Meet Your Admissions Team

We are here to help you determine which program is right for you, as well as to help walk you through the application process. Feel free to contact us via phone or email. The Office of International Admissions is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Contact the Office of International Admissions at international@bridgeport.edu.


Allison Garris

Dean of Admissions


Nicole Graham

International Admissions Manager, DSO

I have had the great fortune to meet students from around the globe and visit many different countries throughout my career in International Admissions and as an International Student Advisor and Study Abroad Advisor. I love helping students come to the USA to reach their educational and personal goals. This has been a passion of mine for almost 24 years in higher education. I received both my MBA and BS degrees from Johnson & Wales University. In my spare time I love to bake and I enjoy spending time with friends and family in New Jersey, Rhode Island and Florida.

Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Movies: Airplane, Pulp Fiction, and Superbad (too hard to choose one)
Favorite Book: Wonder by R.J. Palacio (the message is beautiful!)
Favorite Food: Seared Sea Scallops
Something you don’t know about me: I love animals and volunteered with the Miami Humane Society for many years. I also ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon dressed in a tiara and tutu.
Three Words to Describe Me: Friendly, Fun, Adventurous


Olivia Barham

International Admissions Coordinator

I graduated from University of Bridgeport in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. Since then, I have worked in several fields such as marketing, customer claims, supervisor, and financial advisor. In my free time, I enjoy learning new lifestyle skills and watching old school shows.

Favorite Color: Black
Favorite Movie: Set It Off
Favorite Food: Oxtail, Escovitch fish, and fried dumpling
Three Words to Describe Me: Assertive, demanding, magnanimous


Mariel Beteta

International Admissions Officer

As a social work graduate, social service is my true passion. In 2016 I graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s in social work. In my time as a social worker, I have had the opportunity to work with all types of populations like children, the elderly, and veterans to help them achieve the best version of themselves. It has been a learning experience and blessing to be able to serve people from all walks of life. I believe it has all prepared me to be in the position I am in now.

In my free time, I enjoy trying out new places to eat, creating music, and traveling.

Favorite Color: Olive green
Favorite Movie: The Pianist
Favorite Book: Martyrs: Those who stood for Jesus
Favorite Food: Pasta, especially ravioli
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I sing in a duet band with my husband, and I am a piano teacher for elementary school aged children.
Three Words to Describe Me: Truthful, passionate, sociable


Kevin Bruestle

International Admissions Officer, DSO

I graduated with a Bachelors from the University of California: San Diego and a Masters from Stanford University. I have been involved in education for a long time. I previously worked at an international education organization focusing on international high school students and was most recently a lecturer at a university in China. These experiences have made me passionate about working with international students and helping them to succeed. During my free time, I enjoy studying Chinese language and literature.

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie: haven’t really seen any good movies in a long time
Favorite Book: a wide array of classical and modern Chinese literature
Favorite Food: Chinese food
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I speak Chinese and German.
Three Words to Describe Me: honest, understanding, detail-oriented


Dorothy Classen

International Admissions Officer, DSO

I graduated from the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in 2012 with a BFA in Photography. In 2013, my art connections brought me to St. Thomas More School, a small boarding school in eastern CT where I started as a yearbook advisor and tutor among several other responsibilities. I found a new passion working with the international students at STM and was promoted to Director of International Students in 2017. I love to travel and learn about other cultures, customs and languages and I am SO excited to link all of my passions together here with the rest of my awesome New UB Admissions crew!

In my free time, I teach (virtual) dance fitness classes: MixxedFit® and Zumba®! I like to read, but tend to watch a lot of movies. And I am close with my friends and family; we hike, love the beach or any body of water really, and just being together. ❤

Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Movie: Bridesmaids
Favorite Book: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and also George RR Martin’s series “A Song of Ice and Fire”
Favorite Food: Almost any unhealthy carb… I will never say no especially to chips or fries!
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I am simultaneously a travel addict and “homebody.” I have been very fortunate with many travel opportunities across almost every continent, but find it extremely important to balance my travels with time at home in the company of my friends, family and cat!
Three Words to Describe Me: Friendly, caring, open


Maxwell Di Carlo

International Admissions Coordinator

I’m a University of Bridgeport alum with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services. I’ve always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I’m a huge advocate for self-improvement and doing what you can to put more kindness into the world “it could use some. Positivity starts with us, so doing anything to put a little light in someone’s life is important.

In my free time I’m an artist, I love to create and give people a piece of what goes on in my head. I also play tons of video games and spend a lot of time listening to video essays.

Favorite Color: Whatever’s on my head at the time
Favorite Movie: Coraline
Favorite Book: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
Favorite Food: Sushi
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I’m insufferably ecstatic about beachy indie music.
Three Words to Describe Me: Creative, optimistic, and caring
Pronouns: He/They


Christine Gaspar

International Admissions Officer

I graduated with a B.A. in French from Wellesley College and an A.M. and a PhD in French Studies from Brown University. Ever since my days as an undergraduate student, I have been involved in some way with admissions work in higher education — either as a volunteer or professionally — because I enjoy working with students to help them realize their dream of attending college.

