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 at the ISSO 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

Yulia’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. 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 andis currently working towards a M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration at UNL.

Contact Natalia

Natalia Meyer portrait

Rachel Ayalon International Student Success Navigator

Rachel's role at the ISSO is to coordinate international student success efforts for international students throughout their time at UNL. She will design and implement co-curricular and cultural programming opportunities that enhances living and learning experiences for a successful socio/cultural adjustment to life on campus and in the U.S. She will connect students to campus resources, offices, and advising units to ensure a successful transition to campus. Rachel also regularly monitors students' academic progress and works to develop a success and retention plan. 

Rachel has been active in the field of international education and has been a Member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators for over four years. She has recently completed the NAFSA Academy for International Education which an intensive yearlong training program that explores all aspects of international higher education. 

Prior to joining the ISSO team, Rachel has worked in UNL's Office of Global Strategies for over four years. She holds a B.A. degree in International Studies, and a M.S. degree in Student Affairs. She has traveled to Mexico, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, China, Japan, and Thailand. 

Contact Rachel

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 will provide support to sponsored international students and provide guidance to UNL departments in relation to all sponsored student matters. She will also design and implement co-curricular and 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 will connect students to campus resources, offices, and advising units to ensure international students are successful at UNL. 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. She has traveled to the Bahamas, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. 

Contact Nakell

Anh Le Academic Advisor and Success Coach
Credit English for Academic Purposes (CEAP) Program

Anh’s role at the ISSO is to provide support to the students in the CEAP program. In this position, she works closely with students to advise them on UNL policies, social integration, and academic skills. She collaborates with offices on campus, including academic and faculty advisors, to ensure that the students have a smooth transition to their degree programs.

Throughout her career, Anh has worked with international students in various capacities as an instructor, advisor, and mentor. Prior to accepting her current position in 2016, her experiences with various offices on campus, including Career Services, Multicultural Affairs, and Trio Programs provides Anh with a well-rounded capacity to understand and enforce institutional policies, develop social and academic programs, advise and mentor students, utilize student management systems, and collaborate effectively with many offices on campus.

Anh has served in leadership for local and national professional associations including the Multicultural Young Professional Association at UNL, the Asian Pacific American Network (APAN) in ACPA and the UNL Academic Advising Association. In addition to her work as a student affairs practitioner, Anh has been actively engaged in research activities as a scholar practitioner. Her research has focused on international students and international education in the global context. She also serves as peer reviewer for the Journal of International Students and The Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity (JCSCORE). Anh earned her Doctorate in Educational Administration with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Higher Education in 2014.

Contact Anh

Anh Le 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 Association of International Educators, NAFSA, since 2018. 

Contact Jarvis

Alan Wilkins Staff Assistant

Alan’s role at the ISSO is to be the first point of contact for the office, and to support the ISSO staff. He works directly with international students, scholars, UNL departments and colleges at the front desk and on the office phone, 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 and is working towards a Master of Arts in Educational Administration at UNL.

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 Candidate at University of Lincoln-Nebraska. He is an aluminum of Reagan-Fascell Fellowship with National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC. He is also an aluminum 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 2019, as a business development officer for the International Organization for Migration and as an interpreter for US troops in Iraq. Before graduating from the American University of Iraq–Sulaimani (AUIS), he founded several youth-based civic education initiatives in the Sinjar district of Ninewa province, where he sought to strengthen the principles of pluralism through regular workshops in local villages. 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.