MEET THE STUDENT AMBASSADORS

This year, we have 15 student ambassadors who are current Pitt students. Selected from a highly competitive process, Pitt ambassadors reflect a diverse array of majors, involvement, and backgrounds, and will serve as guides during your transition to Pitt, Pittsburgh, and the United States. The Student Ambassadors will help you connect with resources, services, and involvement opportunities both at Pitt and within the City of Pittsburgh. The Student Ambassadors are excited to meet you in July and help you feel a part of the Pitt community!

Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen

Global Management and Human Resources Management, Minor in Korean

rea58@pitt.edu

Hi, everyone! My name is Rachel Allen and I am a sophomore at Pitt studying Global Management and Human Resources Management in the College of Business Administration. I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, but my family immigrated to the United States in 2009 and we became citizens three years ago. Before settling down here in Pittsburgh, we lived in New York, California, and Washington and enjoyed many fun road trips around the country, so we are a family of travelers! In my free time I love to watch programs and listen to music from other countries, especially from East Asia. I also love learning languages, so I have four years of Spanish under my belt and almost two years of Korean. At Pitt, I am a part of the Society for International Business and the Emerging Business Issues club. I am so excited to be a Pitt to You Student Ambassador this year and cannot wait to meet everyone!

Jessica Batoussi
Jessica Batoussi

Health Services, Minor in Africana Studies

jeb37@pitt.edu

Hello! I am Jessica Batoussi and I am a sophomore majoring in Health Services with a minor in Africana Studies. I am interested in the intersection of healthcare, multiculturalism, and social issues. Determined to improve health equity for minority groups around the world, I conducted research in neglected tropical disease through Pitt's history department. Additionally on campus, I am a peer facilitator for the Panther Leadership Academy, a mentor of the American Medical Student Association, and a co-founder of a public health club. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing, cooking, and exploring the city. I am honored to be an ambassador for Pitt to You and I am excited to welcome you to the University of Pittsburgh!

Christopher Chow
Christopher Chow

Economics & Psychology, Minor in Political Science

chc293@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is Chris Chow and I am currently a junior studying economics and psychology with a minor in political science, pursuing a pre-law track. I'm originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and I enjoy watching Boston-area sports games, listening to pop music, watching TikToks, and exploring new places! On campus, I'm the president and co-founder of the Cantonese Student Association at Pitt, and I'm active in AQUARIUS and the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity. I'm passionate about politics, social justice, and law and I even got the chance to intern with my own member of Congress. Overall, I'm really looking forward to the Pitt to You Program and getting the chance to meet everyone!

Sophia Colarusso
Sophia Colarusso

Applied Developmental Psychology

soc35@pitt.edu

Hi, my name is Sophia Colarusso! I am a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology and hoping to get into the CASE program next year. I am currently a resident assistant for first-year students in Tower B Gold and am loving it! I also work with PittServes in a program called America Reads Challenge where I travel to Pittsburgh Public Schools to tutor children grades K-4. In addition to this I am involved with Pitt Dance Marathon, an organization that fundraises money for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh all year long and raises awareness for the cause. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, hanging out with friends, playing guitar and listening to new music. I can’t wait to serve as a Pitt to You Student Ambassador!

Halley Cook
Halley Cook

Biology and Chinese, Minor in Chemistry, East Asian Studies Certificate

hlc52@pitt.edu

Hi, my name is Halley! I am a rising senior, double majoring in Biology and Chinese with a minor in Chemistry and an East Asian Studies certificate on the pre-medicine track. I am a research assistant in Dr. Lauren Bylsma's lab conducting psychophysiology research, as well as an undergraduate teacher's assistant for different biology courses here at the university. I am also serving my second term as the Education Chair for the local chapter of the pre-medicine fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon. I enjoy dancing, learning new dishes to cook, exploring new places, and making new friends. I can't wait to serve as a student ambassador!

Julia Le
Julia Le

Biological Sciences, minors in chemistry & Vietnamese, Certificate in Asian Studies

jtl60@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is Julia Le (she/her) and I'm a rising senior in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences. I'm majoring in biological sciences with minors in chemistry, Vietnamese, and a certificate in Asian Studies. On campus, I'm involved in the Student Government Board, Asian Student Alliance, Vietnamese Student Association, Student Health Advisory Board, and more. I've also been an undergraduate teaching assistant and research assistant. In my free time, I like to try new foods, learn new languages, play video/board games, and volunteer as an EMT. I love being a Pitt student because I think it's a great school to explore countless opportunities and connect with a lot of amazing people. I'm so excited to be an ambassador this year and I can't wait to welcome you all to Pitt!

Madhura Leninkannan
Madhura Leninkannan

Interdisciplinary Studies

mal319@pitt.edu

Madhura Leninkannan is a junior Interdisciplinary Studies major at Pitt and is currently on the pre-med track. During her three years at Pitt so far she has become engaged with many different cultural groups through leading Dhirana, a charity Indian classical dance competition, and through being a mentor for international students with Global Ties. She loves learning about people from all over the world and how our culture influences us. Madhura is also involved in research at the Children's Hospital looking at pediatric traumatic brain injuries and in research on the Pittsburgh Latinx community's mental health literacy. Apart from that, in her free time she loves exploring photography and dancing!

PrimaDoris Ngumah
PrimaDoris Ngumah

Psychology, Premed track, Minor in Chemistry and Africana Studies

pcn12@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is PrimaDoris Ngumah, but everyone calls me Prima. I am currently a sophomore here at Pitt, on the premed track, pursuing a major in Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Africana Studies in Dietrich's School of Arts and Sciences. When I first came to Pitt, I remember just falling in love with the atmosphere and immediately knowing that this was where I wanted to be. There are so many wonderful opportunities here at Pitt and amazing new people to meet at every turn. Most importantly I love how much I've been able to learn and grown not just academically, but as a person overall. I am the programming co-chair of the university's Black Action Society, which strives to promote the cultural, educational, political, and social needs of students, while also valuing the diversity within the Black community. I also am a member of the African Students Organization (ASO) and the Premedical Organization for Minority Students (POMS). In my free time I love listening to music, singing, reading, watching tv, hanging out with friends, and cooking--although not as much as I love eating. I am so grateful to be a part of the Pitt to You Program, and I can't wait to meet everyone and experience everything that this program has to offer!

