Staff Directory




headshot of vice provost mabokela
Dr. Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Global Affairs & Strategies
Professor of Higher Education


217-333-6104
mabokela@illinois.edu
Administrative Assistant: Deborah Lowe-Morgan

Click to see bio

Prof. Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is the Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Global Affairs & Strategies and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds an Extra-ordinary Professorship in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). She received her BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master’s in Labor & Industrial Relations and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the Assistant Dean for International Studies and Professor of Higher Education at Michigan State University.

Among her various honors, Prof. Mabokela is a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Education, honoris causa, from the University of Pretoria, a former Fulbright New Century Scholar, as well as a Fulbright International Education Administrators program participant in France. Prof. Mabokela's research seeks to understand experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform and influence institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. Her research centers or has centered on the examination of three interrelated themes: 1) organizational change and organizational culture in higher education; 2) gender in higher education; and 3) higher education in transitional societies. She has devoted a significant part of her career over the past two decades studying these education issues in South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, and Pakistan, among others. Over the course of her career, she has secured more than $27 million in external funding to support various education and research initiatives.

She is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of seven books and has published extensively in national and international academic journals including the Comparative Education Review, American Educational Research Journal, the Africa Education Review, and The Review of Higher Education, Comparative Education, Higher Education, among others.


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Dr. Luis Canales

Associate Provost for Illinois International


217-333-6104
lcanales@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Dr. Canales joined Illinois International in April 2021 and serves as Associate Provost for Illinois International. He provides leadership, direction, and oversight to the administrative services within the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies as well as its reporting units, including: Global Education and Training, Global Relations, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, International Safety and Security, and International Student and Scholar Services. Prior to joining Illinois International, Dr. Canales was Director of the Office of International Studies and Programs at Illinois State University. Dr. Canales received his B.A. in Psychology, Masters in Counseling and Personnel Services, and Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville.


Global Communication

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Marta Schneider

Director for Global Communications


217-333-6104
martasch@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Marta serves as Director for Global Communications. Her primary responsibility is to plan, execute, and evaluate strategic communications that globally promote the university and its international initiatives and achievements. She manages Global Communications shared services, working closely with unit staff, the leadership team, and campus offices to ensure streamlined communication with both internal and external audiences. Additionally, as a member of the Global Strategy implementation team, Marta is responsible for the promotion and planning of related activities. Marta has been with Illinois International since 2015.

Prior to joining Illinois International, Marta worked in communications and outreach for non-profit organizations in Japan, India, and the United States. Marta brings with her a strong background and enthusiasm for all things international. Although a native of Illinois, she spent many years living and studying in Japan. Marta earned her B.A. in Asian Studies and Economics from Knox College, her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and studied for a year at Waseda University in Japan.


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Boswell Hutson

Assistant Director for Media and Marketing


217-333-6104
hutson2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Boswell joined Illinois International in November 2021. As the assistant director for media and marketing, he serves in an embedded role in IAGE to collaborate on communications with campus study abroad offices and Illinois International units. Prior to Illinois International, Boswell served as a communications specialist for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he was tasked with communicating both broadly for the Center and as the external relations manager with the National Science Foundation-funded XSEDE Project. He holds a B.A. in Classics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, during which time he studied abroad at University College London.


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Quentin Misiag

Assistant Director for Events and Engagement


217-333-6104
qmisiag@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Quentin serves as our assistant director for events and engagement. He plans, implements, and evaluates Illinois International's public and private domestic and international events and outreach that advance the university's global mission. In addition, he manages administrative and logistical components of domestic and international events and outreach, including budgeting and contract negotiations with internal and external vendors. Prior to joining the team in April 2024, Quentin served as the media relations and public relations manager for a national talent attraction and economic development agency, where he spearheaded storytelling, branding, and event management. His 10 years of experience spans the journalism, higher education, tourism, non-profit, corporate, and government sectors, including several local and national political and public health campaigns. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, an A.A. in Political Science, and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa. He was born and raised in Iowa City, IA.


