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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 
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • 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
  • 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
  • Email: dalshamas@ucsd.edu 
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • J-1 and H-1B Advising for Scholars with the last name: A - G
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 
  • 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 & Socienty 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.

Lucas Olson | Immigration Advisor (O - W)

Lucas Olson  Lucas Olson
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Immigration Advisor

Contact
  • Email: luolson@ucsd.edu
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • J-1 and H-1B Advising for Scholars with the last name: O - W
    • IFSO Reports and Data
    • ISD/ISSM Manager
Favorites in San Diego
  • Ocean Beach
  • Modern Times Brewery
  • Mikes Taco Club
About
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.

Nallely Garcia | Intake and Compliance Coordinator (X - Z)

Nallely (Natalie) Garcia Nallely Garcia
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Intake and Compliance Coordinator

Contact
  • Email: nallely@ucsd.edu 
  • 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. 

Danny Richman | Immigration Assistant

Danny Richman Danny Richman
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Immigration Assistant 

Contact
  • Email: dmrichman@ucsd.edu 
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • Intake J-1 and H-1B
    • Outsource Administrative Support
    • ISD Support
Favorites in San Diego
  • Mission Beach / Pacific Beach boardwalk
  • Las Cuatro Milpas
  • Empanada Kitchen
About
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 working with international refugees and asylees. Having lived in Barcelona for a year, he is a big soccer fan and enjoys eating Spanish cuisine but prefers Mexican food now. In his free time Danny enjoys doing all things outside around San Diego.

Nitzana Alzalde | ISD Coordinator

Nitzana Alzalde 
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
ISD Coordinator

Contact
  • Email: nitzanaa@ucsd.edu
  • I can assist with a variety of immigration topics including: 
    • ISD Support
    • J-1 Intake
    • J-1 Registration  
Favorites in San Diego
  • Torrey Pines State Beach
  • Tajima Ramen House in Kearny Mesa
  • The Original Sab-E-Lee in Linda Vista
About

Nitzana was born and raised in San Diego. She enjoyed everything her hometown had to offer and decided to complete her studies at UC San Diego, where she earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. During her time at UC San Diego, Nitzana worked for IFSO, she started when she was a high school student at Preuss as an intern. She worked with J-1 visas, H-1B visas and permanent residency cases. After completing her studies, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to gain experience in the legal world. She has had the opportunity to work on a variety of cases, including immigration cases. Nitzana is thrilled to be back at UC San Diego, especially IFSO and looks forward to helping scholars with their immigration process. At IFSO, she provides administrative support to the staff working on J-1 matters. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going on walks by the beach, and traveling.

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.