2016-2017 International Ambassadors

International Ambassadors (IAs) are a select group of University of Notre Dame students, both international and American, graduate and undergraduate, who serve as Notre Dame International's student leadership team. All new international students will be paired with two International Ambassadors who will help them through the orientation process. International students will be contacted by their International Ambassadors in the summer. New students are encouraged to ask their IAs any questions they may have regarding International Student Orientation and the Notre Dame experience.

 

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Marwa Asem

Hello everyone, I am Marwa Asem, a second year Ph.D. student in biomedical sciences and I study ovarian cancer biology. I am originally from Alexandria, Egypt, the bride of the Mediterranean and I grew up in Dubai. I like travelling, reading, cooking, and making friends.  Studying in Notre Dame is a very unique experience. My advice for the new students is to open up and try to enjoy every single day, make new friends, try new things and learn from the people around, especially the ones that are different from you. The experience you will gain and the time you will spend here is priceless and it will be imprinted on your mind forever. I can’t wait to meet you all! 

 

Steven Campillo

Steven Campillo

My name is Steven Campillo, I am a rising sophomore in the Mendoza College of Business and plan on acquiring a minor in International Development Studies. An American by passport, I lived my whole pre-college life abroad with stops in the Philippines, Malaysia, Canada, Mexico, and Switzerland. I now reside in the great Knott Hall. On campus I am part of the club Ultimate Frisbee team (definitely come join!), Student International Business Council, Unleashed, the Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph’s, Transpose Dance Collection, and International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP). My biggest recommendation to freshman would be to not let the “freshman” title hinder your pursuit of things. Applying for ISSLP I was told that the program was meant more for upperclassmen, but I applied nonetheless and was accepted. Also, just get involved! It’s the easiest way to meet people, learn about what the university offers, and have fun while having some great experiences.

 

Tianyuan Abby Cao

Tianyuan "Abby" Cao

Hi everyone! My name is Tianyuan Cao and I go by Abby. I am from Shanghai, the most charming city in China. I have spent all my first 22 years living in China ——18 years in Shanghai and 4 years in Nanjing—— before I came to Notre Dame as a chemistry graduate student last year. During my first year here, I was warmly welcomed by the Notre Dame family and this is part of the reason why I am here this year to serve as an International Ambassador. I am so excited to share my experience and make friends with all of you! When I am not in the lab (dealing with my spectrometer or bacteria :D), I can be found spending time walking around the campus, hanging out with my friends, cheering for the ND basketball teams (I love playing basketball!), or helping AWIS (Association of Women in Science) organize various activities on and off campus. Besides, I love travelling to different places, learning new languages, singing karaoke and cooking Asian food. Sounds great? Are you guys looking forward to start this fabulous journey with Notre Dame this coming summer? I believe this will be one of the best experiences in your life and I am super excited to meet you all soon! Please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or message me on Facebook if you have any questions.  Good Luck, and welcome!

 

Kelsey Degagne

Kelsey DeGagne

My name is Kelsey DeGagne, and I am a rising sophomore living in Pasquerilla East Hall and studying International Economics with French. I am also minoring in Italian and in Environmental Earth Sciences. I am from London, Ontario in Canada, about a six hour drive north of the Notre Dame campus. I like trying new things, reading good books, and spending afternoons in my hammock on different quads around ND. Outside of class, I am a member of the women's club Ice Hockey team, played intramural Curling and Floor Hockey, am a campus tour guide, and am the Athletic Commissioner for my dorm. I can't wait to meet the new international students and help you get involved on campus - even if you don't know what your passions are yet, this is the place to discover them!

 

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Regina Ekaputri

Hello! I’m Regina Ekaputri, and I'm a rising sophomore majoring in Psychology. I’m originally from Jakarta, Indonesia, but I went to high school in Singapore. Other than being an IA, I’m involved with the Student Union Board, and I work as a campus tour guide! I also enjoy traveling, photography, reading, browsing the internet for funny videos and articles, taking walks around campus, making trips to LaFun with my friends, and cooking instant noodles for my dorm buddies at the Farley Hall kitchen. And lately I seem to be very attached to bagels, carrot cakes and a cup of coffee. Anyway, I really love interacting with people and learning more about the things that make them excited, or listening to their stories. Over my freshman year, I’ve met a lot of interesting and wonderful people at Notre Dame, and it’s been such a joy getting to know them. I can’t wait to get to know you, too!

