GTM PROFILES 2020-2021

The Global Ties Mentors for 2020-2021. To learn more about the GTMs and other leadership opportunities. Visit the Global Ties “Leadership Opportunities” page.


Lynnea Lombardi, Global Ties Graduate Intern
She, her, hers |National identity(ies): United States|Languages: English, Korean
I’m Lynnea and I’m very excited to be working with Global Ties! I am studying for my Master’s degree in Higher Education Management here at Pitt. As an undergraduate, I studied Communication and Korean also at Pitt, so I am a true Panther! I look forward to welcoming our international students to Pitt and providing them with a fantastic collegiate experience.
Madhura Leninkannan, Lead Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| National identity(ies): U.S., India| Languages: English, Spanish-ish, Tamil| Major(s): Rehabilitation Science (Pre-Med)| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Chemistry| Clubs/: Dhirana, Active Minds
Hello! My name is Madhura and I grew up in the United States as a second-generation Indian immigrant. From growing up in a predominantly white community in Kansas, I learned to love sharing my culture and learning about other cultures whenever I had the chance. I grew up dabbling in various elements of different cultures, such as by learning Spanish, listening to K-pop, and dancing Bharthenatyam (an Indian classical dance form). In addition to learning about cultures, I also love learning about the human body, hence the rehabilitation science major and the pre-medical track. From growing up in an Asian household, mental health was scarcely mentioned so it has now become a major priority for me, and I try to do my best to improve awareness about mental health in the community and people around me. Whether it is anything happy, sad, stressful, etc. I am more than willing to talk and help. Lastly, when I am not consumed by my pre-medical student duties, I am usually trying to improve my photography abilities, learning to dance hip-hop (my skills are currently less than mediocre), or listening to music.
Weiyi Tu, Lead Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| National identity: Wuhan, China| Languages: Mandarin Chinese, English & Spanish| Major(s): Communication & Economics (maybe?)| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Education & Spanish| Clubs: Spanish Club
Hello everyone and welcome to Pitt! My name is Weiyi and I am a junior majoring in Communication and maybe Economics (yes, I still figuring this out in my third year, so don’t be stressed if you are unsure about your major!). I originally came from Wuhan, China. However, I spent two years of elementary school and four years of high school in the United States. Therefore, I understand the challenges international students may face in a foreign country and will try my best to help to make your transitions easier. My past two years at Pitt were amazing. I learned about different cultures, explored the beautiful city, tried wonderful restaurants, followed cute animals around, and met some of the most important people in my life. I also enjoyed being able to just hop on a bus to the airport and begin an adventure to Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. I’m sure your time at Pitt will be as wonderful as mine! I’m beyond excited to meet and connect with all of you. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, need someone to talk to, or want to go on adventures with me (this includes visiting two chubby cats near my apartment)!
Abby Lombardi, Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| National Identity(ies): United States| Languages: English, Korean |Major(s): Linguistics & International and Area Studies |Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Korean, Digital Media|Clubs: Daehwa Korean Conversation Club, Liberty in North Korea, Fresh Entertainment by Student Artists
Hello friends! My name is Abby, and I’m a sophomore at Pitt. I’m double majoring in Linguistics and International & Area Studies. I am also pursuing a certificate in Digital Media and minoring in Korean. I am a native speaker of English and near-fluent in Korean. I have experience studying Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as well. My advice for new students at Pitt is to join clubs and student organizations! In addition to being a Global Ties Mentor, I am the Vice President of the Daehwa Korean Conversation Club and an undergraduate teaching assistant for the First-Year Programs Asian Studies Academic Community. During my free time, I enjoy making videos in Korean for my YouTube channel “Annyeong Abby.” I love to make new friends and am always ready to offer a helping hand. I can’t wait to welcome you all into the Pitt community!
