2017-2018 Global Ambassador Team

Group Photo
The current team of ambassadors is here to help you with adjusting to being a student and living here in Davis. We come from diverse backgrounds, including both American and International Students, and many of us have traveled/studied abroad, have family members who've immigrated to America from all over the world, and speak other languages. We're here to help you with your questions and hopefully partcipate in some fun activities along the way!

Amanda Reihaneh

photo: Amanda

Year: 4th

Majors/Minors: International Relations and Psychology double major, Japanese minor

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Santa Clara

About me: Hi everyone! I was born in California but my family loves to Travel and I've been to many countries. My favorite cities would have to be Rome, Montreal, and Tokyo. I was also an International Student and lived in Tokyo for one year while attending Waseda University. If I'm not reading books, I'm usually watching sentimental movies or playing the piano badly. My dream is to live in many different countries and one day play the piano like an Italian composer :')

Fun fact: Fun Fact: I speak four languages pretty fluently; Assyrian, English, French and Japanese. I know some conversational Korean and Italian, and I'm always ready and willing to learn new languages so feel free to teach me some key phrases! :)

Ananye Agarwal

photo: Ananye

Year: 2nd year

Majors/Minors: Electrical Engineering

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: New Delhi, India and Dubai, UAE

About me: Hi, my name is Ananye Agarwal and I am a second year electrical engineering major. I was born in India and then at the age of 6 I moved to the United Kingdom. After living there for two years, I then moved to Dubai, UAE. I came to the United States in September 2016 to join UC Davis for my undergraduate degree. My first year at Davis has been both exciting and challenging. I have enjoyed interacting with both international and local students during my time here so far whilst also learning and experiencing new things that I did not know before. 

Fun fact: I have a passion for aviation and so I like to collect different aircraft models of different airlines. 

Anny Yirong Wu

photo: Anny

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Communication

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Zhongshan, China and Oakland, CA

About me: I was born in China and immigrated to the States with my parents at age 15. I was really lucky to meet my teachers and friends from all over the world during the difficult period of my transition back in high school. They are so kind and caring to me, they are like my mentors whom make me feel included in a community. Though I was experiencing culture shock but it was definitely amazing to learn about different cultures in such a diverse environment. Joining the Global Ambassador Program gives me a chance to help new students adapt to this new environment, and most importantly to let them know that we care about you and want to be your friends, and we are so excited to learn about your cultures! 

I like to play table tennis, ice skating, skiing, hiking, etc active, outdoor activities. I am a foodie and love to discover boba, hotpot, Thai literally any food places around.

Fun fact: I always have ice cream in my refrigerator, because whenever I feel like it, I eat a whole bucket of ice cream at a time.

Brenda Balderas

photo: Brenda

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Political Science and History double major, Luso-Brazilian studies minor

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Anaheim, CA

About me: Oi! Meu nome é Brenda! I came from Mexico when I was four and lived in Orange County before I came to Davis. My hobbies include floating down Putah creek and discovering new music on Spotify. Join me doing random acts of kindness Monday evenings at 7pm in the quad. I'm in the Peruvian Student Association and in the Portuguese club because I love learning about different cultures and meeting new people. Meeting people from different countries introduces me to new music, food, and languages. I joined Global Ambassadors because I have a curiosity for different cultures and I want to create a larger social network. Join me on a hike and lets share our knowledge!

Fun fact: Will hit you up for a food run at 2 am.

Chi Pham

photo: Chi

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Saigon, Vietnam

About me: My name is Chi. I lived in Vietnam for 15 years, then I started studying abroad since 10th grade in high school. I am now a biochemistry major at UC Davis and my dream job is to become a doctor. In my free time, I like hanging out with friends, shopping, watching movie, eating and karaoke. I was a mentee in GA program in my freshman year. I love my mentor because she helped me so much when I was new to the school and have no idea where to start my journey. Thus, I want to become a mentor to help new freshmen go through obstacles like I used to have. 

Fun fact: I can only speak English, Vietnamese and French. However, I like music and languages. So I can sing in 7 languages total (even though I can't speak most of them). They are French, English, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian and Italian. 

Edward Xia

photo: Edward

Year: 2nd year

Majors/Minors: Economics major, Textile Science and Clothing minor

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Suzhou, China

About me: I come from Suzhou which is a historical and beautiful city. I like scuba diving, photograph, music, and travelling. I want to contribute to the international community and make friends with people from all around the world by joining the Global Ambassador Program at UC Davis.

