Meet Our Staff

If you need assistance, please contact our main office phone number at (402) 472 – 0324, email us at isso@unl.edu, or visit our office located at 201 Seaton Hall during consulting hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Karen Cagley portrait

Karen Cagley Director

Karen’s role is to manage the ISSO to effectively provide support and services to international students, scholars and UNL departments and colleges by providing information to international students and scholars to help them maintain their immigration status and by assisting university departments with immigration related matters in order to hire and retain international faculty and staff. Her expertise includes advising regarding immigration classifications that relate to international students and scholars (F-1, J-1, and H-1B). Karen is the lead staff member for developing policies and procedures, maintaining the universities compliance with federal regulations related to immigration and coordination of data management.

Prior to joining UNL in 1999, Karen was an International Student and Scholar Advisor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Karen has been active in the field of international education and has served on the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region II team as Community Section Representative and as Region II Chair, has been a member of the NAFSA Trainer Corps, has served on the Local Arrangement Team for Regional Conference and has presented on various topics at regional and national conferences.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Wartburg College and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has traveled to Canada, Mexico, France, England, Hong Kong, China, Philippines and Japan.

Contact Karen Cagley

Stephen Mattos Associate Director

Stephen’s role is to assist in the management of the ISSO, to provide information to international students and scholars to help them maintain their immigration status, and to assist university departments with immigration-related matters in order to hire and retain international faculty and staff. Stephen’s expertise includes advising regarding immigration classifications that relate to international students and scholars (F-1, J-1, and H-1B). He is also the lead staff member for the permanent residency process. 

Prior to joining UNL in 2008, Stephen was the Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center at Barry University in Miami Shores and was an International Student and Scholar Advisor at Boston University. Stephen is active in the field of international education and has served on two NAFSA: Association of International Educators regulatory subcommittees and as the Nebraska State Representative to NAFSA and as the Chair of the Nebraska International Educators.  He has also presented on various topics at regional and national conferences.  Stephen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Boston University. 

Stephen has traveled through Canada, Mexico, France, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and the Czech Republic. 


Contact Stephen

Stephen Mattos portrait

Yulia Brestel International Student and Scholar Specialist

In her current role at the ISSO, Yulia works closely with international students, scholars, and UNL departments and colleges. She consults international students and scholars about maintaining their immigration status and offers emotional support. Additionally, Yulia assists university departments with immigration-related matters to hiring and retaining international faculty. Yulia’s expertise includes advising regarding immigration classifications that relate to international students (F-1).

Prior to joining ISSO, Yulia worked in the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an International Admissions Evaluator for over two years. Yulia holds a B.A. degree in Arts and Humanities from Yekaterinburg Academy of Modern Art, Russia. She was born and raised in Russia and speaks Russian fluently.

Yulia has traveled to Russia, Aruba, and Finland. 

Contact Yulia

Natalia Meyer International Student and Scholar Specialist

Natalia's role at the ISSO is to provide support and services to international students, scholars and UNL departments and colleges by providing information to international students and scholars to help them maintain their immigration status and by assisting university departments with immigration related matters in order to hire and retain international faculty, including researchers, and staff. Natalia's expertise includes advising regarding immigration classifications that relate to international students and scholars (F-1, J-1, and H-1B). Natalia is the lead specialist for non-traditional student programs (Intensive English, Non-degree) and Exchange Visitors (J-1).

Prior to joining UNL in 2015, she worked as an Admissions Specialist for the Graduate College at Oklahoma State University. Natalia holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Iowa State University and has an M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration at UNL.

