International Ambassadors

The UMKC International Ambassador program consists of selectively chosen international and domestic students to serve as official university diplomats. International Ambassadors are available to act as hosts at a variety of university events, as guides to university visitors and prospective students and as the primary contact for admitted students regarding questions about UMKC, Kansas City or the United States. They also serve as an aid to new international students in the transition process from their home country to the United States and UMKC.

Questions for our International Ambassadors? Send an email or start a chat.  

2022-2023 Academic Year International Student Ambassador Program Application

Meet Our International Ambassadors

Portrait of Keerti Bajaj

Keerti Bajaj

Fall 2022 live chat: Wednesday-Friday 8AM-9AM

India

iPhD Computer Science and Electrical and Electronics Engineering 

Hola… aloha… everyone! My name is Keerti Bajaj, from India. Where in India?? Umm… almost from all over the place. My roots are from Rajasthan but I have lived in Hyderabad all my life. I also moved to many places to study, explore and experience. I came here to Kansas City, to UMKC, in Fall 2021. I really like the place, it has great places and people!

I like exploring places, meeting strangers to making friends and trying various cuisines. I absolutely love cooking, it’s zen. If I weren’t doing what I am now, I would be a chef. I love fantasies and theories, and I made so many of them personally! I’m always curious to try everything that’s new to me, learn it and just gain new skills.

I prefer sunrises over sunsets (both are equally beautiful, just what they mean individually to me). I love star gazing, any place with pretty lights (such as downtown), long drives and long walks are some of the things I do to get out of my tiring schedule. Campus is like my first home, I’m usually around library, Flarsheim hall areas! Hope to see you around campus. :)

Portrait of Suellen Batista

Suellen Batista

Fall 2022 live chat: Monday 8AM-10AM and Friday 10AM-12PM

Brazil

MS Civil Engineering (Emphasis: Materials) 

Hi, everyone! Olá! My name is Suellen, but you can call me Su! 😄 

I am from a city called Recife, located on the northeast coast part of Brazil and it’s very famous for Carnival (and shark attacks)! Trust me, it's a very fun town. But right now... I am here in beautiful Kansas City, pursuing my master's degree in Civil Engineering at UMKC! I was a Roo back in 2014 and 2015 as a visiting student for the civil engineering undergrad program. Now, I am back as a grad student! YAY! I love this university so much that I had to come back. 

Outside of school, I enjoy exploring different parts of the city, traveling around, and taking LOTS of pictures! I love to integrate and promote sustainability in the civil engineering industry and in different areas of my life. I'm also such a dog mom, that I intentionally put my dog in every conversation I have. So, if you talk to me, you are probably going to hear something about Remy as well. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding life as a grad student at UMKC!  I am always around campus, so if you see me come say hi to me! I can't wait to get in touch with you. Also do not forget to check our Facebook and Instagram pages, we do some cool stuff on there! 

Portrait of Maaju Hanaoka

Maaju Hanaoka

Fall 2022 live chat: Thursday 9AM-1PM

Japan

Accounting

Hello everyone, I'm Maaju Hanaoka! I came from Tokyo, Japan. I came here about 3 years ago and transferred to UMKC last year. I used to live in Independence city but now I live near city market. City market is really fun and beautiful place to go on weekends! They have so many kinds of foods to try, and they have Asian market near there too.

I love animals so much that I have 3 cats in Japan and 2 dogs and 2 cats in here. I cannot live without them. My love for them is too strong that my goal is make a cat and dog café/shelter one day. Also I love numbers and math. You can't catch me without calculator or my cat pen case. I will always have them both. It is more like good luck charm for me now. Lol

I work at Swinney Campus Recreation Center, so if you come by say hi to me! :) Please don't hesitate to contact or say Hello to me, I'm always around Bloch school or Swinney. I cannot wait to have events for you all! We have a lot of things happening and planned so please come and join us! Thank you for reading! :)

Portrait of Anil Kochera

Anil Kochera

Fall 2022 live chat: Wednesday 11AM-4PM

India

MS Computer Science (Emphasis: Data Science)

Hello! My name is Anil but you can call me Kevin too :D I’m from Hyderabad, aka the city of Pearls, the land of Nizams and Hyderabadi Biryani ❤️ and it is in the south part of India. I lived in my hometown all my life and coming to the US, Kansas City in August 2021 was my first step outside India. I really fell in love with what Kansas City has to offer! Affordable living, amazing restaurants, beautiful parks, sparkling nightlife, and more importantly, friendly people.

