Our Staff

Natasha Bowman, Communications and Projects Coordinator (currently on maternity leave)

Natasha joined SCILT in 2014 as Administrative Assistant for CISS, after working in schools in both Asia and Africa.

Natasha provides support to the Communications and Projects Officer for all CISS events and projects. She is responsible for developing and maintaining CISS’s website and social media presence, including Twitter, Facebook and the Tianjin Scholars’ blog. Natasha manages CISS’s enquiry service and coordinates the production of the annual CISS newsletter. She handles financial processes within the CISS office and oversees travel related bookings.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8180

natasha.bowman@strath.ac.uk

Robert Burgess, Professional Development Officer

Robert’s background is Community Learning and Development, after graduating from Dundee University with a degree in Community Education he pursued his career working with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people within South Lanarkshire Council’s Youth Learning Service offering routes to alternative curricular education and personal development.

Robert has joined the CISS team from South Lanarkshire Council where for the past 3 years he has been the Confucius Hub Coordinator managing and developing  Mandarin in line with the Languages 1+2 policy and South Lanarkshire’s primary literacy framework.

Robert’s role within CISS will be to develop, deliver and support a range of projects with partners in the hubs and their communities. This will include leading specialist Confucius classroom hubs, developing family learning and school to school projects and being involved with intergenerational learning and learning for sustainability. Robert will support the CISS team in the operational plan process including submissions, financial and project monitoring. He will also support the PDO in a range of DYW activities across the hubs.

Robert is really excited and looking forward to this new and challenging opportunity and hopes to have a positive influence on future development of Mandarin within the CISS remit.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8177

robert.burgess@strath.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Katie Hawkins, Communications and Projects Officer

Katie has been with the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools for 5 years. As Communications and Projects Officer, she leads on the development, planning and implementation of CISS projects, conferences and events whilst managing the day to day operations of the organisation.

Katie works closely with CISS’s major stakeholders and acts as a point of contact for the Confucius Classroom hubs. Katie is experienced in leading large groups of pupils and education professionals on trips to China. She has line-management and mentoring responsibility for a number of staff and works side by side with her colleagues and the Senior Management team to foster relationships with partners in China, develop strategic plans and achieve the overall aims of the organisation.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8171

katie.hawkins@strath.ac.uk

 

Meryl James, Professional Development Officer

A Welsh speaker from Aberyswyth, Meryl is an enthusiastic advocate of other languages and cultures. She read Russian, German and later Swedish at university. Meryl has worked in a wide variety of fields such as Social Welfare, Health, and latterly Education, always using her language skills. Before joining CISS in 2012, Meryl worked for eight years as a Modern Languages Development Officer for Perth & Kinross. Meryl is now the Senior Professional Development Officer at CISS.

Meryl supports of the Confucius Hubs and provides effective CLPL for Hanban teachers, the Chinese Teacher Network and colleagues in schools or other sectors such as FE colleges. She also develops Mandarin learning resources for CISS.

Meryl works with partners such as RZSS (Edinburgh Zoo) to provide further contexts for learning and CLPL opportunities for teachers. Meryl also works in partnership with Project Trust, a charity which sends 17-19 year olds abroad for one year to work on a variety of projects. This partnership also supports the SCILT ‘Language Linking, Global Thinking’ initiative.

Meryl works to develop the Scottish Government’s initiative of Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce; working closely with DYW groups across Scotland. Meryl is heavily involved in the annual Business Brunches events; held in six regions, from the Ayrshires to Inverness and Aberdeen. Most recently Meryl has worked with Founders4Schools.

Another core area of Meryl’s work is “Business Language Champions”, whereby schools are linked to a local business thereby increasing uptake in languages, especially when linked to the ‘Languages for Life and Work Award’.

