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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the 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 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 taxation, Penn State Law; B.A., Law, King Abdul-Aziz University, Faculty of Law.
Barrios Cobas, Ricardo Arturo
Assistant Director of Latin American Programs
Before joining Penn State Law, Ricardo had been practicing law for six years in Corporate, land segregation and titling; trademarks, wills, and registering client’s estates. He is a member of the Panamanian Bar Association. Ricardo is the Founder and President of WestPark507 Football Organization, a company incorporated under Panamanian laws whose business core is developing the practice of sports like flag football and tackle football through the creation and participation of leagues. He has created the biggest Flag Football and American Football Organization in Panamá Oeste with a total permanent member of 150 players. Ricardo obtained his Law Degree and his Master in Commercial Law from Universidad Latina de Panama. Currently, he is pursuing his LLM at Penn State Law in the specialized fields of Sports law and Antitrust Law. Ricardo likes to dance, eat Chinese food, burgers, sharing with other cultures, and helping people. Education: LL.M. candidate, Penn State Law; LL.B. and Law Master, Universidad Latina de Panama.
Gerardo Gentil Orozco
Assistant Director of Latin American Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Gerardo worked in the submission of contributions to bills in the Colombian Congress as well as reports to the United Nations Bodies from his role as coordinator of the Observatory for Marine and Coastal Governance, having experience in research and high impact litigation in Colombian higher courts. He was a distinguished student at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla-Colombia, teaching assistant of the area of public law, member of the Group of Strategic Litigation and Public Interest, and leader of several models of multilateral organizations. His academic and professional interests are focused on constitutional and environmental law, especially in issues related to water. He enjoys helping international students to achieve their goals, while he learns from their very diverse cultures. Gerardo’s perfect day would be discovering a new place, listening to good music, and enjoying art. Education: LL.M. candidate, Penn State Law; LL.B., Alumni Universidad del Norte.
Director of Indian Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Tenzin studied B.A.LL.B. at Bahra University, India where she had the opportunity to participate in various National Moot Court competitions. She was awarded the best law student from India for her performance in SAARCLAW moot court competition. She is the first Tibetan and first-generation graduate student to study at Penn State Law. Her perfect day is eating together with her family and friends while enjoying a bonfire and dancing to their favorite songs. She aspires to become a Human rights advocate therefore her concentration is Immigration Law and International, Comparative and Foreign law. Education: LL.M. candidate, Penn State Law, USA; B.A.LL.B., Bahra University, India.
Director of Mongolia, Russia, and Central Asia Programs
Prior to joining Penn State Law, Gulmira graduated from the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In Kazakhstan she worked for the Kazakhstan branch of the biggest medical devices manufacturer - Medtronic Inc. Her academic interests are focused on health law. On her “perfect day,” you will find her hiking, cooking desserts or watching movies. Education: B.A., Law, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Master of Law, or Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.