Ali Soltanshahi joined the Vanderbilt ISSS family in December 2015. He has been in field of student affairs for 17 years and first got interested in serving students, scholars and families through his leadership role as President of the International Student Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). He worked at SIUE as a retention & advising specialist and eventually moved to Iowa State University (ISU) in 2007 to serve as an advisor to international students & scholars before becoming the manager of student services. Originally from Iran, Ali has lived in France and the U.S. most of his life and has developed a sensitivity for cross-cultural communication. He is very active with NAFSA’s Association of International Educators through presentations, trainings and research projects at the state, regional, and national levels. Ali has a master’s degree in Education – Student Affairs from ISU, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology & French Literature from SIUE. He loves long walks in the mountains, percussion instruments from various parts of the world, and international cuisine!
Heather A Jones joined ISSS as an International Student & Scholar Advisor in February 2008. She undertook the position of associate director since August 2015. She advises Vanderbilt students and scholars on F & J visas and assists with coordinating the various ISSS programs. Heather is originally from Ohio, and received her BA in International Business from Michigan State University. While attending MSU, she studied in Angers, France. Previously, Heather was an International Student Advisor at Eastern Oregon University for three years, where she also worked with international admissions and study abroad programs. Heather has a Master’s of Education degree in International Education & Policy Management from Vanderbilt. Outside of work and school, she enjoys cooking, running with her dog, and exploring new places.
Annette Burris is a native of St. Louis who has worked in international student advising for over 14 years. Annette is the Assistant Director for Compliance. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and French and a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education. Having been a student of foreign languages in her undergraduate career, she enjoys learning about different cultures and being exposed to a wide variety of cultural perspectives. Annette also has a keen interest in social justice, racial identity development and the implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives in higher education. She comes to the ISSS team from Washington University in St. Louis where she was actively involved with campus partners and students. Annette is excited to join the staff at ISSS and looks forward to becoming a part of the Vanderbilt University community.
Radhika Reddy began her position at ISSS as International Student & Scholar Advisor October 2007. She originally joined ISSS as Administrative Assistant in April 2005. She was previously employed by Nashville State Community College as an Admissions Assistant and enjoys assisting students and scholars with their adjustment to life in the U.S. She was born and brought up in India and moved to the United States in 1999 with her family. She has two children, and enjoys cooking and gardening.
Jillian Hautman joined ISSS as an International Student and Scholar Advisor in January of 2016. She is originally from Redondo Beach, California but spent most of her life living in Burnsville, Minnesota. She received a B.S. in Education and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and a M.Ed. in International Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. Through her undergraduate and graduate programs she had the opportunity to study in Granada, Spain, Beijing, China and Rome, Italy. Previously, Jillian worked as a Spanish teacher in Minnesota for four years. She also served as a graduate intern in the International Student Services office at the University of St. Thomas. In her spare time, Jillian enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. She also really likes live music, and is very excited to explore all that “Music City” has to offer!
Grace Chee joined ISSS in July 2016 as an Advisor and Orientation Coordinator. She is originally from South Korea but spent most of her life growing up in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to joining, Grace received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Vanderbilt University, with a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development and English and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration. At Vanderbilt, Grace worked in various Dean of Students Offices, including the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and OHARE as a Graduate Fellow for Warren College. When not at ISSS, Grace likes to boulder, travel, play piano and explore new restaurants.
Peggy Knupp joined the International Suite in the summer of 2008. She is the receptionist for International Student & Scholar Services. Prior to working on the university side, she spent six years working on the Medical Center side, in Vanderbilt Internal Medicine. Peggy has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She has studied in Groningen, Netherlands and has travelled to Paris, Prague, and parts of Germany. In her free time, Peggy enjoys reading, riding her bike, and creating digital artwork.
Mianmian Fei joined ISSS as an undergraduate worker in August 2016. Born and raise in Guangzhou, China, she now considers Nashville her second home. Currently she is a sophomore double majoring in Human and Organizational Development (HOD) and Asian Studies with a minor in Anthropology. She is interested in higher educational management and wants to pursue in this field in the future. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, eating, collecting postcards, cooking, and watching movies.
Harrison Yan joined ISSS as an undergraduate student worker in May 2016. As an international student himself, Harrison Yan first became familiar with ISSS as a regular guest and attendee to ISSS-sponsored events. It wasn’t long before he discovered his passion for international student service and multicultural activities, so he began to work with the office and assist its operation. Currently, he is a rising sophomore pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on biomechanics with minors in computer science and engineering management. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoor, cooking, sports, and gaming.
Brea Harris joined ISSS as a graduate student worker in August 2015. She is originally from Anchorage, Alaska but recently moved to Nashville by way of Los Angeles where she lived for four years while attending Azusa Pacific University. She graduated this past May with her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Religion. She is currently a first year Master of Theological Studies student in the Divinity School where she is focusing her studies on the role of religion in conversations related to gender, race, and health. She is passionate about the role of intersectionality in justice work and the importance of people with different backgrounds and identities coming together to organize for change. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a PhD in gender or ethnic studies, and continue organizing around a variety of justice issues. When not at ISSS, Brea is a barista, swimmer, avid reader, writer, spoken word artist, and flautist in the Nashville Community Band.
Derrick Stevens joined ISSS as a graduate student worker in August 2015. He is pursuing his Masters of Education in International Education and Policy Management at Vanderbilt. Derrick is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, where he went to University of Nebraska – Lincoln for a BA in Political Science. In his free time, Derrick enjoys reading and playing video and tabletop games.
Kelsey Stolzenbach joined ISSS as a graduate student worker in August 2015. Kelsey first became interested in the field of International Education working in the study abroad office at Longwood University as an intern in 2013. After studying abroad herself in Thailand, France, Belgium, and the Dominican Republic, she knew she wanted to help others to make amazing discoveries and build their careers in new places. Kelsey graduated from Longwood University in 2015 with a B.S. in Economics and a minor in International Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Education & Policy Management at Vanderbilt. Upon graduation, she hopes to work with both American and international students as an advisor at a university. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys reading, watching Netflix, spending time with friends, and running