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The International Center

The International Center visa and immigration services as well as social and cultural programs to support Tufts University's international students, scholars, and employees across Tufts's campuses. Our team reports to Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost, and we collaborate closely with other University departments 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.

International Center Organizational Chart (Updated June 2022)

Andrew Shiotani

Andrew Shiotani
Director

Andrew has been Director of the 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, setting immigration policy, and leading advocacy efforts for Tufts's international students, scholars, and employees.

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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
Sarah Curry

Sarah Curry
Senior Assistant Director

Sarah  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 H-1B and other employment petitions and advising A&SE, Cummings, and Fletcher faculty and departments on Permanent Residency issues.

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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
Pat Himes

Patrick ("Pat") Himes
Assistant Director for Technology

Pat has been with the International Center since August 2014. Pat advises international graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. In addition, he oversees the GO Pre-Orientation program for new undergraduate students, and manages the International Center's database systems and technology-related processes.

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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

Neriliz Soto-Gonzalez
Assistant Director for Administration

Neriliz 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 based at the Boston Health Sciences campus.

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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 for the schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Friedman School, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In addition, she serves as the advisor for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

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

Reiko Ohmura
Senior International Student & Scholar Advisor

Reiko  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. Along with Lizzie Siegle, she also assists international scholars in the School of Engineering.

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

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

Heather Varnet
Senior International Student & Scholar Advisor

Heather joined the International Center in August 2018, and advises undergraduate international students in the School of Arts & Sciences and graduate and undergraduate students in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She also advises scholars in the School of Arts & Sciences. Heather also advises undergraduate students on financial aid and oversees the International Center's tax advising program.

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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

Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Siegle
International Student & Scholar Advisor

Lizzie has worked at Tufts University since 2012 and joined the International Center in October 2018. She supports international graduate and undergraduate students in the School of Engineering and the Gordon Institute, international scholars at the School of Engineering, as well as J-1 exchange students. Lizzie is also the International Center's advisor for the Davies House residential community, better known as the I-House, and manages the International Center's Intercultural Conversation Program (ICP).

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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 received her Master’s degree in International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations 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

Marisa Silva
International Student & Scholar Advisor

Marisa joined the International Center in June 2018 as the International Center Coordinator, and in June 2022 became an International Student and Scholar Advisor. Marisa advises undergraduate students in Arts & Sciences and carries out a variety of programming roles to support international students at Tufts.

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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
Julia Keither

Julia Keith
Program Coordinator

Julia joined the International Center in April 2022.  As Program Coordinator, Julia is responsible for creating and executing cultural and social events and supporting student programs including the Peer Advisor Program and GO for the University's Medford/Somerville, Boston Health Sciences and SMFA campuses.

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Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

A native of Massachusetts, Julia holds a Bachelor’s degree in French and Comparative Literature from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston University.  She first gained experience in the field of international education at the BU Office of Study Abroad and eventually transitioned to secondary language education as a high school French teacher.  Julia has spent extensive time traveling, living and volunteering in several francophone countries including France, Morocco, French Polynesia, Haiti and Senegal.  She loves capturing her travels through photography.

Email Julia.Keith@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-2480
Marva Bernard-Saunders

Marva Bernard-Saunders
International Center Coordinator

Marva became the International Center Coordinator in June 2022.  As Coordinator, supports the International Center's administrative and financial operations across the Center's three offices in Medford / Somerville, Boston, and the Fletcher School.

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Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Marva was born and raised in Jamaica. She holds an Associate degree from Bay State College in Applied Sciences and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica in International Relations. She has worked as a coordinator for the first Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program in Jamaica for senior and middle managers. She also coordinated the largest African Language program in the US at Harvard University, and had previous appointments with the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Faculty Affairs at the Tufts Medical School. Marva is an avid gardener, enjoys cooking and DIY projects.

Email Marva.Bernard_Saunders@tufts.edu
Telephone (617) 627-3458