Global Ties Program

The Global Ties program is committed to welcoming our new undergraduate international students in Pitt’s campus community and fostering a true sense of belonging and support. Global Ties was created to cultivate a more inclusive campus for undergraduate international students in a manner that is relevant and specific to their needs.

Global Ties aims to facilitate the holistic learning and development of the University of Pittsburgh community by providing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to deepen their cultural awareness and understanding. In addition, Global Ties is committed to the development of global leadership and a strong sense of civic responsibility.  

Outdoor group photo of about a dozen smiling students in matching blue Global Ties crewneck shirts around a panther statue.

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Leadership Opportunities

Global Ties Mentors (GTMs)are enthusiastic individuals who promote international education and assist international students in their transition to the University community. GTMs are trained program coordinators who help create the cultural and educational programs within Global Ties. GTMs are also mentors for incoming undergraduate international students. 

Current Global Ties Mentors

Outdoor headshot of a smiling man with brown hair and mustache in a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Dannial Cardillo

Pronouns: He/him/his

National Identity(ies): United States

Language(s): English, Mandarin, Turkish, Uzbek

Major(s): Chinese Language and Culture

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Turkish Language, Religious Studies, Russian and Eastern European Studies Certificate

Club(s): Turkish Language Table, Chinese Language Club

Hi everyone! I hope you all are excited to begin your journey at Pitt! My name is Dannial, and I’ll be finishing up the last year of my degree just as you begin yours. I’m from the suburbs of Pittsburgh and spent most of my life here. In my free time I like to roller skate, bike, hike, read and write poetry, pet cats and dogs, watch TV/movies, and listen to music in different languages. My love of languages has allowed me to study abroad in many countries including: China, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkey. One of my favorite places to go in Pittsburgh is the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh located near Pitt’s campus. They offer free language classes, study rooms, vinyl sampling, small community events, and of course, lots of books! I highly recommend you check it out! As you get acclimated to life at Pitt, you definitely need to join some university clubs that pique your interest. Plus, you’ll make so many new friends along the way. I’m always here to help you adjust to your new life, so don’t be shy to reach out if you ever have any questions or problems! I’m super excited to meet you all!

Outdoor headshot of a smiling man in a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Romit Kulkarni

Pronouns: He/him/his 

National Identity(ies): United States

Language(s): English, Marathi

Major: Finance and Business Information Systems

Certificate: Business Analytics

Club: Alpha Kappa Psi, Steel City Shershah, Taaza

Hello, everyone! My name is Romit and I am a sophomore majoring in Finance and Business Information Systems. This will be my first year as a Global Ties mentor and I am super excited to meet everyone! I was born in Pittsburgh and have been living here all my life, so if you need any restaurant/sightseeing recommendations or need any help navigating Pittsburgh, feel free to reach out! Whenever I’m not busy with schoolwork, I enjoy visiting new places, thrifting for clothes, tossing the (American) football around Cathy lawn, and finding new spots to eat. I would highly recommend taking advantage of the free student bus pass that Pitt provides us, as that was the #1 way I explored hidden gems in the city this past year. While I did face some challenges my first year at Pitt, the people I met, the knowledge I gained, and the things I experienced helped me overcome those challenges and truly made Pitt home for me. I hope that me and the rest of the GTM team can help you do the same! If you have any questions/concerns or just want to say hi, feel free to reach out or come up and talk to me if you see me around campus!

Outdoor headshot of a smiling woman in a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt and pearl earrings.
Emeline Snook

Pronouns: She/her/hers

National Identity(ies): United States

Language(s): English

Major(s): Pharmacy

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Chemistry and sociologies minors

Club(s): Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), RxPrep, Global Medical Brigades

Hi, everyone! My name is Emeline. I am a third-year student at Pitt studying pharmacy with a minor in sociology. This will be my second year as a Global Ties Mentor, and I am so excited to meet everyone! I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, so I know some pretty cool places to go and things to try in PA. I can definitely give lots of recommendations. When I am not in class, I enjoy traveling, trying new restaurants, thrifting, exploring Pittsburgh with my friends, skiing, and playing tennis. Some of my favorite activities I was able to experience as a Pitt student include seeing an opera, seeing a symphony, going to a Pirates’ baseball game, riding the inclines, exploring museums, attending Pitt sporting events, seeing Bill Nye, and even studying abroad! I also love to find unique classes to take at Pitt. I took paddleboard yoga and ancient mythology and loved it! I have really enjoyed my time here at Pitt so far. I know starting college can be a challenge, but I found my home here. I hope you do too! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or are just looking for a friend. See you soon!

