UMD: A Globally Connected University

International Student Orientation Leaders

International Student Orientation Leaders

Meet our Fall 2021 Orientation Leaders who are ready to welcome incoming international students at the University of Maryland!  Review their bio to learn more about them. This exclusive group of leaders was chosen to facilitate in the transition and welcome of new international students to the UMD community. 



Aashini Patel​
she/her/hers
Hi, I am Aashini Patel. I am a junior Civil and Environmental Engineering major at the Clark School of Engineering. I am also an international student from India. I love traveling, hiking, meeting new people, and DIY. On-campus, I am a peer mentor for Women in Engineering and a part of Alpha Omega Epsilon, a professional and social sorority for women in STEM. In my free time, I love going to UMD games and enjoy soccer, basketball, and football. I am so excited to be an International orientation leader and share my experiences with you all.

Alibek Bekenov​

he/him/his

My name is Alibek Bekenov. I am a graduate student studying Project Management. I am from Kazakhstan and I am very happy to be part of such a large and diverse family as UMD. Here I discover new horizons and meet people from all over the world.
Amin Shehata
he/him/his
My name is Amin Shehata. I am an undergraduate Public Health Sciences Major along with Gov. and Politics. I transferred from George Washington University after 1.5 years to UMD College Park. I am also minoring in International Development and Conflict Resolution, and Global Poverty. I have lived for 17+ years in Cairo, Egypt. I have also done extensive travel around the world, visiting upwards of 17 countries.
Amir-Mohsen Ahanchi
he/him/his
I'm a PhD student majoring in Computer Science pursuing my research career in Algorithms. I got my Bachelors from Sharif University of Technology in Iran. I'm originally from Iran and moved to Maryland two years ago to continue my studies. I love playing tennis and FIFA and Smash bros and are very competitive at them so if anyone is up for a challenge hit me up :-)
Apurva Dixit
she/her/hers
I am Apurva Dixit, a graduate student in the Robert H. Smith School of Business and my major is Business Analytics. I am from India and have worked in the Financial Services industry for more than a year before joining UMD.
Farheen Nabi
she/her/hers
I am a second year graduate student, pursuing my Masters in Quantitative Finance. I was born and raised in UAE (Dubai), but my family originates from Bangladesh. My diverse background from living and visiting different parts of the world (UK,Turkey, Brunei, Maldives) has allowed me to appreciate the various unique perspectives we all bring and add to the world. I look forward to getting to know you soon and share my American collegiate experience thus far!
Giang Pham (Chloe)
she/her/hers
Hi guys, welcome to UMD! My name is Giang Pham (Chloe). I'm a junior and double major in Math: Statistics and Economics. I'm originally from Vietnam and this is my fifth year in the US. I love hanging out with friends, cooking, shopping, and traveling. I am looking forward to sharing my experience and meeting you guys soon!
Kari Huang
she/her/hers
Hello! My name is Kari. I am an international student from Taiwan and I am a junior majoring in Computer Science. Transferring from a small community college to a big university is hard and I hope my experience can help you better transition to UMD. I can't wait to see you all in our Meet and Greet sessions. Stay safe and welcome to UMD!
Manasvi Chegu
she/her/hers
Hi everyone. I am super proud to call you guys Terrapins. You guys worked hard for it and you deserve it. I'm Manasvi Chegu, an international undergraduate Mechanical Engineering major from India. Coming to a university crossing seven seas (being melodramatic) was a huge step for me and I'm sure you all are going through the same intense dilemma of excitement and fear. But rest assured, after some time, everyone finds a place for themselves at UMD.
Margaret Udahogora
she/her/hers
Dr. Margaret Udahogora, RD (PD), Dietetics Program Director and Professional Track Faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science (NFSC). Dr. Udahogora is a registered dietitian and her research interests are food security and prevention of diet related chronic diseases. She teaches dietetics and students from various majors to encourage interprofessional collaborations, communication and creativity, and efficient use of technology platforms to provide students with real-life work experience at local and international level. In her teaching, Dr. U and her collaborators mentor students to conduct research and community outreach to promote nutrition and health. Student learning experience also includes public policy and leadership development. Dr. U will be teaching a signature course - NFSC230, Nutrition Sensitive Food Systems Fall 2021 and Fall 2022 - between UMD and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. Students from both institutions will examine contemporary nutrition and food systems problems and ways different disciplines address these "hot topics" of enduring significance. Students bring their own interests, knowledge and real-life experiences to the classroom and are active participants to enhance their own learnings. Students will apply their learning and gain insider knowledge about the topics and participate in team-based work to learn skills that are widely applicable.
