Certificate Program Faculty
Graduate Certificate in Buddhist Translation
Bhikshuni Heng Yi, Director of IITBT, will serve as Certificate Program Administrator and faculty of record for Translation Workshop. She will oversee group translation work. Bhikshuni Heng Yi entered monastic order in 1993 and was ordained in 1995 under the guidance of the late Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from California State University – Long Beach, and a PhD in Buddhist Studies from UCLA. Since 2011, she has been an Assistant Professor at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, teaching courses on Mahayana sutras and shastras. She has been a translator, reviewer, and translation team leader for the Buddhist Text Translation Society. She aspires to help develop a Buddhist Text Translation Institute as a space for those with talent in languages to be trained and to translate Buddhist texts as a form of spiritual practice. Read more…
Fedde de Vries, an IITBT Fellow, is currently a PhD candidate in the Group in Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Leiden University, the Netherlands (2012), and an M.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley (2015). After obtaining his M.A. he spent a year at Dharma Realm Buddhist University, Ukiah, California, as resident translator. His primary research interest is the thought of the prolific Tang-dynasty exegete Master Chengguan. He works mostly with Chinese although over the years he has studied a number of languages such as Sanskrit, Latin, French and Japanese. Fedde has been involved with the community at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas since 2009. He has participated in various translation projects including parts of the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, Biographies of the Patriarchs, and instructional talks by Master Hua. His translation of the Sutra to King Malla has been published in Religion East and West.
Grace Woo is an IITBT Fellow. She holds a Bachelor in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Master in City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley, and graduated from the Program of Leadership Development from Harvard Business School and the Graduate Certificate in Buddhist Text Translation from DRBU in 2022. She held various leadership roles in corporate America before she finally realized that only the Buddhadharma has any true and lasting value in life. Her primary interest is in deepening her knowledge in translation to serve the Buddhadharma through the studies and practice informed by various Buddhist philosophical traditions and canonical languages such as Classical Tibetan. She has been facilitating Translation Workshops as an IITBT Fellow since 2022.
Michael Lu is an IITBT Fellow for DRBU’s Graduate Translation Certificate Program. He is a graduate of Stanford University Class of 2021 with an M.S. in Electrical Engineering, after obtaining a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Minor in German Studies from Stanford in 2019. Prior to university, he attended Developing Virtue Boys’ School at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas from 4th grade until graduation. He has been learning and practicing to be a Chinese-English interpreter and translator since 6th grade, participating in translations of the Lotus Sutra, the Ten Dedications chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra, Reflections in the Water-Mirror: Turning the Tides of Destiny, the Venerable Master Hua’s biography, and other texts, as well as doing live interpretation of Dharma talks given at the Buddha Hall. Since university, he has been helping with Vajra Bodhi Sea (DRBA’s monthly journal) article translations and occasional talks at Gold Sage Monastery. He was a TA for the Translation Seminar in 2014, 2016, and 2019.
Petra Lamberson is an IITBT Fellow, as well as a PhD Candidate in South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. She holds a BA in Theatre from Lewis and Clark College and an MA in Buddhist Classics from DRBU, where she also served for a time as Assistant to the Accreditation Liaison Officer. Her dissertation project examines Sanskrit Buddhist narrative literature of Nepal. She is currently working on editing and translating texts associated with a set of twelve sacred bathing sites of the Kathmandu Valley.
