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.
Director of Middle East Programs
Mohammed serves all of Penn State Law’s LL.M. students, with a particular focus on students from Arabic speaking countries. Prior to joining Penn State Law, he studied Intensive Academic English Program at the University of Pennsylvania. When he was in his home country of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, he was employed as a legal advisor in a company. His academic interests are focused on taxation, especially in tax evasion. Studying tax is his passion and Mohammed is the first Saudi Arabian student with a concentration in tax law at Penn State Law. On his “perfect day,” you will find him reading a variety of books and materials—legal, inspirational, and historical. And, he enjoys listening to Egyptian singer, Om-Kalthom. Education: LL.M. candidate, Penn State Law; B.A., Law, King Abdul-Aziz University, Faculty of Law.
Erkhemkhlusen (Ed) Erkheskhulan
Director of Mongolia, Russia, and Central Asia Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Erkhemkhuslen (Ed) graduated from one of Mongolia's top universities and earned his double major in economics and law. Ed graduated from Penn State Law’s LL.M. program in May 2020, and his academic concentration was in the area of Banking and Financial Law. Ed joined the GIP team because of his enthusiasm to serve fellow international students. Ed's perfect day would be learning different legal systems from international students, playing ping-pong with his friends, and watching movies. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; LL.B. and B.A., National University of Mongolia.
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.
Director of China Programs
Ling assists with all China-related LL.M. application inquiries and information requests. She was an exchange student from Beijing Foreign Studies University to Szeged University in Hungary and studied EU law for one semester. Before she came to Penn State Law, she had internships in different law firms including Dentons, one of the world’s largest law firms. Ling has a passion for health and medical-related law, and she was an intern medical trainee when she was an undergraduate student. Because of this experience, she earned a concentration certificate in health law during her Penn State Law LL.M. studies. In addition, Ling has had more than 10 years of Chinese classical dance training and has a strong interest in ballet. On her “perfect day”, she indulges herself in dance routines and coffee breaks. Education: LL.M. Penn State Law; LL.M. Beijing Foreign Studies University; LL.B. Harbin Medical University.