Fun fact: I was a guest lecturer when I was a freshman. I had a Textile Science and Clothing lesson about global textile industry. The professor invited me to share my knowledge of the Chinese textile industry especially about manufacture. As a result, I made a lecture for my classmate in that lesson.

Elizabeth Chang

photo: Elizabeth

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Textiles and Clothing

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Iquique, Chile

About me: Hi everyone, my name is Elizabeth and I am an international student from Chile! I was born and raised in Chile but my parents are from Taiwan so I have traveled a lot between Chile, Taiwan and the US. I have always loved learning about different cultures and because of my amazing experience being a mentee in the GA program last year, I decided to be a mentor this year! Some of my hobbies include reading, watching shows, going out with friends, shopping, and listening to music (especially pop and country). I am so excited to be part of the Global Ambassadors family and can't wait to meet everyone!

Fun fact: I LOVE LOVE LOVE dogs so every time I go out and see dogs, I go crazy. I just love them and their cuteness so much! Did I mention I love dogs?

Emily Ruan

photo: Emily

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Theatre and Economics double major, Film Studies minor

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Beijing, China

About me: I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I came to America and studied in UC Davis when I was 18. I really like films, and initially I wanted to major in film study or TCS. However,after I take some drama classes, I realized that theatre major might fit me better. Although I do like watching plays when I was in Beijing, I did not expect that I would major in Theatre someday. And this is a reason I love about college: you can always explore new things. This is also a reason that I join the Global Ambassadors program. In this program, I can meet people coming from all over the world and start knowing about different cultures by just talking with them. It is a way for me to know this world without traveling around. As an international students, I've been through a hard time that most international students might face and I really want to share my experience with new international Aggies so that they can fit into their college life faster and enjoy every moment as they are here.

Fun fact: I keep all movie tickets, fly tickets, and tickets for parks when I travelled around since I was 9th grade.

Flora Zhujun Fang

photo: Flora

Year: 2nd year

Majors/Minors: Applied Math

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Yangzhou, China

About me: I was born in China and moved to Qatar when I was in the middle school. So, I have experienced both Chinese and Arabic culture. I am learning how to play Ukulele now. I join Global Ambassador because I want to meet with people from different cultural backgrounds and know their stories.

Fun fact: I don't drink soda.

Foxy Robinson

photo: Foxy

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, African and African American Studies minor

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Antioch, CA

About me: Hi there! I’m from Antioch, CA. My family is originally from Mexico, so one day I hope to go there, visit family, and see what life is like over there. I’ve spent most of my life in Antioch, so when I came to Davis I decided it was finally time to travel around and expand my bubble. I was able to go on a study abroad trip during one of my summers and I got to travel all around Europe learning about the cultures and the major scientific breakthroughs that happened in each country. It was a really amazing experience, a little hectic with doing every fun thing we could think of in each country, but it was fun and definitely memorable. One thing that I appreciated was having conversations with locals, where they told me what their favorite places were, and being able to go to their recommended spots while I was in the country, but I didn’t get to meet many students during my trip. I decided to become a Global Ambassador to help international students on their long study abroad make memorable experiences, and learn from one another. I’m interested in crafts, art, reading, watching TV, playing tennis, and just doing anything fun.

Fun fact: I’ve always loved Hello Kitty since I was little. Whenever I travel to a new place, I always look for a Hello Kitty to take back with me, especially when I went to my study abroad. I managed to snag French, Austrian, and Swedish Hello Kitties during the trip, and my collection is still growing!

I-Wei Su

photo: Su

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Chemical/Biochemical Engineering

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

About me: I come from Taiwan this small island. I was immigrant moved from Taiwan to California at 2012. I am always trying new things and exploring new places after I came across the Pacific Ocean. I love playing sports and taking up new challenges. Staying motivated and getting better everyday is me. Being Global Ambassador, I will have chances to help more international students who feel vulnerable and needed more supports when they first move to this new country land. I love talking and sharing different ideas with different people, and I hope I can build up a bridge to connect international students with complete new environment. 

Fun fact: I am always out of my comfort zone, being crazy sometime, and very opened-mind when come to new stuffs. If y'all have crazy stuff y'all wanna do, hit me up!