Shay Roth
Shay Roth

Pharmacy

slr109@pitt.edu

My name is Shay Roth and I am currently a junior pharmacy student at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a PharmD degree. I currently serve as a Resident Assistant in the Honors Living and Learning Community located in Sutherland West. Originally from nearby Johnstown, PA, I fell in love with the city & University of Pittsburgh at a young age. I am also involved in APhA-ASP, Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, SSHP, Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, and serve as a Class Representative for the PharmD Class of 2024. I am involved in research, and enjoy playing the piano and violin in my free time. I also work as an intern in a hospital and have also interned at The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, where I was able to grant endowments to area nonprofits. I am so excited to be a Pitt to You Ambassador this year!

LingXue Shen
LingXue Shen

Nursing

lis116@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is LingXue (Suzy) Shen and I am a sophomore nursing student pursuing a BSN-Honor degree in nursing with BPhil through research. I am an international student from Wuhan, China and resided in Cranford, New Jersey for high school years. I serve as an Emergency Medical Technician for Cranford and I chose Pitt for its rigorous program and panther-spirited environment. I am involved in the NSA, ASA, Global Ties, and Pitt Sustainability volunteering events. I also volunteer at UPMC Children's Hospital, as well as online volunteering for the Virtual YouthCare for older adults with early-stage dementia. In addition, I am in the nursing Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program as a research assistant for my professor. I love painting and art history, cooking, singing, as well as listening to multicultural genres of music. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I can't wait to serve as a Pitt to You Student Ambassador this year!

Sophie Tayade
Sophie Tayade

Rehabilitation Sciences and Film Studies

sot15@pitt.edu

My name is Sophie Tayade and I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh hoping to attend medical school after graduation. I serve as a Blue and Gold Society and European Studies ambassador while working as an Emergency Medical Technician. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, the Cathedral of Learning captivated me during my college visits due to its resemblance to Hogwarts from Harry Potter. Through my time at Pitt, I involved myself as the Campus Director of the Millennium Fellowship, a hospital volunteer at Veterans Affairs and UPMC Presbyterian, a teaching assistant for sciences and English, a volunteer with the Bhutanese community, a student for virtual Pitt in LA, and a fellow in the Creative Arts Fellowship and Archival Scholars program. Pitt supported me as I pursued all my interests, and as I enter my final year, I hope to focus on my research with the Starzl Collection archives, film studies, and responsibilities as a University ambassador. I am excited to be a Pitt to You Ambassador, so please reach out if I can help you with anything!

Aminata Tombou
Aminata Toumbou

Political Science, Minor in History

amt138@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is Aminata Toumbou. I am currently a sophomore here at Pitt, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in History and Africana Studies. I choose to attend Pitt because of the academic notoriety and immense school spirit! I am a member of both Thirst Project at Pitt and Pitt UNICEF. These two amazing programs focus primarily on educating members on the importance of becoming global citizens. I have the privilege of serving as UNICEF’s president for the 2019-2020 school year. I also work at the Evaluation Institute with the School of Public Health as an interviewer, where I conduct surveys regarding the health and health practices of Pennsylvania residents for the PA Department of Health. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, cooking, working out, watching romantic comedies, and playing sports like soccer and lacrosse. I'm grateful for this opportunity and can't wait to experience everything Pitt to You has to offer!

Fatema Trarore
Fatema Trarore

Political Science & Urban Studies, Minor in Sociology

fat20@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is Fatema Traore and I am currently a sophomore here at Pitt. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Urban Studies with a minor in Sociology. I have always had a strong passion for serving my community and working with other students through mentorship. With this passion, I have served as a corps member with Jumpstart,a national organization that aims to bridge the kindergarten readiness gap within urban communities. I also serve as a mentor with Strong Women Strong Girls (SWSG) where I meet with a group of young girls each week and conduct a lesson that is geared towards female empowerment and female leadership. Further, I serve as a tutor with Keep It Real where I work with refugees in the Somali-Bantu community here in Pittsburgh. In my free time, I usually enjoy showing my friends different parts of Pittsburgh. I am the only one out of my group of friends here at Pitt who is from Pittsburgh and so I always try to find time to show them all of the great hidden gems of the city and the best restaurants. I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to serve as a Pitt to You Ambassador!

Hosea Wah
Hosea Wah

Information Science

hew48@pitt.edu

Hello! My name is Hosea Wah. I am currently a sophomore studying Information Science in the School of Computing and Information. However, I plan to go to law school directly after obtaining my bachelor's degree to use my knowledge of the law to later work in Education Policy. I decided to attend Pitt because of its urban environment and plethora of opportunities and resources for its students. Here at Pitt, I am a Corps member in Jumpstart, a fantastic national early childhood literacy program that enables my classmates and me to serve in under-resourced pre-schools in the Pittsburgh area to aid children in their reading comprehension for Kindergarten. I'm also involved in other various organizations that allow me to serve the Pittsburgh Area. I love listening to music, baking, hanging with friends, and running in my free time. I'm super excited to meet all of you and welcome you guys to the Pitt fold. H2P!

MEET THE STAFF

This year, we have 7 staff who will participate in the online Welcome to Pitt workshop. Our staff represent different departments across campus, including: the Asian Studies Center, Office of International Services, Cross Cultural & Leadership Development, Residence Life, Office of Admissions & Financial Aid, and University Center of International Studies. They are here to help you transition from high school to college, answer questions, and provide support for during your time at Pitt.

James A. Cook
James A. Cook | WeChat ID: Kemuxian

Asian Studies Center

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture.

Kati Von Lehman
Kati Von Lehman | WeChat ID: kvonlehman

Office of International Services (OIS)

Kati Von Lehman is the Assistant Director of Outreach and Assessment in the Office of International Services (OIS). In her role as Assistant Director of Outreach and Assessment, Kati helps educate the international population and large Pitt community on immigration trends, cultural adjustment, regulations, life in Pittsburgh, and the work done in OIS. She also manages the assessment initiatives in OIS, such as the effectiveness of online presentations, developing needs of the international community, and population growth. During her 8 years working for Pitt, Kati has presented at regional and national conferences on a variety of topics, such as; assessment, online presentations, cross-cultural communication, and educational programming for the international community.

