Yan Li holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Chinese Linguistics from Peking University, and a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Southern California.  Her current research focuses on the acquisition and instruction of Chinese function words, issues surrounding articulation between secondary and post-secondary language programs, and the efficacy of learner use of online applications to master Chinese tones. In addition to her work as the Chinese language Coordinator, Dr. Li is the Director of KU’s Project Global Officers program, which provides language scholarships to students in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

Sheree Willis holds B.A. and M.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education, all from the University of Kansas. As the Director of the Confucius Institute, she developed a highly successful distance-learning program that provided Chinese language instruction to K-12 schools in the region, and successfully competed for seven annual STARTALK federal grants to offer Chinese summer camps to high school students. Dr. Willis has supervised and trained nearly seventy native speaker instructors from China, and regularly provides workshops for Chinese language teachers in the region and at national conferences.