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.  

Meet Our International Ambassadors

Portrait of Aziza Aslanova

Aziza Aslanova

Fall 2021 live chat - Monday 10:00-11:00 am

Uzbekistan
B.S. in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Hi! My name is Aziza :)

I am from an ancient city in the heart of Central Asia, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, part of a family of
bakers. My father always wanted a boy, but lucky for him, life had different plans...I was born :P.
Four years later, my sister came along. Today, I am a senior at UMKC, pursuing Business
Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

Since my childhood, I have loved learning about psychology and sociology and why we as
humankind make certain decisions, how we function in society and what excites us. I find
Marketing and Entrepreneurship close to my heart, because of their focus on people’s needs.

Outside of school, I am an active member of ENACTUS (An entrepreneurial organization that
helps to make positive impacts in the world through social Entrepreneurship). I believe the
power of innovation is through collaboration and bright imagination. As they say, “If you can
imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

I love traveling, hiking, experimenting with my cooking skill in the kitchen, and meeting new
people. One thing that is on my bucket list is to backpack Europe.

Portrait of Raja Bale

Raja Bale

Fall2021 live chat - Tuesdays 12:00-1:00 pm

India
Interdisciplinary Ph.D in Physics and Engineeering

Hey All, this is Raja Bale. I am from the south part of India (Andhra Pradesh). I joined UMKC in Spring 2015 and completed my master’s degree in electrical engineering (May 2016). After that, I worked for a while in the semiconductor industry and came back to UMKC to do my doctoral studies in UMKC starting summer 2018. I have been working towards developing thin films for advanced semiconductor fabrication collaborating with Intel.

I love playing guitar and singing songs. Also, loves cooking Indian food. I am a fun-loving person and always crack jokes when I am around people. I have a huge passion to do whatever I choose to excel. I have been living in Kansas City for the past 6 years and it always amazes me. I met a lot of people here and made long-lasting relationships. I have a passion to travel around the United States with friends. So far, I have traveled 13 states add would love to travel the rest to complete all the 50 states.

I love UMKC because the education I got and the research that is going on would change the world into a better one. Also, the standards of education are world-class, and people are smart (though I am not!). I worked as a president for the UMKC Indian Students Association and currently, working as a student body coordinator for the same organization. If you ever need any suggestion or advice, please reach out to me whether it is regarding studies or life. I am so excited to take up this new role as an International Student Ambassador to meet so many new international studies and hear their stories. Thank you for this opportunity to tell you my story!

Portrait of Keltoum Ceddah

Keltoum Ceddah

Fall 2021 live chat - Wednesday 1:00-2:00 pm

Algeria
Masters of Business Administration

Hello! My name is Keltoum. I’m from Algeria, but I’ve lived most of my life in Qatar, took my bachelor degree in Jordan and now I’m here in Kansas City. So I’ve been around! I love traveling and getting to know new people and new cultures. So far Kansas city has been one of my favorite places to live in. I love its nature (and even the unpredictable weather yes) and the people here are very welcoming and kind. I wanted to join the International ambassador program because I was inspired by the current ambassadors’ enthusiasm, and I wanted to meet new friends and hopefully help international students like myself get adjusted and get settled in a new country, which can be a daunting task at first.

In my free time I love to cook, hit the gym or a trail somewhere to hike and I also love reading and learning new languages so I would love to learn from you! I look forward to meeting all the new and upcoming students and becoming friends!

Portrait of Stephanie Ho

Stephanie Ho

Fall 2021 live chat - Thursday 12:00-1:00 pm

Vietnam
Bachelor's Business Administration

Although I look ‘shy’ sometimes, I realized that I love meeting new friends, get in touch with other people, and support them in any way within my abilities. Trying different foods, having new experiences, cooking, baking, traveling, and involving in physical activities are my favorites. I love to hear others sharing about their experience while they’re in the US as well as while pursuing education here at UMKC. I have learned a lot through others’ sharing and be able to share that experience to help other peers. 

 As an international student, I am more passionate about supporting international students so they can feel at home, have a better experience, and a broad network while studying abroad. Also, I want to have myself and other international students involved in UMKC events or any events happening around Kansas City together since we will get lots of fun, values, and connections that benefit our improvement and future opportunities. Higher involvement in activities and events helps me adapt and integrate into the community. 

 I look forward to bringing more value to your experience at UMKC when I am a part of the International Student Ambassador Program and I hope to see you all soon!

Portrait of Adriana Marinez-Cappello

Adriana Martinez-Cappello

Fall 2021 live chat - Thursday 9:00-10:00 am

Venezuela
B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics

Hello all!

I am Adriana Martinez Cappello. I am an international student from Caracas, Venezuela.

Before coming to the USA, I was on route to becoming a chemical engineer. However, the situation in my home country did not allow me to stay.

I came to Kansas in 2018 and started my college career from scratch. I transferred from Johnson County Community College to UMKC in spring 2020.

I am pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. I am also a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success and also of the Honors Society Phi Theta Kappa. I will be a Supplemental Instructor during Fall 2021, which fills me with excitement to be able to help people.

I love to go out for coffee, and Kansas City does not disappoint in the coffee shop department! I also love to read and practice yoga.

Kansas City is now my second home, and I am very thankful for all the opportunities it has provided me, and I am only excited about what the future holds.

Portrait of Krishna Veerubhotla

Krisnha Veerubhotla

Fall 2021 live chat - Friday 3:00-4:00 pm

India
Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Krishna Veerubhotla was born in Vijayawada, a city in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Acharya Nagarjuna University, India, and master’s degree in pharmaceutics from Rhodes University, South Africa. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences.

 After work, to enhance his sensory perceptions, he does various things, including poetry, writing, music, learning origami and painting, and to keep the body active – gym, biking (his latest best 19 miles in 90 minutes). He enjoys watching movies at the theatres, hanging out with friends, and reading books.

 UMKC is a vibrant place, especially for the international community, offering a diverse cultural environment to learn, experience, and discover new possibilities. He warmly welcomes you to the campus and make most of your time at UMKC a fun and memorable journey.

Portrait of Yuki Watanabe

Yuki Watanabe

Fall 2021 live chat - Tuesday 3:30-4:30 pm

Japan
B.S. in Accounting

Hello Roos! I am a senior majoring in Accounting here at UMKC. I joined 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!

Portrait of Sam Williams

Samantha Williams

Fall 2021 live chat - Friday 9:00-10:00 am

Jamaica
Doctor of Education

Samantha was born in Kingston, Jamaica and is the eldest of three children to parents Elaine and Patrick Williams.

While working towards her degree, she also serves as an Academic Advisor/Mentor with the athletic department. In her current role with the Roos, Sam serves as the tutor coordinator and primary academic advisor for Men’s Golf and Track and Field/Cross Country and Women’s Tennis, working one-on-one with at-risk students to ensure continuing eligibility, progress towards degree completion and skill development.

Sam enjoys being at the beach, taking photos and journaling in her free time. As an international student since 2009 (undergraduate, graduate and professional) – Sam is excited about helping students maneuver though their time at UMKC. Her experience living in different states and learning in different school environments has helped her ‘master’ the art of living, studying and making the best of the opportunity to be in the United States.