Amanda Ries
Amanda Ries | WeChat ID: amanda_ries

Residence Life

Amanda Ries is the Assistant Director of Residence Life for Academic Initiatives and has been at the University of Pittsburgh since May of 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Westminster College (PA) and a Master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Amanda’s work at Pitt engages her in our Living-Learning communities, our academically enriching programs, and our diversity & inclusion initiatives. Her favorite things about Pitt include the atmosphere and opportunities in Oakland, the amazing access to resources and programs, and the overall community feeling you get while still being in the city. She is so excited to welcome you to Pitt! H2P!

Bliss Hou
Bliss Hou | WeChat ID: bliss_hou

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid

Bliss Hou is the International Enrollment Services Manager in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, and she previously worked in the Asian Studies Center and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. She is also a Pitt alumna, received a Master degree of Foreign Language Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been involved in the Pitt to You program since 2017.

Lynn Kawaratani
Lynn Kawaratani | WeChat ID: emisoo2

Asian Studies Center

Lynn Kawaratani is the Assistant Director of Partnerships and Programming at the Asian Studies Center. In this capacity, she helps create experiential learning opportunities for students including the formation and development of the Pitt to You program. She has worked at the University of Pittsburgh focusing on International Studies for nearly four years. Lynn received her Bachelor of Art in Architecture and Masters of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kyoungah Lee
Kyoungah Lee | WeChat ID: Kyoungah_lee

Cross Cultural & Leadership Development

Kyoungah Lee is the International Programming Coordinator & Advisor of the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development. In her current role, she advises six different student organizations and coordinates the Global Ties program. Global Ties is designed to support international students with their collegiate experience by providing leadership and working opportunities, workshops for student/staff/faculty, retreat with international and domestic students, and cultural immersion trips. She received her M.Ed. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and her interest is to bridge the gap between supporting international students and helping all students be internationally competent and globally oriented.

Oksana Stalczynski
Oksana Stalczynski | WeChat ID:

Global Experiences Office

Oksana Stalczynski is an International Programs Manager at the Global Experiences Office. Oksana was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an exchange student and Russian Language Scholar at Reed College in Portland, OR and participated in a language program in Dresden, Germany. She holds a bachelor's degree in Cognitive Studies and Masters in Linguistics from St. Petersburg State University. In her role at the Global Experiences office, Oksana manages a portfolio of faculty-led programs and leads intercultural development initiatives for students. Oksana is passionate about intercultural learning and is excited to learn with and from students on Pitt to You program.

Tong Ru
Tong Ru | WeChat ID:

Asian Studies Center

Tong Ru is the Pitt to You Program Coordinator at Asian Studies Center, and a second-year Ph.D. student of Administrative and Policy Studies at the School of Education. Before joining Pitt to You, she has started working with ASC colleagues as a Global Asia Intern in 2020. Acquiring a master's degree in economics, Tong Ru aims to use empirical experimental methods to study educational problems. Her research focuses on reducing the rural-urban human capital gap in China.

Abena Ampofo
Nathan Andrud | WeChat ID: nate_anderp

Chinese & Linguistics, Minor in Swedish

Hello everyone, my name is Nathan and I am so excited to be your mentor this year! I’m a junior double majoring in Chinese and Linguistics, with a minor in Swedish, so I guess you could say I have a passion for languages! I have also mentored international students as a Global Ties mentor. Global Ties is a student-led organization that holds free events and workshops for international and domestic students, so it’s a great way to meet new people as an international student. I’ve studied in Sweden on a Pitt Study Abroad Program, and I am a club officer in Fikaklubb, Pitt’s one and only Scandinavian Language and Culture club. So far, I’ve been to Germany, France, and Switzerland, so I know that traveling to a foreign country can be exciting, but also present some challenges. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you and to be a Pitt to You Student Ambassador this year!

Meghan Dillon
Christopher Chow | WeChat ID: chrischow78

Economics & Psychology, Minor in Political Science

Hello! My name is Chris Chow and I am currently a sophomore studying economics and psychology with a minor in political science, pursuing a pre-law track. I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts and I enjoy watching Boston-area sports games, listening to pop music, watching TikToks, and exploring new places! On campus, I’m a member of my residence hall’s Hall Council, and I’m active in the Asian Student Alliance and the Phi Alpha Delta pre-law fraternity. I’m passionate about politics and law and I got the chance to intern with my own member of Congress. Overall, I’m really looking forward to the Pitt to You Program and getting the chance to meet everyone!

Charles Echard
Sophia Colarusso | WeChat ID: sophiacolarusso

Applied Developmental Psychology

Hi, my name is Sophia Colarusso! I am a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology and hoping to get into the CASE program next year. I am currently a resident assistant for first-year students in Tower B Gold and am loving it! I also work with PittServes in a program called America Reads Challenge where I travel to Pittsburgh Public Schools to tutor children grades K-4. In addition to this I am involved with Pitt Dance Marathon, an organization that fundraises money for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh all year long and raises awareness for the cause. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, hanging out with friends, playing guitar and listening to new music. I can’t wait to serve as a Pitt to You Student Ambassador!

Anthony Gavazzi
Callie Dydo | WeChat ID: Calliedydo

History & Psychology, Minor in Legal Studies

My name is Callie Dydo and I am a junior at Pitt studying psychology and history with a minor in legal studies. After I graduate, I plan to go to law school. In addition to my academics, I am a second-year Resident Assistant on campus for first-year students and a member of Omicron Kappa Delta honors society. I am also the donations chairperson for Pitt Dance Marathon, a campus organization that raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Some of my hobbies include traveling, trying new coffee shops in Pittsburgh, petting cute dogs, and thrift shopping. I am so excited to meet new Pitt students and travel to China this summer!

Jeong Eun Kim
Mary Nayrouz | WeChat ID: marynay19

Pharmacy

Hi everyone! My name is Mary Nayrouz, and I’m currently a junior studying pharmacy at Pitt. Some things about me are I love traveling, trying new foods, hanging out with friends and family, and drinking bubble tea. I’m also a global ties mentor at Pitt, so I have experience mentoring wonderful international students. I'm passionate about meeting new people and learning about the world. I look forward to guiding you as you adjust to the American university life. I can’t wait to learn more about China and immerse myself in the culture for the 10 days I’m there. I’m very excited to meet you all and hopefully eat some soup dumplings together!

