2018 19 Ias

Current International Ambassadors

International Ambassadors (IAs) are a select group of University of Notre Dame students, both international and American, graduate and undergraduate, who serve as Notre Dame International's student leadership team. All new international students will be paired with two International Ambassadors who will help them through the orientation process. New students are encouraged to ask their IAs any questions they may have regarding International Student Orientation and the Notre Dame experience.

Lidya Feleke Abreha

Hello! My name is Lidya Feleke Abreha, and I am from Ethiopia. I am a rising sophomore with a major in Mechanical Engineering. Before coming to Notre Dame, like some of the other International Ambassadors you will get to meet, I went to the African Leadership Academy in South Africa for two years. I love eskista, which is a term for the traditional dance of Ethiopians. And as an IA next year, I hope to organize a fun event where we will all get to share our amazing traditional dances :). On campus, I serve as the Director of Mentorship for the Society of Women Engineers. I am also a member of the African Students Association. I look forward to sharing my first year experience with you and getting to know your lovely selves! Welcome Home!

Khesa Borotho

Hello! Dumela! My name is Khesa Borotho, and I am a Sophomore majoring in Finance. I was born and bred in a tiny African country called Lesotho— if you know where that is, I’m impressed, you and I are already friends! On campus I live in Duncan Hall, I play inter-hall soccer and volleyball, and I’m an officer in the African Students Association. If you ever want to talk about soccer or African politics, i’m your guy. Whether you are super excited or a bit nervous about joining Notre Dame, just know that your experience here will make you more aware of what is meaningful to you and where your strengths lie. I cannot wait to meet you and learn all about you. Welcome home and Go Irish!

Steven Campilo

Hey guys, welcome to Notre Dame! I'm Steven and despite being born in Florida to two American parents I did not live in the US until my first year Notre Dame. I grew up in the Philippines, Malaysia, Canada, Mexico, and Switzerland. I absolutely loved living abroad and creating new homes away from home (which is easy to do at ND). I am a Senior majoring in Accounting with a minor in Poverty Studies. I am the Captain of the club Ultimate Frisbee team, have been a part of several business clubs, and was able to do an International Summer Service Learning Program in Guatemala my 2016 summer. My advice is to learn as much about what is going on at Notre Dame and accept as many new opportunities you can because your options are almost limitless!

Connie Chen

Hi everyone! I’m Connie, and I am a rising sophomore who grew up between Irvine, CA and Taichung, Taiwan. I hope to double major in Finance and Psychology (psych!) and currently call Cavanaugh home. Outside of classes I am involved in student government, JIFFI (Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion), SIBC (sorry I am your stereotypical Mendoza kid), Iron Sharpens Iron (live love Jesus), and research. I love baking, cooking, or anything related to food so I’m always down to make food that South Bend is ~lacking~. Can’t wait to meet you all next year, it’s going to be a blast!

Kelsey DeGagne

Welcome to ND! My name is Kelsey DeGagne, a senior studying Economics and Political Science! Here at Notre Dame, I lived in Pasquerilla East Hall, but I am from London, Ontario in Canada. Outside of class, I play on the women's club ice hockey team, am on my hall council, and host a late-night radio show once a week with some friends. I'm also learning Italian and just got back from spending a semester in France! I can't wait to meet the new international students and help you get involved on campus - even if you don't know what your passions are yet, this is the place to discover them!

Julia Dodig

Hi guys, welcome to Notre Dame! My name is Julia Dodig, and I am from Toronto, Canada. I spent the first few years of my young life moving around, living in Boston, New Jersey, and London, England before staying put in Toronto at age 6. I am a double major in Political Science and Film, Television, and Theatre in the College of Arts and Letters. On campus, I live in Ryan Hall and am the academic commissioner and the dorm outreach commissioner of Ryan! I also profess my love for Notre Dame twice a week as an on-campus tour guide. I love walking around the Notre Dame lakes, watching Netflix (especially Shonda Rhimes shows!), and traveling. My family is half-Croatian so we go there and one European city every summer, and I love seeing all of the different places and cultures! I am so excited to meet you all at ND! Go Irish! 

