Below is a listing of current Pitt students and staff who will travel to China as part of the Pitt to You program. Selected from a highly competitive process, the 9 Pitt Student Ambassadors reflect a diverse array of majors, involvement, and backgrounds, and will serve as your guides during your transition to Pitt, Pittsburgh, and the United States. Each Ambassador will be assigned a group of mentees in both Beijing and Shanghai and will meet with their group while in China and throughout the fall semester when everyone is in Pittsburgh. The Student Ambassadors will help you connect with resources, services, and involvement opportunities both at Pitt and within the City of Pittsburgh. The Student Ambassadors are excited to meet you in June and help you feel a part of the Pitt community!

2018 Student Ambassadors

WeChat ID: annieherbster

Annie Herbster is a Junior in the School of Pharmacy. She has been a resident assistant for two years, both in Nordenberg Hall and Litchfield Towers. She is a sister of Theta Phi Alpha Sorority, serving as their ritual chair. Annie is passionate about improving mental health care as a member of National Alliance of Mental Illness, as well as learning more about global health. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling, and reading. She excited to be an ambassador because she has mentored several international students as an RA and can’t wait to learn more is about their backgrounds.

WeChat ID: christin_chauu

My name is Christine Chau and I’m a junior at Pitt. I’m super excited for all of you to come to Pitt and call it your new home. I’m majoring in Biology and Psychology and minoring in Chemistry. My hobbies include watching Netflix and eating, so I’m always looking for people to watch TV and eat with. That said, some of my favorite shows are Game of Thrones, Parks and Rec, and the Handmaid’s Tale. Looking forward to meeting all of you!! H2P!!

WeChat ID: lindasaikal

I am sophomore from Beckley, West Virginia studying neuroscience, religious studies, and global studies. After I graduate, I hope to go to medical school and ultimately work in international medicine. Outside of class, I work with refugees through Pitt Forge, volunteer at Children’s, and am the business manager for Pitt Arabic Club and International Service Learning. I am so excited to travel to China and look forward to sharing my love of Pittsburgh with students from around the world!

WeChat ID: LucasCarroll

Lucas Carroll is from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He is a junior biology major and Spanish minor on the Pre-Med track. On campus he is a Nordenberg Leadership Scholar and Vice President of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. In his free time, Lucas enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing sports, and watching Game of Thrones. He is very excited to travel to China and experience a new culture, eat traditional foods, and most of all, meet all of the incoming students!

WeChat ID: LynneaL

Lynnea is a Communication major with a minor in Korean and a certificate in Asian Studies. She studied abroad in Seoul and now she helps other students learn Korean as the president of the Daehwa Korean Conversation Club. She works for the Student Organization Resource Center, so she can tell you all about the exciting clubs and organizations to join at Pitt. She is also a writer for the online magazine Her Campus. She would love to hang out with international students and go out for burgers, do yoga, or study in the library together.

WeChat ID: kelseytoplak

I am currently a junior, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pursuing a bioengineering degree with a chemistry minor here at Pitt! Outside of class I am the Vice President of Programming for Phi Sigma Rho, the social Engineering sorority, the Chief Justice of the College Panhellenic Association for all Pitt sororities, and a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society. Last summer I studied abroad in Israel, performing bioengineering related research and am currently pursuing medical product design research at Pitt! In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, and trying new restaurants around the city.

WeChat ID: ZacharyMattson

My name is Zachary Mattson and I am a sophomore at Pitt. I am pursuing an Economics/Business dual major with a certificate in Data Analytics. I am a resident assistant in Nordenberg Hall as well as a member of the Blue & Gold Society, an organization that works to connect alumni with current students at Pitt. I am also a member of Epsilon Sigma Alphas service fraternity where I volunteer for service projects that benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as well as other organizations in the Pittsburgh area.

WeChat ID: SejlaJukic

My name is Sejla (pronounced Shay-la) and I am a pharmacy student at the University of Pittsburgh. I was born in Berlin, Germany, but I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I moved to the United States when I was four, and have lived in Pittsburgh ever since! On campus, I have had many different academic and professional involvements; I was a Resident Assistant, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant. I enjoy drinking coffee, practicing yoga, studying drugs, and shopping.

WeChat ID: megangotiangco

My name is Megan Gotiangco and I am a junior in the Nursing school here at Pitt. I am from Germantown, Maryland. My interests include traveling, volunteering, and going to concerts. Serving the Pittsburgh community is important to me, so I am a member of the APO service fraternity as well as the GSS service sorority. My passion includes bringing awareness to the topic of mental health and I hope to work as a psychiatric nurse one day. I am very excited to be a Pitt Ambassador and to help the incoming students with this huge transition!


