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International Faculty & Scholars Office Contacts

IFSO Staff



Find IFSO staff at McGill Hall Suite 2126 (second floor) of Muir College or contact us at (858) 246-1448. 

Visit our "Contact Us" page for office hours, how to schedule an appointment with an advisor, directions to our office, email addresses, and additional information.



  • Roark Miller, Ph.D.

    Roark Miller, Ph.D.

    Director, International Faculty & Scholars Office
    Associate Director, Global Education

    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.

  • Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D.

    Sandra Vargas Tinoco, J.D.

    Assistant Director, International Faculty & Scholars Office
    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.

  • 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 Global Education. 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 & Scholars Office (IFSO), he is still an integral part of its success. As the sole immigration attorney at Global Education, 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 IFSO 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 - H

    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

    Marie Manlapaz

    Senior Immigration Advisor
    J-1 and H-1B for Scholars with the last name: I - P

    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.

  • Lucas Olson

    Lucas Olson

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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Evelyn Lueker

    Evelyn Lueker

    J-1 Immigration Assistant

    A commitment to intercultural exchange drives Evelyn Lueker’s work at IFSO. As an Immigration Assistant, Evelyn serves the IFSO team supporting incoming J-1 faculty and scholars as well as their sponsoring departments. She earned her B.A. in Business from San Francisco State University and her M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Studying abroad in France and Thailand, affirmed Evelyn’s belief in the impact of international exchange and connectivity. She began supporting the international workforce while working for tech startups in San Francisco, then followed her passion for higher education to work for various non-profits and institutions supporting both incoming and outgoing international education participants. Evelyn is thrilled to be contributing to the growing diversity and wealth of knowledge of the triton community through her work at IFSO. Outside of the office you can find Evelyn on her Stand-Up Paddle Board or having game nights with her friends and family.   

  • Aia Hawari

    Aia Hawari

    Front Desk Coordinator

    As Front Desk Coordinator, Aia’s role mainly entails the management and coordination of the Front Desk, and supervision of the Front Desk Student Staff. Aia has been part of Global Education since 2015, where she was employed at International Students & Programs Office mainly supporting the processing of international student employment applications. Aia is also a UCSD alumna of SWANA origin with a degree in Literature/Writing. Prior to returning to Global Education and joining IFSO, she worked as a Paralegal at a Global Immigration law firm. A Southern Californian plagued with wanderlust, Aia enjoys exploring new places and traveling whenever possible. In her free time Aia enjoys connecting with folks, reading books of all genres, writing, attending poetry events, hanging out in bookstores, and going to the beach.

  • 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.

Student Staff

  • Danica Cajigas

    Danica Cajigas

    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 city. 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 Southern California, 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.

  • Emily Kim

    Emily Kim

    Emily is a sophomore in ERC with a linguistics major and a double minor in Middle Eastern studies and CSE. Although she has spent most of her life in Santa Clarita, Emily briefly lived in South Korea during her childhood and she is proud of her Korean heritage. Learning Arabic, Spanish, and Mandarin in both high school and college has helped her develop an appreciation for cultures across the world. Besides working at IFSO and being a full-time student, she is the Director of Special Events in Student Council of ERC, the secretary for Ellie’s Transfers and Commuters, and a conversation leader in English-in-Action. She also waitresses at a sushi restaurant when she’s back home. In San Diego, during her free time, Emily enjoys dancing with her friends, creating a ruckus at Geisel Library, and hunting for good food within a twenty mile radius of her place. Upon graduating, Emily hopes to go to graduate school, write a book, get fit, and pursue a career in government along the East Coast.

  • Jasmine Evaristo

    Jasmine Evaristo

    Jasmine is a third year Sociology with a concentration in Law and Society. Apart from working at IFSO she holds another position in Enrollment Management at Office of Admissions. When she is not working she enjoys going to the beach to see the sunsets and trying new food places. Once she graduates, she will be taking a 2-year gap to gain life experience. After that she hopes to attend grad school and find a career path that allows her to help people.  

  • Madeline Park

    Madeline Park

    Madeline is a second year Muir student pursuing a major in Communications and a double minor in Education and English Literature. Although Korean-American and originally from Los Angeles, Madeline has lived most of her life overseas in Qingdao, China. While there, she was able to attend an international school, giving her exposure to and a fascination with diverse cultures. This has also fed into her love of traveling, resulting in her having taken about 20 different plane rides within the past two years. Alongside working at IFSO and being a full-time student, she is an assistant editor for the UCSD Guardian, is involved in Korean Campus Missions, and plays on IM volleyball and soccer teams. She also enjoys reading and writing, playing soccer, and trying new foods. Upon graduating, Madeline hopes to go to graduate school and pursue a career in journalism.