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 11 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!

Student Ambassadors

Paige Bruckner

WeChat ID: piage27

Paige is from Philadelphia, PA. She is a Linguistics major with a minor in Computer Science, Korean, and a certificate in Asian Studies. She likes photography, film, and editing, Zarya, crafting, eating good food, and learning languages. She is excited to be a Student Ambassador this year and meet all the incoming students! She hopes to bond with everyone over copious amounts of food and fun.

Corinne Dodel

WeChat ID: corinne115

Corinne Dodel is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in psychology and minoring in religious studies. She is from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a town north of Philadelphia. She previously attended Bucks County Community College and transferred to Pitt in the fall of 2014. Corinne is president of the Transfer Student Association and a member of the University of Pittsburgh Psychology Club. She enjoys listening to music, watching movies, playing piano, and is an avid attendee of Therapy Dog Tuesdays. She is very excited to travel to China and meet incoming students so that she can share her love for Pitt.

Erika Gotway

WeChat ID: erikagotway

Erika is from St. Louis, Missouri. She is a junior majoring in neuroscience and minoring in chemistry and Chinese. Outside of class, Erika enjoys learning about Chinese culture and exploring the Pittsburgh area. She is also a member of Pitt Wushu, a martial arts club on campus. Erika is excited to be a Student Ambassador because she loves welcoming students to Pitt, sharing her experiences with others, and showing them all that the university has to offer!

Josh Hanley

WeChat ID: jhanley712

Josh Hanley is a sophomore from Oakmont, Pennsylvania majoring in history and political science with a minor in Spanish. Josh is the executive vice chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of Student Government Board, a mentor for inner-city middle school students at Higher Achievement, an ESL discussion group facilitator and conversation partner, and a student leader at Aletheia Community Alliance Church. Josh is an avid reader and a huge fan of Game of Thrones. He is also a Pittsburgh sports fan, who attends as many games as he possibly can. As a student ambassador, Josh looks forward to connecting with more international students and helping them find and experience all that Pittsburgh has to offer.

Aminata Kamara

WeChat ID: aminata_kamara

Aminata Kamara is from Laurel, Maryland. At the University of Pittsburgh, she studies Nursing. Aminata is interested in politics, music and the empowerment of women and the black community. Aminata is excited to be a Student Ambassador because she loves the idea of passing on the lessons she has learned at Pitt in order to improve the experience of incoming students.

Amy Kelley

WeChat ID:

Amy is a sophomore from Westford, Massachusetts. She is studying Applied Developmental Psychology and earning a certificate in Children’s Literature. Amy plays for the Pitt women’s club rugby team and can be found working out in Trees Hall. In addition, Amy is an active member of PittServes through working with Jumpstart, and volunteering as a member of the Service Leadership Committee. Amy is looking forward to going to a different country for the first time, meeting new people and welcoming everyone to Pitt in the fall!

Monica Merante

WeChat ID: mmm18901

Monica is from Pittsburgh and is studying Anthropology and Classics. She plans to go to graduate school to serve the Pittsburgh community in the field of public health. Monica is currently combing her undergraduate studies in a research project concerning display choices in British Museums. Monica is President of the Pitt Catholic Newman club and works to provide students with opportunities to serve others around the city and participate in a faith filled community. She loves swing dancing and playing the ukulele. Monica is excited to be a student ambassador share the city and community she loves with incoming students.

Ross Micka

WeChat ID: Rossayyy

Ross is a sophomore in the College of Business Administration. A New Jersey native, he is currently pursuing a degree in Finance with a minor in economics. Ross is also earning a Certificate in Leadership and Ethics. Outside of the classroom, Ross is the Vice President of Finance of Collegiate DECA, and a member of both the Real Estate Finance Academy and Stock Trading Pitt. In his free time, Ross enjoys spending days at the beach with friends. As a Student Ambassador, Ross hopes to meet new people and represent the University of Pittsburgh well. Ross is also excited for the opportunity and plans to make the most out of being an ambassador through a positive and optimistic outlook going into the program.

