Professional Staff

Leann Cherkasky Makhni

Leann Cherkasky Makhni

Director of International House

Leann has been working at the International House since the early ‘90’s. She is married, and has two wonderful children.  She loves travel, reading, gardening, and getting to know people from all parts of the world.

Leann was born in Rochester, NY. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the Residential College at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master’s Degree in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, CA.  She speaks French and Spanish proficiently and has studied several other languages extensively. 


Natasha Lamperti

Interim Community Operations Manager

Natasha Lamperti graduated over the Summer of 2015 with a degree in Radio, Television, Film from San Jose State. During her undergraduate degree she lived and worked at the International house only taking a quick break to study abroad for a year. Traveling and laughing are two of her favorite hobbies and they are always more fun with others. She believes that the Ihouse is an amazing experience and would like to help make that experience even better for others. If you have any questions, ask :)

Resident Staff

Our resident staff consists of one Head Resident and five Resident Advisors (RAs). These individuals are here to help you adjust to life in San José and to plan fun activities for you. They are students too, and understand your busy lifestyle. All of our RAs are here to provide you a comfortable, enriching experience at the International House.

RAs fall 2016


Alicia Bogart

 Serena Organ

Head Resident

I study Public Relations and Radio/Television/Film. My fascination have always jncluded global culture and communications. I studied Psychology at West Valley College and is consantly having the opportunity to learn about language and culture- two of my paasions- is my life and work at the International House. I speaks Spanish and a little American Sign Language. My hobbies include creative writing, brainstorming, making music (current instrument of choice: ukulele), and experience the outdoors.

 Melvin McElrath


Resident Advisor

Hey, I'm Melvin McElrath. I am 3rd year at San Jose State University and I'm studying Art/ Studio Practice. I really enjoy hanging out with others and just going places. I really love drawing too and video games, that's what I do in my free time ;P I am also a fan of puns and pranks. I've been in the I-House for three years now and every semester is awesome and amazing :)

Ismail Qaissoumi


Resident Advisor

Hi I'm Ismail from Morocco and I'm studying Civil Engineering at SJSU. I like playing sports. I did Tae Kwon Do for 4 years, and Hapkido. I got my first Dan in Hapkido on 2009. I also play soccer. My favorite player is Ronaldinho. I-house was a new experience for me. I've been here for 2 semesters and I had the chance to meet people from around the world.

Shiny Quan Jiang


Resident Advisor

Willing to talk but often stop and listen, mostly friendly but sometimes a bit distant, enjoying hanging out with friends but also savoring the moment of being alone. This is Shiny, a not-so-typical Chinese, an MA TESOL student of SJSU, a former student assistant in ISSS office, and a new resident advisor of International house. Here I meet great friends all over the world, as well as explore myself more deeply. Hope to meet you here.

Michael Diaz


Resident Advisor

My name is Michael. But you can just call me Mike. I also answer to names such as “Amazing” and “That really cool guy”. I come from the farm lands of Lathrop, California but was born in the glorious city of San Jose, California. Although American, my ancestry is a 50/50 split of Japanese and Mexican heritage. I am studying as an Art History Major (yes, it’s a real major) at SJSU. I love all things Star Wars, comics, games, Anime, Art and Sports. People say I’m really competitive, but I just love striving to be the best. My two dreams in life are to Curate a Museum or Gallery and to open a comic book store. Although, if I had to choose, I would love to curate more than anything. I like getting to know new people and cultures. That’s why I love the International house. 

Terrence Soares

Terrence Soares ARA

Alternate Resident Advisor

Hello, my name is Terrence Soares and I’m a US citizen living at the I-House. I’m a first generation in college and sometimes go by the name of TerBear (rarely though). I’m currently an undergraduate working on my B.S for Aerospace Engineering. I like to watch TV, play videogames and recently got into building model kits. My dream is to build my own Rocket Company and TO RULE THE WORLD, just kidding.  I want my rocket company to be known on an international scale and thus become a global asset.  To make these international connections though I must learn about different cultures;  this makes the I-House an ideal place because it holds the opportunity to make international friends as well as learn more about other parts of the world.

Ming Tang


Network Administrator

Hey, my name is Ming Tang. I come from the Panda's hometown, Chengdu, China. I am completing my Master's degree in software engineering at SJSU. I-House is my home in the U.S., providing me not only the sense of belonging, but also a multi-cultural experience and an opportunity to practice my academic skills. Here, in the I-House my "siblings" are from different countries who I always hang out with and share interesting individual experiences. I really enjoy a lot living in I-House.


Student Council 

Student Council Officers help organize meetings in which activities for the house are planned and vote on them. Organizing trips, buying new products for the house, and most importantly, listening to what the IHouse residents want are only some of the many things our Student Council Officers do for IHouse.

 Student Council Spring 2016

Office Aides

Residents work in the I-House Office Monday to Friday responding to e-mails, performing database entry, filing, creating flyers and other creative endeavors, providing services such as vacuum and key check-out, and helping us make our residents feel at home.


Office Aide 1 Office Aide 2 Office Aide 3