Meryl leads the annual CISS Teacher Immersion Course for primary teachers and secondary teachers who need to deepen their knowledge of Mandarin to support the ‘Wider Achievement’ element of the curriculum in the Broad General Education or Senior Phase of the curriculum.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8176

meryl.james@strath.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Fan Lin, Depute Director

Fan Lin is the Depute Director of Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. As a qualified bilingual teacher in Chinese and English, she has been involved in the education profession for more than ten years, particularly in the teaching of Chinese, in both the UK and China. In May 2010, Fan was seconded to work as the general manager of the Confucius Institute at Learning and Teaching Scotland and then moved to the University of Strathclyde when CISS was launched in 2012. This role involves overseeing the promotion and development of Chinese language and culture in Scottish schools. Fan works closely with the Scottish Government and Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters to set up and manage Confucius Classroom Hubs across Scotland. The close educational links Fan has fostered between China and Scotland help deliver the expectations of Scottish government’s China strategy and 1+2 language policy.

Fan was an associate tutor for the PGDE Chinese course at Edinburgh University from 2009 to 2013 and Vice Principal at Glasgow Chinese School, Stow College. Prior to this, Fan worked with the Scottish Qualifications Authority to develop National Qualifications in Chinese languages in Scotland. At the SQA Fan worked as both the Development Manager and Principal Assessor of Mandarin and Cantonese. As a Principal Assessor, Fan lead and coordinated a team of Chinese language teachers and used her expertise to ensure high standards and quality of assessment.

Fan has established CISS’s wide network with various stakeholders in the UK and China, such as the Chinese Embassy and Consulate, British Council, Scotland China Education Network, and most importantly, with Hanban. As well as working closely with Scottish partners, Fan also works with Chinese communities and business in Scotland, such as Glasgow Chinese School, Aberdeen Chinese association and Seewoo Chinese supermarket and restaurants.

Fan facilitated the expansion of the Confucius Classroom hubs network from 9 initially to 16, with further expansion planned by 2016. She negotiated a scholarship programme with our partners in Tianjin, which is now in its second year, and introduced immersion visits to China for Scottish teachers and headteachers. The exponential growth of CISS under Fan’s leadership led to CISS being awarded World Confucius Institute of the Year 2014.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8168

fan.lin@strath.ac.uk

 

 

Fhiona Mackay, Director

After graduating from the University of Glasgow with an MA in French and English, Fhiona lived and worked in Paris before returning to Scotland to undertake a PGDE at the University of Strathclyde in which she received a distinction.

Fhiona worked for several years in secondary schools, becoming principal teacher of Modern Languages in a large and vibrant department, offering French, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin.

In her capacity as director of SCILT and CISS, Fhiona advises and informs Scottish Government language policy and supports its implementation in schools.  She also provides strategic leadership to all the Confucius classroom hubs in Scotland, working in close partnership with Hanban, Tianjin Education Commission and Scottish Government.

She is an active contributor to Scottish Government’s Strategic Implementation Group that leads the realisation of the recommendations of Language Learning in Scotland: a 1+2 approach.  Similarly, Fhiona is an active advisory board member of the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) and is a trustee of the Scottish European Educational Trust (SEET).  Working with a wide range of national and international partners, Fhiona is a well-known advocate of languages and is determined to create a climate in which language learning flourishes. 

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8163

fhiona.mackay@strath.ac.uk 

Mandy Reeman-Clark, Business and Finance Manager

Mandy has been with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages for 12 years and is responsible for the overall administrative, financial and strategic running of SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages and CISS, the Confucius Institute for Scotland’s Schools. Mandy is part of the Senior Management Team and works closely with the Director and Depute Director in liaising with Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Confucius Institute Headquarters in China, facilitating meetings, events and projects across both SCILT and CISS.

