Humans of VISAS 2021-2022

Academic Director of CAELC & Coordinator of the International TA Training Program : Liz Wittner

For our last Humans of VISAS post of the semester, we’d like to highlight someone very special – Liz Wittner, founder of VISAS! Liz started the program in 1999(!) when she began working at UVA with the international TA program. She is currently the Academic Director at the Center for American English Language and Culture (CAELC) and the Coordinator of the International Teaching Assistant Training Program. She truly enjoys every aspect of VISAS, and she’s excited to see how the program will continue to grow in the future!

VISAS Program Assistant: Elsa Thompson

Elsa Thompson is our new and amazing VISAS Program Assistant! She also works with the Multilingual Outreach Volunteer Effort (MOVE) Program and the Center for American English Language & Culture’s (CAELC) testing and volunteer programs. She loves working with students and ESL learners and helping out with different programs of VISAS!

Media Consultant: Sabine Stratmann

Meet Sabine Stratmann, our wonderful Media Consultant! She is a First Year planning to major in Global Studies on the Global Development Studies track and minor in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. As a Media Consultant, she has been hard at work documenting VISAS Cafés, and enjoys capturing the small, meaningful moments of each evening. #HumansofVISAS

Media Consultant: Ayesha Atif

Meet Ayesha Atif, one of our remarkable Media Consultants! She is a first year on the pre-Commerce track with a potential double major in Computer Science. Through her role, Ayesha enjoys documenting the love and enthusiasm that participants and volunteers have for VISAS!

Media Consultant: Emily Chen

Meet Emily Chen, one of our amazing Media Consultants! She is a first year planning to major in Math with a minor in Data Science. As a Media Consultant, Emily has really enjoyed going to VISAS Café and interacting with people from a variety of backgrounds. She looks forward to continue highlighting all aspects of VISAS as an MC!

Media Consultant: Dean See

Meet Dean See, our incredible Media Consultant! She is a Third Year at UVA majoring in Cognitive Science and Media Studies. Dean has been a Langauge Consultant in the past, and is now continuously exercising her creativity with our Media, Outreach, and Recruitment team by capturing both memories and personalities within VISAS!

Workplace ESL Partners: Anirudh Gadicherla and Chosang Wangmo

Anirudh Gadicherla and Chosang Wangmo are two of our amazing partners from the Workplace ESL Program, where UVA employees and their volunteer partners practice English. Anirudh is a second year undergraduate student, and Chosang works with UVA Facilities. They bonded over experiences in India and different types of food!

Language Consultant Partners: Clarissa Kusmana and Iting Chen

Huge thanks to Clarissa Kusmana, a 1st year undergraduate student from Indonesia, and Iting Chen, a soon to be graduating architecture graduate student from Taiwan! They met last semester through the ESL Program, and they are now partners through the Language Consultant Program, where they meet once a week for fun, casual conversation. Swipe right to see a fun picture after interviewing them. 

Language Consultant Partners: Ziao Yu and Aly Rayle

Ziao Yu and Aly Rayle are two of our incredible partners in the Language Consultant program, where they meet once a week to chat! Ziao is a first year master’s student studying computer science, and Aly is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying foreign affairs.

Language Consultant Partners: Muntaqa “Moon” Zaman and Zihan Sha

Meet Muntaqa “Moon” Zaman and Zihan Sha, two of our amazing partners in the Language Consultant program! Muntaqa is a 4th year undergraduate student studying medical anthropology, and Zihan is a first year student at the Darden School of Business.

Language Consultant Partners: Jordyn Hamlett and Valentin Romanovski

Meet Jordyn Hamlett and Valentin Romanovski, two of our awesome partners in our Language Consultant program. Jordyn is a 2021 graduate with a nursing degree, and this is her first time participating in VISAS! Valentin has been at UVA for less than a year and is planning on obtaining a major in inudstrial ecology. We are are very happy that they joined and are looking forward to seeing how they grow in VISAS!

Workplace ESL Intern: Julia Pan

Julia Pan is one of our amazing Thursday Workplace Interns! She is a third year undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience. She was inspired to apply to the intern program through volunteering with VISAS, and considers it one of her favorite experiences at UVA.

Workplace ESL Intern: Nhiya David

Nhiya David is one of our awesome Tuesday Workplace Interns! She is a second year undergraduate student double majoring in Foreign Affairs and Spanish. Nhiya was previously a Workplace volunteer and ecourages everyone to join VISAS!

