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International Services and Engagement Office Staff

Administration

  • Dulce Dorado

    Dulce Dorado

    Senior Director of International Services & Engagement Office
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    As the Senior Director of the International Services & Engagement Office, Dulce Dorado enjoys helping students achieve their academic and personal goals. She received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science and minor in Japanese Studies from UC San Diego and Master's degree in Business Administration from California State University San Marcos. Dulce's career in international education has included advising international students both in university and English language program settings, developing innovative programs to engage international students in campus life, advising undergraduate students pursuing programs abroad, and teaching English at a public high school in Japan on the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) Program. She encourages students to share their culture and language with fellow classmates so everyone can benefit from the intercultural exchange and dialog. When away from the office, Dulce enjoys photography and hiking in the local mountains.
  • Roark Miller, Ph.D.

    Roark Miller, Ph.D.

    Director of International Faculty & Scholar Services
    Pronouns: He/Him/His
    Roark Miller oversees the operations of International Faculty & Scholar Services. For over two decades he has been working in international education, advising international scholars and students on the full gamut of academic visa classifications. Prior to coming to UC San Diego he worked in International Offices at Emory University and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Roark received his Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Michigan, and his B.Mus. in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory. He received a Fulbright Hayes Fellowship for dissertation research in Venice, Italy,and a Fulbright International Education Administration award for India. He has served as Regbud for NAFSA Region 12, presented at numerous NAFSA regional conferences, and served as a NAFSA trainer.  Roark has also published articles in refereed journals, and has taught at Southern Methodist University and Emory University.
  • Pauline DeGuzman

    Pauline DeGuzman

    Assistant Director, International Student Services
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Pauline’s interest in International Education began with her summer abroad in Rome, Italy. Apart from learning about different cultures, she also enjoys navigating the ins and outs of immigration policy and how it affects our society at large. After earning her B.A. in Social Ecology & Criminology from the UC Irvine, she quickly found herself working for various institutions or higher education creating and implementing university policies that govern international students. On her spare time, she enjoys crafting with her Silhouette Cameo, visiting the SD Zoo with her family, and exploring new places to EAT!
  • Gabriela Hoffmann

    Gabriela Hoffmann

    Assistant Director, International Experience & Engagement
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    A Southern California native, Gabi received her bachelor's degree in history from UC Riverside and her master's degree in European studies from the University College London. She very much enjoys the interactive element of her job and helping students navigate through the ins and outs of life here as an international student. She recommends that international students get involved in the local community and UC San Diego campus as much as they can, as it will hugely benefit their time abroad and will lead to life-long friendships. Gabi's international experiences are many. She has lived and worked in South Korea, Japan, England, and Austria. In her free time, Gabi enjoys hiking and walking, especially around Torrey Pines.
  • Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D

    Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D

    Assistant Director, International Faculty & Scholar Services
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    As an Immigration Advisor, Sandra advises scholars and departments on employment based immigration categories. Sandra's favorite part of her job is meeting scholars from different parts of the world. Sandra has over 14 years of experience working in the immigration field. Sandra encourages scholars to ask questions when in doubt about their immigration status. Her experience in immigration helps her understand the complex regulations associated with visas. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science and earned a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Sandra loves being back at UC San Diego and exploring all the new additions to the campus. In her free time, Sandra enjoys exploring San Diego with her family and running after her toddlers
  • Grace Fuller

    Grace Fuller

    Manager, International Experience & Engagement
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Grace received her bachelor's degree in International Studies from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in Intercultural Communication and a minor in Religion. Originally from Chicago, she spent a year studying abroad in Florence, Italy, as well as a year teaching abroad at JiangHan University in Wuhan, China post college. Throughout her career in higher education, she has focused on how we all operate out of our own culture as well as how other cultures enrich our communities and provide opportunities to learn outside of our lived experiences. She has experience working with American students abroad as well as international students abroad and domestically. Grace is excited to be at UC San Diego to foster and facilitate community and learning opportunities for international students. When away from the office, you can find Grace outside - she is pretty content as long as she is outdoors and loves to snorkel, paddleboard, hike, backpack and travel.
  • Lisa Swid

    Lisa Swid

    Manager, International Student Services
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    With a B.A. in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara and two Master’s degrees; one in Conflict Studies & Human Rights from Utrecht University and the second in Middle Eastern History from Tel Aviv University, Lisa Swid takes joy in serving as a point of contact for those who are new to the U.S. and to our community.  As an International Student Advisor and SARC Outreach Assistant, Lisa brings her five years of experience living abroad, along with her love of all things international to her role, serving as a bridge between the International Students & Programs Office and the Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Resource Center.  Having traveled to more than 20 countries outside of the U.S., Lisa brings her experience of feeling new and sometimes lost or out of place, to her daily interactions with international students. With her compassionate nature, she welcomes students to approach her with any questions or concerns they might have. In her free time, Lisa enjoys connecting with nature as much as possible, camping every chance she gets, baking Swedish cookies, eating Middle Eastern food and practicing yoga.
  • Victoria Gerginis-Mellos

    Victoria Gerginis-Mellos

    Office Manager
    PronounsShe/Her/Hers
    Victoria manages office operations and procedures, oversees correspondence, and supports the International Faculty and Scholars Office. She is also the contact for logistics and inquiries from our various business offices, affiliates, and outside organizations. Prior to UC San Diego, Victoria provided outreach in the nonprofit sector and promoted farmers’ stories, the importance of a local food supply, as well as a collaborative educational program that taught urban children about nutrition. She has a Master’s degree in Education, and an undergraduate degree in Studio Arts. She was also a professional folk dancer and had performed in various cultural festivals throughout California. In her free time, Victoria enjoys reading, leisurely walks, and learning about various cultures through folk dance.

