Meet our Team


 

Parinaz Zartoshty

Parinaz Zartoshty is the Director of International Student & Scholar Services. In her role, she oversees the staff and operations of the ISSS unit, ensuring the best immigration and support services for all populations served by the unit. She also strategizes about ways to enhance the global experience for all populations.

Parinaz is originally from Tehran, Iran and earned her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Government/International Relations and her Master’s degree in International Relations from Boston University. Parinaz entered the field of international education after having worked for Amnesty International, UNICEF and other smaller nonprofits, both in the US and internationally. She speaks several languages including Farsi, French and German. Parinaz studied abroad in Paris, France. Having gone through the US immigration process and the acculturation process several times, she enjoys and finds fulfillment in facilitating the process for others.

#whatsforlunch
Parinaz loves all international cuisine, especially Japanese, Mexican and Korean. She also loves her dessert and appreciates any sweet delights.

   
 spartan up Keri Toma is the International Programs Manager. In her role, Keri oversees co-curricular programs for international students and scholars with the end goal of promoting international student success. She also hopes to continue to build our Spartan international community, so if you are looking for ways to get involved, please contact Keri.

Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Keri earned her Bachelor’s in Asian Studies and East Asian Languages and Literature (Japanese) from the University of Oregon and her M.A. in Teaching Foreign Language (Japanese) and M.A. in International Education Management from the Monterey (now Middlebury) Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Keri has a decade of experience teaching in higher education, where she worked with students to ensure academic success in the classroom. In recent years, she has enjoyed working with international students and scholars outside of the classroom through peer mentorship programs, leadership development programs, and events designed to bring together the international community. Having lived abroad in Japan, Keri understands what it’s like to adjust to and live in a new culture. She was welcomed and well-supported by her community in Hiroshima, and hopes to do the same for international students and scholars here at San Jose State.


#whatsforlunch

Keri loves all kinds of food and likes to cook and try out new restaurants. For lunch, she’d love to have a homemade bento everyday.

Khim Lok

Khim Lok is the Office Coordinator. In her role, Khim “makes sure things get done”, which includes everything from managing the workflow of requests to assisting with the J-1 program.

Khim is from Union City / Milpitas, California and is an SJSU alum, having earned her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development. Khim inadvertently entered the field of international education during her freshman year at SJSU when she worked as a Student Assistant and has since remained in the field. As a first generation immigrant and the first in her family to attend college, she understands some of the difficulties international student experience both academically and culturally. In addition, she has had to help her family navigate the immigration process when they first came to the U.S.  She has strong interest in geopolitical issues and believes we live in a “small world”. She enjoys international travels whenever possible.

#whatsforlunch
Some of Khim’s favorite places to grab lunch near campus are: HOM for Korean, Agave Mexican Grill for Mexican; and Pizza My Heart (for pizza). Khim believes strongly that ice cream can be substituted for any meal, cake is best at breakfast, and wearing nail polish at all times is a must. Go Warriors!

   
   
 Linda Harris

 

Linda Harris is an International Student Advisor. She provides immigration advising and support services to international graduate and undergraduate students; help students and scholars understand and navigate the U.S. immigration regulations.

Linda grew up in the Midwest. She now calls San Jose home after moving to California five years ago and having lived in different cities. Linda earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and East Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Kansas. She has been in the international field for more than 15 years. She has worked at a community college, private research institute, various universities, having held multiple positions in human resources, international student and scholar services. Linda enjoys meeting new students and scholars from all over the world. She finds it rewarding to help others fulfill their professional, academic, and personal goals. In her free time Linda likes to swim, quilt, or play video games.

#whatsforlunch
Usually leftovers. Linda likes to cook, and bake. She is willing to try new recipes, dishes, or restaurants.

   
James T. Coon

James T. Coon is an International Student Advisor. He provides immigration advising to international graduate and undergraduate students; conducts various workshops concerning employment and change of status; processes many different applications such as CPT and OPT; and assists international students in acclimating to their newfound surroundings. James is also the author of the ISSS newsletter and is reponsible for updates on the ISSS website. 

