Christina Strain Associate Director, Immigration & Policy, PDSO
Christina joined the International Student & Scholar Services team in November 2011.
She serves as the senior immigration officer and works closely with immigration policy
interpretation and regulation policy. Christina received her B.S. in Business Administration
as well as her TESOL certificate from the University of Utah. She enjoys working with
international students and advocating for international and global opportunities on
campus. Outside of work, Christina enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Jessica Schlotfeldt Associate Director, Sponsored Student Program & Training
Jess has been working in higher education at the University of Utah for over 10 years.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography with a minor in Central and
Southwest Asian Studies from the University of Montana, and received her TESOL certificate
from the University of Utah. Outside of ISSS she can be found taking road trips to
Southern Utah, adventuring around the world, and cheering for her favorite sports
teams-Seattle Seahawks, and the UofU Utes!
Stephen Smith Associate Director, J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, RO
Stephen joined the University of Utah in January 2014 after earning a Master’s in
Public Administration from LSU. He has worked in the field of international education
for almost 10 years and currently serves as an Associate Director and Responsible
Officer of the Exchange Visitor Program. When not working, he enjoys backpacking,
fishing, snow skiing, and travel.
Sylvia Christensen Administrative Officer
Sylvia is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and joined the University of Utah in 2010.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design and brings extensive experience in budgeting,
purchasing and managing from years working in the retail industry. She is currently
the ISSS Administrative Officer, overseeing the grant and financial activities, in
addition to managing the day-to-day operations. She serves as the Staff Advisor to
the Brazilian Student Association, BRASA and enjoys interacting with international
students from all over the world. Outside of work, she enjoys going to art museums,
gardening and spending time with her family.
Cassandra Clark J1 Program Coordinator
Cassandra joined the University of Utah in July of 2016 as an F-1 and J-1 student
advisor, specifically working with sponsored students, and now serves as the J-1 Program
Coordinator. She has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in International
Studies. In the past 10 years she has been involved in international higher education
through studying abroad, teaching ESL both in the U.S. and abroad, and serving as
an international student advisor in multiple institutions. When not at work, Cassandra
enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, and travelling.
Danika Borcik Orientation Program Coordinator
Danika has been working with international students at the University of Utah since
2016, and has been a member of the ISSS team since 2018. She graduated from the U
with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with an emphasis in Foreign Relations
and Security. Danika enjoys coordinating the International Student Orientation each
semester and advising both the International Student Ambassador scholarship program
and the International Student Council. Her favorite experiences abroad include studying
international law in Kiel, Germany and teaching English to elementary school kids
in Suzhou, China.
Kendra Taylor Sponsored Student Program Coordinator
Originally from Oregon, Kendra joined the University of Utah in October 2015. She
has a Bachelor’s in Political Science, a Master’s in TESOL, and has worked in international
education for over eight years – in the US and abroad. Kendra is particularly interested
in the languages and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. When she’s not
at the U, she can be found trail running in the mountains that surround the Salt Lake
Valley, camping in the national parks, and exploring new places and cultures around
Annabel Cho International Student Advisor
Annabel joined International Student and Scholar Services in 2014 as an F-1 advisor.
In addition to working with F-1 students, she works to keep F-1 policies up to date.
She also enjoys welcoming new international student during orientation time. She graduated
from University of Utah with a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2012. When
not at work, she can be found spending time with her family either at a quite café
or at a busy farmers market.
Daniel Cloward International Student Advisor
Daniel is originally from Utah, and he is thrilled to be back in Salt Lake and working
at The U. He spent the better part of ten years living in Chicago where he earned
a BA in American Sign Language/English Interpretation from Columbia College Chicago
and an MA in Relational Communication and a TESOL Certificate from DePaul University.
Soon, he will finish his MEd in Social Sciences in International Education online.
His first time traveling abroad and living in another country was as a Peace Corps
Volunteer in Armenia (’15 – ’17). Daniel would love to visit every country in the
world, but his current goal is to visit all 50 states in the US – he’s been to 42
– and to try a lot of good food along the way.
Steven Burnett International Student Advisor
Steven has been working in international education for over 14 years and he currently
advises F-1 students. Steven enjoys different languages and cultures; he has lived
in Taiwan, Japan, and Russia and speaks some Chinese and Russian. He received his
undergraduate degree from BYU where he double-majored in Russian and European Studies.
