Think and Speak Up Team


Dr. Lisa Wang, Founder, Auother of 《我把美国教育方法带回国》


Dr. Lisa Wang's educational background includes a B.S. in Chemistry, M.S. in Computer Science, and Ph. D in Computational Chemistry. Despite all that time in the classroom, she realized that lifetime skills of effective communication and leadership skills were never part of the curriculum, and our educational systems failed to teach how to express one's thoughts to others. From there, she founded Think and Speak Up, one of the first educational programs of its kind. 



  • offered Think and Speak Up workshops for Temerlin Advertising Institute and Communication Studies of Southern Methodist University (SMU) 
  • coached SMU Advertisement team for National Advertising Campaign
  • was interviewed by CCTV about Think and Speak Up
  • was honored to be one of the judges for 2013,2011 "CCTV Star of Outlook English Talent Competition" National Preliminaries.
  • 2013 "New Concept English Ability Competation" judge and speaker.
  • held two successful summer camps with Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press in Beijing China. The campers viewed the teaching team (Zen Ren, Chris Wright, Dr. Wang) as "dream team"!
  • offered “Think and Speak Up” for Southern Methodist University Youth Summer Camp 2008 through 2012. Kids viewed the class “too cool to change”; Parents viewed it as “a first-rate” course (evidenced from survey). 



Mr. Chris Wright, Co-Instructor


Mr. Chris Wright has been working with Dr. Lisa Wang for more than ten years. He is also Dr. Lisa Wang's mentor in public speaking. Mr. Wright has won the following Toastmaster's Speech Contest: 

  • 2003 Tall Tale Speech winner
  • 2004 Humorous Speech winner
  • 2005 Evaluation Speech 2nd place
  • 2006 International Speech Contest 3rd place 


He also worked with Dr. Lisa Wang

  • offered Think and Speak Up workshops for Temerlin Advertising Institute of Southern Methodist University (SMU)
  • coached SMU Advertisement team for National Advertising Campaign

Chris has more than twenty years management experience in industry. His sense of humor, leadership skills and most importantly, his care for kids make him a teacher every kid wants to have. 




Ms. Rachael Woodward, Co-Instructor


Ms. Rachael is both a producer assistant and an actress. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Media Communication and a bachelor’s in Theater and Cinema from Asbury University.  Her education continued at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center in Hollywood and Mulholland Acting and Film Academy in the Netherlands. She has produced, written, directed, and performed various projects for theater and film as well as taught film production classes at the ALL Academy.  She loves to empower young people by strengthening their ability to communicate and share their own stories. 






Ms. Cynthia Brown, Co-Instructor


Brown has been involved in Toastmasters International for many years where she holds the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Designation, the highest level given to Toastmaster members. Some of the highlights are: 

  • 2009 humorous speech contest champion
  • 2007 impromptu speech contest champion
  • After competing at the club, area, and division level preceded to District stage total of 5 timesYears of experience teaching communication and leadership skills for youth program at her church
  • Prepares and coaches youth in grades 3 through 12th for an annual speech competition in which 90% of them are awarded the Gold level award.
  • Professional Speaker that gives speeches and conducts workshops and seminars on Self-Esteem, Leadership and Enhancing Speaking skills for Adults. 



Ms. Meg Park Wilson, Co-Instructor

Meg Parker Wilson graduated with her B.A. in Speech Communications and Theatre from Southwest Baptist University . Her education continued at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and White Wall Acting. She has been a writer, director and performer for a wide range of roles in the theater and on film. Meg was a member of Chi Sigma Theta for Theater and Pi Kappa Delta for Speech and Debate at her alma mater. She was also a 4 ruby qualifier, receiving the highest commendations for her participation in The National Forensics League. Among her interests is traveling; which has lead her to the countries of Brazil , Nicaragua , Senegal and more.




Ms. Vandi Melton, Co-Instructor

Ms. Vandi graduated with her B.A. in Speech Communications and a minor in Theatre. She furthered her studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in the Media and Communications program. Ms. Vandi has always had a passion for teaching, speaking, writing, and acting. She started debate in high school and continued debating while in college and received the top novice speaker award. she has also judged many high school tournaments.




Zen Ren, Leadership Counselors


Achievements related to her speaking and leadership skills:


  • Plano East Senior High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) Battalion Executive Officer
  • Plano East Senior High School Student Speech Winner, graduation ceremony speaker with audience of 7,000 and two TV station broadcasting live
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth Chinese Institute of Engineers Speech Contest 1st Place
  • Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps Global Project speaker


The lessons I've learned from this program will stay with me forever. Before, I never knew how to convey my ideas effectively so that others would listen. Class presentations were difficult because I was so terrified of speaking in front of an audience that I would quietly stumble through my speeches.

