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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 | Yi Zhou | Ami Jordan

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 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.

Fall 2014 ISSS Orientation Assistants

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Mounia EL-Kotini

Yi Zhou PhD student, Anthropology, Morocco & France

Hi all, my name is Mounia and I am a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology. I am lucky to be from not just one but two amazing countries: France and Morocco. My studies have also led me to fall in love with another country: Mexico.

UAlbany has been a great place for me to meet people from different countries and participate in multicultural activities. I am excited to welcome you to your new University! There are many resources on and off campus to make your studying experience a memorable one. I came to UAlbany after obtaining my Masters' in France. I was very impressed with the variety of classes I was able to choose from here, so I invite you to take a close look at the schedule of classes.

In my two years here, I have also had the chance to explore the city and its surroundings. And I have also experienced the coldest winters in my life (I grew up in Morocco)! I look forward to meeting all of you.

Janghyup Lee

Xiaoyun (Jessica) SunSouth Korea

Welcome new international students! My name is Janghyup Lee and I am an international student like all of you. I am from South Korea, and I will be helping you guys to settle down in Albany.

I had the same experience that you are all going to have coming to UAlbany. I was afraid to come to a place where I'd never been, especially because I felt my English wasn’t good enough to communicate with people who were native speakers. However, I realized that it wasn’t something I should have feared. I got a lot of help and assistance from new friends and the orientation assistants here. As you can see I am doing well here at SUNY Albany and ready to help you guys who are where I was in the beginning. So I might have most of the answers the questions you guys have now about UA. Also don’t hesitate to ask these questions and also don’t hesitate to make new friends.  All of us coming to the orientation are new and ready to start a new life with new friends. Please feel free to ask me anything you are curious about and Ii will try my best to help you guys out. I will be glad to help you in order to make your school life successful as first year students at UA.

Stella Xian Li

Abhishek SahaPhD student, Educational Psychology, China

My name is Stella and I am a 4th year PhD student in Educational Psychology.  I grew up in Guangzhou, China, obtaining my BS in Hong Kong and mainland China.  I have spent a total of 6 years in the United States, beginning as a master’s student and now working toward my doctoral degree.  Most of the school days I work with professors on research and publication. However, I am not at all a nerdy person. I enjoy traveling, hiking, gardening and baking during my free time. Albany is neat place for study and life, small but with abundant offerings.  You can enjoy tulips/cherry blossoms in the spring, boating and fishing in the summer and apple-picking in the fall.  You will never be bored, but do prepare yourself for the winter and heavy snow (good news for the ski lover). See you guys soon in August!

Shahid Memon

Maysam Bayg Muhammady Master’s, Nanoscale Engineering, India

Hi guys! My name is Shahid Memon and I am from Pune (India). I have been in America since August 2013 and, like most of you, it is the first time I have ever been to the US! I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Nanoscale Engineering and I absolutely love being here since I have met so many wonderful people and made friends who are from all over the world.  The reason I decided to come to a new country was to meet different people from various parts of the world and understand their culture and their countries better. I, along with the ISSS, am here to help you settle well in Albany and guide you, but most importantly, to bke friends with you. Don’t forget that a year ago I was in the same shoes that you are in right now and I know exactly what kind of questions are running through your mind, so feel free to ask! I love to watch and play football (or as the Americans call it, soccer) and I also like to swim, travel and see different places and cities. I like to try different types of food and I am learning to cook as well (this is one skill I highly recommend you guys to learn). Be sure to attend as many ISSS events as you possibly can and other activities at UAlbany. It will really help you settle in this new chapter of your life. I look forward to seeing you this Fall and sharing my experience!

Hanghai Qiu

Anh LeMaster's, Accounting, China

Welcome everybody. I am Hanghai Qiu, one of the orientation assistants. I began my Master of Science in accounting study a year ago and got my BBA in China. For me, UAlbany is such a great place both to live and to study. You will meet a lot of new friends. People in ISSS and the UA community are supportive. They are willing to provide resources to help you achieve your goal. For example, I can't imagine that, after being here only 9 months, I launched my own business club (the National Association of Asian American Professionals, UAlbany Chapter).  I can't wait to see you guys and always let me know how I can help you. 

Larissa Silva Teixeira

Anh Le

Profile Coming soon!





Siqi (Suki) Wang

Anh LeMaster's, Biochemistry, China

Hi, this is Siqi (Suki) Wang, from China. I came to UAlbany as a freshman in 2013, and major in Biochemistry. My first language is Mandarin and I plan to take some Japanese classes in this coming semester. UAlbany has plenty of activities and organizations, and offer many group exercise classes for fitness. After school, I often attend Pilates and Zumba classes, and really enjoy burning calories. Watching drama is also one of my hobbies.

I attended orientation last year and I was glad that the orientation leaders gave me some really nice greetings and great help. This time I would like to share my enthusiasm about UAlbany and help new students feel welcomed and excited about attending our school. I am really outgoing and enjoy talking with others. So feel free to ask me any kind of questions during orientation.

Link to ISSS How to Make A Gift Page

Contact Information

International Student & Scholar Services

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

Office Hours:

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM EST
Advisement 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Monday through Friday


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


International Insurance Office

8:30 AM to 4:30 PM EST
Monday through Friday


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