Xiaoxi (Amy) Qi, Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers | National Identity(ies): China | Languages: Mandarin Chinese, English| Major(s): Psychology| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies (GSWS); Statistics| Clubs: Pitt Psychology Club
Hello everyone! I’d like to welcome all of you to this big Pitt family. My name is Amy, and I’m a sophomore major in psychology with two minors in GSWS and statistics. I’m from Beijing, China, and studying at Pitt is my first time studying abroad. Believe me, I know so well that it can be scary to imagine starting your new journey here in Pittsburgh, to be honest, I’m nervous about my first year being a GTM as well. But, I’m also so excited and can’t wait to meet you all, we’ll explore together and figure everything out! My first year at Pitt was wonderful, and people here are the best in all ways, I’m sure you will find your place and enjoy as well! I spend too much time on watching TV shows and movies (this is how I learned English, a bit of Japanese and Korean), so please feel free to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to or to show you around campus!!
Charles (Charlie) Echard, Global Ties Mentor
He, Him, His| National identity(ies): United States| Languages: English| Major: Political Science, Sociology, Economics| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): N/A| Clubs/Student Organizations: Sociology Student Association, Pitt to You
Hey everyone! My name is Charlie and I am a rising senior at Pitt. I’m so excited to be one of your GTMs this year! When I’m not in class, you can usually find me riding my bicycle on the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, exploring Frick Park, or being really bad at frisbee on Flagstaff Hill. Last summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Beijing and Shanghai, China to meet and mentor so many wonderful students who decided to call Pitt home for the next few years. Outside of Pitt, I’m pretty involved with the Scout Movement, and most of my scout friends are from outside the US. I’m so excited to get to know you!
Nathan Andrud, Global Ties Mentor
He, him, his| National Identity(ies): American| Languages: English, Swedish, Chinese, German, Hindi| Majors: Linguistics and Chinese| Minors: Asian Studies Certificate & Swedish| Clubs: Fikaklubb, Global Ties, Chinese Club, Yinzling
Hi everyone! My name is Nathan and I am so excited to welcome you to Pittsburgh! I’m a junior double majoring in Linguistics and Chinese with a minor in Swedish. I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for the past 5 years, but I’m originally from Michigan so I know a lot about the U.S. and what fun things there are to do here! And I just so happen to know where to get good bubble tea :) I’ve made so many great memories at Pitt, and I want to make sure you do too! Adjusting to a new culture and country can be jarring at first, but here at Global Ties, we’re here to make sure that you’ll make new connections, friends, and experiences here at Pitt! I love to hear about people’s stories and experiences in traveling and adjusting to a new culture, and I can’t wait to meet you!
Danielle Obisie-Orlu, Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| Country of national identity: United States, South Africa, Nigeria | Languages: English, Afrikaans, French| Major(s): Political Science, International and Area Studies | Minor(s)/Certificate(s): French, History, Transatlantic Studies Certificate | Clubs: Resident Students Association, African Students Association, Model European Union Club, European Studies Student Ambassador
Hey everyone, I’m Danielle! I’m a sophomore studying Political Sciences and International & Area Studies. I’m from the US, but I’ve lived in South Africa for most of my life, so I have the experience of being both an international and domestic student. Growing up in South Africa has been nothing short of phenomenal, and the biggest takeaway I can give to you is about Ubuntu. At its core, Ubuntu means I am because you are. It’s all about unity within diversity and the recognition that our humanity is relative to how we engage and treat those around us. At Pitt, each voice is celebrated with the diversity it brings, so I encourage you to share your cultural experiences with pride! Some of my hobbies include writing, acting, Public Speaking, netball, and I’m currently learning how to play the ukulele! I’m always open to answering any of your questions and making you feel at home as possible at Pitt!