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Zach Bear

Graphic Design Specialist


217-333-6104
zbear@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Zach joined Illinois International in March 2022. He serves as the Graphic Design Specialist for Global Communications where he coordinates with each of the different units within Illinois International to help envision and create their graphic materials for both web and print. With over 10 years of experience, Zach has worked within the printing industry to help universities, non-profits, corporations, and small businesses create graphic components to further their marketing strategies. Prior to joining Illinois International, Zach worked as a Graphic Designer and PrePress Technician for a local printing company in Lafayette, Indiana.


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Analicia Haynes

Storytelling & Social Media Specialist


217-333-6104
ahayn2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Analicia joined the Global Communications team in May 2022. She serves as the storytelling and social media specialist for Illinois International. Her primary duties are to write compelling stories regarding Illinois International’s units, functions and students while also managing social media.

Prior to joining Illinois International, Analicia worked as a sports reporter for two years at the Williston Herald in Williston, North Dakota. There she was tasked with providing coverage for area teams including six junior college teams. Her coverage included social media posting, stories and photos. While at the Williston Herald, she also received several awards including a first-place nod for her in-depth reporting and sports photography. Analicia graduated from Eastern Illinois University in May 2020 with a B.A. in Journalism. She was born and raised in Blue Island, IL, has three beautiful cats and one beautiful husband.


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Carla Shanley

Project Manager


217-333-6104
carlas2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Carla joined the Global Communications team in March 2024. As Project Manager, Carla will serve as the initial point of contact for projects undertaken by Global Communication, ensuring quality deliverables and excellent resource management. Carla earned her MBA from American InterContinental University and her BA from Millikin University. She joins us from Illinois State University, where she served as a study abroad advisor and oversaw the marketing and outreach efforts for ISU study abroad programs.


Global Education and Training

Global Education and Training (GET) provides a gateway to expertise at the university through transformative learning experiences for partners from around the world through high-quality training programs.

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Dr. Matt Rosenstein

Director, Global Education and Training


217-244-3312
rosenstn@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Matt Rosenstein became Director of Global Education and Training (GET) in 2015. During Matt’s tenure, the Shanghai Office and the Intensive English Institute became a part of GET. Prior to joining GET, from 2010-2015 he was Senior Associate Director of the European Union Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois. Rosenstein also served as EUC’s Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Arts degree program in EU Studies. Previously, Rosenstein was Associate Director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security (ACDIS) at Illinois from 2001-2010. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. degree from Duke University.


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Shujun (Amy) Chen

Associate Director for Administration and Operations


217-244-3312
schen8@uillinois.edu

Click to see bio

Amy joined Illinois International in January 2024. Amy holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and BA and MA degrees in English Language and Literature from Northeastern Normal University in China. Prior to joining GET, she worked in UIUC’s Grainger College of Engineering, where she was the Program Coordinator for Records and Admission within the Zhejiang University-University of Illinois joint institute (ZJUI). In her current position, she provides administrative and operational oversight for GET, including the Shanghai Office.


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Grant Brewer

Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives


217-244-3312
brewer4@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Grant has been a member of the Illinois International team since 2011. Grant works to grow the mission of GET and IEI, and assists in administration of the Shanghai Office. Grant also oversees the Intensive English Institute (IEI) by providing day to day leadership. Previously, Grant was the Assistant Director for Financial Management in Illinois International Business Operations (IBOPS), where he helped manage fiscal, operational, and business activities for all units under Illinois International. Prior to that role, Grant was an International Training Coordinator at GET, where he helped facilitate educational and training programs for international executives.


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Robert Marinelli

Associate Director for Program Implementation


217-244-3312
remarine@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Rob Marinelli joined GET in 2009, where he began developing professional exchange programs, primarily for senior Chinese executives and administrators. Currently Rob oversees many of GET’s flagship training programs for China’s top banks. In this role, Rob works closely with the University of Illinois faculty members, GET team members and graduate students, and community volunteers to ensure each visitor experiences the best of the University of Illinois and state of Illinois. Supporting academic and educational exchange within the International arena for nearly decade, Rob has cultivated his passion for leadership development, and he believes that educational and intercultural exchange are essential to fostering understanding and cooperation across cultures.

