Roark Miller, Ph.D.
Director, International Faculty & Scholar Office
Associate Director, International Center
Roark Miller oversees the operations of the International Faculty & Scholar Office. For over a decade he has been working in international education, advising international scholars and students on the full gamut of academic visa classifications; prior to coming to UC San Diego he worked in International Offices at Emory University and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Roark received his Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Michigan, and his B.Mus. in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory. He received a Fulbright Fellowship for dissertation research in Venice, Italy, has published articles in refereed journals, and has taught at Southern Methodist University and Emory University.
J-1 for Health Sciences & School of Medicine
Dalia Alshamas was born and raised in San Diego and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Diego State University. Dalia has had over 10 years of experience working in Education; she has served as the Community Outreach Coordinator at a private university as well as a High School and Community Relations Liaison for a local Community College. As a scholar advisor, Dalia serves university departments and International scholars at UC San Diego. Dalia comes from a diverse background of Middle Eastern and German descent. She enjoys traveling and has lived in Germany and visited Costa Rica and Greece. She speaks Arabic, German, and Spanish and would love to learn another language. Dalia is always eager and excited to meet new people and learn more about different cultures. In her free time Dalia enjoys reading, movies, and swimming.
J-1 for Main Campus
Jennifer is a Washington state native and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University. Upon completion of her degree, she traveled through Eastern Europe studying international business and advertising. She later moved from Washington state to beautiful San Diego and has spent 7 years at UC San Diego in Student Affairs. She has experiences being abroad and strongly encourages others to travel internationally. She has a passion for meeting new people from diverse backgrounds and connecting individuals to the UC San Diego community. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, crafting and spending time with her family and friends.
Immigration Intake Advisor
Melissa graduated from UCLA where she majored in Political Science and Global Studies. She studied abroad in Paris where she focused her time on learning about French politics, local immigration issues, and eating croissants. After graduating, she was fortunate to land in the field of international education at the American Language Institute. She is eager to continue that path here at UC San Diego. In her role, Melissa aids departments and international scholars along their journey through UC San Diego. She enjoys learning from different cultures, seeing new landscapes, and broadening her culinary palette.
H-1B for Health Sciences & School of Medicine
Marie Manlapaz’s passion in immigration-related matters stem from witnessing her grandmother emigrate eleven children from the Philippines to the U.S. Marie has worked in the immigration field for over 10 years. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Sociology, with a minor in Asian American Studies at UC Davis. Prior to joining IFSO Marie was an Immigration Specialist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and also an International Student Advisor at UC Davis and UC San Diego. As an Immigration Advisor, Marie advises scholars and departments on H-1B employment related matters. She enjoys working with international scholars and their families from all over the world. She finds it rewarding to see others fulfill their professional, academic and personal goals. She understands it can be challenging to navigate the U.S.’s complex immigration regulations and wants scholars and departments to know that IFSO is here to assist them. She encourages scholars and their families to explore San Diego and the diverse culture California offers. In her free time, Marie enjoys going to the beach, rollerblading, hiking and salsa dancing.
Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D.
H-1B for Main Campus
As an Immigration Advisor, Sandra advises scholars and departments on employment based immigration categories. Sandra's favorite part of her job is meeting scholars from different parts of the world. Sandra has over 6 years of experience working in the immigration field. Sandra encourages schoalrs to ask questions when in doubt about their immigration status. Her experience in immigration helps her understand the complex regulations associated with visas. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Politiacal Science and recently earned a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Sandra loves being back at UC San Diego and exploring all the new additions to the campus. In her free time, Sandra enjoys reading, movies, and hiking.
Nallely (Natalie) Garcia
Employment Based Intake Advisor
Nallely provides administrative support to departments, scholars, and the International Faculty & Scholars Office. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Law and Society from UC San Diego. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, her passion for helping others led her to work as a Paralegal in an immigration law firm. She returned to UC San Diego, where she gained student affairs and course management experience. Nallely looks forward to helping members of the Triton community with their immigration process. In her free time she enjoys practicing her Spanish, hiking, trying new food, and volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank.
Jerry Linkon, J.D.