Jia Wang

photo: Jia

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity and Economics double major

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Chengdu, China

About me: I was born and raised in Chengdu, a city known for panda and hot pot. Actually, both of them are my favorite. I first came to the U.S. when I was 15 for a robotics competition, which inspired me to study abroad. Before I came to UC Davis, I spent about a year traveling alone. This experience really opened my mind. I met a lot of awesome people during my journey. They taught me a lot about different cultures. At my leisure time, I enjoy reading, traveling, scuba diving, watching movies and listening to music, especially dream pop and classic music. I was a mentee during my freshman year and learned a lot from this program, so I apply to Global  Ambassadors again. Now as a mentor, I am excited to learn more about you and your cultures and looking forward to sharing my experience with you. 

Fun fact: I stop drinking soft drink since middle school. No special reason, I just don't like the taste.

Jonathan Su

photo: Jonathan

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Food Science

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

About me: My name is Jonathan. I lived in Taipei for 14 years. Afterwards, I moved to Atlanta, GA for high school. I play tennis and some other sports. I like meeting new people, so I decided to join the Global Ambassador program.

Fun fact: I like exercising and traveling. I bike to Sacramento occasionally.

Katie ChaYoung Yoo

photo: Katie

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Communication and Design double major

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Sungnam, South Korea

About me: I was born in Seoul, South Korea. I lived in Korea with my family until 6th grade when I moved to America to properly study abroad. But because I had relatives who lived in English-speaking countries, I have had experiences growing up going to summer camps and even attending kindergarten here at one point. I lived in various states, such as Iowa, Minnesota and now California! I've been both international student and domestic student throughout my life, and I feel like I have a great understanding of both perspectives. I joined GA program to use this understanding and help guide anyone in need! My hobbies include catching up with Korean media (Kpop, Kbeauty, Kdrama, Kvariety shows), drawing, playing 3DS, shopping, and watching YouTube beauty channels. 

Fun fact: I love love love Disney! I can sing every song from High School Musical, still obsess over the Disney Princesses, watch any animated Disney films again and again, and Disneyland is truly the happiest place on Earth for me. My recent favorite is Moana and I watched it four times just in theaters, which I will definitely watch more in the future. 

Leona Zhu

photo: Leona

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Managerial Economics major, Art Studio minor

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Shanghai, China

About me: I was born and raised in the beautiful city Shanghai. And in my high school time, I stayed in Seattle for 2 years. Seattle has the cosmopolitan outlook of a port city with its strong civic, cultural and personal relationships abroad which is very like my hometown--Shanghai. And I love travel, my dream is to travel around the world. My most recent international experience was studying abroad in England. I realized that I have made good friends and grown into an affectionate person.  For fun I do oil painting and photography a lot. They are my bridge to adjust to the Western culture. As the visual reflection of certain culture, photography helps me understand and hence appreciate the Western ideology. Via appreciating photos in various galleries in the U.S., I learnt to express my feelings and ideas in a more direct, sometimes provoking way, and tried to combine the directness of Western expressing style with the subtlety of the Orient. 

Fun fact: I love photography. One of my prize-winning photographic works, Magnificent Pupil, owing to my unique observation and interpretation to the world, was selected into the book Humanistic Education in Light and Shadow published by East China Normal University Press recently, and they were spoken highly of by professional photographers. That photo reflects my observation of the word via colorful bubbles with macro lens. In the photo, the world is colorful, dreamlike, and somehow distorted.

Lester Yue Tian

photo: Lester

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Electrical Engineering

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Lan Zhou, China

About me: I was born and raised in the Western China where there are many minorities. My hometown Lan Zhou is a city of mixed culture and religion. I love to travel, and I enjoy trying exotic and weird food from different parts of the world. I am very passionate to learn about different cultures. In high school, I learn different cultures from books and documentaries. But as a mentor of GA program, I can learn those different cultures from stories of other people in this program. As for hobbies, I love playing chess and video games and soccer.

Fun fact: I love potatoes and I eat potatoes every day.