At GET, Rob has facilitated programing initiatives for executives and students from China, South Korea, Colombia and Argentina, and supports ongoing development initiatives in areas of proposal development, grant writing, and program implementation. Rob earned his B.A. in management at the University of Illinois at Springfield and was a member of the Illinois Air National Guard for nine years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, and sharing a great meal with friends new and old.


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Wendy Spencer

Global Education and Training Program Coordinator


217-244-3312
wendyas2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Wendy received a B.S. in Education from University of Wisconsin Whitewater, with a major in English Education and a minor in Special Education. She is currently working towards a Master of Education in Diversity and Equity in Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Before joining GET, Wendy taught as an English teacher at Indian Trail High School and Academy in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her experience also includes teaching English at Southwest University in Chongqing, China for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. As a Program Coordinator at GET, Wendy coordinates, plans, and implements a variety of educational and training programs for international professionals and students.


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Allison Wheeler

Global Education and Training Program Coordinator


217-244-3312
acwheel2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Allison received her B.A. in Global Studies and German Studies and her M.A. in European Union Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining GET, Allison worked for the non-profit STEAM Genius; the UI Research Park and EnterpriseWorks; and the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club. Before that, she was an Illini Science Policy Fellow with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. As a Program Coordinator at GET, Allison coordinates, plans, and implements a variety of educational and training programs for international professionals and students.


Intensive English Institute

The Intensive English Institute (IEI) helps international students and professionals improve their English language proficiency.

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Kristin Bouton

Academic Director


217-333-6598
bouton@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Jennifer Brown

Lecturer


217-333-6598
jabrown7@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Peter Chiligiris

Senior Lecturer


217-333-6598
chiligir@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


Shanghai Office

The Shanghai Office operates as a natural extension of the Illinois-China partnership serving students, faculty, and staff through outreach, protocol, and career activities.

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Karen Weng

Program Specialist


wweng@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Karen joined the University’s Shanghai Office in April 2013. As Program Specialist, Karen’s priorities include professional training and summer programs, student and alumni career services, and alumni relationship development. Previously, Karen was a program specialist for “1000 Sister School Initiative” between Zhejiang Province (China) and the State of Illinois. She earned both a B.A. in International Business with French, and M.S. in Risk Management, from the University of Nottingham (UK).


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Joanna Hu

Program Specialist


xinzhouh@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Joanna holds a Master of Arts in TESOL from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Hainan Normal University (Haikou, China). While at Columbia, Joanna taught basic and intermediate English to adult ESL students. From 2016-2019, she worked in Shanghai for InGenius Prep, an American startup company that offers educational counseling services to Chinese students and their families.

As Program Specialist in the Shanghai Office, Joanna provides on the ground support to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Illinois through outreach, protocol support, and career services. Her responsibilities include event planning in China, strengthening partnerships with corporations and universities, and building on relationships to help place recent graduates and alumni in the China job market, among other duties.


Global Relations

Global Relations facilitates inter-institutional agreements and partnerships between the university and other academic institutions, governmental agencies, organizations, and private sector corporations.

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Dr. Sammer Saleh Jones

Director for Global Relations


217-333-6104
salehjo1@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Sammer Saleh Jones is the Director for Global Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she is responsible for developing and fostering University international relationships through engagement at the institutional, national and international level. She joined Illinois International Programs (IIP) in 2018 after her position as the first project coordinator for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Gifted Student Program (KGSP) under Global Education and Training.

She completed her BS in Pre-Med/African American Studies from Simmons College, MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University, and MBA and PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on nineteenth century educational history of Liberia, West Africa. Among her many credentials, her effectiveness as a teacher and mentor to undergraduate students has been demonstrated through her recognition across several semesters on the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent” at Illinois while she was a doctoral candidate.

