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Meet Our Admissions Counselors

Steven Shaw

Assistant Vice Provost and Director, International Admissions

"My favorite thing about UB is the friendly people and exciting activities. UB is striving to advance and be the best in the world."

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Steven Shaw in Jaipur, India

Where I'm from:
I'm a global nomad but I am originally from California.

Education:
MA, TESOL — University of Washington

International work experience:

  • Peace Corps, Thailand
  • University lecturer / teacher trainer, Thailand
  •  ESL lecturer and program director, Cambodia
  • UB Twinning Program director, Malaysia

Travel (work and leisure):

  • Americas: Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina
  • Europe: all of Western Europe plus Cyprus, Russia and Turkey
  • Middle East / Gulf: Jordan, Syria, Israel, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Oman
  • Asia: Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Australia

Looking forward to visiting:

  • Cuba and Eastern Europe...because I haven't been there yet.

My favorite thing about Buffalo / Western New York:

  • The Buffalo Niagara region offers an amazing array of activities for "high" culture, pop-culture, outdoor activities – start planning now so you don’t miss anything!

Favorite thing about working in International Admissions:

  • Meeting new students and their parents and being able to experience firsthand the culture of our international students.
  • Variety: always learning about new educational systems and credentials
  • Working with a great team of admission counselors who are always thinking about students first, and about attracting the best and brightest students to UB from around the world

The most life-changing, transformative experience of my life:

  • Serving in the U.S. Peace Corps for three years in Thailand: Helping others, promoting understanding about Americans, promoting understanding about other cultures to Americans. Peace Corps shaped my personal and professional life.

Favorite TV show:

  • The Big Bang Theory

My one piece of advice for new, incoming international freshmen:

  • Language is a key to understanding a new culture. The better your English is, the easier it will be to integrate and make friends. So work hard on your English and get involved in on-campus and off-campus activities.
Jennifer Gammell

International Admissions Advisor

"UB offers so many activities for their students, staff and even the public, from sporting events, to theater performances and comedy shows. I love that there is always something to do, sometimes too much that you have to pick and choose!"

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Jennifer Gammell in Paris

Where I’m from:
Buffalo, N.Y. (Amherst)

Education:
MEd Higher Education Administration — UB

International experience:

  • I have studied abroad in Leuven, Belgium, as an undergraduate. I studied at Katholic University of Leuven and lived in an international house.

Travel (work and leisure):

  • Europe: Belgium, Ireland, England, Sweden, Netherlands, France
  • North America: Canada

Favorite place visited:

  • I absolutely loved Paris. It is such a glamorous city and has a lot to offer, from shopping, museums, sightseeing, cafes and gardens. Every section of town is a little different. I could have explored there for much longer than the time I had.

My favorite thing about Buffalo / Western New York:

  • I love that Buffalo has a huge sense of pride. Everyone you meet is happy to call Buffalo their home, I know I am!

Favorite thing about working in International Admissions:

  • Meeting students from around the world and getting to learn and experience their culture.

The most life-changing, transformative experience of my life:

  • Studying abroad in Belgium helped me to become independent and confident in my ability to travel, meet new people and explore an unknown place.

Favorite movie, TV show or Broadway show:

  • My favorite movie is "Pretty Woman". I love a good romantic comedy!

My one piece of advice for new, incoming international freshmen:

  • Get involved. There are so many opportunities available for students in college — take advantage of them!
Jessica Kane

Assistant Director, Operations

"My favorite thing about UB is the great diversity on campus, the people, activities and ideas. Even the professional staff have lots of opportunities to be involved on campus and in the community."

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Jessica Kane in London

Where I’m from:
Long Island, N.Y.

Education:
MA Cultural Anthropology — UB

International work experience:

  • Lived in London, UK, writing articles for the Encyclopedia of Time.

Travel (work and leisure):

  • Europe: Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece
  • North America: Canada, Mexico

Looking forward to visiting:

  • I want to travel to every continent and see as many places and meet as many people as I can. The next place I would like to go is Egypt because of the amazing amount of history, or Costa Rica for the scenery and wildlife.

