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Meet the International Faculty & Scholars Office

IFSO Staff Picture

Meet Our Team

We want our scholars to have a transformative experience at UC San Diego!  To better assist you, please refer to our staff names in the blue drawers below. For convenience, we have included our name badges, our areas of expertise, and customer service topics. To help with your transition to San Diego, our favorite landmarks, hiking trails, and eateries are also included. We look forward to meeting you!

About IFSO

Roark Miller, Ph.D. | Director

Roark Miller, Ph.D. A button for name playback in email signature Roark Miller
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Director, International Faculty & Scholars Office
Associate Director, Global Education

Contact
  • Email: rtmiller@ucsd.edu 
  • Schedule a phone or zoom meeting with Roark using:
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • E-3 and TN Advising for Scholars with the last name: A - Z
    • Other Statuses (i.e. E3, TN, F-1 OPT from institutions other than UCSD)
    • Taxes for International Visitors
    • IFSO operational questions
    • Institutional policy questions as they pertain to federal immigration regulations
    • Questions pertaining to inbound and outbound Fulbright applicants
Favorites in San Diego
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Flavors of East Africa Restaurant
  • Torrey Pines State Park
About
Roark Miller oversees the operations of the International Faculty & Scholars Office. For over two decades 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 Hayes Fellowship for dissertation research in Venice, Italy,and a Fulbright International Education Administration award for India. He has served as Regbud for NAFSA Region 12, presented at numerous NAFSA regional conferences, and served as a NAFSA trainer.  Roark has also published articles in refereed journals, and has taught at Southern Methodist University and Emory University.

Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D. | Assistant Director

Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D. Sandra Vargas Tinoco
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Assistant Director, International Faculty & Scholars Office
Immigration Advisor

Contact
  • Email: svargastinoco@ucsd.edu
  • Schedule a phone or zoom meeting with Sandra using: 
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • Faculty hired through a national recruitment 
    • Faculty labor certification permanent residency route
    • J-1 and H-1B Advising
Favorites in San Diego
  • San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
  • Tajima and other places in Kearny Mesa
  • Hiking at Torrey Pines Trail and Poway Lake
About
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 14 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 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 exploring San Diego with her family and running after her toddlers.

Dalia Alshamas | Immigration Advisor (A - G)

Dalia Alshamas Dalia Alshamas
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Immigration Advisor

Contact
Favorites in San Diego
  • Hiking Cowles Mountain
  • Seaport Village
  • Coasterra
About
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.

Marie Manlapaz | Senior Immigration Advisor (H - N)

Marie Manlapaz Marie Manlapaz
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Senior Immigration Advisor

Contact
  • Email: mmanlapaz@ucsd.edu 
  • Schedule a phone or zoom meeting with Marie using:
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • J-1 and H-1B Advising for Scholars with the last name: H - N
    • Outsource Processing (permanent residency and O-1s)
Favorites in San Diego
  • Konos in Pacific Beach
  • Salsa Dancing/live music at Salsa Under the Stars a Seaport Village and Salsa on the Beach at Mission Beach
  • The Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens in Encinitas
  • Handel's Ice Cream in Carlsbad Village
  • Exploring San Diego hiking trails
About
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 almost 20 years. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Sociology with an emphasis in Law & Society and 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 J-1, H-1B employment related matters and works with the permanent residency team and outside counsel on outsourced employer sponsored petitions. She enjoys working with international faculty, 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, gardening, and salsa dancing.

Taylor Luscutoff | Immigration Advisor (O - W for J-1 status)

Taylor Luscutoff A button for name playback in email signatureTaylor Luscutoff
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Immigration Advisor

Contact
Favorites in San Diego
  • Balboa Park
  • City Tacos in North Park
  • The San Diego Zoo
About

Taylor is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He learned Spanish as a child and began studying Italian in high school. He eventually went on to study abroad in Bologna, Italy during his junior year of college and earned a B.A. in Economics and Italian from UC Davis. He has worked in numerous international settings, most recently at the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco where he was granted Italian citizenship for his 8+ years of service. Taylor now brings his expertise to UC San Diego to help the campus community and its affiliates cultivate meaningful international connections and opportunities. Outside of work Taylor enjoys tending to his tropical plant collection, playing the piano, and hand-making pasta from scratch.

