IPALs (International Partners and Leaders) are a group of UC students, domestic and international, who meet to share their cultures, make friends, and help other international students feel welcome in their new home of Cincinnati.

Have questions about your life at UC?

The IPALs are here to assist! Follow us on Facebook and Wechat to stay up to date on our meetings and events.

IPALs also plan really fun events, and all international students and scholars are welcome to join us! Some of our events have included:

  • Soccer tournaments and FIFA tournaments
  • Movie nights
  • Game nights with international and domestic students
  • A trip to the Cincinnati Zoo's Festival of Lights


Meet Our Team

Aaron Buckley

Home: Edgewood, Kentucky
Major: Neuroscience

Interests: reading, piano, being outdoors with my dogs

I became an IPAL to learn more about other cultures and make new friends. It’s been a great experience and I always look forward to meeting new people. 

Abdullah Bdaiwi

Home: Tikrit, Iraq
Major: Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D.

Interests: volleyball, traveling, reading

 I joined IPALs to help other international students have an awesome experience and feel welcome at UC, where we can share our cultures and be friends. 

Angel He

Home: Shenzhen, China

Major: Accounting

Interests: traveling, food, music

I became an IPAL because I love to get to know people from different backgrounds.


IPALs at Help Desk


Anna Armaohe
Home: Akron, Ohio
Major: Information Systems

Interests: traveling, exploring Cincinnati, trying new food and coffee shops

I love to meet new people and to learn about people’s different backgrounds and experiences!

Aratrika Pan
Home: Tokyo, Japan and Kolkata, India
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: traveling, sports, music, learning

I am an IPAL because I understand the challenges that students face when adapting to a new environment. I am here to facilitate their transition, create an inviting and homey environment for them, and enrich my cultural knowledge.

Ashley Albrink
Home: Cincinnati, OH
Major: Psychology

Interests: watching movies, traveling, meeting new people

I became an IPAL after having a group similar to this when I studied abroad that helped me make a new country really feel like home. I also love learning about different countries and cultures.


Christabel Pieters
Home: Pretoria, South Africa, and Cincinnati, OH
Major: Nursing

Interests: UC sports, volunteering, spending time with friends

I joined IPALS to learn about different cultures and to make friends who would broaden my worldview.

Christian Charles
Home: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Major: Computer Engineering

Interests: programming, new technologies, outdoor activities

Coming from my home country, IPAL helped me connect with many new students and I wanted to help other international students.



Danielle Brown
Home: Leroy, OH
Major: Chemical Engineering

Interests: running, tennis, hiking, music

I joined IPALs because I enjoy meeting new people and learning about different countries and cultures.




Divyang Soni
Home: Vadodara, India
Major: Structural Engineering

Interests: backpacking, hiking, drama, dancing

I became an IPAL to share my experience and knowledge about the wonderful things this university and city have to offer to incoming students.



Dylan Stannard
Home: Fayette, OH
Major: Business Economics

Interests: watching UC sports, running, working out at the rec center

The most important thing to know about me is that, I love getting to know new people. That is why I became an IPAL, so I could meet new people from all over the world!


Erika Nguyen
Home: Dayton, OH
Major: Medical Sciences

Interests: watching The Office, yoga, learning new languages

I became an IPAL because I wanted to meet students from around the world and learn from them. IPALs also offered me a place of acceptance where other students wanted to embrace my background and culture. 





Grace Lillie
Home: Geneva, OH
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: reading, piano, swing

I'm an IPAL because I love helping people and learning about different cultures.


Halle Morel
Home: Cleveland, OH
Major: International Affairs

I joined IPALS because I knew it would be an awesome experience and a way to meet and get to know international students!

Hanna Sorenson
Home: Marysville, OH and Skælskør, Denmark
Major: Chemistry Pre-Med

Interests: traveling, clinical/laboratory research, UC Honors Program, petting dogs

I became an IPAL to build a stronger, more diverse, and more inclusive UC community. I want to become a more culturally competent individual who can make an impact not only in the lives of international students, but in my future career as a physician.



Hien Nguyen
Home: Saigon, Vietnam
Major: Information Technology

Interests: cuisine, books, traveling, music, culture, soccer

I love meeting new people and getting to know them. As an IPAL, I would like to share experiences that I have had to new incoming international students and discover new experiences that I am going to have here in Cincinnati.

Jerome Thomas
Home: Chennai, India
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: badminton, hanging out with my friends, camping

I became an IPAL to help international students feel like they belong here, and I want to do everything I can to help them have a great time at UC.

