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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 Director
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.
Director of China Programs
Juncen is the first contact for Chinese applicants, taking charge of all China-related LL.M. application inquiries, also delivering assistance to all our international students. Prior to joining Penn State Law, Juncen graduated at the top of his class from one of China’s most prestigious law schools. Juncen has had work experience in an intermediate appellate court, a local law firm, a research center, and in his law school’s the legal clinic. During his LL.M. residency, Juncen specialized in international commercial relations and trading disputes between China and U.S. Juncen believes his passion for law is deeply rooted in his curiosity and enthusiasm all things international, and enjoys observing and analyzing the interactions between various countries in international relations. While different legal systems of different nations would sometimes become barriers in communication, accomplishing the coordination between different legal cultures has always been Juncen’s motivation of studying law and working on the GIP team. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; B.A., Law, Southwest University of Political Science and Law.
Director of Europe Area Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Muhamed interned at the International Organization of Migration in Sarajevo where he was working on a comparative analysis on refugee law on the Balkans. Muhamed graduated from Penn State Law’s LL.M. program in May 2019 and was a member of the Penn State Law Willem C. Vis Moot team that won the competition in 2019. Muhamed’s academic interests are focused on international commercial arbitration. During his LL.M. residency, Muhamed was involved with the Penn State Law Arbitration Group and Arbitrator Intelligence, an initiative led by Professor Catherine Rogers. Besides English, Muhamed is fluent in Spanish, German and also has basic knowledge in Arabic and Euskera. On Muhamed’s “perfect day,” you’ll see him snowboarding with his friends and family and later enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. Education: LL.M., Penn State Law; B.A., Law, University of Sarajevo Faculty of Law.