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Meet Our Team
The Law School's Graduate and International Programs team focuses on ensuring that International LL.M. and S.J.D. students become a vital part of the law school community—enriching the program with their diversity of experience. Penn State Law's integration with the School of International affairs offers students two faculties with unmatched depth in international law and policy.
Stephen G. Barnes
Assistant Dean of Graduate and International Programs
Steve oversees LL.M. ,S.J.D., and Pre-LL.M. admissions, international student services, certificate programs, student exchanges, and the visiting scholar program at Penn State Law. Before his appointment, Steve lived for 8 years in China where he is an honorary law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing and also a visiting professor at other Chinese law schools. Steve is proficient in French, Chinese, and Swedish, and is energized by the rich diversity talented international students bring to Penn State Law. On Steve's "perfect day" you'll see him on his stand-up paddleboard on an ocean or nearby lake; and, making "s'mores" over a campfire with family and students. Education: J.D., University of Oregon; M.B.A., The George Washington University; B.A., Brigham Young University.
Program Director and Director of Student Services
In addition to admissions—with a particular focus on applicants from China and exchange students—Jing also directs student services for all international LL.M., S.J.D., and exchange students. Jing manages the visiting scholar program and the 30+ and growing international agreements. Prior to joining Penn State she worked for a patent and trademark law office in China. From 2002 to 2006, Jing was a patent examiner of State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (also known as the Chinese Patent Office). On Jing's "perfect day" you'll see her enjoying her son's piano recital or her daughter's figure skating ice show. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; B.E. and M.E., Tianjin University of China.
Brenda is the first point of contact for all LL.M. and S.J.D. admissions activities at Penn State Law. Brenda processes all applications, reviews student files, and prepares the application materials for committee review. Brenda also works closely with DISSA throughout the immigration process. Brenda enjoys the personal contact she has with incoming students and is always eager to assist with admission matters. Prior to joining Penn State Law, Brenda was employed for 18 years at the Clinton County District Attorney’s office, where for several years she managed the office. On Brenda’s “perfect day,” you will find her on one of the local walking trails enjoying the scenery, wildlife, and sunset views; or, enjoying time with her family. Education: Certified Paralegal, Blackstone School of Law.
Administrative Assistant and Student Services Coordinator
Wanda oversees student services for LL.M., Pre-LL.M., S.J.D. and exchange students. Before her appointment at Penn State Law, Wanda was employed for 20 years as a paralegal for the Law Firm of Mitinger & DeBoef, and for 7 years as a Real Estate Closing Coordinator for the Law Firm of Babst Calland. Wanda loves interacting with the students and the diversity of cultures that they bring to the program. Wanda’s perfect day would consist of reading, taking long walks, bike riding, swimming, and cooking with family and friends--not necessarily in that order and not all in one day. Education: Centre Business School; Associates Degree – Executive Assistant/Paralegal.
Latin America Programs Director
Isa oversees LL.M. admissions for students from Latin America, and also coordinates certificate programs and other collaborations with law schools, bar associations, and educational institutions in Latin America. Isa has rich professional experience as a public defender in her home country of Honduras. In addition to working with law firms and handling pro bono cases, she has been working with The American Law Institute as a researcher. Bilingual in English and Spanish, she has considerable experience in arbitration in association with Arbitrator Intelligence as its Spanish Outreach Coordinator. She is highly passionate about helping people in need, particularly in areas of immigration, domestic abuse, and environmental laws. Isa has been at the forefront of activities at Penn State Law's Center for Immigrant Rights. She enjoys cultural exchanges with students from across the globe, exploring their food, music, and dance while giving a glimpse of her homeland as well. Education: M.I.A. candidate, Penn State School of International Affairs; LL.M., Penn State Law; J.D., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras en el valle de Sula.
Communications and Student Services Assistant
Mallory serves as a coordinator between the Graduate and International Program and Penn State Law’s Communications Department. Mallory also assists with all student services and is in charge of the J.D./LL.M. mentor program. Mallory is currently completing her J.D. and Masters in International Affairs at Penn State Law. Besides English, she is moderately proficient in Italian and can speak a little German, Spanish, and Afrikaans. On Mallory’s “perfect day,” you will find her curled up on a sofa with a good book on a rainy day. Education: J.D./MIA Class of 2020, Penn State Law, B.A., George Mason University.
Sitti Nurlin (Adel)
Programs Director: Indonesia
Adel is the first contact for all Indonesian applicants to the LL.M. Program, and also is engaged in exploring collaborations with law schools, universities, and other institutions in Indonesia. Prior to her Penn State Law LL.M. residency, Adel was a practicing lawyer in Jakarta. During her LL.M. studies, Adel focused on international litigation and arbitration, also serving as a research fellow and research assistant in areas related to international arbitration. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; B.A., Law, Hasanuddin University School of Law (Indonesia).
Bhutan, India, and Nepal Programs Director
Sonam is the Penn State law Programs Director for Bhutan, India and Nepal, providing application consultations to applicants and institutional partners. Prior to completing her LL.M. at Penn State Law in 2017, Sonam lived in India for five years, where she completed her LL.B. degree, graduating with gold medal distinction. A natural talent in linguistics, Sonam is proficient in Hindi and Dzongkha as well as other dialects and languages. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; LL.B., Lloyd Law College (India).
Zhao Si Meng Yuan (Melissa)
China Programs Director
Melissa is the first contact for Chinese applicants, taking charge of all China-related LL.M. application inquiries. She also delivers student services to our international students. Prior to joining Penn State Law, Melissa interned in Chinese courts, a securities corporation, and in a social justice center. Melissa graduated from Penn State Law’s LL.M. Program in May 2018, and is “well-known” among students because of her hospitality and good culinary skills. Besides Mandarin and English, Melissa can also speak a little Korean and Cantonese. On Melissa’s “perfect day,” you’ll see her hosting a hotpot night for friends and family after a great movie. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; M.A. and B.A., Law, Northwest University of Political Science and Law.