Her multidisciplinary educational and professional experiences have afforded her the ability to work internationally in the fields of business, health and education in countries such as Liberia, South Africa and as well as domestically in various U.S. states.

Prior to her graduate studies at Illinois, Sammer worked at Harvard School of Public Health on violence prevention and at the MetroHealth Center in Cleveland on a longitudinal breast cancer study.


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Shuo (Erica) Wang

Associate Director for Global Relations


217-333-6104
swang69@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Erica joined the Illinois International ten years ago. She first worked as a translator for the China Executive Leadership Programs (now Global Education and Training) in 2012. She took a new role as the International Visitor and Protocol Specialist in 2017 and became the Coordinator for Global Relations in April 2018. At Global Relations, she provides support for strategic and emerging international partnerships, coordinates incoming and outgoing campus visits and facilitates international partnership agreements for the campus. Erica holds an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in English from Tianjin Normal University in China.


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Shirice Harris

Partnership Coordinator for Global Relations


217-333-6104
shirice2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Shirice Harris assumed the role of Partnership Coordinator for Global Relations in June 2022. Prior to this, she served as an Education Abroad Coordinator at Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, where she played an embedded role within the College of Education. Before venturing into higher education, Shirice dedicated nine years to teaching English.

A proud alumna of Howard University, Shirice holds a bachelor's degree in Communications. She furthered her education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earning a master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership with a specialization in Global Studies in Education and Diversity and Equity.

In addition to her primary responsibilities, Shirice actively champions diversity as the advocate for OVPIAGS, contributes to the DEI Committee for Illinois International, serves as an I-Promise mentor, and is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Black Women In Media, and the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

With a global perspective shaped by seven years of living and working overseas, predominantly in Asia and Micronesia, Shirice identifies herself as a global citizen. Her formative years were spent between the United States and Jamaica, enriching her cultural insights.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Shirice relishes quality time with family and friends, explores her culinary skills, engages in artistic expression through painting, and finds solace in the world of literature.


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Daniel Ramkumar

Office Support Specialist


217-333-6104
dramkuma@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio not available.


Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange

Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) provides exceptional study abroad experiences through academically and professionally integrated pathways for university students, faculty, and staff.

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Joy Phaphouvaninh

Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange


217-333-6322
joypha@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Joy began serving as the Interim Director of IAGE in September 2017. She originally joined IAGE in 2013 as Assistant Director for Academic Integration. In her role, Joy collaborates closely with both on campus academic departments and international partners abroad to identify and develop study abroad programming that aligns with and complements academic learning goals. She also oversees the incoming exchange student program and study abroad academic processing teams for IAGE. Previously, Joy worked at the City University of New York in New York, NY, and developed a variety of study abroad policies for the university system. She has a background in refugee and immigrant services in government and non-profit sectors, and studied abroad in India. Joy earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Asian Studies from Kenyon College and M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


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Thomas Schrepfer

Assistant Director for Global Education Knowledge Management


217-333-6322
schrepfe@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Thomas joined IAGE in November 2018. He has a background in university financial and enterprise data management, providing IAGE with support in financial reporting, analysis, and in developing business and systems solutions for study abroad programs and operations. Thomas spent four years living and studying in Ireland, travelling extensively across Europe. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin.


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Brandy Coy

Senior Business Manager


217-333-6322
bcoy@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Brandy joined IAGE in 2015. She manages the IAGE business office and is responsible for the financial oversight and operational planning of the IAGE office. She and her business team oversee all financial aspects of the office; including but not limited to student billing, programs budgets, international travel insurance, foreign banking and contracts/purchasing. Brandy has been with the university since 2000 and has worked her way up from an entry level accounting position in OBFS Accounts Payable. Most recently, she worked as a business manager in the Illinois International executive office where she focused mainly on the financial management of Title VI grants and a large endowment. In her spare time, she loves live music and doing Sudoku puzzles. She is a proud mother of 1 adult son and looks forward to grandchildren someday.


