Duquesne University School of Law

Study Abroad - China - Faculty

On-Site Personal Attention by the Duquesne Faculty

Photograph of John RagoJohn Rago, Associate Professor of Law, Co-Director of the 2018 China Program

Professor John Rago's work in the area of criminal justice focuses on wrongful convictions within the broad context of collaborative policy-making and the establishment of science-based best practices for law enforcement and prosecutors. The guiding principal of his efforts is to establish policies and practices that are good for law enforcement, good for victims, and good for the accused. 

Rago is working with Allegheny County District Attorney, Stephen Zappala, and criminal justice stakeholders in Allegheny County to establish a conviction integrity unit in the Office of the District Attorney, one of only several such units in the nation. The chief purpose of this unit will be to enhance the integrity of our criminal investigations and prosecutions. The conviction integrity efforts underway in Allegheny County are also designed to provide a model for the commonwealth to pursue uniform science-based practices state-wide in such areas including, but not limited to, eyewitness identifications, electronic recording of custodial interrogations, and the preservation of evidence.

This ongoing effort flows from Rago's work as chairperson of a 51-member statewide committee formed by the Pennsylvania State Senate to study wrongful convictions under the auspices of the Joint State Government Commission (2007 - 2011). Rago's Report to the State Senate includes a series of legislative reforms and suggested practices which currently are under examination by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. Several Pennsylvania counties have begun to pilot some of these recommendations. These counties currently include Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, and Allegheny County. 

Rago has served on the Innocence Project's Northeast Policy Board and the Governor's Advisory Board on Probation. He is frequently consulted on matters of conviction integrity and post conviction claims of actual innocence.

Photograph of Rona KaufmanRona Kaufman, Associate Professor, Co-Director of the 2018 China Program

Rona Kaufman is an associate professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law who teaches courses in employment, family, and business law and focuses her scholarship on the intersection of law and motherhood. She has published articles in the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society, the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, and the Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal.

Prior to joining Duquesne Law's faculty, Kaufman completed the Abraham L. Freedman Fellowship at Temple University Beasley School of Law. While at Temple, she taught legal research and writing courses as well as an upper-level family/employment law course.  Kaufman practiced law in Houston, Texas before embarking on her academic career. She is a member of the Texas State Bar. She practiced commercial litigation and family law in Houston with Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright). She also practiced employment law as an associate in the Houston office of Baker Hostetler.

Kaufman earned her LL.M. (legal education) from Temple University, a J.D. from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. (political science) from the University of Pittsburgh.

Her scholarly interest is focused on how various areas of law impact primary caretakers, specifically mothers, and how law can enable them to successfully combine their caretaking responsibilities with paid employment. She argues for the adoption of laws and policies that will enable mothers and other primary caretakers to combine paid market work with mothering, successfully and simultaneously.

Kaufman serves as advisor to Duquesne Law's Jewish Law Student Association, Women's Law Association, and Labor and Employment Law Society.

She was honored by Chabad House on Campus in 2016 during the organization's 28th anniversary at the University of Pittsburgh.

 Photograph of Dean Frank LiuFrank Y. Liu, Professor of Law, Senior Advisor of the China Program

Professor Liu joined the faculty of the Duquesne University School of Law and served as the Director of the Center for Legal Information (the Law Library) in 1980. He earned a bachelor of law degree (LL.B.) at the top of his class from the National Taiwan University. He received a graduate fellowship from Yale Law School and studied there for one year. He received a master of comparative jurisprudence degree (M.C.J.) and master of library science degree (M.L.S.) from the University of Texas at Austin.

Professor Liu currently teaches legal research, advanced legal research, and Chinese legal history. He was instrumental in developing the faculty exchange program between Duquesne University School of Law and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) of Beijing, the People’s Republic of China. With Professor Alfred S. Peláez, he helped to establish the Duquesne-CUPL summer study of Chinese law program in Beijing in 1995. He teaches in the program and serves as its Associate Director. Professor Liu is an Honorary Professor at CUPL and the Northern Jiaotung University, two of the most prestigious universities in China.

Chu Zhang, Professor of Law, Senior Advisor to the Program On-Site in China

Holding a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Law (M.L.) degree, Professor Chu Zhang serves as the senior advisor for Duquesne University School of Law's summer study of law in China program. In the role, he lectures on intellectual property law and arranges externships for students in China. He also works with Associate Dean Frank Liu and Duquesne University School of Law on developing new program partnerships in China. 

Zhang is the dean of the School of Intellectual Property of Xihuan Univerity in Chengdu, China. He founded and was the director of the Center for Intellectual Property Rights Studies at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. He also served as a professor of law, mentor, and post-doctoral mentor to students and as chairman of the Academic Committee for the Science and Technology Department. He previously served as a visiting scholar at Temple University and Columbia University’s law schools. In addition, he served as a lecturer and associate professor at the School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and as lecturer and associate professor at Guangzhou University.

Robin Connors, Coordinator of Student Organizations and International Programs

Robin Connors is the Coordinator of Student Organizations for Duquesne University School of Law. She has been with Duquesne University since 2007. Prior to joining the law school in 2011, she worked in the Student Accounts Office for three years. She earned her bachelor's degree in Business and Communications from Duquesne and is currently studying to complete her Masters in Liberal Studies.

Ms. Connors facilitates all study abroad inquiries, requests and applications. Her experience from working in Student Accounts affords her the knowledge to guide students through the financial aid processes and answer any questions. She is committed to ensuring that the registration process is seamless for all participants.