He Duan

Hi guys, my name is He Duan, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Finance and Economics. I am originally from China, but have been raised in Harare, Zimbabwe for almost my entire life. And before you ask me, no, I did not see lions every morning on my way to school, and yes, I can speak a little bit of the native language Shona! On campus, I am a proud resident of the "dawghouse" that is Alumni Hall. Outside of the classroom, I am involved in a few SIBC projects and the Asian American Association. I am also a piper for the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band, the secretary for the Chinese Cultural Society, and an Event Assistant for the Student Activities Office. I have really enjoyed these activities I am involved in and I feel they have allowed me to effectively refresh and revitalize myself in between demanding academic courses. I am a diehard cars fan and love to play tennis, to travel places, and to listen to music by the Chainsmokers and Taylor Swift. I wish you will find the Notre dame experience as immersive, interactive, and character-building as I have. If there is any advice I could give to you, it is that you should strive to just be yourself and do what you like on campus, and don’t feel obliged to do everything that you believe the imaginary future recruiter in your head wants to see on your resume! Have fun, and go Irish!

Janne Fuss

Hello! My name is Janne, and I'm a rising senior majoring in Finance. I grew up in Germany and spent time living in the states and Spain before attending Notre Dame. Outside of class, I like being involved in business clubs on campus and work at the LRC. One of my favorite parts about being a Notre Dame student is being able to interact with people from different cultures, both on campus and through trips with the university in the US and abroad, ranging from Appalachia service trips, investment competitions in Canada, research in Cuba, business consulting in South Africa, to studying abroad in Israel. I also love spending time with my girlfriends on campus, going out for brunch, and visiting my family and dog back in Germany. 

Jacques Gonnard

Hi there! My name is Jacques-Alexander Gonnard, and I hail from the beautiful city of Paris France. I started off as a First Year Engineering student, but decided that it was not for me and switched to Political Science and International Economics. Despite being half American on my mother’s side, I discovered so many new things when I came here. After my phase of adapting to this new way of life, I made many great friends and started getting involved in the amazing campus life offered here. You took a risk by deciding to study in a different country than your own, so make it worth your while. Notre Dame offers so many more things to do than what you might be used to back home. Do not miss out on the opportunities that will arise during your time here: be limitless. This is going to be my first year as an international ambassador, and I am super excited to meet you guys in person during international orientation!

Zahara Kagalwalla

Hi guys and welcome home! (So hyped to have you here!)  My name is Zahara Salim and I am from the city that never sleeps, Mumbai, India. I have travelled extensively both domestically and internationally, and my favorite city is definitely Luzern, Switzerland.  I am currently a rising sophomore and I plan to major in Marketing + Gender studies. I am your conventional Mendoza girl who enjoys being a part of business clubs like Student International Business Council and Undergraduate Women in Business. Other than that you can find me at weekly FlipSide friday night events and chilling with my amazing roommates at Walsh hall which is my amazing home under the dome. I am also known for my tea-range, particularly my love for chai, and down to cook late-night Indian food anytime!

Mohamad Khater

Hello everyone, my name is Mohamad Khater and people who know me well would call me Nagi. I am originally from Cairo, Egypt where the great pyramids and Sphinx lie. I am a second year PhD student in electrical engineering and I do control systems. I think I am a very chilled person, I love to meet people from different backgrounds and styles. I love nature and I recommend any new student to explore the university and enjoy every corner of it because there are many beautiful spots where you find peace and feel you are in a national park or living a movie. I breakdance and I love dancing so if you are into it come find me. Traveling has been the greatest thing I have done in my life! I have been to many countries in four continents from far east Asia, to the middle east and Europe to the west, America. I have learned many things, met so many people, had great adventures and made the best memories. Do not get soaked in studies and forget to treat yourself and refresh your soul. Cannot wait to meet you all! Go Irish!

Zijuan Liang

Hello! I'm Zijuan Liang and I'm from Guangzhou, China. This is my first year of IA and I'm super excited about it. I live in Cavanaugh and I am a mechanical engineer. I love music. I sing in the Women's Liturgical Choir. I also love making pizza at Reckers. My advice for incoming students is that the beginning is always the hardest, but believe in yourself and hold on to what you love, you will achieve what you want, I promise!