Kai Lin Lee
Shay Roth | WeChat ID: ShayRoth

Pharmacy

My name is Shay Roth and I am currently a sophomore pre-pharmacy student at the University of Pittsburgh who will be beginning pharmacy school in the fall of 2020. I currently serve as a Resident Assistant in the Honors Living and Learning Community located in Sutherland East. Originally from nearby Johnstown, PA, I fell in love with the city & University of Pittsburgh at a young age. I am involved in research here at Pitt, and enjoy playing the piano and violin in my free time. I also work as an undergraduate intern in a local pharmacy and have also interned at The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, where I was able to grant endowments to area nonprofits. I am so excited to be a Pitt to You Ambassador this year!

Jesse Medden
David Schabdach | WeChat ID: djschabdach

Nursing

Hello! My name is David Schabdach and I am going into my senior year of nursing school at Pitt. Throughout my time at Pitt, I have enjoyed other opportunities outside from being a student – such as being a Global Ties Mentor, a nurse’s aide at a local hospital, a research assistant, and volunteering around the Pittsburgh area. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, spending time with friends, listening to music, and exercising. I moved to Pittsburgh about 7 years ago to a neighborhood called Squirrel Hill, and really enjoy all that this city has to offer! I am excited to experience and explore Pitt with you and hope to make this year together a memorable one.

Eryn McCormick
Aminata Toumbou | WeChat ID: wxid_droizhl0gfmv12

Political Science, Minor in History

Hello! My name is Aminata Toumbou. I am currently a sophomore here at Pitt, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minors in History and Africana Studies. I choose to attend Pitt because of the academic notoriety and immense school spirit! I am a member of both Thirst Project at Pitt and Pitt UNICEF. These two amazing programs focus primarily on educating members on the importance of becoming global citizens. I have the privilege of serving as UNICEF’s president for the 2019-2020 school year. I also work at the Evaluation Institute with the School of Public Health as an interviewer, where I conduct surveys regarding the health and health practices of Pennsylvania residents for the PA Department of Health. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, cooking, working out, watching romantic comedies, and playing sports like soccer and lacrosse. I'm grateful for this opportunity and can't wait to experience everything Pitt to You has to offer!

MEET THE STAFF

This year, we have 7 staff who will participate in the online Welcome to Pitt workshop. Our staff represent different departments across campus, including: the Asian Studies Center, Office of International Services, Cross Cultural & Leadership Development, Residence Life, Office of Admissions & Financial Aid, and University Center of International Studies. They are here to help you transition from high school to college, answer questions, and provide support for during your time at Pitt.

James A. Cook
James A. Cook | WeChat ID: Kemuxian

Asian Studies Center

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture.

Kayla Dunn
Kati Von Lehman | WeChat ID: kvonlehman

Office of International Services (OIS)

Kati Von Lehman is the Assistant Director of Outreach and Assessment in the Office of International Services (OIS). In her role as Assistant Director of Outreach and Assessment, Kati helps educate the international population and large Pitt community on immigration trends, cultural adjustment, regulations, life in Pittsburgh, and the work done in OIS. She also manages the assessment initiatives in OIS, such as the effectiveness of online presentations, developing needs of the international community, and population growth. During her 8 years working for Pitt, Kati has presented at regional and national conferences on a variety of topics, such as; assessment, online presentations, cross-cultural communication, and educational programming for the international community.

Kayla Dunn
Amanda Ries | WeChat ID: amanda_ries

Residence Life

Amanda Ries is the Assistant Director of Residence Life for Academic Initiatives and has been at the University of Pittsburgh since May of 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Westminster College (PA) and a Master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Amanda’s work at Pitt engages her in our Living-Learning communities, our academically enriching programs, and our diversity & inclusion initiatives. Her favorite things about Pitt include the atmosphere and opportunities in Oakland, the amazing access to resources and programs, and the overall community feeling you get while still being in the city. She is so excited to welcome you to Pitt! H2P!

Bliss Hou
Bliss Hou | WeChat ID: hakuna928

Asian Studies Center & Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures

Bliss Hou is the Pitt to You Program Coordinator at Asian Studies Center, and the Chinese Instructor at Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. She received a Master degree of Foreign Language Education at University of Pittsburgh in 2017. She has been coordinating Pitt to You program since the year of 2017, and teaching first-year Chinese language classes since 2018 fall.

Lynn Kawaratani
Lynn Kawaratani | WeChat ID: emisoo2

Asian Studies Center

Lynn Kawaratani is the Assistant Director of Partnerships and Programming at the Asian Studies Center. In this capacity, she helps create experiential learning opportunities for students including the formation and development of the Pitt to You program. She has worked at the University of Pittsburgh focusing on International Studies for nearly four years. Lynn received her Bachelor of Art in Architecture and Masters of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kyoungah Lee
Kyoungah Lee | WeChat ID: Kyoungah_lee

Cross Cultural & Leadership Development

Kyoungah Lee is the International Programming Coordinator & Advisor of the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development. In her current role, she advises six different student organizations and coordinates the Global Ties program. Global Ties is designed to support international students with their collegiate experience by providing leadership and working opportunities, workshops for student/staff/faculty, retreat with international and domestic students, and cultural immersion trips. She received her M.Ed. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and her interest is to bridge the gap between supporting international students and helping all students be internationally competent and globally oriented.

Qianyi ‘Channie’ Chen
Qianyi ‘Channie’ Chen | WeChat ID: Pitt_Admissions

Office of Admissions & Financial Aid

Qianyi ‘Channie’ is currently an Enrollment Services Manager at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. She grew up in Chengdu, China, went to college in Chongqing, and before coming to Pitt for her Master’s degree in Higher Education Management. She has been studying, working and living in Pittsburgh since 2008. As an Enrollment Services Manager, she communicates with prospective students, applicants, high school counselors and parents, manages the Pitt Admissions WeChat account, serves as a committee member for both domestic and international admissions, and recruits both in the U.S. and in China. She is also a member of the PittStart team. In her spare time, Channie enjoys playing the piano, watching movies, reading books to her daughters, traveling, and eating good food. She is excited to come back to China to meet with incoming students and their parents. She is fond of sharing her knowledge and experience about Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh both as a current Pitt employee and as a previous international student

Abena Ampofo
Abena Ampofo | WeChat ID: abenaampofo

Pre-Med, Psychology & Chemistry, Certificate in African Studies

Abena is a junior studying Psychology and Chemistry with a certificate in African Studies on the pre-medical track. She is currently an African Studies Program Student Ambassador and a Global Ties Mentor. In addition to these duties, she works as a Research Assistant at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Abena enjoys trying new foods and catching up with friends and family.

