UMD: A Globally Connected University

Office Staff

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.

Lisa PetersonAssistant Director, IT and Operations

Gabriela Gillespie, Ph.D.
 Integration Program Manager
She brings a rich set of international experiences and a strong commitment to internationalization from her positions as assistant director for international programs at APLU, academic advisor and senior manager at Florida International University, and as an international student advisor at the University of South Carolina. Gabriela was born in Brazil, moved to the US early in life. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. Gaby earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education at FIU and holds a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees from the University of Florida.

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.


Student Advising Staff

Jody Heckman-Bose (PDSO/ARO) 
Associate Director Student Services
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."

Katrina Knudsen  (DSO/ARO) || Schedule with Katrina
Manager, International Student Services
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.

Aviana SymonAviana Symon (DSO/ARO) || Schedule with Aviana
Senior Advisor, International Student Services 
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.

Bijoya Chakraborty (DSO/ARO), International Student Advisor  || Schedule with Bijoya

​Guennadi Bratichko (DSO), International Student Senior Advisor  || Schedule with Guennadi

Michael Waggoner (DSO), International Student Advisor  || Schedule with Michael

Xinyu Zhai (DSO), International Student Advisor  || Schedule with Xinyu


Pre-Arrival Team

Brad Calvin (DSO), Manager || Schedule with Brad

Sarah Kim (DSO/ARO)​, International Student Advisor || Schedule with Sarah

Margret Katsakhyan (DSO), International Student Advisor || Schedule with Maggie


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.

Emily Markes, International Scholar and Faculty Advisor  || Schedule with Emily
Emily joined International Student and Scholar Services in January 2020 after working with international scholars at Cornell University. Prior to working in the international education field, she taught Spanish to elementary, middle, and high school students in Maryland, New York, San Francisco, and Antigua (West Indies). She has traveled extensively in Latin America, studied in Argentina and Spain, worked for a non-profit organization in Peru, and taught English in Japan for a year. She has a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and a Master's degree in Education from UMD-College Park. In her free time, Emily enjoys playing tennis, biking, swimming, and learning about new cultures and languages.

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

Elaine Song, (She/Her/Hers) International Scholar and Faculty Advisor || Schedule with Elaine

Ash Reynolds, (They/Them/Theirs) International Scholar and Faculty Program Specialist

ISSS Graduate Assistants

Cameron Busacca (Integration Programming)​
Tambryanna Williams (Scholar Advising)
Josie Stommel (International Student Advising)