Workplace ESL Intern: Melissa Choi

Melissa is one of our wonderful Thursday Workplace Interns! She is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Global Public Health and minoring in Pyschology. She first learned about VISAS from a flyer and decided to apply in her first semester. Melissa was previously a workplace volunteer and a moderator. She loves VISAS, because it feels like family!

Workplace ESL Intern: Advika Roongta

Advika Roongta is one of our fantastic Workplace Interns! She is a third year undergraduate student majoring in economics. This semester Advika is organizing a new program that combines elements of the Workplace and Language Consultants Program for UVA employees who are not able to join the usual Tuesday and Thursday sessions.

Café Intern: Ada Zhang

Ada Zhang is our amazing Café Coordinator! She is a 3rd year majoring in Statistics, and she joined VISAS after learning about it through her Chinese professor. She’s previously volunteered with VISAS as a Classroom Consultant, and next year, she will be the Classroom Consultant Coordinator!

Workplace ESL Intern: Aidan Thies

Aidan Thies is one our awesome Thursday Workplace Interns! He is a second year graduate student studying Linguistics. He has previously been an ESL Assistant and has enjoyed trying out different roles in VISAS, because each one is exiciting and fun in its own way!

ESL Assistant Intern: Travis Schuck

Big thanks to Travis Schuck, our wonderful ESL Program Coordinator intern! He is a double major in Spanish and Global Studies with an interest to work with underrepresented and marginalized groups. Beginning his work at VISAS as a First Year in Workplace, Travis is now a Third Year and coordinates volunteer placement into ESL classrooms!

Workplace ESL Partners: Ezekiel Bizimana and Alex Marshall

Huge thanks to our last Humans of VISAS participants this semester, Ezekiel Bizimana and Alex Marshall, who are Workplace ESL partners! Ezekiel is a housekeeper at Newcomb and a gospel singer. Alex is a 4th year studying Environmental Science and Spanish and is also pursuing the TESOL certificate. Check out the link here ( to hear Ezekiel’s new music!

Language Consultant Volunteer: Brianna Guevara

Thank you to Brianna Guevara, who is one of our amazing Language Consultant volunteers and was previously a Workplace volunteer! She is a second year hoping to study Foreign Affairs, and her Language Consultant Partner is Chen Weiqing, who has also been featured on our page! 

Language Consultant Participant: Chen Weiqing

Thank you to Chen Weiqing, one of our awesome international participants in our Language Consultant Program! Chen is a 1st year Master’s student in Computer Science, and it’s his first year on Grounds. His Language Partner is Brianna Guevara, and they’ve had a lot of fun getting to know each other and exploring Grounds! Drop any recommendations of your favorite places on Grounds, so Chen and Brianna can check them out!

Language Consultant Intern: Linda Tran

Linda Tran is our lovely Language Consultant Intern! She is a 4th year double majoring in Psychology and Biology. She has been with VISAS since her first year as a Workplace volunteer and is also an LC volunteer to better connect with her volunteers and international participants!

Classroom Consultant Volunteer: Tatania Campbell

Tatania Campbell is a first year and a Classroom Consultant with VISAS, where she gives feedback for prospective international TAs as they perform practice teaching demonstrations and office hours. She also regularly attends VISAS Café, where participants meet weekly in the Language Commons in New Cabell 298 from 5-6 PM for culture-based discussions and international refreshments! 

Workplace ESL Intern: Drew Fansler

Drew Fansler is one of our incredible Wednesday Workplace Interns! He is a 4th year studying Global Public Health and Spanish. Drew learned about VISAS his first year through a friend in the Language Consultant Program, where partners meet for an hour a week on Grounds for relaxed English practice and cultural exchange. After hanging out with his friend and their language partner, Drew was inspired to apply and volunteer his second year, and he’s been with VISAS ever since!

Workplace ESL Partners: Pedro Gonzalez and Eden Philips

Pedro Gonzalez is a 3rd year HVACR apprentice with UVA and Eden Philips is a 2nd year student at UVA! Pedro and Eden are partners in our Workplace ESL Program, where UVA employees and their volunteer partners practice English and digital literacy skills in a supervised setting on Grounds.

Classroom Consultant Intern: Sophia Applegate

Meet our CC Intern, Sophia Applegate! Sophia is a 4th year studying Youth & Social Innovation. She first learned about VISAS from a poster in a restroom and was inspired to keep on volunteering with VISAS because of the awesome volunteers and participants she met and continues to meet!