 

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Kinga Fluder 

Hello everyone! My name is Kinga, and I am a senior double majoring in IT Management and Sociology. I was born and raised in Chicago, but my parents immigrated from Poland, and I have spent my entire life caught between these two worlds. I have just gotten back from a semester abroad at Trinity College in Dublin and an exhausting trek that took me through 13 countries, so I am very excited to be back home for a little while at least. I absolutely adore learning about other languages and cultures, especially if I get to be a part of them directly! I've definitely caught the travel bug and can't wait to hit the road again, but until then, I will be on campus doing ethics research and TA-ing in Mendoza, making pierogi for Polish Club meetings, and being there for you! Stepping onto campus as a first-generation student was made infinitely less daunting by the wonderful support of the Notre Dame community, and I am very excited to help ease that transition no matter what your story is. I can’t say that it’s always going to be easy, but definitely get ready for a wild ride and some of the best experiences of your life!

 

Janne Fuss

Janne Fuss

Hello! My name is Janne Fuss. I was born and raised in Germany, but went to high school in Kansas City, Missouri. Last year I lived in Spain, trying to soak up the sun before having to adjust to the cold South Bend winters. I’m enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business and super excited to finally take business classes my sophomore year. With the beginning of sophomore year I’m also transitioning from being a firey Pyro in Pasquerilla East Hall to a wild Lyonite in Lyons Hall to room with my best friends. Some of my favorite activities around campus include SIBC, Running Club, Interhall sports and Sunday brunches with my girlfriends! One of the main reasons why I chose Notre Dame was because after my first visit I felt as if this place could become my home away from home. As you become a part of the Notre Dame community, I hope you too will identify with the phrase: “Home is where the Dome is!”

 

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Yuxin "Zoe" Han 

Hi everyone! I’m Yuxin Han, and I go by Zoe. I’m from Nanjing, China. I’m a rising junior majoring in Accounting and ACMS. I like to watch Netflix, cook Asian food or just spend time with my friends. This is my second year serving as an IA, and I definitely enjoyed my experience last year. I used to live in Cavanaugh and Farley (definitely a north dining hall person!), but I’m moving off campus this year. There are so many amazing people and things to discover at Notre Dame, and I am here to help you enjoy your transition to this wonderful place. Please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or add me on Facebook with any questions. See you all in August, and welcome home!!!

 

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Lan Jiang

Hello everyone, my name is Lan Jiang (蒋澜), and it is relatively easy to pronounce. I come from Nanjing, the best city in China. I am a rising junior majoring in Biology. I love listening to stories of people from different backgrounds and trying out different foods, including many weird foods. I feel so lucky to be at Notre Dame; there is a great community and you can really make wonderful friends here. So please, look forward to your four-year adventure! If you have any questions, concerns or just need someone to talk to, you are always welcome to contact me. 

 

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Lauren Kaye 

Hello everyone, my name is Lauren Kaye! I am a Senior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior with a supplementary major in Spanish. I am originally from Detroit, Michigan, but I have a passion for exploring international cultures, meeting new people, and traveling. The summer after freshman year I spent a week in the Dominican Republic on a medical mission trip and 6 weeks studying abroad in Toledo, Spain. This past year I decided to double dip in study abroad and spent my entire spring semester in Santiago, Chile, where I lived with a host family, took classes, and traveled through South America. If there is anything I love more than traveling it is Notre Dame so please feel free to come to me with any questions you may have. I am so excited to be able to share the unique experience of Notre Dame with you! I hope you will find, as I did, that the Notre Dame community truly does become a family. We can’t wait to welcome you to our family in August!

