Meet the Team

/Meet the Team
Meet the Team 2019-04-05T23:45:58+00:00
Eric Valdois
Eric ValdoisCoordinator of International Operations
Eric has been an administrator at Sias for 3 years. Before this he worked for 5 years as a teacher at Sias. His 8 years of experience in Chinese culture, and expertise with the visa process is well suited to help teachers in their transition to life in China. His other job duties include the liaison between the Chinese administration and the foreign teachers. Eric works hard to cultivate a strong cross-cultural relationship with both parties. Our teachers feel supported and Sias prides itself on it’s highly functioning foreign community. Eric grew up in Kansas, and lives at Sias with his wife and six children.

Ask Eric about Visa questions

Claudia Yim
Claudia YimAcademic Coordinator for Foreign Faculty
Claudia is from all over the world. Beginning school in L.A., her family moved back to Hong Kong when she was 8. She has been educated under a myriad of different education systems, both private and public, local and international, eastern and western style. This is her 10th year at SIAS. She loves seeing and being a part of students’ intellectual and holistic growth. Claudia believes education can change lives and break the poverty cycle. In her spare time, she likes to bike, hike, and travel to beautiful places.

Ask Claudia about courses available and course content

Aaron Vorbau
Aaron VorbauForeign Faculty Recruiter
Aaron grew up in Bay Area, California. His father worked as a pilot for commercial airlines and from a young age Aaron began traveling globally. While attending Cal Poly (SLO) he volunteered as a youth mentor and currently spends free time serving through CEOGlobalUSA.org programs. He met Rachael in 2007 shortly after both of them completed their MA degrees and within a year they were married and moved to China. They now have four children who consider Peter Hall faculty housing their “home” even though they are on the road 6+ months of the year outside of China.

Aaron is your first point of contact to express interest in teaching overseas

Xiaoying Liu
Xiaoying LiuAdministrator for Foreign Faculty Recruiting
Xiaoying grew up in Luoyang, China. With a great passion for exploring the world, she spent a year and a half studying and working in the UK. While abroad, she traveled to nearly a dozen countries in Europe. She enjoyed each of her trips, especially an adventure in Iceland. She really enjoys communicating with people from different cultures. Her favorite activities are traveling and listening to music.

Ask Xiaoying about qualifications to teach or visa questions

Greg Fenell
Greg FenellInterview Coordinator
Greg is from New Jersey and has been at Sias since 2007, serving in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. Initially expecting to be at Sias for a year or two, he found expanding opportunities year by year which kept him on board. His favorite aspect of the Sias experience is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with the students. He met his wife Erica at Sias, and their three girls were born in China. His hobbies include hiking, ultimate frisbee, singing, and playing trombone.

Ask Greg about interview opportunities

Katie Lucio
Katie LucioFaculty ESL Trainer
Katie grew up in New York speaking English and Spanish. Coming from a large family with three distinct cultures, she moved to China in 2011 after spending some time living and teaching in Latin America. With over 10 years teaching experience, she currently works to mold new teachers into exemplary English educators. You can find Katie at a local coffee shop reading a book or in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes to share with friends. Contact Katie for information on becoming TESOL or TEFL certified and beginning a career teaching in China.

Ask Katie about ESL Curriculum and training

Nikkie Houchen
Nikkie HouchenAcademic Team Leader
Ask Nikkie to receive sample syllabi
Lindsey Solterbeck
Lindsey SolterbeckFOE Oral English Team Leader
Lindsey is from Boise, Idaho. As a teenager, she started volunteering for a summer school program for refugee children who had just arrived in the US. This was her introduction to teaching English. Boise has a large refugee population and she has worked with English Language Learners off-and-on for the past 20 years. Lindsey has a degree from Boise State University. She and her husband first came to China shortly after they were married. They returned to Sias with their two young children in 2016. She loves teaching freshmen students and she loves helping other teachers succeed in the classroom!

Ask Lindsey about Freshman Conversational English

Jessica Billinger
Jessica BillingerPrimary school team leader
Ask Jessica about curriculum and work environment
Gary Todd
Gary ToddIn-House Historian
Gary grew up in Illinois where he lived through practically everything people associate with the 1960s. He earned a Ph.D. in American and Chinese history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and first taught in China at Chengdu in 1991. In 2005 he and his wife Amy came to Sias where he has taught history ever since. His biggest project is a photographic record of museum artifacts and world historical places. His 155,000+ photos are posted on Flickr and indexed at www.WorldHistoryPics.com. Three of his books dealing with Art of Ancient China are available for free in PDF from links at this website, and are also available on Kindle/Amazon. Henan University Press published his Henan: Focal Point of Chinese History.

Ask Gary about China history and PhD research

Sachin Rubdi
Sachin RubdiAdministrative Assistant of Foreign Faculty Operations
Sachin is a resident of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the financial capital of India. He has a Bachelor’s degree in History, Master’s degree in Numismatics and Archaeology and a postgraduate diploma in Museum Management. He has worked with well-known airline brands like British Airways and Cathay Pacific in the capacity of a Team leader and Senior Officer in Mumbai, India. He moved to China to explore and understand the similarities and differences between two neighboring cultures (India and China) especially in the field of business management. He likes to read nonfiction, travel, finance management and visit historical sites. He works in the capacity of ​Administrative Assistant of Foreign Faculty Operations in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and is responsible for Foreign faculty payroll, International flights, Reimbursements among other administrative tasks.

