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The International Center

The International Center organizes and provides services and programs to support Tufts University's international students, scholars, and employees across Tufts's campuses, as they seek to achieve their academic and professional goals. Our team reports to Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost, and we collaborate closely with our colleagues in our schools, departments, and administrative offices to ensure that our students, scholars, and employees have extraordinary experiences as members of the Tufts community. We welcome you to read more about our team and to contact us if we can assist you in any way.

Andrew Shiotani

Director

Andrew Shiotani has been Director of the Tufts International Center since January 2019. Andrew is responsible for managing the International Center across its three locations, developing strategic priorities and goals for the Center, and leading advocacy efforts for Tufts's international students, scholars, and employees.

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Andrew has been in the field of international student and scholar services since 1998. Prior to coming to Tufts, Andrew held positions at Columbia University, New York University, Seattle University, and the University of Oregon, where he was Associate Director for International Student and Scholar Services. Born in Okinawa, Japan to a Hawaii-based family, Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in East Asian regional studies from Harvard University, and an MPhil in comparative education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Andrew is an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and has made multiple presentations on a variety of topics in international student and scholar services.

Email Andrew.Shiotani@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-2478

Ghenwa Hakim

Associate Director

Ghenwa Hakim has been with Tufts University since 2011. In her role as Associate Director, she oversees work related to immigration law and policy for the University.  She also manages the immigration affairs for the Tufts Health Sciences Campus located in Boston.

Ghenwa holds a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School, a Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affairs from Boston University. She is admitted to the bar in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and New York State and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ghenwa was born in Lebanon and raised in Massachusetts and calls both Beirut and Boston home.

Email Ghenwa.Hakim@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 636-2499

Patrick Himes

Assistant Director for Technology

Patrick ("Pat") Himes has been with the International Center since August 2014. Pat advises international students and scholars in the School of Arts & Sciences and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, he oversees the Go Pre-Orientation program for new undergraduate students, and coordinates the International Center's database systems and technology-related processes.

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Patrick earned his Master's degree in Intercultural Relations at Lesley University and a Bachelor's degree in History and Latin American Studies from the Penn State University. From 2008-2010, Patrick served in the U.S. Peace Corps, where he taught English in a small village in the Kyrgyz Republic, and gained an immense appreciation for other languages and cultures.

Email Patrick.Himes@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-5457

Neriliz Soto-Gonzalez

Assistant Director for Administration

Neriliz Soto-Gonzalez joined the International Center in January 2016. Neriliz oversees multiple administrative and immigration processes for the International Center. In addition, she provides immigration advising and support services to international students and scholars at the Boston Health Sciences campus.

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

Neriliz joined the International Center's Medford office in January of 2016. She holds a Master's degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University and Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Neriliz was born and raised in the island of Puerto Rico. Her interest in the field of international education developed while learning French and after participating in a summer abroad experience in Toulouse, France in 2011. In June 2018, Neriliz transferred to the International Center in the Health Sciences campus where she now serves as the advisor for students and scholars in the Dental, Medical, and Friedman Schools.

Email Neriliz.Soto_Gonzalez@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 636-0391

Sarah Curry

Senior Immigration Specialist

Sarah Curry joined the International Center in August 2012. Sarah works remotely assisting international faculty and employees in Arts & Sciences, Engineering, the Fletcher School, and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She is responsible for preparing petitions and advising on H-1B and O-1 visas, as well as Permanent Residency.

Sarah earned her Bachelor's degree from Marist College and her Master's degree from the University of Vermont. Sarah has been working in international education since 2000 as a consultant primarily with schools in New England. She is an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, having served as the Chair of Region XI, Vermont State Rep, and as a Coach in the NAFSA Academy.

Email Sarah.Curry@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-3458

Reiko Ohmura

Senior International Student and Scholar Advisor

Reiko Ohmura joined Tufts University in 2013, and currently serves as the primary immigration advisor for international students and scholars at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy as well as international scholars in the School of Engineering.

Reiko was born and raised in Japan and spent a year in Melbourne, Australia as a high school exchange student. After working at her alma mater, Chubu University (Aichi, Japan), she immigrated to the U.S. in 1998. Reiko earned BA in Cultural Anthropology in Oceanic Islands and Countries from Chubu University and an MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Prior to coming to Tufts, she worked at Salem State University, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She is an avid sports fan and her favorites sports events are baseball, soccer, American football and the Olympics.

Email Reiko.Ohmura@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-2815

Heather Varnet

International Student and Scholar Advisor

Heather Varnet joined the International Center in August 2018, and advises international students and scholars in Arts & Sciences and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and scholars in the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Heather also advises exchange students, international undergraduate financial aid, and the International Center's tax advising program.

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Heather earned a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts, and spent several semesters studying abroad in Tokyo and at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan, where she gained her interest in international education and exchange. Heather has been serving international students and exchange visitors at the high school and university levels since 2008, beginning with the EF High School Exchange Year program in Cambridge, MA, and more recently with the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, CT.

Email Heather.Varnet@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-2479

Lizzie Siegle

International Student and Scholar Advisor

Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Siegle has worked at Tufts University since 2012 and joined the International Center in October 2018. She supports international students in the School of Engineering and the Gordon Institute, as well as different summer programs. Lizzie is also the International Center's advisor for the Davies House residential community, better known as the I-House.

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Lizzie joined the International Center in October 2018 and has been working at Tufts in the field of International Education since 2012. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Lesley University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Clinical Psychology. Lizzie spent a year after college teaching English near Sevilla, Spain.

Email Elizabeth.Siegle@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-2480

Marisa Silva

International Center Coordinator

Marisa joined the International Center in June 2018. As International Center Coordinator, Marisa is responsible for overseeing the Center's administrative and financial operations. She directly manages the International Center's Medford office while supporting the Center's Fletcher and Boston Health Sciences locations.

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Marisa holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston in Criminal Justice and minor in Spanish language. Marisa is trilingual in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. She has worked as an interpreter serving the Lusophone and Latino communities. As a first- generation Portuguese-American, Marisa understands the importance of cultural competency and embraces cultural diversity.

Email Marisa.Silva@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-3458

Stefanie Rich

Program Coordinator

Stefanie Rich joined the International Center in March 2020. As Program Coordinator, Stefanie is responsible for creating and executing cultural and social events, primarily for J-1 visiting scholars and exchange students for the University's Medford/Somerville and Boston Health Sciences and SMFA campuses.

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Stefanie has been working in higher education administration since 2017, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics and French from Boston University, and a Master's degree in Global Studies from Northeastern University. Her greatest joy is learning and practicing new languages.

Email Stefanie.Rich@tufts.edu
Telephone