 

Sandrine Lareine

Sandrine Lareine

Hello! My name is Sandrine, and I’m a rising junior, double majoring in ACMS (Applied and Computational Mathematics & Statistics) and Romance Languages & Literatures. Born and raised in Mauritius (psst, it’s a tiny tropical island off of the East of coast of Madagascar), I am now a resident of Welsh Family Hall, where I am very active in dorm life. Outside of classes, I tutor French and Calc on campus.  I’m also on Hall Council, a member of the French Club and the Indian Association here. My favourite things to do include watching TV, reading, traveling, singing & dancing (alone in my room). I’m a big fan of trying new stuff, so my advice for you is to be open to new experiences, and make the most of all the opportunities available here. You will come across some of the best people you will ever meet and have the time of your life on this beautiful campus. Bienvenue à Notre Dame!

 

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Qiran "Susie" Li

Hello! My name is Qiran (Susie) Li, and I am from Shanghai, China. I am a rising junior studying English and Theology, with a minor in Education, Schooling, Society (ESS). I am so proud to be a Fighting Irish and a Welsh Fam Whirlwind! It is such an honor to be part of the Notre Dame family, where I have met awesome people and have had so many life-changing experiences that I know I would not have in another school. I am involved in the Celebration Choir, Show Some Skin and the Wellness Committee. I love singing, creative writing and immersing myself into art. I also love hanging out with my friends and meeting new people. I can't wait to meet you all in August! Just wanna tell you all, college is your shining moment, so find your passion and go for it!

 

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Winnie Mangeni

Hello, my name is Winnie Mangeni and I’m a Sophomore majoring in Finance. My hometown is Mombasa, Kenya. I live on campus in Lewis Hall and enjoy extracurricular activities such as the Historian at African Students Association.  International Experiences, I volunteered at the Municipal Council for women in Xela, Guatemala, Attended Qatar Georgetown Model United Nations, and started a non-profit to support women to become financially independent in Kenya.  Advice to incoming Students: Don't worry about not making friends in the first week or two, everyone is still settling in and getting to know each other. You will get your own group soon enough.

 

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Olivia Mogaka

Hi, I’m Olivia Mogaka. I'm a senior from Nairobi, Kenya. I am majoring in Management Consulting and Peace Studies. I love meeting people and making new friends, which is partly why I joined the IA program. I also like it when people hear my accent and immediately ask, “Are you international?” It makes me feel like I am an expensive brand. My advice to you is to come to ND with an open mind, talk to different people and try something new every week or so. You might just like something you'd never heard of. Please feel free to come talk to me. If nothing else, I give free college advice. 

 

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Gbemisola Okunzua

Hello People!! Welcome to ND! So a little bit about myself - My name is Gbemisola Okunzua. I'm a Nigerian international student but have lived in the U.S since I was 9. I currently live in Bakersfield, California but at ND, I'm a junior in Farley Hall studying Chemical Engineering/Pre-Med. On campus, I'm involved with Timmy Global Health, African Student Association, and Voices of Faith Gospel Choir. I am very excited to meet all of you and can't wait to hear about YOUR stories. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime- seriously, that's what I'm here for.  Before I "go" I just want to leave you with a few words that have helped me at ND - Be Yourself and Try New Things. See you soon!

 

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Angela Pantell

Hi everyone!  My name is Angela and I'm a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science.  I live in Farley Hall and I'm originally from Chicago.  I love cooking (I'm always open to new recipes!), hanging out with my friends, travelling (I spent this past summer in Belize and Peru and I have plans to go to the Galapagos in the spring!), listening to music, ice skating, playing with my dog, and shopping.  I really enjoy learning about new people and places, and I love studying new languages.  Here on campus, I'm a part of the Student Union Board and I volunteer at a local Montessori school.  I am happy to say that, from my experiences, Notre Dame is a uniquely warm and welcoming family.  There is always something fun going on and plenty of opportunities to get involved and meet new people if you're willing to put yourself out there- it definitely pays off!  I am excited for my first year as an International Ambassador, and I can't wait to help welcome everyone to our campus in August!