My favorite thing about Buffalo / Western New York:

  • Big-city life at an affordable price. Food trucks, concerts and diverse neighborhoods all for a fraction of the cost of living in NYC.

Favorite thing about working in International Admissions:

  • I love helping students realize their dream of studying in the U.S. I remember how exciting and life-changing it was to study aboard, and it is so rewarding to share that experience with students every day.

The most life-changing, transformative experience of my life:

  • Studying abroad in Florence. It showed me see how big the world really is and put things into perspective for me, helping me realize what is really important.

Favorite movie, TV show and Broadway show:

  • "The Nightmare Before Christmas" / "Walking Dead" /" Les Misérables"

My one piece of advice for new, incoming international freshmen:

  • Try something new, something you thought you could never do. I bet you'll surprise yourself!
Amy Matikosh

Assistant Director, Outreach

"I love UB for what it's meant to me as a student and for what it means to current students and to the community. UB has presented me with opportunities I never dreamed I'd have for meeting new people, seeing new places, working with distinguished faculty, considering different perspectives."

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Amy Matikosh in Bangkok, Thailand

Where I’m from:
Buffalo, N.Y. (North Tonawanda)

Education:
EdM Higher Education Administration – UB

International experience:

  • Study abroad – Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
  • English teacher – Katowice, Poland
  • Phonics and creative writing teacher, Singapore

Travel (work and leisure):

  • Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece
  • Africa: Morocco
  • Asia: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia
  • North America: Canada

Looking forward to visiting:

  • Penang, Malaysia – my husband’s family is there and unfortunately I have never been able to visit. I would love to see where he grew up, and feel how his hometown feels. I would like our son to know where his father came from and be at home there, too.

My favorite thing about Buffalo / Western New York:

  • This is my hometown, so it's hard to point out only one favorite thing. But I think the fact that this is a friendly place – with down-to-earth people who genuinely like who we are and enjoy where we live – makes everything about it a great place to be.

Favorite thing about working in International Admissions:

  • I always wanted to be in international education and now that I am, things are never dull. In many exciting and challenging ways, it allows me to keep learning and growing, improving and evolving, both professionally and personally.

The most life-changing, transformative experience of my life:

  • Becoming a mother. It’s pure joy and amazement, every day.

Favorite quote or motto:

  • I wouldn’t say I have a favorite quote or motto, but I've always like this one: "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." ― Mother Teresa

My one piece of advice for new, incoming international freshmen:

  • Make a point of experiencing "now" and living in the moment. Be kind to others and yourself and do your best. When tomorrow comes, you’ll be proud of who you were today.
Paul Starcher

International Admissions Advisor

“My favorite thing about UB is its focus on global education.  We are the first among public research universities in terms of percentage of international enrollment.  Also, 11 percent of our students study abroad, which is five times the national average.  UB students are globally minded, from their experiences at home and abroad.”

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Paul Starcher in Kandersteg, Switzerland

Where I’m from:
New Athens, Ohio

Education:
MS, Public Service Administration – University of Evansville 

International experience:

  • Study abroad – Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

Travel (work and leisure):

  • Europe: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and UK
  • Africa: The Gambia and Senegal
  • Asia: Japan
  • Central America: El Salvador and Guatemala
  • North America: Canada

Looking forward to visiting:

  • I’m an outdoor enthusiast, so I really want to go backpacking in New Zealand and Bhutan.  Also, I have always been interested in visiting Hong Kong and Macau.

My favorite thing about Buffalo / Western New York:

  • I’m new to Buffalo, but I love the area’s culture, eateries and scenery.  It is also nice living close to several snow ski areas, such as Holiday Valley!

Favorite thing about working in International Admissions:

  • I have always had a keen interest in learning about people from different cultures.  Working in international admissions, I get to meet and guide international students on a daily basis, which is extremely rewarding.

