Meet our team

The CGE is made up of passionate staff who are dedicated to the fields of International and Intercultural Education. The CGE is an academic resource center for students, faculty, and staff interested in global and intercultural education opportunities (domestic and abroad).  We provide professional advising and support services for international students, students interested in education abroad and community-based learning, and faculty interested in infusing their teaching and scholarship with global and intercultural perspectives and learning experiences.   The CGE seeks to coordinate and facilitate efforts across the campus and around the world to enrich, deepen, and expand international activity and intercultural engagement through travel, research, and study.  We invite you to reach out to our team today!

Center for Global Engagement

Sarah Pattison

Associate Director for Global Engagement

Education: M.A., M.S.Ed.

Contact Sarah to learn more about:

  • International partnerships & agreements
  • Virtual Exchange & Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
  • Integrating international and intercultural learning in the curriculum and co-curriculum
  • Making global learning accessible to all
  • Assessment of international and intercultural education

Sarah is passionate about providing students with cross-cultural learning experiences.  She believes that participatory learning provides the confidence, skills, and perspectives that today's college graduates need to emerge as thoughtful, responsible, and engaged citizens in their local and global communities.

Sarah holds a Master's in Education (M.S. Ed.) from St. John's University specializing in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).  She also holds a Master's in Global Development and Social Justice, also from St. John's University.  She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education, specializing in Leadership for Intercultural and International Education from the University of Minnesota. 

Sarah's research interests include critical intercultural communication, place-based education, and internationalizing the curriculum.  She approaches her work and scholarship with a commitment to social justice and integral human development.

Center for Global Engagement

Tai Kim

Associate Director of International Admissions

Tai is incredibly privileged to bring bright international students to the University of Michigan – Flint which has had a tremendously positive influence in his family’s life.  His wife and mother-in-law graduated from this exceptional university and have successful careers in the healthcare field.  His kids, when they were babies, were safely nurtured at the Early Childhood Development Center on campus and even received a diploma with a UM-Flint logo on when they graduated from their Kindergarten as part of the Great Expectations Program through ECDC.

Tai graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in German and received an MBA from Purdue University.  He is an audiophile and a dedicated fan of classical music, and when he studied in Hannover, Germany, he was fortunate enough to do a consulting project with Sennheiser, the world-renowned German audio company that manufactures Hi-Fi headphones and microphones.

He believes that UM-Flint has an outstanding combination of the resources of the world-class University of Michigan, small classes taught by exceptional professors who make learning fun and exciting, and amazing opportunities for hands-on and engaged learning.  He also believes that the international students on campus greatly contribute to this university being a truly vibrant place for fostering intercultural understanding and collaboration.

Center for Global Engagement

Kimberly Butka

International Student and Scholar Services Manager

Kimberly enjoys her work with students and helping them to become well rounded indivduals.  She joined the University in 2005 in Undergraduate Admissions.  During her time there she processed and evaluated International Student applications and was given the opportunity to become a “DSO” Designated School Official. She has worked with several different departments on campus including Undergraduate Admissions, Center for Global Engagement, Housing and Residential Life and Financial Aid.  Kimberly has a BA in History from Monmouth College and a MA in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University.  Kimberly’s duties include Immigration advising for student and scholars, updating student records, orientation preparation, and programming for the International Student population.  Kimberly enjoys what she does because the work is challenging and different every day.  She enjoys working with the students to help them learn and navigate the US higher education system.

Center for Global Engagement

Ché Moya, Education Abroad Coordinator

Education Abroad Program Coordinator

Education: M.A.

Contact Ché for information on all things study abroad, including:

  • programs
  • funding and scholarships
  • destinations
  • passports
  • flights

Ché has experience living and working abroad for almost 7 years in Asia and has traveled to several destinations around the globe. From these experiences, and over a decade of classroom teaching, Ché has realized the value and power of gaining knowledge and education, and how impacting international travel can be, not only in our own personal lives and educational paths, but in the lives of others that we meet on our journeys. Ché has a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MATESOL from Central Michigan University. 


Center for Global Engagement

Leyla Sanker

Program Manager

Leyla Sanker approaches her work from a sustainable community perspective and recognizes the importance of connecting people to the land, to their communities, and to each other.  She utilizes her training and experience in public participation, community engagement, organizational capacity building, urban planning, and natural resources management to advance those efforts.  Over the past twelve years, Leyla has worked with local, state and federal partners, community residents, non-profits, K-12 teachers and students, and University faculty and students to address local and regional efforts, and currently coordinates Discovering PLACE, the Flint place-based education hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.  Leyla holds a Master’s Degree from Duke University in Environmental Management and B.S. from UM-Flint in Resource Planning and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Center for Global Engagement

Gary Ashley

Program Manager

Gary Ashley earned a B.S. in Communications with a concentration in Human Relations from the University of Michigan-Flint in December 2005. Since then he has been employed at the University of Michigan-Flint and has held a number of positions. He started working in Alumni Relations and then moved to Institutional Advancement; he worked in each department for one year respectively. Also, he worked in University Outreach for 12 years and has a great deal of experience in partnering with departments within the university and organizations outside the university to help revitalize Genesee County. He has recently moved the Office of Engaged Learning. It is his personal mission to help Genesee County be a better place to live, work, play, etc.!

Center for Global Engagement

Jessica Hammond

International Admissions Counselor

Jessica is the International Admissions Counselor for the Center for Global Engagement. If you have any questions regarding the international admissions process, she’s your go to person! Jessica is very familiar with the campus, since she has been here both as a student and a staff member. She completed her BBA from the University of Michigan-Flint campus, and is currently pursuing her MBA here as well. Aside from being a student here, she has also worked in many capacities around campus including Administrative Assistant for the Center for Global Engagemen and UG Admissions Processor. When not at work, Jessica enjoys attending sporting events, specifically University of Michigan football – GO BLUE! She also enjoys fishing and spending quality time with her family.

Center for Global Engagement

Lamis Alqafshat

Admissions and Marketing Coordinator

Lamis used to be an International Student Ambassador. She came to Michigan in 2013 to get her degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS). She served as the Vice President of the Saudi Student Club. She enjoys meeting new people and learn about different cultures which encouraged her to work on Immigrant U project and then as an International Student Ambassador.  Lamis speaks Arabic and English. She also loves traveling, exploring and going on adventures. She believes that experience is the big factor to helps you grow up, that's why she decided to work at the Center for Global Engagement to encourage prospective students to have the experience and enjoy it as she did!