Meet the Executive Team

Kate Tran
Founder/ Director

With more than 12 years working experience as a senior tax advisor at the director level of a well-known law firm in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, Kate found a passion in education arising from her realization of the professional personal career needs of individuals and the development of a sustainable society via education. She believes the most critical time for development is that spent in Higher Education. She recognized that a thorough preparation for university success is essential for students to attain great achievement both academically and in their chosen career.

Already experienced as a co-founder of a law firm, Kate absolutely understands the factors leading to sustainable business development, and has continued to apply such principles when directing JM. She is totally committed to upholding a rigorous set of standards to provide sustainable educational value to young students, which necessitates high quality programs, developed by a team of trustworthy university professors and her selected Partners.

Helen Kavanagh
Senior Academic Advisor | Head of JM Academic team

With more than 35 years working in education, Helen has held C-suite positions of many global education institutions from being Executive Vice President of an American education company providing advice and guidance to schools in the US, UK, UAE, Qatar, Turkey, India, and Jordan to International Business Director of a UK organization for four years and then another four years as Group CEO of the highly prestigious Wellington College China schools.

Thus, Helen has vast experience and understands the similarities and differences in cultures and educational practice of different regions of the World. She ceaselessly makes significant input, together with Kate, in determining the quality output of JM to ensure high standards of education are provided in a way that enables students to achieve their best by becoming lifelong resilient learners who are able to think critically, apply their knowledge, and articulate their thoughts clearly in order to meet the expectations of the world we live in today and that of the future.


Senior Network Design Engineer

Specializing in Wireless Networking Design and Support, Anthony has excellent problem-solving abilities in managing internal and external data networks with proficiency in Cisco, Aruba, and Juniper platforms. He has a keen technical acumen. In his senior year of High School he took an introductory Cisco class that led him into the world of Networking.

Anthony is currently a Senior Network Design Engineer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, USA. With over twenty years of Networking experience Anthony brings a wealth of knowledge to mentorship, ensuring seamless network operations and security for organizations. He looks forward to the opportunity to share his expertise to inspire a new generation of engineers.

BA from Smith College | JD from NY Law School,
MFA from National UniversityMS from Central Michigan University,
PhD in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
She received the title of full professor and tenure in 2017.

With twenty two years of experience, Dr. Feig has taught composition, literature, and creative writing at Bergen Community College (BCC), the largest two-year academic institution in New Jersey, USA for the last twenty years. Dr. Feig has been awarded the Roueche Excellence Award for Teaching (a national merit award), seven TED licenses, and two fellowships focused on global ethnic literature during her tenure at BCC.

Dr. Feig worked as an independent legal consultant for entertainment companies, including Zig Zag Productions (a London-based company), Nikki Akmal (on a Tokyo-based production), and numerous other film and television productions. As a former attorney for eleven years, Dr. Feig practiced entertainment and contract law including four years at Columbia Records/Sony Music.

In addition, Dr. Feig has published numerous works of creative non-fiction in magazines and journals and four books of non-fiction, including The Ex-Files (Simon and Schuster). During the summer of 2020, she wrote a textbook for first-year composition students for McGraw Hill Publishing.

Kenneth Knox now calls Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia home. In addition to Canada and the United States, he has lived and worked in Europe, Central America, the Middle East, and Africa. This gives him a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges that come with life abroad.

Ken graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Russian and education (with a specialization in language pedagogy) and then went on to complete his M.Ed. He has taught at all levels, been a headmaster and superintendent of schools. He has also mentored teachers and school leaders, helping instill the skills for data-driven and effective leadership as part of national education reform efforts. He has also made a considerable contribution to community development, communications, and policy writing.

A Physical Education graduate from Reading University, Jon holds the Certificate for Executive and Senior Level Coaches and Mentors (ILM level 7), National Professional

Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH), and is a Mental Health First Aid (England) approved instructor.

Qualifying as a teacher in 1996, Jon has extensive and current experience leading and working alongside schools both nationally and internationally.

Jon is also an Associate Lecturer for the University of Worcester and contributes to a range of NPQ awards. As a Mental Health and Wellbeing Instructor, Jon has trained over 400 mental health first aiders to better support colleagues in the workplace and beyond.

Hugh has over nine years of teaching experience in diverse contexts, with a particular focus on training undergraduate and postgraduate students in the academic skills required for success in higher education. He has worked for a variety of universities in the UK (e.g., Nottingham University and Glasgow University) and abroad. In this capacity, he has taught both Academic English for General Purposes and Academic English for Specific Purposes (specifically accountancy, business and management, and finance). During the pandemic, he was also involved with curriculum design and developing innovative approaches to maintaining student engagement in a remote context.

