International Faculty & Scholar Office Contacts

International Faculty & Scholar Office Staff

  • Roark Miller, Ph.D.

    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.
  • Jerry Linkon, J.D.

    Jerry Linkon, J.D.

    Counseling Attorney

    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.

  • Dalia Alshamas

    Dalia Alshamas

    Immigration Advisor
    J-1 and H-1B for Scholars with the last name: A - J

    Dalia Alshamas was born and raised in San Diego and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts in Human Behavior from National 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.

  • Lucas Olson

    Lucas Olson

    Immigration Advisor
    J-1 and H-1B for Scholars with the last name: S - Z

    Lucas Olson serves as an immigration advisor, providing services to international scholars and UCSD departments. He is originally from Michigan and grew up in a family that loved to travel as well as host international au pairs and exchange students. Since then, he has lived abroad for over 5 years in northern Europe, Russia, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Kalamazoo College, an M.Sc. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, and an M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He has previously worked in international student and scholar services at Stanford University and San Diego State University. Outside of work, he enjoys camping, road trips, tennis, and volleyball.

  • Marie Manlapaz

    Marie Manlapaz

    Immigration Advisor
    J-1 and H-1B for Scholars with the last name: K - R

    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.

    Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D.

    Immigration Advisor

    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.

  • Victoria Gerginis-Mellos

    Victoria Gerginis-Mellos

    Office Manager

    Victoria manages office operations and procedures, oversees correspondence, and supports the International Faculty and Scholars Office. She is also the contact for logistics and inquiries from our various business offices, affiliates, and outside organizations. She has been an administrator at UC San Diego for the past four years, and helped to manage and promote programs that were interdisciplinary. Prior to that, Victoria provided outreach in the nonprofit sector and promoted farmers’ stories, the importance of a local food supply, as well as a collaborative educational program that taught urban children about nutrition. She has a Master’s degree in Education, and an undergraduate degree in Studio Arts. She was also a professional folk dancer and had performed in various cultural festivals throughout California. In her free time, Victoria enjoys reading, leisurely walks, and learning about various cultures through folk dance.

  • Danny Richman

    Danny Richman

    Employment Based Immigration Assistant

    Danny provides administrative support for the H-1B and Permanent Residency staff as well as IFSO’s front desk.  He attended Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied International Relations and minored in Spanish. The following year he moved to Spain to teach English. Originally from the greater Boston area, Danny comes to us with professional experience in data processing and experience working with international refugees and asylees helping them find employment in the U.S. Having lived in Barcelona for a year, he is also an avid Barcelona fan and enjoys eating pan con tomate, learning different languages, and experiencing diverse cultures. Danny enjoys his work and finds meaning in international relations. In his free time, Danny enjoys playing soccer, being outdoors, and trying different ethnic meals.

  • Emily Rowley

    Emily Rowley

    J-1 Immigration Assistant

    Emily provides administrative support to J-1 cases and supervises the International Faculty & Scholars Office front desk staff. Emily is a Pennsylvania native and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish/Hispanic Cultures and Human Communication from Juniata College. Utilizing her degree and pursuing her passions, she has provided legal services to immigrants of all backgrounds domestically and abroad. Before settling in San Diego, Emily lived in Spain, Paraguay, and various states on the East Coast. In her spare time, she is a reiki practitioner, human rights activist, and volunteers with Border Angels. Her interests also include Drag Race, reggaetón, and shrimp.

  • Nallely (Natalie) Garcia

    Nallely (Natalie) Garcia

    Employment Based Intake and Compliance Coordinator

    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. 

  • Nari Shin

    Nari Shin

    J-1 Intake and Compliance Coordinator

    Nari reviews all J-1 requests and handles all J-1 health insurance functions. Having immigrated to the U.S. at a young age, she experienced the hardships of adjusting to new settings, and ever since, she found joy in learning and understanding different cultures and languages (i.e. Korean, Chinese, Spanish) to help others. To further this passion, she received her B.A. in Political Science-International Relations from UC San Diego. As an avid explorer, she has traveled to four out of seven continents of the world and over 18 U.S. states, and she plans on visiting the rest of the world in the near future. In her free time, she loves to play volleyball, watch Dodgers baseball games, cook creative fusion dishes, and spend time with her friends and family. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” She aspires to live out this lifestyle.

  • Kyrsten Head

    Kyrsten Head

    Front Desk Student Assistant

    Kyrsten is currently a fourth year ERC student pursuing a major in International Studies with a specialization in Political Science and a minor in History. Although she grew up in Orange County, her travels to Germany, Slovenia, Austria, and Italy engrained a fascination with other cultures, people and places in her mind which led her to study international politics at UCSD. When she isn’t in Geisel Library studying, she loves going to the beach, playing volleyball, and visiting all the local food spots. In addition to working at IFSO and being a full time student, she also holds a position on the executive board of Delta Gamma, is a research assistant for professors from the Political Science Department, and conducts research with the School of Global Policy and Strategy. She plans to go to either graduate school to continue her research as a political scientist or law school to become an immigration attorney.

  • Paige Wasniak

    Paige Wasniak

    Front Desk Student Assistant

    Paige is currently a second year ERC student pursuing a major in International Business. She grew up in Sonoma County and spent most of her younger years traveling. She spent two months as an exchange student in Japan and has also traveled to the Carribean, Mexico and Western Europe. These trips led to her fascination in learning about other cultures and her eventual majoring in International Business. In addition to working at IFSO and being a full-time student, she is also the Dance by the Shores Coordinator for the UCSD Dancesport Club. In high school, she worked as an office assistant for an estate planning firm. She spent her childhood raising animals including lambs and chickens for 4-H. She also loves playing tennis, painting, and food adventures. 

  • Danica Cajigas

    Danica Cajigas

    Programming Student Assistant

    Danica is a second year Biochemistry/Chemistry major in Revelle College. As a born-and-raised San Diegan, she loves to constantly explore all parts of the county and establish connections with all people, especially within the Filipino community. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys spending her time cooking Gordon Ramsay-inspired dishes, ballet dancing, or with family and friends.  In addition to working at IFSO and being a full time student, Danica also works with the Divine Mercy Hills Foundation of SC, a non-profit organization. Upon graduating, Danica hopes to go to graduate school, pursue a career in biochemistry, and work to save the environment; all while staying in her favorite city in the world—San Diego.

Contact Us

International Faculty & Scholar Office (IFSO)
(858) 246-1448

Monday through Friday
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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