A native of Muskegon, Michigan, Ms. Thomas has extensive experience in higher education, having worked for three different institutions since 1978. A member of the Georgia State University team since 1990, she has worked for the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services in the College of Education and in the Associate Provost's Office. She is a member of the Alpha Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars. Her international travel experiences include Mexico, Côte d'Ivoire, and South Africa. Ms. Thomas manages the business and HR affairs for the office.
Amanda provides direct support to the Associate Provost by maintaining calendar, correspondence, and international logistics, including international visitors, as well as coordinating International Education Week. She earned her M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, specializing in International Education Exchange and Intercultural Training. She earned her B.A. in History and Global Studies from Middle Tennessee State University, and she is certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in Germany and China, and she taught English in Prague, Czech Republic. She has been a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators since 2005, and she is the Chair of the Advocacy Sub-Committee for the Georgia Association of International Educators (GAIE).
Kike joined the Office of International Initiatives in 2003 as the Project Coordinator for the Ghana Tourism Capacity Development Initiative and simultaneously as Study Abroad Programs Advisor from 2004-2005. Kike manages the university’s international cooperation partnerships, and strategic initiatives including the annual international strategic initiatives (ISI) seed grants, special China initiatives, and multiple databases that capture international program data. She is the lead OII staff for the Global Gateway project. Prior to her employment at GSU, she served as the Institute Liaison and Team Lead for both the Institute of Gender and Health, and the Rural and Northern Health Strategic Programs, at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Ottawa, Canada. Kike holds Bachelors degrees from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Canada and a Masters degree in International Development Studies from St. Mary's University, Halifax, Canada.
Earl Picard is a Senior Research Associate and Director for Strategic Planning and Development in the Georgia State University Office of International Initiatives, where he has served since December 2000. He holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Picard taught on the graduate faculty of Political Science at Atlanta University from 1977 to 1985. Since 1985 he has worked as an international development practitioner. He has served as Country Representative for the Institute of International Education (IIE) in Zimbabwe (1985-88) and South Africa (1997-99). From 1990 to 1997 Picard was Director of the Office of International Training and Development (OITD) at Clark Atlanta University. In the course of his career Picard has secured and managed development assistance contracts in more than ten countries and has worked as a consultant to local, national and international governmental organizations and non-profits.
Andrea Turpin, Project Coordinator, International Strategic Planning & Development
Andrea joined the Office of International Initiatives as the Project Coordinator for International Strategic Planning and Development in March 2012. Prior to joining GSU, she was the Senior Program Officer-Arabic Institutes for the US Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship Program at the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Andrea also served as the Arabic School Coordinator at Middlebury College and was a teaching assistant for Arabic at the University of Texas at Austin. She has studied and researched in Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon, and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa. She received her B.A. in Religious Studies from Indiana University, an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.A. in Middle Eastern History from the University of Virginia.
Sonya Henry, IUGB Project Coordinator, International Strategic Planning & Development
In her primary role, Sonya manages a higher education development initiative in West Africa through a partnership between Georgia State University and the International University of Grand Bassam (IUGB) in Côte d'Ivoire. Sonya earned her B.S. in Psychology at Georgia State University and participated in the UVSQ exchange program in Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines, France during her senior year. Just months later, she returned to Lyon, France to teach English in two middle schools during the following school year. While in Europe, she traveled to over ten different countries, including Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, and Poland. Sonya also served as an intern in the Study Abroad Programs office.
International Student & Scholar Services:
Heather Housley, Director, ISSS
Heather is the Director of International Student & Scholar Services, where she has worked since 1998 in various roles. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the Ohio State University in Columbus. Heather served two years in Senegal as a Peace Corps Volunteer, studied abroad in Chennai, India, and participated in a Fulbright program to Germany. She enjoys learning about the world not only by traveling, but by getting to know the unique and wonderful international students here at Georgia State.
Tammy is the Assistant Director in the ISSS office and assists Georgia State University departments with obtaining H-1B, TN, O-1 status and Permanent Residency for international faculty and staff. Tammy has worked in international education since 2000 and in higher education since 1996. Tammy obtained both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Georgia. In addition to working at Georgia State University and The University of Georgia, Tammy has been active in both state and regional groups dedicated to the field of international education. From 2006-2008 she has served as Secretary-Treasurer and Chair of the Georgia Association of International Educators, and in 2005 she was awarded a Fulbright grant through the U.S. – Germany International Education Administrators Program.