Jamie Patronick

WeChat ID:

Jamie is a sophomore at Pitt originally from Waldwick, New Jersey. She is studying Psychology, Neuroscience, and Social Work, and participates in research in the Psychology department. She is also a Resident Assistant, so she lives in residence halls with first-year students and helps them in their transition to college life. She is excited to be a Student Ambassador because she loves traveling and because she wants to make sure that students from around the world feel at home at Pitt and take advantage of everything the school and the city of Pittsburgh have to offer!

Juliette Smith

WeChat ID: jcatsmith

Juliette Smith is a junior studying Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and French at the University of Pittsburgh. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Juliette is a resident assistant and works at the Graduate School of Public Health. In her free time, Juliette tutors Somali-Bantu refugees, takes part in clubs such as Women in Business, and enjoys running, reading, and making art. Juliette is excited to be a student ambassador because she has worked with first-year students extensively during her time as an RA, and has thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Chinese culture through the international residents at Pitt.

Peter Zheng

WeChat ID: petezheng27

Pete, a native of Pittsburgh, is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy in Psychology through the Honors College and working on a masters publication, “A Cross-Cultural and Geographic Comparison of American Parents’ versus Immigrant Parents’ Perception versus Action Towards the Importance of Educational Achievements in their Children’s Life”, as well as a Bachelor of Art in Political Science, Economics, and Business with a concentration in Cognitive Development, Global Governance, China, and International Studies. During Pete’s free time he conducts independent research for his Bachelor of Philosophy, is a research assistant in the Kids Thinking Lab, undergraduate teach a Neuro-Cognitive Development course, create service projects for Pitt students by being on the Student Civic Engagement Council, is an ambassador for the University to alumni through Blue and Gold Society, mentor and feeds 498 students through a snack and mentorship program that he developed this year, is a Honors College mentor and ambassador, is an undergraduate representative to the Board of Trustee by being a voice for the student population, and helps develop programming for Students for Social Justice – a club that Pete co-founded with his friend. He works on the weekends at his parents’ Chinese restaurant and loves exploring different cuisines with his friends around Pittsburgh. Pete is excited to be an ambassador because he wants Pitt to be your new home away from home, and show you all the fabulous authentic Chinese restraints around Pittsburgh! He also loves mahjong and is willing to challenge any student to a game of mahjong, a popular Chinese game.


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.

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.

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.

Eddie Macham

WeChat ID: EddieMacham

Eddie moved to Pittsburgh from Miami, Florida. He studied Biology at Southern Polytechnic State University and subsequently completed his MBA where he continued to work in Higher Education at Florida International University. Passionate about working with students at a unique university, Eddie accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. He currently works as an Area Coordinator for the Office of Residence Life where he oversees Holland Hall, Nordenberg Hall, and the Quad. In his free time Eddie enjoys exercising, playing the guitar, and visiting the local parks in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

Sarah Popovich

WeChat ID: sarahpopovich

Sarah is the Program Manager for the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development (CCLD). In her role, Sarah is responsible for managing the Hesselbein Global Academy including the annual Hesselbein Student Leadership Summit, a four-day program for college student leaders from all over the world hosted each summer at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Sarah serves as an instructor for the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences as well as the School of Education teaching introductory, leadership, professional development, and action research courses. Prior to joining the CCLD family, Sarah worked in the Office of First Year Experience at Pitt where she supervised the First Year Mentors and provided programs to help new resident, transfer, and commuter students in their transition to Pitt. Sarah also previously coordinated Leadership Programs at the University of Arizona. Sarah received her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park, her B.A. in Advertising/Public Relations from Penn State University, and she is also an alumna of Semester at Sea. Sarah is currently working toward her Ed.D. at the University of Pittsburgh and her research interests include first year college student resiliency and college student leadership development. In her free time, Sarah loves to cook, read, travel, and practice yoga.