UMD: A Globally Connected University

Office Staff

International Student & Scholar Services Staff

Susan Ellis Dougherty
Susan-Ellis Dougherty is an experienced international education professional having worked in the field for over 25 years. As Director of International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Maryland College Park, she works across the campus to implement programs, policies and procedures for the university’s 7000 plus international students, scholars, faculty and staff.  She is an active member in NAFSA: Association of International Educators as a trainer for its many professional development workshops. Sue holds a master’s in education from Johns Hopkins University. Sue works to create opportunities for people from the U.S., and around the world, to be successful in today’s knowledge-based, global economy.

Barbara Varsa
Associate Director
As Associate Director of International Student & Scholar Services Barbara Varsa serves as a resource person for matters related to international students, scholars and faculty at the University. She has taught English as a Second Language in France and given International Admissions presentations in China, Taiwan, and Germany. She is an International cooking aficionado who delights in Hungarian as well as Asian cuisine.

Jeanette Ramirez
Program Management Specialist
Jeanette manages the front desk admissions office. She supervises the front desk staff and student workers. She advises applicants on the admissions process and prepares I-20's for new students. She has been in the ISSS office for more than 10 years. Her passions are home interior design, gardening, cooking, and listening to classical music.

Marvella Soumare
Office Supervisor
Marvella is the first person you'll meet when you visit ISSS. She coordinates the ISSS front office. She has been on campus for 11 years, and she really enjoys helping others, and meeting the students. In her spare time Marvella enjoys spending time with her family.

Lisa Peterson, IT Coordinator

Brad Calvin, International Admissions Coordinator

Student Advising Staff

Jody Heckman-Bose || Schedule with Jody
International Student Advisor
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
Jody is the PDSO, primary designated school officer, for International Student & Scholar Services. She has an insatiable appetite for travel and has visited 26 countries around the world. Her longest time abroad was spent in Nepal where she lived and conducted research on the topic of "Women Pursuing Higher Education in a Developing Nation."

Aviana SymonAviana Symon || Schedule with Aviana
International Student Advisor
Aviana became a member of the ISSS team in 2014 as an advisor to F-1 and J-1 international students.  She has studied in France and has traveled to the U.K., Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Morocco, Australia, and New Zealand, and hopes to travel more extensively in the future.  Her studies and travels sparked an interest in the field of international education, and she has previously advised international students in the Midwest prior to joining ISSS.  Aviana likes dancing, hiking, horseback riding, and exploring new places in her free time.

Katrina Knudsen || Schedule with Katrina
International Student Advisor
Katrina is an advisor to F-1 and J-1 international students. She has a master's degree in Higher Education Administration and worked as an advisor to Ph.D. students at the University of Maryland prior to joining ISSS. Katrina has lived in Japan and Costa Rica and has also traveled to various places in Europe. She enjoys cooking and sampling international cuisine as well as learning about new languages and cultures.

Patrick Frazier || Schedule with Patrick
International Student Advisor
Patrick is an advisor to F-1 and J-1 international students. Prior to working at UMD he worked in the international education field in Connecticut, California, New York and Cairo, Egypt. He has his master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies, and has visited most of the Arab and North African countries. He enjoys learning about different areas of the world (particularly domestic politics) and spending time with his wife and two sons. He is always willing to try new (to him) foods and welcomes any that pass his way.

Bijoya Chakraborty, International Student Advisor || Schedule with Bijoya

Sarah Kim, International Student Advisor || Schedule with Sarah


Faculty/Scholar Advising Staff

Connie Jesse
Assistant Director, Faculty/Scholar Immigration
Connie Jesse joined International Student & Scholar Services in 2003 and currently serves as the Assistant Director for Faculty and Scholar Immigration. She advises departments on immigration matters regarding employment, and works with international faculty and scholars on maintaining their status. She has her Master's Degree in International Education and Human Development from George Washington University. Her international experiences include living, working and researching in Peru, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, Namibia, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Russia, Ecuador, as well as vacationing in seven other countries.

Elaine Song, International Scholar and Faculty Advisor || Schedule with Elaine

Erin CaffreyInternational Scholar and Faculty Advisor || Schedule with Erin

Yetnayet (Mimi) Lemma, International Scholar and Faculty Advisor || Schedule with Mimi


ISSS Graduate Assistants

Anne Corwith (International Admissions)
Sarah Kilmer (International Admissions)
Ashley Reynolds (Internatinal Student Advising)