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Meet the Staff

 Kate Plessing-Brunetto  

Kate Plessing-Brunetto

Hi, my name is Kate Plessing-Brunetto. I am the Director of the
International Student Center at Bergen Community College.  I believe
that Bergen is a wonderful place for international students to study.   I
consider myself very lucky to work in the field of international
education because it allows me to meet interesting people from around
the world.  One of the best parts of my job is welcoming the new
students from around the world and learning about different cultures and
customs.  Before coming to Bergen Community College, I worked in
Education at two other New Jersey schools.  I earned my Master’s degree
in Communications at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I studied abroad
in London, England during my time as an undergraduate at the University
of Delaware where my love of international education began!  I am very
happy to be at BCC!
Please contact me or any of the ISC staff members if you need
assistance.  We have Spanish, French, Korean, Turkish, Mandarin, Urdu
and English speakers who work in the ISC!  If we don’t speak your
language, we will find someone on our diverse campus who does!

 Patricia Aguilar  Patricia Aguilar

Hi all, my name is Patricia Aguilar and I’ll be one of your first
contacts with Bergen Community College. I’ll make sure you get all the
information you need while applying at the College and I’ll help you
processing your information so that you can get your I-20. I was born in
Guayaquil, Ecuador and I’m bilingual. I’ve been with Bergen for the
last eight years and I consider the College my second home. Like you, I
was new to the United States and I understand all your concerns.
Remember, I’m here to help you. ¡Bienvenidos al Bergen Community
College.

 Irene Smith  

Irene Smith

I have been employed at BCC for 29 years, but I am new to the
International Student Center.  I previously served as Secretary/Office
Manager for the Center for Suburban Criminal Justice, Executive
Secretary in Social/Behavioral Science Department, Senior Secretary in
Business and Technology Department, and Office Assistant in Continuing
Education at Bergen Community College.  I am currently a member of the
BCC Suburban Studies Group. I was awarded the Regional Outstanding
Leadership Award from the International Chairs Academy and the
President’s Recognition Award from Bergen Community College.

 Mine Ugurlu  

Mine Ugurlu

My name is Mine Ugurlu. I am from Izmir, Turkey. I came to USA to
pursue a degree from an American college. I am very pleased to have a
Bachelor’s from Montclair State University and a Masters in Media and
Communication at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I remembered how
frustrated I was learning English and pursuing a college degree in a
foreign country; because of that reason, I realized that I have a
passion for helping international students. Since 2009 July, I am very
happy and proud to working at the International Student Center at the
same college where I got my associate’s degree, Bergen Community
College. At the International Student Center, I am serving as the
initial point of contact for international applicants and handling
admission- related advising for students on non- immigrant visas.
Studying in a foreign country is both an exciting and a challenging
experience. I want your stay in Bergen Community College to be
productive and enjoyable from the start and I am here to help you to
make the passage from your home country to Bergen Community College as
smooth as possible.

 Professor Amparo Codding  

Amparo Codding

Hola!
My name is Amparo Codding and I am from Colombia. I was born in Cali but raised and educated in Bogotá. When I finished high school, I came to the United States for one year through Youth for Understanding and lived with a wonderful family in Lexington, Kentucky. I returned to Bogota and completed my degree in Modern Languages at the Universidad de los Andes. My ties to Lexington were so strong that I decided to return and attend the University of Kentucky to further my education. I earned an M.S. in Educational Psychology and an M.A. in Latin American Literature.
I have been at Bergen Community College since 1985 as a professor of Spanish. I also served as Academic Coordinator of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, as Coordinator for the Faculty Development Program, as Director for the Center for the Study of Intercultural Understanding, and as Dean of Humanities.
I am very excited to be working now as an International Student Counselor. My love for anything international is very deep as reflected in my desire to travel and learn about other people and their culture, in involvement with professional organizations such as CCIS, IIE and NAFSA, and initiatives such as Generation Study Abroad, The Gilman Scholarship, the Critical Language Scholarship Program, and the Fulbright Program.
I look forward to working with you to ensure you have a fantastic experience at Bergen Community College. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn about you and your culture!

Student Aides

The ISC employs student aides from around the world to help our students adjust to life at BCC and to perform some clerical tasks in the office.  Our student aides speak different languages, come from varied cultures and are involved in many clubs and activities on campus.  Feel free to ask them for ideas about joining student organizations, tips on local housing, shopping, transportation, or just stop in to meet them and say hello.