LinkedIn: /sonjalind/


  • Experience working as a study abroad program administrator for over five years
  • Experience providing data-driven international student support
  • Experience teaching English as a second language for over five years
  • Experience living in six countries and traveling to six continents


Ph.D. in Education  |  Graduated 2014

University of California, Irvine

Dissertation Topic: Supporting international students in the U.S.

M.A. in English  |  Graduated 2008

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Emphases: Teaching English (TESL), Rhetoric and Composition

Certificate in TESOL  |  Completed 2002

Trinity College London, UK

B.A. in English Literature  |  Graduated 2002

Newbold College, Bracknell, UK

California State University, Los Angeles

March 2017
– September 2019
Education Abroad Coordinator  |  California State University, Los Angeles

  • Orchestrated the daily operations of a study abroad program serving over 250 students per semester, in addition to supervising 4-6 assistants.
  • Accelerated outbound applications by 193% and study abroad scholarship applications by 40-200%; for the first time in Cal State LA history, over 100 students study abroad
  • Served as the Alternate Responsible Officer, annually assisting over 70 exchange students (J-1) from over 20 countries with immigration, enrollment, admissions, housing
  • Co-created and co-led pre-departure orientations for all outbound students
  • Co-hosted Study Abroad Homecoming for all recently-returned outbound students
  • Developed and led a first-ever online orientations for inbound exchange students
  • Oversaw the development of first-ever mentor program for international students, including co-hosting afternoon tea meetings and weekend hikes
  • Recruited, selected, and trained 4-6 student assistants; evaluate all assistants through bi-annual performance evaluations and regular one-on-one and staff meetings
  • Planned and hosted study abroad fairs, with 100-500 students attending each
  • Delivered bilingual (Spanish and English) presentations at family orientation
  • Assisted 15 faculty in developing itineraries and proposals for study abroad programs
  • Conducted IRB-approved longitudinal research project on first-generation students who study abroad, with multiple faculty and four research assistants; presenting at NAFSA 2019
  • Oversaw articulation between Television and Film department and University of Worcester
  • Initiated new partnership between Cal State LA and Universidad de las Américas Puebla
Instructor, Seminar in Comparative and International Education  January – May 2018

Charter College of Education

  • Taught M.A. course EDFN 5060: Seminar in Comparative and International Education
  • Covered issues in comparative and international education (e.g., globalization, language policy, gender equity, international student mobility, refugee education)
  • Observed in February 2018 as “an organized and effective instructor who draws from her own experience as an international educator”

Schreiner University

July 2014
– March 2017
Coordinator, Changing Global Society | Schreiner University

  • Created first centralized study abroad program at Schreiner University
  • Overhauled previously unorganized system, writing travel policy, creating pre-departure orientations and post-trip reflection sessions, and managing trip budgets
  • Doubled study abroad participation rates among students in two years
  • Hosted monthly cultural events like Diwali, Korean New Year, and Día de los Muertos to increase campus internationalization; 30% of all students attended
  • Chaired Student Travel Committee and served on Diversity Committee
  • Established and maintained social media to market programs: student blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Instagram profile

University of California, Irvine

September 2008
– June 2014
Ph.D. Scholar  |  School of Education

  • Conducted the university’s first and only dissertation on identifying and supporting the needs of international undergraduate students
  • Conducted qualitative interviews and focus groups with 15 Asian undergraduate students
  • Selected, trained, and evaluated research assistants
  • Presented results to campus stakeholders for international student support
Co-Founder, International Students Committee  |  Associated Graduate Students (AGS)

  • Co-founded university’s first international student committee
  • Collaborated with graduate center in planning international graduate student orientation
  • Planned the annual global talent show, “One World Concert”
  • Evaluated international student surveys and wrote campus-wide reports
International Graduate Student Mentor  |  Graduate Division

  • Mentored incoming international graduate students on matters beyond immigration concerns, including adjusting to the U.S., using public transportation, and career support
Student Organization Officer |  International Club (iClub)

  • Developed and promoted social and cultural events to engage international students, hosting 1-3 events per month on and off campus
ESL Instructor  |  International Programs, UC, Irvine Extension

  • Taught English Conversation and Culture courses to non-matriculated international students (e.g., Reading and Writing; Idioms and Vocabulary; English Through Film)
Student Diplomat  |  Olive Tree Initiative (OTI)

  • Traveled on a diplomatic student trip to Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia to speak with leaders such as journalists, nonprofits, and think tanks about the Armenian Genocide

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

September 2006
– June 2008
Freshman English Teaching Associate  |  Department of English and Foreign Languages

  • Developed curriculum and taught Freshman English I and Freshman English II
Teaching Associate Mentor  |  Department of English and Foreign Languages

  • Mentored three Teaching Associates instructing Freshman English, on teaching techniques and curriculum development
Writing Tutor and Mentor  |  Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

  • Assisted first-generation undergraduate students with academic writing and study skills
  • Received a College Reading and Learning Association Level 1 Tutor Certificate

South Korea

February 2003
– February 2006
EFL Instructor  |  Sahmyook University

  • Taught undergraduate English language courses to university freshmen
Teaching Staff Coordinator  |  Sahmyook University

  • Supervised nine full-time instructors in teaching, grading, and course design
  • Liaised between Korean administrators and instructors


Cultures of Support: Student Affairs and International Undergraduate Students  |  March 2015

  • Presentation, 2015 NASPA Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Cultural Competence: Understanding and Interacting with Other Cultures  |  November 2014

  • Workshop, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Kerrville, TX.

How Your Students’ Cultural Backgrounds Affect Classroom Interactions  |  November 2013

  • Education 143BW: Math and Science Classroom Interactions, UC Irvine.

Exploring the International Undergraduate Experience  |  March 2013

  • Panel, 2013 TESOL Conference, Dallas, TX.

Interactions and Support on an International Center Facebook Group  |  March 2012

  • Poster, Doctoral Student Forum, 2012 TESOL Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

Thinking Like a Traveler  |  June 2011

  • Workshop, El Centro Cultural de Mexico, Santa Ana, CA.


  • Lived in Norway, Kenya, Canada, England, South Korea, and the U.S.
  • Traveled to 47 countries and 6 continents


English (fluent), Spanish (intermediate)


  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding Service, August 2018, Cal State LA
  • Global Leadership Certificate, May 2014, University of California, Irvine
  • Pedagogical Fellowship, 2010-2011, University of California, Irvine
  • International Merit Scholarship, Cal Poly Pomona