Mishti Relan
she/her/hers
My name is Mishti Relan and I am a sophomore (Undergraduate). I am a Computer Science major minoring in Statistics. I am an international student from India.
Mohammadreza Yazdisamadi
he/him/his
Welcome to the University of Maryland! Congratulations! I am happy to see you in our community. My name is Mohammadreza Yazdisamadi and I am a 2nd-year PhD student in Civil engineering. I was born and raised in Tehran, the capital of Iran and got my master's degree from Sharif University of Technology. This is my first time to set foot in the Americas and I have traveled a long distance from the Middle east. I have visited cities such as Manhattan, Philly and D.C in the US as well as countries such as Iraq, Armenia and Georgia. If you want to know about the sights in D.C., I would be more than happy to speak with you.
Murielle Tembunde
she/her/hers
Hi everyone! My name is Murielle Tembunde.I am an undergraduate student majoring in Public Health Science. I am from Maryland, U.S. I love trying new things and exploring different parts of the world.
Priyatham Kattakinda
he/him/his
Hello, I am Priyatham. I am a 1st year PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I am originally from India. I am funny (I think XD) and I am always happy to help. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Rahul karanam
he/him/his
Hey there!! My name is Rahul and I am from India. I am a prospective Fall 2021 Graduate student majoring in Robotics. I have done my undergraduate degree in Mechatronics from SRM University, India. l love traveling,playing soccer and lots & lots of food. I am so excited to be a part of orientation and cannot wait to meet everyone.
Ruiqi Li
she/her/hers
My name is Ruiqi Li and I'm a rising 2nd year graduate student. I'm studying Human-Computer Interaction in iSchool. I'm an international student from China and hoping to help the new students have a good start at UMD.
Saeed Hadadan
he/him/his
I am a third year grad student in the CS department. I am pleased to assist you with getting used to life here in College Park, as I was through the same process earlier.
Samarth Modh
he/him/his
My name is Samarth Modh. I am from Gujarat, India. I am an undergraduate student at UMD pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering along with being a part of the research team in Gemstone LLP at Honors College.
Sheng-Ting Huang
she/her/hers
Hi and welcome to UMD!! I’m Sheng-Ting Huang from Taiwan and I’m excited to serve as an IOL this year. I’m a first-year graduate student in the School Counseling program and I’m currently working as a graduate assistant in the Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement in the College of Education. I know you may have lots of questions before and after transitioning to the US but don’t worry we’re here to support you, and the ISSS office provides lots of great resources for international students as well. I can’t wait to meet you all and see you in our Meet & Greet sessions!
Smrithan Ravichandran
he/him/his
Smrithan Ravichandran (or Bobby, as he calls himself for food takeouts in America) is a graduate student in the PhD program for Chemical Physics. He's from India and he's spent ~5 months in Europe over 2 summers during his undergrad, pursuing his love for travel, food, photography and videography while backpacking over the weekends when he was primarily supposed to be there for his research internships in lasers to study various physics-y things. He's inquisitive about different cultures, loves to meet new people and to help people, especially lending a listening ear when they're feeling glum. His thoughts usually oscillate between addressing global issues like climate change and discrimination of all kinds, to juvenile humour and memes with seldom a stop in between. Overall, just an average grad student trying to get through life one day at a time!
Snigdha Penmetsa
she/her/hers
Hi! My name is Snigdha, I am a finance and information science double major. I’m Indian and lived in India from 2nd-7th grade in Vizag which is a coastal city so I love the beach! I am hoping to study abroad this Spring in London at the Cass Business School. I’m excited to meet you guys!
Tetiana Tytko
she/her/hers
Hi everybody! My name is Tetiana Tytko, and I'm from Ukraine. I've been a fearful terp for almost one year. Here at UMD, I'm doing my PhD in Second Language Acquisition in the School of Languages Literatures, and Cultures. When I don't work on my papers, I enjoy traveling, doing yoga, horseback riding, and my favorite past-time activity has recently become sleeping. :) Feel free to reach out to me via my email ttytko@umd.edu.
Uswah Tahir
she/her/hers
Hi! My name is Uswah Tahir and I'm a Kinesiology major in the School of Public Health. I'm from here but my parents are from Pakistan. I've been to England, Canada, and Pakistan. Hoping to add more places to my list after covid!