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Andy Hinnant

Education Abroad Coordinator


217-333-6322
ahinnant@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Andy joined IAGE in August 2016 and is in charge of programs in the Middle East, northern Africa, and several programs in mainland Europe. Previously, Andy worked in Career Services at Baker College, taught ESL at the University of Florida, and organized programming activities for international students at Indiana University. He earned his B.S. in International Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and M.A. in Public Affairs and East European Affairs at Indiana University. He studied abroad for a year in Aix-en-Provence, France, interned in Montreal and Warsaw, and started a small language business in Gdansk, Poland. As an Education Abroad Coordinator, Andy hopes to inspire students to go abroad and have their own life-changing experience.


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Ernesto Zepeda Montes

Global Education Knowledge Systems and Applications Coordinator


217-333-6322
ezepeda2@uillinois.edu

Click to see bio

Ernesto provides direct technical and analytical support for international mobility and partnerships software applications, and supports the development, restructuring, implementing, and training of new and existing data and information management systems solutions to support international programs and operations. Ernesto brings decades of experience in managing database and computer systems across a variety of roles and sectors. Most recently, Ernesto worked for the University of Illinois system offices as a Data Analyst and Enterprise Systems Coordinator. Ernesto holds a M.S. degree in Management of Information Systems from University of Illinois Springfield, and a B.S. in Computer Science Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM, or Tec Monterrey), Mexico.


International Student and Scholar Services

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) serves the university's international population and campus units through advising, immigration services, programming, advocacy, and outreach.

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Martin McFarlane

Director, International Student and Scholar Services


217-333-1303
mmcfarln@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Martin became director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in 2015. A former international student himself, he had been with the ISSS office for ten years prior to becoming director, and held responsibility as the office’s primary expert on student visa policies and regulations. Martin earned his Master’s degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Aberdeen.


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Stephanie Dvorachek

Associate Director


217-333-1303
sjahn@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Stephanie has served the international student population since 2008, when she joined ISSS. Her primary duties are to represent the office policies and practices when interpreting Federal regulations to international students, faculty and staff, and departments on campus as well as communicating existing and new regulatory updates to ISSS staff. She also trains and supervises the International Advising Specialists and Assistant Directors.


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Kathryn Burden

Associate Director for Training and Programs


217-333-1303
kkburden@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Kathryn Burden provides oversight and leadership to the Training and Programs branch of ISSS, developing and implementing educational programming, intercultural training, and both in-country and overseas orientations. She has a wealth of extensive Big Ten and intercultural programming experience, with a PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota, and previous positions at the ISSS offices of Purdue and Ohio State.


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Afroza Faruque

Associate Director for Operations


217-333-1303
afaruque@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Afroza has been with ISSS since 2008. In addition to advising international students, she helps co-coordinate New Student Check-in each semester. She also oversees the ISSS Front Desk, manages the ISSS website, and works on internal staff training and outreach to campus units.


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Cheryl Hinkel

Associate Director


217-333-1303
chinkel@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Cheryl joined ISSS in 2006. She currently works with international faculty, staff, and scholars and their University departments. She received her Bachelors in Foreign Languages from Eastern Illinois University and her Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Southern Illinois University.


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Scarlette Martinez

Assistant Director


217-333-1303
sbriones@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Kara Carpenter

Assistant Director


217-333-1303
porterk@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Kara joined ISSS in 2015, and currently works with international scholars, faculty, and staff. Kara earned her B.A. in Communication from Michigan State University, where her study abroad experience inspired her to pursue her current career in international education.


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Jennifer Park

Assistant Director


217-333-1303
jsavery@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Elizabeth Sheppard

Assistant Director


217-333-1303
eertel@illinois.edu

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Elizabeth began working with ISSS in 2015. In Fall 2018, she began advising students as an International Student Advising Specialist before being promoted to Assistant Director in August 2022. Elizabeth is from Central Illinois and earned her Bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2009.


