International Affairs: Staff Bios
|||Lawrence Rodriguez, Director, International Affairs
Lawrence Rodriguez received his Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance Music with a Minor in Theatre Arts at Cal Lutheran University. Although his family is from Guam, Rodriguez was born and raised in California. Upon graduation from Cal Lutheran, Rodriguez spent a short time with the Walt Disney Corporation and the Rubicon Theatre Company, before returning to Cal Lutheran and working in the Residence Halls and International Programs offices for three years. He then worked for three years in the Admission Office, recruiting heavily throughout Asia and Europe.
Rodriguez came to SAIC in 2006 and has served as an immigration advisor to incoming and current international students and provides educational and cultural programming here at SAIC.
Outside of the office, Rodriguez cofounded a nonprofit organization, Cheer Los Angeles, which raises money in support and research for people suffering from HIV/AIDS and other life threatening diseases.
|Jessica Wolfe, Assistant Director, International Student Services
Jessica Wolfe holds an M.Ed in College Student Personnel from Loyola University and a BS in English/Education from Indiana University. She grew up in the Chicago area and has held several varied roles in Higher Education over the past 15 years ranging from Academic Advisor to Associate Registrar to Disability and Veteran Support Services. Wolfe has worked with international students for many years both at Harrington College of Design and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
As an undergrad at Indiana University, she studied abroad in England where she participated in a student teacher exchange program, co-taught creative writing and American literature in an English secondary school about an hour south of London, and spent many weekends getting hopelessly lost in the English countryside before the invention of smart phones. She has long had an interest in the arts and, according to her academic advisor, was only a few credits shy of a fine arts minor upon graduation from Indiana University. She is also a graduate of the Second City improv program.
|Katie C. Stephens, International Student Advisor and SEVIS Analyst
Katie Stephens earned her master's degree in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago and her bachelor's in Spanish and Communications at Albion College. Shortly after moving to Chicago in 2012, Katie came to the International Affairs department for the first time as an intern and returned later that year in a part-time role as SEVIS Compliance Coordinator. Katie spent time as an International Student Advisor at Illinois Institute of Technology and has since returned to a full-time role in International Affairs.
Katie studied abroad multiple times both as an undergraduate and a graduate student. Katie's short term experiences abroad include trips to Poland, Costa Rica, Suriname and Italy and her longest term abroad was her year in Argentina. While in Argentina, Katie lived with an Argentine family in Cordoba and took full advantage of exploring a variety of provinces as well as taking her first solo trip to Chile. The culmination of these experiences resulted in her interest to pursue international education as a career path.
When Katie is not working, she loves running, cooking, spending time with her family and, of course, dreaming up her next international adventure.
|Jennifer Dentel, International Student Advisor
Jennifer (Jen) Dentel moved to Chicago from Portland, Oregon, and received her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Chicago. In college, she started working with international students as a Resident Assistant and, later, as Assistant Director for the University of Chicago Graham School Summer Session. She lived in the dorm with students and planned trips throughout the Chicagoland area, including to her favorite neighborhood of Andersonville. After graduation, she worked at Northwestern University for four years assisting international Research Staff and Visitors in obtaining their work visas.
While attending the University of Chicago, Jen studied abroad in Vienna and in Edinburgh. While in Vienna, she studied Austrian history and took German classes at the University of Vienna. In Scotland, she studied Scottish history, took Scots Gaelic, and spent her weekends wandering the city and taking day trips to various castles and museums throughout Scotland. She focused on British history and wrote her thesis on homosexuality, permissiveness, and censorship in Modern Britain.
Outside of work, Jen enjoys photography, British comedy, volunteering at Gerber Hart Library, and attempting to find every used bookstore in Chicago.