Favorite Color: It changes, but right now it’s red!
Favorite Movie: I prefer well-written shows on streaming platforms because I enjoy character development and great plots that aren’t crammed into a single 90-minute movie. My interests are wide, but I lean towards period pieces set in a different time, place, or culture. Some favorites in recent years are Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Favorite Book: Anything by Marguerite Duras, Barbara Kingsolver, MFK Fisher, and Frances Mayes; All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot makes my sides hurt from laughing!
Favorite Food: All Asian cuisines
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I play on and Captain 4 competitive women’s U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) teams, and led one of them all the way to Nationals in Florida in 2019.
Three Words to Describe Me: Cheerful, Supportive, Organized


Karla Lafferty

International Admissions Officer, DSO

I received my master’s degree in education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and have nearly completed my doctoral degree in educational leadership. My passion for working with international students developed when I worked at an international boarding and day school in Florida. Now I have the opportunity to work with international students once again as they navigate the next step in their educational journey in higher education. During my free time, I enjoy traveling with my family, reading, and spending time outdoors with my dogs.

Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Book: Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
Favorite Food: Pizza
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I have been on over 60 cruises and can’t wait to go on more
Three Words to Describe Me: Friendly, outgoing, loyal


Izarelli Mendieta-Martinez

International Admissions Officer

I graduated with a bachelor’s of psychology and sociology from Fairfield University in 2012. I worked seven years as a bilingual case manager with immigrant families assisting with school enrollments, looking for opportunities to continue their education and connecting them to community providers. I look forward helping international students continue to pursue their dreams.

In my free time I enjoying hiking, traveling to new places, and spending time with my two adorable dogs.

Favorite Color: Lilac, Mustard Yellow
Favorite Movie: Avengers: End Game, Atonement, Instructions Not Included
Favorite Book: 100 Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Alchemist by Paolo Coello
Favorite Food: Ceviche, Sushi, Tamales, Seafood
Something you don’t know about me: I enjoy dancing; even if I don’t know how to, I will be on the dance floor.
Three words to describe me: Adventurous, caring, foody for sure
Pronouns: She/Her

Aprelle Mintz

International Admissions Coordinator

Many people would consider me as a “Jack of all trades”. I have many passions in life and many hobbies that accentuate those passions. I personally feel that my true calling is to help others, no matter who you are or where you come from. One of my personal goals is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and to use those skills as part of UB’s International Admissions Team. When I’m not at work, my creativity goes into full gear! I enjoy leather crafting, carpentry, masonry, gardening, cooking and a whole lot more!

Favorite Color: Burgundy
Favorite Movie: Desperado/From Dusk Til Dawn
Favorite Book: Doll House Series by Anya Allyn
Favorite Food: Colossal King Crab Legs
Best Part about my job: Being in a position to help people achieve their dreams. Also, my awesome co-workers!
Something You Don’t Know About Me: I am a major foodie! I also keep my cell phone in 1 location in my house (docked like a house phone), Leave me a VM! Three Words to Describe Me: Logical, loyal, loving
Pronouns: She/Her


Kellie Scheets

International Admissions Officer, DSO

I graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Liberal Studies. I am working toward my master’s degree. I enjoy helping others and am excited to help international students pursue their dreams. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.

Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Movie: The Notebook
Favorite Food: Fettuccine Alfredo
Something you don’t know about me: My favorite season is summer since I love the warm weather and going to the beach.
Three words to describe me: Thoughtful, reliable, and patient


Natalie Testa

International Admissions Coordinator

I have an associate degree in Marketing from Naugatuck Valley Community College, and a bachelor’s in Business from Post University. I have a passion to volunteer and mentor others. This helps me always look for the best in people so they can reach their full potential. Before working for University of Bridgeport, I owned a Gown business for 20 years Called Ragtime Boutique. I was thrilled to use my business as a platform for teaching confidence and supporting others. This was done through pageant coaching, sponsorships, and internships. I was proud to have created a “Safe Space” for the youth in my community where they could come and just be themselves. I was an adjunct professor for the “Kids on Campus” Program at Naugatuck Valley Community College. It was a yearly summer enrichment program to help youth “find their passion.” I created a Fashion runway class that taught sewing, quick thinking, and presence and poise on stage. I love campus life! I look forward to using my past experiences to help back the success of new students at University of Bridgeport!

Favorite Color: Orange/coral
Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Favorite Book: The Stand by Stephen King
Favorite Food: All things barbecue
Something you don’t know about me: I’ve rode a motorcycle for 25 years. I have won a BBQ Pitmaster trophy and several gold, silver, and bronze metals. I am a celebrity pageant judge on Legends of the Crown series which featured on Bravo TV.

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