FUN.

Sachin Rawat

APA India Representative

Sachin graduated with a specialization in software and has worked with India Trek study abroad and faculty Immersion programs in India since 2010. He has successfully assisted with planning and operations of faculty-led college groups from the US, the UK, and South Africa. He has also traveled with a number of groups and understands the demands of focused travel programs. Sachin feels “Travel provides a new perspective to life. When you travel you meet new people, experience new cultures, observe new businesses, and face new challenges—it broadens your horizons.”


Mo Xu

With a Bachelor of Law and an MA in Foreign and Applied Linguistics from Southwest Jiao Tong University, Mo has been leading the English test teaching team for over 6 years. Enthusiastic about teaching, he embarked on his journey as an English teacher after first working for a consulting company and property developers, which he sees as valuable experience in his work with students and the team. Mo currently teaches courses related to English proficiency tests like TOEFL and IELTS. He values helping students to acquire linguistic and cultural English proficiency. Although he is the team leader, Mo prefers to call himself a coordinator. He believes that by choosing the right team members, creating a fair and open work atmosphere, and setting clear directions for the team members, they can make their best contributions, which means a better product for our clients.

Peini Xie

Penny is an English teacher who has been teaching language test subjects for the past 7 years. She graduated from Beijing Language and Culture University majoring in Italian. She also has an MA in English Literature from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Currently, Penny is mainly responsible for teaching GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo. She is a good ‘tailor’ who stitches religion, geography, history, and other cultural content into English teaching, which makes the examination preparation more fun and easier for her students. She believes that going abroad to see the diversity of the world is a catalyst for new ideas and creativity, and language learning is just the first step for students to appreciate diversity, experience new cultures, and learn different ways of looking at the world.

Lan Luo

With more than 6 years of experience in the field, Lan provides study-abroad counseling and is responsible for developing  our personal learning plans. She consults on language teaching and training, and teaches courses on standardized language exams. She has a BA in English Broadcasting from the Communications University of China, Nanjing and an MA in Globalization and Communications from the University of Leicester (GK). Lan hopes to make a real difference through education: she is passionate about helping her students become active, engaged citizens. She keeps up with the latest information in her field to explore new opportunities for students. She believes that study abroad allows students to challenge themselves both personally and academically, and gives them a leg up when entering the workforce.

Wenxi Mou

Wenxi holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Sichuan University and an MS from the University of Bristol (UK). 

With 5 years of experience in providing overseas educational guidance to students, Wenxi helps students apply to top universities worldwide, plan their schedules, and find the best educational pathways that are compatible with their life goals. She has helped more than 300 students transfer to US universities and assisted them in applying to top graduate schools such as Cornell, Penn, Northwestern, Columbia, Duke, and Johns Hopkins. Wenxi believes study abroad gives students valuable academic and life experience,  helping them develop their beliefs and values and making them more competitive in their future careers.

Elsa Qiu

With four years of experience in the study abroad application field, Elsa helps students with their personalized pathway planning for transfer and graduate applications. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics and is currently pursuing a Master degree in Public Administration from Sichuan University. She understands that studying abroad is a process of getting to know oneself and the world. Immersing oneself in a different social environment allows one to transcend the boundaries of thinking and makes it easier to understand the diversity of the world.

Grace Wang

Grace has been a college admissions counselor for four years. With an MA from the University of Surrey (UK), she has consulted with over 200 students on admissions, transfers, and graduate school. Grace has had extensive training in college application editing, college prep workshops, and admissions consulting. Her students have been admitted to top engineering schools such as Cornell, UC Berkeley, and the U of M Ann Arbor.  

Grace values higher education and believes that studying abroad changes in students’ lives: it helps them achieve their academic and career goals through a high-quality education and diverse campus culture. 


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