Professionals & Educators
B.A. in Linguistics, Harvard University
Amy graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in linguistics. She fell in love with the study of languages in elementary school when she realized that learning a new language could grant her access to a wealth of new information, perspectives, and connections with other people. Since then, Amy has achieved proficiency in Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Japanese, and has begun studying Mandarin and American Sign Language. She is also passionate about access to higher education and has tutored and mentored high schoolers ever since she herself was in high school. Being able to help students find and pursue their passions is what Amy loves doing the most. In her free time, she enjoys singing and arranging vocal music and sings with the Manhattan Choral Ensemble.
Cyan (Xiani) Zhong
M.A. in journalism, Northwestern University
Cyan graduated from Northwestern University with a M.S. in journalism, specializing in business and technology writing. She received her bachelor's degree from UW-Madison with a major in journalism and minor in Italian. Prior to joining Thinktown New York, Cyan worked in editorial and content for multiple media companies. Her fluency in American society, culture and her experience in creative storytelling can help students think outside the box.
B.A. Psychology， Yale University
Jack graduated from Yale College with a bachelor’s in psychology. From a young age, Jack took a strong interest in the facets and dynamics of human interactions—one of his academic interests include the development of emotional resilience as a byproduct of negative sociocultural experiences (e.g. intergroup discrimination) within vulnerable youth. Much of his work is driven by his personal experiences, and as a first-generation college student, Jack devoted much of his time at Yale to volunteering for Matriculate, an organization committed to empowering low-income, high-achieving students to enroll at the world’s best colleges and universities. As a Senior Advising Fellow for the group, Jack mentored a small cohort of high school students, several of whom are attending Columbia, Rice, and Yale. He is a strong believer in the power of authenticity. At Thinktown, he hopes to forge connections and help students share stories that will leave behind memories as vivid as fragmented dreams.
B.A. in Sociology, minor in Political Science，Colgate University
Hannah graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University with a major in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. Hannah is passionate about increasing access to higher education for all students. Before joining Thinktown, Hannah mentored low-income students, tutoring them for the SAT and helping students develop their college essays. At Colgate, Hannah wrote her senior thesis on access to selective colleges for low-income students, which earned high honors. She studied all sides of the college application process, conducting interviews with selective college admission officers, high school counselors, and students. As a result of this project, she has an extensive understanding of selective college admissions and the application process. Hannah is excited to bring her knowledge and experience with the college process to her work with students at Thinktown!
Josia (Jiaying) Yuan
B.A. in Environmental Economics & Policy, minor in Education, UC Berkeley
Josia graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a major in Environmental Economics & Policy and a minor in Education. She was an exchange scholar during her high school senior year in Tucson, Arizona, during which time she was heavily involved in Debate tournament and Science Olympia. She also DIY her own college application, which helped her become much more familiar with the process than other peers. During her time at UC Berkeley, she serves as the Department Director for Senate Office at ASUC, the student government. She has the passion for bettering both students' campus experience and career development. She is also a part-time Business Development intern at a start-up Educational Consultant firm based in Silicon Vally, which has helped her stay updated with current college admission insights and resources. With the passion for Education and social impact, she hopes to guide young scholars along their pursuit of higher education.
Kaylee (Yichao) Cui
M.A in East Asian Studies, Stanford University
Kaylee graduated from Stanford University with a Master's degree in East Asian Studies. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in Chinese Language & Literature from Peking University. Obsessed with literature, culture, and politics in East Asia, her academic interest mainly lies in Chinese literature, cultural communication, and gender studies. She is particularly interested to see how literature is intertwined with sociocultural factors, especially gender hierarchy and female empowerment in different regions and periods. Before she joined Thinktown, she worked as an Educational Consultant and helped students with their essay writing. Prior to that, she worked as a research assistant in Department of Communication in Stanford and supported the project that studies contemporary China's collective movements. Kaylee is passionate about storytelling and helping students tell their own stories about culture and self-identification.
B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, University of Virginia
Leah graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in Chinese Language and Literature and a minor in Government. After her first year of college, she moved to Shanghai, studying in a 9-week intensive Chinese language program that satisfied the two intermediate levels of Chinese language studies. In 2017, she was invited to teach in the University of Macau’s Summer English Immersion Program, designed to prepare incoming college freshmen for the high level of English speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension skills necessary to succeed in college. Throughout her years at the University of Virginia, Leah completed and excelled in a broad range of coursework from Business Chinese to Sunzi and the Art of War. She wrote her final thesis paper on “Brothers (弟兄们),” a short story by Wang Anyi. In addition to her passion for language, Leah is also interested in law and once worked as a Criminal Justice Intern, assisting the attorney with case development. Leah’s passion for writing and editing has brought her to Apolish where she seeks to encourage students to express their own unique identities within the framework of each college essay.