Now, I have the skills to get in front of audiences of over 200 with little preparation and deliver a strong speech. I have the confidence during class to lead projects. My ability in communicating with others has gained the attention and respect of my peers and teachers - something that has enabled me to rise to the top leadership positions in my classes and extracurricular activities. Being able to give strong speeches and think quickly on my feet when doing impromptu has opened valuable opportunities to me that would have stayed closed had I not joined Think and Speak Up.



Sidharth Sharma, Leadership Counselors


Achievements related to his speaking and leadership skills:


  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places at 6 Plano Independent School District debate tournaments
  • 3rd place Plano City Champions Debate Tournament, two consecutive years
  • 4th place Current Events trophy (second current events trophy school history at district championships)
  • 2nd place Portsmouth Abbey School Model United Nations Speech Contest


Having been involved in Think and Speak Up since the fifth grade, the vital lessons I have learned from it have played a crucial role in my development both as a leader among my friends as well as a strong participant in the classroom.


Since I began learning to write and deliver speeches, I found that I began to take on a more driving role with my friends, emerging as a leader when I had formerly been a follower.
I became skilled at presenting my thoughts in a convincing, logical order and delivering them in a way which attracted the attention of my audience.


These skills were especially advantageous when I joined my school’s speech and debate team, quickly rising from a new member to a co-captain due to the speeches I presented at various tournaments.


Think and Speak Up enhanced my performance in school as well. I had the upper hand at presenting projects, reports, and slideshows to my classmates, which did not go unnoticed by my teachers. My education in speech writing and delivery has augmented the various facets of my life. Whether in friendly conversations, extra-curricular activities, or in school, I have noticed a significant change since I first decided to join Think and Speak Up.



Stanley Liu,Leadership Counselors


Achievements related to his speaking and leadership skills:
- 4-year elected representative on Student Government
- Elected Vice President of the Student Government
- DECA President, and two-time qualifier for DECA International Conference, two-time 1st place winner at the DECA District Competition
- Selected to serve as a Head of School Tour Guide

    The benefits to getting involved in Think and Speak Up for me reach far beyond just the development of my public speaking skills. Through the Think and Speak Up program I have gained confidence in my ability to effectively interact with my peers and adults in my community. Developing my communication skills has opened up countless doors for me that I never would have even considered before. These attributes, which I gained during my years in the program, provide me with motivation to be a dynamic contributor to causes, student groups, and organizations that I devote myself to.

    Without Think and Speak Up I would definitely be much more reluctant to come out of my shell and pursue leadership positions in clubs at school. Thanks to the skills I learned at Think and Speak Up I now find myself much more open to putting myself out there and really grabbing opportunities that I believe in and I am passionate about.

    I have been elected to the student government all four years of my high school career including being elected Vice President for my senior year, I am Co-President of my school's DECA Chapter (a club dedicated to preparing students for careers in business, finance, and entrepreneurship), and I work closely with my school's admissions office as a Head of Tour and three-year tour guide, along with an array of other positions that I hold at my school. I joined these organizations and ran for these positions not because some external force pushed me to but because I recognized these groups as ones that were dedicated to causes that I felt strongly about and Think and Speak Up gave me the confidence and the skill set that I needed to pursue my passions and goals.




I wanted to share with you that the feedback has been super positive about the Think and Speak Up Workshop. All the students found the workshop of super value and would recommend it for future cohorts. I would like to offer the same work shop every year to our second year graduate cohort.

Carrie. La Ferle, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Studies &Altshuler,

SMUDistinguished Teaching Professor


This program is educational. Despite the immense entertainment that comes with the class, it is even more abundant in productivity.    

Brandon F, Age 12


I enjoyed the way you taught us because it was fun to learn. I just wish I could stay longer.      
Naomi P. Age 11


The fun activities were helpful. You were awesome, funny and supportive! I had a blast!      
Monica A. Age 11


I had no idea that I would cure my shyness but also have lots of fun in Think and Speak Up! I learned how to make an impressive speech. I also learned how to read peoples body and eye language. We learned the proper way to stand and show gestures. I feel that I have improved a lot, but also helped me in school and places outside of the Think and Speak Up class. Ms. Lisa teaches everything we need to know about speech in the most fun way possible.      
Carolyn M., Age 11 



I learned many vital things in this class. Many of the things I learned are essential for the future and will prepare Chinese Americans for the mainstream community. Every activity in this class is interactive and exciting. Each activity is different and unique from each other. Even though the classes provide new concepts each time, Ms. Lisa always review the concepts past learned. The class is extremely different from other classes offered by DMCLS. This class is fun and interactive, but you also learn many things. Ms. Lisa is the best teacher ever. She thinks up unique activities each week and is entertaining. You will never be bored in her class. It is IMPOSSIBLE! Through Ms. Lisa’s meticulous teaching and efforts, I have seen my classmates and myself improve drastically. I will most certainly recommend this class to everyone I know.    
Andrew G. Age 13