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Yuan was born in a small town in northern China, has been an academic faculty member in a major university in China (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) since 2000 and also taught international students’ courses there. She had conducted original investigation and research of vernacular architectures in South China for many years and helped the local communities to preserve their cultural heritage.

Currently, she is an associate in research at Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Yuan likes traveling, hiking, kayaking, reading and drawing. She also likes working with students, to listen and to know them better. At MAIA, she hopes to be deeply engaged in helping the students adapt to a multicultural environment in the United States and develop their cross-cultural communication skills.

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