Headshot of a smiling woman in dark round glasses and a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Meiying Piao

Pronouns: she/her

National Identity(ies): China

Language(s): English, Mandarin, Korean

Major(s): Health Informatics

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Korean minor

Club(s): Dance club in CUSA, Daehwa club

Hi, welcome to Pitt! My name is Meiying Piao. I’m an international student from Beijing, China. This is my second year in Pittsburgh. I’m planning to apply to the Health Informatics major in the School of Health and Rehabilitation next year, and I’ll be completing my Korean minor during my sophomore year. I enjoy visiting art museums in Pittsburgh, and I love listening to music, especially K-POP songs. As a foreigner, taking the first step to talk with people was hard for me, but I was so encouraged and welcomed by people around me, so I get a chance to engage in the Pitt community. People I met here in Pittsburgh are so nice and warm-hearted, so I hope you will like here and make a lot of friends. I’m here to assist you academically, help you navigate campus life, or simply be a friend. Welcome to Pitt, and let’s embark on this transformative journey together.

Outdoor headshot of a smiling woman with long dark hair in a Global Ties tee shirt.
Nicky Chien

Pronouns: She/her/hers

National Identity(ies): Taiwan

Language(s): Mandarin, English

Major(s): Supply Chain Management, Business Information Systems

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): International Business

Club(s): Taiwanese Student Association (TSA), Alpha Kappa Psi, Incline Consulting Group

Hello! My name is Nicky, and this is going to be my second year as a GTM. I’m so excited to meet you all! I was born in Taipei, Taiwan. I came to Pitt just two years ago and am now a rising junior studying business. If I’m not in class, you might run into me walking around the campus, sitting in a cafe, or enjoying food anywhere there’s food! As an international student myself, I know that going to college in a different country can be very nerve-wracking, but I’m sure you will have a great time here at Pitt!

Headshot of a smiling person with rose gold dyed hair, gold eyeliner, a bindi, and wearing a blue Global Ties crewneck.
Angel Mary Joseph

Pronouns: They/them

Major: Film and Media Studies

Concentration: Business Studies and Psychology

Nationality: India

Languages: Malayalam, Hindi, English, French

Clubs: BYO Bollywood, SCENE, Fantasy Studies Fellowship, Collab Arts

Welcome to Pitt! Hello! My name is Angel, and I am a junior from Kerala, India. I am currently involved in humanities research in minority representation in contemporary Bollywood and as part of my interest in that I run a Bollywood club on campus that hosts weekly meetings. In my leisure time, I like to dance, watch films and series, and read books on narrative and film and media studies. I also love cooking Indian food and hosting movie nights so if that is something you like, feel free to join me! I enjoy exploring the vibrant small businesses in Pittsburgh with friends over the weekends. When I am with my friends, I love doing impromptu photoshoots with friends using items around my room.

Headshot of a woman with dyed blonde hair and pink lipstick wearing a blue Global Ties crewneck.
Mengjie (Jenny) Sun

Pronouns: she/her

National Identity(ies): China

Language(s): Mandarin, English, Spanish

Major(s): psychology, linguistics

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Hispanic language and culture minor

Club(s): Psychology club

Welcome to Pitt! My name is Jenny, and I am an international student from China. I major in psychology and linguistics. During my free time, I like watching movies, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends to explore different places in the city. I would like to explore the Pittsburgh city with you as well if you also like to. Besides these, I like to cook as well, especially for my family and friends. Theirs smiles after eating my food can bring me so much joy. This year is my second year being a Global Ties Mentor. As an international student who has been studying in the United States for seven years now, I deeply know and understand what kind of challenges and obstacles an international student might face, so I hope you can use me as a tool to help yourself start your new life at Pitt just like Global Ties helped me transition my life to Pitt when I was a freshman. Please see Global Ties as your non-blood related family in the United States. Do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions! I can’t wait to see you all back on campus!

Headshot of a smiling woman in a blue Global Ties crewneck.
Sydney Smith

Pronouns: she/her/hers

National Identity(ies): United States

Language(s): English, Spanish

Major(s): Computational Social Science

Club(s): Women in Computer Science, Russian Club, WPTS Radio

Hello everyone! Welcome to Pitt!! My name is Sydney, and I am a rising senior majoring in Computational Social Science. I am from outside of Philadelphia and I like checking out arts scene around the Pittsburgh, listening to music, language learning, researching fashion, trying new cafes and restaurants around town, and watching films. My favorite genres of music are indie rock, rock, and pop. One of my favorite places in Pittsburgh is Schenley Park, as I’ve spent many a sunny day lounging there—having green space in a city is so important and if you are ever feeling overwhelmed, I recommend taking a trip to Schenley to calm your mind. Another place I love to go is Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville. Row House is an independent movie theater that has amazingly curated programming and events that I’ve been attending since my freshman year. This is my first year as a Global Ties Mentor, but as a rising senior and a former Pitt to You ambassador, I am very familiar with both Pitt and the struggle of international students and would love to help you find your place and answer any questions you have! I am very excited to meet you and Hail to Pitt!

