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Meet Our Staff

From registration to graduation, we'll support you!

The International Programs staff is dedicated to giving our International Students every opportunity to reach their goals at TCC. Warm, friendly and highly trained in working with international students, we'll help you with paperwork, class selection, social and cultural issues, and be a friend and advocate for your success.


Give us a call, send an email, or just stop by to see us. We're looking forward to speaking with you soon!

International Programs Office
Bldg. 11, 2nd floor
Phone/Fax 253.566.5190

How will we help you? Any way we can!

  • 5 full-time staff, including immigration advisor and academic advisor.
  • Personally oversee your housing arrangements.
  • Languages spoken: Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Portugese and Dutch.
  • Plan fun and useful orientation activities and events throughout the year.
  • Give you a place to visit, hang out, and talk through your experience in our comfy, spacious offices.

Meet the ISS Staff

JamesJames Newman

Director for International Programs & DSO

As Program Director for International Recruitment since 2009, James emphasized short-term international training and degree programs. The high school completion program he developed and implemented led to a dramatic increase in Chinese student enrollment.

James holds a Master of Project Management, obtained from Keller Graduate School, and a Master of Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology. He lived in China for 7 years, attended Beijing's Language and Culture University, and is fluent in Mandarin.

LauraLaura Koval

Assistant Director of Advising and Study Abroad & DSO

Laura spends her days advising international students and developing strategies for student engagement within the international department. She is also our study abroad advisor for resident students. Laura understands the importance of an international education since she herself lived overseas in Lagos, Nigeria throughout her elementary school years. Her international experience also includes backpacking through South East Asia and South America, as well as traveling to over 20 different countries.

Laura was also part of the TCC's women’s basketball coaching staff. As a local product of Tacoma, Laura spent 4 years at Stadium High School and continued her education, while playing basketball, at Whatcom Community College. Laura played one year at George Fox University before transferring to the University of Puget Sound to complete her college basketball career. Laura holds a teacher’s certificate that is highly qualified in mathematics and a master’s degree in secondary education.

AnnemarieAnnemarie Martin

Housing and Short-Term Programs Coordinator & PDSO

Annemarie works with students, host families and local apartment complexes to make sure the housing process goes smoothly for all our students. She is the person to see if you have questions or concerns about where you live while studying at TCC. Besides housing, Annemarie also coordinates all aspects for our Short-Term Programs and is the lead for the Global Discovery Programs.

Annemarie knows what it’s like to be an international student as she grew up in the Netherlands and came to Seattle to study. She earned a 4-year degree in Marketing, Presentation and Communication from the Netherlands and began working full-time with international students in the U.S. since 2006. Annemarie is fluent in Dutch and English.

AlexaAlexa Mercado-Curtis

Admissions Specialist & DSO

Alexa processes international student admissions and leads international short-term programs. She has over three years of experience in Student Life and International Student Services & Programs at TCC and understands the diverse groups that the college serves. While working with students on a daily basis, she seeks to improve their experiences before, during, and after their studies at TCC.

Alexa’s father’s military service brought her to Tacoma in 1992, where she has lived ever since. She was educated through the Tacoma Public Schools system and graduated from Wilson High School in 2009. She is a graduate of TCC and is currently earning her Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic, Gender & Labor Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma. Alexa has made multiple visits to the Philippines, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea. She hopes to continue broadening her knowledge of cultures through world travel and interactions with the students that she enjoys serving every day.

DonnaDonna Whittaker

Part-time Housing Coordinator

Donna works with Annemarie to make sure the housing process goes smoothly for all our students and host families. She and Annemarie are the staff to talk to about where you live while studying at TCC.

Donna holds a Master's degree in Community Counseling from Seattle Pacific University and a Bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology from Loyola University Chicago.  She loves all things international, especially hearing about and other cultures.  Donna had the privilege of living in Japan from 2009 - 2012 and has traveled to several other countries including China and Russia.  She knows what it is like to experience a new culture while not knowing all the customs or the language of the host country; it is exciting and challenging at the same time!  She met many kind people who helped her while she was abroad, which inspired her to return the kindness by helping new students coming to the U.S.  Please stop in to see her if you have any questions or just want to practice your English!

JonJon Maes

Part-Time Recruiter (all regions exept China)

Jon joins the International Student Services team with a strong background in international education and student services. He lived in South East Asia and South Korea for the past eight years working as a program manager, education administrator, ESL instructor, curriculum developer, and overseas study advisor. Jon also brings six years of sales & marketing experience to TCC including student recruitment, public speaking and branding activities. Jon’s travels have taken him around the globe to over 30 countries on four continents including a semester studying abroad in Europe during college. He speaks Korean and has basic knowledge of Indonesian and Spanish.

Despite his time living abroad, Jon is a Washingtonian at heart and is excited to be back in the Pacific Northwest. He grew up on Whidbey Island and graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts.

Emily SheaEmily Shea

Part-time Recruiter for China





Hai DoanHai Doan

Part-time Recruiter for Vietnam

As a TCC alumnus, Hai enjoys connecting with prospective students from Vietnam and assisting them to attend Tacoma Community College. He loves sharing his stories and tips on how to be successful at an American college. Coming to Washington in 2005 as an international student, Hai successfully completed the 2+2 program in which he earned his Associate Degree in Business from Tacoma Community College and then received his Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Pacific Lutheran University. 

Hai enriched his experience with Tacoma Community College through different roles and activities. He used to be the International Office Assistant and the President of International Student Organization at TCC. Hai was involved in various activities at the college: coordinated orientation week to welcome new international students, led the short-term program for students from Egypt, organized trips and activities for international students, and volunteered for Student Life. During his student career at Tacoma Community College, Hai received the Outstanding Student Award from TCC International Program in 2006 and was nominated for the Ellen Pinto Outstanding Student Award in 2007.

Front Desk Staff

We currently have several part-time student staff members working in the International office: Iulia from Moldova, Kimmie from Vietnam, Yeji from South Korea and Ken from China. They will be greeting you in the mornings and afternoons and can help you make appointments with staff.

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