Meghan Dillon
Meghan Dillon | WeChat ID: meghandillon

Environmental Studies & Sociology

I am very excited to join the Pitt to You Ambassador Program! As a third-year student, I am currently majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology. I am working towards my certificate in Global Studies and I have developed many interests throughout my time at Pitt. I am incredibly passionate about connecting people with the outdoors and I believe that any day spent outside is a day well spent. In my free time, I can be found running around the ‘Burgh on the Three Rivers Trail or chomping on some homemade chocolate chip cookies. I love to explore new places and create new experiences with my family and friends.

Charles Echard
Charles Echard | WeChat ID: charlesechard

Sociology & Political Science, Minor in Economics

Charles Echard is a second-year student at Pitt studying Sociology and Political Science, with a minor in Economics. He is a member of the Pitt Service Leadership Committee, where he plans and participates in volunteer projects throughout Pittsburgh and surrounding communities. He’s also passionate about environmental and social justice issues and spends some time with the Pitt College Democrats and the Pitt Sociology Students Association. When he’s not busy at Pitt, he is leading a team of volunteers helping to coordinate and synchronize the program staff of the 24th World Scout Jamboree in Summer 2019, where 45,000+ scouts from around the world will gather for almost two weeks in southern West Virginia, USA. When he has free time, Charles is either listening to podcasts, hiking, or being really bad at frisbee.

Anthony Gavazzi
Anthony Gavazzi | WeChat ID: anthonygavazzi

Political Science & Communication Rhetoric, Minor in Chinese & German

Anthony Gavazzi is a sophomore studying Political Science and Communication Rhetoric with minors in Chinese and German. He is a resident assistant in Holland Hall and is the president of Pitt’s Chinese Language and Culture Club. After graduating from Pitt, he plans on pursuing a career in law. In his free time he enjoys exploring Pittsburgh, trying new foods, thrift shopping, and listening to music.

Jeong Eun Kim
Jeong Eun Kim | WeChat ID: jeongeunkiim

Nursing

My name is Jeong Eun and I am a senior nursing student here at Pitt. Other than being a nursing student, I am also a campus tour guide, a research assistant, and a Global Ties Mentor. Before moving to Pittsburgh, I lived in the Netherlands, Korea, and Argentina. Transitioning to Pitt from a foreign country was definitely one of the most remarkable experiences in my life so far but I am so excited to share my experiences with you, and hopefully make the transition easier for you. Pittsburgh really grew on me and I can't wait to show you what this city and school has to offer!

Kai Lin Lee
Kai Lin Lee | WeChat ID: KaiLinALee

Pre-Law, Anthropology & Political Science, Minor in History

I'm a sophomore pre-law student majoring in Anthropology and Political Science with a minor in History. I play the bagpipes with Carnegie Mellon University(6 years of playing now!) and intensely love the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jesse Medden
Jesse Madden | WeChat ID: JesseMadden

Economics, Minor in Applied Statistics

Hello, my name is Jesse James Madden! I am a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a minor in Applied Statistics. I am originally from New Jersey but the community and legacy of Pittsburgh bought me here for college. Currently, I am a Resident Assistant in Tower B Gold, which has been an unbelievable experience for me thus far. In addition to this, I am involved in Economics Undergraduate Society and Undergraduate Finance Club. When not in class or assisting residents, I work part time as a Office Assistant for UPMC's Western Psychiatric Hospital's Office of Grants and Contracts. In my free time, I enjoy sports, exercising, art, and architecture. I look forward to joining the Pitt to You family!

Eryn McCormick
Eryn McCormick | WeChat ID: ErynMcCormick

Industrial Engineering, Minor in Economics

My name is Eryn McCormick and I am a Junior Industrial Engineering student with a minor in Economics. I chose to attend Pitt because of the notoriety of the academic curriculum and the endless opportunities to get involved in. This year, I am currently serving as a Resident Assistant (RA) in Tower B Gold and am the VP of Outreach for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In SWE, I oversee the planning and execution of all outreach programs that introduce young boys and girls to the principles of engineering. I am also immersed in experiential learning as a Co-op at FedEx Ground. I serve as the International Co-op within FedEx Ground’s International Trade Support & Engineering department (ITSE), where I use data analysis and communication skills to improve domestic and foreign processes. In my free time, I love to travel and serve in the community. My favorite service organization I am involved in is the Appalachia Work Camp, where I travel to Booneville, KY to construct homes and additions for the impoverished over the course of ten days. I am really excited for the Pitt to You Ambassador program and am looking forward to developing connections with the incoming international students!

Zach Passalacqua
Zach Passalacqua | WeChat ID: ZachPassalacqua

Marketing, Psychology & Business Information Systems

Hello, my name is Zach Passalacqua and I am currently a junior here at the University of Pittsburgh. I am very passionate about my studies and am currently pursuing degrees in marketing, psychology, and business information systems. Over the summer, I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia and worked as an intern for a marketing agency. Studying abroad was by far my greatest college experience. I also love my job as a resident assistant; I am currently in my second year as an RA. When I’m just relaxing, I really enjoy going to the gym, hanging out with friends, and watching Netflix. I am looking forward for the Pitt to You Program!

Salena Ringenbach
Salena Ringenbach | WeChat ID: salenaringenbach

Neuroscience, Minor in Chemistry, Certificate in Global Health & Well-Being

Hello, my name is Salena Ringenbach! I am a junior at Pitt studying Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry and a certificate in Global Health & Well-Being. I am on the pre-med track because I have a strong interest in understanding the human body and helping people to live their fullest, healthiest lives. At Pitt, I have been a Resident Assistant for two years, I am involved in research at the Children’s Hospital, I volunteer in an after school arts education program at a local elementary school, and I am helping to organize this year’s Pre-Health Summit with the Coalition of Pre-Health Students. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my four brothers, exploring Pittsburgh with my friends, watching sit-coms on Netflix, and being outdoors. I am so excited to be a Pitt to You Ambassador this year!

MEET THE STAFF

This year, we have 7 staff who will travel with the student ambassadors to China. Our staff represent different departments across campus, including: the Asian Studies Center, Office of International Services, Cross Cultural & Leadership Development, Residence Life, Office of Admissions & Financial Aid, and University Center of International Studies. They are here to help you transition from high school to college, answer questions, and provide support for during your time at Pitt.

