Wanning became an educator since she was a sophomore in college. While being trained at a teacher’s college in Beijing, she took on tutoring jobs and spent her weekends teaching students at their homes across Beijing. She was later involved with initiating a liberal arts college in Beijing which taught courses at the time not offered in Chinese universities to college students.
After college, Wanning went on to pursue a Master of Education degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). In Boston, she worked for The Laboratory of Adult Development at Massachusetts General Hospital and was involved in the research of The Grant Study. Joining an established educational consulting practice in Boston in 2014, Wanning began working in depth with college-bound students to prepare them for success in college. During this time, Wanning gained first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by Chinese nationals and new immigrant students. The various challenges they face in their journeys of achieving success in American colleges include: inadequate academic reading and writing abilities despite near perfect test scores, fear of speaking in class, hesitation to make cross-group friends outside the Chinese circle, and mental health issues, amongst many others. Witnessing these challenges faced by her students has inspired Wanning to come up with longer, more comprehensive educational programs to build specific competencies in these students.
Since returning to China in 2017, Wanning founded Everwood Learning with her husband and work partner Xin Guo to provide comprehensive educational advising and academic enrichment programs to students. She is thrilled to offer her knowledge and experience of studying abroad to her students, and beyond that, she wants to help these students find their unique strengths and become valuable members of society.
Wanning holds membership at the Independent Educational Consultant Association (‘IECA’) and Higher Education Consultant Association (‘HECA’). She frequently attends conferences of professional associations, travels to schools and colleges in North America and UK, and visits her students who are studying on these campuses.
Having worked for an acclaimed American advertising company for a short stint after graduation from college, Xin ventured to Turkey to work for a Turkish industrial valve business. At Ankara, Xin lived with young professionals from over 20 countries for two years. This experience made him realize that Chinese college students needed better education to embrace the challenges of 21st century. After returning to China, Xin and a Chinese professor co-founded and directed TopU College, a not-for-profit after school liberal arts college program that taught 760 college students in Beijing in two years.
After relocating to the U.S. to unite with his then girlfriend, now wife Wanning, Xin completed a Master of Business Administration study at Babson College. Xin was selected as a featured speaker for the Babson Commencement, and delivered a powerful talk about failure. During his time at Babson, Xin continued to explore his interest in education through various projects. He served as a coach for the renowned CLTP – Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program at Babson. He also worked at Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in Wilmot, New Hampshire as the first Chinese staff member on their leadership team, and was interviewed by National Public Radio about his experience. He also led the curriculum development projects for IDEAS Camp in China.
Xin founded Everwood Learning after graduation from Babson College.
Xin holds membership at the Independent Educational Consultant Association (‘IECA’) and American Camp Association (‘ACA’). He frequently attends conferences of professional associations, travels to schools and colleges in North America and UK, and visits his students who are studying on these campuses.
Sheila Olson is a former admissions officer, corporate lawyer, high school teacher, and field archaeologist. She brings a wealth of experiences and perspectives to her work as an independent college advisor.
Sheila was raised in the Big Ten college town of Champaign-Urbana Illinois, where her father was a law professor at the University of Illinois. She graduated summa cum laude/Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and received graduate degrees in archaeology from the University of London and UCLA. She was an All American swimmer and a varsity athlete for four years in college. She rowed competitively in graduate school. Sheila ultimately attended Harvard Law School, working for a number of years as an international transactional lawyer at a large New York firm.
Between degrees, Sheila worked for six years as a high school history teacher and Anthropology Department teaching assistant/Freshman writing instructor at UCLA. She also served as Co-Chair of the Harvard Schools Committee of Southern California. While in law school, she worked as an on-campus interviewer at the Harvard College Admissions Office. Before starting her own firm, Sheila was an admissions officer at Fay School in Southborough, MA, and she coached an FLL robotics team that qualified for the MA state finals three years in a row.
Sheila lives in Wellesley, MA with her husband, a law professor at Boston College, and her three high school-aged children. She is a licensed realtor and loves to travel, read widely, cook, and SCUBA dive. She has spent a good deal of time living and working abroad in Latin America and Europe.
Tiantian is always intrigued by how differently each and every individual perceives the world and what role reading, thinking, and writing play in shaping one’s mind. She graduated from Peking University as an English major with a strong passion for exploring human psyche. The Prevention Science and Practice program at Harvard University opened the door for her not only to learn from some of the most brilliant yet humble-minded human beings in the field of psychology and education but also to serve the most disadvantaged youth who taught her even more. After graduation, she counseled and taught on a residential campus for Youth Villages, a leading non-profit organization providing services for troubled youth. In Tiantian’s eyes, each young person she spent time with there is an epic himself or herself. Back in China since 2014, Tiantian has been teaching reading, writing, and seminar courses and enjoys the mutually inspiring learning experience with her students. She is now a core member of the curriculum development team at Everwood.
Marriah Star, Ph.D. is a political scientist focused on understanding the interaction between global, national, and local environments. He graduated from Harvard University and earned his Ph.D. from the City University of New York. He was raised in a “hippie” environment by parents who are singers in Tucson, Arizona. He has published editorials in the Arizona Daily Star, and interviewed hundreds of people on his online radio show, The Wisdom Hour. Dr. Star has taught college classes for 13 years, ranging from history and political scienceto sociology, the Internet, and music. His dream since age 16 has been to help his fellow humans understand how, as members of the human race, we can help each other most effectively through politics, entrepreneurship, good communication, and good human relations. He has written a memoir called Threading the Needle, about his transition from a hippie community to academia. Dr. Star is bi-racial: half-black, half-white, but looks neither, which has afforded him the wonderful opportunity to fit in almost anywhere around the world. He has traveled extensively to Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. His favorite activities include reading, writing, hiking, and talking with everyone to learn about their unique experiences.
Olly Liao's commitment to education career was triggered while he was working at Everwood Summer Camp as a teaching assistant. After various attempts in different fields, Olly finally found what he was really passionate about. Now a core member of Everwood's curriculum development team, Olly develops courses and assessments for Everwood’s reading and writing curriculum. A voracious reader, Olly’s reading interest include philosophy, history, art and linguistics. He constantly enriches students’ classroom experience with his broad knowledge base.
Paul Zhang holds a Ph.D degree in English Language and Literature. He is passionate about coaching students on the study of language and literature.
Xiaoqing has rich experience in curriculum development, teaching, and educational advising in America and China. She holds a master's degree in education from Pennsylvania State University.