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Karen Acton

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
kacton@illinois.edu

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Karen joined International Student and Scholars Services in June 2023. Karen earned a PhD in Greek and Roman History from the University of Michigan as an international student herself from Canada, and brings almost a decade of experience in higher education from previous positions at the University of Arizona, University of Missouri, and Washington University in St Louis.


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Denise Benton

International Data Coordinator


217-333-1303
dlbenton@illinois.edu

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Denise joined ISSS in August 2018, as an Office Support Associate for the Scholar branch before assuming the role of in International Data Coordinator in April 2022. Since May 2020, she has held the role of Office Support Specialist. Denise earned her B.S. in Advertising with minors in Marketing and Business Management from Bradley University in 2012. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she moved down to the Champaign-Urbana area in 2016.


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Holly Bullamore

International Scholar Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
bullamor@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Beth Anne Clayton

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
claytonb@illinois.edu

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Beth Anne joined International Student and Scholar Services in June 2023. Beth Anne achieved a Masters degree in TESOL from Michigan State University, and has worked extensively with international students at both her alma mater and with AMIDEAST in Jordan. She is part of the student advising team that assists international students with their visa status questions.


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Melissa Duong

International Scholar Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
mhduong2@illinois.edu

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Melissa joined International Student and Scholar Services in June 2023. Melissa is a first-generation college student of immigrant parents. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology as well as her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Consumer Economics from right here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a Masters in Education from Marian University. She has been an Americorps volunteer and a former Special Education teacher. Most recently, Melissa spent over two years working in the Republic of Korea as a Fulbright ETA and uses her significant international experience to advise our international faculty, staff, and scholars, as well as processing immigration paperwork for hiring units and colleges.


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Karen Fenton

International Scholar Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
klfenton@illinois.edu

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Karen joined ISSS in 2020 working with international scholars and their departments. She came to Illinois from North Carolina State University where she first worked as an International Taxation Specialist and then as a Program Assistant for Global Partnerships. She holds a B.A. in International Studies and a Master of International Studies focused on immigration policy and higher education administration, both from North Carolina State University. She credits her career interest in global mobility and international education from her education abroad experiences in France and Ghana.


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Caitlin Kaparaz

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
kaparaz2@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Erin Nubel

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
enubel@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Erin joined International Student and Scholar Services in June 2023. Erin's Master's degree in Economics, Law, and Politics comes from the Ruhr Universität Bochum in Germany where she was an international student. She has an extensive customer service background and is part of the student advising team that assists international students with their visa status questions.


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Olivia Park

International Training and Programming Specialist


217-333-1303
opark3@illinois.edu

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Olivia joined ISSS in May 2023. In her role, she creates and presents training and materials to enhance the collective intercultural competency of University of Illinois faculty, staff, and students as well as generating programming for international students and scholars to enhance their international educational experience. Olivia earned her Master's degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has a demonstrated record of mentoring and serving international students. Prior to her role at ISSS, she spent time studying at Osaka Gakuin University in Japan, and used that experience to oversee the Japanese Hall residential life community at Wesleyan University.


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Timothy Roth

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
tmroth@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Briana Singleton

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
bfls42@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Geetha Sivaguru

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
geesiv@illinois.edu

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Bio unavailable at this time.


headshot of diana zijp maldonado
Diana Zijp Maldonado

International Student Advising Specialist


217-333-1303
dzijp@illinois.edu

Click to see bio

Bio unavailable at this time.


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Heidi Wiersema

Office Support Specialist


217-333-1303
heidijw@illinois.edu

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Heidi Wiersema serves as an Office Support Specialist, contributing to scholar check-in, the LPR/O-1 process, file management and other projects which support international faculty, staff and scholars and their host departments. Heidi's background is in early childhood education. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education, and worked as a teacher and principal/director in several early learning centers in the area before joining ISSS.


International Safety & Security

International Safety and Security sets and maintains the standards and protocol for pre-departure training and ongoing safety needs for those participating in international activities with the University on a 24/7 basis.

