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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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2019-2020 Executive Officers

President: Defne Sevil

Defne Sevil is a third-year Marshall student majoring in International Studies - Sociology and minoring in Spanish Literature. She has lived in Dallas, Texas, Eindhoven, Holland, and Barcelona, Spain aside from California. Defne loves traveling, and has been to thirty-five countries, so far! She speaks English, Turkish, and Spanish fluently and loves learning new languages and cultures. Defne also rowed on the UCSD women's rowing team for two years as a varsity rower. In the future Defne hopes to work and live abroad in an internaitoanlly-minded role. 

Vice President: Ekam Gondara

Ekam Gondara is a fourth-year transfer student double majoring in International Business and International Relations. He did a study abroad program in Dublin and London over the summer where he studied how the Irish government attracts foreign talent and investment along with the effects of Brexit in Ireland and the UK. He has lived in India where he learned to converse in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, and Urdu. He is also a Students Affairs Dean’s Intern at Marshall College and a writer for The Prospect journal. When he is not studying, he likes to play badminton and squash. This year, his mission is to help facilitate better communication and cohesion between ISSA members and increase member participation.

Director of Mentorship: Pankhuri Kohil

Pankhuri Kohli is a third-year Marshall Student majoring in International Studies- Political Science. She has lived in ten different cities all across the U.S. and India, traveled to countries like Italy and Thailand, and speaks four different languages including Hindi and Spanish. Since she has called so many different places home, Pankhuri has developed a passion to enrich the global community. Consequently, she hopes to use ISSA to connect UCSD Alumni working in various fields and regions to the diverse students in the International Studies Program, encouraging exchanges of experiences, community-building, and access to opportunities. In her free time, you can find Pankhuri watching TV shows, exploring whichever city she is in at the moment, trying new foods, writing, and singing along to her favorite songs.

Director of Administrative Affairs: Brandy Juarez

Brandy Juarez is a second year Muir college student majoring in International Studies-Business and minoring in Psychology. Besides ISSA, she is also part of La Raza Living Learning Community at ERC and Women in Business. She has studied abroad in Berlin, Germany and traveled to Mexico. She hopes to study abroad in China and continue travelling to other countries. During her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, drinking coffee, and hanging out with her friends. This year, she hopes to expand the ISSA community alongside her team and get to meet new people.

Director of Public Relations: Pankhuri Prasad

Pankhuri Prasad is a 3rd year Muir College student pursuing a double major in Economics and International Studies-Political Science. Along with ISSA, she is on Muir College Council and writes for Prospect. Pankhuri is passionate about issues concerning globalization, the effect of technology on policy and exploring South-East Asian affairs. Pankhuri is fluent in French and Hindi. In her free time, she enjoys exploring San Diego and watching documentaries.

Director of Special Events: Hadar Galili

Hadar Galili is a fourth-year ERC student majoring in International Studies- International Business and minoring in Accounting. Her goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the future. She loves sports, especially running and swimming. Hadar loves hearing about new traditions and learning new cultures. She hopes to travel all over the world and learn as many languages as she can.

Director of Membership: Joseph Goulart

Joseph Goulart is a senior transfer student at Eleanor Roosevelt College completing his Bachelor’s in International Studies – Political Science and is double minoring in Climate Change Studies and Political Science. Joseph is currently in the International Studies Honors Program and is writing his senior thesis about climate change and its effects thereof on vulnerable communities in Latin America. When he isn’t studying, Joseph gives UC San Diego tours as a College Ambassador and hosts fun and internationally themed events as a Resident Advisor for ERC. In his free time, Joseph enjoys visiting the San Diego Zoo as an annual pass-holder, catching up on the latest show at the La Jolla Playhouse, and enjoys travelling to historic and noteworthy locations while learning about other cultures

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.