Program Director: Dr. Jen-Li Ko

Dr. Ko is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Marquette University. Her research areas of expertise are Chinese language pedagogy, Asian American studies, and language and identity. She received a PhD degree in Anthropology from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for her work focused on the cultural representations and identity of Chinese Americans in Chicago’s Chinatown. Dr. Ko has over 10 years of Chinese teaching experience. Prior to teaching Chinese language and culture at Marquette University, she taught Chinese at K-12 schools, including New Berlin and Sheboygan Falls School Districts. She is also a volunteer teacher at Milwaukee Modern Chinese School. Her students range from 4th grade to college students. Dr. Ko has earned her Graduate Certificate in Data Science at Marquette University in Fall 2021.  

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Program Co-Director: Dr. Eugenia Afinoguénova

Dr. Afinoguénova is a professor and the chair in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Marquette University. Digital Humanities is one of her specializations, and she has extensive connections with the Marquette 3D Visualization Lab, where some camp activities will take place. Dr. Afinoguénova has also collaborated with Chinese-speaking PhD candidates at the Marquette University Department of Computer Science. Dr. Afinoguénova’s experience in gamified geospatial visualization of cultural information, coordinating the design of phone apps for art museums, language pedagogy, teaching, scholarship, and leadership will be a great resource for the program. Afinoguénova received a PhD in Spanish Peninsular Literature and Cultural Studies from Georgetown University. She has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in contemporary Spanish literature, culture, and film. She was College of Arts and Sciences Scholar of the Year in 2019. 

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K-12 Pedagogical Expert: Dr. Lee Za Ong

Lee Za Ong is an assistant professor in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology in Marquette University. She has experience in teaching in universities in urban-settings, including minority-serving institutions. With the ability to speak six different languages, she is committed to diversity and social justice in all aspects of her professional endeavors. Her current research agenda is to promote social and health equity in underserved communities.  Funding sources for her research have included the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Administration Services (RSA), Health Resources and Service Administration – Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training(HRSA-BHWET), Wisconsin Humanities Council, and Marquette University.

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Lead Instructor: Yongyan Liu, M.S.

Ms. Liu is an experienced Chinese language teacher with over 8 years of Chinese teaching experience. Her experience is broad – teaching students as young as 4 years old, all the way to high-school AP Chinese. Her students come from a broad background as well –both Chinese heritage and non-heritage speakers.  She is an active teacher at Milwaukee Modern Chinese School (MMCS), the Germantown School District (summer school), and a substitute teacher at the Whitefish Bay School District. Ms. Liu is the president of the Wisconsin Association of Chinese Language Teachers – a title she has held since 2019 – where she helps member teachers network and share resources, and she organizes the annual Wisconsin Chinese speech contest. She has a B.S. and M.S. in psychology from China Eastern Normal University and a Master of Education degree from Marquette University.  

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Co-Lead Instructor: Junfang Lan, M.S.

Ms. Lan has worked as a Mandarin Chinese teacher for more than 10 years at Elmbrook School District. As a native Mandarin speaker, she takes great delight in sharing her love for the language and culture. Helping each student progress in learning Mandarin Chinese is an exciting challenge that she is honored to accept daily. She strives to create a community of learning that nurtures this growth in a positive way. Ms. Lan graduated with a B.S. in English Literature from South-Central University for Nationalities in 2004 and a Master of Education in Teacher and Learning Degree from University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2006. She began her teaching career as a college English teacher, but soon found her true passion in teaching Mandarin Chinese as a second language and subsequently became a Mandarin Chinese instructor.  

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3D Visualization Instructor: Mr. Christopher Larkee

Mr. Larkee is Visual Technology Specialist in the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University. He is also Interim Director of MarVL, Marquette University 3D Visualization Lab. Mr. Larkee has worked with various faculty members at Marquette and involved with research projects to develop 3D visualization technology. Mr. Larkee will create and demonstrate 3D visualizations at MarVL Lab. He will also teach and lead a workshop on making 3D models/graphics of China. 


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Website Design Instructor: Mr. Eric Wan

Eric is a student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. He has experience in web design as well as teaching experience from running math summer camps. Eric will lead students to create websites displaying the work the students have created during the camp.



Chinese Instructor: Ms. Ping Zhao

Ms. Zhao teaches at Milwaukee Modern Chinese School (MMCS),


Chinese Instructor: Ms. Ying Chen

Ms. Ying Chen teaches at Oconomowoc High School.


Artificial Intelligence Instructor: TBD