About

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) Staff

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

As Director of ISSS, Michael Elliott brings almost 25 years of experience in the field of international education. His areas of interest and research include international student and scholar success, leadership development, and strengths-based education.

Michael earned his PhD in leadership studies and his master’s degrees in both international studies and education. He is also a lecturer in the departments of Educational Policy and Leadership, Globalization Studies, and Undergraduate Studies. Michael presents at NAFSA conferences, co-authored "From Departing to Achieving: Keys to Success for International Students in U.S. Colleges and Universities," was a Fulbright Scholar-Administrator Japan award recipient, and taught high school science in Peace Corps Kenya.


Tara Evans
Associate Director, ISSS

Tara has been in the field of international education for 14 years. She earned her B.A. in Business from Life University in Marietta, Georgia. Tara earned her M.A. in Human Resource Management from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Tara’s area of interest is campus internationalization.

Tara oversees new international student orientation and is responsible for our J-1 scholar community. She is a member of NAFSA and a graduate of the NAFSA Academy (Class 10). Tara is also a member of the Residency Appeals Committee. She serves as the Liaison for Community Standards and Academic Advising.


Patricia Tierney
Senior International Student Coordinator, ISSS

Tricia Tierney began at the University at Albany in 2014 an Administrative Coordinator and has been promoted to Senior International Student Coordinator. Her special responsibilities include the Freshman Success program and SEVIS coordination. Tricia earned her 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 was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. She has spent twenty years in international education and student affairs.


Kayla O’Donnell
International Student Coordinator, ISSS

Kayla O’Donnell joined the University at Albany as an International Student Coordinator in August 2016. Kayla earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Global Studies from Binghamton University, SUNY (2013) and a master’s degree in the Humanities from the University of Chicago (2014). Prior to joining UAlbany, she worked in the Dean of Students Office and International Services office at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Kayla advises F-1 and J-1 students and coordinates the Academic Success Program for students seeking additional academic support. She is also a member of NAFSA.