Contact Natalia

Natalia Meyer portrait

Nakell Baker International Student Success Navigator

Nakell's role at the ISSO is to coordinate international student success efforts for international students throughout their time at UNL. As the liaison for sponsored student programs, she provides support to sponsored international students and provides guidance to UNL departments in relation to all sponsored student matters. She also designs and implements cultural programming opportunities for all international students at UNL that enhances living and learning experiences for a successful socio/cultural adjustment to U.S. and campus life. She connects students to campus resources, offices, and advising units to ensure international students are successful at UNL. Nakell is an active member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Before working at ISSO Nakell held a plethora of positions, including Office Coordinator for the Center for International Students at Truman State University, a graduate research assistant in Public Administration at the University of Memphis, and most recently as the Operations Coordinator at the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation for over a year. Nakell holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Truman State University and an MPA degree with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Memphis.

Nakell has traveled to the Bahamas, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. 

Contact Nakell

Nakell Baker's portrait

Karissa MaloneInternational Student Success Navigator

Karissa’s role at the ISSO is to coordinate international student success efforts for international students throughout their time at UNL. She assists in designing and implementing cultural programming opportunities for all international students at UNL that enhances living and learning experiences for a successful socio/cultural adjustment to U.S. and campus life. She connects students to campus resources, offices, and advising units to ensure international students are successful at UNL. She is passionate about helping UNL feel like a home away from home for people from all over the world!

Before working in the International Student and Scholar Office Karissa worked as an International Recruitment Specialist in the Office of Admissions at UNL. Karissa holds a B.A. in Global Studies and Spanish with minors in Business and Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs from UNL. During her time as a student at UNL, she worked with our international students through interning with PIESL.

Karissa has traveled to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, and Taiwan.

Contact Karissa

Karissa Malone's portrait

Jarvis Redwine II Data Management Specialist

 Jarvis’s role at the ISSO is to collect, store, retrieve, and manage data for all international students and scholars throughout their time at UNL. Jarvis tracks international students' enrollment, and academic standing on a weekly basis to ensure students are staying in compliance. Jarvis is a Designated School Official (DSO) and an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO).  

Prior to joining UNL in 2018, he worked as an IT Business Systems Analyst for DHHS at the state of Nebraska. During his tenure there, he upgraded systems, created databases for department use, created reports, and made significant changes that enhanced processing productivity. Jarvis holds an A.A.S in Computer Information technology, and is currently finishing his B.S. in Software Development.

Jarvis is an active member of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, since 2018. 

Contact Jarvis

Alan Wilkins Staff Assistant

Alan serves as the initial point of contact for the ISSO, welcoming and assisting visitors to the office as well as answering and fielding phone calls. Alan also supports the ISSO staff with email and various projects. He works directly with international students, scholars, UNL departments and colleges , directing them to the appropriate resources and providing information about ISSO policy.

Prior to joining UNL in 2015, he worked as an Admissions Counselor at Iowa Wesleyan University. Alan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Northern Iowa.

Alan has traveled to Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan.

Contact Alan

Alan Wilkins portrait

Graduate Assistants

 Nawaf Haskan, Graduate Assistant

Mr. Nawaf Haskan is a Yazidi from Sinjar, Iraq, currently based in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he is a master’s student of student affairs at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska. He is an alumnus of the Reagan-Fascell Fellowship with the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC. He is also an alumnus at the American University of Iraq–Sulaimani (AUIS), where he majored in business and minored in journalism. He worked as the director of Yazidi Cultural Center, as a field reporter for Iraqi Oil Report, as a translator for RYOT on the documentary film “On Her Shoulders” about Nadia Murad, Nobile Peace Prize Winner of 2018, as a business development officer for the International Organization for Migration, and as an interpreter for U.S. troops in Iraq.

Before graduating from the American University of Iraq–Sulaimani (AUIS), he worked as an interpreter with the U.S. Army in Iraq. As a Yazidi activist, he has discussed issues related to sectarian conflict and democratization in several major, and he published in local news outlets, including 1001Iraqithoughts, CIMA, Iraq Oil Report, and Niqash. He was featured in Iowa Review Magazine, NPR, PRI, al-Jazeera, The New Yorker, and the Vogue.

Nawaf Haskan's portrait