Meet our Team

Parinaz Zartoshty

Parinaz Zartoshty, Ed.D.
Director of International Student & Scholar Services

  • PDSO/RO
  • Institutional immigration policies
  • J-1 scholars
  • Campus Fulbright Liaison

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. She recently completed her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at SJSU. 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.

 

Suzanne Bio Pic

Suzanne Pendergrass                                                        Assistant Director, International Student Services

  • DSO/ARO
  • Student Advising Work Lead
  • F-1 and J-1 student advising
  • Facilitator of workshops on F-1 and J-1 matters

Suzanne is originally from Northern California and earned her Bachelor's degree from Biola University in Business Administration and her Master's degree in International Education from New York University. Suzanne entered the field of international education at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Admissions and Recruiting. She started as an International Student Advisor in New York at The New School and St. John's University, then further up in New Hampshire at Dartmouth College. She's lived and worked abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer for 2 years in Bulgaria and 6 months in East Timor, as well as studied abroad for 3 months in the Czech Republic. Suzanne is happy to be back in California after a 20 year hiatus. She enjoys traveling, listening to music, watching movies and reading. 

#WhatsforLunch 

 For their versatility, Suzanne enjoys sandwiches. Her favorite cuisines are Mexican and Mediterranean. 

 spartan up
Keri Toma

International Programs Manager 

  • Co-curricular programming for international students and scholars
  • Global Spartan Welcome  and management of Global Leaders
  • Global Student Network (GSN), staff co-advisor
  • Please contact regarding possible collaborations on programs or events with ISSS.

Originally from Maui, Hawaii, Keri earned her Bachelor’s in Asian Studies and East Asian Languages & Literature from the University of Oregon and both her M.A. in Teaching Foreign Language and M.A. in International Education Management from the Monterey 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

Usually a salad, but she’d love to have a homemade bento everyday.

 

Khim Lok

Khim Lok
Office Coordinator 

  • DSO/ARO
  • Front office operations
  • Insurance specialist
  • Intake for J-1 scholars

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 a 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!

   
Soo-Jin

Soo-Jin Sohn
International Student Advisor
 

  • DSO
  • F-1 student advising 
  • Facilitator of workshops on F-1 matters

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.

 

Ariel Tam

Lena Meadows
International Student Advisor
 

  • DSO
  • F-1 student advising 
  • Facilitator of workshops on F-1 matters

Lena is from Napa, California and graduated from SJSU with a double major in Global Studies and Japanese. As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in Japan for a year at Waseda University in Tokyo. After coming back from Japan, she worked as a Student Assistant at the ISSS office and has remained in the international field ever since. She enjoys working with international students to help create a welcoming international community. 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.

 

Victoria Hudak

Victoria Hudak
International Student Advisor 

  • DSO
  • F-1 student advising 
  • Facilitator of workshops on F-1 matters

Victoria is a self-described “Navy Brat.” She was born overseas in Yokosuka, Japan, grew up between the east and west coast of the U.S., and spent a few years living in Naples, Italy. She majored in Spanish Language and Literature at Hollins University, and studied for 6 months at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina. Naturally, she chose to work in international education. She returned to Japan to teach English for five years, before getting her Master’s in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA. Since then, she has worked to welcome and support international students and scholars at UCSF and UC Santa Cruz, and hopes to do the same for international students and scholars here at San Jose State. 

In her free time, she loves listening to music, knitting, and geeking out over all things Harry Potter and Stranger Things.

#Whatsforlunch

Victoria loves all kinds of noodles: Ramen, soba, udon, spaghetti, linguine, mac and cheese . . . you name it! But she also loves a cold bowl of saltibarscai (cold beet soup) on a hot summer day.

 

Evelyn Tsao

Evelyn Tsao
Systems Analyst and SEVIS Coordinator

  • DSO/ARO
  • Data Specialist
  • F-1 and J-1 student advising 
  • Liaison duties: Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations, Bursar's Office, Registrar's Office

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 to the American culture and thrive in their educational goals here in the United States. In her advising, she always aims to simplify the complexities of the immigration regulations for 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.

 

Kenneth Ing

Kenneth Ing
SEVIS Records Coordinator

  • DSO
  • Data support specialist
  • Co-facilitates workshops and presentations

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.

   

ISSS Global Leaders:

Global Leaders are ISSS student assistants who support international students and foster a welcoming and inclusive community for all Global Spartans. Global Leaders assist ISSS events and programs, providing support and a friendly environment for all Global Spartans.

Get to know our Global Leaders in part one and part two of their welcome videos as they welcome you to SJSU!