Board & Consultants
Diane Geng, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Diane began her journey working on rural education while a U.S. Fulbright Scholar researching rural development and civil society in China. She and RCEF Co-founder Sara Lam were Echoing Green Fellows from 2007-9 for their work with RCEF and she was a Reynolds Fellow at Harvard University in 2006-2007. Diane obtained an EdM in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at New York University Shanghai.
General information and
Rural China Education
P.O. Box 224
New York, NY 10276
Wei Ji Ma, Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Financial Officer
Wei Ji Ma is Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at New York University, where his laboratory studies human perception, memory, and decision-making. A third-generation Dutch Chinese, his grandparents immigrated from rural China (Yantai area) in the 1920s. Wei Ji obtained Masters in Physics and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He was a postdoctoral fellow in computational neuroscience at Caltech and the University of Rochester (2002-8), before accepting his first faculty position at Baylor College of Medicine (2008-13). He has long-standing interests in education policy, non-profit management, and science outreach.
Sara Lam, Co-Founder and Director of Research and Development
Sara Lam is currently a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She researched rural education and collaborated with various non-governmental organizations on rural education projects as a 2004-2005 Third Millennium Foundation Fellow, then continued on to do curriculum development and professional development work in rural and rural migrant communities and develop RCEF programs until 2010. She and RCEF Co-founder Diane Geng were named Echoing Green Fellows in 2007 for their work with RCEF. Sara obtained an EdM in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her BA in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota.
Yishin Khoo, Board Member
Yishin Khoo is pursuing her doctoral degree in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE/University of Toronto. Originally from Malaysia, Yishin spent half of her life in China and Canada. She holds a bachelor degree in International Development Studies and Anthropology from University of Toronto, and a master's degree in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests focus on teachers' professional learning, communities of learning, social change and sustainability education in both Canada and China. Yishin is about unearthing the gems of educational innovations in grassroots China. She believes that teachers matter in improving the quality of rural education in China.
Cao Yang, Consultant
Cao Yang is a native of Sichuan Province. She graduated from Renmin University in 1995 and worked in the financial industry for six years. In 2001, she began to support rural education. In 2002 and 2004-2006, she was a full-time volunteer elementary school teacher in Mao County and Song Pan County in Sichuan Province. In 2007 she did a survey of rural school construction projects for the Xiaoping Foundation of Hong Kong and then joined Beijing Brooks NGO and Western Sunshine NGO as the program manager of a long-term volunteer teaching program in Gansu Province.
Zhizhen Qu, Communications Director
Zhizhen Qu obtained a Bachelors in Chinese Language and Literature from Shanghai Jiaotong University (2012), and a Masters in East Asian Studies from Stanford University (2014). She did short-term volunteer teaching in a rural school in Sichuan Province and volunteered to teach for left-behind children in Shanghai during her undergraduate school. She is currently the administrative associate for the Neuroscience Institute at New York University Shanghai. For RCEF, she oversees communications.
Marco Flagg , Photographer/videographer
Marco Flagg has a decade of teaching experience in the United States and China, and a strong background in documentary photography and video. He is passionate about teaching the visual arts to help assist communities in representing themselves. Marco moved to Beijing in 2007 to study Chinese and has remained in China ever since. He continues to work on independent documentary products and is currently developing an organization that provides art education to children in the urban villages of Shenzhen, China.