He earned his Master of Library Science degree from Emporia State University in Kansas.
When not at work, Steven enjoys spending time with his family and reading.
Suchavadee (Oui) Ampaichitt International Student Advisor
Suchavadee (Oui) has been working in the field of international education at the University
of Utah for over ten years. She is originally from Bangkok, Thailand and came to the
United States as an international student. She graduated from the University of Utah
with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. Her firsthand experiences as an international
student brought her to her current role at ISSS as an International Student Advisor.
She is passionate about helping international students, especially in their cultural
adjustment to the U.S. Oui enjoys working with students, traveling, working on graphic
design projects and exploring new places, cultures, and food.
Laiyan Bawadeen Counseling Intern
Laiyan Bawadeen is half Taiwanese and half Sri-Lankan. Before coming to Salt Lake
City, she lived in Lebanon for 14 years, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology
from the Lebanese American University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree
in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Utah. Laiyan started
her counseling internship position at ISSS in Spring 2019. Being an international
student herself, Laiyan understands the stressors international students go through
in order to be here. She is passionate about working with the international student
population and hopes to facilitate their academic journey at the U of U by providing
them with the support they need through mental health services. Laiyan is fluent in
Chinese, English and Arabic. During her free time, she likes to cook, bake, play video
games and read various novels.
Ingrid Braga Graduate Assistant
Ingrid is originally from the Northeast of Brazil, and first came to the University
of Utah in 2017 on a Fulbright scholarship to teach Portuguese and promote Brazilian
culture on campus. Since then, she fell in love with the University of Utah and decided
to return for a graduate degree. Ingrid is currently in the Master’s in Latin American
Studies. As an international student herself, she feels very happy to be a part of
the ISSS team and be able to provide support for other international students. Ingrid
is fluent in English and Portuguese, and she is also working on learning French and
Krisha Shakya Graduate Assistant
Krisha is an international student from Lalitpur, Nepal. She received both her Undergraduate
and Graduate degree from Nepal and is currently studying her second Graduate degree
in Master of Science in International Affairs & Global Enterprise (MIAGE) from the
University of Utah. She is thrilled to be working with ISSS and getting to connect
and make friends with students from all over the globe. In her free time, she likes
to travel, dance, read books, cook, paint and listen to music. Her mother tongue is
Newari, but she is also fluent in English, Nepalese and Hindi.
Daniel de Andrade Damiani J-1 Program Assistant
Daniel was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. He is an undergraduate student at
the David Eccles School of Business. Daniel speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish,
and when he has time, he likes to do things in the outdoors, meet new people and learn
new cultures. He also loves playing sports, especially soccer, volleyball, and racquetball,
and eating food from around the world. As part of his Utah experience, he is learning
how to snowboard and survive through the cold winter of Salt Lake.
Aly Vyfvinkel Peer Advisor
Aly was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and is studying Marketing and Spanish
at the U. Besides working as a Peer Advisor for the front desk and studying, Aly is
involved in Greek Life at the U and enjoys drawing, baking, and playing sports, especially
soccer and basketball. She also enjoys meeting new people from all walks of life which
inspires her love of travelling and her goal to one day visit all 7 Wonders of the
Kasey Begg Peer Advisor
Kasey was raised in Salt Lake City and is now a sophomore at the U, majoring in International
Studies and getting her minor in Spanish. She is excited about working in the ISSS
and meeting new students from all over the world! In her free time, Kasey enjoys
spending time hiking and camping in the mountains, and playing guitar, piano, and
Renan Pereira Peer Advisor
Renan was born in Rio, Brazil and is currently studying finance at the David Eccles
School of Business. He is a member of both the University’s Finance Club and Emerging
Professionals Finance group. He likes to know people from different countries and
understand their culture, habits and traditions. When he is not working or studying,
he likes to travel with his wife, read, play soccer and watch the World Rally Championship.
Zach Srivastava Peer Advisor
Zach started classes at the University of Utah in 2016 and started working for ISSS
in 2018. He is working on a double major in Computer Engineering and Philosophy. He
likes to learn about different cultures and their histories. When he isn’t at work
or school he enjoys travelling, music, Sci Fi movies, trying new types of food, and