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About ISSS

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Staff

Click a name below or a heading to expand or close:
Michael Elliott | Tara Evans | Annie Heavener | Emily Stevens | Patricia Tierney | Yi Zhou | Ami Jordan

Michael Elliott
Director, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)

Michael Elliott, Director of ISSSMichael Elliott is the new Director of International Student and Scholar Services. He joined UAlbany at the beginning of August, 2014. Michael replaces Margaret (Peg) Reich, who retired September 1st . Before joining UAlbany, Michael served for five years as ISSS Director at the University of Denver and for seven years as ISSS Director at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Michael holds a BA in Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MA in International Affairs and Development from Ohio University, and an MEd in International Education from Ohio University. He is a PhD candidate in Leadership Studies at North Carolina A&T State University. He has also served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and has worked for USAID in South Africa and in Washington DC.

Tara Evans
Associate Director, ISSS

Tara EvansTara Evans has been advising international student and scholars since 2003. She enjoys working with international students and scholars, as no two days are the same! She’s a native New Yorker (Western NY), who earned her B.A. in Business from Life University in Marietta, Georgia. She earned her M.A. in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

In her spare time, Tara enjoys reading mystery and suspense novels by her favorite author, Mary Higgins Clark. She also enjoys watching movies, playing online games (Bingo Bash and Jewel Mania) and spending time with family.

Tara is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the NAFSA Academy (Class 10). She lives in Guilderland with her husband and son.

Annie Heavener
Advisor, ISSS

Annie HeavenerAnnie Heavener has been advising international students at the University at Albany since 2004. Somewhat of a career student herself, she’s earned two B.S. degrees – one in Anthropology (1996) and one in History (2002) – and a M.Ed. in Higher Education – College Student Services, all from Grand Valley State University. Annie is currently pursuing her M.A. in History (part-time) at the University at Albany.

Always the non-traditional student, Annie took a break from her undergraduate studies and spent two years as a field archaeologist in southwestern Ukraine (1992-1994). Annie jokes that this was “when I got to dig up dead bodies for a living.”

When she’s not in the ISSS office, Annie is an avid reader and can usually be found wandering the aisles at Borders and Barnes & Noble. She is also a big movie goer – and prefers the weekend matinees (they’re less expensive and usually empty). And, finally, she is helplessly, hopelessly addicted to knitting. Seriously, folks, she needs a 12-step program for the yarn obsessed. But her students don’t complain – many have walked away with hand-knit hats, scarves or socks.

Annie lives in Schenectady, NY with her dog, Lucky.

Emily Stevens
SEVIS Compliance Officer, ISSS

Emily StevensEmily Stevens has been the SEVIS Compliance Officer at the University of Albany since 2014. She has returned to the Capital District after living and working in New York City for the past 3 years.

Emily earned her B.S. in Spanish Language and Literature from SUNY Oneonta. She spent her college years not only studying, but working two part time jobs in both the Admission Office as a Tour Guide and in the Office of International Education as a Study Abroad Freshman Student Advisor. She moved to New York City to pursue a Master’s degree in International Education at New York University and remained in the area after graduation working as a Graduate Admission Counselor.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys traveling and experiencing new things. She has visited several countries for work and study including Mexico, Argentina, England, Germany, and even Kazakhstan! She is also obsessed with dogs and following sports, particularly football and soccer.

Emily currently lives in Saratoga Springs.

Patricia Tierney
Administrative Coordinator, ISSS

Patricia TierneyPatricia Tierney has been the  Administrative Coordinator at the University at Albany since 2014.  Originally from Albany,  she has lived in several different places, including Ohio, New Jersey, and in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer. 

Tricia earned a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Le Moyne College (Syracuse, NY), including a study abroad experience at the University of Warwick (England).  Her M.Ed. in Counseling and Educational Psychology is from SUNY Buffalo.  Tricia spent fifteen years in international education and student affairs including working in the Study Abroad office at Skidmore College, serving as Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the Sage Colleges in Albany, serving as Director of International Student Services at the College of Wooster in Ohio and advising international students at the University at Buffalo.

She was delighted to then have the opportunity to spend time outside the workforce raising her three children.  Tricia lives in Clifton Park and loves to take in all the activities the Capital District has to offer.

Yi Zhou
Graduate Assistant, ISSS

Yi Zhou

Yi Zhou is from Ru Gao, Jiangsu, China, a well-known town of longevity. She originally came to SUNY-Albany as an exchange student in the summer of 2011. Having always wanted to make change in society, Yi was amazed by the Women’s Studies classes she took during the first semester. She decided to transfer to UAlbany and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies in December, 2013.

Yi started to work as a Graduate Assistant in ISSS in January 2014. Now she is pursuing her Master’s degrees in both Social Work and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of Albany. She is also the Vice President of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and the Treasurer of UAlbany Triota: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Honor Society. During her spare time, she volunteers in non-profit organizations, such as Our Own Voices, Gender & Sexuality Resources Center, and Rui Cheng Tong Zhi (Chinese Lesbian Non-Profit Organization).

Yi is a big fan of karaoke. She also likes watching TV shows and eating delicious food.

Ami Jordan
Administrative Support

Ami Jordan

Ami Jordan is from Syracuse, New York. She has been working at UAlbany since 2013. She started in the ISSS office as an Administrative Assistant and is currently the Integration and Activities Graduate Assistant.

Ami has always had a strong interest in helping international students and has taken part in multiple international events, clubs and organizations. As an undergrad at Binghamton University she founded the first International club, “International Connections.” As a Graduate student at UAlbany, she founded and is the current president of another international club, “Cultural Connections.”

Ami has worked at 3 different international offices over the past 6 years, including living and teaching English in South Korea for 1 year. She Graduated with a B.A. in Asian Studies at Binghamton University in 2012 and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL) at UAlbany.

During her spare time she enjoys planning and hosting events, participating in sports, traveling, appreciating culture and teaching English as a Second language.


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Contact Information

International Student & Scholar Services

Science Library G-40
University at Albany
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A.

Office Hours:

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST
Advisement 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Monday through Friday


Phone 518-591-8189
Fax: 518-591-8171

International Student Advising Hours:

Main Campus: Monday-Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm in Science Library G40

Downtown Campus: Tuesdays from 10:00-12:00 noon in Husted Hall 114 (near the dining area)

East Campus (School of Public Health): Thursdays from 12:00-2:00pm pm in Student Affairs Room 120

International Insurance Office

9:00 AM to 4:30 PM EST
Monday through Friday


Phone: (518) 591-8185
Fax: (518) 591-8171