Global Peer Assistants

The Global Peer Assistant (GPA) Program supports new international students in academic, social, and cultural engagement through peer support and programmatic efforts. This is achieved through three important strategies:

  1. Comprehensive Greeting: create welcome kits and handouts for incoming students, greet students as they arrive at their dorms or apartments, and connect students to university orientation efforts. This will be done the week before classes start
  2. Building Relationships: A GPA will be assigned to a group of students, which they should maintain contact with throughout the semester. The GPA will be a “first friend” and a person to answer questions about life at UNL. Interaction includes inviting students to upcoming events and referring to International Student Success Navigators if necessary. 
  3. Programming: ISSO creates programs to help international students acclimatize to UNL and US culture and develop relationships with other students. GPAs have the responsibility to plan and execute these events that will provide connections to domestic students, and traditional American students can learn about other cultures. 

Global Peer Assistants are hired every Spring semester. Check back on this page or look for the job application on Handshake at the beginning of Spring 2021!

Wijdan Al Mamari

Wijdan is an international UNL student from Oman. She is studying in Landscape Architecture major. Her mother tongue is Arabic. Wijdan’s role at the ISSO is to support international students by providing campus resources. She is also helping with culture crossed UNL events that enhance living and learning experiences for a successful cultural adjustment to U.S. and campus life. 

Prior to joining the team, Wijdan was working in the Selleck Quadrangle dining center where she met people from different parts of the world. Wijdan is also the treasurer of Cultural Ambassadors club in UNL, where she likes to share about her culture and learn about other cultures. She traveled to India, Austria, Germany, Czech, and various Arabian countries

Wijdan Al Mamari portrait

Liam Diesing

Liam is a Global Peer Assistant at ISSO. He helps organize and work events and does other projects needed around the office. While working at ISSO, he loves meeting all of the international students that come in and enjoys hearing about their experiences both in the U.S. and abroad. Liam is a Global Studies major with minors in Biology and Spanish with plans to go to Physical Therapy school in the future. He is currently involved on campus with the UNL Ballroom Dance team, rock climbing at the Outdoor Adventure Center and as the president of the UNL Drawing Club. This past summer, Liam was also an Orientation Leader for New Student Enrollment. He enjoys working at ISSO because he loves making connections with international students and learning more about the world through them.

Liam Diesing's portrait

Elodie Galaezzi

Elodie has been as a Global Peer Assistant since 2019. Before joining ISSO, she worked as a graduate assistant in the Office of Global Partnerships & Initiatives for a year. She is a Ph.D. student in the department of history where she studies late twentieth-century U.S. history. Her research focuses on black media in Omaha, NE, in the post-civil-rights era. She is also pursuing certificates in Digital Humanities and Ethnic Studies. Prior to coming to UNL, she earned her B.A. and M.A in American Studies from Aix-Marseille Université in southern France where she grew up. Elodie has traveled to England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and of course, the United States. As an international student herself, Elodie is passionate about working with and supporting international students in their transition into the US college experience. 

Elodie Galaezzi's portrait

Lexie Karkazis

Lexie serves as the Secretary for the Global Peer Assistants. She takes minutes at meetings, helps plan events, and works on social media. She likes collaborating with her fellow GPA's and hanging around the office! She is a senior at UNL this year, majoring in Computer Science. She is part of the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. Lexie is currently the President of her sorority, Delta Gamma and the Secretary of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society. Previously, she was involved in ASUN Student Government. Lexie loves being a peer mentor because she gets to interact with people from all different backgrounds!

Lexie Karkazis portrait

Sandhya Karki

Sandhya serves as the Front desk officer and is a primary contact source in the ISSO for the Global Peer Assistants. She has previously served as a Vice President of GPA. She helps students with their primary questions and takes phone calls. She also helps plan insight events for international students on campus and represents an International student to various offices. She is a Junior at UNL this year, majoring in Nutrition and Health Science. She is a part of the ASUN (Association of Students at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln), serving as a Senator for CEHS. Sandhya is currently the well-being ambassador in Big Red Resilience and Well-Being and the Secretary of Nepalese Students Association at UNL. She is also involved with the CEHS Student Advisory Board and Diversity and Inclusion Committee on campus. Sandhya loves being a Global Peer Assistant because she gets to help all the International students to excel in their life on campus in every possible way to make them feel home away from home. She also likes being in ISSO and seeing her team members and staffs faces.

Sandhya Karki's portrait

Naisargee Patel

Naisargee serves as the President for the Global Peer Assistants. She helps to organize various events for international and domestic student and serves as the liaison between the student organization and the advisors. She likes to learn about different cultures and traditions. She likes collaborating with her fellow GPA's and helping people in the office. She is a senior at UNL this year, majoring in Biological sciences and minoring in Biochemistry and Psychology. She is a student ambassador for College of Arts and Sciences. Previously, she was mentor for global experiences learning community, teaching assistant for Chem 109 lab and Life 121 class. She served as an Intercultural Aide for the university for one year before joining this program. She has published three articles on international levels and is an active member in five student organizations. She wanted to go to medical school after graduation. Naisargee loves being a peer mentor because she enjoys helping people and learn about different cultures. Fun fact about her is that, she cannot stop dancing whenever she hears music.  

Naisargee Patel's portrait

Ellie Woody

Ellie serves as the treasurer for the Global Peer Assistants. Her role is to create social media content to help international students get involved on campus. In addition, she helps to plan events and connect students with resources to ensure their success at UNL. Ellie is a junior majoring in political science and Spanish with a minor in Arabic. She has previously worked as an intern at Lincoln Literacy and a volunteer administrative assistant with the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance. She has also served as a Program Assistant to the UNL Office of Global Partnerships & Initiatives to assist with the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Currently, Ellie works as a writing consultant at the UNL Writing Center as well as working as a Global Peer Assistant for ISSO. 

Ellie Woody's portrait