Michelle Hsu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Hsu, President and Founder of International Academic Alliance, is a pioneer in the field of international education, being among the first Asian women to develop bi-national academic program models between American and Taiwanese universities in the early 1980s. Since then, Ms. Hsu has grown her network of universities, colleges, high schools and government agencies through her programs across several countries and cultures.  

Working in collaboration with accredited American universities, Ms. Hsu cultivated international academic relationships through niche programs in business, computer engineering, healthcare, hospitality, education, fashion design, etc., for international students, career changers, professionals and government officials.  Ms. Hsu speaks at international conferences on a wide range of topics in business and education.  She is also a highly regarded academic and business executive in New York City, having been honored by the New York Queens Theater, and lauded by the U.S. government’s key federal business administration program as having developed a “blazingly successful new enterprise…the International Academic Alliance.”


Hadi Salavitabar, Chief STRATEGY Officer

As IAA Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Salavitabar oversees corporate direction and key initiatives across the International Academic Alliance. A well-respected faculty and university administrator with an enthusiasm for international education, Dr. Salavitabar was Founding Dean of the School of Business at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and most recently served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of Saint Rose. In addition to his work as Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Salavitabar also serves as Executive in Residence at University at Albany - State University of New York and a Trustee of Ulster Savings Bank.

Tumin Chook, Chief Technology Officer

Tumin has extensive experience working in IT and software industry in the United States and abroad. He defines the corporate IT strategy and provides guidance to the IT team on building IT infrastructure and education technologies. He is currently the Co-founder of MySignBox, a startup which offers an interactive digital signage platform with social reward. Prior to his start-up, he was the CTO of GPRO Technologies Bhd., a listed company in Malaysia Stock Exchange. He joined the company in early 2004 and was one of the key management to bring the company public. Tumin also served as the CTO for National Institute of Technology, a New York based education service provider, from the year of 2001 to 2003, where he spearheaded the effort to create a new e-learning platform. Before moving to New York, he was managing the User-Interface Group of Supplyworks, a Massachusetts based B2B Company. He spent 5 years of his career earlier with AppNet, later merged with Commerce One, as a Senior Consultant serving various corporations including Ford, Unisys, UMI, and Comshare.

Lynn Huang, Director of International Admission, China

Lynn holds the dual positions of Director of International Recruiting and the Director of China Development at IAA, responsibilities she has held for over nine years.   A well-connected world traveler with strong communication skills, prior to joining IAA, Lynn served as an academic recruitment executive for nearly ten years, most notably  as the Manager of marketing and student recruitment for Xincon America Technical School, a vocational training institution in the New York City area.  In addition to her considerable business development profile, Lynn also holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the New York Institute of Technology.


Annie brings experience in international education and school admissions within universities, independent schools, and private education institutions. With a background in international education development, Annie specializes in international student advising and program management. Most recently, Annie was an Academic Director at the Hoyah Overseas Education Institute, developing and maintaining international education programs, along with successfully advising students seeking application to American boarding schools and universities. She holds a master's degree in education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Jerry Tsong, MD, Member on Board of Advisors

Jerry is a Senior Partner at Greenwich Ophthalmology Associates, one of the largest private medical group practices in Greenwich, CT.  He is the Retina Specialist of the group. Previously, Jerry has been involved in medical education at the University of Southern California and the George Washington University Medical Center.  Jerry holds a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Instructors, New York

Jessica Sticklor, Adjunct Faculty, The College of Saint Rose

Jessica currently teaches English Composition and Approaches to Literature to IAA students as an adjunct of The College of Saint Rose.  She has also taught English, Composition, Literature and Creative Writing at a number of institutions including The City University of New York, SUNY Old Westbury, The College of New Rochelle, The Gotham Writer's Workshop and The New School. She has had numerous short stories and articles about writing published in a wide variety of publications including Wasafiri, The Warwick Review and Confluence. Her debut novel, Betwixt and Between, was published by Ig Publishing in November 2013 and her second novel is currently being represented by the prestigious Sanford J. Greenberger Literature Agency. 

Emmanuel Garcia

Originally from San Diego, CA, Emmanuel teaches sociology at IAA as an adjunct of The College of Saint Rose.  For several years in California, Emmanuel worked for the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, improving college readiness for all students, especially those traditionally underrepresented in higher education. His focus is on facilitating critical thinking skills and providing students with academic spaces to openly discuss and critically explore their social surroundings. In addition to his position at IAA, he also teaches at City University of New York. He is also an educator for the Educational Video Center, formerly as a documentary instructor for high school students, and now as a media and instructional consultant, guiding NYC teachers in using documentary film making to incorporate project based pedagogy in their classrooms. He has a BA in Sociology and Religious Studies from San Diego State University and an MA in the Sociology of Education from New York University.

Instructors, China



Andrew currently serves as the Center Director at one of IAA's Centers in China and manages the Honors program operations. Andrew is an academic expert in Academic English teaching, writing for publications, and student academic advising for US university planning. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Cincinnati and he is also certified as a TESOL instructor.  He also speaks conversational Japanese, and is a contributing writer for magazines in the US. 

Katrina Kimbril, instructor

Katrina  is a longtime ESOL curriculum advisor and teacher, with a career in American public high schools for many years. In addition to teaching, she is a curriculum specialist for the AHSH program, advising on the program’s English language curricula.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Southeastern University as well as a master’s of fine arts from University of New Orleans and is also certified as a TESOL instructor.  Katrina also enjoys creative writing.