 

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Caleb "CJ" Pine

Welcome to Notre Dame!! 有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎。My name is CJ. My parents are from the US, and I grew up in Tianjin, China, attending Chinese public school through 6thgrade. I was homeschooled through high school and lived in Lanzhou, China for the last few years before college. I am majoring in Peace Studies and Arabic, with a minor in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. I studied abroad in Jerusalem this spring semester and have been in Amman, Jordan this summer and last. I am interested in the intersection of culture, faith and identity, particularly in refugee contexts. Growing up across cultures gives me inspiration to want to build bridges instead of walls. ND has provided an amazing environment for me to develop and challenge myself. As you dive into this new stage of life, embrace freshman year, and make it beautiful. Don't be afraid or ashamed of who you are. I can't wait to share ND with you!!

 

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Teaghan Stack

Hello! My name is Teaghan Stack, and I am from Calgary, Canada. I am a rising sophomore studying mechanical engineering. This will be my first year as an IA, and I am incredibly excited to get more involved in this lovely place I now call home! I am also a commissioner for hall council in Farley, the finest dorm on campus, and am involved in the Society of Women Engineers. I enjoy skiing, hiking, and volleyball, as well as just hanging out with friends around campus. I look forward to being able to help with your transition into the Notre Dame family – you will learn for yourself what an amazing place this is! I encourage you to keep an open mind and get to know as many people as you can on campus; there is so much to learn and everyone has their unique story.

 

Jocelyn Susilo

Jocelyn Susilo

Hello! My name is Jocelyn Susilo and I am currently majoring in Finance and Applied Math. Although my home is in Jakarta, Indonesia, I am a proud resident of Lewis hall. Coming from an international school, I truly love meeting new people and listening to each person's unique story and this has been one of favorite things about coming to Notre Dame. Aside from being an international ambassador, I also love planning brother/sister dorm events for Lewis, going to various business club meetings, playing inter hall sports, online shopping and just enjoying life. Moving all the way to Notre Dame might be a worrying thought at first, but I believe you will all love it here just as much as I do! Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions and I can't wait to meet you all in August. Welcome home Domers :)

 

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Xiao "Flora" Tang

Welcome to your new Notre Dame family! My name is Flora Tang, and I hail from an ancient city in the Far East named Beijing, China. I am a rising junior studying Political Science and Theology, with a minor in Peace Studies. I am a proud resident of Breen-Phillips Hall, also known as BP, which (obviously) stands for "Best Place" on campus! During the few rare hours when I am not napping, I am involved with Campus Ministry, work as a research assistant for the Kellogg Institute of International Studies, hop around campus backwards as an Admissions Tour Guide, and hog my dorm's microwave making an unhealthy amount of delicious ramen every day. I am so glad that you all chose to come to Notre Dame, even if the winter here feels a little long sometimes. Notre Dame is such a wonderful place to make meaningful connections and meet lifelong friends while learning about and getting involved in what you are truly passionate about. Just be brave and don't be afraid to leap out of your comfort zone; I am sure your that Notre Dame experience will be even better than mine! God bless, and welcome home!

 

Joseph Tang

Joseph Tang

Hey peeps! The name's Joseph Tang (依信), current junior majoring in Pre-health studies and Piano Performance/Composition. Born in the US, I attended an international school in Shanghai, China during my middle-high school years. I consider myself bilingual, but I'll leave that up to you native Chinese speakers to make the final judgment ;). I was reared by the University in the cabinet-sized rooms of Morrissey Manor, but you'll normally find me in the equally cramped practice rooms of the Crowley Hall of Music when I'm not doing mosquito research in the Jordan Hall of Science. In addition to several service clubs, I'm also heavily involved in the Model United Nations community as well as the nascent field of undergraduate music composition. Consider me a third-culture kid; my upbringing has garnered in me an incredible sense of duty to my ancestral homeland as well as appreciation for the burgeoning set of unique cultures represented here on campus. I guess you'll see for yourself the far-reaching diversity I myself cherish so much once you join the Notre Dame community! See y'all soon!