Compliance

  • Chanelle Chestnutt

    Chanelle Chestnutt

    Compliance Coordinator
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Chanelle recently relocated back to San Diego, her hometown, after living in Guam for the past 3 years. While in Guam, Chanelle worked for the University of Maryland University College, and prior to that, worked at California State University Northridge, where she completed her undergraduate education. Having spent time in Africa, Costa Rica, and Guam, Chanelle understands the difficulties of living in a foreign country and she is glad to be part of a team who can help out!
  • Peter Jombik

    Peter Jombik

    Compliance Coordinator
    Pronouns: He/Him/His
    Peter is a proud Triton, having graduated from UC San Diego with the Bachelor's degree in International Studies. Growing up in Europe, traveling extensively in Asia, and living the American Dream in California have all contributed to his affinity for anything international, and made him the true world citizen he is today. Being a student of Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC), he followed ERC's main theme of "developing world citizens through scholarship, leadership, and service." During his senior year, Peter participated in the UC Education Abroad Program at the University of Hong Kong, tutored international students with the English-In-Action Program, and volunteered at the International Rescue Committee to help refugees in San Diego apply for college. Through all these experiences, he has developed a strong understanding of the needs of the international student community, as well as a strong passion for helping the members of this community to succeed in their studies and lives overall. For the past six years, Peter has been fortunate enough to make this passion his career in the field of international student services
  • Jullianna Laxmi Kadel

    Jullianna Laxmi Kadel

    Compliance Coordinator
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Jullianna Kadel is working as an ISD and Compliance Coordinator. She originally grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles and attended Oregon State University prior to moving to San Diego. She comes to UCSD with nearly nine years of customer service experience within the Food and Beverage industry, and since 2017 was a part of the Verant Restaurant Group on the upper operations management team for the Smoking Gun and Spill the Beans. She speaks Nepali and has traveled frequently to Nepal to spend time with her family. In her free time, she loves supporting local restaurants, visiting queer POC events or art spaces, crocheting, and exploring local beaches/trails/and parks with her friends and dog Chloe.
  • Tracey Pennito

    Tracey Pennito

    Compliance Coordinator
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Tracey Pennito is working as an ISD and Compliance Coordinator. She originally grew up in Connecticut, and lived in New York City for 5 years. While earning her BA from New School University in NYC, she studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal. After college she served as a TEFL Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar. Prior to working at UCSD, she worked with the El Cajon Social Security Office. In her free time, she loves running, hiking, watching comedy, and spending time with friends.
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    Alex Chen

    Student Assistant
    Alex is a first-year student at Warren College, double majoring in Political Science: International Relations and Global Health. He grew up in Los Angeles, around a large majority of Asians. His background has brought him to become interested in Asian languages, ultimately deciding to minor in Japanese studies and wanting to study abroad in Taiwan. Alex’s ultimate goal is to serve his country in the U.S. Army and the United States government as a Foreign Service Officer.  In his free time, he enjoys exploring new places, watching movies, and just socializing. He hopes that being a IFSO student assistant will allow him to create connections and meet scholars who are part of unique research studies!

Scholar Advising

  • Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D

    Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D

    Assistant Director, International Faculty & Scholar Services
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    As an Immigration Advisor, Sandra advises scholars and departments on employment based immigration categories. Sandra's favorite part of her job is meeting scholars from different parts of the world. Sandra has over 14 years of experience working in the immigration field. Sandra encourages scholars to ask questions when in doubt about their immigration status. Her experience in immigration helps her understand the complex regulations associated with visas. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science and earned a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Sandra loves being back at UC San Diego and exploring all the new additions to the campus. In her free time, Sandra enjoys exploring San Diego with her family and running after her toddlers
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    Olivia Cetin

    Immigration Assistant 
    PronounsShe/Her/Hers

    Olivia grew up in a bicultural household. She was part of an international community in Ankara, Turkiye and visited her family in San Diego every summer. Her diverse background has allowed her to understand the unique joys as well as challenges of navigating different cultures. She recognizes the challenges as well as the excitement of the adjustment process of moving to a new city and living in a new community. Her position also makes it easy to find commonalities with everyone. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Psychology. During her time as an undergraduate student, she enjoyed doing research in educational psychology as well as learning about the complexity of micro and macro economies. She is currently volunteering in the English in Action (EIA) program. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, learning new dances and exploring San Diego. Olivia has enjoyed travelling to new cities all around the world and looks forward to visiting more places on her bucket list in the future. As an IFSO immigration assistant, Olivia is excited to welcome the international community at UC San Diego and help make San Diego their new home.
  • Christine Sampankanpanich