Lindsey Hawkins

photo: Lindsey

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: International Relations

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Rio Vista, California

About me: I am from Rio Vista, California, which is a very small town near Davis. Growing up in a small community, I have always been anxious to explore as many different cultures and countries around the world as possible. I chose to join Global Ambassadors because it is a great opportunity to help individuals adjust to life at UC Davis, while simultaneously discovering more about different cultural backgrounds and experiences. In my free time I love to travel, try new foods, hike, run, and play soccer. I am excited to use my experiences to help foster a sense of appreciation for UC Davis and the international community!

Fun fact: I love cheese! I have an entire drawer in my refrigerator filled with various cheeses.

Maddie Singh

photo: Maddie

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Psychology and Economics double major

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: New Delhi and Stockton

About me: I was born in the US but moved to India soon after. At the age of 15 I moved back to America and have been here since then. I have attended 10 different schools and so I can very well relate to being a new student in an unfamiliar environment. Having moved countries, I can understand that a change like this can be challenging. However, at the same time, it has been a very rewarding experience for me and I hope it will be the same for all the international students. In my free time, I love cooking, reading, watching movies, playing the piano, and listening to music. I also love to sing but for the benefit of humanity I leave this hobby for the shower. 

Fun fact: I am morbidly afraid of rats and lizards. Having said that, don't use my phobia for a prank or a joke. It is likely that doing such a thing will result in me dying of a heart attack which is probably not ideal unless your motive is to kill me in which case your plan will be successful. 

Mia Mengyuan Qin

photo: Mia

Year: 2nd year

Majors/Minors: Theater and Dance

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Beijing, China

About me: Hi everyone! It's so nice to meet you here! My name is Mia. I was born in Beijing, China, and this is my second year in the United States. I love all the stuffs in the theater as well as performing arts, and want to be a director in the future. I was a mentee just like you last year and became a mentor this year. I wanted to join this program because I really liked this family and hoped to contribute my effort for it. I had done something similar in my high school, which I founded a club that was aimed to help students made a success transition from middle school to high school. However, I finally failed on that project. So when I first came to UC Davis and saw this program, I was really excited and wanted to continue my dream on helping others! Let's make friends and I can't wait to see you guys!

Fun fact: I can sleep in anywhere, at any time, and can always dream something during I'm sleeping. Is that why my parents include the word "Dream" in my name?

Rachel Choi

photo: Rachel

Year: 5th year

Majors/Minors: Comparative Lierature

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Hercules, CA

About me: 

I'm a first generation Korean American and I'm Bay Area born and raised. I originally came to Davis as a Psychology major planning on pursing nursing, but I failed Psych 1 my first quarter here. I took a Comparative Literature class because it sounded fun (and I needed to boost my GPA) and fell in love. I've always loved stories, be it books, movies, TV shows, music or art. I love learning about people and their different experiences, and getting to see how different and similar we are to others. I love books, cartoons, traveling, watching stupid cat videos...I'm easily entertained and laugh at almost anything. Yes, that includes bad jokes and puns.

I wanted to be a part of Global Ambassadors because I noticed that I've been living in a very small bubble during my time at Davis. I love meeting new people and being able to talk about differences in cultures and what makes us unique, and Global Ambassadors seemed like a great way to get in touch with a new community. Also, I had a really hard time adjusting to college, even as a domestic student only living an hour away. I hope I can help soothe with the growing pains, and help new students adjust and love Davis, which is like a second home to me now.

Fun fact: I tend to obsess over things really easily, like if there's a book or movie that I really like, I'll reread/rewatch it a million times over. When I watched Singin' in the Rain for the first time (which is my current all-time favorite movie), I ended up watching it once every day for an entire month.

Sahitha Somepalle

photo: Sahitha

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Microbiology

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: San Ramon, CA

About me: I was born in India but I moved to New Mexico when I was 6. After spending a year in New Mexico, my family decided to move to California where we've resided since. Despite moving to America, I was still constantly exposed to Indian culture due to the frequent trips we took to India to see our family. These trips not only taught me about my roots but also sparked an interest in me for culture and cultural differences between different countries. This interest in culture was one of the many reasons I joined the Global Ambassadors program.

Fun fact: I like music so much that I can't go anywhere without my headphones.

Shailaja Chadha

photo: Shailaja

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Sustainable Agriculture and Food System

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: New Delhi, India

About me: I am a Third Culture Kid (someone who has grown up in a country outside of their passport and/or parents' country of origin). I grew up in Delhi, Singapore, Dubai, Minnesota and Mumbai. As a result of all this moving around, I have been to 12 different schools! I am passionate about the environment, and helping humanity grow - which is why I am a sustainable Ag major and I hope I'll leave the world a better place than how I found it. Other than that, my interests include caring and showering my cats with love and affection, gardening, cooking, crafting and taking endless walks.

