Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Meet the HNC Washington Office Team!

Ever wonder who processes your STAMP tests, reads your applications, and posts on social media on behalf of the HNC? Meet the HNC international admissions team! We are based in Washington, DC so that we can support you every step of the way on your journey from applicant to student. You'll hear from us about everything from the application process and financial aid, to visas, billing, and pre-departure information. In addition, the Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office is a graduate of the HNC certificate program and can speak firsthand to the student and alumni experience. To get in touch with a member of the HNC Washington Office team, email us at

Lauren Szymanski, Director:
Lauren is an alumna of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Certificate program, and first joined the HNC Washington Office in summer 2012 following her graduation in Nanjing. She holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University with a major in East Asian Studies, and a minor in Chinese Language. Prior to her studies at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Lauren completed an intensive summer language program in Kunming, China. As the Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office, Lauren appreciates having the opportunity to share the unique legacy of the HNC with prospective students, as well as discuss her favorite courses and tips for adjusting to coursework. Studying at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center was an incredible experience which she remembers fondly, especially the sense of community which developed among her Chinese and international classmates. “The HNC was truly a one-of-a-kind experience that provided me with a unique skill set I couldn’t have gained anywhere else. I’ve been thrilled at the breadth of the alumni network, as you can find HNC alumni all over the world working in a wide variety of different industries. It's so refreshing to see that the close sense of community which I valued as a student also continues on within the alumni community.”

Lauren Pan, Program Manager:
Lauren joins the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office team with a diverse background in higher education, study abroad, and grants and program management. She started her “China journey” in 2009 as a volunteer English teacher in Hunan province and has since gone on to study and work in Beijing, Shanxi, and Hong Kong. More recently, Lauren served as Global Portfolio Advisor/Grants Manager for the Institute of International Education, previous to which she managed study abroad programming for the Savannah College of Art and Design. Lauren is passionate about cultural exchanges and immersion and is thrilled to be working alongside the equally committed students and professionals of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Lauren holds a bachelor's of arts in international studies and political science, and a minor in Chinese from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Victoria Saam, Senior Academic Program Coordinator:
Victoria joined the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office after five years living and working in Tianjin, China.  Victoria is a classically trained musician and holds dual bachelor’s degrees from the Florida State University with majors in Music, East Asian Languages & Culture and International Affairs. Upon completing her studies, Victoria was offered a Chinese Government Scholarship for Graduate Studies at the Tianjin Foreign Studies University. She pursued this opportunity and graduated with an M.A. in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, a degree which she completed in Mandarin.  From there, she used her linguistic, international affairs, and musical skills as an administrator at the Juilliard School’s first overseas branch campus, the Tianjin Juilliard School. Now that she is back stateside, Victoria is applying her passion for higher education towards helping current and future students of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center complete graduate level studies in Mandarin and pursue careers in the Sino-global arena.