A little about me, besides studying and learning about technologies, and programming, I love to work out and play at least 1 sport every day. Many say I’m an all-rounder because I play ping pong, badminton, pickle ball, tennis, basketball, cricket, soccer, American football, swim, run or just shuffle dance, learn guitar and piano (not a big list, right? :D). As you can guess, I love sports so please do invite me when you play a new sport! 

Talking about favorites, Swinney Recreational Center is my favorite place in the University and Joe’s barbecue is my favorite restaurant (you must try their fries). Often you will see me making new friends and learning about their cultures and cuisine! Up next, it’s you! Yes! I look forward to meeting you and hopefully, becoming a good friend

 

Portrait of Sai Pinepalli

Sai Pinnepalli

Fall 2022 live chat: Tuesday 9AM-12PM

India

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Chemistry and Physics

Hello all!

Sai Pinnepalli was born in Anantapur, a city in Andhra Pradesh, India. He received his bachelor's (2014) and master's (2016) degrees in chemistry from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi, India. He worked in the Indian Institute of Science for a while before joining UMKC in the fall of 2017 for his doctoral program. Sai’s research includes semiconductor process development and materials characterization.  

I am serving as an international ambassador at ISAO for the fourth year, and I am excited to get involved on campus with my fellow international Roos. UMKC is a diverse and vibrant place that accommodates everyone. I urge everyone to participate in campus activities, events, and academics for a successful and wholesome career. I heartily welcome all the international Roos.
Portrait of Brahian Ramon De La Rosa

Brahian Ramon De La Rosa

Fall 2022 live chat: Monday and Thursday 2PM-4PM

Dominican Republic 

MS Computer Science (Emphasis: Software Engineering and Cybersecurity) 

Hello, everyone. This is Brahian Ramon. I am from the Dominican Republic. I lived most of my life in the Dominican Republic until I got the opportunity to come to the United States to pursue my education as a master’s student in Computer Science. I have participated in different leadership roles and what I love the most about it is seeing how people can go from zero to hero if they are provided with the appropriate resources. Being at UMKC has given me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone while continuing to help people and keep growing in the process. Also, I was an athlete for about 12 years, so I love sports, particularly baseball, basketball, football and now my friends are introducing me to soccer. For me, one of the most impactful things about UMKC is how diverse it is, with so many folks from all over the world; getting to know them and their culture has changed how I see many things in life and I really love it. I am so excited to see what this season brings for me and my fellow ambassadors, along with the international students and the whole UMKC community.  

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies and sports, working out, traveling, getting to know new places and hanging out with friends. Fun fact: I love baseball, I always enjoy being introduced to new cuisine and, something I have discovered recently is that, because I am tall I might look a bit intimidating but don’t trust appearances- many people would say I am a kindhearted young man. Please feel free to reach out, and if you see me on campus make sure to say hi. Thank you!   

Portrait of Muhammad Tayyab

Muhammad Tayyab

Fall 2022 live chat: Friday 11AM-12PM

Pakistan

Information Technology and business (BIT)

Hello everyone! My name is Muhammad Tayyab. I was born in Pakistan and moved here almost 8 years ago. I went to Olathe East High School. I like to play basketball, workout and play video games in my free time. Since my childhood, I absolutely loved to play games on my computer, at school, on the bus... basically all the time. I always wanted to learn about the technology and intelligence behind the games and other computer application. So, I decided to learn about technology, I am completing my senior year in Information Technology here at UMKC. I chose UMKC because of its diversity and it welcomes everyone all around the world. I love being here and I am excited to graduate from this institution.

Portrait of Yuki Watanabe

Yuki Watanabe

Fall 2022 live chat: Friday 10AM-2PM

Japan

MS Accounting

Hello Roos! I am an MS Accounting student here at UMKC. I joined the UMKC family in Fall 2019 and I have absolutely loved being at UMKC since then. I was born and raised in Mie, Japan. My city is called Suzuka and it is actually famous for Formula One. (car race) I came to the U.S. right after I graduated from high school. I still remember how exciting and nervous I was when I first came here to the United States.

I enjoy traveling and I have been to 7 different countries. I have been making a promise to myself that every time I travel to other counties, I will try local foods there. I love trying something new and that always leads me to discover new things about myself. Being an international student is hard sometimes, but I am sure this experience will make you stronger and help you become the best version of yourself.

I also really love to talk with people who have different backgrounds. What I love about UMKC is that it is diverse and there are opportunities to get to connect with people from all over the world. The people here are super welcoming, and I am sure you will feel comfortable and have a great school life here at UMKC! Looking forward to meeting you all!