    Christine Sampankanpanich

    Senior International Scholar Advisor
    PronounsShe/Her/Hers
    As a Senior International Scholar Advisor, Christine works with departments, faculty, and scholars on various immigration matters, including J-1 and H-1B. She also serves as the university’s point contact for outside immigration attorneys who assist with permanent residency cases. Christine grew up in Los Angeles, CA and moved to San Diego, CA to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Literature-Writing from UC San Diego.  Upon completion of her studies, Christine worked as a certified paralegal at a global immigration law firm, where she handled employer-based immigration matters for a Fortune 500 tech company. While working full-time, Christine earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California.  After 5 years in the private sector, Christine went on to work for the International Faculty & Scholars Office (now ISEO) and then spent 7 years as the sole faculty and scholar immigration advisor at San Diego State University. Christine returned to UC San Diego to continue to grow in her career and to be able to help a larger popular of faculty and scholars through the immigration process.  During her free time, Christine enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 young children. She also enjoys crafting, planning birthday parties for her family, and watching lots of TV.
  • Nallely Garcia

    Nallely Garcia

    Senior International Scholar Advisor
    PronounsShe/Her/Ella
    Nallely provides immigration and administrative support to departments, scholars, and the International Faculty & Scholars Office. She is a first generation college graduate and is proud to have earned her degree in Sociology with a minor in Law and Society from UC San Diego. After completing her degree, her passion for helping others led her to work as a Sr. Paralegal in an immigration law firm. She returned to UC San Diego, where she gained student affairs and course management experience before returning to work in the immigration field by joining the IFSO team. Nallely has over ten years of direct experience in the immigration field and looks forward to continuing to help members of the Triton community through their immigration process. In her free time she enjoys exploring San Diego with her family, trying new food, and volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank. 
  • Ashley LeBourveau

    Ashley LeBourveau

    International Scholar Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Ashley grew up in rural New York, and has always loved to travel after spending a short period of her childhood living in Germany. She completed her first degree in Burnaby, Canada, then moved on to Kentucky to earn a Masters in Library and Information Science. She has worked for over seven years as a departmental liaison for international staff, students, and faculty in Kentucky before moving to San Diego. While at Kentucky, she began studying Japanese and now also is studying Spanish. Having been an international student herself, Ashley loves to encourage others to go to new places and support them in their journeys. In her personal time, she writes video game reviews, takes road trips to new places, and can often be found carrying far too many books out of the library.
  • Taylor Luscutoff

    Taylor Luscutoff

    International Scholar Advisor
    PronounsHe/Him/His
    Taylor is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He learned Spanish as a child and began studying Italian in high school. He eventually went on to study abroad in Bologna, Italy during his junior year of college and earned a B.A. in Economics and Italian from UC Davis. He has worked in numerous international settings, most recently at the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco where he was granted Italian citizenship for his 8+ years of service. Taylor now brings his expertise to UC San Diego to help the campus community and its affiliates cultivate meaningful international connections and opportunities. Outside of work Taylor enjoys tending to his tropical plant collection, playing the piano, and hand-making pasta from scratch.
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    Jenna Canicosa

    Student Assistant
    Jenna is a third-year at Sixth College majoring in Data Science and minoring in Cognitive Science. After growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, she decided to move to San Diego for college to explore a new city and stay close to the ocean. With a passion for traveling, she became interested in learning more about other cultures and history. She grew interested in becoming a student assistant through her previous programming experience and enthusiasm for community building. In her free time, Jenna loves to play with her pet corgi, cook & eat, watch the sunset, and explore new places.
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    Tony Hu

    Student Assistant
    Tony is a fourth-year student at Warren College, majoring in Economics and minoring in Accounting. He grew up in China and came to the U.S. when he was 15 for high school. He traveled a lot and has been to a lot of different countries in his early ages so he loves immersing himself in people with different cultural backgrounds. He is now taking Japanese classes on campus and ultimately wants to try living in Japan sometime in the future. As an international student, he understands the culture shocks and challenges that every international scholar might face when they first arrive in this country so he is eager to help out those who are in the same situation as he was. He is excited and looking forward to facilitating and developing in the IFSO to support everybody who needs his help. In his free time, he likes watching anime, plastic modeling, and hanging out with friends. 
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    Angie Yogaratnam

    Student Assistant
    Angie is a fourth-year student at Marshall College, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Literature/Writing. She grew up in California with her immigrant family, and her diverse background made her eager to support the faculty and scholars seeking out community and support at UC San Diego. She loves traveling and wants to explore as many places around the world as she can. In her free time, Angie enjoys writing, reading, knitting, spending time with friends, and going to the gym. She is so excited to meet all the new scholars joining the UCSD family!

