Meet the Staff

  • Frank Calabrese - Director of International Student & Scholar Services

    Frank Calabrese, Esq.

    Director, International Student and Scholar Services

    (831) 459-2858 |

    Specialization: PDSO/RO, Immigration Policy, Permanent Residency, all employment immigration statuses

    An immigration attorney by background, Frank joins UC Santa Cruz from International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Pennsylvania, where he led the employee- and scholar-related services of the office as the Associate Director. Before coming to international education, he operated his own immigration law practice in Philadelphia and worked in cultural programming and fundraising at New York University. Frank is very excited to have made the move to Santa Cruz.


  • Adrienne Bergenfeld - Assistant Director of

    Adrienne Bergenfeld

    Assistant Director, International Student Services

    (831) 459-2858 |

    Specialization: F-1 & J-1 Students

    Liaison Units: All student related items

    Adrienne is from Colorado, but now calls Santa Cruz home.  She has been in the field of International Education since 2009 and has worked in a variety of schools across the nation in both International Admissions and International Student Services. She earned a Master’s Degree in International Education from SIT (School for International Training) and has lived abroad for a short time in both Austria and Greece and studied abroad in Japan.  When not supporting students at UCSC, Adrienne enjoys cooking, gardening, and discovering great food.  She loves receiving restaurant suggestions from students, so if you have one, let her know!


  • Alexis Weisman - Assistant Director of International Scholars

    Alexis Weisman

    Assistant Director, International Scholar Services

    (831) 459-2858 | 

    Specialization: J-1 Scholars and Student Interns (Surnames A-R)

    Alexis’ passion for the field of International Education developed while growing up in South Florida. She received her Master's in Management and Bachelor's in Linguistics from the University of Florida, and has both studied and worked abroad in Spain and Ecuador. Alexis has been in the field of International Education since 2015, and she takes joy in supporting and promoting the internationalization of UC Santa Cruz. In her free time, Alexis enjoys hiking, live music, and exploring new places in California.


  • Vanessa Orey - International Student Advisor

    Vanessa Orey

    International Student and Scholar Advisor

    (831) 459-2858 |

    Specialization: J-1 Scholars and Student Interns (Surnames S-V), and F-1 & J-1 Students

    Vanessa joined the ISSS team in 2018, and has been involved in the world of international studies for over a decade. After a year-long homestay program in Belgium, she became hooked on traveling. Vanessa maintained her curiosity for different cultures by completing her Bachelor's Degree in International Relations at UC Davis, teaching English in South Korea for one year, participating in a Spanish immersion program in Ecuador, and backpacking in more than 20 countries worldwide. She previously worked for the Cabrillo College Transfer and Career Center and received a Master's in Education and Counseling from San Jose State University. In Vanessa's free time, she enjoys being outdoors, dancing, hiking, sailing, and loves to call Santa Cruz home with an international twist!


  • Alisa Sweet - International Student Advisor

    Alisa Sweet

    International Student and Scholar Advisor

    (831) 459-2858 | 

    Specialization: J-1 Scholars and Student Interns (Surnames W-Z), and F-1 & J-1 Students 

    Alisa came to Santa Cruz from Bellingham, WA. Growing up in a bicultural family in Hyogo, Japan, international education has always been a major part of Alisa's life. She began working as an International Student Advisor at Western Washington University once she got her degree in Linguistics. After receiving her Master’s in Adult and Higher Education, she packed up her belongings (and two cats), and decided to move to sunny California! In her free time, Alisa enjoys traveling, hiking, watching movies, and searching for the best food and coffee in town.
  • Kathryn Brody - International Student Advisor & SEVIS Coordinator

    Kathryn Brody

    International Student and Scholar Advisor

    (831) 459-2858 |

    Specialization: J-1 Scholars and Student Interns, and F-1 & J-1 Students

    Kathryn joins us from Saint Petersburg, FL. She completed her undergraduate studies at UNC Chapel Hill where she received a B.A. in political science and history. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad for a semester at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England. She then went on to attend graduate school at Penn State to work on her master’s in international affairs and it was during this time that she again studied abroad but this time in Colombia and Brazil. In her free time, she enjoys baking, traveling to new places, and watching college football and basketball. In the future, she wishes to finish her goal of traveling to every continent⁠—so far she has visited Australia, Asia, North & South America, and Europe.

  • Gabriele Schmiegel - Assistant Director of Sponsored Student Programs

    Gabriele Schmiegel

    Assistant Director, Sponsored Student Programs

    (831) 459-2858 |

    Gabi was born and raised in Germany. She originally planned to become an Egyptologist but switched her studies Political Science and American Government instead. She came to the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities as an exchange student in 1994 and stayed to complete her master’s. Gabi has traveled extensively to the Middle East and North Africa. She has been working in international education for 25 years and her passion to help international students get the support they need to succeed drove her to create and lead the sponsored student program at UMN for the last 10 years. She loves to travel, experience new cultures and cuisine, read, watch Netflix, cook, bake, and eat good food with friends. She has a cat but loves fluffy dogs as well.

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