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Andrew Collum

Director for International Safety and Security


217-333-6104
aacollum@illinois.edu

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Andrew joined Illinois International in 2017 as the Associate Director for International Safety and Security and assumed the role of Director in 2020. He develops and coordinates policies and procedures that support the safety and well-being of Illinois students, faculty, and staff traveling abroad for study or university business. Andrew also provides global emergency response services to travelers. Before working for Illinois International, Andrew served in the U.S. Army as a political-military specialist on Africa. He holds an M.A. in African Studies from Ohio University and a B.S. in International Relations from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.


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Michelle Dube

Assistant Director for International Safety and Security


217-333-6104
mdube@illinois.edu

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Michelle joined Illinois International in 2023 as the Assistant Director for International Safety and Security. Her focus is the safety and security of students participating in study abroad, with a particular emphasis on student preparation. Michelle also provides global emergency response services to travelers. Before joining Illinois International, Michelle worked for the U.S. Department of State as a security specialist and member of the Foreign Service.


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Rachael Dean

Coordinator for International Safety and Security


217-333-6104
rldean@illinois.edu

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Rachael joined Illinois International as the Coordinator for International Safety and Security in March 2019. Before working for Illinois International, Rachael worked at CIEE supporting incoming and outgoing high school students as they learned about living with a host family and attending school in a foreign country. Rachael also spent time living and studying abroad in Europe and Asia, and holds a special place in her heart for Japan where she lived for seven years. She holds an M.A. in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont and a B.A. in Integrated International Studies from Knox College in Galesburg, IL.


Shared Services

Human Resources
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Denise Esworthy

Associate Director for Human Resources


217-333-6104
desworth@illinois.edu

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Denise joined Illinois International in September 2014. She serves as primary HR contact to Illinois International units and LAS Centers with dual reporting relationships with Illinois International, Diversity Advocate, Intake Specialist, Department Classifier, and back-up to the Associate Director of HR. Before joining Illinois International, she worked one year for FAA Shared Services and 14 years with University Payroll and Benefits, bringing with her experience in foreign national payment processing to support the campus internationalization goals.


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Kelly Sellers

Human Resource Coordinator


217-333-6104
kmeeks@illinois.edu

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Kelly joined Illinois International in December 2017. Before joining Illinois International she worked for University Payroll and Benefits for 12 years, most recently as an Assistant Manager of their Foreign National Service Center. She serves as one of the HR contacts for the Illinois International units and as back-up to the Associate Director of Human Resources.


International Business Operations
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John Todd

Associate Director for Budgeting and Resource Planning


217-333-6104
johntodd@illinois.edu

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John holds a Master of Business Administration from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences with a minor in Sociology from the University of Illinois. He has worked at Heartland Community College for over 9 years bringing experience in planning fundraising events, developing policies and procedures for college grant office, writing and editing grant applications, overseeing Adult Education budget, fiscal and programmatic guidance, served on the college’s strategic and accreditation planning team, as well as provided one-on-one trainings.

As the Associate Director for Budgeting and Resource Planning, John will be responsible for managing and provide daily oversight of fiscal activity for Illinois International, including providing leadership of all financial facets, budget oversight, expenditure analysis, outreach and administer fellowships and awards, and ad hoc financial reporting.


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Kelli Manning

Accounting Associate


217-333-6104
kwiesene@illinois.edu

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Kelli joined Illinois International in November 2021 as an Accounting Associate. She has worked at the university for 17 years, and brings a wide range of knowledge in university processes and procedures. Kelli has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois - Springfield and is currently working on her MBA from Eastern Illinois University.

Kelli will provide support and expertise to units in processing journal vouchers, invoices, and purchase orders. She will also oversee department card management and will support units with monthly financial reconciliations.


