Meet our International Student Advising Team

International Student Advisers are here to advise international students on immigration, personal, social, and cultural matters during their time here at UC Berkeley. We are here to serve as advocates to the university community and to help connect students to the correct resources around the community. We are also here to help university faculty and staff best serve our international student population. Learn more about us below!

How to Contact Us

NameAbout MeLiaison Units

Erin Skelly

Assistant Director for Student Services

Pronouns: she/her

I started at BIO in July 2012 and I am from Fort Walton Beach, FL. I speak English, German, and Dutch, and I can talk about food or directions in Japanese and Korean. I have visited Mexico, the Bahamas, the Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Denmark, Belgium, Japan, Thailand and China. I have studied in the Netherlands and Germany, and I have lived in the Republic of Korea.

The experience of coming from an international family background, and having studied, lived, and traveled in different countries has been one of the primary shapers of my life. I feel lucky to have a job that I love, and one which enables me to continue being a part of a global community. Also, as a Floridian, I am grateful every day for the glorious Bay Area weather and the opportunities to explore the State of California's gorgeous landscapes.

I received my M.A. in Philosophy from Florida State University, and my B.A in Religion from New College of Florida. Professionally, my interests are in mental health and counseling, crisis management, academic integrity, intercultural communication and engagement, and gender/identity issues. Personally, I love knitting, yoga, sound healing, analytic and continental philosophy, feminist science fiction, and watching live bands. And cats. I really love cats.

Amy Chin-Pokhrel - student adviser

Amy Chin-Pokhrel

Customer Relations Manager

Pronouns: she/her

I started at BIO in May 2017. I’m originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and have been in the United States since 2006. I first came over as an international student to pursue my undergraduate studies in Minnesota. During my time as a student, I obtained on-campus employment with event operations in the student union. It was this opportunity that connected me with students from all over the world and made me realize that I was really interested in cross-cultural exchange. I stayed on at the same institution in Minnesota for 6 years to obtain an undergraduate and graduate degree, at the same time leading the event operations team. Upon completion of the program, I changed career paths and pursued another graduate degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa.

I love to travel and see new sights, experience new cultures, try different food and connect with locals. I have traveled to Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, England, S. Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Within the US, I have lived in Minnesota, Iowa, Hawaii, and finally California. My first language is English, however I can converse on basic levels in Malay, Cantonese, and Hakka.

Professionally, I am interested in intercultural communication, multiculturalism, and international student adjustment. I feel like I can connect with and help other international students as I was once in their shoes. I am excited to be at CAL and look forward to meeting you!

Anna McCreedy

International Student Adviser

Programs & Events Lead

Pronouns: she/her

I started at BIO in June 2017 and am from Medford, Oregon. I speak English, conversational Mandarin Chinese and a little German, and have lived in Sichuan, China for over a year. I've traveled to Vietnam, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Ireland.  

I completed my undergraduate degree at Colorado College with a BA in international political economy, and later pursued a master's degree in international education management at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. I'm very passionate about international education, and am so lucky to be able to work in a field that involves the sharing of knowledge and cultures. Within international education, I am particularly interested in the areas of mental health support, intercultural exchange, and campus internationalization. Personally, I am interested in rafting, hiking, and playing with my dog. Come drop by BIO to say hi!

Katherine Greco

International Student Adviser

Pronouns: she/her

Nice to meet you! I began working at BIO in September 2018. I was raised in Dallas, Texas and have since lived in several cities across the US. I speak conversational Japanese and have studied Spanish, French, Middle English and Ancient Greek.  

After college, I spent two years teaching English in Shizuoka, Japan. After that, I returned to the US and taught English and ESL to high school and adult students. The most rewarding part of those years was working with international and immigrant students to support them both in the classroom and in the wider world. Little by little I transitioned out of the classroom and began working in student services to guide students through housing, college placement and visa issues.   

Within the field of international education, I am particularly interested in inter-cultural communication, identity formation and student adjustment. It is a pleasure to work for Berkeley’s international students, and I look forward to meeting you soon.

Alison Leurele

International Student Adviser 

Pronouns: she/her

Hi there! I'm Alison and I started working at BIO in November 2018. I am a sun-loving California Bay Area native, but I have also enjoyed living, studying, and working in Oxford in the UK and in several beautiful cities in France (Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Grenoble, and Cannes). I speak French and English, and have traveled to twenty countries. I am a fellow Cal alum (Go Bears!) with BAs in English and French, and received my masters in Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Oxford.

