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about the




Who We Are

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Rev. Michael Agliardo, SJ, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Fr. Michael Agliardo is a member of the Society of Jesus, a Catholic religious order more commonly known as “the Jesuits.” Early in his career as a Jesuit, he worked in campus ministry and taught theology at Fordham University in New York. After receiving a doctorate in sociology at the University of California, San Diego, he taught sociology at Boston College and Loyola University Chicago, and he is currently a research scholar affiliated with the sociology department at Santa Clara University.

The Jesuits have played an important role in history building bridges between China and the West. During his early years as a Jesuit, Fr. Agliardo was fortunate to have met Chinese and American Jesuits who fostered his appreciation of Chinese culture and the history of the Church in China. He has studied Chinese philosophy and spirituality, taught in China, and traveled throughout the land to better understand the circumstances of Church and society there. In 2012 he joined the Board of the USCCA, later serving as Chair. In January 2018, he assumed office as Executive Director.


Office phone:   +1 (510) 900-2015

Front office

Xin Chen (陈鑫)

Executive Assistant for Administration & Programming

A graduate of Peking University, Xin Chen worked for four years coordinating academic programs and exchanges at the Jesuit-affiliated Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. In 2010 he came to the U.S. for graduate studies. In addition to earning a master’s in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, under the auspices of the provost’s office for global initiatives, he helped to establish Loyola’s four international study programs in Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil, and Chicago. An experienced program coordinator, Xin Chen also organized a three-day international interdisciplinary conference on continental philosophy, as well as the China Association’s 2013 conference in downtown Chicago. 


Office phone: +1 (510) 900-1510

Staff & Collab



Brendan agliardo

Webmaster & IT Coordinator

Brendan Agliardo is an undergraduate finishing his cybersecurity degree at the University of Maryland. As IT coordinator, he implements and maintains the technological infrastructure of all the USCCA's various outreach programs. He hopes his work will enable the association to expand its influence to any size, and still have a reliable framework to rest on. A seasoned developer and passionate hacker, he runs an IT business in his hometown in Connecticut.


Mission Appeals, Study Tour & Conference Coordinator

Bernard Ciernick has worked in parish and diocesan ministry for over 40 years. He has a master’s in theology from the University of San Diego. He lives in the beautiful wine country of Santa Rosa, California with his five children. He has always had a love of East Asia and its religious traditions. He brings his extensive talent and ministerial experience to his work for the USCCA.

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Heidi Ibisate

Membership Coordinator

Heidi Ibisate came to San Francisco from Hong Kong in 1977.  After graduated from San Francisco State University, Heidi has been working for Hewlett Packard/Hewlett Packard Enterprise in various positions for 33 years.  Currently she is a business analyst.  When her two children graduated from college, Heidi became more active with volunteer work.  As a certified Health Care Interpreter, she enjoys her time with new immigrants to navigate the medical puzzle.  She also volunteers as a site coordinator of two Second Harvest Programs using a local Catholic church as base. USCCA will be her next welcome adventure.  

Kathleen O'Brien
Campus Engagement Initiative (CEI) Coordinator

Kathleen O'Brien's commitment to her Catholic faith and passion for Chinese culture were nurtured during her time at Bradley University as a religious studies and philosophy major. Upon graduation, she dedicated three years in China teaching English at Jilin Agricultural College and Jilin Catholic Seminary as a lay Maryknoll missionary. There she was able to witness to the hopes and struggles of Chinese college students and experience the inspiring faith of the Chinese Catholic Church firsthand. Her return to the United States led her to Chicago where she finished a masters in systematic theology at Catholic Theological Union. While there, she did her thesis on the Chinese Rites Controversy. 

