Instructors & Staff


Program Director and Instructor 

Dr. An Chung Cheng (Ph. D. of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is specialized in second language acquisition and teacher education. She is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and the Director of Asian Studies Program at the University of Toledo.  As a native speaker of Chinese and fluent speaker of English and Spanish, she has ample experiences of teaching foreign languages and she has taught foreign language teacher education courses since 1995. She has been actively involved in community-based Chinese heritage schools as a parent, a teacher, a member of board of directors, and the head of a weekend Chinese school in Toledo, Ohio. Her research areas are in second language acquisition, multilingualism, heritage language education, input processing, and corpus linguistics. She was the principal investigator of a research project on Chinese heritage programs in the US funded by the International Research and Studies Grant of the US Department of Education. She has been the PI and program director of the STARTALK-CHELER Chinese Leadership Program since 2013. She has actively served in professional organizations and is the chair of ACTFL Less Commonly Taught Languages Special Interest Group and the vice president of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Language. 


Lead Instructor - Tier 1 Group

Ms. Piling Chiu is a certified Chinese instructor currently teaching at the Naperville North High Schools in Chicago. She has taught Chinese in various weekend heritage schools, public high schools and college for some 20 years at all levels. She received her master degree from the University of Urbana-Champaign and has done numerous presentations and workshops for Chinese teacher professional development at regional and national professional conferences. Ms. Chiu has been an active member of CLASS (Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools), Midwest Chinese Teachers Alliance, Midwest Taiwanese Mandarin Teacher Association, and Chicago Suburban Chinese Teachers Alliance. She was the president of Midwest Chinese Teachers Alliance in 2008-2010. She has attended several STARTALK programs and was the lead Instructor of STARTALK Teacher Program at the DePaul University in 2012 and the STARTALK-CHELER Chinese Leadership Program at the University of Toledo each year since 2013. Ms. Chiu was awarded “Excellence in Education: The Most Influential Educator” in 2017 in her Chicago school district. 


Instructor - Tier 2 Group

Ms. Chiachyi Chiu currently teaches Chinese at St. Andrew’s School (SAS) in Middletown, Delaware.  She also serves as International House chair at SAS. Ms. Chiu received her first master degrees in Higher Education Consulting from the Eastern Michigan University and her second master’s degree in Education Counseling from the San Jose State University. Prior to her current teaching position, she taught at CACC Montessori School from 2003 to 2005.  She also initiated a talent development program at Redding Middle School, DE in 2005. Ms. Chiu’s experience with Chinese heritage schools started at the Chinese School of Delaware, where she taught from 2000 to 2006, during which she received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Association of Chinese Schools in 2002 and again in 2004. Ms. Chiu is one of the authors of Flying With Chinese, a series of textbook for K-6.  She has given numerous presentations with her co-authors at ACTFL, NECTFL, CLASS, NCLC, Asia Society and STARTALK conferences since 2010.  She was the master teacher and curriculum developer of the STARTALK Sea Dragon King summer camp for the Cape Henlopen School District in Delaware from 2010 to 2013. She has also conducted teachers training workshops for STARTALK programs each year since 2010.


Guest Speaker

Michael E. Everson is an Independent Consultant and Emeritus Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education at the University of Iowa. During his 18 years in Iowa, he coordinated one of the few K-12 Chinese language teacher certification programs in the United States. His research interests include how American students learn to read in Chinese, as well as issues surrounding Chinese language learning in the United States. His scholarship has appeared in a variety of journals and book collections, with his most recently co-edited publications being “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: Theories and Applications” published by Cheng & Tsui, and “Research among Learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language” published by the National Foreign Language Resource Center at The University of Hawaii.  He is also one of the lead designers of “Read Chinese!” an online reading project designed for high school learners of Chinese through the National Foreign Language Center in College Park, MD.  Professor Everson has served on a number of boards having to do with strategic planning initiatives for Chinese language education and conducts workshops for Chinese language teachers that deal with the theoretical and practical aspects of Chinese literacy education. As well, he has also served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Chinese Language Teachers Association and was on the executive board of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages where he served as its president. Professor Everson was honored by the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages in 2009 when he received their prestigious A. Ronald Walton Award for lifetime service dedicated to the furthering of less commonly taught language initiatives, and by The Chinese Language Teachers Association in 2011 when he was awarded their Cheng & Tsui Walton Award for Lifetime Achievement.


