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ISPO Staff

  • Dulce Dorado

    Dulce Dorado

    Director of International Students & Programs Office

    As the Director of the International Students & Programs 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.

  • Gabriela Hoffmann

    Gabriela Hoffmann

    Assistant Director of International Student Experience & Engagement

    A Southern California native, Gabriela Hoffmann received her undergraduate degree in history from UC Riverside and a Master's degree in European Studies from the University College London. She really 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. It will hugely benefit their time abroad and will lead to life-long friendships. Gabi's international experiences are many. She has lived in South Korea, Japan, England, and southern Austria. In her free time, Gabi really enjoys hiking and walking, especially around Torrey Pines.

  • Pauline DeGuzman

    Pauline DeGuzman

    Manager of International Student Services

    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!

  • Grace Fuller

    Grace Fuller

    Manager of International Student Experience & Engagement

    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. 

  • Casey Donovan

    Casey Donovan

    ISPO Office Manager

    As the Office Manager for the International Students & Programs Office, Casey looks forward to acting as the smaller gear that contributes to much larger efforts put forth by our diverse staff and students alike.  He believes that embracing diversity underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, building character and acceptance along the way to share with the rest of the world.  Casey says, “Playing a role in the ISPO program that congregates the world’s brilliant minds of our future in my hometown of San Diego is a humbling and moving opportunity.”  In his role’s efforts, he hopes to make positive contributions to the UCSD college experience for all students, no matter what corner of the world they’re from.  During his downtime Casey enjoys Astronomy, road trips, drawing and playing guitar.

  • Barry Fass-Holmes, Ph.D.

    Barry Fass-Holmes, Ph.D.

    Analytical Studies Coordinator & SEVIS Data Analyst

    As Analytical Studies coordinator, Barry conducts analytical studies on international students' academic progress, engagement, and satisfaction. With a bachelors, masters and doctorate in Psychology, plus a background in public education, Barry has an interest in contributing to the improvement of students' academic achievement. "I'm impressed and amazed by how international students perform so well here at UC San Diego. Students know so many languages." During Barry's free time, his activities include philanthropy, volunteer work, cycling, tennis and animals.

  • Chanelle Chestnutt

    Chanelle Chestnutt

    Compliance Coordinator

    Chanelle reccently 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

    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.

  • Kyle Argonza

    Kyle Argonza

    Intake Advisor

    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.

  • Alexis Greene

    Alexis Greene

    Intake Advisor

    Originally from Alabama, Alexis moved to San Diego in 2019 after working as a teacher for seven years in private schools in the United States and international schools in Ghana, Macau, and Saudi Arabia. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of South Alabama in 2010 and a Master of Science in Education from Spring Hill College in 2012. In May 2021, she received a Master of Arts in International Higher Education from Boston College. Her research interests center around the internationalization of higher education in American society and the economics of human capital theory. Through her experiences as an expatriate, Alexis is passionate about helping international students navigate the waters of higher education. She is a member of the Junior League of San Diego, which is an international women’s organization committed to promoting voluntarism and improving communities through effective action and leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys golfing, British dramas, and attending yoga retreats.

  • Kathleen McLaren-Hawking

    Kathleen McLaren-Hawking

    Intake Advisor

    Kathleen McLaren-Hawking 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!


  • Laura Page

    Laura Page

    International Student Advisor

    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

    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.

  • David Saide

    David Saide

    International Student Advisor

    David was born in Iowa and was raised in a multicultural family that had him frequently traveling between Iowa and Mexico. He received his B.A. in International Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Portuguese from the University of Iowa. During and after his undergraduate studies, he studied, worked and volunteered in Northeastern Brazil for a total of 3 years. David then dove into the profession of international education as the Coordinator of the Education Sector at the Consulate-General of Brazil in Chicago where he assisted with the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program in the Midwest. Most recently, he received his M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. David is passionate about working with international students and learning about their countries and cultures. In his free time David enjoys bboying (breakdancing), producing, rhyming, biking, photography, traveling and playing the guitar.  

  • Doug Shriner

    Doug Shriner

    Intake Advisor

    Doug, a recent transplant from Texas and the proud parent of a Triton alumn, has a broad background in higher education. He has worked with high school, undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of International Advising, Financial Aid, and Outreach.  Doug also acted as a private consultant assisting the US Departments of Education and Health & Human Services in designing regulations to protect student funding options. In Texas, he worked with former Mexican President Vicente Fox to raise scholarship funds for college students on both sides of the border. Doug has a Master’s degree in International Business and has travelled throughout Asia, Europe, Central America and the US. For fun he enjoys working in the yard and on home improvement projects.