James A. Cook
James A. Cook | WeChat ID: Kemuxian

Asian Studies Center

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture.

Kayla Dunn
Kayla Dunn | WeChat ID: kayladunn

Office of Residence Life

My name is Kayla Dunn and I am an Area Coordinator in the Office of Residence Life. I received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Social Studies Education and a Master of Education in School Counseling from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. I have worked at the University of Pittsburgh for 5 years. Over my time at Pitt I have served as the Resident Director for Forbes Hall and Tower B. In my current capacity, I serve the residential communities of Bruce, Brackenridge, McCormick, Holland, Amos, and Nordenberg. My favorite thing about the University of Pittsburgh is the people- I am fortunate to work with amazing professionals and serve phenomenal students!

Bliss Hou
Bliss Hou | WeChat ID: hakuna928

Asian Studies Center & Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures

Bliss Hou is the Pitt to You Program Coordinator at Asian Studies Center, and the Chinese Instructor at Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. She received a Master degree of Foreign Language Education at University of Pittsburgh in 2017. She has been coordinating Pitt to You program since the year of 2017, and teaching first-year Chinese language classes since 2018 fall.

Lynn Kawaratani
Lynn Kawaratani | WeChat ID: emisoo2

Asian Studies Center

Lynn Kawaratani is the Assistant Director of Partnerships and Programming at the Asian Studies Center. In this capacity, she helps create experiential learning opportunities for students including the formation and development of the Pitt to You program. She has worked at the University of Pittsburgh focusing on International Studies for nearly four years. Lynn received her Bachelor of Art in Architecture and Masters of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kyoungah Lee
Kyoungah Lee | WeChat ID: Kyoungah_lee

Cross Cultural & Leadership Development

Kyoungah Lee is the International Programming Coordinator & Advisor of the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development. In her current role, she advises six different student organizations and coordinates the Global Ties program. Global Ties is designed to support international students with their collegiate experience by providing leadership and working opportunities, workshops for student/staff/faculty, retreat with international and domestic students, and cultural immersion trips. She received her M.Ed. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and her interest is to bridge the gap between supporting international students and helping all students be internationally competent and globally oriented.

Lucas Carroll
Lucas Carroll | WeChat ID: LucasCarroll

Biological Sciences, Minor in Spanish and Chemistry

Lucas Carroll is from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He is a junior biology major and Spanish minor on the pre-med track. On campus he is a Nordenberg Leadership Scholar and Vice President of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. In his free time, Lucas enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing sports, and watching Game of Thrones. He is very excited to travel to China and experience a new culture, eat traditional foods, and most of all, meet all of the incoming students!

Christine Chau
Christine Chau | WeChat ID: christin_chauu

Biology & Psychology, Minor in Chemistry

Christine Chau is a junior at Pitt. She is super excited for all of you to come to Pitt and call it your new home. She is majoring in biology and psychology and minoring in chemistry. Her hobbies include watching Netflix and eating, so she is always looking for people to watch TV and eat with. That being said, some of her favorite shows are Game of Thrones, Parks and Rec, and the Handmaid’s Tale. She looks forward to meeting all of you! H2P!

Megan Gotiangco
Megan Gotiangco | WeChat ID: megangotiangco

Nursing, Minor in Women’s Studies

Megan Gotiangco and is a junior in the School of Nursing. She is from Germantown, Maryland. Her interests include traveling, volunteering, and going to concerts. Serving the Pittsburgh community is important to her, so she is a member of the APO service fraternity as well as the GSS service sorority. Her passion includes bringing awareness to the topic of mental health and she hopes to work as a psychiatric nurse one day. She is very excited to be a Pitt Ambassador and to help the incoming students with this huge transition!

Annie Herbster
Annie Herbster | WeChat ID: annieherbster

Pharmacy

Annie Herbster is a junior in the School of Pharmacy. She has been a resident assistant (RA) for two years, both in Nordenberg Hall and Litchfield Towers. She is a sister of Theta Phi Alpha Sorority, serving as their ritual chair. Annie is passionate about improving mental health care as a member of National Alliance of Mental Illness, as well as learning more about global health. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling, and reading. She excited to be an ambassador because she has mentored several international students as an RA and can’t wait to learn more about China.

Sejla Jukic
Sejla Jukic | WeChat ID: SejlaJukic

Pharmacy, Minor in Chemistry

Sejla (pronounced Shay-la) is a pharmacy student. She was born in Berlin, Germany, but lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina before moving to the United States when she was four. She has lived in Pittsburgh ever since! On campus,she have had many different academic and professional involvements; she was a Resident Assistant (RA), Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant. She enjoys drinking coffee, practicing yoga, studying, and shopping.

Lynnea Lombardi
Lynnea Lombardi | WeChat ID: LynneaL

Communication, Minor in Korean, Certificate in Asian Studies

Lynnea is a communication major with a minor in Korean and a certificate in Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Seoul and now she helps other students learn Korean as the president of the Daehwa Korean Conversation Club. She works for the Student Organization Resource Center, so she can tell you all about the exciting clubs and organizations to join at Pitt. She is also a writer for the online magazine Her Campus. She would love to hang out with international students and eat burgers, do yoga, or study in the library together.

Zachary Mattson
Zachary Mattson | WeChat ID: ZacharyMattson

Economics & Business, Minor in Political Science

Zachary Mattson is a sophomore at Pitt. He is pursuing an Economics/Business dual major with a minor in Political Science. I am a resident assistant in Nordenberg Hall as well as a member of the Blue & Gold Society, an organization that works to connect alumni with current students at Pitt. He is also a member of Epsilon Sigma Alphas service fraternity where he volunteers for service projects that benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as well as other organizations in the Pittsburgh area.

Linda Saikali
Linda Saikali | WeChat ID: lindasaikal

Neuroscience & Religious Studies, Minor in Chemistry

Linda Saikali is a sophomore from Beckley, West Virginia studying neuroscience, religious studies, and global studies. After she graduates, she hopes to go to medical school and ultimately work in international medicine. Outside of class, she works with refugees through Pitt Forge, volunteers at Children’s Hospital, and serves as the business manager for the Pitt Arabic Club and International Service Learning. She is so excited to travel to China and looks forward to sharing her love of Pittsburgh with students from around the world!

