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International Center
Study Abroad

Amy Benck

Contact for F-1/J-1 students
H-1B/J-1 Scholars
Amy Benck received her master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University Chicago. She has always been interested in traveling, but became passionate about international education after studying abroad and working in Scotland. When Amy is not dreaming about her next traveling adventure, she likes to explore Chicago, make jewelry, and spend time with her friends and family.

Kara Johnson
Assistant Director, International Student and Scholar Services

Contact for F-1/J-1 students, J-1 Scholars, and H-1Bs
Kara Johnson has a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She has studied and/or worked abroad in Canada, France, and the UK. As a new Chicago resident, she spends most of her time exploring the city, trying new restaurants, and learning her way around. She loves to travel, learn new languages, and experience other cultures.

Karen Spreitzer
International Student Advisor

Contact for F-1/J-1 students
Karen Spreitzer received a B.S. in Anthropology from Loyola University of Chicago. She worked as an archaeologist throughout the Midwest and western U.S. regions for ten years. She became interested in international services while advising graduate students from all over the world while working as the physics graduate program advisor at UIC. She has spent several months traveling in Europe. When she's not working, she enjoys writing, walking, biking, playing guitar and singing. She finished writing her first novel in 2007.

Tanya C. DePass
International Student Advisor/SEVIS Coordinator

Contact for F-1/J-1 students

Safe Space Certified for LGBTQ Student Issues
Tanya DePass received her B.S. in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University. Previously she worked in the International Programs Office at DePaul University. She became interested in international education after studying abroad in Osaka, Japan at Kansai Gaidai University, and loved it so much she extended a semester abroad into a year. She’s also traveled to Panama, Canada and Ecuador. In her spare time Tanya knits, games, reads science fiction and fantasy, and hangs out with her brown and black tabby, Genki, in Andersonville.

Jennifer Sherdan
Study Abroad Coordinator

Contact for current IIT students wishing to spend a term outside the United States
Jennifer Sherdan first studied abroad as an undergraduate at the University of Sheffield in northern England. During the experience, she made many international friends and became passionate about travel, having since spent time in more than twenty countries. For nearly four years, she managed international research and development for the certification arm of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, which included developing partnerships with universities and other organizations abroad. Following graduate internships at the University of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, she received her master’s degree in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Communication Studies from DePaul University.

Shannon Ingleby
International Student Advisor

Contact for F-1/J-1 students
Shannon Ingleby received her B.A. in Psychology from Central College in Pella, IA. During college she studied abroad in China and a few years after graduation she moved back to China where she taught English and traveled around Asia for 3 years. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. In her free time, Shannon can be found planning her next international trip, reading a good book, attending a Zumba class or exploring the city with her husband.

Katie Stephens
International Services Specialist
Originally from Michigan, Katie came to Chicago in 2012 to pursue her master’s degree in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. She became interested in working in the field of international education after her year-long study abroad experience in Cordoba, Argentina and short-term study trips to Poland, Costa Rica, Suriname and Italy. Outside of the office Katie is trying to keep up with her Spanish, loves running, reading and working on her culinary skills.

Devon Nobles
Student Assistant
Devon joined Illinois Tech Stuart Business School in fall of 2012. He is pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration on Business Analytics. Fascinated by the triple bottom line, his goal is to become a social entrepreneur. In his spare time he likes to go to concerts, practice violin, and contemplate the vastness of possibilities in the universe.

Eddie Ho
Senior Student Assistant
Eddie joined Illinois Tech in Fall of 2011. He is pursuing a Bachelors in Psychology. He is orignally from Portland, OR and so likes to spend his time exploring the city. In his free time he likes to practice his Korean and Japanese. His favorite aspect of internationality is the food.

Manoj Meenakshi
Student Assistant & Web Developer
Manoj joined Illinois Tech in Spring 2014. He is pursuing his masters in Computer Science. A prodigy violinist. He likes swimming, exploring places and meeting new people.

Chelsea Badiola
Study Abroad Student Assistant
Chelsea joined Illinois Tech in the Fall of 2012. She is pursuing a Bachelor's in Psychology, plays volleyball and lacrosse for the Scarlet Hawks, is in a sorority, and dreams of joining the Peace Corps after graduation.

Tim Maculewicz
Study Abroad Student Assistant
Tim joined Illinois Tech in 2011 and is a senior pursuing a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering with hopes of one day earning a Ph.D. Studying abroad in Germany has moved him to encourage others to study abroad. In his spare time he likes to play sports and video games, workout, and read. Tim's initials spell T.I.M

Vishak Chandra
Student Assistant
Vishak is currently pursuing his MS in Chemical Engineering since joining IIT in fall 2013. The boom of shale gas brought him to the USA, which is also Vishak’s current area of research and he hopes to attain a PhD soon. Vishak loves writing and blogging about sports for leisure. Social service is another passion of his and Vishak has been involved with Rotary for the past 4 years.

Ziwei (Daisy) Han
Student Assistant
Daisy joined Illinois Tech Stuart School of Business in fall of 2012. She is pursuing a master’s in Marketing Analytics and Communication. She loves traveling and trying out different cuisines around the city. In her free time, she likes riding horses, swimming, and playing badminton.

Nazia Habib
Student Assistant
Nazia joined IIT in the Spring of 2014 and is currently pursuing her MS in Molecular Biology. Apart from enjoying her stay in the US and learning the new culture, she loves to travel, read and bake. Her friends call her a 'good friend' but a 'great cook'. She believes in a never say die attitude.

For general inquiries, please email the International Center at
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