Anna Adamson is a SEVIS Coordinator (DSO/ARO) at Illinois Institute of Technology. She has served in several capacities during her years of working in the international education field. Anna holds an MBA from Concordia University Chicago, and a Master of Arts in Linguistics from Penza State Pedagogical University, Russia. As a student in 4 different countries, Anna believes in the power of education as the dynamic force in breaking down the barriers to opportunity.
Lily Andrules is an Associate Regional Director for The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) located in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to this role she spent three and a half years on the TEAN program team working with students traveling to New Zealand and Asia. She is an alumna of NAFSA Academy Class 14 and has been on the Lessons from Abroad Chicago leadership team since 2016. She focuses a lot of her personal and professional work in the equity, diversity, and inclusion sphere.
Maria Blanca has a deep passion for building and facilitating multicultural connections with students from all over the world. Maria is a proud alumna of UMBC, having graduated in 2015 with an MA in Intercultural Communication, which included both a specialization in Intercultural Training and a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). While a graduate student at UMBC, she also served as a Graduate Assistant and as a Teaching Assistant. Maria, originally from Germany, earned a BA in Education before coming to study as an international student in the United States, at UMBC. Maria has worked in higher education with international students for over 7 years.
Nikia Brown is a Philadelphia native with an unyielding passion for people and places. Growing up in a Caribbean household, kindled within her a strong desire to build bridges between people of diverse cultures. After teaching English in Korea, she obtained a master’s degree in sociology at Sungkyunkwan University where she researched the identity negotiation of youth born to multicultural families. She completed a subsequent master’s degree in intercultural and international communication at The American University School of International Service. In Nikia's current role as the Associate Director for Intercultural and Global Learning – International Student Experience, she supports international students in their transition to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and develops intercultural programs for domestic and international students.
Alyssa Byrneis a Lead Global Enrollment Management Specialist at IES Abroad. In her current role, she specializes in application processing, predeparture operations, student communication, and visa research. As a college student, she studied Spanish for a summer in Madrid, and English literature for a semester with IES Trinity College Dublin. Alyssa has an AA from College of DuPage, and a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lisa DeMilio is a study abroad advisor at Illinois State University (ISU) located in Normal, Illinois. She is committed to fostering college student development via access to international opportunities and experiential learning. Her professional work focuses on career readiness, re-entry programming, and alumni engagement within the education abroad space. Lisa holds a Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration with a cognate in Public Administration from Binghamton University, and is also an alumna of NAFSA Academy Class 17. In her current role, Lisa advises for a variety of partner and faculty-led programs, serves as staff advisor for the ISU Study Abroad Mentor Program, and is coordinator for the ISU Study Abroad Ambassador Team.
Amima Diagne is the Associate Director for Student Services in the Office of International Affairs at the University of Chicago. Amima has been with the Office since 2014. Amima has a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Chicago, a M.A. in Industrial & Organizational (I/O) Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is currently working towards a PhD in Business/Industrial-Organizational Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Nereida Encina--International Student Services Specialist and DSO at Moraine Valley Community College—has recruited, admitted, advised, and assisted international students from countries across the globe, specifically international students from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe. In her role she has helped F-1 international students with maintaining their student status, and applying for OPT. She also has experience in assisting prospective students with COS. Additionally, Nereida’s passion for international education drives her to develop strategies and programs that support international students and that advocates for the importance of international education in the United States.
Jenna Feeback has worked in the credential evaluation field as an evaluator at Scholaro, Inc. for the past three years. She specializes in documentation and credential verification. As a past presenter at the TAICEP Annual Conference and an advocate for international education via the NAFSA Advocacy Day program in Washington, D.C., she enjoys sharing her experience and learning new developments in the profession. Jenna attended Ball State University in Indiana and earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Prior to credential evaluation, her background was in social work and case management.
Saskia Hofman joined SEVP as a member of the third class of field representatives and serves the far southside of Chicago, outlying suburbs and the greater state of Illinois territory. Prior to joining SEVP, Ms. Hofman 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. 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.
Emma Howes has been an IEI Mentorship Program Coordinator for the past 2 years.
Rayann Ibasco has been working in international education for almost 10 years, specifically in admissions and recruitment. A seasoned professional in admissions and recruitment. A heavy user of data and uses it to assist enrollment growth and create sustainable strategies together with current recruitment conditions. Rayann always believed that a combination of quantitative and qualitative approach in enrollment management is the best way to move forward. Currently pursuing his Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership at DePaul University while working as a Partnership Director at EduCo USA handling multiple institutional partnerships.
