Cornell University - Arts & Sciences (Asian Studies)
Yale University (Master's)
Columbia Business School (MBA)
In the Fall of 1980 - less than one year after the United States established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, I matriculated as a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences at Cornell as an Asian Studies major focused on Chinese language and area-studies (linguistics, history, government, art history, literature, etc.). At that time, China was NOT the "hot," global economic, political, and military 'powerhouse' that it is today, and my fellow students, friends, and family members actually thought it was "strange" for me to choose to major in Chinese.
Indeed, when I was at Cornell, I was one of only two non-Asian students majoring in the language and Chinese area-studies. I had chosen my major out of a pure love of foreign language and culture, with no specific expectation regarding the career opportunities this course of study would soon afford me. During my junior year at Cornell (1982-83), I was also one of the first three undergraduate students since the conclusion of the Chinese revolution in 1949 to study for a full year in an exchange program in the People's Republic of China. I studied modern Chinese History at Fudan University in Shanghai - a top-tier university in China often referred to as "the Yale" of China.
Following my graduation from Cornell in 1984, I immediately matriculated at Yale University in Connecticut where I completed an MA in East Asian Studies focused on Classical Chinese Literature in May of 1985. Several years later I also obtained my MBA from Columbia University Business School in 1995.
I believe that as a Westerner who has mastered Chinese, I offer a unique ability to teach, support, and counsel students of the language - be they 'heritage' students (e.g. students of Chinese descent who, nevertheless, do not know Chinese, or have not fully mastered the language), or non-Asian students. This is because the phonetic, grammatical, and syntactical structure of the Chinese language poses great challenges for students as compared to the more commonly studied Western languages (e.g. French, Spanish, German, etc.). Of course, the non-phonetic writing system of Chinese is yet another major hurdle for students. Such challenges are not always fully appreciated or 'embraced' by teachers who, themselves, are native-speakers of Chinese. Just as I had to personally overcome such challenges in my own studies of the language, I will know immediately how to guide students to integrate the core lessons and perspectives that I have mastered myself during the many years of my own study. I would also hope that my own deep fluency in the language would provide my students with a strong 'role model' of what they might achieve themselves through dedicated study.
I have always loved to teach, and have actively sought out opportunities to share my knowledge - even while pursuing my business career. This has included very deep experience as a lecturer at client, industry, and trade conferences - opportunities which provided me with very strong experience in the 'organization' and presentation of key information to the audiences I have addressed. A simple Google search of my name will produce a wide range of my citations for my professional work - as a lecturer, my published articles, and my quotes as an 'expert' media source.
In addition, over many years, I have worked closely as a lecturer and advisor for key academic institutions, including Columbia Business School (my own alma mater), Fordham Business School, The New York University School of Continuing Education, and CUNY Hunter College, among many others. I have taught annual seminars in cross-cultural communications and advertising for these institutions.
Additionally, at Hunter College, I have been the official "Outside Advisor" to the school's federally-funded "Chinese Language Flagship" language program since 2010. This program was established after 9/11 to promote the study of 'strategically important' languages in the USA - including Mandarin, Arabic, Portuguese, Farsi, Russian, and others. In my role at Hunter, I not only support the faculty of the school's Chinese Flagship program, but I also regularly lecture the program students on a variety of topics - including strategies for learning Chinese, Chinese culture, and applying Chinese language skills for career development and advancement.
I look forward to working with students of all ages (including adults) who aspire to begin, accelerate, or refine their own mastery of the Chinese language. I will be happy to work with students from the introductory language level, to AP-level, to college-level Chinese. In the Fall of 1980 - less than one year after the United States established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, I matriculated as a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences at Cornell as an Asian Studies major focused on Chinese language and area-studies (linguistics, history, government, art history, literature, etc.). At
I offer students my own very deep experience as a student of Chinese:
I received my BA in Asian Studies focused on Chinese Language, Linguistics, and History from Cornell University (May 1984). While at Cornell, I spent my junior year (1982-83) as an exchange student at Fudan University in Shanghai, China where I received a certificate for a full year of study in Modern Chinese History. At Fudan, all my coursework was conducted in Chinese.
Following my graduation from Cornell, I received my MA in East Asian Studies focused on Classical Chinese Literature from Yale University (May 1985). I then spent 7+ years residing and working for multinational corporations in the People's Republic of China between 1986 and 1992. During this period, Chinese was the primary language of my daily business interactions.
Since 1992, I have continued to work heavily with Chinese - both in China, as well as within the Chinese immigrant communities of North America (USA & Canada). My work has included annual heavy travel to China for business since 1992.
Over many years, I have served as a mentor for a wide variety of students of Chinese at the secondary and university levels. In addition, I have shared my experience learning Chinese at public forums, and have also published on the topic of learning Chinese.
I am a New York born and raised professional who, from a very early age, discovered my unusual ability to learn foreign languages. I began studying French in the fourth grade in NYC public schools, and continued through the end of my college education. When I graduated high school, I went to France on a three-month "immersion" program, living with a rural, farm-family in the Southwestern part of the country. They did not speak a word of English, and I returned to the USA effectively fluent in French.
I offer my students my own extensive training and fluency in the Hebrew language:
From September 1988-May 1989, I was a full time student in an Intensive Hebrew-Language "Ulpan" course in Jerusalem, Israel that was primarily designed to integrate new immigrants to Israel to the Israeli workforce. After 9 months of dedicated study, I emerged from the course with full, professional fluency in the Hebrew language.
Immediately following my language training, I accepted a full-time professional position at the largest international Israeli trading company (The Eisenberg Group of Companies) that was headquartered in Tel Aviv, and which had multiple international offices all over the world. From 1989-1991, I worked for that company in Israel, and at its 'flagship' China office in Beijing. During my tenure, Hebrew was the primary language of all my daily internal correspondence.
I also resided and worked in Israel from the Summer of 1991 to the Summer of 1992 in various full-time and consulting roles that made constant use of my Hebrew language skills.
More recently, my own two children spent the first 8 years of their education studying at a Jewish day school (The Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, NY) where they were full-time students of Hebrew starting in kindergarten through the 8th grade. During their studies, I was their primary tutor for their Hebrew language education.
Both my children now have full fluency in the Hebrew language.