Outdoor headshot of a smiling woman in dark square glasses with dark hair in a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Vaanishree Joshi

Pronouns: she/her/hers

National Identity(ies): India

Language(s): English, Hindi, Punjabi

Major(s): Biological Sciences and Anthropology

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Chemistry minor; Certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine

Club(s): Student Government Board (Wellness Committee and SAP), BYO Bollywood, PantherWell

Hello and welcome to Pitt! I’m Vaani, a rising junior on the pre-med track and this will be my 2nd year as a global ties mentor. If you’re reading this and are intimidated by starting this new journey at Pitt, just know that you’re at the right place if you’re looking for a supportive atmosphere and guidance from all of us who have been in the same position. I was born in the US but grew up in Bengaluru, India and I’ve had the privilege of travelling across and outside India and I love immersing myself in different cultures via scrumptious snacks, conversations and linguistics. I know it can seem daunting to truly call a place your second home, but I’ve been able to do so by connecting with Pittsburgh’s history and raving about different architectural styles across the city. Every time I’m off campus and I catch a glimpse of Cathy, I’m reminded of the wonderful community we have and I’m excited for you to experience the same. I know college is filled with first impressions and experiences but I hope that I’m able to help you brave the unknowns and embrace that growing sense of familiarity and comfort at Pitt. I’m sure you’ll catch me taking pictures of flowers all over campus so feel free to come say hi and chat 🙂

Headshot of a smiling woman with light brown hair outdoors wearing a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Hattie Lindey

Pronouns: She/Her

National Identity: United States

Languages: English

Major: Politics & Philosophy, Museum Studies

Minor: English Literature

Clubs: Pitt College Democrats, Mock Trial

Hey everyone! My name is Hattie, and I cannot wait to welcome you all to Pitt this fall. I’m a rising senior, and this year will be my third year as a Global Ties Mentor. I grew up about an hour south of Pittsburgh, in a small town called Perryopolis, Pennsylvania. Growing up I spent a lot of weekends in Pittsburgh with my family, so I can definitely help with restaurant recommendations and show you some of my favorite things to do in the city! During my first year at Pitt, I was immediately struck by the sense of community the entire campus had even though most classes and events were virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I cannot wait for you to join this same vibrant community this fall. When I’m not in class, I enjoy baking, going to different museums around Pittsburgh, and trying new restaurants around campus. I spend way too much time shopping and could easily talk to you for hours about fashion, my favorite books, and the best and worst coffee shops in the city. I’m always here to answer any questions you may have about Pitt and cannot wait to meet you all soon!

Headshot of a smiling man with fluffy short black hair in a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Rohan Rajiv

Pronouns: He/him/his

National Identity(ies): India

Language(s): English, Hindi, Malayalam

Major: Computational Biology

Minor: Computer Science

Clubs: Intramural Soccer, Indian Student Association

Hi Everyone, I’m Rohan! I’m a junior majoring in Computational Biology, and this will be my second year as a Global ties mentor. I’m an international student technically, but I’ve spent my life half n half split between the States and India, trying to relish the best of what both sides have given and taught me. In addition to being an international, I’ve often found myself in a predicament where I didn’t feel like I belonged fully to one side or the other, which acted as the driving force behind me joining Global ties, with the hope that I’d find others with experiences similar to mine. Being a nomad of sorts in my childhood, I’ve found a sense of leisure in meeting new people and gaining a better understanding of the different walks of life. I truly believe Pitt offers a platform to comfortably grow into your own skin, via unity within diversity. In person you’ll probably see me hanging around Nordy’s, Einstein’s in Posvar (morning caffeine) or a corner somewhere in Hillman Library ~ feel free to come over I’m always happy to lend an ear if you have any questions or just want to catch up!

Headshot of a smiling woman outdoors with long black shiny hair wearing a blue GLobal Ties crewneck shirt.
Tala Alsumairi

Pronouns: she/her/hers

National Identity(ies): Saudi Arabia

Language(s): English, Arabic

Major(s): Economics 

Club(s): Middle Eastern and North African Student Association

Hi everyone, and welcome to Pitt! My name is Tala, and I recently transferred to Pitt just last semester. Before coming to Pitt, I was studying at Trinity College Dublin. Pitt has quickly become my home, and I couldn’t be happier about it! Without a doubt, my absolute favorite aspect of Pitt is its incredible community. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve met some of my best friends. The people here are genuinely so nice and always ready to lend a helping hand. I can’t wait for you to experience it. I am an international student from Saudi Arabia, but I lived in Florida for 12 years. Growing up, I went to 12 schools, and that was the driving force behind me becoming a global ties mentor. This is my first year as a GTM, and I’m so excited! As someone who has been the new student in a brand-new city numerous times, I know how overwhelming it can be. I’m here to help, so feel free to reach out whether it’s about academics, the best places to eat, exploring the city, or just hanging out!

