In the summer of 2006 Ms. Gao took on the challenging role as the Director of Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing and Management for which she relocated from Chicago to San Diego. Gao has established two solid bachelors’ programs to reflect the Art Institute’s fashion curriculum as the leader for creative education in the industry. Gao utilized her fifteen years of comprehensive fashion industry experience, as well as working with industry designers and marketers to develop the programs strategies reflecting today’s fashion industry needs. The bachelor’s degree has taken the San Diego fashion department to a new heights. After a successful three year run as the Fashion Academic Director along with a highly successful fashion show that drew nearly 1,000 audience members nation- wide, including designers from Project Runway, Calvin Klein, BCBG, Timberland, Guess?, St. John’s Knits, and Ashworth. Gao conceptualized the fashion show, developed the entire show from designs to runway, as well as all aspects of this grand fashion show.