Ask Sachin about payroll, booking flight, tax refund and so on

Selena
SelenaForeign Faculty Resident Nurse
Ask Selena about medicine and health-related issues
Amy Todd
Amy ToddForeign Faculty Housing and Dining Coordinator
I was born and grew up in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, General Santos City. But now, I’m an American Citizen. I’ve been working at Sias International University for almost 14 years. My first job was teaching Oral English and after 2 years I was hired as part-time Foreign Faculty Housing and Dining Coordinator and part-time Assisting the administrative work for Foreign Faculty. As the number of Foreign Teachers increased I became the full –time Housing and Dining Coordinator. So far, it is very fascinating to have a diverse community. It’s a bit challenging to work in a multicultural environment. It helps to embrace the positive or good vibes and connect yourself to a positive group of people and learn to accept cultural differences. Loving and enjoying your work is a plus. I’m married to Dr. Gary Lee Todd, who is employed at Sias also and teaching American and British History.

Ask Amy about housing and dining questions

Skye Li
Skye LiDirector of OIS Office
Ask Skye about Maternity Leave
Sarah Hu
Sarah Hu
Sarah is originally from a small town in Michigan and moved to China in 2008. After graduating with a degree in TESL, she was looking for an overseas teaching job. She only planned on teaching in China for a few years, but she grew to love Chinese culture, and has recently returned to China to teach again. Sarah met her husband in China and have 2 children together. She has over 10 years teaching experience. Currently, Sarah is our Sophomore Team Leader, and will guide you through all the academic hurdles of teaching in another culture.

Ask Sarah about Sophomore Conversational English

David King
David KingMedia Producer
David King grew up in a small mountain town in Arizona where he trekked through the picturesque landscape of the Western United States. His passion for photography led him to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Film, where he developed his filmmaking skills. With a background in photography and videography, he strives to provide the highest quality content while presenting viewers with ascetically compelling stories. He is currently the Media Producer for Academics In Asia. You can see some of his work on Instagram @daveoutwest

Ask David about his job if you are applying for Film Producer opening

David Hu
David Hu
David was born and raised in a small town near Luoyang, Henan, China. He came to Sias in 2007 and majored in English translation. Because of his huge interest in foreign languages, he quickly made friends with almost all the foreign teachers during his 4 years at Sias as well as mastering the English language. He married Sarah 2 years after he graduated from Sias. Then they moved to the US together in 2015 for employment. In the summer of 2018, he moved back to Sias with his family of four. With his unique first-hand experience with Chinese and American cultures over the past 10 years, he is great at communicating with people from different backgrounds, races and cultures.

Ask David about 20th visiting Sias Campus for annual Home Coming Celebration

Elizabeth Martowski
Elizabeth Martowski
Elizabeth studied Graphic Design for six years, completing her bachelor and masters degrees. After visiting Ireland and Ecuador she fell in love with world travel. When her future husband suggested that they start their lives in China, she responded, “Why not?” After the wedding, the couple moved to Sias University to teach English. Elizabeth joined the AIA team as the Social Media Coordinator two months later. In this position, she uses her design skills and inspires teachers to pursue excellence abroad. In her spare time, Elizabeth likes exploring Xinzheng with Terrance and turning their apartment into a comfortable home.

Ask Elizabeth about joining the Ambassador media team! Learn more

Terrance Martowski
Terrance Martowski
During college, Terrance taught a summer English workshop in Hainan, China. It was only a month, but he found a love for Chinese culture as well as teaching, and from then on he found ways to teach part time. Years later, he was looking for a full time teaching job when he saw a position in China. Soon after he and his wife were married, they began setting up their new life at SIAS. When Terrance isn’t teaching or assisting the Social Media Coordinator (his wife), you can find him exploring Xinzheng for a new favorite restaurant.

Ask Terrance about joining the Ambassador media team! Learn more

Ben HouchenActivities and Event Coordinator
Ben Houchen is the Activities and Events coordinator, he and his family have lived in China since 2014. Ben is your first contact for various events and activities that you will be participating with in China.

Ask Ben about activities outside of the classroom or culture shock

Cindy Davis Resident Nurse for Foreign Faculty & the NCLEX nursing Instructor for Sias School of Nursing
Cindy Davis is the Resident Nurse for Foreign Faculty & the NCLEX nursing Instructor for Sias School of Nursing. Cindy and her husband James are from Wisconsin. This is where they raised their six children. Cindy has been a nurse since 2000 in a variety of healthcare care settings such as Medical-Surgical, Primary Care, and Community care. Cindy loves to care for the underserved population to provide a quality of life. In her downtime she likes to go for long walks with her husband, ride her motorcycle, and visit her friends. Her previous nursing experiences equips her to guide the foreign community at Peter Hall in health-related matters. Additionally, Cindy passionately promotes safety and quality care with Sias nursing students.
After visiting a former English teacher Jacob Job at Sias, Cindy and James fell in love with Sias culturally diverse campus. Now that her children are grown Cindy and her husband are able to travel abroad. This opportunity will allow Cindy to expand her nursing knowledge by serving at Sias. She is able to encourage the east meets west philosophy of learning. Her desire is to promote quality, safety, diversity, and culture competency in Sias school of nursing.

Ask Cindy about medicine and health-related issues

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