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

Dr. Hui-Ju, Rachel, Chuang, Ph.D.

Lead Flagship Instructor

Dr. Hui-Ju Chuang was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. in Chinese Language & Linguistics from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and her M.A. in Linguistics from National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan. She taught Chinese language at all levels since 2010 and join join BYU in 2018. Her research interests lie in Applied Chinese Linguistics in Chinese Language Teaching and Learning, Cognitive Linguistics, Chinese Heritage Language, Blended Learning, Corpus Linguistics and Taiwan Southern Min. She is currently working on a research project in Applied Cognitive Linguistics to teach Chinese spatial terms. She is thrilled to be on board at BYU Chinese Flagship Center and look forward to working with everyone here.

Office: 3122 K JKB
Phone: 801-422-5952

Mr. Yi-Chia Chien, M.A.

Flagship Instructor

Yi-Chia Chien received his M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from the University of Iowa, and received professional training in L2 Chinese education from Teachers College, Columbia University and National Taiwan Normal University. Prior to joining BYU Chinese Flagship Center, he taught all levels of Chinese language courses at different institutions, including Rice University, the University of Iowa, DePauw University, and Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan. He also has teaching experience at domestic immersion program (STARTALK), study abroad programs, and online programs. His research interest focuses on Chinese pedagogical grammar, instructed second language acquisition (ISLA), and pedagogy of Chinese as a foreign language. He has been always dedicated to optimizing students’ learning experience, creating supportive learning environment, and bringing authentic Chinese-speaking world to class. He loves to see his students becoming proficient in Chinese language and culture.

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

Office Staff

Hayley Garrett (Office Specialist)
Cynthia Cerenzie (Office Specialist)

Contact Information

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