He has a specialised interest in teaching Critical Thinking and has led professional development seminars on this topic and others. His academic background is in Literature (MA with merit from Goldsmiths University) and, more recently, language teaching (Cambridge Diploma EAP pathway). His approach to teaching emphases communication, teamwork and inclusivity.

Brendan McGowan is an educator with many years of experience teaching young adults in subjects including business English, engineering, information technology, and education.

Brendan's approach is student centered as he is responsive to the needs of the various students he teaches. He often strives to include the student's particular area of interest into his lesson planning and delivery. Besides his native English, he has studied several foreign languages including Spanish, German, French, Arabic, and Japanese. Studying different languages allows Brendan to better understand the obstacles students may face when encountering difficult grammar points and vocabulary when learning a new language.

Although Brendan is an American citizen residing in Japan, he holds a master's degree in International Relations with an emphasis on security and strategic studies from a national university within the European Union. He has also traveled widely, and lived in several countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This unique experience allows him to be culturally sensitive in his teaching practices

Ardeen Top holds an M.A. in Humanities with a concentration in Linguistics from the University of Louisville, K-12 Teaching Certificate, and an endorsement in ESL

She has been teaching English and English Composition at the university level, training language instructors and directing university ESL programs, to a diverse range of students, both internationally and in the US since 1999.

Ardeen is well versed in preparing students to succeed at university and has hands-on experience working with international and American students preparing them for rigorous university research, study, and writing in a range of areas from business and nursing to engineering and the arts.

She has also designed and delivered workshops extending from language teacher training to cross-cultural communication and understanding. Currently, Ms. Top develops curriculum, implements instructional and reporting structures, and trains instructors for language and education instruction.

Ardeen has presented at NAFSA and TESOL conferences on international students making the transition to US university study, intercultural communication, and Teaching Knowledge Test preparation and workshops for EFL teachers abroad.

Joanna He has been engaged in higher education for over 15 years in South China, teaching various undergraduate courses including English, creative presentation skills, international communication, and modern design history.

Her classes have become increasingly popular with undergraduate students, especially those who plan to study abroad. So far, of the more than 1600 students taught by Joanna, 20% leave China to study in countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy. She is excited to support more students in their preparation for university overseas.

Joanna often provides a friendly listening ear for her students, identifying their learning challenges and needs, then helping them construct the knowledge and higher-order thinking to achieve their targets.

Matthew holds a first-class honors degree from Portsmouth University, UK.

Having trained adults in the banking industry and taught ESL from Beginner through to Advanced level, Matthew has a broad range of experience to draw upon to meet academic and workplace challenges, and also the acquisition and enhancement of English.

Matthew is able to empathize with students traveling overseas to university by listening attentively, offering practical advice. Having faced that challenge himself as a teenager, he understands the need to learn quickly how to operate in an unfamiliar context, and knows how helpful having someone at hand to protect the transition from one country to another is.

Ayumi is a mindful and inquisitive bilingual Japanese and English educator. With a background in international studies and higher education leadership, she is passionate about empowering youth to discover themselves and step into their highest leadership potential by preparing them for college and beyond.

Ayumi was born in Japan and moved to the U.S. with her family at the age of five. She has lived in Massachusetts, California, Virginia, and Hawai'i in the U.S. and spent some time living in Switzerland. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies & Japanese from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership from the University of San Diego. She has worked in the education, non-profit, and private sector, as well as instructed SAT/ACT courses and facilitated dozens of college preparation courses and read hundreds of college application essays over the years! She finds working with students most rewarding and hopes to continue empowering students in academic, socio-emotional, and career success.

Matt has thirteen years of teaching experience and is an Associate Lecturer at the Institute of Education at University College London (UCL). He has also tutored on several foundation year and pre-sessional programmes helping students to progress on to undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Most of his career has been focused on guiding students through the exams and assessments required to gain access to and succeed in higher education. Matt was appointed to the role of Senior Examinations Officer at UCL in 2019 and in 2022 became a member of the PASHE Assessment Group (Preparation for Academic Studies in Higher Education).

Matt demonstrates his strength in fields of teaching including Critical Thinking, Extended Projects, Employability, and the Advanced Transition Programme. Prior to that he tutored for the Cambridge Education Group at the University of London South Bank. He also taught on the foundation year programme at the Bloomsbury Institute aimed at students entering, business, law, and accounting degrees. At Bloomsbury he was also a member of the Student Welfare Team and has been providing advice to students throughout his career.

He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


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