James has lived all over the country, but he’s lived in Central California, (specifically San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties), for the longest period of time. He double majored in German Studies and History at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for his Bachelor's degrees, and earned his M.S.Ed in College Counseling and Student Affairs from Monmouth University in New Jersey. He’s studied abroad in Germany and Mexico on several occasions and is a proud Fulbright Fellow as a former ETA (English Teaching Assistant) in Germany. James is fluent in German and can speak Spanish proficiently, and he’s currently improving his Italian and just began learning Mandarin. James has a passion for learning languages, cooking and trying new recipes, traveling, hiking, camping, and going to the beach.

#whatsforlunch
James loves anything spicy, namely, Thai, Mexican, and Korean cuisine. James just also loves to cook in general, specializing in Italian, German, and Mexican dishes. James is a fanatic about barbecue and will attempt to barbecue anything at least once.

Soo-Jin

Soo-Jin Sohn is an International Student Advisor. She is transitioning from her previous role in Undergraduate Admissions where she worked as an International Evaluator for almost three years. 

A Bay Area native, Soo-Jin earned her Bachelor’s degree in French Literature from UC Berkeley. As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in France for a year at L’Université de Lyon II. She loved Lyon so much that she ended up staying for another year to work as an English language assistant at a French high school. Through her travels in Europe, she developed an interest in international education and cross-cultural exchange. Her study abroad experience became the catalyst for pursuing graduate studies in International Educational Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. During her time in New York, she worked as an international credential evaluator and volunteered at various interfaith organizations. Soo-Jin has diverse interests in fitness, travel, movies, and fall foliage.

#whatsforlunch
A carb lover, Soo-Jin enjoys noodles, sweet potato fries and Korean rice cakes.

   
Evelyn Tsao

Evelyn Tsao is the SEVIS Compliance Coordinator. In her role, Evelyn serves as the institution's liaison between SJSU and the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Evelyn's primary focuses consists of managing the University's interface with the SEVIS in PeopleSoft and providing immigration advising to international students.

Evelyn is from Hebei, China. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Education from Hebei Normal University and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Leadership from The State University of New York at Buffalo. Evelyn grew up in China and came to the U.S. in 2007 for her graduate program in Educational Administration and Leadership. As she was an international student herself, she understands the academic difficulties and cultural shock that many international students encounter both physically and mentally. Her passion for her work comes from helping international students adapt into the American culture and thrive in their educational goals here in the United States. In her advising, she always aimsto simplify the complexities of the immigration regulationsfor international students to increase their understanding and knowledge. Evelyn's hobbies are reading books and watching documentaries related to history. She also enjoys international travel because she gets an opportunity to see and learn about the history, cultures, and experiences in the various parts of the world.

#whatsforlunch
Evelyn's favorite places to grab lunch near campus includes Lee's Sandwiches, Agave Mexican Grill, and Back A Yard Caribbean Grill. She loves all international cuisine.

   
Ariel Tam

Lena Meadows is the SEVIS Records Coordinator. She          inputs and updates students’ records in Peoplesoft and          SEVIS. She is new to the job so please be patient and            understanding while she learns

Lena grew up in Napa, California. She graduated from SJSU with a double major in Global Studies and Japanese. She studied abroad for her junior year at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. After coming back from Japan, she worked as a Study Abroad Student Assistant at the ISSS ffice. Both her experiences of studying abroad and working with international students sparked her interest in the international field. She is fluent in Japanese and her hobbies are reading books and watching football.

#Whatsforlunch

Lena enjoys all kinds of foods but Asian cuisine is her          favorite. However, she prefers sandwiches for lunch            because they are quick and easy to make in the                morning.

   
Kenneth Ing

Kenneth Ing is the SEVIS Records Coordinator. He keeps students' records up to date in PeopleSoft and SEVIS; he kindly asks for your patience and understanding as he continues to learn.

Kenneth is a native of Florida and graduated from the University of Miami with a double major in Ecosystem Science & Policy and Geography. After graduation, he spent five years working in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, before returning to the States. He also worked as a Disability Adjudicator for the State of Florida and the Social Security Administration before making his way over to the West Coast.

#Whatsforlunch
Usually, leftovers from yesterday’s dinner: Pan-fried Chicken and veggies, Cottage Pie, Japanese Curry, and Soy-Dijon Chicken and Sweet Potatoes are typical staples. Oh, and cookies.