After a rewarding UCEAP study abroad experience in Bordeaux, France, my love of teaching and travel led me to my first jobs teaching English to high school and university students in France. This eventually brought me to the field of international student services here in the U.S. I find it extremely rewarding to meet and serve brilliant students from all over the world, including many of the countries I am dying to visit.

Professionally, I am interested in intercultural communication, student orientation and adjustment, and holistic advising practice. In my free time I love reading, hiking, biking, camping, singing in the UC Chamber Chorus, and taste-testing recipes for my husband, who is a wonderful baker. I look forward to meeting you at BIO and around campus!

Jessica Sharp

International Student Adviser

Pronouns: she/her

I started working at BIO in September 2019. I’m originally from San Pedro town, a small island in northern Belize. In 2009, I moved to the Bay Area where I spent the year getting to know communities through volunteer opportunities. Ever since then, I’ve considered the Bay Area my second home. From 2010 – 2012, I completed my B.A. as a transfer student at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. By the time I graduated, I knew I wanted to pursue my graduate studies abroad. In 2012, I pursued an M.A. in English Literature at Kingston University in London.

Due to my own international experiences, I began to pursue international education professionally. My background in international education has ranged from compliance to student success advising. My professional interests include intercultural communication, student engagement and student adjustment.

I have an endless love of travel, food and learning about different cultures, and hope to continue broadening my experiences. Since I’m originally from a country with a complex and interesting cultural identity, I love learning about the intricacies of how we define ourselves. In my free time, I love reading, hiking, and scuba diving! I’m excited to be a part of the international community here at Berkeley and look forward to meeting you!

  • Bear Pantry
  • Billing & Payment Services
  • Graduate Division Fellowships
  • Office of Financial Aid
  • Undergraduate Research & Fellowships
  • Third Party Contracts Office

Wanya Panyapoemtaweesakul

International Student Adviser

Pronouns: she/her

I started at BIO in December 2019. I'm originally from Bangkok, Thailand. I moved to the U.S. in 2007 and have lived in several areas in the SF Bay Area as well as Sacramento, CA. I have always been interested in learning about other cultures and people which led me to study Anthropology. The way I started in the field of international education is when I took a job in the J-1 Work and Travel program as part of the operations team. I briefly worked in the Au Pair program as an administrator. I became very interested in helping international students and found an opportunity to do so through the intensive English language program and pathway program before transitioning to working with college students. My role has been in various positions supporting both incoming and current student populations in areas including international student admissions, program development, and student services. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, hiking, traveling and weight training.

Professionally, I'm interested in student engagement, intercultural communication and recruitment. I am very excited to be working with such a dedicated team at BIO and serving international students at UCB. Looking forward to meeting you!

  • Career Center
  • DMV
  • Graduate Professional Development Center
  • Payroll & Glacier
  • Social Security Administration
  • IRS

Blair Van Tassel headshot

Blair Van Tassel

International Student Adviser

Pronouns: she/her

Hello all! I started at BIO in May 2021 but as a UC Berkeley alum myself it feels a lot like coming back home. During my undergrad at Cal I completed my BAs in Linguistics and South/Southeast Asian studies. I was able to study abroad through UCEAP in Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand where I got to practice my Thai language skills. While interning at an international education non-profit for South & Southeast Asian women I was extremely impressed by the ingenuity and community building these women were able to accomplish once given an opportunity to pursue higher education. This inspired me to enter a career in student services to help support future change makers like our international students. 

I love learning about new methods of transnational collaboration and facilitating international research. Professionally I have developed my skills in serving an international population through an AmeriCorps service year in New York City working with young adult professional development and completed a MA in International Education at NYU.  After trying out both the East and West Coast I can firmly declare that West is the best. 

When not able to travel the world physically I love to time travel through antiquing and historical dressmaking. I also am proud to join team cat on the BIO staff. My rescue Japanese Bobtail has moved with me across four states (TX, NY, VA, CA) and has opinions on air travel. 

