Lily Andrules is a Chicago based professional with 10 years of international higher education experience. Her current role is University Relations Manager for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Prior to joining her current organization she worked as a regional director and program manager for students traveling to programs in Asia Pacific. Much of her personal work in international higher education has been focused in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice including building out informational resources for both educators and students.
Sherene Awong is a Customized Program Manager at IES Abroad. She comes from a background in education and was a high school Spanish teacher and accessibility specialist at Loyola University Chicago. She is a recent graduate of the International Higher Education program at Loyola. Sherene works on programs to Spain and England. She lived in Spain for several years, including getting a Masters in Madrid from St. Louis University and studying at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in undergrad.
Karin Christoph Brown is an enthusiastic world traveler, meticulous researcher and devoted international educator. She founded One Earth International Credential Evaluations in 2010. With 20 of experience in international student recruitment, university admission and credential evaluation, Karin is expertly qualified to guide students, faculty, staff and employers through the evaluation process.
Melissa Comiskey has worked in higher education for nearly 15 years and has been practicing yoga for almost a decade. She completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2019 and holds certifications in prenatal and children’s yoga. She is the Executive Director of Internship Programming at IES Abroad, and previously worked at DePaul University and the University of Chicago. She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from UIC; Master of Education in Counseling (concentration in College Student Development) from DePaul University; and Leadership Certificate from Northwestern University.
Catherine Eccher is Director of Evaluations at Educational Perspectives. She has 14 years of experience evaluating credentials from all regions of the world.
Susan Falatko is a career Foreign Service Officer with 24 years of experience with the U.S. Department of State. She is currently the Diplomat in Residence responsible for recruiting talented individuals from across IL, WI, and MN. Prior to her current assignment, she was Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana. She has also served in Mauritius, Rwanda, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, and Mali. She is originally from the Chicago area.
Brock Goldflies has been a credential evaluator at Scholaro, Inc. since 2019. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2016. In the past, he was a university writing center tutor and volunteered for the UIC In-Touch Crisis Hotline. His current aspirations as a credential evaluator are to become even more familiar with international education systems and to better understand obscure credentials from around the world.
Katherine Haan identifies as a deaf woman and has traveled abroad in Education Abroad programs while in college.
Amany Hacking was an Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Supervisor of the Externship Clinic at Saint Louis University School of Law from 2007 to 2016. She also taught Immigration Law and an Islamic Law Seminar. Prior to teaching, Amany served as a law clerk to Judges Mary K. Hoff and Booker T. Shaw of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and practiced law at Harr & Woods and Spencer Fane Britt & Brown, focusing on complex civil litigation and appellate advocacy. While in private practice, she received the David J. Dixon award for excellence in appellate advocacy from the Missouri Bar Foundation. She has a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a J.D. and M.A. in Public Administration from Saint Louis University. Amany immigrated to the United States from Egypt as a young child.
James Hacking has practiced law for 25 years. He launched Hacking Immigration Law in 2007 to fight for immigrants. The firm has grown to include offices in San Diego, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. and over 50 team members. The firm has made the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for the last 2 years. Jim's YouTube channel contains hundreds of immigration videos. Jim lives in St. Louis with his wife (and law partner) and four kids.
Carmen Hernández is Mexican-American and a first-generation college student. She received her BFA and a minor in Spanish Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Carmen joined Northwestern after completion of her second master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. She also holds a master’s degree in Linguistics. As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad twice, the first time in Rome, Italy where she studied Italian film and art history and the second time in Santiago, Chile where she studied photography and Spanish Literature at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Before coming to Northwestern, Carmen worked as a Financial Aid Coordinator at Northeastern Illinois University, where she advised and promoted financial literacy. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, photography, cooking, wine-tastings, camping, and hiking.
Saskia Hofman joined SEVP in 2015 and serves the far south side of Chicago, outlying suburbs and the greater Illinois territory. Prior to joining SEVP, Saskia worked as P/DSO for 20 years at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in the healthcare sector recruiting H-1B professionals. She holds bachelor’s degrees in international studies and French from Miami University of Ohio, and a master’s degree in multicultural communication from DePaul University.
Nykki Hutchinson is a Senior Global Enrollment Management Specialist with IES Abroad. She has been working in this position since May 2021. She studied abroad in Sweden and South Korea. She graduated with a degree in Korean Studies in 2018 from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Andie Ingram is delighted to serve as one of the Mentorship Program Coordinators for IEI. In her full-time, she is the Associate Director of Credential Programs at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her higher education experience extends to marketing and recruitment strategy, enrollment and matriculation, academic and student affairs, data administration, and program design, management and evaluation.