M.A. in Fiction Writing, University of Maryland
Megan Howell received her master's in fiction writing from the University of Maryland where she won the Kwiatek Fellowship and the Jack Salamanca Thesis Award. As a graduate teaching assistant, she's taught English composition at the honors and general levels as well as creative writing. She has extensive experience working editorial and marketing roles in both publishing and arts management. As an undergraduate, she studied French, economics and creative writing at Vassar College. During this time, she also wrote for The Miscellany News, Vassar's official student-run newspaper.
Her areas of academic interest include critical race theory, narratology and women studies. Megan enjoys writing and reading in her free-time. In addition to her role at Thinktown, she also works as a freelance writer.
Olivia Duffield Maddox
M.A. in History, Hamilton College
Olivia graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College, with a major in history and a minor in Chinese. After graduating from high school in Hong Kong, she has studied in London, Beijing, and upstate New York. While studying abroad in Beijing, Olivia conducted independent research on China’s education system and strengthened her Chinese language fluency. Her interest in education also inspired her to teach in the Summer English Immersion Program at the University of Macau, where she helped incoming first-year students improve their English language skills and pass the conditional admission examination. During her time at Hamilton, she enjoyed working at the career center, where she provided personalized advice for her peers on application materials and helped students secure their ideal jobs and internships. Olivia enjoys playing the ukulele, baking, and reading in her free time.
B.A. in English & Studio Art, Davidson College
Quinn graduated from Davidson College with a dual degree in English and Studio Art. While at Davidson, Quinn was involved in many areas of campus life, including working as a writing tutor, playing intramural softball, and teaching photography lessons at a local children's home. His passion for the literary and visual arts led him to involvement with the campus magazine Libertas, where he served as editor-in-chief and worked to better understand the role of creative work in responding to prejudice and exclusion. Following his graduation from Davidson, he spent the summer work in the Admission Office there, interacting with prospective students and informing them about the college application review process. As a Writing Specialist for Thinktown, Quinn is passionate about helping students craft their stories.
Quinn (Kunqi) Zhao
M.S. in Commerce, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia
Quinn received her bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Mathematics with a concentration in the applied track. During the junior and senior years, Quinn served as a senior facilitator for the Career-Certificated International Student Program to help international students establish resume/cover letters, construct elevator pitch scripts, prepare for job searching processes, and set up mock interviews. Moreover, Quinn guided students to find out their interests and potentials for graduate and job applications through close communication. Due to this work experience and undergraduate studies, Quinn went to the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce for a Master's degree in Commerce, with a concentration in business analytics. During the program, she applied business intelligent tools to cultivate business recommendations for local clients and big companies, such as Hilton and McDonald's. Combining a solid mathematic background with versatile communication strategies, Quinn desires to figure out the passion and talent for each student!
B.A. in History, minor in Education, Hamilton College
Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Hamilton College, earning her B.A. with a major in History and a minor in Education. While at Hamilton, Rebecca was involved in several educational programs, leading one organization focused on elementary school student literary and tutoring college-bound high school students in another. Through her involvement in these organizations and her summer work as a counselor for children with social disabilities, Rebecca developed a passion for honing students’ communication skills. At Thinktown, Rebecca is able to help students sharpen their communication skills, thereby conveying their own unique experiences, beliefs, and knowledge to others.
M.S. in Statistics , University of North Coralina
Shuhan graduated from University of Washington with a Master's degree in statistics. He received his Bachelor's degree from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a double major in statistics and economics. For his college honor thesis, Shuhan focused on the new energy vehicle policy in China, establishing quantitative models and assessing its efficacy. He also had multiple internship experiences in different fields before, including consulting firm, securities company, and one at Thinktown Hangzhou Office back in 2016. Shuhan believes that the preparation of study abroad is in essence the process of self-exploration and personal growth - and no matter what, this will be an unforgettable memories in one's life. He is so glad to be able to share such valuable experience with students, and strives to help them reach their academic and life goals.
Summer (Jingjing) Ye
M.A. in Educational Linguistics , University of Pennsylvania
Summer graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in English. Because of her passion for education, she continued to pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. In both her academic endeavors and her professional experience, Summer aims to build dynamic communities of learning and promote higher-order thinking that encourages deep and creative approaches to learning. Prior to joining Thinktown New York, Summer served in an educational technology company as well as an advertising agency, where she has gained extensive experience in curriculum design, cross-cultural communication, and educational and organizational psychology. She believes that students’ educational experiences should be not only accumulative but also transformative. With such belief, Summer strives to motivate and inspire more students to achieve their educational and personal success.