  • Emily Stewart

    Emily Stewart

    International Student Advisor

    Emily has been working towards being an International Student Advisor since she was an undergraduate herself.  At this time, she met many international students and even traveled to South Korea with two of them.  After earning her Bachelor’s from California State University of San Marcos, she moved from sunny Southern California to snowy Vermont and received her Master’s degree in International Education from the School of International Training.  After that, she lived in the Boston area for 5 years and worked in the International Student Office at Brandeis University.  Whenever Emily meets someone from a new country, she always wants to learn their language and visit their country so she has a long list going! She hopes that international students gain as much out of their time with ISPO and the U.S. as she gets from them. When Emily is not working, she enjoys reading, playing tennis, and spending time with her friends, family, and dog.

  • Lisa Swid

    Lisa Swid

    International Student Advisor

    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.

  • Shelly Taskin

    Shelly Taskin

    International Student Advisor
    English in Action Tutor Program Coordinator 

    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.

  • Argiria Williams

    Argiria Williams

    International Student Advisor

    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.   

  • Lauren Woods

    Lauren Woods

    Intake Advisor

    Lauren received her B.A. in Liberal Studies at California State University, San Marcos. She furthered her education at Point Loma Nazarene University, where she received her M.A. in College Counseling and Student Development. With her background working with international students, Lauren is passionate about welcoming international students to campus and helping them integrate into their new community. When you find Lauren in the office, know that she's available to help with any questions or just to talk.

  • Karen Zuffante Pabon

    Karen Zuffante Pabon

    International Student Advisor

    As a seasonal International Student Advisor at UC San Diego, Karen brings over 30 years of experience in the fields of international education and immigration to ISPO. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from Colby College and a master's degree in Latin American development from Georgetown University. Karen has studied abroad and worked in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, and the Philippines. She speaks Spanish fluently and some survival Japanese.

    Her professional experience ranges from teaching English as a second language, intercultural consulting, immigration assistance, international student and scholar advising, and directing the International Center at Wellesley College. She has worked as an International Student and Scholar Advisor at Georgetown University, MIT, the University of Texas at Austin, Yale University, Teikyo Post University, Babson College and Wellesley College where she contributed greatly to developing international student services, internationalization efforts and global competency training. Throughout her experience, she has been passionate about international education and devoted to increasing intercultural understanding and bridging cultural gaps.

  • Ana Luiza Corrêa de Mattos

    Ana Luiza Corrêa de Mattos

    Graphic Designer

    Ana Luiza earned her BA in Industrial Design in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has been working in the communication field since 2002 when she first started as an intern in a graphic design studio, even before she started university. As a graphic designer and art director, Ana is passionate about finding the best tools to execute and create holistic visual solutions for different kinds of projects. Ana feels most fulfilled when she uses her work to help people to achieve their goals as she believes that one of her purposes in this life is to make people feel more confident. Friendly, cooperative, multitasking and good at getting things done, she loves to make new friends and always has a positive word to say. Ana appreciates the simple things in life. A simple smile and a glass of kombucha are just enough to make her happy. In her free time, Ana enjoys reading books in English and play with her inseparable dog.

  • David Yang

    David Yang


    Recent UC San Diego visual arts media graduate with an emphasis in film. David Yang was born on the island of Saipan, Northern Marianas Islands. Growing up in a multi-cultural environment near the deepest trench in the world, where he spent most of his years bathing in the sun and riding ATVs in the jungle before coming to San Diego. During his childhood, he also spent five years studying in Shanghai, China. A city he grew to love despite getting squeezed on public transportation because there are so many people. He is fluent in both Mandarin and English. Mostly he spends a lot of time watching movies and TV series along with making them. As a profession, he creates promotional content for companies and organizations. He's also a travel photographer and independent filmmaker. He has shot on live music concerts, MMA tournaments, feature films and written and created award-winning independent short film projects.

ISPO Student Staff

  • Karina Ivanyan

    Karina Ivanyan

    Student Engagement Program Intern

    As a Student Engagement Program Intern, Karina works on projects related to virtual student engagement for new and continuing international students at UC San Diego. She enjoys learning about different cultures and meeting people from all over the world. Karina is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a minor in Spanish at the University of San Diego. She loves photography, cooking, and going on road trips with her family and friends in her spare time.

  • Angela (Xifeng) Liang

    Angela (Xifeng) Liang

    Graphic Design Student Assistant

    Angela is a sophomore at UC San Diego majoring in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts (ICAM) and minoring in Design. She grew up in Hong Kong, a unique melting pot of East and West cultures, which fostered her aspirations in becoming a graphic designer who can bridge the gap between cultures through visual messages. She has a traditional art background in different mediums – sketching, Chinese painting, oil painting, etc. – but gradually turned to digital means and eventually graphic design, as she became enchanted by the constant new challenges it offers and the possibilities of helping people to spread messages or solve problems through it. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing portraits, listening to chill music, and playing video games.

  • Brian Chen



Staff In Memoriam

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

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

    International Student Advisor (1989-2000)
  • Paul Yunouye (1975-2015)

    Paul Yunouye (1975-2015)

    Assistant Director of International Programs (2014-2015)