Jonathan Rosales
Home: Quito, Ecuador
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: traveling, dancing, movies and series, and technology

I am an IPAL because I want to help fellow international students with their questions and problems, since I have been in their position a couple times and know the struggle, and I had people there who helped me.


Kathryn Heuerman
Home: Cincinnati, OH
Major: International Affairs and Spanish

Interests: reading, animals, learning new languages

I became an IPAL because I love learning about different cultures and wanted to meet new people from all around the world.

Mailys Terrier 
Home: Loveland, OH
Major: Computer Science

Interests: traveling, learning new languages, sports

I am an IPAL because I am a huge fan of diversity and I love helping others feel welcomed in their new community!


Maneesha Pothuraju
Home: Hyderabad, India
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: dancing, going on adventures, hiking

I became an IPAL because I have the experience of leaving behind friends, family and home to launch a new career in a foreign country. With this experience, I hope to ease the transition of new incoming students.


Mo Behtash
Home: Tabriz, Iran
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: outdoor activities, volleyball, video games, cars

I am an IPAL because I love finding new friends and socializing with new people. Also, this is a very good opportunity to help other international students who are new to UC.

Nasra Al Yaarubi
Home: Muscat, Oman
Major: Finance, Minor: International Business

Interests/Activities: figure skating, speaks 5 languages (English, Arabic, Swahili, French, and Hindi)

I'm an IPAL because I had a great experience as an international student with IPALs, and I love to work with people from different cultures.

Olivia Savage
Home: Powell, OH
Major: International Affairs

Interests: working at a zoo, practicing Spanish, walks through parks, spending time with friends

I love IPALs because I get to make new friends from around the world every semester and sometimes, if I'm lucky, I get to try some awesome ethnic food!

Quynh Nguyen
Home: Vietnam
Major: Chemical Engineering

Interests: photography, cooking, studying math

I am an IPAL because I would like to meet new friends who came from different backgrounds, have a better understanding about different cultures, and help other international students with any problems they are struggling with.

Rohit Patwardhan
Home: Pune, India 
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: photography, badminton, food

I became an IPAL to get to know people from different cultures and to help incoming international students, like myself, in kick-starting their journey here at UC!


Sabrina Shrestha 
Home: Kathmandu, Nepal 
Major: CEAS

Interests: traveling, Astronomy Club, air and spacecraft, food

I joined IPALs because it's a big, trail mix-like family of international and domestic students who help one another while learning about different cultures.



Saeed Azad 
Home: Masshad, Iran 
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: sports, music, art

I'd like to meet students from around the world, learn about their culture and promote a more diverse environment at UC.  


Sagar Tiwari
Home: India
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: anything outdoors

I am an IPAL to give back to the organization which gave me so much -  learning experiences, friendships, events and constant guidance to enhance my journey as an international student.



Sook Kuan Goh (Michelle)
Home: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: Chemical Engineering

Interests: board/card games, movies and anime, reading fiction

I became an IPAL to help other troubled international students adapt and find a home in the US.




Sriharsha Mangu
Home: Warangal, Telangana, India
Major: Material Science 

Interests: anime, cooking, hiking, camping, traveling, trying different foods, sports, making friends

I joined IPALs because I wanted to polish my leadership skills and also, since I’ve always found happiness in helping out people around me and making new friends, I wanted to be a part of the IPALs organization to bridge the gap between students and the administration. I am indeed lucky to be a part of such an amazing organization and a place I call my second home!

Tosha Bapat
Home: India
Major: Computer Science

Interests: painting, traveling, and k-pop

I’m an IPAL because I enjoy experiencing new cultures.

Truc Vu
Home: Vietnam
Major: Biological Sciences, Neuroscience 

Interests: dogs, books, movies

As a student from UC branch campus, I understand the importance of guidance for an international student. Therefore, given the opportunity, I am glad to be able to meet new fascinating individuals and to use my experiences to help them somehow feel more comfortable in a foreign environment.


Zara Ahmed
Home: Mason, OH
Major: Biomedical Sciences

Interests: baking, playing with my cat, exploring places around Cincinnati

I want to make the University of Cincinnati feel like a second home for those who are from far away. I love putting on events to learn about different cultures and meet people from around the world!


Zoe Lee
Home: Cincinnati, OH
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Interests: astronomy, writing/poetry, crafting, anime

I am an IPAL because I love learning about international cultures and broadening my horizons in the pursuit of knowledge and new friends!