Born in New Jersey, where she was raised by her Chinese father and Filipino mother, Monica experienced a wide variety of cultural practices growing up. Traditional Chinese and Filipino dance provided her a way to connect with the cultural roots of her family as well as the opportunity to explore her identity as a mixed heritage American. Her early cultural experiences inspired her to pursue a BA in International Relations from American University in Washington DC. She then moved to Japan where she started an English language school and taught violin. After five years of working and exploring Asia, she returned to the DC area to earn a MA in Higher Education Administration and International Education. During her studies, her primary interest was education for global competency and cross-cultural success. She has more than 15 years of experience working in organizations with international interests. Monica believes in the value of the arts and exposure to the world’s diverse cultures as a path to harmony among all people. She plays violin and viola, and fiddles with the ukelele.