Yang Liu, an IITBT Fellow, holds a MBBS (US MD Equivalent) in Clinical Medicine from Beijing University Medical Center, and a M.S. in Biostatistics from University of Illinois at Chicago. She has worked on various translation projects for the Buddhist Text Translation Society, including the Lotus Sutra, the Avatamasaka Sutra, Song of Enlightenment, and Words of Wisdom. She teaches Chinese in Instilling Goodness Elementary School and Developing Virtue Secondary School at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
Bhikshuni Heng Chih, Professor Emerita of DRBU, taught Buddhist philosophy at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia, for six years. She is a founding member of the Buddhist Text Translation Society (BTTS) and since its inception in 1971 has served on all its four committees, helping prepare English publications of Buddhist texts and Master Hua’s commentaries on Mahayana Sutras and Shastras. She is one of the world’s most senior Buddhist nuns and in her decades of service has helped train many others in the monastic way of life. Read more…
Justin Howe earned his Masters in Buddhist Classics from DRBU and is now an online doctoral student of Clemson University’s Rhetoric, Communication, and Information Design program. He is a contributing editor for IITBT’s recent translations of the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra, Vimalakirti Sutra, as well as the “Ten Dedications” chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve Venerable Master Hsuan Hua’s vows to translate the Dharma into every language.
Meghan Sweet is DRBU’s Director of University Relations and has taught at DRBU since 2018. She is currently a PhD student in rhetoric at Clemson University and holds an MA in Buddhist Classics from DRBU and a BA in Religion from George Washington University. Before DRBU she worked in web technology and on a climate change documentary film. Her research interests include language and self-experience, phenomenology, and contemplative pedagogy.
Sarah J. Babcock has been a disciple of the Venerable Master Hua since 1993. She was introduced to Buddhism and Chinese language while attending the elementary and secondary school at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and later earned her B.A. in Chinese Language from University of California, Berkeley. She spent three years teaching modern Chinese at Dharma Realm Buddhist University in its legacy program. Recently, she completed her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. Her degree focused on Song dynasty literature and cultural history. Her dissertation, “The Aesthetics of Non-Discrimination: Chinese Poetics and Social Critique in Huihong’s Night Chats from Chilly Hut (c. 1121)” discussed how the Buddhist monk Huihong used his miscellany, Night Chats, to develop Song dynasty poetry criticism and portray monastic and literati figures of his day. Sarah joined the DRBU faculty in Fall 2019. Besides her formal study of Chinese, Sarah often discusses Chinese poetry and Buddhist texts with her father, who translated for the Venerable Master Hua in the early 70s in San Francisco.
Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk who has devoted a lifetime to study, practice, and service. After completing his PhD in philosophy, he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and bhikkhu ordination in 1973, both under the eminent scholar-monk Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya. For the last forty years Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi has immersed himself in the Pali Canon and is a respected interpreter of its content and meaning. He has many important publications to his credit, either as author, editor, or translator. His English translations of the Majjhima Nikaya and Samyutta Nikaya (Wisdom Publications, 1995 and 2000) have become favorites of Western students of the Dharma. In 2008, together with several of his students, Ven. Bodhi founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit supporting hunger relief, sustainable agriculture, and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.
Charles Egan (B.A., Yale; Ph.D., Princeton) is Department Chair and professor of Chinese in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and has also served as director of the SF State Chinese Flagship Program since its founding in 2009. He has published extensively on the evolution of Chinese classical poetic genres and is a frequent translator. His book, Clouds Thick, Whereabouts Unknown: Poems by Zen Monks of China (Columbia University Press), was awarded the 2011 Lucien Stryk Prize in Asian Translation by the American Literary Translators Association. In 2021 he published Voices of Angel Island: Inscriptions and Immigrant Poetry, 1910-1945 (Bloomsbury Academic), a new anthology of inscriptions and poetry from or about the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay.
Chris Wen-Chao Li received his masters and doctoral degrees in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology from Oxford University, where his research focused on Mandarin sound change and Chinese phonology. He is the author of A Diachronically-Motivated Segmental Phonology of Mandarin Chinese (New York: Peter Lang, 1999), The Routledge Course in Chinese Media Literacy (London: Routledge, 2016) and numerous scholarly treatises on language and translation. His translations of Chinese prose and poetry have appeared in Renditions (Hong Kong) and The Chinese Pen (Taipei), and Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies (London). His current research interests include sound change, language contact, diglossia, standardization, phonological translation, and domesticating translation strategies.