Junchi Lu

Hello everyone! Welcome to Notre Dame Family! I'm Junchi Lu, a 2nd year Ph.D student in Electrical Engineering department. I grew up in a northeastern city of China and spent six years in Beijing before I came here. Studying at Notre Dame is such an extraordinary experience. I've met a lot of awesome people and feel so warmly welcomed. Beyond fun courses and endless research, I am involved in several professional communities (SPIE, AWIS & SWE). I also lead a cultural association (CSSA) to serve Chinese students & scholars at ND. I love adventure, sky-diving, roller coasters and road trips. Running is my favorite. The only thing for me that can compare favorably with running around the campus is cooking Asian food =)! Are you ready to jump into the Notre Dame Wonder this summer? An International Ambassador like me is always here to help. Please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or message me on Facebook if you have any questions.  

Ashabari Majumdar

I am Asha, a second-year graduate student from India   I have always been passionate about listening to new stories. Well, my research of Physics certainly allows seeing the story of the universe being unfold in front of my eyes. So does my other passions as hiking and traveling. It is my resolution to explore a new activity each semester and this fall I plan to learn photography so that I can capture the beautiful moments around me. Apart from being a proud International Ambassador of Notre Dame, I am also involved with Association of Women in Science, Graduate Students Union, Indian Association of Notre Dame and Physics Outreach program. I am so happy to welcome you to the University of Notre Dame where the new exciting chapter of your life starts! I can't wait to hear your story! Shoot me an email or add me on Facebook and take me through the journey of your culture, life, passion, and dreams.

Jeannie Nash

Hi everyone! My name is Jeannie Nash and I am currently a junior in the College of Arts and Letters, majoring in Pre- Health Studies and Sociology. I live in Howard Hall while at Notre Dame, but I call South Florida and Michigan my home when I’m away from campus. I am striving to pursue a medical career that is most eminently focused within the realms of Neuroscience and/or Neurology. Outside of the classroom, I am a huge sports fan, and actually played on the Notre Dame women’s tennis team for all of my freshman year. So, if any of you are tennis fans and also know how to play, send me a message, and I would love to arrange to hit with you when you get on campus! This will be my first year as an International Ambassador, and I couldn’t be more excited to be embarking on this journey with all of you. I have always had a passion for learning about the multitude of unique cultures our world is home too and take every opportunity I am presented with when it comes to exploring them. Through the Notre Dame summer study abroad programs, I have had the opportunity to take my education to Warsaw, Poland, Rome, Italy, and London, England. There is nothing that can get between me and my love of exploring and learning, and I am so thrilled that all of you have decided to attend Notre Dame and join me on this journey! If you have any questions at all, whether it be about academics, sports, food, or anything else you are concerned about or want to know more of, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or message me on Facebook!

Nnadozie Onyekuru

Hello Domers! My name is Nnadozie. I am a graduate student in global affairs and a native of Nigeria, the country with the best joll of rice. Before coming to Notre Dame, I went to college in California so I can sympathize with you if you occasionally whine about the winter. We can also chat about Bollywood, African literature, and the other football (soccer) which you can watch for free here. My quick counsel about your stay at Notre Dame is that in between your busy life here, you should make time to behold the works of Ivan Mestrovic and other artists across our beautiful campus.

Angela Overlack

Hey everyone! My name is Angela Overlack and despite originally being born American and German, I have had the privilege of living in Germany (2 years), Belgium (6 years) and Switzerland (10 years). I am currently a rising sophomore, studying economics with a minor in collaborative innovation. Behind the economics studies, I am in fact very musical, and have a passion for songwriting. I am involved in a variety of clubs on campus but my favorite is a music platform called streetlight creations which allows me to explore my songwriting passion continuously! Having lived the majority of my life in Switzerland, I have become a big skier, and will make sure I go back every year to catch a couple rides down the slopes! As I never lived in the US before coming to Notre Dame, I was nervous and slightly terrified of the new culture. Yet, after a couple of weeks, I felt very welcomed into the community and found that my international background became a unique story to tell (and a great way to get people’s attention ☺). So keep in mind that you all have such great backgrounds that you should embrace and share with others on campus as well. I am super excited to meet you, and please feel free to reach out over the break (email!) if you have any questions or just want to say hi!

