ISSO Staff

Jodi Hanelt


Contact Bio

Kathleen McCarthy

Associate Director 

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Khuong Nguyen

Assistant Director for Immigration Technology Systems

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Amanda An (on leave)

International Student & Scholar Advisor 

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Naoko Kotoge International Student Advisor Contact | Bio

Jingwen Yan

International Student Advisor


Sarah Busche

International Student Advisor for Community Integration

Contact | Bio

Rachel Benjamin

Department Coordinator

Contact | Bio

Jodi Hanelt: DirectorJodi Hanelt Director

Jodi became the director of the ISSO at Brandeis in the fall of 2015.  Prior to Brandeis, Jodi worked in the international offices of Tufts University and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in addition to holding consulting roles at other Boston-area institutions.  A graduate of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Jodi acknowledges the valuable contributions international students and scholars make to the Brandeis community.  These opportunities lead to the formation of meaningful relationships that create a foundation for the exchange of ideas over a lifetime.

Kathleen McCarthy: Associate Director 

KathleenKathleen joined the ISSO in summer 2017. Prior to joining Brandeis University, she worked at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with international students in both the admission and immigration departments. Kathleen enjoys the cross cultural exchange that happens when working with international students and scholars.  She has earned a master's degree from Boston University's School of Education. In her free time, she enjoys visiting art museums, sewing, cooking, gardening, and traveling. 

Khuong Nguyen:  Assistant Director for Immigration Systems

Khuong Nguyen SEVIS Administrator

Khuong joined the ISSO in September 2015. Before joining Brandeis, he worked at his alma mater's international student office, Northeastern University, advising students on SEVIS compliance issues.  Khuong is an avid fan of baseball and enjoys cycling and traveling around the New England area.

Amanda An: International Student and Scholar Advisor

Amanda An

Amanda joined the ISSO in July 2017. Amanda is originally from Southern California and prior to joining Brandeis worked as an international student advisor at California Institute of the Arts and Fuller Theological Seminary. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, being outdoors, and spending time with her family and dog.

Jingwen Yan: International Student Advisor

Jingwen YanJingwen is originally from Jilin, China. Before she joined Brandeis in December 2016, Jingwen worked as a Student Success Coach in the First Year Experience Office at Salem State University. She holds a B.A in English Literature from Beijing's Jiaotong University, an M.A in English Literature and an M.Ed in Higher Education in Student Affairs from Salem State University. In her free time, she loves to read, take walks, and spend time with her dog.

Naoko Kotoge: International Student AdvisorNaoko Kotoge

Naoko is an International Student Advisor currently filling in for Amanda An while she is on leave. She is originally from Japan and before joining Brandeis in September 2018, she worked at Northeastern University. She holds a Master's degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University.

Sarah Busche: International Student Advisor for Community IntegrationSarah Busche

Sarah joined the ISSO in October 2018. Originally from Upstate New York, Sarah spent time in Southern Japan teaching English and promoting intercultural exchange as a participant of the JET Programme. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Emmanuel College in Boston, and an M.A. in International Education from the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute. Sarah is passionate about technology and expressing creativity through art and sewing, and enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Rachel Benjamin: Department Coordinator

RachelRachel joined the ISSO in August 2018. Before joining Brandeis, she worked as a Retention Specialist at Commonwealth Care Alliance assisting members with MassHealth eligibility, many of whom were recent immigrants. She holds a B.A. in Spanish from Cornell University and pursued minors in International Relations and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Rachel is originally from Ipswich, MA and spends her free time singing in a chorus, playing the ukulele, going to the beach, and traveling.