Kelsey Toplak
Kelsey Toplak | WeChat ID: kelseytoplak

Bioengineering, Minor in Chemistry

Kelsey Toplak is currently a junior, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pursuing a bioengineering degree with a chemistry minor here at Pitt! Outside of class she is the Vice President of Programming for Phi Sigma Rho, the social Engineering sorority, the Chief Justice of the College Panhellenic Association for all Pitt sororities, and a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society. Last summer she studied abroad in Israel where she performed bioengineering related research and is currently pursuing medical product design research at Pitt! In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, and trying new restaurants around the city.

Qianyi ‘Channie’ Chen
Qianyi ‘Channie’ Chen | WeChat ID: Pitt_Admissions

Office of Admissions & Financial Aid

Qianyi ‘Channie’ is currently an Enrollment Services Manager at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. She grew up in Chengdu, China, went to college in Chongqing, and before coming to Pitt for her Master’s degree in Higher Education Management. She has been studying, working and living in Pittsburgh since 2008. As an Enrollment Services Manager, she communicates with prospective students, applicants, high school counselors and parents, manages the Pitt Admissions WeChat account, serves as a committee member for both domestic and international admissions, and recruits both in the U.S. and in China. She is also a member of the PittStart team. In her spare time, Channie enjoys playing the piano, watching movies, reading books to her daughters, traveling, and eating good food. She is excited to come back to China to meet with incoming students and their parents. She is fond of sharing her knowledge and experience about Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh both as a current Pitt employee and as a previous international student

James A. Cook
James A. Cook | WeChat ID: Kemuxian

Asian Studies Center

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture.

Sara Jones
Sara Jones | WeChat ID: Sara_OIS

Office of International Services

As the Associate Director, Sara leads a team of specialists to assist international students and academic departments with various immigration related requests and to provide advising, programming and related services. She also manages various special projects and administrative functions of the office.

Jason Kane
Jason Kane | WeChat ID: jasonkanepitt

University Center of International Studies

Jason joined Institutional Advancement in February 2012 as the Director of Constituent Relations based out of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). In this role, he works on leadership travel abroad, alumni relations outside of the US, institutional partnerships outside of the US and advises deans on international travel. His experience with the fundraising profession started in the stewardship office at Duke University in 2004 and then moving on to George Washington University where he served as the Director of Endowment Administration. In 2008, Jason was afforded the chance to return to Pittsburgh through the role of Assistant Director of Development at the Tepper School of Business. Jason holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Arts in History from Pitt, followed by a Master of Arts in History from Slippery Rock and a Master of Public Management with a specialization in Higher Education Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kyoungah Lee
Kyoungah Lee | WeChat ID: Kyoungah_lee

Cross Cultural & Leadership Development

Kyoungah Lee is the International Programming Coordinator & Advisor of the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development. In her current role, she advises six different student organizations and coordinates the Global Ties program. Global Ties is designed to support international students with their collegiate experience by providing leadership and working opportunities, workshops for student/staff/faculty, retreat with international and domestic students, and cultural immersion trips. She received her M.Ed. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and her interest is to bridge the gap between supporting international students and helping all students be internationally competent and globally oriented.

Jonathan Richards
Jonathan Richards | WeChat ID: j_richards

Residence Life

Jonathan Richards joined the University of Pittsburgh’s Residence Life office in 2016 and is currently serving as the Resident Director of Tower A which is a First Year co-ed residence hall. Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in Resort and Hospitality Management and his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University. Outside of his work in Residence Life, Jonathan also serves as an Emerging Leaders facilitator, Alternative Break Trip Advisor, and an advisor for the Pitt Dance Marathon.

Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman | WeChat ID: Richardoispitt

Office of International Services

Richard Sherman joined the Office of International Services (OIS) in 2012. He advises undergraduate and graduate international students about international travel, employment authorization, and other U.S. government regulations. Before arriving at Pitt, he was an Assistant Director of Admissions at California University of Pennsylvania, and also worked at a non-profit immigration law clinic in Portland, Maine. Richard earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Bowdoin College and his Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies from Indiana University. Richard loves Pittsburgh, but he still cheers for his hometown Boston Celtics.

Paige Brucker
Paige Brucker | WeChat ID:

Linguistics, Minor in Computer Science & Korean, Certificate in Asian Studies

Paige is from Philadelphia, PA. She is a Linguistics major with a minor in Computer Science, Korean, and a certificate in Asian Studies. She likes photography, film, and editing, Zarya, crafting, eating good food, and learning languages. She is excited to be a Student Ambassador this year and meet all the incoming students! She hopes to bond with everyone over copious amounts of food and fun.

Corinne Dodel
Corinne Dodel | WeChat ID:

Psychology, Minor in Religious Studies

Corinne Dodel is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in psychology and minoring in religious studies. She is from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a town north of Philadelphia. She previously attended Bucks County Community College and transferred to Pitt in the fall of 2014. Corinne is president of the Transfer Student Association and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Psychology Club. She enjoys listening to music, watching movies, playing piano, and is an avid attendee of Therapy Dog Tuesdays. She is very excited to travel to China and meet incoming students so that she can share her love for Pitt.

Erika Gotway
Erika Gotway | WeChat ID:

Neuroscience, Minor in Chemistry & Chinese

Erika is from St. Louis, Missouri. She is a junior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in chemistry and Chinese. Outside of class, Erika enjoys learning about Chinese culture and exploring the Pittsburgh area. She is also a member of Pitt Wushu, a martial arts club on campus. Erika is excited to be a Student Ambassador because she loves welcoming students to Pitt, sharing her experiences with others, and showing them all that the university has to offer!

Josh Hanley
Josh Hanley | WeChat ID:

History & Political Science, Minor in Spanish

Josh Hanley is a sophomore from Oakmont, Pennsylvania majoring in history and political science with a minor in Spanish. Josh is the executive vice chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of Student Government Board, a mentor for inner-city middle school students at Higher Achievement, an ESL discussion group facilitator and conversation partner, and a student leader at Aletheia Community Alliance Church. Josh is an avid reader and a huge fan of Game of Thrones. He is also a Pittsburgh sports fan, who attends as many games as he possibly can. As a student ambassador, Josh looks forward to connecting with more international students and helping them find and experience all that Pittsburgh has to offer.