Nallely Garcia | Immigration Advisor (X - Z)

Nallely (Natalie) Garcia Nallely Garcia
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Immigration Advisor

Contact
  • Email: nallely@ucsd.edu 
  • Schedule a phone or zoom meeting with Nallely using:
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • J-1 and H-1B Advising for Scholars with the last name: X - Z
    • Shipping Questions (ShipIt/eShipGlobal)
    • Compliance of Health Insurance requirement for J program
Favorites in San Diego
  • Barrio Donas in Clairemont
  • Bear Buns Bakery in Serra Mesa
  • Chaba Thai Food in Kearny Mesa
  • The Forum Coffee House in Clairemont

About
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 hiking, trying new food, and volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank. 

Ashley LeBourveau | ISD & Compliance Coordinator

Ashley LeBourveau 
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Advisor & ISD Coordinator

Contact
  • Email: alebourveau@ucsd.edu 
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • ISD Intake Processing
    • ISD inquiries and troubleshooting
Favorites in San Diego
  • Central Library Reading Room
  • Coronado Beach
  • Coco Ichibanya
About

Ashley grew up in rural New York, and has always loved to travel after spending a short period of her childhood living in Germany. She completed her first degree in Burnaby, Canada, then moved on to Kentucky to earn a Masters in Library and Information Science. She has worked for over seven years as a departmental liaison for international staff, students, and faculty in Kentucky before moving to San Diego. While at Kentucky, she began studying Japanese and now also is studying Spanish. Having been an international student herself, Ashley loves to encourage others to go to new places and support them in their journeys. In her personal time, she writes video game reviews, takes road trips to new places, and can often be found carrying far too many books out of the library.

Tracey Pennito | ISD & Compliance Coordinator

Tracey Pennito 
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Advisor & ISD Coordinator

Contact
  • Email: tpennito@ucsd.edu
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • ISD Intake Processing
    • ISD inquiries and troubleshooting
Favorites in San Diego
  • Paddle Boarding in Mission Bay
  • Coronado Beach
  • World Curry in Pacific Beach
About
Tracey Pennito is working as an ISD and Compliance Coordinator. She originally grew up in Connecticut, and lived in New York City for 5 years. While earning her BA from New School University in NYC, she studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal. After college she served as a TEFL Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar. Prior to working at UCSD, she worked with the El Cajon Social Security Office. In her free time, she loves running, hiking, watching comedy, and spending time with friends.

Victoria Gerginis-Mellos | Office Manager

Victoria Gerginis-Mellos Victoria Gerginis Mellos
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Office Manager

Contact
  • Email: vgerginismellos@ucsd.edu 
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • Recharge and Credit Card Payments 
    • IFSO Events/Programming
    • English in Action Program
Favorites in San Diego
  • Coronado Beach
  • Broken Yolk
  • Hugo's Cocina
  • Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream

About
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. Prior to UC San Diego, 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.

Olivia Cetin | Student Assistant

Olivia is a third-year student at Eleanor Roosevelt College, double majoring in Psychology and Economics. She grew up in a bicultural household and an international community in Ankara, Turkey and visited her family In San Diego every summer. Her diverse background has allowed her to understand the unique joys and dilemmas of being able to identify with two cultures. She recognizes the challenges as well as the excitement of the adjustment process of moving to a new city and living in a new community. Her position also makes it easy to find commonalities with everyone.  In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, learning new dances and exploring San Diego. As an IFSO student assistant, Olivia is excited to support the international community at UC San Diego

Joanne Shin | Student Assistant

Joanne is a junior at UC San Diego majoring in International Business and Business Economics and minoring in Chinese Studies. She grew up in Seoul, South Korea and spent her high school years in Nebraska. As an international student who has lived in various states in America, she understands the challenges of settling in a foreign country and wants to help those who are in a similar situation. After joining IFSO as a student assistant, she is excited to work with numerous international scholars and faculty of UC San Diego and learn more about other cultures. In her free time, Joanne enjoys swimming, watching movies, or going to the beach with her friends.