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Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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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.

Graduate and International Programs Staff:

Photo of Steve BarnesStephen 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.

Photo of Jing HuJing Hu
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.

Photo of Brenda JohnsonBrenda Johnson
Director for Graduate and International Programs Admission
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.

Isa Ferrera
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.

Kristin Hrehor
Academic Adviser and Director of Africa Programs
Kristin handles the academic advising for incoming LL.M. students, oversees the development and expansion of recruitment initiatives in Africa, and also provides additional support for student services. Kristin, who is originally from Canada, has extensive experience in higher education in a global context, having been an international student herself, and having spent over 8 years teaching in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to shifting to the administrative side of higher education, Kristin taught courses in academic writing, film interpretation, philosophy, and communications at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at a number of universities over the years, including Seoul National University, Ewha Women’s University, Kangwon National University, Temple University, and the University of Regina. On Kristin’s “perfect day,” you’ll find her watching a movie, reading voraciously, or planning her next trip. Education: Ph.D., Temple University; M.A., Queen’s University; B.A. (Hon.), University of Regina. 

Farzin Vahidov
Student Advisor; Coordinator of Central Asia Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Farzin earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. While pursuing his studies, Farzin concurrently served as a paralegal for "TMT" LLC and completed an internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan. He later achieved his LL.M. degree from Penn State Law, concentrating on Immigration and Administrative Law.

Salam Zaidi
Student Advisor; Coordinator of Mena region Programs 
Salam's role involves supervising LL.M. admissions in the MENA region and leading collaborations with various law schools and educational institutions in the same area. She's also dedicated to offering a wide range of student services.Prior to joining Penn State Law, Salam's educational journey took her through the Faculty of Legal, Political, and Social Sciences in Tunis. There, she attained a Bachelor’s degree in Private Law and later achieved a Master's in Common Law by June 2022. Central to her career path, Salam gained practical experience by immersing herself in a law firm before finding her niche at Penn State Law. Her commitment to altruism became evident as she volunteered with the Tunisian Red Crescent, demonstrating her dedication to humanitarian causes and community enhancement. Continuously seeking knowledge, she recently acquired her second Master of Laws (LLM) degree in 2023 from The Pennsylvania State University, focusing on corporate and commercial law as well as banking and financial regulations. Apart from her academic and professional accomplishments, Salam is proficient in Arabic, French, and English, highlighting her commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding.

Bohan Ma
Student Advisor; Coordinator of China Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Bohan earned his master’s degree from the School of Law at Beijing Foreign Studies University. With a profound interest in commercial law, he amassed over a year of internship experience at one of China's top 10 law firms, equipping him with extensive experience in financial leasing and aviation. Learning that Penn State graduates rank second as CEOs in the United States, he was compelled to pursue further studies here, focusing on the intersection of law and business. Moreover, Bohan is a dedicated advocate for the protection of personal rights.