Student Advising

  • Pauline DeGuzman

    Pauline DeGuzman

    Assistant Director, International Student Services
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Pauline’s interest in International Education began with her summer abroad in Rome, Italy. Apart from learning about different cultures, she also enjoys navigating the ins and outs of immigration policy and how it affects our society at large. After earning her B.A. in Social Ecology & Criminology from the UC Irvine, she quickly found herself working for various institutions or higher education creating and implementing university policies that govern international students. On her spare time, she enjoys crafting with her Silhouette Cameo, visiting the SD Zoo with her family, and exploring new places to EAT!
  • Lisa Swid

    Lisa Swid

    Manager, International Student Services
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    With a B.A. in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara and two Master’s degrees; one in Conflict Studies & Human Rights from Utrecht University and the second in Middle Eastern History from Tel Aviv University, Lisa Swid enjoys serving as a point of contact for those who are new to the U.S. and to our community. Having lived abroad for five years and having travelled to more than 20 countries outside of the United States, Lisa brings her experience of feeling new and sometimes lost or out of place to her daily interactions with international students. With her compassionate nature, she welcomes students to approach her with any questions or concerns they might have. In her free time, Lisa enjoys connecting with nature as much as possible, camping every chance she gets, swimming in the beautiful Pacific Ocean and practicing yoga.
  • Kyle Argonza

    Kyle Argonza

    International Student Advisor
    Pronouns: He/Him/His | They/Them/Theirs
    Kyle is a first generation Filipino-American who has grown up in California for most of his life. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in Biopsychology. While growing up, he often heard his parents speak about their own immigration process and the cultural differences between the U.S. and the Philippines. As a result, Kyle became very interested in the international experience, eventually leading him to work with international students in the university setting. Kyle is passionate about aiding international students in their journey of personal growth at UC San Diego, which, aside from advising, can involve helping students discover their sense of self and achieve self-actualization. In his free time, Kyle likes to play piano, walk outside in nature, curate music playlists, play video games, watch TV shows and movies, read fiction, play with his dogs, and discuss the human mind, brain, experience, and condition.

     

  • Jessica Boyle

    Jessica Boyle

    International Student Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Wheaton College and her Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego. As an undergraduate student, Jessica got involved as a volunteer leader with a local international student club, where she developed friendships with students from all around the world. During her college years, she also studied abroad in Japan. Having many friends who were international students, and being an international student herself, profoundly shaped Jessica’s appreciation for both the opportunities and challenges that students face when living and studying in another country. Jessica is a San Diego native, and when she is not working, she enjoys exploring San Diego’s diverse food scene, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
  • Vanessa Cisneros

    Vanessa Cisneros

    International Student Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Vanessa is originally from Saginaw, Michigan, and is a first generation descendant of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. Her position at UCSD blends her two professional passions: student services and international education. Since she was little, she has learned about the vast world around her at every opportunity. This led her to living and working in South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Japan after completing her Bachelor’s degree in International relations at UC, Berkeley, a Master’s degree in American Indian Studies from UC, Los Angeles, and a CELTA with distinction from Cambridge English. As the first in her family to graduate high school, college, and graduate school, Vanessa does not take access to education for granted. Further, she understands from personal experience how higher education can change the trajectory of someone’s life. She looks forward to continued growth on Kumeyaay Territory and being of service to international students at UCSD as they cultivate their futures. In her free time, Vanessa can be found paddle boarding, hiking, camping, backpacking, biking, being a local foodie, or planning her next adventure.
  • Argiria Heyward

    Argiria Heyward

    International Student Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Argiria was born in Melbourne Australia and was raised between Australia and San Diego. A UC San Diego Alumni with a BA in International Studies-Sociology and a minor in Global Health, she has worked in International Education as well as Academic Affairs. She has worked closely with students and faculty, and loves helping people reach their goals and see their full potential. She has always had a passion for all things international and all things Anthony Bourdain- produced. She comes from a big multicultural Greek family and knows the struggles of adjusting in a different country. She encourages all students to take advantage of the amazing opportunities and allow themselves the ability to grow while here in San Diego. In her spare time she enjoys trying out different places to eat, traveling, and attending music and poetry events.
  •  Laura Page

    Laura Page

    International Student Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Laura is a UCSD alumna with a BA in Sociology who spent one year studying abroad at McGill University in Montreal. She knows what it’s like to attend a university outside of her home country and return with a new perspective. The best part about being an Advisor, according to Laura, is interacting with students who come from different cultural backgrounds. Laura encourages students to reach out and get involved during their time at UC San Diego. Laura would like students to know there are a multitude of resources on campus which exist to help students succeed. Before returning to UCSD as an Advisor, she worked at a start-up semiconductor company as a Sales Manager handling international accounts She also holds an M.B.A. from San Diego State University. Laura enjoys walking and hiking, reading, volunteering as a leader for Girl Scouts, and spending time with her family.
  • Jeung Ho (Jo) Peters

    Jeung Ho (Jo) Peters

    International Student Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Jo was born and raised in Germany as a daughter of Korean immigrants. She graduated from Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum with a masters degree in Film and Television and minors in Economics and Sociology. Having relocated to the U.S. in 2004, Jo knows what it feels like to be a newcomer to a foreign country and wants to help international students who are experiencing the same thing. Jo has been working as a student adviser focusing on international education for the past 10 years. She is passionate about meeting new international students and getting to know their culture. In her free time Jo enjoys taking pictures, meeting friends, taking long bike rides along the coast, sports in general, traveling to foreign countries and experiencing different cultures, and volunteering for the German American Film Festival.
  • Shelly Taskin

    Shelly Taskin

    International Student Advisor
    English-in-Action Conversation Program Coordinator 