Kara Johnson is Director of International Services at Governors State University and is currently serving as Chair of Study Illinois. Prior to joining GSU in 2016, Kara served as Assistant Director of the International Center at Illinois Institute of Technology and of International Student & Scholar Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, she has worked at Council on International Educational Exchange, University College Northampton in the UK, University of Missouri - St. Louis, and Summer Study in Paris. Kara received a BA in French from Southeast Missouri State University and an MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.
Asha Kansal is the Director of SIUE’s Intensive English Program (IEP). She acquired her Master of Arts degree in TESL at SIUE in 2013, and has worked in international education for over ten years from the East Coast to Europe, working as an academic director, a curriculum developer for global learning events, and an ESL instructor. She is passionate about intercultural relations and establishing stronger connections between international students and their American communities.
Michaela Kendall is an International Programs Coordinator at IES Abroad. She has worked for IES Abroad for almost 3 years. She completed her Bachelors degree in International Studies and Anthropology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Masters degree in International Education at SIT Graduate Institute.
Clare Lake has worked in international education for more than 15 years in various roles. He is currently the Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Columbia College Chicago and formerly the Mgr. of the Office of International Affairs at Kendall College. He has taught ESL @ AEON in Japan and lived and worked in Madrid, Spain. Clare received his MS in Global Higher Education from Walden University and his Ba in International Trade from Eastern Michigan University.
Qiran Li is the graduate assistant at Northwestern’s Medill School, advising students in journalism and marketing communications on career development. She received her B.A. in English with a supplemental major in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and she is currently pursuing her M.S. in Higher Education Administration and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She has completed an AmeriCorps service program, mentoring middle school students in their literacy and tennis education.
Monica Malhotra is a Program Manager with the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange at Mobility International USA, which aims to increase participation of people with disabilities in inclusive international exchange programs. Previously, Monica worked for 10 years at The University of Texas at Austin, where she assisted with admission, immigration, student counseling, and sponsored student programs as the Senior International Student Coordinator for ESL Services and as International Student Advisor at the International Office. Her past experience includes serving four years on the board for the Multicultural Refugee Coalition and interning with the EastWest institute in New York. Monica earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Arlington and her Master's degree in International Studies from the University of Exeter, UK.
Ally Mangia has been with Moraine Valley Community College for two years as an International Student Services Specialist and DSO as well as the International Student Housing Specialist. Ally is dedicated to providing exceptional support to international students as she remembers the difficulties studying in a different country during her time abroad. She is with international students from the first moment of inquiry through graduation by recruiting, admitting, advising, and implementing programs to better support their time in the United States.
Elisabet Miramontes is the Associate Director of International Admissions at a small liberal arts Catholic Franciscan university with 7 years of experience in enrollment, advising, financial aid, college and career coaching.
Chiara Montanari is the Associate Director of International Careers at the University of Chicago Office of Career Advancement, where she oversees the international internship program, international employer outreach, and advising for international students. She holds a BA in Modern Languages from Ca’ Foscari in Venice, Italy and a PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Chicago.
Aleks Morawski is the recipient of NAFSA's 2020 Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Enrollment Management. His professional experience includes international undergraduate and graduate admissions and recruitment at major US universities and training and consulting on various topics in international education. Aleks has served on NAFSA leadership and Trainer Corps since 2009. He participated in the AACRAO Cuba Project, co-authored NAFSA's Managing a Successful International Admissions Office, and is the chairman of scholarship and publications for AICE, the Association of International Credential Evaluators. He is a regular presenter at local, national, and international professional conferences. Aleks holds an MA degree from San Diego State University.
Robert Morley is the Director of International Student Affairs at Moraine Valley Community College and serves as the Admissions and Enrollment Representative for the International Educators of Illinois (IEI). Before working for Moraine Valley, he spent three years as the International Admission Coordinator at University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Prior to that, Robert 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 is currently completing an EdD in Higher Education Administration at Governors State University.
Mike Nelson is the Assistant Director of International Constituent Engagement at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing his BA and MA at UIUC, he earned an MS in international and comparative education from Stockholm University in Sweden. Additionally, he completed internships in Belgium and Finland. Mike then returned to UIUC to work in study abroad for several years before beginning his current role in advancement working with alumni around the world. Besides international education, his interests include theatre, volunteering, and taking a wide range of classes to learn new things.
Samantha Nissen is an assistant director of academic and career management at Northwestern University’s Medill School, advising journalism and marketing communications students on career development and experiential learning. She is pursuing a PhD in the University of Minnesota’s Comparative and International Development Education program, focused on university studies and international student mobility. She has a M.Ed. from Loyola University Chicago and a B.A. from the University of Iowa.
