OIS Staff Spotlight

Dionna Wright – Graduate Assistant

New York

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Dionna Wright and I am originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania; most known for its Amish population. I graduated from Millersville University in 2013 with a degree in Social Work. Upon graduation, I worked for two years in Greencastle, PA as a college adviser with the College Advising Corps. Finally,  I moved to Raleigh in 2015 to attend North Carolina State University, where I am currently a second year graduate student in the Higher Education Administration Program.

What do you do at OIS? What are your primary responsibilities?

I have been the graduate assistant for the Office of International Services since August, 2015. Some of my responsibilities are to process work authorization requests (OPT), initial DS-2019 requests for J-1 Scholars, scholar check-in presentations, and assisting advisors with any thing they may need.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I really enjoy playing the guitar and writing poetry. Whenever it is a nice day out, you can catch me under a tree with my guitar and notebook. I also am a huge movie buff, particularly horror movies. I could watch a horror movie marathon all day long!

Where are a few places you have traveled?

I actually have not had the opportunity to travel outside of the country yet. But will be visiting London, Paris, and Amsterdam in May! Finally will be getting a stamp on my passport.

Lila Garcia – Graduate Assistant

Tell us a little about yourself

I was born in Nebraska but raised in Sanford, NC. I am Mexican-American and the eldest of my four siblings. I received my B.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014 where I majored in Psychology and Anthropology. I’ve always been interested in people of different cultural backgrounds and my desire to work with them led me to pursue a Master’s degree at NC State. I am now a first year graduate student in the Master of International Studies (MIS) program.

What do you do at OIS? What are your primary responsibilities?

I am a new graduate assistant at OIS. I assist the advisors with J-1 and F-1 processing. That includes initial DS-2019 requests, change of curriculum/level, employment etc. I started this position in August and I’m still learning the ropes. So far, everyone is very helpful and it has been a great learning opportunity!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read and spend time with my friends. When the weather is nice, I love playing volleyball with my family. We’re a big volleyball family! If time permits, I love traveling to new places and getting to meet new people.

What are a few places you have traveled?

Every two years I go to Mexico to visit family. They are scattered throughout Mexico but concentrated in Campeche and Guanajuato.

Last summer I took a trip with some friends and went to Barcelona and Madrid. I fell in love with the people of Spain and their culture. It had always been a dream of mine to go to Spain and I loved it so much that I want to live there someday!

Tim Eggert – Programs Intern


Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in New York, but moved to the Raleigh area when I was about 13. Initially I missed the hustle and bustle of New York but I have grown to absolutely love everything about North Carolina! I graduated from Appalachian State, where I received a Bachelor’s in Marketing and International Business, as well as a minor in Spanish. During my undergrad I studied abroad in Seville, Spain for a semester and Madrid, Spain for a summer.

What do you do at OIS? What are your primary responsibilities?

I am the Cross-Cultural Programs Intern here at OIS. My main responsibilities are helping the Programming Office plan, manage, and execute different events and programs for the students. Having worked and studied abroad I not only understand the difficulties faced by international students, but how important it can be for personal and professional development. Knowing that, I was so enthusiastic by the opportunity to be working with international students in any capacity. I just started in August and I already love working with such an amazing team and being able to be manage exciting events for students!  

What do you like to do in your free time?

As a graduate student I sadly do not have a huge amount of time but when I do I like to:

  • Netflix (Stranger Things was my jam!)
  • Exercise
  • Hike/do anything outside
  • Read
  • Play tennis and racquetball

Where are a few places you have traveled?

I have been lucky enough to travel quite a bit in Spain, with my favorite city being Granada. I have also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe including Austria, England, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, France, Portugal, Italy and even outside Europe to Morocco! At this point I really need to stop going to Spain and visit some other continents next I think.