She is directly involved with SCILT’s many networks and works in close liaison with SCILT’s strategic partnerships, disseminating information through the Languages Network Group Scotland (LANGS). Principal roles include responsibility for administration of SCILT and CISS finances and contracts; recruitment and induction of staff and management of staff issues including health and wellbeing; overall responsibility for all professional learning and national conferences and ICT support at events.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8164

mandy.reeman-clark@strath.ac.uk


Jiahui Tang, Mandarin Teacher

Jiahui joined CISS in September 2018 as Mandarin Teacher. She is a postgraduate student in Tianjin Normal University, majoring in English Translation (first foreign language: English; second foreign language: French). She learned much about linguistic theories, on which teaching Chinese in English speaking countries can be based.  She was award scholarships every year during her undergraduate and postgraduate periods.

Apart from her academic training at school, she also acquired intern experiences regarding teaching, translation and editing. She taught English to students during her summer holidays, ranging in age from 13 to 20, from which she gained much teaching skills. She also joined the programme provided by her university and RWS Company as a part-time translator. Besides, she was an intern editor in China Translation and Publishing Corporation, gaining a knowledge of editing, publishing and writing.

Jiahui feels quite honoured to have the opportunity to join CISS. She is determined to promote Chinese in Scotland. She will spare no effort to do that. She believes that she can learn a lot from this experience.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8170

jiahui.tang@strath.ac.uk


 

Ellie Cassen, Communications and Projects Coordinator

Ellie joined CISS in 2019. She spent most of her early life in Italy before gaining a degree in Italian with International Studies from the University of Warwick. She has previously worked for Oxford City Council and spent several years organising cultural tours in countries including Italy, Sweden and the USA.

Ellie has experienced first-hand the positive benefits of cultural exchange and communication and is excited to support the CISS team on the delivery of its events and projects. She will work mainly on the areas of the CISS newsletter, website, social media presence, Tianjin Scholars’ blogs and financial and travel related processes.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8180

ellie.cassen@strath.ac.uk

Qiqi Shang, Mandarin Teacher

Qiqi joined CISS in September 2019 as Mandarin Teacher. Her grandfather hoped she would be a “different girl”, so he gave her the name qi qi, which means “gracious or extraordinary ‘’ in Chinese. Qiqi is positive and talkative by nature.

Qiqi graduated from Dalian University of Technology with a Master's degree in translation and interpreting, and got scholarships every year during her undergraduate and postgraduate life.  She worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduates and language partner for students in the American Critical Language Scholarship Programme (CLS) at Dalian university of technology. During this period she learned a lot about teaching skills.

She has interpreted in the International Volunteer sector in Dalian, China for the International Garment & Textile Fair and joined the American summer camp as teaching assistant for foreign teachers. During the summer holidays, she also taught many students English as part-time job.

Qiqi is fond of participating in various practical activities. During her time at the university, she served as the president of the Student Union, organizing and hosting various events.

Why did she choose to come to Glasgow? Qiqi says: " ’People make Glasgow' says it all - the reputation of bold, friendly, confident people attracted me to this colourful city. I want to bring Chinese language and culture to this vibrant city and help Scottish people become enthusiastic about China!"

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

Tel: 0141 444 8169

qiqi.shang@strath.ac.uk 

Ping Yan, Mandarin Teacher

Ping Yan is an undergraduate student from Linyi University, majoring in Normal English (second foreign language: French). She joined CISS in September 2019 as Mandarin Teacher.

During college, Ping was the class monitor for four years and gained many awards in different fields, such as speaking contests, stage show competitions, dubbing contest and college students’ innovation and entrepreneurship competition. What’s more, in October 2018, she out from many excellent students won the second prize in the English group of the “The 6th Shandong Province Normal University Students Employment Skills Competition”. She loves working with young people and has had experience of working as an English teacher in training schools and junior high school where she was loved by her students.

Ping Yan is delighted to have the opportunity to work for CISS. She is looking forward to promoting Chinese and Chinese culture enthusiastically in Scotland and believes that she will make a valued contribution to promoting educational relations between China and Scotland.

Contact

The Ramshorn
98 Ingram Street
Merchant City
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX

ping.yan@strath.ac.uk