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Shelly received a BA in Business Administration at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and subsequently attended UC San Diego Extension and earned her Professional Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). After receiving her TEFL certificate, she taught English in Turkey for a year, where she met her husband and enjoyed experiencing Turkish culture and rich Turkish cuisine, especially Icli Kofte! She enjoys meeting and helping international students to make the best of their international university experience while learning more about their cultures. In her spare time. Shelly enjoys traveling, spending time with her family and taking her dog, Rosie on outings around San Diego.
  • Felicia Young

    Felicia Young

    International Student Advisor &
    Sponsored Students and Special Programs Coordinator

    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Felicia has been a proud member of the UC family since she graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Physiology and minor in Psychology. She earned her master's degree in Education with an emphasis in Multicultural Counseling from San Diego State University. She has worked in UC admissions at Merced, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley - Haas, and as an academic advisor at San Diego. Before joining the ISPO team, she worked as a high school counselor in San Diego. Felicia's passion for helping students achieve their educational, career, and personal goals drives her enthusiasm and dedication. When Felicia is not working, she enjoys exercising, crafting, baking, and spending time at the beach with her family, including her therapy dog, Bailey.
  • Stella Birungi Beaupre

    Stella Birungi Beaupre

    Intake Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Stella was born in Uganda, grew up in Sweden, and moved to Hawai’i as an exchange student at Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU), where she ultimately ended up getting her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Her last year as an undergraduate student she studied abroad in Costa Rica. While getting her Master’s degree she worked in the International Admissions Office at HPU and developed her passion for working with international students. She has a particular understanding of the difficulties students can face when learning in a new environment and therefore loves helping students who are taking the same steps she once did. She has traveled the world and made connections on almost every continent and recently settled down in San Diego with her husband and their two children. In her free time, she loves going to the beach, hiking, and of course traveling. 

  • Melissa Pante

    Melissa Pante

    Intake Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Melissa Pante is an alumni of UC San Diego with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. Current world events and growing up in an underserved community of mostly immigrants shaped her desire to help people that take risks and work hard to be where they are. She firmly believes that only international collaboration has the power to move us forward into a new world and encourages students and scholars to broaden their outlook by making connections with those that have different lived experiences than our own. Melissa is excited to work with the international community at UC San Diego and to witness how they will use their knowledge to make meaningful contributions to the world. Outside of work she enjoys keeping up with global events, reading fiction or historical anlysis, playing video games, taking long walks, and spending time with her partner and cat.

  • Summer Bennett

    Summer Bennett

    Intake Advisor 
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Summer is a UCSD alumni with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies-Economics and International Relations. Originally from Southern California, she was a competitive swimmer for 13 years and competed on the UCSD Swim Team for four years. Her passion for international education began after studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain. Since then, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Croatia, Portugal, Panama, Costa Rica, Australia, and lastly, Sweden, where she earned her master’s degree in International and Comparative Education from Stockholm University. As a former international student, she is excited to both learn from and support the international student community at UCSD. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking in nature, and traveling to sunny places.
  • Karina Ivanyan

    Karina Ivanyan

    Intake Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Karina is a recent University of San Diego graduate with a degree in International Relations and Spanish (minor). Working as the Student Experience and Engagement Programs Assistant at ISPO has allowed her to develop a passion for international higher education. Now, as an Intake Advisor, Karina continues to work on projects related to student engagement for new and continuing international students at UC San Diego and is excited to meet more international students in her new role. She enjoys learning about different cultures as well as photography, cooking, and going on road trips with her family and friends in her spare time
  • Eva Ascher

    Eva Ascher

    Intake Advisor
    PronounsShe/Her/Hers 
    Eva is a San Diego native growing up in Coronado and coming from a military family. She wanted to move to a city with a few more seasons so she spent her undergraduate time at Seattle Pacific University. During her time studying for her English Literature degree, she found a love for baking and worked in Pike Place Market at Le Panier Bakery. She moved back to San Diego 8 years ago and after working at a few restaurants including Herb and Wood in Little Italy she decided to start her own wedding cake business. She enjoyed delivering wedding cakes to every part of San Diego county and working with so many different wedding vendors. She enjoys baking on the side now and being able to work with different scholars and learning about their studies that bring them to UCSD.
  • Kathleen McLaren

    Kathleen McLaren

    Intake Advisor
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Kathleen received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia. She traveled to both Canada and Mexico as a teenager, but it was not until she worked abroad in Scotland that the travel bug truly took its grip. While earning her M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Ohio State University, she had the opportunity to go abroad again and completed a summer internship program at Lancaster University in England. Post Scotland and Ohio, she was feeling a bit chilly and took a job as a Residence Hall Coordinator in San Diego. She was able to strengthen her connections in the field of International Education by volunteering at the International Student Center, and co-creating and managing the International House on that campus. In spring 2004, Kathleen had the amazing good fortune to sail as a staff member with Semester at Sea! She then finally and officially cracked into the field of International Education, working at UC San Diego and then the University in Virginia for a combined 14 ½ years as a Study Abroad Advisor. Kathleen is excited and thankful to have returned to UC San Diego and happy to have the opportunity to now work with all of you!