Kara Johnson joined Elmhurst University as Director of International Admission in October 2022. She has extensive experience in international student recruitment and admissions, international student services, study abroad, and international partnerships. Kara was federally appointed to the Illinois District Export Council and has served in a variety of other professional leadership roles, including Chair of Study Illinois, external reviewer for American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), NAFSA Annual Conference Content Chair and Workshop Chair, Chair of NAFSA Region V, Region V Conference Chair, Region V Illinois State Representative, and Chair of International Educators of Illinois. Kara received a BA in French from Southeast Missouri State University and a MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.
Michaela Kendall is the Senior Academic Database Specialist at IES Abroad. Michaela also serves as the chair for International Educators of Illinois (IEI) and Illinois State Representative for NAFSA Region V. Michaela earned her B.A. from University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign in International Studies and Anthropology, and her M.A. from SIT Graduate Institute in International Education. She previously studied in Singapore, France, Spain, and Peru.
Rachel Krein currently works as the Associate Director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at Northwestern University, which includes overseeing and managing the daily operations for both student and scholar services and a staff of 18. Before coming to Northwestern, she worked in ISSS as PDSO and RO at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Illinois State University (ISU) and in IEM at Bradley University. She has a B.A. from Augustana College and an M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from ISU. Rachel is a proud NAFSA Academy alum.
Chelsea Kuchik (she/her) is the Marketing Specialist at IES Abroad and has worked at IES Abroad for more than five years where she started as an advisor for IES Abroad programs in China, Italy, and Ireland. Chelsea manages the IES Abroad Correspondent program, leads strategy for email marketing campaigns for prospect students, and works with partners including GoAbroad and GoOverseas.
Tony Marottais Director of Global Engagement at Elmhurst University, overseeing International Student Services, Study Abroad, and the overall internationalization and global connections of EU. Tony has worked as an international student advisor, DSO, and international admissions representative in various other Chicagoland institutions over the past decade. Tony’s previous higher education life was spent primarily in Student Affairs offices, such as Residence Life, Leadership, DEI, and Student Activities, and he brings a holistic approach to his higher education work. Tony has a BA in English from Elmhurst University and a MS in College Student Personnel from Illinois University. Tony currently serves as the Admissions and Enrollment Rep for IEI.
Sara McGuinn is a Senior Study Abroad Program Manager in the Global Learning Office, part of the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs at Northwestern University, and she is the Past Chair of IEI. She received her BA in Spanish from Northwestern University and her MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. When not at work, she love spending time with her husband and kids, listening to live music, reading, and caring for the family's 400+ fish.
Macy Miller is a Global Enrollment Management Specialist with IES Abroad. She has been working in this position since April 2022. She studied abroad with IES Abroad when she was in college on the Vienna program, and she also studied abroad in Martinique. She graduated with a degree in Global Studies in 2020 from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Robert Morley is the Director of the Office of International Services (OIS) at Governors State University and serves as the Chair Elect for International Educators of Illinois (IEI). Before working for Governors State University, Robert spent four years as the Director of International Student Affairs at Moraine Valley Community College and three years as the International Admission Coordinator at University of St. Francis. Prior to that, Dr. Morley spent seven years in Bangkok, Thailand as an English language instructor and a recruitment manager. He has a BA from DePaul University, an MA in International Relations from Webster University Thailand, and an EdD in Higher Education Administration from Governors State University.
Amy Nusser is a Lead Immigration Specialist at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has worked with international students as an immigration advisor, student services coordinator, and ESL instructor, and holds a Master of Arts in TESOL/Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Amy is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a proud member of the International Educators of Illinois (IEI) leadership team.
Lydia Panton is an international scholar advisor at Northwestern University, where she advises J-1 exchange visitors and H-1B employees on immigration regulations and transitioning to their roles on campus. Lydia earned an MS in Higher Education Administration and Policy from Northwestern, and her master’s research focused on English proficiency policies and career support for international law students. She has previously worked in academic advising, career advising, and budgeting in university and community college settings.
Eliza Plous has worked in or around the field of IE for over a decade. She currently works as Immigration Lead at Egen Solutions, Inc., a software engineering firm in Naperville, IL. Her previous experience includes roles within ISSS and International Admissions at Loyola University Chicago and within International Student Affairs at Moraine Valley Community College. She holds an MA in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute.
Kevin Reyes (he/him) joined IES Abroad as the social media assistant in March 2022. Prior to IES Abroad, he worked as a First-Generation Study Away Marketing Intern at the University of Redlands to support and empower student participation and improve the offerings to the first-generation community. Kevin earned his bachelor's degree in Marketing and Visual Media at the University of Redlands and studied abroad with IES Abroad Paris. Kevin also presented at the 2022 IES Abroad Annual Conference.
