Contact Us


Dr. Matthew Christensen

PI & Flagship Center Director

Dr. Christensen earned his Ph.D. in 1994 in the field of Chinese linguistics from Ohio State University. He is a professor of Chinese in the Asian and Near Eastern Languages Department. His research interests include Chinese language pedagogy, teacher training, materials development, discourse analysis, and Chinese poetry.

Office: 3081 JFSB
Extension: 801-422-5303

Rita E. Cortez

Managing Director

Rita has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas-San Antonio. She has over 20 years experience in high level management most of which involved overseeing federally funded grant projects. She is originally from Texas, is married and has 3 children. She came to BYU in 2009 and loves reading, cultural arts and music.

Office: 3122E JKB
Extension: 801-422-2200

Flagship Program Teaching Faculty/Staff

MS. Sha-Sha, Yang, M.a.

Flagship visiting Instructor

Shasha Yang received her M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from Brandeis University. Prior to joining BYU Chinese Flagship Center, she has taught Chinese at all levels at Brandeis University and in programs including Chinese Flagship Intensive Program at the University of Rhode Island, “Princeton in Beijing” program, CIEE Program at Peking University, and CET summer program in Beijing. Her research interests are second language acquisition, language teaching pedagogy, and educational technology. She is engaging in helping her students to learn and use Chinese in a communicative way with accuracy and propriety.

Office: 3122 C JKB
Extension: 801-422-3968

MS. Katherine, Chen, Tilley

Flagship adjunct Instructor

I was born and grew up in Taiwan. I studied Russian and Secondary Education for my Bachelor of Art degree in National ChengChi University (政治大學)in Taipei. I had a lot of fun directing Russian plays and serving in student organizations during those years. I then came over to BYU for my graduate studies. I started with Special Education and obtained a Utah Teacher's license in Special Education (Mild & Moderate). Later I also started to study in the master's program of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching concurrently with the Special Ed. program. After getting my master's degree, I went on to teach Chinese at the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center at Presidio of Monterey, CA. It is an intense immersion language program for military personnel. I came back to teach Chinese at BYU in 2015 and have loved working here. It is an honor and delight to be a part of the Chinese Flagship program at BYU.

Office: 4060 JKB

Office Staff

Cynthia Cerenzie (Office Specialist)

Angelica Kong (Overseas Project Assistant)

Christina Wu (Academic Project Assistant)

Blanca Shu (Student Assistant)

Jack Chiu (Social Media Specialist)



Contact Information

Chinese Flagship Program: Brigham Young University 3122 JKB. Provo, UT 84602
Phone: 801-422-9189