Expert Consultants

Zhao Wen

Ph.D., Senior Professional Development Director

In the 1990s, while I was teaching at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, my research on best care practices for orphans living in institutions began. Over the years I have witnessed how the lives of those children have been fundamentally changed by a group of wonderful loving adults who provide nurturing care and help them reach their greatest potential. I am fortunate to be one of them.

Zhao Wen holds a Master's Degree in Family and Childhood Education from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Wen has extensive and rich teaching and research experience in the early childhood education field as a teacher, teacher educator, and as a researcher over twenty years in the United States and China. Her teaching experience includes preschool teaching at Head Start in Wyoming and the lab school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, university teaching in the United States, and teacher training in China.

Dana E. Johnson

M.D., Ph.D, Half the Sky Board Member

As a pediatrician and researcher in child development, I know that within orphanages, children deprived of individual attention and love fail to grow normally. Chunhui Children is a beacon of hope for institutionalized children in China. No other organization in the world has developed a full range of orphanage interventions that prevent deterioration and help children to achieve their full potential.

Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Pediatrics and member of the Divisions of Neonatology and Global Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota where he co-founded the International Adoption Program in 1986. His research interests include the effects of early institutionalization on growth and development and the outcomes of internationally adopted children. Dr. Johnson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, serves on the editorial boards of Adoption Quarterly and Adoptive Families Magazine and has authored over 200 scholarly works. He received the Distinguished Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Joint Council for International Children’s Services and the Harry Holt Award from Holt International. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, Half The Sky Foundation and SPOON Foundation.

Janice N. Cotton

Ph.D., Child Development; Half the Sky Chief Program Officer

I have seen Chunhui Children grow over the years, along with its sister organization Half the Sky. I had the honor of training the nannies at our first sites in China, and I continued, over the years, to return to teach and mentor those who chose to devote themselves to the children. What meaningful work!

Janice Cotton holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, a Masters of Science degree from Samford University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She has over 35 years of experience in the field of education, is the founding Executive Director of a large innovative early childhood center focused on teaching, research and service, and also worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Civitan International Research Center to create and evaluate educational programs for children and their families.