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International Student & Scholar Services Team

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Chalimar Swain

Chalimar Swain Director

Chalimar Swain joined the University of Utah in 2010.  She brings 10+ years of experience in international education to ISSS and is currently completing a joint PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy and Masters in Public Administration.  Her favorite part of the job is the ever-changing nature of the work- there’s always something new to learn.  When she’s not at work she enjoys climbing, cooking, hiking, spending time with her husband, and chasing after her twin toddlers as they explore their world.

Jessica Schlotfeldt

Jessica Schlotfeldt Associate Director

Jessica Schlotfeldt has been working in higher education at the University of Utah for close to 8 years. Jess received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography with a minor in Central and Southwest Asian Studies at the University of Montana, and recently received her TESOL certificate at the University of Utah.  One of her favorite things at the office is to be the staff advisor for the Saudi Student Club, Mongolian Student Club, and the Malaysian Student Club. Jess loves to take road trips, discover southern Utah, and cheer for her favorite sports teams-Seattle Seahawks, Flamengo, and the UofU Utes!

Christina Strain

Christina Strain Associate Director

Christina Strain joined the International Student & Scholar Services team in November 2011. She serves senior immigration office and works closely with immigration policy and regulation processes. As a Ute Alum, she not only enjoys the many outdoor activities Utah has to offer, but also enjoys traveling and exploring new places and cultures.

Sylvia Christensen

Sylvia Christensen Administrative Officer

Originally from Brazil, Sylvia Christensen came to the U.S. to attend college. She has a B.A. in Design and several years of experience in the retail industry. She joined the University of Utah in 2010, and the ISSS team in 2015. She enjoys working with international students and interacting with various cultures.  Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, drawing, going to art museums, and spending time with her family.

INTERNATIONAL ADVISORS

Oui Ampaichitt

Suchavadee (Oui) Ampaichitt

Suchavadee (Oui) 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, and exploring new places, cultures, and food. She is looking forward to meeting you!

 

 

Steven Burnett

Steven Burnett

Steven Burnett has been working in international education for over 11 years; he currently advises F-1 students. Steven enjoys different languages and cultures; he has lived in Taiwan, Japan, and Russia and speaks some Chinese (Mandarin) and Russian. He received his undergraduate degree from the school down south (BYU) where he double-majored in Russian, and European Studies. He earned his Master’s of Library Science from Emporia State University in Kansas. When not at work, Steven enjoys spending time with his family and reading.

 

Annabel Cho

Annabel Cho

Annabel Cho joined the International Student & Scholar Services team in September 2014. She graduated from University of Utah with a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2012. As an International Student Advisor, she advises F-1 students and is involved in International Student Orientation and International Student Ambassador Program. She speaks fluent Korean and English. When not at work, she likes to spend her time with her family at a quiet café or at a park.

 

Cassandra Clark

Cassandra Clark

Cassandra Clark joined the International Student and Scholar Services team in July of 2016 as an F-1 and J-1 student advisor. She has a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, a Master’s in International Studies, and has worked in international higher education for five years.  When not at work, Cassandra enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, and travelling.

 

Kendra Taylor

Kendra Taylor

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Kendra Taylor 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 five years – in the US and abroad.  Kendra is particularly interested in the languages and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. She has facilitated several exchange programs from the MENA region, and is constantly inspired by the global changemakers she encounters through her work. When she’s not at the U, she can be found listening to podcasts while trail running in the mountains that surround the scenic Salt Lake Valley.

 

Alisa Tank

Alisa Tank

Alisa Tank joined the University of Utah in September 2014 as an advisor for F-1 students. She especially enjoys welcoming new students to campus during orientation weeks. Over the past 10 years, she has contributed to the field of international education in many capacities, including work at two study abroad organizations and an English language school. Outside of the office, she can be found about and about exploring the region’s natural landscapes.
Languages: French, Portuguese.

Danika Borcik

Danika Borcik

Danika has been working with international students at the University of Utah since 2016. She graduated from the U with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with an emphasis in Foreign Relations and Security. Danika coordinates the International Student Orientation, serves as the International Student Council advisor, and is involved with the International Student Ambassador Program. She loves to travel, and her favorite experience abroad is when she spent a semester teaching English at an elementary school in Suzhou, China.

 
 

J SCHOLAR TEAM

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith 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 several years, and currently serves as the Lead Advisor, responsible for advising J-1 scholars and F-1 students on federal immigration regulations. Stephen also serves on the Orientation Team, introducing new scholars and students to the university and the programs and resources available to them. At work, he most enjoys helping to scholars and students interpret policy and discover the benefits of their visa type. And when not working, he enjoys golf, traveling, fishing, and snow skiing.

Ethan Webster

Ethan Webster

Ethan Webster has been with the University of Utah since March 2010. He is a proud alumni of the University of Utah with a double Bachelor ins Political Science and Urban Planning. He is a Student Advisor  and works with the J scholar Team.  When not at work Ethan enjoys spending time with his dog,politics, surfing, eating and cheering on the Utes! 

 

PEER ADVISOR

Alexis Baker

Alexis Baker

Alexis Baker was born and raised in the great state of Utah. She is a Health Promotions major and getting her minor in African American Studies. Other than working as a Peer Advisor for the front desk, Alexis is very involved on campus with being a part of the Black Union Student and a Resident Advisor for Housing.  She enjoys meeting new people and learning new things. In her free time, Alexis loves to keep up to date on current social justice issues and hanging out with her friends.

 

Zach Srivastava

Zach Srivastava

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 reading.

Daniel Damiani

Daniel de Andrade Damiani

Daniel was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. He is currently 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 and volleyball, 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.

Kasey Begg

Kasey Begg

Kasey was raised in Salt Lake City and is now a freshman 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 soccer.

Aly Vyfvinkel

Aly Vyfvinkel

Aly was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is currently a freshman at the U and will be declaring her major sometime this year. 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 World.

Renan Pereira

Renan Pereira

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.

Laksmie Bunnarith 

Laksmie Bunnarith

Laksmie is an international student from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She received her undergraduate degree from Westminster College. She is currently doing her Master’s degree in Finance at the David Eccles School of Business. She likes spending time with people from diverse cultures and trying new food. When free from work and school, Laksmie enjoys traveling or working on her oil paintings.

 
 

GRADUATE ASSISTANTS

Laiyan Bawadeen

Laiyan Bawadeen

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 doing her Master’s degree in the Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Utah. Laiyan started her graduate assistantship in our office in Spring 2017.Laiyan is fluent in Chinese, English and Arabic and is currently the President of the International Women’s Association at the University of Utah. During her free time, she likes to cook, bake, play video games and read various novels.

Ingrid Braga

Ingrid Braga

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 Spanish.

 
Last Updated: 8/31/18