CCC relies on the generosity of its friends and members to support its mission of strengthening relationships and promoting understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. There are a variety of ways in which you can give, from joining as a member to traveling with us, to attending one of our signature special events. Please select one of the areas below to learn more.
Brian Mcbride has developed close ties to Asia during a 40 year career in education, technology, and marketing. His work life began with an assignment in Southeast Asia, working in a rural East Borneo/Malaysia, teaching high school science in Malay. Later, he took on market development for a series of chemistry and biotech firms, finishing in 2022 with Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, MA). His focus was frequently on partnerships and development work spanning the global with time in India, Singapore and China. At various points, Brian was responsible for Beijing staff members and also reported to a Shanghai manager.
Now retired, Brian is committed to fostering cross cultural connections as a way to enrich our communities and stabilize global relations He volunteers with the Boston Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and with Babson College's Executive MBA program. He holds a BS in Chemistry from Bates College and an MBA from Babson College.
Ose Schwab is a creative people-oriented thinker with nonprofit, technology, coaching, media and arts planning experience. She believes this world is poised for dramatic change and recognizes that cross-cultural awareness and exchange can help dismantle destructive systems that perpetuate social injustices and mediocrity.
Raised in an immigrant family - from Sweden and Germany, she has always been curious about people and cultural expressions and has some musical training (violin and singing) and experience. She is especially interested in the fusion of cultural music and arts traditions and has hosted numerous musical events featuring groups/performers that combine various genres and world music influences into their creations.
Currently working to develop educational offerings through a community media organization, Schwab believes we are all on a learning journey that can connect us across differences if we are curious and have an open mind, heart and will. In this regard, she sees children and youth as great models of openness that we must emulate and give as much support to as possible, especially now in the face of many global challenges and thereby opportunities for constructive change.
McKenna, Kristen P.
Kristen P. McKenna has been in education and workforce development for 25 years working in K-12, preschool, corporate, adult education and higher education in RI, NH, MA and VA. Currently she is the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development for Bunker Hill Community College overseeing the Language Institute for English Language Learners, which serves over 1500 adult English Language Leaners in the Greater Boston area.
Previously, she was the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at River Valley Community College in Lebanon NH. Ms. McKenna served on the MA DESE Adult Career Pathways Task Force, and is ex officio board member of the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC), Boston MA. She was recognized in 2008 as a Massachusetts Literacy Champion by the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation and as a National COABE Incentive Grant recipient in 2009 for her work in Career Pathways. Kristen has a Master's in Higher Education Administration from Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy MA and a BFA from RI College, Providence RI.
Dr. Yu-Lan Lin has been a teacher/administrator for 43 years. She retired from the position of Senior Program Director of World Languages of the Boston Public School system in 2013. Lin holds a B.A. degree in Turkish Language and Culture; an M.Ed. in Bilingual and Multicultural Studies; and an Ed.D in Reading and Language Development from Boston University.
She began her 43-year career as an elementary teacher at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Boston in 1979. Four years later, she started and directed the Mandarin program at Snowden High School, Boston. In 1997, she assumed her responsibility as the Boston school district supervisor for world languages. She has been the Executive Director of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) from 2005-2016. In 2004, Lin was selected to serve on the Chinese AP Task Force Committee for the College Board, from 2005-2012, she was appointed to serve on the AP Chinese Curriculum and Assessment Development Committee, and from 2013-2015, she served on the World Language Advisory Committee and the Academy Assembly Committee for the College Board. Lin has been various STARTALK programs’ lead instructor, mentor and site visitor for the past ten years. She has been the pedagogy instructor, at New England K-12 CFL Leadership Institute at Tufts University for the past five years.
Her published work includes co-authorship of the CLASS Professional Standards for K-12 Chinese Teachers. She is the recipient of MaFLA’s Distinguished Service Award; NECTFL’s Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession and ACTFL’s Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in K-12 Foreign Language Education.
Jackie Wu is the founder and CEO of Corvus Robotics, a YCombinator and VC-backed robotics startup based in Boston. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Robotics. Corvus Robotics employees over 20 people and serves in the public and private sectors. Jackie and his partners have been successful in launching a start-up and attracting capital from VCs and other investors in under 3 years. He grew up in Texas, and being Asian himself, Jackie has a personal connection with the CCC’s mission and purpose, and has a vested interest in advancing the organization’s agendas and objectives. As a Chinese American, he straddles both cultures and loves connecting with people over hotpot.
Thorsen, Linda J.
Linda Thorsen is a writer, historian, and instructor who currently balances various part-time work with community involvement. Her long-time passions include learning, writing, history, travel, and reading. The daughter of Swedish immigrants, she grew up in New Jersey and has also lived in Pennsylvania and Delaware. She and her husband Mark Bernstein have lived in Malden since 1989.
Ms. Thorsen’s career began with twelve years in software documentation, first as a software technical writer and then as a manager of writing teams. She later held roles in product management, product marketing, and marketing communications, and has worked independently since 2007. Over four decades, she has worked for seven software companies, a marketing consulting firm, and a PR firm—and as an independent consultant. In these various capacities she has helped businesses define clear and compelling company and product messages and deliver those messages through diverse written materials.
She was part of the founding team of local nonprofit Malden Arts and served on its board for ten years. She is currently Second Vice President of the Malden Historical Society, and has delivered several talks on Malden history. Since 2012, her community involvement has also included volunteer work on a number of political campaigns, from local school committee and city council races to presidential campaigns. She has been Chair of the Malden Ward 3 Democratic Committee since 2016.
Since 2010, Ms. Thorsen has also been a teaching assistant for evening on-campus and online college courses at Harvard Extension School covering various topics in world history, U.S. history, and historical methods. Ms. Thorsen holds a B.A. in English Literature from Swarthmore College, an Ed. M. (Master of Education) from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an ALM (Master of Liberal Arts) with a concentration in History from Harvard Extension School.
Michael Amaru is a technology entrepreneur with a background in creativity and marketing. He Co-founded Sensedriver Technologies in 2013 and Display.Stream in 2019 where he sits as the VP of Marketing. Michael's experience with technology startups, marketing, and venture capital brings valuable insights to the Chinese Culture Connection. Michael joined the board in 2020 and continues to advise on marketing strategies and leveraging technology for the benefit of the CCC.