Angela Pantell

Hi everyone! My name is Angela, and I'm a rising senior double majoring in Environmental Science and Economics. I live in Farley Hall and I'm originally from Chicago. I love cooking (I'm always open to new recipes!), hanging out with my friends, traveling (I spent this past summer in Belize and Peru and last semester in Perth, Australia!), listening to music, ice skating, playing with my dog, and shopping. I really enjoy learning about new people and places, and I love studying new languages. Here on campus, I am the president of the Collegiate 4H Club (come check out our vegetable garden!) and I'm a Teaching Assistant for freshman biology lab. I am happy to say that, from my experiences, Notre Dame is a uniquely warm and welcoming family. There is always something fun going on and plenty of opportunities to get involved and meet new people if you're willing to put yourself out there- it definitely pays off! I'm excited for my third year as an International Ambassador, and I can't wait to help welcome everyone to our campus in August!

Catlin Schalk

Hi everyone! My name is Catlin Schalk. I am a 2nd year PhD student in the chemistry department. I am originally from Michigan, but I lived in Shanghai, China from 2006-2011 where I attended an international school. During those years my family and I also had the amazing opportunity to travel to many different countries in Asia and in Europe. I love baking and yoga. Ask me about my pet rabbit - I have tons of pictures! I also enjoy traveling to nearby cities to see my favorite bands play live. You can find me on campus at the Compton Family Ice Arena during hockey season cheering on our Irish! Welcome to Notre Dame, I am so excited to meet you in the fall!

Teaghan Stack

Hey everyone! My name is Teaghan Stack, and I am a rising senior from Calgary, Alberta, in western Canada. I am a part of the Reilly Dual-Degree program, studying Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design. Though I now live in a house off campus, I will always consider myself to be one of Farley’s Finest, and was very involved in dorm life and hall council. I am a member of the ND Women’s Boxing Club, and love to hike, ski, and cook in my free time. This will be my third year as an International Ambassador, and I am so excited to welcome you to campus at International Orientation! I look forward to being able to help with your transition into the Notre Dame family – you will learn for yourself what an amazing place this is! I encourage you to keep an open mind and get to know as many people as you can on campus; there is so much to learn and everyone has their unique story.

Joseph Tang

Hey peeps! The name's Joseph Tang (汤依信), current senior majoring in Piano Performance/Composition with a supplement major in Pre-health studies. Born in the US, I attended an international school in Shanghai, China during my middle-high school years. Consequently, I consider myself bilingual, but I'll leave that up to you native Chinese speakers to make the final judgment ;). I was reared by the University in the cabinet-sized rooms of Morrissey Manor, but you'll normally find me in the equally cramped piano practice rooms of the Crowley Hall of Music when I'm not doing mosquito research in the Jordan Hall of Science. In addition to several community service clubs, I'm also heavily involved in Campus Ministry choirs as well as the nascent field of undergraduate music composition. Consider me a third-culture kid; my upbringing has garnered in me an incredible sense of duty to my ancestral homeland as well as appreciation for the ever-burgeoning set of unique languages cultures represented here on campus. I guess you'll see for yourself the far-reaching diversity I myself cherish so much once you join the Notre Dame community! See you guys soon!

May (Yanjun) Wan

Hi, everyone! My name is Yanjun Wan, and I go by May. I am a rising sophomore studying Accounting and ACMS. My hometown is Nanjing, China. I lived in Flaherty Hall during my first year on campus but I will move to Pasquerilla East Hall next year. I will also tutor Physics at the Learning Resource Center and serve as a Research Assistant in the History Department next year. During my free time, I like reading books and playing with the squirrels on campus. Studying in Notre Dame is a unique and exciting experience, you will meet amazing people and explore infinite opportunities. Just keep an open mind and enjoy your experience here, you will love it! See you all in August. Welcome home!