Catherine (Cat) Buchanan, Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| Country of national identity: U.S.A.| Languages: English| Major(s): Urban Studies & Anthropology| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Chinese (maybe?) | Clubs: Fresh Entertainment by Student Artists (FRESA)
Hey y’all! I'm Catherine and I'm so excited to be one of your GTMs this year. I originally grew up in a very small town in Pennsylvania but by tagging along with my parents to quite of few of their library conferences, I’ve gotten to travel to places such as Germany, Italy, and Taiwan to name a few. I even lived in Malta for a short time when I was little. But anyways, when I was looking for a college, I fell in love with Pitt in part because of the opportunity to interact with so many people of different backgrounds and identities. Obviously, I love what I learn in class, but what I learn from friends and from the Global community at Pitt is immeasurably important to me and has helped me grow as an individual myself. A fun fact about me is that I really love coffee and I know all the coolest coffee shops in the different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, so if you ever need a recommendation or need someone to show you around a new neighborhood just hit me up. Can’t wait to meet and get to know you all!
Karen Wang, Global Ties Mentor
National Identity: United States, China| Languages: Mandarin Chinese, English| Major: Nursing| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): N/A| Clubs/Student Organizations: Keep It Real, Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program (URMP)
Hello! My name is Karen and I’m a sophomore nursing student. I love watching movies, including international films, and listening to music, in between classes you’ll definitely catch me with my headphones in. My parents immigrated to the US for graduate school and I was always fascinated when they would tell me stories of their life in China and what it was like adjusting. Every 5 years we visit their hometowns, Wuhan and Chongqing, and each time I experience just a fraction of the shock they must have felt in coming to a new country. While I have gotten close to a few international students through the language partner program and worked in the Somali Bantu refugee community of Pittsburgh during this past year, I’m excited that being a Global Ties Mentor will allow me to understand and support your journeys on a larger scale! I can’t wait to meet each of you and hear your stories!
Kashish Mehendiratta, Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| Country/Countries of your national identity: India | Languages: English, Hindi| Major(s): Finance & Marketing | Clubs: Alpha Kappa Psi, Dhirana, Finance Club
Hey! My name is Kashish and I’m going to be a junior this fall and majoring in Finance and Marketing. This is my first year with Global Ties and I am very excited to be a part of it. I was born and brought up in India. I have been in the U.S. for two years now and it is so great being here and so different from where I have lived all my life. I love being at Pitt because I get to meet such great people here and I really like meeting new people and getting to know more about them. I love exploring new places and restaurants in Pittsburgh. I love trying out different kinds of food. I am super excited to meet all of you. Just want you to know we’re all here for anything you need! See you soon!
Pau Balcells Sanchez, Global Ties Mentor
He, him, his | National identity: Spanish| Languages: Spanish, Catalan, English, French| Major(s): Applied Math, Philosophy| Clubs: Club Team Handball
Hey guys, I am Pau and I am an international student from Barcelona. This year I will be a Sophomore, and it will be my fifth year studying in the US. I am really excited to be a Global Ties Mentor for the first time, and I hope to meet all of you soon! Before coming to Pitt, I went to a small Quaker boarding School next to Philadelphia, and now I am studying math and philosophy. In my free time I love to play handball, soccer, and go for runs so hopefully soon enough we can all go running together around Schenley Park! See you soon!
Mary Nayrouz, Global Ties Mentor
She, her, hers| National identity: American| Languages: English, Arabic| Major(s): Pharmacy| Clubs: Lambda Kappa Sigma, RxPrep, Student Society of Health System Pharmacists
Hi everyone! My name is Mary, and I’m a senior at Pitt. I’m also beginning my second year at Pitt’s Pharmacy School. Pitt has become a home to me where I have made some of my best friends and enjoyed many classes here! Being a Global Ties Mentor for the past two years was one of the best experiences I have ever had at Pitt. With all the fun events and opportunities to meet new people, I hope Global Ties will be the same for you. Pittsburgh satisfies my love for food (ask me for recommendations) and adventure. I am able to do so many of the things I love at Pitt and more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to me. I would love to answer any questions or do any of the wonderful things at Pitt with you. I can’t wait to meet all of you and welcome you to the Pitt family!