 

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Joe Vitt

Hello everyone! My name is Joe Vitt, and I am a junior living in Knott Hall. I am majoring in Political Science, and I am especially interested in international affairs. I am originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am a member of the Quiz Bowl team, and I tutor at the Robinson Center. I also run a small business that sells grilled cheese sandwiches out of my dorm’s kitchen on the weekends. I will be studying abroad in Athens in the spring. I enjoy skiing, playing basketball and trying new foods. Welcome to ND!

 

 

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Hansel Weihs

Hi, everybody, and welcome! I recently graduated with my degree in Japanese, but I'll still be around to finish a second one in Aerospace Engineering. Even though my last name is German, my parents are actually from Mexico, I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area almost all my life, and Spanish is my first language. (As for my first name, I was named after the fairy-tale character from the story of “Hansel and Gretel”.) I love to travel, learn languages, dance, watch movies, swim, and play music (I’ve played clarinet for the past thirteen years). Within the last few years I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel to China and Japan. Now, more than ever, I am eager to explore more of the world, learn about many cultures, and meet plenty of great people. That’s why I became an IA: to meet all of you! I look forward to having a great year together!

 

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Wai Yeng Wong

Hi! My name is Wai Yeng Wong (but you can call me Wai), and I am a Malaysian citizen who has not lived in Malaysia. Instead, I have spent my life living in Singapore, Canada, China and America. This is my first year as an IA, and I am super excited to get to know everyone. I am a rising junior, studying Chemical Engineering and Economics, and I live in Pasquerilla West (also know as PW). I am involved with the Engineering Peer Mentor group, Society of Women Engineers and Economics club on campus. As I have lived in and visited so many countries, I love meeting new people and learning about their cultures. So far, I have had the most wonderful experience at ND, so my biggest piece of advice to you would be to always say hi to someone new. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself and share your story, as I believe that everyone has a place at Notre Dame. Good luck, and I look forward to meeting all of you!

 

Lei Yang

Lei Yang

Hey everyone! I’m Lei Yang, a raising junior majoring in accounting and French. Bonjour tout le monde! I’ve spend half of my life living in Hangzhou, China and the rest in Vancouver, Canada. I used to live in Breen-Phillips hall a.k.a. the Best Place with the Best People on campus. I love sushi, French comedies, Colbert Report, Tom Hiddleston and anything that you want to share with me! That been said, I am very familiar with on campus multicultural programs and off campus cuisines. So get yourself ready for some restaurant hunts with me! As a business major, feel free to ask me question about Mendoza and career development. If I do not know the answer, I probably know someone who has the answer! Notre Dame is an enriching community where we will find our strength, support and, most importantly, passions! Don't be afraid to take on a new lifestyle and conquer a few challenges along the way. Welcome to your home under the dome! See you all in August, and have a blast summer!!

 

Yushan Zhang

Yushan Zhang

Welcome to Notre Dame! I am a second year graduate student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. I was born and raised in China for my first 18 years, then went to California for my undergraduate. I used to speak Japanese fluently, and home-stayed there for two weeks, but am not as good now due to lack of practice. During my free time, I like cycling, home-gyming, shooting, checking out different restaurants, getting to know and talking to different people. Transitioning to a new environment is never easy and I had hard time back then. That’s what IAs are here for! Please feel free to contact me if you need help or just want to meet up for coffee to talk about anything.

 

Yiling Zhou

Yiling Zhou

Hi everyone! My name is Yiling and I’m from Shanghai, China. Currently I’m a rising sophomore majoring in Business and Film. I live in Welsh Family Hall and I’m the multicultural commissioner of Hall Council. Go Whirlwinds<3 I love dancing (ballet & jazz), playing volleyball and watching movies (romantic and horror)!! I am a huge foodie and I love cooking Chinese food as well (though not good haha). During my first year at Notre Dame, I really felt welcomed and cared. I love all my professors and friends here and truly enjoyed my campus life. Besides being an International Ambassador, I am also a member of Student Government and Dance Company and I became the Global Speaker of ISSA as well. I believe that all of you will definitely find how amazing the Notre Dame community is, so please look forward to your awesome adventure here! If you guys have any questions, just reach out to me on Facebook. Welcome to Notre Dame and see you all in August! Go Irish!!