James Cook
WeChat ID: Kemuxian

James Cook is currently the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center. James was born and raised in Southeast Asia, until moving to Long Island and San Francisco in his teenage years. As an undergraduate he studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he wrote his thesis on China’s foreign policy in Southeast Asia. After completing his M.A. in Chinese Studies at the University of California, San Diego, he studied at Peking University. He completed his Ph.D. at San Diego in 1998 in East Asian history. After 13 years at Central Washington University in the Department of History and as Director of the Asian Studies Program, he joined ASC. His research interests include the impact of Overseas Chinese on the development of modern China and the environmental history of northwestern China. He works extensively in China, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Dr. Cook has just published a new edited collection. Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1789-Present is a teaching textbook for both lower and upper level courses on modern Chinese history and/or modern visual culture. The introduction provides an overview of key issues in the development of visual culture in China over the last 200-300 years, while each chapter is an original scholarly study of a specific topic providing chronological coverage for that period. Topics include: Qing court ritual, peasant rebellions, folk art, modern urban media such as illustrated sports magazines and movies, Great Leap Forward film, visual commemorations of the Cultural Revolution, Overseas Chinese culture, and the Shanghai 2010 expo.

Sara Jones
WeChat ID: Sara_OIS

As the Associate Director, Sara leads a team of specialists to assist international students and academic departments with various immigration related requests and to provide advising, programming and related services. She manages various special projects and administrative functions of the office.

Richard Sherman
WeChat ID: Richardoispitt

Richard Sherman joined the Office of International Services (OIS) in 2012. Richard advises undergraduate and graduate international students about international travel, employment authorization, and other U.S. government regulations. Before arriving at Pitt, Richard was an Assistant Director of Admissions at California University of Pennsylvania, and also worked at a non-profit immigration law clinic in Portland, Maine. Richard earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Bowdoin College and his Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies from Indiana University. Richard loves Pittsburgh, but he still cheers for his hometown Boston Celtics.

Kyoungah Lee

WeChat ID: Kyoungah_lee

Kyoungah Lee is the International Programming Coordinator & Advisor of the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development at the University of Pittsburgh. In her current role, she advises six different student organizations and coordinates the Global Ties program that is designed to support international students to experience the best collegiate experience by providing leadership and working opportunities, workshops for student/staff/faculty, retreat with international and domestic students, and cultural immersion trips. She received her M.Ed. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and her interest is to bridge the gap in support for international students and help all students to be internationally competent and globally oriented.

Jonathan Richard

WeChat ID: j_richards

Jonathan Richards joined the University of Pittsburgh’s Residence Life office in 2016 and is currently serving as the Resident Director of Tower A which a First Year co-ed residence hall. Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in Resort and Hospitality Management and his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University. Jonathan is one of the four faculty and staff members advising the Pitt to You China trip Summer 2018. Outside of his work in Residence Life Jonathan also serves as an advisor for Pitt Dance Marathon, an Emerging Leaders facilitator and Alternative Break Trip Advisor.

Channie Chen 陈倩怡

Qianyi ‘Channie’ is currently an Enrollment Services Manager at the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up in Chengdu, China, went to college in Chongqing, and came to Pitt for her Master’s degree in Higher Education Management. She has been studying, working and living in Pittsburgh since 2008.

As an Enrollment Services Manager, she communicates with prospective students, applicants, high school counselors and parents through multiple venues on a daily basis, manages the Pitt Admissions WeChat account, serves as a committee member for both domestic and international admissions, and recruits both in the U.S. and in China. In the past few years, she has traveled to multiple cities in China for recruitment, including Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. She is also a member of the PittStart team. PittStart is the academic orientation for incoming freshman to meet with their academic advisors, register for classes, and social with peer students.
In her spare time, Channie enjoys playing the piano, watching movies, reading books to her daughters, traveling, and eating good food.

Channie is excited to come back to China to meet with incoming Chinese students and their parents. She is fond of sharing her knowledge and experience about Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh both as a current Pitt employee and as a previous international student. As always, she is also excited about enjoying authentic Chinese gourmet on this trip.

Jason Kane
WeChat ID:jasonkanepitt

Jason joined Institutional Advancement in February 2012 as the Director of Constituent Relations based out of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). In this role he works on leadership travel abroad, alumni relations outside of the US, institutional partnerships outside of the US and advises deans on international travel. His experience with the fundraising profession started in the stewardship office at Duke University in 2004 and then moving on to George Washington University where he served as the Director of Endowment Administration. In 2008, Jason was afforded the chance to return to Pittsburgh through the role of Assistant Director of Development at the Tepper School of Business. Jason holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000, followed by a Master of Arts in History from Slippery Rock and a Master of Public Management with a specialization in Higher Education Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. His wife Kellie Kane, a dual graduate of Pitt BS 1999 and MBA 2004, also works as Pitt as the Director of Admissions for the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.