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Anna Waddelove
Communications Coordinator

Anna Waddelove has worked with non-profits for over eight years, most recently in the North American Office of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Washington, D.C. There, she worked with both the Brothers, and to support the Lasallian schools and ministries throughout the continent. Prior to that, she worked for Commonwealth Catholic Charities in Richmond, Virginia. In both roles, she was responsible for all graphic design, website management, writing and editing, social media management and more. She sits on the board of directors for two non-profits, both of which benefit at-risk children; one in Virginia and West Virginia, and one in Haiti. Anna received her bachelor’s with Honors in Photography and Digital Media in 2003 from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. Anna is originally a northern Virginia native, but after walking her second El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in 2019, she decided to relocate to Spain. 

program consultants

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Sean Connolly

Campus Engagement Consultant

Sean Connolly has taught English as a Foreign/Second Language for more than 30 years.  He received his BA from U.C. Berkeley (Political Science) and MA from San Francisco State (English) after which he taught at Shanxi University, Taiyuan, for two years.  During a year’s sabbatical from Cal State University, East Bay, he taught at Tongji University, Shanghai. He has also lived and taught in Italy. He currently teaches ESL at two community colleges where his students hail from all over the world, mostly the Pacific Rim. He is a Past Grand Knight of Columbus and lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and three Mandarin-speaking children. Sean is excited about using his connections with local schools and experience with immigrant and exchange students to assist the Campus Engagement Initiative of the USSCA in its mission. 

Sue li

Fellowship Activity Consultant

Sue Li is the Founding Coordinator of the CAFE Fellowship Program at Seton Hall University and USCCA Board member. She was born in Taiwan and came to U.S. for the graduate study. She received a both master's degree and a doctorate in biochemistry from Seton Hall University. There she also began a longtime friendship with the Maryknoll brothers, fathers, and sisters. They had a great impact on her life, and they helped her to grow in her friendship with God. Through her involvement with the Maryknoll "Seminary Teachers & Formators Project," she has had the chance to meet with many priests and religious sisters from China. They illuminated her faith and encouraged her to serve the Church and the Chinese community. As a result, after a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, Ms. Li responded to God’s call to serve as a volunteer in the local Chinese Catholic community. In addition, she collaborates with campus ministry at Seton Hall and other universities to share the Gospel with her fellow Chinese. 

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luke liu

Campus Engagement Academic Consultant

Luke Liu is a High School teacher, former Catholic high school recruiter in China,and  USCCA Board member. Luke Liu is a sixth generation Catholic from Sichuan, China. He holds a master’s in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and a certificate of distinction in democratic development from Stanford University. Having launched a career as an engineer in China and Europe, he then turned his focus to civil society and international education. Currently a teacher in Houston, he is also developing programs for young people from around the world to study in America.

xueying wang, PH.D.

Campus Engagement Academic Consultant

Xueying Wang is a lecturer in the Department of Theology, Loyola University Chicago. Xueying came to the United States in 2007, to study classics and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. She was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church on Easter 2008. Upon becoming Catholic, she changed the focus of her studies to Christian theology and earned a doctorate in historical theology in 2014. Her research is focused on Christianity in China and comparative religions. She is especially interested in studying the writings of Chinese Catholics during the Chinese Rites Controversy, whose voices had been largely ignored by modern scholarship. Once an international student herself, Xueying is passionate about working with the USCAA in improving the experiences of Chinese students in American universities.

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Andrea Zhou (周 沅)

Student Development Consultant

Andrea Zhou is the Interim Assistant Director of Student Experience at INTO Saint Louis University. The INTO Saint Louis University program is designed to enable international students to succeed in American higher education. Prior to coming to the United States, Andrea worked at the Jesuit-affiliated Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. With over ten years’ experience at Jesuit institutions on both sides of the Pacific, she has a long track record promoting international student success through orientation, programming, and student involvement. She is currently a doctoral student at Saint Louis University; her research focuses on international branding, marketing, and recruitment in the greater China theater.

To reach any staff member or consultant, please contact  

Xin Chen (陈鑫), USCCA Admin

email: | phone: +1 (510) 900-2015.

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