Ryan Rounds is a Chicagoland native born in Chicago and raised in the south suburbs. Her interest in international education began in high school on a trip to Spain where she told a fellow classmate "You don't go to Spain to eat fries and ketchup." Ryan received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign. She realized that psychology, though interesting, was not her calling and went on to get her M.Ed. in International Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. In both undergraduate and graduate school, Ryan had the opportunity to study abroad in long and short-term programs in Spain, Italy, and China. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Ryan has worked in retail, non-profit administration, distance learning design and facilitation, taught English abroad, and was most recently a Study Abroad Specialist at Western Michigan University. She has a particular interest in diversifying study abroad student participation. When she is not working, Ryan loves watching true crime documentaries, traveling, ethnic food, following her favorite YouTube content creators, thrifting, and hanging out with her frenchie, Hugo.
Jacob Schoofs is originally from Wisconsin and has been involved with international education in a variety of ways throughout his life. His lifelong international journey began with his family hosting exchange students and his own study abroad during his junior year of high school through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. This was the catalyst which sparked his deeply rooted passion for international study and exchange. He would later study abroad again by participating in the IES Abroad Language and Area Studies program in Berlin and a year-long professional internship in Hamburg, Germany. He completed his degree at Lake Forest College with a BA in Area Studies and later went on to pursue a MA/MSc in European Studies at the Europa-Universität Flensburg, in northern Germany. Before joining the Global Learning Office at Northwestern, he worked at AFS-Intercultural Programs, a nonprofit intercultural learning organization, as well as most recently with Loyola University Chicago helping students navigate processes and realize their own study abroad aspirations. Professionally, he focuses on creating comprehensive and student-focused advising and support, improving data and technology systems, and creating study abroad programming that is accessible and life-changing for all stakeholders. Over the years, his adventures have taken him to destinations in Europe, Oceania and throughout North America. In his free time, he enjoys all things German (language, food, music, film and beyond), spending time with his partner and dog, playing video games, watching any movie he can get his hands on, singing, reading, walking along the lake, playing volleyball, and getting to know new cultures, foods, and lived experiences.
Jason Schroeder (he/him) is a Graphic Designer who has been with IES Abroad in a variety of roles since February 2019 across marketing and global enrollment management. Jason is also the co-chair of NAFSA's Rainbow SIG. He joined the field of international education after global experiences living in South Korea and studying in Chile and Aotearoa New Zealand.
Kate Simmons is a Program Manager at DePaul University, where she partners with faculty to create and implement short-term study abroad programs. As a student, she studied in Spain (twice!) and traveled to Costa Rica on a faculty-led program. Afterwards, Kate lived in Madrid for 4 years, teaching English to K-12 students and earning a master’s degree. Upon returning to the US, she learned study abroad was a professional field, began her career at IES Abroad, and hasn’t looked back since!
Jadon Sokoll-Ward is a Global Enrollment Management Specialist with IES Abroad. He has been working in this position since October 2021. He studied abroad with IES Abroad when he was in college on the Amsterdam program. He graduated with a degree in Sociology in 2019 from Skidmore College.
Talargie Tafesse is tenured faculty at the City College of Chicago teaching primarily Mental Health in the nursing department.
Michelle Vale currently serves as the Manager of International Student Services at Joliet Junior College. She has a Bachelor degree in English, with a French minor and business concentration. She also completed her M.Ed. in Higher Education with a focus in College Student Affairs Leadership. She also holds a micro-credential in International Partnership Management from the University at Albany. Michelle previously held the role of International Student Services Coordinator at University of Illinois at Chicago for six years and has been working in international education for over eleven years now. She enjoys traveling, reading, and learning about new cultures, along with video games, cozy blankets and dog snuggles.
MandaWaltersis the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE) Community Relations Region Director. Ms. Walters oversees Community Relations Officers who plan, develop and maintain relationships and communication between ICE and the communities in which the agency functions to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the mission, protecting America and upholding public safety. Ms. Walters has a M.S. in Human & Community Resources from University of Wisconsin. She is a veteran who deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to joining ICE in 2016, Manda developed and implemented internal and external communication strategies for a division of the State of Colorado.
Xiaojin (Raina) Yu is currently the International Services Coordinator at University of Illinois Chicago, and she previously worked at Benedictine University as their International Student/Program Services Coordinator from 2012 to 2023. She grew up in Shanghai, China and came to USA in 2007 as international student. She is very passionate about providing great services to international students/scholars. She loves what she does and wants to make it as her lifetime career. She loves travel and hopes to finish her travel place list before she turns 80 years old.
Tahani Zughayer currently serves as the coordinator of the International Student Services and DEI office at Joliet Junior College. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration, with an integrative professional studies minor. Tahani previously held the role of International Student Advisor and Designated Schoo Official at The Language Company at Indiana University South Bend before moving to Illinois in 2015. Works closely with not-for-profit organizations that focus on supporting refugees in the surrounding areas (mainly Orland Park & Chicago for now). She enjoys spending time with family, traveling, visiting museums, and all music genres.