About Us



Evgeniya Efremova

Evgeniya Efremova
Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and a Clinical Assistant Professor

Evgeniya earned her Bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and an EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before joining NYU, Evgeniya managed international education services, STEM career exploration programs, and oversaw English language development programs at Global Ambassador International Counseling and Language Development Center. Following the onset of COVID-19, she led the center's transition to a sustainable, fully-online, AI-powered academic center.

In 2018, after earning her Masters in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Evgeniya also led research at the Brain and Cognitive Development Lab at Ural Federal University. Collaborating with various educational institutions, she focused on identifying factors that enhance students' intrinsic motivation and agency and developing teacher support programs.

Kelly M. Donovan

Kelly M. Donovan (she/her/她)
Pedagogy and Innovation Fellow, Center for Teaching and Learning
Lecturer of English for Academic Purposes

Kelly joined NYU Shanghai in 2020 as a Lecturer of English for Academic Purposes and teaches two courses entitled “EAP 100: The Final Boss: Defeating Social Issues in Gaming” and “EAP 101: The Science of Friendship”. She looks forward to nurturing an active community of practice at NYU Shanghai focused on reflective teaching and peer mentorship. Her areas of interest include Ludic (Playful) Pedagogy, Project-Based Learning, Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy, and Content-Based Instruction/Content Language Integrated Learning.

Kelly earned her MA in Teaching to Speakers of Other Languages with a Specialization in Language Program Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in 2017. After graduating, she participated in the English Language Fellowship, a U.S. Department of State funded exchange program that places highly trained educators with partner organizations around the world. Through this fellowship, she has trained over 2,700 pre- and in-service teachers in China, Mongolia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Kelly’s workshops focus on practical and ready-to-use activities and techniques that work with the trainees’ existing teaching philosophy and methodology. She continues to provide teacher training to the local community through collaboration with the Regional English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Shanghai American Center.

Kelly received her BA in Spanish and International & Global Studies (Asian Studies) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has also served as an EFL Teacher in the AmeriCorps ACCESS Project, as a TEFL Volunteer for Peace Corps Kosovo, and as an English Teaching Assistant with Fulbright Taiwan.

Yaxuan Zhu

Yaxuan Zhu
Academic Associate

Yaxuan received her master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania, and her bachelor’s degree in English from Northwestern Polytechnical University. She joined NYU Shanghai in 2021 as Academic Associate. In her role, she supports the Center for Teaching and Learning’s daily operations and plans and implements various academic programs for faculty. She also supports Economics faculty with their teaching as the appointed Associate.

Varvara (Varya) Obriadova

Varvara (Varya) Obriadova
Student Worker

Varya is a student at NYU Shanghai, pursuing her Bachelor degree in Business & Marketing. Over the high school years in “Letovo School” she has studied Advanced Mathematics and Economics and interned in The Laboratory of Experimental and Behavioral Economics, HSE (Higher School of Economics). Her focus has long been on social projects, where she's collaborated with diverse groups, ranging from peers as Boarding Prefect (Boarding School “Letovo School”) to individuals with disabilities at the charitable foundation “Life Route”. As the CTL student worker, she primarily works with multimedia production and event support and also actively facilitate CTL’s student collaboration.