Amanda Hanson, instructor

Amanda has a wealth of experience in academic advising and international teaching to both high school students and college students. She has an academic background in English and international relations. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University as well as a master’s degree from Webster University and is also certified as a TESOL instructor. Amanda has traveled widely throughout Asia and the Middle East.

CYNTHIA APOLLO, instructor

Cynthia serves as one of the center directors for the Honors program. A longtime university English instructor, she is an expert in teaching university level academic skills. She also has an early professional background in developing intercultural understanding programs both for business and school-based settings. Cynthia holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University- Fullerton and a master’s degree from Ohio University and is also certified as a TESOL instructor. She also enjoys pottery making. 


Richard KAY, instructor

Richard Kay, Ph.D. comes to IAA with a wide array of experience.  Of which includes more than ten years working with K-12 grade and university students.  Dr. Kay holds a valid teaching credential from the state of California.  Furthermore, his experience involves a clinical background working within hospitals and clinics in California as a licensed psychologist for more than 20 years.  He has been living in China for the past three years and continues to study the Chinese language.  He enjoys outdoor sports and exploring new places and people in China.

stephen snidero, CENTER DIRECTOR

Jonathan has a wealth of diverse experience. He has taught team building and wilderness survival skills; he has been a certified English teacher and has taught in junior and senior high schools in the United States; and has extensive experience teaching in both Korea and China.

Jonathan has many interests. He has lived for a time at Buddhist temples in both Korea and Thailand to study meditation. He writes and publishes poetry and creative non-fiction. He also enjoys travel and he has traveled extensively throughout the world.

sandra snidero, instructor

Sandra brings to the IAA program her expertise in English teaching in international high schools. She has experience in the volunteer cultural exchange programs, and prior to beginning her teaching career, worked for many years as a fine art showroom manager. Sandra holds a bachelor’s degree from Towson University and is certified as a TESOL instructor.  Mrs. And Mr. Snidero and their puppy are enjoying their time in China.

senan almashat, instructor

An accomplished, multilingual educator, Senan lectures in Grammar, Composition, and History. While globally experienced in educational administration, international relations, and academic and study abroad advising, Senan is most at home in the classroom, where he enjoys questioning and, more importantly, being questioned by students. Outside and occasionally in the lecture hall, Senan appreciates most things automotive, literary, philosophical, and social. A graduate of West Virginia University, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in both French Language and International Politics.

david wood, instructor

David is a lecturer at Shengli #1 High School, where he gives lectures on Sociology, Research Writing, and College Preparation. David graduated in 2014 from the University of Notre Dame with a Master of Arts in Political Sociology, where he studied the intersection of culture and politics in framing historical and current partisan discussions on science and regulatory policy. Prior to that, he graduated Magna Cum Laude as the Outstanding Senior of the Sociology Department from Washington State University in 2011. 


John has taught Linguistics and English (ESL/EFL) at universities in the United States for more than twenty years, including courses taught at UCLA and USC, two of the top universities in the western U.S..  He has taught all language skills extensively, as well as preparation courses for TOEFL and IELTS tests, and has trained other teachers and groups of professors from China. He can speak several languages and has many scholarly interests. His hobbies include hiking, photography and travel. John says, “I’m new to China, but already I like teaching my high school students and hope I can help them succeed in their future studies.” 

jonathan neske, instructor

Jonathan has a wealth of diverse experience. He has taught team building and wilderness survival skills; he has been a certified English teacher and has taught in junior and senior high schools in the United States; and has extensive experience teaching in both Korea and China.

Jonathan has many interests. He has lived for a time at Buddhist temples in both Korea and Thailand to study meditation. He writes and publishes poetry and creative non-fiction. He also enjoys travel and he has traveled extensively throughout the world.

MARK Oliver, instructor

Mark brings valuable experience in teaching academic English, TOEFL, SAT and advising students for study abroad. He also brings prior experience in professional business writing and mobile applications for educational purposes. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree from York University and is also certified as a TESOL instructor.  He is fluent in French and speaks basic Chinese.


arturo ruelas, center director

Arturo’s professional career started in the California, where he taught ESL and Language Arts at a local high school for two years. Then, he moved to Oregon to work for the next 8 years as Teacher, Professional Development Facilitator, Instructional Coach, International Baccalaureate Co-Coordinator, Department Chair, High School Leadership Facilitator, and Vice Principal. These unique and diverse professional experiences, in addition to his personal experiences growing up bilingual and bicultural in America, will serve us well, he believes, in meeting the challenges of providing an integrated and collaborative learning environment that benefits our emerging bilinguals in China.


michael welch, instructor

Michael is an experienced teacher with a Bachelor's Degree in English from Xavier University in pursuit of his English teaching certification for grades 6-12. His diverse work and leadership experiences include leading forest firefighting crews and serving as a adviser to elementary schools with the Peace Corps in South Africa. Additionally, he has studied French and Spanish and traveled to 20 countries, and is thus empathetic towards students learning a foreign language and preparing to live abroad. This is Michael's second year in China. He teaches Speech and Drama, Issues in Critical Reading, and TOEFL classes.


academic english program

Jeffrey Jones, Instructor

A native of the Baltimore, Maryland, area, Jeff holds a bachelor degree from University of Maryland, a master’s in business from Villanova University, and is currently completing a master’s in education via Fort Hays State University distance learning program. For the past three years he has taught an Academic English and his students have received offers from American universities such as Pepperdine, Purdue, Michigan State, Marquette, and Penn State, among others. Besides having taught at the high school level, he has also taught ESL at a community college in Maryland as an adjunct faculty member. 

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