Amy Nusser is an international student and scholar advisor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She has worked with international students as an immigration advisor, student services coordinator, and ESL instructor. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and holds a Master of Arts in TESOL/Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Akiko Otois the director of English Language Learning Center at Governors State University, Illinois TESOL/Bilingual Education President, and IEI Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Representative. She has worked in the field of ESL for over 20 years, and she has researched and worked in teaching, learning, and cultural transitions of ESL and international students in the US Higher and Postsecondary Education for over 15 years. She has obtained Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in Postsecondary Education, M.S. in Education in Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education, and M.A. in TESOL from Portland State University in Oregon.
Kelly Pilleux-Petronia joined SEVP as a member of the first class of field representatives and serves the Chicago, IL territory. She previously spent 14 years working within international departments of varying institutions where she served as a PDSO for nine years. She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in linguistics from Ohio University.
Eliza Plous serves as Faculty Immigration Coordinator at Loyola University Chicago, where she advises Loyola's J-1, H-1B, O-1 and TN populations. She is also IEI's current International Scholar Rep. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe, including living in Hungary for 1.5 years, but she always comes back to her hometown of Chicago. Eliza holds a B.A. in History from Beloit College and an M.A. in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute.
Alma Sandoval is the Study Abroad Advisor and Technology Solutions Manager at the Study Abroad Office at DePaul University. Her study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain ignited a passion to help more students have transformative experiences like hers and led her to a career in the field. She has worked at DePaul University for the past 10 years and in her current role advises students interested in studying abroad in Europe and Latin America. In addition to her advising role, Alma oversees the office’s website and application management software (Terra Dotta) and is also an active member of the DePaul Study Abroad Diversity Committee, which focuses on the promotion and advocacy of diversity and inclusion in study abroad. Alma has been volunteering with Lessons from Abroad Chicago since 2016 and is a member of the leadership team. She holds a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction and Bachelor of Science in Business from DePaul University.
Jason Schroederis a Global Enrollment Management Specialist at IES Abroad. His interest in international education began after studying abroad in New Zealand and Chile. Before working at IES Abroad, he taught elementary English in Korea for one year and held marketing-related roles with ISEP and GoAbroad, which lead to his start on IES Abroad’s marketing team. He later transitioned into his current role. Jason has a BA from Ball State University in Digital Video Production and is TEFL certified.
Nick Seamons is the Assistant Dean of Students and Director at the Office of International Affairs at the University of Chicago. Previously, he served as Associate Director in the International Office at Northwestern University and worked as Assistant Director of Grants and Special Projects at NAFSA: Association of International Education. Nick holds an MS in Communication from Northwestern University, enjoys traveling, being outside, and cooking.
Kate Tamm—currently working with Kellstadt students advising them on their career opportunities--enjoys the coaching and constant communication with her students. She also enjoys having the ability to discuss with her students their goals and strengths on a one-on-one basis to help them on their career path. Tamm earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and management from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master's degree in higher education from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. She has worked with the admissions and recruitment teams at Southwest Minnesota State University and the University of North Dakota prior to joining the Kellstadt Career Management Center team.
Libby Thornton studied abroad for a semester in Seville, Spain during undergrad and it has sparked a lifelong love of travel. Libby joined Loyola University Chicago as a study abroad advisor where she advises students, coordinates the office’s marketing efforts and plans the study abroad fairs.
Sarah Tolman is an international student adviser at the University of Chicago, advising primarily F-1 undergraduate and graduate students. She has received her B.A. in German and Italian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.A. in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago. Sarah has taught English abroad. She is now on the IEI Leadership Team as the Mentorship Program Co-Coordinator and participated in the 2020 Region V cohort of the NAFSA Academy.
Josefina Vega’s first experience overseas was when she studied abroad in England for her third year of university. Upon her return, she wanted to help other students go abroad too, so she became a Peer Advisor at UCI’s Study Abroad Center. This is where her passion for International Education grew and she decided to pursue it as a career. Originally from San Diego, her journey led her all the way to Chicago to work for The Education Abroad Network’s campus relations team.
Manda Walters is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE) Community Relations Officer (CRO) for Chicago, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. In this role, Ms. Walters plans, develops and maintains relationships and communication between ICE and the communities in which ICE functions to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the ICE mission, protecting America and upholding public safety. Ms. Walters has a M.S. in Human & Community Resources from University of Wisconsin, and 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.
Rachel Webbcurrently serves as the Past Chair for IEI and works in IEM as the Director of Graduate and International Admission for Bradley University, which includes serving as PDSO and RO for the University. Prior to her current role, she also worked as the Director of International Student and Scholar Services. She has an M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration and graduated from the NAFSA Academy in 2015.
Tessa Zanoni is the Assistant Director in the Office of International Affairs at North Park University, where she advises study abroad and international students and scholars. She holds a B.A. from Hope College and an M.Ed. in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago. In 2013, Tessa received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Santander, Spain. She currently volunteers as a Consular Affairs Liaison for NAFSA Education Abroad.