Contact Us/About Us

The staff of the ISSI is here to support you throughout your studies at Northeastern University. We are happy to answer your questions and to provide any assistance we can.


Mailing Address:
International Student & Scholar Institute
405 Ell Hall
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Regular Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30AM – 7:00PM
Friday: 8:30AM – 5:00PM


Cristina Costa
Customer Service Representative
Cristina is a Boston native who recently joined the ISSI team in January 2013. Cristina was living abroad for the past three years after completing her B.A. in Marketing and Communications at Boston College in 2009. She moved to Japan in 2009 to teach English for two years and later taught English for over a year in southern Spain. Her passion for international travel, education and learning about different cultures brought her to the ISSI office where she primarily works at the front desk as the customer service representative. Cristina has traveled extensively through North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe. She is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks fluent Japanese and Portuguese.

Kelsey Dennis
International Student Advisor and Admissions Specialist
Kelsey has worked in international education since 2011 after completing a MA in Intercultural Relations at Lesley University. Previously, she earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English in Kyrgyzstan for two years. Kelsey enjoys traveling, knitting, sailing and exploring the outdoors. At ISSI, she works primarily with incoming students in the College of Professional Studies programs.

Megan Driscoll
International Student Advisor - Special Programs
Megan joined the staff of the ISSI in January of 2011 as an International Student Advisor for students enrolled in non-degree programs with the university. She has a degree in Visual Arts and Philosophy from the College of the Holy Cross. She also has several years experience in art galleries as well as at non-profit organizations which promote intercultural understanding through creative and artistic expression. Her interest in travel, education and culture drew her to the field of international education. She has traveled abroad to Italy, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Wayne Jenks
Staff Assistant
Wayne has attended universities in the United States, Canada, and Scotland, where he studied international relations. He has worked at ISSI since 1986, and is concerned with the department's front area operations, finances, supplies, courier services, paper records, and student employment issues.

Ikuko Konda
International Student Services Coordinator
Born and raised in Japan, Ikuko first came to the US to pursue her undergraduate degree in Ohio. After completing her B.A. in Communication, she moved to Boston and earned a M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. Ikuko has worked with the international student population since 2006. She's traveled abroad to countries such as Germany, Panama, China, and India but she also enjoys traveling across the U.S. especially in New England. She works with the Admissions team in the ISSI.

Laurie Larocque
Senior Assistant Director
Laurie has worked at ISSI since 1979, during which time her responsibilities have included immigration-related issues, orientation for international students, workshop presentations, and various ISSI-sponsored cultural programs. She received her bachelor's degree in French from Regis College, has taken graduate courses in education and counseling, and received an MBA from Northeastern University. Laurie enjoys reading-especially books with cross-cultural themes-as well as cooking, and traveling. She speaks French, Spanish, and English.

Salvatore Mazzone
Senior Associate Director
Sal, who has been engaged in the field of international education for 20 years, joined ISSI in 1995. His primary responsibilities are SEVIS compliance, systems management, and international student and scholar advising. Sal's academic background is in anthropology, sociolinguistics, and cultural studies. Originally from Italy, he has retained that country's passion for soccer and fine cuisine. Sal speaks Italian and English.

Stephanie McCormick
Optional Practical Training Specialist
Stephanie comes to the ISSI from Suffolk University, where she served the international student population. At Northeastern she works as the ISSI's advisor to graduating F-1 visa students throughout the "Optional Practical Training" (OPT) application/authorization process.

Miho Kito
International Student and Scholar Advisor
Miho joined the ISSI staff in December of 2012. She earned her Master's degree from Northeastern University after completing her undergraduate degree and working in several industries in her native Japan. Miho is responsible for advising international students in F-1 and J-1 visa classifications and scholars, in all aspects of immigration regulations. She also supports orientation and cultural programming for these populations. She has traveled to Italy, France, Spain, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Canada. She enjoys the international educational environment.

Khuong Nguyen
Compliance Specialist
Originally from California (though born in North Carolina), Khuong moved to Boston in 1998 where he attended Boston Latin Academy for High School. Khuong entered Northeastern as a Pharmacy major in 2005, and began his association with the ISSI in 2006, serving as the President of the Vietnamese Student Association. There, he discovered his true passion working alongside international students and creating various programs for students to enjoy. He speaks Vietnamese and English.

Daniel Pirbudagov
Associate Director
Daniel joined Northeastern University in April 2014 as the Associate Director of the Admissions Unit in the ISSI. Daniel is originally from the Caucasus region of the former Soviet Union. He has extensive experience living, working, and studying in the US. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Elizabethtown College and a Master's degree in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute. Daniel has worked in Washington, D.C. with World Learning, a nonprofit organization involved with international educational exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government. Before coming to Northeastern University, Daniel worked as an International Student Advisor at both Boston University and his alma mater, Elizabethtown College. Daniel is very happy to be part of the ISSI at Northeastern University.

Tim Sroka
Co-op Specialist for International Students
Tim grew up in Ohio and moved to New York after his undergraduate studies to pursue his master’s in International Education at New York University (NYU). Before joining the ISSI as a Co-Op Specialist, he worked with international students and scholars at The Ohio State University, NYU, and Hult International Business School; he also currently serves at the NAFSA region XI Communications Representative. Tim speaks Russian and lived there while in college.

Meaghan Sturtevant
International Student Advisor
Meaghan is originally from the Boston area and holds a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Communication from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Before starting at Northeastern, she worked for three years as an International Student Advisor at a private English language school in Boston. She studied abroad in Tours, France and worked as an English teacher in a small town in France. She also worked in a Study Abroad Office for two years as a graduate assistant at UMBC. Meaghan enjoys meeting students from around the world. She speaks French.

Margaret Wheeler
Associate Director
Margaret Wheeler joined the ISSI in September 2013. Margaret oversees the ISSI employment team, and, as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the US Department of State, provides service and advising to international J-1 EV Research Scholars, Student Interns and to sponsored and exchange students. Margaret worked previously as an International Scholar Advisor for two and a half years at Boston University’s International Student and Scholar Office. Before then she worked at the University Of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as Immigration Attorney/Assistant University Counsel. She has also previously worked as immigration attorney in a variety of law firms and institutions. Margaret received her LL.M degree in International and Comparative Law from The George Washington University, D.C. and her J.D. degree from the New England School of Law, MA. She also acquired a M.A degree in Dance from Mills College, CA. While receiving her BA in Russian and Spanish, Margaret studied abroad in several programs in both Russia and Spain.

Amy Wooldridge
Assistant Director - International Student Programming
Originally from Texas, Amy earned a Master's degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge. She has worked, in some capacity, with immigrants or international students that are new to the social, academic and professional environments of the United States throughout her professional and academic careers. In the ISSI she has been charged with ISSI's orientation and cultural programming. Amy enjoys traveling, discussing cross-cultural topics, outdoor activities, cooking and spending time with friends and family. So far, her travels have taken her to South Africa, Germany, Italy, England, Ireland and Scotland.

John Bielaus
Data Manager
John joined the ISSI as the Data Manager in August of 2010. He has over nine years of professional experience in higher education, having worked on financial aid, billing and registration systems. He received his Bachelor's degree in Computers in Communications from Boston University, and his Master's degree from the World History program at Northeastern University's College of Arts & Sciences. His job responsibilities with the ISSI include maintaining the office's database and server, troubleshooting technical issues, and running reports for data analysis. John has trekked across six continents and visited differing areas of the world from Iceland to Fiji to North Korea.