Our physical office is open Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00pm - 5:00pm. Our staff rotates their in-person schedules. They can be contacted through email and Zoom. Most advising appointments will continue via Zoom.  Visit the Campus Return website for university updates. 

International Affairs Recognition Ceremony 2019 - 2020: Honoring Faculty and Staff

Nominated by the campus community, the 2019 - 2020 International Affairs Recognition Ceremony honors a select group of students, faculty and staff for their exceptional contributions to the international community at UCR. 

In a normal year, International Affairs would host a special Recognition Ceremony just before graduation, as a way to celebrate the accomplishments of international students, scholars, faculty and staff before commencement. But 2020 is not a normal year. With the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the emergencies surrounding international travel, and the sudden campus closure, the staff in International Affairs had to identify alternative options for recognizing our outstanding students and the incredible campus partners who help them succeed. 

For 2019 - 2020, International Affairs recognizes 24 students and 9 faculty & staff. Of the 24 students, two students were selected as Outstanding International Students. 

  • The Outstanding International Graduate Student for 2020 is Aalekhya Reddam (Singapore).
  • The Outstanding International Undergraduate Student for 2020 is Stephanie Chuquipul (Peru). 

We share more details in this article on student honorees.

Faculty and Staff Who Make a Difference

Faculty and staff have a tremendous opportunity to engage, support, and mentor international students. Their encouragement and thoughtful consideration enriches the university experience for UCR international students.

The following faculty and staff were nominated by a wide-variety of individuals from the UCR community and selected for their on-going commitment to supporting international education at UCR:

Faculty and Staff Honorees Comments Shared by Nominators
Xochitl Chavez Faculty Staff

Xóchitl C. Chávez – Professor, Music Department (CHASS)

"Dr. Chávez is an Assistant Professor at UC Riverside. As the current adviser of Ballet Folklorico De UC Riverside, Dr. Chávez led her team in sacrificing their costumes this year, turning 200 yards of dress fabric into face coverings for free health clinics serving immigrant communities in Coachella, as well as for other vulnerable populations across the nation. More than her role as a professor, she looks after the well-being of her students, mostly international students like me. I can attest to her excellence in her field of expertise, but all the more for going beyond her teaching description to look after her students. She is also a lead proponent of community-engaged research involving faculty and students at UCR."

Tamra Johnson Faculty Staff

Tamra Johnson – Staff, School of Business

"Tamra is known as the ‘American Mom’ to the international students in the School of Business. She helps us with finding on campus jobs, gives us tips on networking and simply makes us feel at home away from home. I'm an international student from India and she has done a lot for me, like giving me tips for getting into the Ambassador program. During these unprecedented times, it was very difficult for me to complete my internship requirement and if she didn't believe in me, I wouldn't have had anything in my basket. I've seen her go out of her way to help the international students with anything they need. She is someone I can vouch for. She has a big heart and she makes a difference in the lives of international students in the UCR School of Business."

NaelAbu-Ghazaleh Faculty Staff

Nael Abu-Ghazaleh  - Professor, Computer Science and Engineering/Electrical and Computer Engineering (BCOE)

"He is super supportive in every aspect of his 11 PhD students’ life and career. For every problem, not only educational but also family and personal problems that his students’ encounter, he is there to help, giving advice and fully support. He supervises 11 PhD students on 11 different projects and spends a good amount of time to help each of them, weekly. Even though he is a full professor now, he is still as much hardworking as an assistant professor (to get tenure) is. He is super smart and an expert in his field."
Megan Harbert Faculty Staff

Megan Harbert – Staff, The Well

"Since joining UCR, Megan has been a huge ally of international students. At every meeting and occasion, she is a voice in support of international students. During the Fall 2019 and Winter 20020, she included international students in Meal Swipe program offering over 150 meal cards to our students with food insecurity. She has been offering international students groceries and food out of the pantry and has allowed us to share some non-perishable snacks directly from the IA office. She has been instrumental in coordinating the first campus-wide financial aid assistance to international student in Spring 2020, awarding nearly 100 international graduate and undergraduate students with some financial relief. She is truly one of the most compassionate and an amazing colleague I have had the pleasure of working with at UCR."

Judy Lee Faculty Staff

Judy Lee – Staff, UCR Library

"Judy is a librarian who has been going out of her way to collaborate with International Affairs on many different projects over the last 3 years: poster sessions, library tours for international students, hosting a welcome session for new international students during orientation, and participating in the resource fair are just a few examples of Judy’s commitment to supporting international students and educating them on the resources available in the UCR Library."


Walter Clark  Faculty Staff

Walter Aaron Clark – Professor, Music Department (CHASS)

"Beyond the fact that his own work as a researcher has impacted the whole Spanish/international musicology field, Dr. Clark is an extraordinary professor and advisor. Thanks to his support and guidance, I have reinforced my skills exponentially by achieving very important goals. In less than 4 years of work together, I earned important achievements such as been selected for national, regional, and international conferences, awards and grants, and developed a solid knowledge base which allows me to continue my own career. Wherever I presented my work, I always received wonderful compliments and important scholars are now interested in my work and waiting for my dissertation. Beyond all I said, I always found in Dr. Clark a lucid and critical mind, a colleague who takes your goals as his own ones: An astonishing human being ready to pursue with you  the next step for the next goal.

I believe he is that part of the faculty who makes UCR a strong reference."

Candace Jorgensen – English Language teacher at UNEX and ISS Cultural Conversations Facilitator

"Candace is a superb teacher, friend and supporter of international students and scholars. For two years she has been the instructor for special programs like the Cultural Conversations class for international scholars and their spouses. She creates a warm and welcoming classroom environment and makes learning to speak English fun!"

Bahram Mobasher – Professor, Physics and Astronomy (CNAS)

“Professor Mobasher is a significant advocate for International Affairs and a big supporter for all students, especially international students and Iranian students. He has been an active member of the Senate Committee on International Education and has initiated many innovative programs for CNAS and BCOE to bring international students to UCR. His willingness to ask questions and learn more about challenging situations facing international students and scholars is much appreciated.”

Covadonga Lamar Prieto – Professor, Hispanic Studies (CHASS)

"Professor Covadonga Lamar Prieto has been working as a Professor in the Hispanic Studies Department for the last seven years. During all those years, Professor Lamar has been constantly in touch with undergrad and grad students in order to help them to accomplish their goals at UCR. From the perspective of myself (an international grad student), Professor Lamar has been helping me to understand each of the steps I am taking in grad school, guiding me and counseling me because she was also an international student in an American grad school. Moreover, while helping students to reach their dreams, she just got her THIRD PhD while she keeps researching on the topics of her interest. She is a very active human being, kind, and available to listen to you 24/7."


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