Yun Lin, International Admissions Coordinator, ISSS
Yun coordinates international admissions processes in ISSS. Originally from China, Yun moved to Pittsburgh, PA with her family in 2006. After completing her master's degree in higher education at Pennsylvania State University, she joined ISSS in August 2008. Yun reviews and processes applications and issues visa eligibility documents for F-1 and J-1 international students. She also advises international students on immigration and financial requirements, and guides them through the admissions process at Georgia State University. Yun has traveled to several Asian countries and enjoys experiencing different cultures.
Lenka Garimella, F-1 Student Advisor and ISAC Coordinator, ISSS
Lenka joined the ISSS office in July 2008 as an international student advisor and coordinator for International Student Associations Council (ISAC). Originally from the Czech Republic, Lenka taught Czech Language, Literature and Music Education courses while finishing her master’s degree at Palacky University in Olomouc. Lenka entered the field of international education in 2006 as a graduate assistant in the International Student Center at Kansas State University, where she received her master’s degree in English as a Second Language (ESL). She enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures, and likes to spend her spare time hiking, skiing, and rollerblading in the great outdoors.
Holly joined ISSS in 2007. Holly advises J-1 visiting scholars at GSU and, as the technical liaison for the office, is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and integrity of international student records in the U.S. government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). After receiving her B.A. in French from the University of Georgia in 1998, Holly moved to Washington, DC, where she began her career in international education as an intern in the Public Affairs division of the Canadian Embassy. Holly worked with International Visitor exchange programs at Meridian International Center in Washington, and from 1999-2005 worked with U.S. and J-1 Visiting Fulbright Scholar Programs at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Holly moved to Savannah, GA, in 2006, where she advised F-1 international students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Holly enjoys foreign languages and cultures, and feels fortunate to work at a campus as diverse as Georgia State.
Kati Rogers (Parker),F-1 and J-1 Student Advisor, ISSS
Kati advises F-1 and J-1 exchange students at Georgia State University. Kati received her Master’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University in 2011. In addition to working at Georgia State, Kati has worked in International Student and Scholar Services offices at both Florida State University and the University of South Florida. Kati finds helping and interacting with international students extremely gratifying, especially since she studied abroad herself and appreciated having a support system overseas. Kati studied abroad in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where she was also the first ever intern at the Inter-University Centre. Kati enjoys learning about cultures and hopes to travel to every country at least once in her lifetime. Kati loves spending time with her family and her two precious puggles, as well as, baking, watching movies and party planning.
Antony is the Office Manager for International Student & Scholar Services where he has been since August of 2011. Antony comes to GSU from Kennesaw State University where most of his background was within student development, student advocacy, diversity, residence life, and student activities. Antony obtained a bachelor's degree in social psychology from Georgia Southwestern State University. Antony absolutely loves working with students and has a strong desire to assist and advocate for them in any way possible. He first discovered his passion to work directly with international student population while working within the Student Development office at Kennesaw State University while operating as the Program Director/Coordinator for GLBTIQ Student Retention Services.
Before joining the Study Abroad team at Georgia State University, Jeremy spent 6 years in the Education Abroad office at Virginia Tech. At Virginia Tech, Jeremy served as Assistant Director and worked with students, faculty, staff, parents, and international partners in all aspects of the study abroad process. Prior to entering the field of international education, Jeremy worked for several years as a professor of French at a liberal arts college in Michigan. Jeremy completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University where he studied French language and literature. He spent his junior year abroad in Paris, an experience which ignited a lifelong passion for international education and intercultural development. Jeremy did his graduate work in French literature at Yale University where he specialized in twentieth-century writers, with a particular emphasis on prison narratives, psychoanalysis, and the intersection of autobiography and fiction. At Georgia State University, Jeremy hopes to find ways to allow every student to have a meaningful international experience during his or her time at the university.
Katrina Helz, Study Abroad Advisor, Study Abroad Programs
Katrina is thrilled to be joining the study abroad team and looks forward to speaking with students about their international adventures. Katrina holds an M.A. in International Affairs from The New School and a B.A. from Kenyon College. She spent seven years working in the human rights field in Washington, D.C. and New York City, and prior to GSU she was the study abroad advisor at Bard College in New York. Katrina's own study abroad experience includes Oaxaca, Mexico and Ecuador. Growing up, she lived in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Yemen, and Qatar. Through her previous job, she had additional opportunities to travel to Hungary, Kenya, Senegal, Brazil, Peru, Turkey, and the UK. And for fun, she has enjoyed trips to South Africa, Guatemala, Barbados, and Norway. Katrina believes that every student should have the opportunity to study abroad, and she is excited to work towards that goal.