Jerry Linkon, a Chicago native, moved to California to pursue a degree in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Upon graduating from UCLA, Jerry continued his passion for politics and the law. He attended Southwestern University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor. After some time practicing law in Los Angeles, Jerry decided to move his private immigration law practice to San Diego. Once he had established his practice at its new location, he was contacted by Mary Dhooge, the former Dean of the International Center. It was at this time that she hired Jerry to provide part-time immigration law services for the international visitors at UC San Diego. Although Jerry is not a full time staff member at the International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO), he is still an integral part of its success. As the sole immigration attorney at the International Center, he works closely with international professors, researchers, and campus departments, to provide international scholars with the proper advice to ensure the correct submission of their U.S. permanent residence applications. When Jerry is not surrounded by mass amounts of paperwork and is able to interact with international scholars, he likes to learn about various cultures. He also lends some pieces of advice of his own. “Though there may be a McDonald’s and a Starbucks on every block,” says Jerry, “the American people are very diverse in personality, culture and religion. Be careful with generalizations about the American people.” During his time away from the ISO office and his own law office downtown, Jerry loves going on hikes in nature. One of his favorite places to walk in San Diego is at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Jerry also enjoys walking through the San Diego Zoo and observing the animal life that inhabit the park. If something were named after Jerry, it would be a bench on the Coastal Trail in San Francisco or at the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Front Desk Student Assistant
Rosa is currently a second year at UCSD and is pursuing a major in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations. As a pre-law student, she enjoys keeping up with current events, having lively, intellectual conversations on various topics as well as reading and writing for her own personal enjoyment. Born in South Korea, raised in Canada and currently residing in America, she has been exposed to a variety of different cultures and people. Rosa has had many job experiences starting from a young age as she would tutor kids grades 3-12 throughout her high school career. She has also interned for Senator Joel Anderson’s office, held leadership positions for her local church and even worked as a barista at Starbucks. Now, Rosa involves herself in many things in San Diego. In addition to working at IFSO and being a full time student, she also works with children at her church, serves for her campus ministry and dances in her free time. Rosa enjoys good food, good music and good company and continues to trust in the path that has been laid out for her.
Front Desk Student Assistant
Joey is a first year Muir College student majoring in Political Science-International Relations with a possible interest in pursuing Economics as a double-major. He was born in Manila, Philippines, and moved to the US when he was eight years old. Joey is passionate about learning other cultures and travelling around the world to meet new people. He is currently learning French and hopes to improve on his Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and introduce himself to the Korean language. He also loves trying new cuisines, making dumplings, sewing, listening to Korean Pop (K-POP), and watching lots of TV and film. Joey is currently involved in Triton Model United Nations, Associated Students First Year Council, Kaibigang Pilipino, and IFSO. In the future, he aspires to work at the United Nations to advocate for refugees and immigrants who have been impacted by unfortunate events in their home country. Joey believes that every person deserves to have a chance to live a better life, and hopes to work with his peers to attempt and accomplish this goal.
Front Desk Student Assistant
Richard is a third year Revelle student pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Growing up and living in Los Angeles he’s seen and experienced the cultural diversity found in the USA. This introduction left him with a yearning to explore different cultures and their history. Once he attended UCSD he acted on his enriching desire and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. His background made him want to continue working and interacting with people across the globe and does so by working with IFSO. When he’s not busy he likes to continue learning about rocketry and skateboarding.
Event Planning and Marketing Student Assistant
Jacqueline is from northern California. When she was young, she and her family would travel to various places in Asia and Europe. As a result, her strong appreciation for culture and travel only continued to grow. As a fourth year International Studies-International Business major with a minor in Sociology, she aims to pursue a career in international business and travel the world to widen her horizons. She is also a part of a women’s philanthropic organization on campus, Alpha Chi Omega, which strives to raise awareness and aid those affected by domestic violence. During her time at IFSO, she is having irreplaceable experiences as she acquires invaluable skills that cannot be learned in the classroom. She loves planning exciting events that help international scholars and their families become acquainted with American culture and have fun with all that southern California offers.
Permanent Residency Student Assistant
Nitzana is a second year ERC student, double majoring in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. Born and raised in San Diego, Nitzana could not imagine leaving her hometown for her undergraduate experience and decided to attend UC San Diego. When she is not studying at Geisel Library, she enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and trying acai bowls from local shops. Her time at IFSO has helped her find her passion to work in the immigration field. She aspires to go onto law school and become an immigration attorney.
International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO)
Monday through Friday
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.