Director, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)
Margaret (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.
Annie 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.
Administrative Coordinator, ISSS
Lana Sullivan joined International Student and Scholar Services office in 2008. She earned a Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in International Journalism and Foreign Languages from the Russian People’s Friendship University in Moscow and a Master’s in International Tourism at the University of Oregon. She has years of international experience working as an interpreter with government and business representatives, and as a consultant for the US AID project in Russia. She also taught English as a Second Language both in the US and abroad. She is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and participates in the NAFSA Academy training program.
Mary Anne Smith
Administrative Support, International Education
Mary Anne Smith joined the Office of International Education in 2007. She provides administrative support to both International Student & Scholar Services and Study Abroad & Exchanges.
Mary Anne holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of LaVerne in LaVerne, California. She had a long career as a telecommunications manager in California before retiring in 2002. She also worked at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California prior to re-locating to the Capital Region where she grew up.
Mary Anne loves to travel. Her travels have taken her to England, France, Mexico, the Caribbean, and many locations throughout the United States including Hawaii.
Mary Anne and her husband live in Clifton Park.
Graduate Assistant, ISSS
Michelle Huang (officially Yang Huang) is a graduate student from China. She joined the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in May 2010.
Michelle is pursuing her Master's degree in the field of Education at University of Albany. Michelle enjoys watching movies, cooking and playing the piano.
Senior, Women’s Studies, China
Hi. This is Yi Zhou. =) I am a senior major in Women’s Studies. I am very glad I can still serve as an OA at ISSS before I graduate from this school. I came from China, so I can speak English and Chinese. I like trying new food and singing karaoke with my friends. If you happen to have the same interest, we can definitely hang out together in the future. SUNY-Albany has various clubs and plenty of events going on every day. To live an amazing life here you can start with some student clubs and I am here to give you suggestions about how to have fun on and off campus =) Albany is an awesome place to stay. I believe you will fall in love with Albany soon.
Master’s, Accounting, China
Hi, my name is Jessica Sun, and I will be one of the students who will help you become acquainted with the campus and the brand new life here. I grew up in the east part of China, and I came to UAlbany as a graduate student in 2012. Now I am in the Master of Science in accounting two years program. From my own experience, Albany is a great place for both living and studying. Albany is a small city, but it is very close to the big cities like Boston and New York. So living in Albany, you can enjoy the quiet and safety in living in the small town while having fun travelling and shopping in those big cities. Also there are so many great professors and good students in UAlbany. I am pretty sure that you will gain a lot by studying here. Maybe it will be a little hard to adapt to the new environment here, but don’t worry about that. All of us will try our best to help you. Welcome to UAlbany, hope to see you in this coming August!
Master’s, Computer Science, India
Hello International Students! Welcome to UAlbany!
My name is Abhishek Saha. I am a Masters Student in the Department of Computer Science, UAlbany. Basically I am from Agartala, Tripura-one of the scenic & green north-eastern states of India. I speak English, Bengali and Hindi as well. I love travelling and photography. Being an International student I can relate to the curiosity you might have regarding the new place, environment, the University, departments and their courses, which is exactly like I felt, coming to the United States of America. This is very common for every incoming iInternational student. Relax! This is a moment to spend some good time with your parents, family and friends. We are here to take care of you. I, like others, will be helping you during the Orientation Session at UAlbany to get accustomed with your new place of study. Please feel free to shoot questions and ask for any kind of help. I will try to help you in every possible way.
I believe that a student can best understand another student. See you guys soon at UAlbany.
Freshman, Music, Iran
Hello everybody. My name is Maysam, but my friends call me Sam. I’m from Iran. I just finished my first semester majoring in music. I’m 31, and still an undergraduate. So I guess I’m among those who believe it’s never too late to go back to school! Living and studying in a foreign country can be a very stressful task. In my opinion, one of the best ways to tackle and cope with all the differences and difficulties regarding living in a new environment is to improve your language skills. The better you understand and speak English, the more comfortable and adjusted you will feel. Try to make as many friends as you can, and try to participate in teamwork activities whenever possible. I wish you a very happy and rewarding stay in USA.
Sophomore, Chemistry, Vietnam
All international students – welcome to the University at Albany! My name is Anh Le, but you all can call me Ami. I am from Vietnam, and I have been attending UAlbany for a year. This Fall 2013 is my sophomore year and also the second year I spend in the US. I am now majoring in Chemistry combined with an emphasis in Chemical Biology and I start to minor in Japanese next semester. However, I used to major in Business Administration, so if you need help picking classes in those fields I can help you! Also, I would be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have about your new life in America, living in the dorms and studying stuffs, of course. I enjoy walking, traveling, playing badminton, cooking, watching soccer and hanging around with my friends in free time. The longer you stay at this school, the more you will realize that it will bring a lot of surprises and fun to you. Hope you will have the greatest college time ever in your life. I am looking forward to seeing you in August.