Programming

  • Gabriela Hoffmann

    Gabriela Hoffmann

    Assistant Director, International Experience & Engagement
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    A Southern California native, Gabi received her bachelor's degree in history from UC Riverside and her master's degree in European studies from the University College London. She very much enjoys the interactive element of her job and helping students navigate through the ins and outs of life here as an international student. She recommends that international students get involved in the local community and UC San Diego campus as much as they can, as it will hugely benefit their time abroad and will lead to life-long friendships. Gabi's international experiences are many. She has lived and worked in South Korea, Japan, England, and Austria. In her free time, Gabi enjoys hiking and walking, especially around Torrey Pines.
  • Grace Fuller

    Grace Fuller

    Manager, International Experience & Engagement
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
    Grace received her bachelor's degree in International Studies from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in Intercultural Communication and a minor in Religion. Originally from Chicago, she spent a year studying abroad in Florence, Italy, as well as a year teaching abroad at JiangHan University in Wuhan, China post college. Throughout her career in higher education, she has focused on how we all operate out of our own culture as well as how other cultures enrich our communities and provide opportunities to learn outside of our lived experiences. She has experience working with American students abroad as well as international students abroad and domestically. Grace is excited to be at UC San Diego to foster and facilitate community and learning opportunities for international students. When away from the office, you can find Grace outside - she is pretty content as long as she is outdoors and loves to snorkel, paddleboard, hike, backpack and travel.
  • Taro Amano

    Taro Amano

    Graphic Designer
    Pronouns: He/Him/His
    Taro Amano (he/him/his) is a recent UCSD graduate with a Bachelor's in Speculative design with a minor in cognitive science design. He started working at ISPO as a graphic design intern to create graphics for social media campaigns, newsletters, websites, and print materials that inform and support over 8,000 International students. Now, as a graphic designer, Taro continues to work on various projects and support graphic design interns.
  • Paris Blanco

    Paris Blanco

    Video Production Assistant
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Hi! My name is Paris and my pronouns are she/her. I am a third year Visual Arts-Media major with minors in Communication and AAPI studies. I was born in Torrance, CA and lived in Long Beach, CA until moving to San Diego for college. Throughout high school, I developed my love for filmmaking through creating my own short videos at home, especially during the pandemic. Now, I have worked on a number of sets and even had two films run through the film festival cycle here at UCSD! I hope to help represent everyone’s unique stories through my filmmaking. In my spare time, you’ll find me engrossed in a book or hanging out with my cat!
  • Crystal (Jiyu) Chen

    Crystal (Jiyu) Chen

    Marketing & Communications Student Assistant
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Crystal is currently a junior majoring in Communication and Econ-Math at UC San Diego. She grew up in Guangzhou, China, and went to the U.S. in 2021 to pursue her bachelor’s degree. As an international student, she wants to help other international students be more engaged at UC San Diego and enjoy different events on campus. She focuses on the marketing strategies for ISPO and tries to let more students know the unique campus resources for international students. At the same time, she likes to communicate with students from different cultural backgrounds and learn about different cultures. She is also passionate in building connections among students. In her free time, she usually dances, reads books, and hangs out with friends.
  • Kellie Huang

    Kellie Huang

    Graphic Design Student Assistant
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Hi! I’m Kellie, and I am a third-year Cognitive Science Design major. I love being involved here at UCSD, whether it be through student clubs or being on a dance team! I enjoy incorporating both my interests in design and my passion for helping others in my daily life, so I am more than excited to create graphics for ISPO. You can often find me around campus/coffee shops designing graphics or eating at different restaurants (I love trying out new foods and desserts!).
  •  Sai Krishna Bhamidipati

    Sai Krishna Bhamidipati

    Graduate Programs Intern
    Pronouns: he/him/his | they/them/theirs
    When Sai landed in the United States about three years ago to become a scientist, he was ready to tackle challenges head-on, but little did he know that his immediate challenges would be daunting in ways that didn't involve testing a hypothesis in the lab: What is that temperature in Celsius? How do you know which bus to take back home? How to pick the right health insurance? How do you figure out taxes?
    But if anything helped him navigate these challenges unique to a 'non-resident alien' like himself-- and made him feel at home -- it was the international student community on campus. And three years later, as an intern at ISPO, Sai considers it an honor to have the opportunity to pay it forward.
    Sai is a Ph.D. student in the School of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego and has recently joined the Callaway Lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he is working on identifying and mapping the connections to specific cell types in the mouse visual cortex. Sai is from Vijayawada, India. Growing up, he lived in different cities across the country, which he believes shaped him in more ways than one. Sai did his bachelor’s in Biotechnology from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India, and moved to the US in 2019 to get a master’s from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside of research, Sai loves to dabble in different things, from cooking and Zumba to drag and tennis! You can easily spot Sai running amok in the lab, trying to find reagents, or complaining about the weather (his favorite hobby!). Sai is always looking for great book/podcast recommendations and is always up for a chat over coffee! You can reach him at sbhamidipati@ucsd.edu.
  • Jiayi (Xena) Huang