Fun fact: I love to cook, and try different cuisines. My favorite part about cooking is having people I care about enjoy my food and generally, if my friends/family are not going to eat it, I don't generally go the extra mile. I also bake, but I don't generally use a recipe -- I kind of just go where the process takes me, only applying principles from what I have learned before from my successes and failures.

Vasudha Chugh

photo: Vasudha

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Dubai and New Delhi

About me: I grew up in Dubai and I have one younger brother. Every year for summer holidays I would visit my extended family in New Delhi so its my second home! I have been fortunate to grow up in a multicultural environment and to be still connected to my roots. My family has a tradition of traveling almost every year to a new destination to explore and also spend time together. Such trips allowed me to understand other cultures and develop curiosity about them. I wanted to join Global Ambassador to further my knowledge about cultures, to meet new people and to help the international students become more comfortable with their adjustment to life at UC Davis. Apart from traveling , I love to cook and  Nigella Lawson is my idol who initiated my love for food! I also binge watch a lot of tv shows and enjoy long drives with friends.

Fun fact: My absolutely all time fav movie is Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved Roald Dahl's books growing up and got obsessed with this movie! Weird fact: At one point of time in my life, I actually could sing all the songs of the movie.

Xingfeng Liu

photo: Xingfeng

Year: 2nd year

Majors/Minors: Environmental Science and Management

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Urumqi, China

About me: I am always dying out of curiosity. Love traveling, reading and meeting new people. That is one of the main reasons I decide to join international ambassador group.

Fun fact: I collect sneakers. Currently having more than 100 pairs.

Xinna Chen

photo: Xinna

Year: 4th year

Majors/Minors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Sacramento, CA and Guangdong, China

About me: I was born in China, but my family moved to Mexico when I was eight years old. I finally moved to California about 5 years ago. I have studied abroad in Spain and Japan. Actually, I really encourage all students to study abroad at least once in their undergraduate career because it's such an amazing experience. You get to personally experience a whole new culture rather than just hearing about it. The experience will stick with you forever! I really like traveling and meeting people. I enjoy food a lot, so I often have gatherings with friends for food. I joined Global Ambassadors because I want to meet people from all over the world! I would love to learn about their stories and culture. 

Fun fact: I like my sweets cold. Actually, my favorite ice cream flavor is mint (and chip) because it's "colder" than any other ice cream! Also, it's never too cold for ice cream.

Yasmin Shamloo

photo: Yasmin

Year: 2nd year

Majors/Minors: Global Disease Biology

International or Domestic Student: Domestic

Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA

About me: I was born and raised in Walnut Creek, CA but my family is originally from Iran. Learning about and immersing myself in different cultures has always been a passion of mine and this is one of the main reasons I chose to be a Global Ambassador. A couple of my favorite hobbies include blogging, playing soccer, and road tripping with friends and family. Due to my passion for travel and learning about other cultures, I would like to pursue a career with Doctors Without Borders for several years after (hopefully) graduating med school.

Fun fact: I absolutely LOVE to scrapbook. My friends think it's a grandma hobby but I'm okay with that.

Zhijun Lu

Year: 3rd year

Majors/Minors: Viticulture and Enology, French minor

International or Domestic Student: International

Hometown: Shanghai, China

About me: I was born in Shanghai, and went to UC Davis for college when I was 18. I love traveling, meeting with people from various backgrounds and enjoying cultural differences. That's part of the reason why I want to be a Global Ambassador :) I'm also fascinated about anything relates to food. Every time I visit a new place, the first thing I do is to go to local restaurants, because I think food can directly reflect the culture of a place. Therefore, my life motto is: Let's eat!

Fun fact: I secretly have a nickname among my best friends. They call me an "egg girl". The reason is that I put eggs into every dish I cook, and stick to my own recipes. I cook eggs with cauliflowers, eggs with shrimp, eggs with broccoli...and the list continues. But the sad thing is my friends consider my dishes to be poisonous because sometimes they turn into weird colors. So some day if I cook for you, and you dare to eat, that means we are good friends :)