Kanjana Hubik Thepboriruk, Ph.D., is a professor of Thai Language at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She received her linguistic training at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research explores the various manifestations of “Thainess” and how it is understood, transmitted inter-generationally, performed, and regulated both in Thailand and in the diaspora. She currently teaches all levels of Thai at NIU and works with the Thai-American communities to advance the teaching of Thai as a heritage language. Dr. Kanjana originally hails from Bangkok, Thailand, and grew up in the Midwestern United States, giving her a first-hand perspective of Thais in the diaspora and Thai as a heritage language. In the future, she hopes to expand her work to Thai diasporas outside of the United States. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new cuisines, dances, music, and cultural landmarks.