Junior, Financial Analyst and Organizational Communication, China
My name is Abel Zhang and I am an undergraduate student double majoring in Financial Analysis and Organizational Communication. My hometown is Tianjin, China and I came to the US in high school. I have spent a total of 5 years in the United States, 2 years in Albany and 3 years in New York City. Mandarin is my first language, I am fluent in English, and I also took some elementary Spanish and Korean - I just love to be identified as “international”! There are plenty of student organizations on campus in different areas of interest. I am involved in the E-Board of CSSA (Chinese Scholar and Student Association) and UMRG(Multicultural Rainbow Group) and have taken part in a lot of other groups and organizations’ events as well. Can’t wait to make friends with you guys and hope you guys enjoy the campus life at UAlbany!
Senior, Finance and Information Technology Management, Japan
I am Naoya Ogi, I am from Japan. I am a senior and I am majoring Finance and Information technology management. I can speak English and Japanese and I took a Mandarin Chinese course for a semester. My hobby is playing basketball and I love staying in spacious places, so playing basketball at the SEFCU gym is very good. When I first came here I could not speak English at all and felt so lonely, but as I spent time here, I realized it was not my English but myself just being passive. And I started taking action, talking to people, and they were nicer than I expected. I made lots of friends and I have many international friends from over 20 countries now. It always happens from your action. I am here to help you fit in UAlbany because I know what it feels like when you first arrived at a new place.
Freshman, South Korea
Hello! My name is Jee In Lee and I’m from South Korea. I came to UAlbany as a freshman in 2012 fall semester. My first language is Korean but I did 3 years of high school career in America and also can speak general conversation in Japanese. I enjoy running and wanted to learn how to take good pictures so I joined ARE which stands for Albany Running Exchange and photography club. In UAlbany, there are a lot more student associations and clubs that you can join depending on your interest and meet new friends. I have only joined 2 clubs but it already made my freshman year really wonderful with great people. However, I struggled and was stressed with how to get started with my college life especially in a foreign country. I would like to help you to get started and have a wonderful year in this university. I can’t wait to see you in August!.
PhD, Economics, Zimbabwe
I am excited to welcome all of you to UAlbany, a place you will find exciting, rewarding and most importantly will call your home in the next few months or years to come. You made a smart choice. My name is Marshall Makate, a PhD student in the Department of Economics. I am a Zimbabwean citizen who grew up in a small town called Mutare, located in the eastern part of the country. I did my early primary, secondary and high schooling in Mutare and later enrolled for my undergraduate and graduate studies in economics at the University of Zimbabwe in the capital city, Harare. I speak English and Shona (my mother tongue). I find life in Albany very exciting because of Albany’s strategic geographic positioning relative to great cities like New York, Boston and many other scenic attractions like the Niagara Falls, Lake George and many others. For those who love hiking like me, the Adirondack Mountains, very close to Albany, will be the perfect place to go. Apart from studying, I love travelling, watching and playing soccer, playing volleyball and fellowshipping at City Harvest Family Church on Sundays. I hope I will be a very useful resource to most or some of you. Thank you.
Master's, Political Science, South Korea
Welcome to UAlbany! My name is Ju Heon Lee. I am a graduate student in the Department of Political Science. I am so pleased to have this opportunity to help you adjust and settle in. I remember the first few weeks after I arrived at Albany: No car, no friends and no house. I made some terrible mistakes that made it even harder to adjust to this new culture. Therefore, I just want to be a person you can freely ask for any help at any time, especially for those who are in the U.S. for the first time. Once you settle in, I guarantee that you are quickly going to love this city and UAlbany.
I like to swim at the UAlbany Aquatic Center and love to travel beautiful scenic areas across the Adirondacks. I am also interested in diverse local activities at the community level, so I started volunteering at the Capital City Rescue Mission located in downtown Albany. I expect to share with you my experiences as well as my academic interests. I am looking forward to seeing you all!
Master’s, Educational Administration, China
Hello~ My name is Jing Zhang, from China, and I am a master’s student in Education Administration in the School of Education.
I arrived at Albany last year with two extra-large suitcases knowing nobody here. I was amazed by the gorgeous fall in NY, and then excited about the beautiful snow in winter. Believe me, you will love the snow here, at least at the very beginning! You might need some time getting used to the study life in the US, but don't worry, people around you will be very helpful and friendly. We are here to help each other, and grow up together!
By the way, I am a big fan of traveling, and please let me know if you love traveling too! See you in August!