    Jiayi (Xena) Huang

    English-in-Action Program Intern
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Hello, everyone! My name is Xena Huang, and I use she/her/hers pronouns. I am a 3rd-year undergraduate student at UC San Diego, and I am from Marshall College. I major in Sociology and Political Science. I was born and raised in Wuxi, China, and I just moved to the United States in 2021. In my free time, I like skating, going to the beach, watching movies, and listening to rap music.
    I went to an international high school before I attended UCSD, and that is where I learned to build connections with members of the international community, and being able to make friends with people coming from different cultural backgrounds helped me find my passion in social science. As an international student myself, I encountered numerous challenges when I first moved here, but I quickly adjusted to the new environment with the help of other international students as well as ISPO. Thus, I decided to give back to the international student community by joining ISPO and helping my fellow international students be more engaged in the Triton community. My role at ISPO is to assist in the English in Action program, and I help create enjoyable teaching and learning opportunities for volunteers and participants. As a social science student, I am also excited to get to know more people coming from different parts of the world and learn about each other's cultures.
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    Minju So

    Student Assistant
    Minju is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Cognitive Science specializing in Design and Interaction and minoring in Speculative Design. She grew up in Seoul, South Korea and lived in Denmark for a year, and studied in Los Angeles. As an international student who is experienced in diverse cultures, she understands the challenges of navigating a new environment. As she joined as IFSO student assistant, she is willing to help international faculty and scholars who need help and guide them to find their community and be successful in adjusting to living in the US. In her free time, Minju enjoys traveling, swimming, and hanging out with friends. She is really excited to meet new scholars and have new connections with them, allowing her to have new experiences and perspectives.
  • Michelle Huynh

    Michelle Huynh

    International Peer Coaching Program Coordinator

    Pronouns: she/her/hers

    Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii.

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? You may be far away from home but find small ways to make yourself feel at home. This may be cooking and sharing your favorite meals with your roommates or joining a social organization close to your own cultural background. Home is always where you are.

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? Being a part of the Theatre District at UC San Diego, especially since La Jolla Playhouse is right on campus. I was also excited to meet everyone in my program and further develop my teaching career at UC San Diego.

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? At the beach and enjoying my weekends at the mall. I am slowly building my indoor jungle as a newly minted "plant mom," so you can catch me at the local plant nurseries as well. I also love trying new drink spots around San Diego for a good cup of coffee or delicious boba.

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? I grew up in Hawaii where the sociocultural dynamics are vastly different from the continental US. I, too, had to adjust to the different culture here in "the mainland." I also grew up with multilingual first-generation immigrant parents, so I truly empathize with the difficulties that come with transitioning to live in a new country and/or culture.

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? Begin writing my dissertation, prepare for my research in Southeast Asia next year, collaborate with other theatre artists, and better serve the UC San Diego community.

  • Shriya Gupta

    Shriya Gupta

    Revelle College International Peer Coach 

    Pronouns: she/her/hers 

    Major: Human Biology 

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? Expand your comfort zone and get involved on-campus. College is a great time to experiment. Don't be afraid to try new things and make as many memories as you can :) 

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? Making friends of different cultures and exploring San Diego.

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? 1) Roaming around in Target and realizing how broke I am, lol; 2) Main Gym, I don't workout :'-( only cardio; 3) At open desk, doing my overdue tasks; 4) Rogers because it has the best iced latte.

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? A fun conversation, good photos and beach are enough to make me happy. 

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? 1) Get more involved on-campus and not just my college; 2) Become a TA; 3) Spend more time on my hobbies and not just academics.

  • Nick Jobe

    Nick Jobe

    Muir College International Peer Coach 

    Pronouns: he/him/his 

    Major: Computer Engineering 

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? Whether you're struggling with a class or finding it hard to make friends, the only mistake you can make is not asking for help.

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? I was excited to live here. Don't get me wrong, SoCal can be super expensive, but it absolutely lives up to the hype.

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? Wiping out at La Jolla Shores; “Studying” at the Price Center Game room; Trying out new food spots; Chasing sunsets all over the city. 

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? On weekends, I get up super early to watch Formula 1. I haven’t been to a Grand Prix yet, but that is definitely on my bucket list. 

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? Getting an internship. Dedicating more time to bettering myself — reading 20 mins a day; working out every day; journaling. Becoming more financially responsible. 

  • Arohi Raychaudhuri

    Arohi Raychaudhuri

    Warren College International Peer Coach 

    Pronouns: she/her/hers 

    Major: Business Economics

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? Prioritize finding a community where you feel valued and respected. Find people who inspire you to be the best version of yourself by taking risks and challenging yourself, but also hold onto you on days when you need comfort and support.

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? Exploring SD- the beaches, bonfires, hiking trails, and Mexican culture at Old Town. My personal favorite though would be spotting the bioluminescent waves!

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? Cafe hopping at La Jolla Shores, shopping at Fashion Valley, running errands at Trader Joe's or watching HIMYM on my couch.

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? I have been meaning to take surfing lessons at UCSD for a while and if you are looking for company during classes, I'm always down! Also, I think I can safely identify as a connoisseur of coffee and ice cream places in SD and would love to give recs if you ever need some.

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? First, I will pursue my personal interests actively along with academics (Be more consistent with my writing, reading new genres, and dancing). Second, prioritize my health by cooking fresh food at home and working out. Lastly, I will leverage my position with ISPO to meet and interact with people from different cultural backgrounds to learn, unlearn, and create a worldview shaped from first hand experiences.

