Kunming Faculty & Administration

YI LIN, Associate Professor of Chinese and Director, Kunming.
Yi Lin's areas of specialty are applied Chinese linguistics and educational measurement. From 2003 to 2013, she was the Academic Director of the Chinese Language Flagship Center at the University of Mississippi. She was one of the key developers of the comprehensive and highly performing Chinese program, which hosts a Chinese language Flagship, a Chinese StarTalk, a Chinese ROTC GO Program and a Flagship Study Abroad Center.  She has served on the Curriculum Committee and Study Abroad Committee of the Chinese Language Flagship Programs at the national level.  Yi Lin presents her work in curriculum development, language acquisition, and program evaluation frequently at ACTFL, CLTA, LEARN and other conferences.  In recent years, she has published a two-volume Chinese textbook, Chinese in Motion: An Advanced Immersion Course (Yi Lin, 2012, 2013), as well as research papers in language teaching and acquisition.  Her outstanding experience in language assessment has contributed to the measurement of learning progress, teaching efficacy and program management.  In addition to teaching at University of Mississippi, Yi Lin taught at the University of Michigan and at Middlebury’s very own Chinese School.  

ALEX NICKLEY,  Assistant Director, Kunming.
Alex first started taking Chinese language classes as a freshman majoring in East Asian Studies at Ohio University. His interests in the region were greatly enhanced and informed during his junior year as a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) recipient in Suzhou during the summer of 2009. After graduating summa cum laude in 2010, Alex decided to move to the City of Perpetual Spring (i.e., Kunming). He returned to the States as a FLAS fellow in the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI) at Duke University, earning an MA in 2015. His degree focused on environmental issues related to China primarily through the disciplines of history, anthropology and political ecology. Alex is an avid birder, amateur naturalist and enthusiastic adventurer who fervently enjoys learning about the flora and fauna of new places.


LI LI 李黎, Program Assistant. A native of Kunming, Li Li received her B.A. in Japanese Language from Yunnan University. She began working as the program assistant for the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Kunming in 2010. Li Li helps students navigate visa and passport issues, organizes activities, and coordinates with the students’ Chinese roommates. Li Li is passionate about Yunnanese cuisine and in her spare time enjoys playing badminton and hiking.


LIU DAN 刘丹. Lecturer.  After graduating from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Yunnan University (云南大学) in 1996, Liu Dan started her career in teaching Chinese at the School of International Students at Yunnan University.  She is experienced in teaching various levels of Chinese language courses, including beginning, intermediate, and the advanced Chinese.  She also teaches undergraduate courses at Yunnan University.  Liu Dan has also taught intermediate and advanced Chinese for 3 summers at the Middlebury Chinese School.  As a native of Kunming, Liu Dan currently coordinates our regional study Kunming Impressions.  Teaching Chinese as a second language is Liu Dan’s long term pursuit, and currently she is obtaining a M.A. degree in comparative literature.  Liu Dan is very happy help students to gain a deeper understanding of the culture, society and people in Yunnan.


 ZHANG YOULAN 张友兰. Lecturer. Youlan graduated from Xianning University (Hubei Province) in 2008 with a major in Chinese Language and Literature. She received her Masters degree in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Yunnan Normal University in 2011. While pursuing her masters degree, she worked as a part-time teacher at Yunnan University and Yunnan Normal University. She joined the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School at Kunming in 2010 as a part-time teacher. She has taught the Kunming Impressions and Business Chinese courses. Youlan has a keen interest in literature, music and travelling, and she is passionate about teaching and introducing the Chinese culture to international students.


MA TIANYAO, Lecturer. Tianyao graduated from Tianjin Polytechnic University (天津工业大学) in 2008 with a major in fashion design and textile engineering. She continued her study in Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology (北京服装学院) and obtained her master degree in Art Design in 2011.  After graduating, she worked for a magazine in Beijing as an editor before she returned to her hometown Kunming. Tianyao joined MiC Kunming in 2013 and has received a rigorous training as a Chinese language instructor.

Tianyao is passionate about her new career and sees teaching Chinese as creative as designing. She has a strong interest in drawing, handicrafts, ethnic arts and Chinese contemporary literature.

HUILING YANG, Lecturer.  Huiling graduated from Beijing International Studies University (BISU), with a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature.  She has been teaching at the Middlebury School in China (MiC-Kunming) since 2010, though the fall of 2013 through the spring of 2015, she was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Chinese at Middlebury College.  At MiC Kunming, Huiling has taught a variety of courses including Newspaper Reading, Topics of Contemporary Chinese Society, China’s Environment & Development, and Kunming Impressions.  She is the lead instructor in developing and refining the teaching materials for these courses.  Huiling enjoys sharing time and ideas with her students.  Her personal interests include reading contemporary novels, photography and calligraphy.  Having lived and studied in Beijing for nine years, she loves Beijing and knows the city well, but she chose to return to her home in Yunnan, and is happy to be living in Kunming.