Nicole Warren

Hi guys! My name is Nicole Warren and I’m from London, England, where I have lived all my life. I’m a rising Sophomore majoring in Computer Science, and I live in Flaherty Hall (aka the newest and best dorm on campus). On campus I’m involved in Engineers Without Boarders, Society of Women Engineers, and Celebration Choir, which are all amazing groups. I’m a massive foodie and I also love camping, cooking and music. I encourage you to meet as many people as you can during your first few weeks at Notre Dame, as having true friends is the key to success! I am so excited to meet you all in the fall and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Welcome home and Go Irish!

Shawn (Yuexiao) Wu

Hello friends! My name is Shawn Wu, and I’m a rising junior. It’s hard for me to answer the question “where are you from” because I’ve moved 8 different times before college! I was born in Beijing and moved to the US when I was 4 years old - within the US I’ve lived in the states of North Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota, and now I currently call Syracuse, New York my home. Even though I grew up most of my life in America, my family and I only spoke Chinese at home. In 7th grade, I wanted to learn how to read and write in Chinese, so I went back to Beijing for a year at a boarding school. On campus, I live in Siegfried Hall and I have a major in finance, with minors in theology and collaborative innovation (design). I’m very involved with Iron Sharpens Iron, an inter-denominational Christian fellowship, Campus Ministry, and the Center for Social Concerns. In my free time, I love jammin out on my guitar, playing basketball, ping pong, reading, and most of all - deep talks. Literally my favorite thing is talking to random people, new people, old people, all sorts, so definitely hit me up if you want to hangout. I’m always #downtotalk :) My advice is to be on the lookout/make time for amazing events, talks, and guest speakers that come to our amazing campus. Grab a friend or two and challenge yourself to be exposed to new/different ideas!

Natalie (Yan Chung) Ying

Hello everyone! I am Natalie Ying, a rising sophomore from Hong Kong. I major in Political Science and Economics. On campus, I live in McGlinn Hall. Outside of the classroom, I am a proud member of the Notre Dame Chorale and work as research assistant at the Kellogg Institute of International Studies. At the very beginning of my Freshmen year, I was not used to the cultural difference between the US and back at home. But now, as you can see, Notre Dame is a magical place to me. All people here are so friendly and helpful. I am here to reassure you that it is okay for international students to panic a bit at the start, and I hope to help every one of you with your transition. I have a poker face and can look kind of scary when I am emotionless. But please do not hesitate to approach me if you have any problems, or if you just want to chat! Can’t wait to meet all of you during International Student Orientation!

Hasan Zakeri

Hey there, I am Hasan. I’m a PhD student in electrical engineering (specialized in control). I am originally from Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran. Besides hanging out with friends frequently, I like to spend my time swimming, rock climbing, and playing the cello and Kamancheh. I joined the ISSA’s International Ambassador team to welcome you all to this great campus, and your new home. This is an amazingly warm and welcoming community, and I am sure you will love it as much as I do, and you’re going to enjoy it even more

Attina (Xueheng) Zhang

Hello, I am Xueheng “Attina” Zhang, a sophomore from Nanjing, a southeastern city in China. I’m currently major in Anthropology and ACMS (Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics), and I’m a Babe from the Breen-Phillips Hall (Best People Best Place!). This summer, I spent two months doing volunteering work in Quito, Ecuador as a recipient of the Kellogg’s Experiencing the World Fellowship. I cannot wait to be an International Ambassador this August, join in the Kellogg family as an International Scholar, support AAA (Asian American Association) as a group leader, and continue promoting Chinese culture around the campus as the co-president for CCS (Chinese Culture Society)!!! I love exploring things and getting to know people. So, my suggestion for your first week is: don’t be afraid to start a conversation with others, because everyone has his or her most unique and amazing personal experiences, and how sad it will be if you miss the chance to know them? Finally, I can’t wait to meet each of you! If you have questions about your upcoming freshman year, or just want to have a chat, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Instagram :) Welcome to Notre Dame, welcome home!!!