Meet the Staff of International Students and Scholars

Don't Know Where to Start? Contact us: iss[at]umass[dot]edu

Are you a newly admitted or re-enrolled student with visa sponsorship questions? Contact us!

Undergraduate Students: visarequest[at]umass[dot]edu

Graduate Students: gradvisarequest[at]umass[dot]edu

Meet the Staff of ISS

Katie Ahlman
International Student and Scholar Advisor

kahlman [at]

F-1 Portfolio Manager; IPO Advisor information

Katie Ahlman joined the International Programs Office (IPO) in June 2019 as an International Student and Scholar Advisor. Her primary duties are advising international students and scholars on immigration matters. Prior to joining the IPO, Katie worked at Western New England University as an International Student Coordinator from 2013-2019. Originally from Nebraska, Katie has a B.A. in Global Studies and Sociology-Anthropology from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an M.A. in Educational Policy & Administration from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has lived in multiple countries and states throughout the U.S. Outside of work, Katie spends time with her family, swims, knits, and reads a lot!

Naoko Ishida
Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services

nishida [at]

IPO Advisor information

Naoko joined the UMass Amherst community first as an International Student and has worked in other offices across campus prior to landing at IPO in 2002, as a SEVIS Coordinator and now in the role of Associate Director for the International Student and Scholar Services. Her primary duties are overseeing immigration record and compliance and ensuring smooth operation of the advising unit. She also advises students and scholars on immigration issues. Outside of work, Naoko volunteers her time serving on committees for her two sons. She is a member of the Amherst Hockey Association and serves as Timekeeper Coordinator and is also the Team Manager for the Western Mass Vipers. She devotes most of her weekends at ice rinks watching them play hockey.

Claire Novotny

International Exchange Advisor

Advisor for Sweden and Denmark


cnovotny [at]

As the International Exchange Advisor, Claire works with all incoming and outgoing exchange students as well as UMass Amherst undergraduates looking to study abroad in Denmark and Sweden. She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University for Massachusetts and a MA in Intercultural Leadership from SIT Graduate Institute. She studied abroad three times while in college and has led over 20 faculty-taught programs throughout the world. Outside the office, Claire keeps busy hiking in the woods, spending time with friends, and frequenting local coffee shops!

Schedule an appointment with Claire on Navigate

Kenneth Reade
Director, International Student and Scholars Services

kjreade [at]

IPO Advisor information

Ken Reade has worked in the field of international education since 1989 and he remains active both regionally and nationally in a number of areas affecting international education and immigration regulatory practice. Ken has been a longtime advocate of federal immigration reform policies and in 2013, Reade was named “Advocate of the Year” by the field’s leading professional organization NAFSA: Association of International Educators. He has also served as NAFSA’s Region XI (Northeastern United States) Chair, as well as a variety of other positions within the association and is a frequent presenter at regional and national NAFSA conferences. In 2010 he received the region’s “Distinguished Service Award.” Ken joined the IPO at UMass in August, 2014 and previously served in the Office of Visa and Immigration Services at Dartmouth College since 2001. His other previous international education experiences included positions in London, UK with Central College Abroad, Pacific University (Oregon) and the University of Illinois Chicago. As a native Oregonian, Ken appreciates the natural beauty of Western Massachusetts and resides in Northampton, MA with his family.

Beryl Tang
International Student & Scholar Administrative Assistant

bjtang [at]

Beryl Tang is the pre-advisor to the international student and scholars. Beryl supervises the ISS student workers who staff the ISS advising center.

Tricia Whiting
International Student & Scholar Advisor

pwhiting [at]

Tricia joined the ISS team December of 2021 as one of the International Student & Scholar Advisors. Originally from North Carolina, Tricia has a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Arcadia University in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the IPO team, she was working as the International Student and Education Abroad Advisor at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA since 2016. Prior to that, Tricia lived and worked in Washington, DC with American Councils for International Education and within the Internationalization Department at National Association of International Educators (NAFSA).

Tricia enjoys the plethora of amazing restaurants Northampton has to offer, adventuring around the globe and getting acclimated to New England weather.