  • Bears that Care

Victoria Thompson photo

Victoria Thompson

International Student Adviser

Pronouns: she/her

Hi, I started at BIO in 2019 and am thrilled to join the advising team! I completed my undergraduate education at Chico State and graduated with two BAs in German and Finance. I spent my junior year studying in Tübingen, Germany, which is when I fell in love with international education.

Between graduation and starting at BIO I worked all over the place! I taught English in Spain, lived with friends in England, taught online from Thailand, and helped run an international boarding school in New York. Finally, I settled down in the Bay Area when I joined BIO. Now, I am pursuing a MA in Higher Education Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. In my free time I volunteer with Bay Area Young Professionals in International Education (BAYPIE) and NAFSA Region XII. I am extremely passionate about creating access in international education!

Outside of work, I love spending time with my two kitties and busying myself with hobbies like snowboarding, tennis, swimming, and travel. I am excited to support our international community at Cal and hope to meet you!

Photo of Yam

Tuangporn (Yam) Mansmann

International Student Adviser

Pronouns: she/her

Greetings! I began working at BIO in July 2021. I am originally from Bangkok, Thailand, where I studied French and English at Chulalongkorn University, and spent a summer studying in Paris, which opened my eyes to international perspectives. After graduation, I worked as a flight attendant for three international airlines traveling through parts of Asia, Australia, Middle East, and Europe. After years of constant travel (including my first visit to the U.S. in a Minnesota winter), I decided to pursue my master’s degree in TESOL at San Francisco State University, then taught ESL and scored TOEIC and TOEFL Speaking before expanding my interest to international student services.

Before joining BIO, I worked at a professional language school as a Client Services Coordinator & DSO; my experience there reminded me of how much I love assisting, advising, and interacting with international students. My interests include intercultural communication, student admissions and adjustment, student services and engagement, and overall well-being.

In my free time, I volunteer at a local non-profit organization as a voice over narrator for media work, a head florist for events, and help around as my schedule permits. I LOVE spending time and traveling with my husband. Together we have so far visited 12 countries and 16 states including Puerto Rico and 4 Hawaiian Islands. I am thrilled and honored to be part of BIO and UC Berkeley and look forward to meeting you! Come visit us at BIO!

  • Public Service Center

Customer Service Team

Name About me

Sydney Ji photo

Sydney Ji

International Customer Service Assistant

Pronouns: they/them

I began working at BIO as a Student Assistant in Summer 2017, then ended up continuing as a temporary full-time Customer Service Assistant from February to July 2018, and worked for nonprofits before returning to BIO's Frontline team in June 2019. Although I am not an international student myself, I grew up surrounded by immigrants and their children in Cupertino, California, and regularly traveled, particularly to China and France where my relatives live. I speak French with a terrible accent, am a beginner at Spanish, can understand a little spoken Shanghainese, Mandarin, and Japanese, and hope to someday learn ASL. I majored in psychology with a focus in clinical psych, but am more of a social sciences person at heart and love the critical lens that fields like ethnic studies and sociology bring. In my free time, I read books, sing with an a capella group and for my YouTube channel, write to snail mail pen pals, and would like to get back into photography, anime, and gaming.
I have appreciated getting to hear the perspectives of international students at UC Berkeley as well, such as when I took a class on Law in Chinese Society, and comparing the experiences of my parents (who were themselves F-1 international students originally from Shanghai) with the changing immigration landscape. Having experienced firsthand some of the frustrations that students have in navigating UC Berkeley, I hope to provide a friendly face and help connect students with advisors or other resources. Nice to meet you all!

Photo of Kassidy Adams, International Customer Service Assistant

Kassidy Adams

International Customer Service Assistant

Pronouns: she/her

Hi! My name is Kassidy and I am one of the International Customer Service Assistants here at BIO and I've been with BIO since December 2018! I studied International Business with a minor in Spanish at Washington State University (go Cougs!!). I also studied abroad in Valparaíso, Chile during the summer of 2018, a rewarding experience that I will never forget despite it being winter in July. While I'm not a Cal alum, I really enjoy the diversity, inclusivity, and campus culture of UC Berkeley. In my current role at BIO, I had the opportunity to begin the English Conversation Tables, a program that enables international students to make friends while practicing conversational English and learning popular slang phrases (come check it out!). In my free time, you'll usually find me biking, binge-watching Netflix, or playing piano! Nice to meet you!