Headshot of a woman with curly dark brown hair standing outdoors in a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.
Yerin Choi

Pronouns: She/Her(s)

National Identity: South Korea

Language(s): English, Korean, Kiswahili

Major(s): International Studies/Anthropology

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Global Studies

Club(s): African Languages Student Association

Hello everyone! Welcome to Pitt! My name is Yerin Choi, and an international student from South Korea. My major is Anthology and co-majoring International Studies as well. This is my second year at Pitt and ninth year in the States. I love to invite my friends over, cook some Korean food, and enjoy the food. Ever since I have been an international student, I have loved meeting diverse people and learning about new cultures. Feel free to ask anything about Korean culture as well! One of my favorite spots at Pitt is Schenley Park because it has such a beautiful sight of Cathedral of Learning with sunsets. Always feel free to reach out for help and I will try my best to make your transition at Pitt as smooth as possible.

Headshot of a woman in a pale blue Global Ties tee shirt standing outside and smiling.
Maryam Ismail

Pronouns: She/her/hers

National Identity(ies): United States, Egypt

Language(s): English, Arabic

Major(s): Neuroscience

Minor(s)/Certificate(s): Chemistry minor; Certificates in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine and

Children’s Literature

Club(s): MSA, badminton club, AMSA

Hey Friends! My name is Maryam, and I am a rising junior majoring in Neuroscience. I am currently living in the Philadelphia area, but I used to live in both Georgia and Tennessee. I am originally from Alexandria, Egypt. I have enjoyed living in all these places and I like to bring pieces from each chapter into my life here. In my free time, I love crocheting, working out, reading a good book or baking something for my friends and family. My music taste ranges from early 2000s hip-hop to 2010s pop and R&B. In Pittsburgh, I love going on walks when the weather is nice and trying out new coffee shops and restaurants. Pittsburgh has an amazing and diverse selection of food and cafés to visit. I would love to arrange a time and take you to some of my favorites! Coming to college and moving to a new place can be difficult. But, Pittsburgh is a wonderful place and is incredibly welcoming. I am so excited to meet all of you and show you all the things I love to do here! See you soon 🙂

Headshot of a smiling woman with shoulder-length brown hair in a white Global Ties tee shirt standing outside.
Maya Connors

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Year: Junior

National identity: United States

Languages: English

Major: Mechanical engineering

Minors/certificates: Civil Engineering, Korean, entrepreneur innovation & product design

Clubs: Filipino student association, oSTEM, Makerspace mentoring, archery

Hi and welcome to Pitt!!! My name is Maya and I’m a rising Junior and it will be my second year as a global ties mentor! I’m majoring in Mechanical engineering, but I’m involved in a lot of different things on campus so feel free to tell me all about your major, I’d love to hear about it! I’m originally from New Jersey, but I spend a lot of time exploring different neighborhoods in Pittsburgh so I would be more than happy to give you recommendations to restaurants and novelty stores all over the city if you ask! I find that Pitt is really well integrated into the city so it’s relatively easy to explore new places and everyone on campus is super welcoming so it’s always easy to find a friend to travel with. Other than exploring places, I really love learning new skills and trying new hobbies in my free time. Most recently I’ve picked up boxing, but if you’re looking for someone to paint with or willing to tag along to a beginner’s yoga class or something entirely new, feel free to send me a message! I’m so excited to meet you and help you transition to life at Pitt!!!

Outdoor headshot of a woman with voluminous wavy dark hair wearing a blue Global Ties crewneck shirt.

Pronouns: She/Her

National Identity: China

Languages: Mandarin, English

Majors: Film production

Minors/Certificate: Archeology

Clubs: Radio Station, 24 hours film

Hi everyone, Welcome to Pitt!! I’m Yuke Fan, going to become a sophomore after this summer. I’m an international student from Zhejiang, China. I enjoy exploring different indie or rock bands, and I’m especially obsessed with the music style of Radiohead and Omnipotent Youth Society. I also owned a classical rock band starting from my high school and we have finished recording our second album, so feel free to talk to me about anything related to music, bands, and films! I love watching movies and I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson and Shunji Iwai. I’m planning to take film production as my major and archeology as my minor, yet I and the people around me are both skeptical about if I’m going to make any money taking these two as my future careers. As an international student I was a bit afraid of starting a conversations with strangers or deal with stuff with different people when I first came here, but people at Pittsburgh are so so nice that fit right in rapidly. Looking forward to meeting you on campus and I will be here anytime if you need me!