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About ISSS

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Staff

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Margaret Reich | Tara Evans | Annie Heavener | Emily Stevens | Patricia Tierney | Jing Zhang

Margaret Reich
Director, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)

Margaret Reich, Director of ISSSMargaret (Peg) Reich has served as Director of International Student and Scholar Services since 2004. She grew up in Quincy, Illinois on the Mississippi River and attended high school in a suburb of Chicago. She earned a B.A. in English from Kalamazoo College (Michigan), spent her junior year at the Université de Clermont-Ferrand (France), and completed an M.A.T. degree at Northwestern University (Illinois).

Having begun her career in education as an English teacher on the secondary level in Illinois and New Jersey, Peg then worked as an adviser to pre-health professions students at Rutgers University. She came to the University at Albany in 1980, serving as an academic adviser in the Center for Undergraduate Education. After a brief stint teaching English as a Second Language at Union College and with the Literacy Volunteers program, Peg returned to the University at Albany as Assistant to the Director in the Office of International Programs (now Study Abroad and Exchanges) from 1998-2004. In that position she worked with incoming exchange students and advised American students about study abroad opportunities in South Africa, Norway and Sweden.

Peg has traveled extensively throughout Western Europe and one summer escorted a student group to Montpellier, France. She lived in Geneva, Switzerland, for a year and has also visited China, Ghana, South Africa, Mexico and Morocco.

Peg is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and regularly attends regional and national conferences to stay current with changes governing the activities of international students and scholars in the U.S. She has a special interest in Africa and is co-chair of UAlbany’s Africa Consortium. Her other interests include music (she plays piano and cello and sings in a choral group), gardening and reading. She and her husband live in Schenectady and have one son who is a doctoral student in philosophy at Ohio State University.

Tara Evans
Associate Director, ISSS

Tara 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

Samantha HenriksonPatricia 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.

Jing Zhang
Graduate Assistant, ISSS

Michelle Huang

Jing Zhang is from China and arrived in Albany in Fall 2012 with two extra-large suitcases knowing no one here. She was amazed at how helpful and friendly everyone on campus was and quickly acclimated, especially enamored with the beautiful autumns of upstate New York and the abundant snow in winter.

Jing is pursuing her Master's degree in the field of Educational Administration in the School of Education at University of Albany. Jing enjoys helping others and traveling in her spare time.


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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 - 5:00 PM
Monday through Friday


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


International Insurance Office

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST
Monday through Friday


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