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International Studies Student Association (ISSA)

The International Studies Student Association (ISSA) is the official student organization of the International Studies Program (ISP) at the University of California, San Diego. The organization gathers like-minded individuals who share diverse interests in international studies and international relations. ISSA intends to provide a platform of rich experiences and opportunities in international studies.

We are:

  • A professional organization for students exploring internationally oriented careers, grad/postgrad school, and experiences: international policy, economics, cultural studies, business, education, etc. ISSA offers help with internships, scholarships, interviews, resumes, and volunteer experiences.
  • A social organization for students looking for networks and mentorship. The ISSA Mentorship Program organizes social events for students who share the same hobbies and interests. Members love eating, studying, and hanging out with each other – and meeting other UCSD students!
  • An academic organization that is closely associated with the International Studies Program and the GPS Graduate School. Faculty, staff, and alumni from these departments provide ISSA with a wealth of resources.
  • An I-House organization for students of all majors and minors who want to learn more about the world. ISSA actively partners with Prospect Journal, the Global Forum, and others!
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2018-2019 Executive Officers

Federico Arroyo

President: Federico Arroyo

Federico Arroyo is a fourth-year transfer student completing his Bachelor’s in International Studies Political Science as well as a candidate for the Master of International Affairs program. This past year Federico worked closely with Professor Tom Wong to assess the current fears of the Hispanic Community because of the 2016 election. During his time at Southwestern Community College, Federico would lead discussion groups and teach incoming students how to flourish and adapt into a competitive education system. Federico holds a close tie to the international community in the city of Tijuana and being in the most transited border in the Western Hemisphere has opened his eyes to new perspectives. In his free-time, he enjoys playing music and having meaningful conversations with people. This year it is his mission to grow our ISSA community and make each member an important part of the team.

Isabelle Chen

Vice President: Isabelle Chen

Isabelle Chen is a fourth-year International Studies Economics major and is embarking on her first year of a Masters of International Affairs at GPS. Over the summer, she travelled to Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Japan to visit family and to further discover the Southeast Asia-Pacific Region. Growing up with an array of multicultural surroundings has contributed to her love of travelling and her passion to study in the realm of International Relations. Isabelle has been interning at the San Diego Diplomacy Council, which has enabled the hands-on application of her interest area through working on people-to-people educational, professional and cultural exchange programs. When away from campus, Isabelle spends time with the international students community at SDSU at a fellowship where she occasionally leads and participates in the music team. Aside from campus-life, you can probably find her engaging in something music-related, reading a print book, or learning how to cook SE Asian food.

Riley Hao

Co-President and Director of Mentorship: Riley Hao

Riley Hao is a fourth year ERC student majoring in International Studies-Business and minoring in Accounting after having transferred from San Diego Mesa College with two associate degrees in Business and Spanish. Besides being the Director of Mentorship at ISSA, she currently serves for the marketing committee at PROSPECT Journal of International Affairs and the principle member at Fun Talk & Learn Chinese Student Association at UCSD. Riley has also been an Economic Research Assistant on campus since last October. Outside of school, she is passionate about photography, baking, and classical music. The biggest aspiration of hers as a director is to bring every ISSA member together through the mentorship program and make them feel welcomed here at UCSD.

Deborah Jeong

Director of Administrative Affairs: Deborah Jeong

Deborah Jeong is a second-year International Studies-Political Science major with an intended double minor in Law and Society and Korean Studies at Eleanor Roosevelt College. Apart from being the Director of Administrative Affairs, she is also (plans to be) involved within Prospect Journal as well as the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Association and Sun God Archery. She is in the application process for UCDC as well as a Study Abroad opportunity at Geneva, Switzerland. As a resident within I-House, she is also involved with the Language Conversation Tables and other various events. With the experience gained from UCSD, she hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Affairs then, hopefully, work for the United States Foreign Service. As a member of the Executive Board, she looks forward to getting to know the ISSA community and learn more about our common interests and grow together throughout the year.

Kerisa Lin

Director of Public Relations: Kerisa Lin

Kerisa Lin is a sophomore at Sixth College studying Visual Arts and film. Her love for stories originates from her childhood in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she grew up in a community that celebrated multi-ethnic cultures together. She played for the UCSD Women’s Tennis Team and is currently a senior producer at Triton Television. If she had a day to herself, she would explore a new place, go shopping, and watch movies! Director of Public Relations, she is excited to promote awareness about global issues and meet the new faces of ISSA’s growing international movement.

Sabrina Fernandez

Director of Special Events: Sabrina Fernandez

Sabrina Fernandez is a second year Roosevelt student majoring in International Studies – Business. She has grown up speaking Spanish, studied French and is currently learning Chinese, and has been told by her roommates to sleep talk in all of them. This summer she served as a juror and worked in a non-profit called Ever Forward – Siempre Adelante. Sabrina has traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republic and hopes to study abroad in Asia. You can find her attending i-house events like the language conversation tables, networking with Women in Business, hanging with her Kyrie Eleison friends, or going to the beach to watch the sunsets. From listening to professionals in GPS and Rady, her interest in global trade policy and corporate social responsibility has grown. Career-wise, she hopes to incorporate sustainability and policy into business practices to make a positive impact on the world globally.

Kelly Wun

Director of Membership: Kelly Wun

Kelly Wun is a second-year International Studies-Political Science major at Muir College. Growing up in a US Army family stationed in Korea, Kelly lived and traveled to many different countries. Her experiences abroad spiked her curiosity and cultivated her interest in getting to learn more about different cultures. Over the past summer, she worked in the Department of Defense in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction office and in the Directorate of Human Resources of the Headquarter US Army Garrison in Korea during her senior year where she honed in her communication and organizational skills. Military life has taught her to be disciplined and led to the desire to form a tight-knit family within ISSA. She hopes to continue to build a strong network here at UCSD and looks forward to fostering a tight-knit and strong community with fellow ISSA members.

Rachel Finerman

Director of Alumni Relations: Rachel Finerman

Rachel Finerman is a fourth year International Business major and in her first year of the Bachelor of Arts/Master of International Affairs (BA/MIA) progressive degree program at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. She recently returned from Beijing, China, studying abroad at Peking University and continuing her study of Mandarin Chinese. Throughout the year of 2017, she had the opportunity to intern at the San Diego Diplomacy Council, the Israel-Asia Center in Jerusalem, and the Israel Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. Throughout these experiences, she learned the ins-and-outs of non-profit organizations and developed her passion for working on the connection between China and other countries. She is also a dance instructor at UCSD Recreation, where she delightedly teaches jazz, tap, and ballet to all ages. Continuing her passion for engagement as the Director of Alumni Relations, Rachel is excited to build a strong alumni base for ISSA as undergraduate students work to learn about and pursue different career paths.

ISSA Undergraduate Mentorship Program

Join The ISSA Mentorship Program to connect with other members of ISSA through academics, social events, and other networking opportunities! Participants will be matched up with another student of similar academic and professional interests.