David Schabdach, Global Ties Mentor
He, him, his| National identity: United States| Languages: English, Spanish| Major(s): Nursing Clubs: Pitt to You Program, School of Nursing Integrity Council, University Research Mentorship Program (URMP), UPMC Nurse's Aide
Hello, my name is David Schabdach and I am excited to join Pitt’s Global Ties Program as a mentor! I grew up Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but moved to the Pittsburgh area about 8 years ago. Ever since I joined the University of Pittsburgh community in 2017, I have truly enjoyed my time and experiences on campus. From previous experiences playing on a club sports team, to volunteering with Special Olympics and other organizations, to sharing my love and enthusiasm for Pitt as a Pathfinder, I have found my niche in this rather large home to 18,000+ students. I have met some of my closest friends through Global Ties, and look forward to making new friends and memories this year!
Aamil Shah, Global Ties Mentor
He, him, his| National Identity: United States, India| Languages: English, Gujarati, Spanish| Major(s): Bioengineering| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Sustainability| Clubs/Student Organizations: Pitt ARTificial, Epsilon Eta
Hello! My name is Aamil Shah and this will be my 3rd year with Global Ties! I was born and brought up right outside of DC, but came to Pitt so I could experience a new community and setting. My favorite part about Pitt is (as cliché as it sounds) its diversity. From the minute I moved in, I met people from completely different backgrounds than myself, and it helped me move out of my comfort zone and be more accepting of others. Global Ties has given me the opportunity to better understand the global community and has helped me feel empowered as an ethnic minority. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, meditating, and hanging out with others! I look forward to meeting you!
Tianyi (Alkaid) Zeng, Global Ties Mentor
National identity(ies): New Zealand| Pronouns: He/His/Him| Languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Latin| Major(s): Philosophy, Economics| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Sociology, Communication| Clubs: Quo Vadis Nationality Room Tour Guide, Classical Civilization Club, Philosophy Club
Welcome to Pitt yinz! My name's Alkaid. I'm a junior majoring in Philosophy and Economics. I also have a communication certificate and a sociology minor. I have been on the move my whole life. I hopped back and forth between New Zealand and China when I was young to understand not only where I am but also where I came from. And now I’m in the US. In my two college years I have been to Washington DC, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Puerto Rica, as well as Costa Rica, Mexico, and Cuba. I have caught scorpions in the rain forest, visited multiple embassies, lived in a study room in the library, and survived in Cuba with $30 and no proficiency in Spanish. I am not a man of adventure (you probably think my words have proven otherwise) but I believe one of life’s biggest treasure is trying new things. And I suppose that is why all of you came to Pitt. I am more than thrilled to meet you and answer your questions. I have activities ranging from the wildest to the mundane and I welcome you to join me!
Tran (Mary) Vi, Global Ties Mentor
National identity(ies): Danang, Vietnam| Pronouns: She/Her/Hers| Languages: Vietnamese, English| Major(s): Global Management| Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Chinese| Clubs: Vietnamese Student Assocation
Hi guys! My name is Tran Vi, or you can call me Mary. I’m a rising sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh and planning to major in Global Management and minor in Chinese. I love traveling and trying different type of foods. Before coming to Pitt, I had lived in Texas for three years. Now that I study at Pitt, besides Danang, Vietnam, Texas has become my second home, and I always look forward to flying back there and spending time with my friends for the holidays. I have been to many countries in Asia, but I have not traveled to Europe. I hope during my times at Pitt, I could be able to go study in the picturesque Switzerland and do an internship relating to my major. In addition to traveling, I love drawing and reading. Even though I’m not so good at drawing, I can relieve all the stress from school into a creative form of art that I love. On the other hands, reading helps broaden my horizon. Books are definitely one of the best resources that I turn to whenever I feel overwhelmed and lost!