  • Xiaoyu (Mary) Liu

    Xiaoyu (Mary) Liu

    Sixth College International Peer Coach 

    Pronouns: she/her/they/them 

    Major: Theatre 

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? Don't doubt your ability, especially in speaking a foreign language and connecting with people. Just go ahead and try! You are braver than you thought.

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? I was most excited about making friends who came from across the globe and find shared passion in things, like sports, food, interests, etc.

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? You can find me playing table tennis, going to the beach, or exploring good restaurants in San Diego.

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? I am a first-generation student from Shanghai, China.

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? 1. I want to support artists around me and help produce more creative works. 2. I want to bring sustainability into the theater department and a broader community. 3. I want to spare more time to do sports and practice harmony with self.

  • Ailana Nurgaliyeva

    Ailana Nurgaliyeva

    Seventh & Eighth College International Peer Coach 

    Pronouns: she/her/hers 

    Major: Neurobiology and Business Psychology

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? Keep an open mind about everything — your field of study, your career path, your friend circle, your extracurriculars. This is a time of exploration in your life and you should seize the day!

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited aboutI was the most excited about the unlimited possibilities that UC San Diego had to offer for me. I think that throughout my time at UC San Diego I got to experience so many amazing things, and the first year is just the beginning!

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? When I’m not on campus, I am probably exploring beaches, doing Pilates, Making content all around, or spending time with my friends!

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? One interesting fact about me is that I have lived in 5 cities — Almaty, Moscow, Berlin, San Diego and Washington DC!

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? 1. Stay on top of all of my commitments and lead my student organization with grace! 2. Improve my academics and always keep on learning 3. Stay healthy! It is very important for me this year!

  • Trini Kellemen

    Trini Kellemen

    Eleanor Roosevelt College International Peer Coach

    Pronouns: she/her/hers 

    Major: Molecular and Cell Biology

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? Get out of your comfort zone!! Get as involved as you can, in organizations, clubs, study groups, etc. Try to build relationships with friends, classmates and don't be scared to talk to your professors!

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? About meeting new people, making new friends and exploring SD!

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? Reading somewhere in SD (I love books) or going out for a run and jumping in the ocean. Or just hanging out with my roommates at home.

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? I'm kind of an introvert, but I push myself to meet new people and try new things even though they can be scary sometimes at first. To all the introverts out there, if I can, you can too!!

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? I want to learn how to surf; I love the ocean so I think I would enjoy surfing very much. Also, try to start a little project in my lab, and maybe take a dance class somewhere in SD!

  • Anousha Singh

    Anousha Singh

    Marshall College International Peer Coach 

    Pronouns: she/her/hers 

    Major: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience

    What is a piece of advice you have for first-year international students? In this phase of your life, you are going to experience a newfound sense of freedom. Your mind is going to be awakened and challenged like never before! So, accept that you will fail that one math test. Put your hand up in class only to get the answer wrong. Wonder and cherish it all before it ends!

    During your first year as an international Triton, what were you most excited about? To start with a fresh canvas; new people, adventures, and search for a new sense of ‘home’ in the city of San Diego.

    When you're not on campus, people can find you doing what or being where? You would definitely find me at cute coffee shops as an excuse to do my ‘homework’. Obviously, catching free sunsets, mornings at the RIMAC gym, and almost anywhere where there are good vibes and food!

    What is an interesting fact you want your mentees to know about you? I have been grateful to have lived in many countries/cities; Shanghai being my favorite out of all….a must visit! FUN FACT: “When I was in 8th grade, I was in my 10th school!”

    What are your top goals for the upcoming academic year? Extracting the most out of my last year in UCSD; building more connections academically and socially. Altogether, manifesting a great year filled with many accomplishments.

  • Jianing (Jenny) Chen

    Jianing (Jenny) Chen

    Undergraduate Program Intern
    Pronouns: she/her/hers
    Hi everyone! I'm Jenny Chen, currently a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Bioengineering at UC San Diego. My journey began in Nanjing, China, and I arrived in San Diego in 2022. When I was a kid, I started my global adventure by sending postcards to people from various corners of the world and by traveling to different places. Throughout high school, my passion for musicals provided me with a unique platform to connect with people worldwide and share ideas. As an international undergraduate student at UCSD, I spent my first year here actively exploring the campus resources and participating in numerous activities. From these experiences, I discovered how much I enjoy making new friends, delving into new languages, and immersing myself in diverse cultures.I'm truly grateful that ISEO has offered me the incredible opportunity to serve as a program intern. This role allows me to extend a helping hand to individuals from different cultural backgrounds, just like me, to ensure they have amazing experiences at UCSD. I can't wait to meet more international students, assist them in finding their community, introduce them to exciting activities, and create lasting memories together at UCSD. Plus, we can chat about musicals, K-pop, and our favorite foods along the way! Looking forward to connecting with you all!

Staff in Memoriam

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    Tecle (Tec) Kidane-Mariam (1948-2003)

    International Student Advisor (1989-2000)

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    Paul Yunouye (1975-2015)

    Assistant Director of International Programs (2014-2015)