The most life-changing, transformative experience of my life:

  • During my undergraduate experience, I was able to travel to eleven developed and developing countries through short-term and semester long study abroad.  The knowledge I gained from my adventures really changed my perspective as a human being and made me more connected to our ever more interdependent world.

Favorite movie and TV show:

  • I’m a James Bond fan, but my favorite Bond film would be “Skyfall.”
  • Sleepy Hollow

My one piece of advice for new, incoming international freshmen:

  • UB has so much to offer, so get involved with the campus community, join a club or play on an intramural sports team.

 

Our Office Staff

Marie Barrett-Stelmaszyk

Admissions Clerk

Where I'm from: Cheektowaga, New York

"Don’t let the snow scare you, the University at Buffalo is a warm hearted community of students, faculty and staff, ready to make you feel right at home.”

Jin

Student Assistant

Where I'm from: Seoul, South Korea

"Do you want to figure out what makes your heart racing? Do you want to push yourself to the various activities and experiences? Here, UB can give you the opportunities. Come and join us. We can find altogether what you really want to do after graduation. Dream. Study hard. And, make it true."

Kyoungah

Graduate Assistant

Where I'm from: Po Hang, South Korea

"UB is the school where you can experience the wide range of diversity and help you to find what you really like!"

Ling

Graduate Assistant

Where I'm from: Beijing, China

"I really enjoy hanging around and having interesting discussions with friends/classmates at Cybrary and Lockwood library."

Maria

Graduate Assistant

Where I'm from: Warsaw, NY

"Location, location, location. Buffalo is a city with rich history and vibrant cultural scenes; there is something to satisfy the interests of everyone. Alternatively, if you are looking for a break from the city, Western New York is home to some of the country’s most beautiful nature."

Matthew

Graduate Assistant

Where I'm from: Indianapolis, IN

"UB has an incredibly diverse and welcoming student population. Major academic thinkers have called UB home at some point in time. The University provides you with all the tools (plus some!) to complete your degree successfully. Consider your time here as a place where you are able to experiment, access comprehensive knowledge via your professors and colleagues, and have fun! When I'm on campus, I usually go to three spots: the Music Library, Lockwood Library, and Starbucks. My favorite food place is La Rosa Pizza.""

Moses (Kwang Jin)

Student Assistant

Where I'm from: Gwang Ju, South Korea

"Although this is only my first semester at UB, this amazing university has provided me with much more than I ever thought of. Not only does UB have excellent academics and research programs, but UB provides students with so much cultural diversity and many extracurricular activities that will always help you grow as a university student and a global citizen. Making friends with people from all sorts of backgrounds can really broaden your perspective and view of the world!"

Peter

Student Assistant

Where I'm from: Jakarta, Indonesia

"UB is a great place to pursue your dream while learning about different cultures from around the world. It's diverse community and vibrant surrounding allows you to feel like home while being abroad. You can probably find all kinds of clubs within the community and UB has helped me to grow more independent in many ways. Aside from that, Buffalo have amazing chicken wings so that's a plus."

Ran

Graduate Assistant

Where I'm from: Beijing, China

"My past years in UB was a wonderful journey that has broadened my life. I enjoy the experience of making new friends."

Thomas (Youngkeun)

Student Assistant

Where I'm from: Suwon, South Korea

"I have only been at UB for 2 semesters, but UB made it feel like I've been here for a long time. With a variety of students and staff, you can interact as much as you can, and from that, you can not only make more friends but you can also find out more about yourself by participating in many different events.Learning about yourself is the ultimate life goal, but the opportunity is not given to everyone. UB will provide that to you. One of the things I learned coming to UB is how you do depends on how prepared you are to become active, but no worries, everyone at UB welcomes you."

Yimeng

Student Assistant

Where I'm from: Beijing, China

"Work hard, play hard. There are a lot of clubs in UB and welcome everyone to join. Buffalo has a lot of fun. During summer, my friends and I like close to nature, like cycling in the park and barbecue on the beach. Buffalo has half years winter with heavy snow, so if you never try ski, you must try it in your college life."

For Accepted Students