The International Student Services team includes dedicated faculty and staff who have studied or lived abroad at some point in their lives and understand some of the challenges individuals may face while adjusting to life in a new country.
We are here to help you on your journey because we want to see you succeed. We are located in different areas around TMCC, so look for the building and room number next to our names.
Natalie Brown, PhD
Academic Advisement Program Director
Natalie has been advising students for over ten years and particularly enjoys working with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. She currently oversees the Academic Advisement Office and works with the International academic advisors to help students understand degree plans and steps to complete degrees. Prior to her work at TMCC, she was one of the international academic advisors at the University of Utah and traveled to China on various trips to advise students on programs and transfer possibilities as well as developed programming to assist all new international students in the transition to education in the U.S. She obtained her undergraduate and masters degree in Spanish and loves to travel to places where she can keep up that language skill as well as new countries she has never been. Natalie serves as a backup to international student academic advisors.
Tara Connolly, MA
International Student Academic Advisor
Tara was born in Columbia, South Carolina, but has lived all over the United States and England. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008 with a Bachelor of General Studies and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership in 2010. Tara happily serves as the international student academic advisement coordinator, coordinating international student orientation and assisting with international students with understanding the American higher education system, degree requirements, course sequencing, major exploration, and the process of transferring to a university after graduating from TMCC. In her spare time, Tara enjoys running, long hikes with her dogs, yoga, meditation, exploring foods of the world, and being vegan.
Sione Lavaka, BA
International Student Academic Advisor
Sione received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. After a year as an undergraduate, Sione spent 2 years on LDS mission in Samoa, Apia. Sione had to learn a new language, learn a new culture, and adapt to a new lifestyle for 2 years. Sione is currently a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Sione's passions include binge eating and watching Netflix.
International Student Advisor
Virag serves as our International Student Advisor, so if you have any questions related to your F-1 immigration status, she’s here to help. Virag was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary and moved to the U.S. to begin her college education. Virag has earned a BA in English, Creative Writing and an MA in Education, Special Emphasis in International/Intercultural Education. Based on her own journey as an international student, Virag has devoted her interest to international education and has worked with international students for over 15 years. Prior to her recent move to Reno, Virag was an International Student/Scholar Advisor at the University of California, Davis and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area before then, teaching ESL. In her free time, Virag enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, writing poetry, reading and discovering new hikes in the Reno-Tahoe Area. Virag is excited to meet and work with new international students and helping them adjust to their new home, Reno. She speaks Hungarian and Spanish.
Mona, originally from Saudi Arabia, has been in the U.S. since 2015. She began her studies with the Intensive English Language Center (IELC) at the University of Nevada, Reno. Mona is currently a student at Truckee Meadows Community College working on her Associate of Art in Fine Arts. She enjoys working her first job in the U.S. at the DISCO (Diversity and International Student Center and Office).