photo of Tacoma Campus

International Programs Team

The International Program staff is dedicated to giving our international students every opportunity to achieve their goals at TCC. Our team is comprised of eight staff members, who speak multiple languages (Mandarin, Korean, Russian, and Spanish). Warm, friendly and highly trained in working with international students, we are here to help students with:

  • Admission to TCC
  • Homestay placement
  • Course selection, graduation and University transfer
  • Social and cultural adaptation
  • And so much more!

Meet the International Programs Staff

James Newman pic James Newman
Executive Director of International Programs & PDSO

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.

Rachel M Rachel McGovern
Interim Assistant Director of International Housing and Short-Term Programs

Rachel has always enjoyed working with International Students. She has traveled to 20 different countries and spent time in Germany as an exchange student and spent a few summers in China teaching English. She has a bachelor’s degree from Corban University in Intercultural Studies. She loves to help students find host families that become true family to them while they study here. Her hobbies include gardening, baking, and studying different languages. She is conversationally fluent in German.

Ashley Bush pic Ashley Bush
Assistant Director of International Student Advising & DSO

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Ashley studied abroad in Germany, New Zealand and the U.S. all before the age of 14. She graduated from Korea University, Seoul, South Korea with a B.A. in English and German Language and Literature. Later, Ashley earned her M.A. in Higher Education with a focus on international education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her background lies in study abroad program support as well as international student programming and advising.

Iulia Cheptea Iulia Cheptea
International Customer Service and Admissions Specialist & DSO

Iulia is from Beltsy, Moldova and has lived in the U.S. for 6 years. Beginning as an exchange student at Parklane Academy in McComb, Mississippi, she later attended and graduated from TCC with an A.A. in Business. During her time at TCC, Iulia was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society, worked as an international office clerk and international student mentor, volunteered for TCC Outreach Department’s Team Titan, and was nominated for the 2014 Outstanding Student Award. She speaks Russian and likes to travel, having been to Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Israel. You'll find Iulia at the International Programs front desk - Be sure to say "Hi'!

Leah Leah Johnson
International Academic Advisor & DSO

Leah is a Tacoma native and has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington. She has over 10 years of experience working with local non-profits, government agencies and two-year colleges in the Pierce County area - all focused on providing direct services to clients and students. She loves to travel and experience other cultures. Two of her most significant trips were studying at an international school in a castle in England and living with a host family in Tanzania.  

Hiro Kuroiwa-Lewis Hiro Kuroiwa-Lewis
Associate Director of Global Outreach

Hiro has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of global higher education. Prior to TCC, he worked for five other higher education institutions including University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University and Saint Martin’s University in WA. He earned his M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona. Hiro is a seasoned and frequent traveler, and he enjoys meeting new people in addition to experiencing new food and culture on the road. Hiro is bilingual in English and Japanese.

Tammy Tammy Walter-Brooks
Housing Assistant

Coming Soon.

Seth C Seth Coccia
UKK Program Coordinator

Originally from southern California, Seth has spent much of his adult life overseas. He worked with international students in Japan for more than seven years before returning to Europe to complete his M.A. in Museum and Heritage Studies at the National University of Ireland. Prior to joining TCC, he contributed to exhibitions and museum collections in Austria and Ireland. Seth is an avid traveler and is most fascinated by language, food, art, and intangible heritage.


We are here to help you. Contact us!

International Programs
Tacoma Community College
Building 11, 2nd Floor
Phone/Fax: 253-566-5190
Facebook/Instagram: @tacomaccinternational
WeChat: TacomaCC塔科马