Aminata Kamara
Aminata Kamara | WeChat ID:

Nursing

Aminata Kamara is from Laurel, Maryland. At the University of Pittsburgh, she studies Nursing. Aminata is interested in politics, music and the empowerment of women and the black community. Aminata is excited to be a Student Ambassador because she loves the idea of passing on the lessons she has learned at Pitt in order to improve the experience of incoming students.

Amy Kelley
Amy Kelley | WeChat ID:

Applied Developmental Psychology, Certificate in Children's Literature

Amy is a sophomore from Westford, Massachusetts. She is studying Applied Developmental Psychology and earning a certificate in Children's Literature. Amy plays for the Pitt women's club rugby team and can be found working out in Trees Hall. In addition, Amy is an active member of PittServes through working with Jumpstart, and volunteering as a member of the Service Leadership Committee. Amy is looking forward to going to a different country for the first time, meeting new people and welcoming everyone to Pitt in the fall!

Monica Merante
Monica Merante | WeChat ID:

Anthropology & Classics

Monica is from Pittsburgh and is studying Anthropology and Classics. She plans to go to graduate school to serve the Pittsburgh community in the field of public health. Monica is currently combing her undergraduate studies in a research project concerning display choices in British Museums. Monica is President of the Pitt Catholic Newman club and works to provide students with opportunities to serve others around the city and participate in a faith filled community. She loves swing dancing and playing the ukulele. Monica is excited to be a student ambassador share the city and community she loves with incoming students.

Ross Micka
Ross Micka | WeChat ID:

Finance, Minor in Economics

Ross is a sophomore in the College of Business Administration. A New Jersey native, he is currently pursuing a degree in Finance with a minor in economics. Ross is also earning a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics. Outside of the classroom, Ross is the Vice President of Finance of Collegiate DECA, and a member of both the Real Estate Finance Academy and Stock Trading Pitt. In his free time, Ross enjoys spending days at the beach with friends. As a Student Ambassador, Ross hopes to meet new people and represent the University of Pittsburgh well. Ross is also excited for the opportunity and plans to make the most out of being an ambassador through a positive and optimistic outlook going into the program.

Jamie Patronick
Jamie Patronick | WeChat ID:

Psychology, Neuroscience & Social Work

Jamie is a sophomore at Pitt originally from Waldwick, New Jersey. She is studying Psychology, Neuroscience, and Social Work, and participates in research in the Psychology department. She is also a Resident Assistant, so she lives in residence halls with first-year students and helps them in their transition to college life. She is excited to be a Student Ambassador because she loves traveling and because she wants to make sure that students from around the world feel at home at Pitt and take advantage of everything the school and the city of Pittsburgh have to offer!

Juliette Smith
Juliette Smith | WeChat ID:

Marketing, Suuply Chain Management & French

Juliette Smith is a junior studying Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and French at the University of Pittsburgh. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Juliette is a resident assistant and works at the Graduate School of Public Health. In her free time, Juliette tutors Somali-Bantu refugees, takes part in clubs such as Women in Business, and enjoys running, reading, and making art. Juliette is excited to be a student ambassador because she has worked with first-year students extensively during her time as an RA, and has thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Chinese culture through the international residents at Pitt.

Pete Zheng
Pete Zheng | WeChat ID:

Philosophy in Psychology (Honor)

Pete, a native of Pittsburgh, is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy in Psychology through the Honors College and working on a masters publication, "A Cross-Cultural and Geographic Comparison of American Parents’ versus Immigrant Parents’ Perception versus Action Towards the Importance of Educational Achievements in their Children's Life", as well as a Bachelor of Art in Political Science, Economics, and Business with a concentration in Cognitive Development, Global Governance, China, and International Studies. During Pete's free time he conducts independent research for his Bachelor of Philosophy, is a research assistant in the Kids Thinking Lab, undergraduate teach a Neuro-Cognitive Development course, create service projects for Pitt students by being on the Student Civic Engagement Council, is an ambassador for the University to alumni through Blue and Gold Society, mentor and feeds 498 students through a snack and mentorship program that he developed this year, is a Honors College mentor and ambassador, is an undergraduate representative to the Board of Trustee by being a voice for the student population, and helps develop programming for Students for Social Justice - a club that Pete co-founded with his friend. He works on the weekends at his parents’ Chinese restaurant and loves exploring different cuisines with his friends around Pittsburgh. Pete is excited to be an ambassador because he wants Pitt to be your new home away from home, and show you all the fabulous authentic Chinese restraints around Pittsburgh! He also loves mahjong and is willing to challenge any student to a game of mahjong, a popular Chinese game.

James A. Cook
James A. Cook | WeChat ID: Kemuxian

Asian Studies Center

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture.

Sara Jones
Sara Jones | WeChat ID: Sara_OIS

Office of International Services

As the Associate Director, Sara leads a team of specialists to assist international students and academic departments with various immigration related requests and to provide advising, programming and related services. She also manages various special projects and administrative functions of the office.

Eddie Macham
Eddie Macham | WeChat ID:

Office of Residence Life

Eddie moved to Pittsburgh from Miami, Florida. He studied Biology at Southern Polytechnic State University and subsequently completed his MBA where he continued to work in Higher Education at Florida International University. Passionate about working with students at a unique university, Eddie accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. He currently works as an Area Coordinator for the Office of Residence Life where he oversees Holland Hall, Nordenberg Hall, and the Quad. In his free time Eddie enjoys exercising, playing the guitar, and visiting the local parks in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

Sarah Popovich
Sarah Popovich | WeChat ID:

Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development

Sarah is the Program Manager for the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development (CCLD). In her role, Sarah is responsible for managing the Hesselbein Global Academy including the annual Hesselbein Student Leadership Summit, a four-day program for college student leaders from all over the world hosted each summer at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Sarah serves as an instructor for the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences as well as the School of Education teaching introductory, leadership, professional development, and action research courses. Prior to joining the CCLD family, Sarah worked in the Office of First Year Experience at Pitt where she supervised the First Year Mentors and provided programs to help new resident, transfer, and commuter students in their transition to Pitt. Sarah also previously coordinated Leadership Programs at the University of Arizona. Sarah received her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park, her B.A. in Advertising/Public Relations from Penn State University, and she is also an alumna of Semester at Sea. Sarah is currently working toward her Ed.D. at the University of Pittsburgh and her research interests include first year college student resiliency and college student leadership development. In her free time, Sarah loves to cook, read, travel, and practice yoga.