Shared Administrative Services
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Deborah Lowe-Morgan

Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies


217-333-6104
morgand@illinois.edu

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Deborah first joined Illinois International as an Administrative Aide in December 2020 before being promoted to Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies in July 2022. Before joining Illinois International, Deborah was the Visiting Assistant Director of Donor Relations for the Education Justice Project in the College of Education. Deborah received her B.S. in Business Administrations from Chicago State University. As Assistant to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, Deborah's main duties include providing executive-level administrative support to the Office of the Vice Provost, including managing general operations for the main office. Additionally, Debbie will lead the daily operations of Illinois International's Shared Administrative Services.


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Bria Adkisson

Office Support Associate


217-333-1303
briaa@illinois.edu

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Bria Adkisson joined Illinois International in February 2023 as an Office Support Associate in Shared Administrative Services. She is a part of the front desk team that provides support for the ISSS office and that services both the student and scholar branches of ISSS. She is responsible for all general office operations; points of contact with students, scholars, and visitors; engaging with outside departments; as well as maintaining office files and oversee the student email account.


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Ben England

Office Support Specialist


217-244-3312
ee4@illinois.edu

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As Office Support Specialist, Ben provides specialized administrative support under direction for Illinois International Shared Administrative Services in a variety of operational functions designed to execute effective and efficient procedures and workflow. Ben first joined GET in July 2020 as the Office Support Associate where he performed a variety of office support functions and assisted in the daily operations of GET. Originally joining the University of Illinois’ Grounds Department in 2014, he later secured an Office Support Associate role for the Dining Services Office in 2017 before finding his home at GET.


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Courtney Evans

Office Support Specialist


217-333-1303
clboyd3@illinois.edu

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Courtney Evans joined Illinois International, working for ISSS in 2018 as an Office Support Assistant Intern. From there she became a full time Office Support Assistant at the front desk at the student branch. Courtney was responsible for all general office operations, points of contact with students and visitors, engaging with outside departments as well as maintaining office files. In June of 2022, Courtney was promoted to an Office Support Specialist in Shared Administrative Services. In her role, Courtney will serve as the Font Desk Supervisor for the student and scholar branch of Illinois International where she will be responsible for directing all aspects of the day-to-day operations, including training of new scholar and student personnel.


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Jen Hindes

Office Support Specialist


217-333-6104
jhindes2@illinois.edu

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Jennifer (Jen) Hindes has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language Literature with a Secondary Teaching Certification. She also minored in Women's Studies and Creative Writing. Her professional experiences include seven years as a public educator at Centennial High School in Champaign, Illinois and as an advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors. Jen has extensive training in conflict and is certified as a mediator, restorative justice practitioner, and trainer in Kingian Nonviolence. Jen joined the Illinois International Shared Services team in February of 2023.


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Jill Ouellette

Office Administrator


217-333-6104
ouellett@illinois.edu

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Jill joined Illinois International as an Office Support Associate in May 2014 before assuming the role of Office Administrator in August 2022. Before joining Illinois International, Jill was an H&R Block Office Manager for 10 years. Jill received her B.A. in Business Administrations from DeVry University of Tinley Park in 2007. She is the main contact for room reservations within several Illinois International buildings, assists human resources with new hire and termination processing, and supports the Illinois International's Assistant Director for Administration.


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Melissa Wells

Office Support Associate


217-333-6104
mgwells@illinois.edu

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Melissa Wells joined Illinois International in August 2023 as an Office Support Associate in Shared Administrative Services. She is a part of the front desk team that provides support for the ISSS office and that services both the student and scholar branches of ISSS. She is responsible for all general office operations; points of contact with students, scholars, and visitors; as well as assigning student e-forms; also maintaining office files.


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William Wright

Office Support Associate


217-333-6104
wewright@illinois.edu

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William Wright joined Illinois International in February 2023 as an Office Support Associate in Shared Administrative Services. He is a part of the front desk team that provides support for the ISSS office and that services both the student and scholar branches of ISSS. He is responsible for all general office operations; points of contact with students, scholars, and visitors; engaging with outside departments; as well as maintaining office files and overseeing our faculty, staff, and scholar operations.