Technology Instructor

Ms. Jia-Fang Eubanks received her master degree in Education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.  She has 14 years of professional experience in teaching Chinese in all levels ranging from elementary to college, this also includes heritage school. She was the principal of Colorado Chinese Language School. Jia-Fang has been using technology in various field for more than 25 years including publishing, web design, and education. She worked for CTB McGraw-Hill for States Standardized Tests and Evan-Moor Publishing company that publishing educational books and materials for K-6 as desktop designer and artist for more than 10 years. She is currently teaching Chinese at Denver Public School, Colorado. During her professional teaching career, she has developed her own curricula including publishing a Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Workbook for beginning Chinese learners and has conducted award-winning educational research on integrating 21st-century writing workshop into a Chinese language immersion school. She has been presenting at various workshops for educational technologies, including StarTalk_Cheler Chinese Teacher Leadership Program at University of Toledo Ohio, Colorado Chinese Language Teachers Consortium, and CCLS.


Ms. Jia-Fang Eubanks believes that technology is transforming the way students learn in the 21st Century. She has worked with teachers to design technology enhanced lesson plans to motivate and keep track on student’s learning growth including online assessments and e-protfolios. She also designed an online AP prep course for Chinese heritage students based on the Google educational platform and apps. In addition to her native Mandarin and Taiwanese, Jia-Fang speaks fluent Japanese and English.


Program Coordinator and Master Teacher in Technology

Lan-Chi (Ivy) Gauler is currently teaching at Maumee Valley Country Day school and a Chinese teacher at Toledo Chinese School. She also has run several after-school programs for PK-3rd grade and summer camps. She participates in continuing education and professional development workshops every year and has accumulated a wealth of resources to enhance the learning of her students. She earned her master degree in Education at the University of Findlay and had taught English for six years in Taiwan. This experience has given her a unique perspective of the challenges students and teachers face when teaching a language. She uses differentiated instruction to reach diverse learners and technologies to enhance students’ learning in the target language through a variety of activities and tasks. She was awarded the Chinese teacher of the year by the Chinese Association of Greater Toledo in 2014.


Master Teacher and Online Session Facilitator

Ms. Yue Gu received her Ed. D. in Curriculum and Instructions from the University of Toledo. She taught English in China for two years and has taught Chinese at a local Chinese heritage school, a public and a private high school and at the University of Toledo for several years. She is specialized in contextualized instruction in Chinese and teacher cognition in professional development.  She was awarded the Chinese teacher of the year by the Chinese Association of Greater Toledo in 2010 and 2011. She is currently the teacher of Chinese at the St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy and at the Chinese heritage school in Toledo, Ohio.


Master Teacher and Online Session Facilitator

Ms. Shih-Hua Fu is an experienced teacher and academic director at a Chinese heritage school in Miami, Florida for twenty some years. Ms. Fu has involved in numerous professional development workshop in teaching Chinese and attended STARTALK Chinese Teacher Programs since 2009 each year and has served as the master teacher for the STARRTALK-CHELER Chinese Leadership Program since 2016. She has a master degree in Biomedical Engineering and is a research data manager at the University of Miami. 


Program Assistants

Ms. Shujuan Wang is a doctoral student in Educational Technology at the University of Toledo.  She was Instructional Designer after received her master degree in Instructional design at the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.  She had ample experience in integrating technology into teaching and learning.


Ms. Qian Wang Qian (Fiona) holds her M.A. in TESOL and Bilingual Education. She is currently in her Ph.D. program majoring Curriculum and Instruction. She taught Chinese courses in a Chinese heritage school in Columbus from 2014-2016 and is currently teaching at a Chinese School in Toledo. She has designed Chinese curricula for Findlay Public School as well as a university-level Chinese language curriculum. She served as the Co-director of an ELL Support Center at the University of Findlay. She is interested in using communicative language teaching methods in second language classrooms.