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Our Work

Clark University’s International Center provides services for outbound and inbound students, scholars, and employees. We provide programs and support to people from around the world as they seek to achieve their academic and professional goals. We collaborate closely with our colleagues in Clark’s schools, departments, and administrative offices to ensure that our students, scholars, and employees have extraordinary experiences. We invite you to read more about our team and to contact us if we can assist you in any way.

Our Offices and Teams

The International Center offers services to both outbound and inbound students, scholars, and employees. There are three departments within the International Center.

Atwood Hall

American Language and Culture Institute

The American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI) offers programs and workshops designed to help our students meet their English language learning goals.

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Clark University campus

International Students & Scholars Office

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) advises international students, faculty, scholars, and alumni on matters relating to immigration.

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Student smiling in front of international office

Office of Study Abroad and Away

The Office of Study Abroad and Away connects students with opportunities to study beyond the Worcester campus.

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Our Staff

Sarah Lopolito

Sarah Lopolito

Assistant Dean of International Educational Programs, Director of the International Center


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For as long as Sarah can remember, she wanted to be in the field of education in one way or another. Sarah has been lucky to have fulfilled this career goal in a wide variety of settings from large public schools to small private universities and nonprofit organizations. In each of these locations, she has been able to enact her belief that focused and personalized instruction creates an enriching experience for students.

Sarah’s desire to work in international education started when she studied abroad in Glasgow, Scotland, and deepened when as a fifth-grade teacher, she developed curriculum centered on the book “Talking Walls.” This book looks at different walls located around the world, and served as a catalyst for cultural explorations. This curriculum only fueled Sarah’s own interest in exploring different places and interacting with people from cultures different from her own. Eventually, her career shifted to teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) in higher educational institutions. From there, she transitioned to administrative work as she moved into director roles for English language programs and later into overseeing Clark University’s International Center. In her current role of Assistant Dean and Director of the International Center, she provides mentorship and guidance to the operations and functionality of the International Students and Scholars Office, the American Language and Culture Institute, as well as Office of Study Abroad and Away. She also oversees the development and maintenance of relationships with international partners and liaises frequently with foreign institutes.

Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from Providence College and a Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from The New School in New York City. She has attended annual conferences at NAFSA Region XI, NAFSA, AIEA, EAIE, TESOL, NNETESOL, and English USA, and presented at NAFSA Region XI, TESOL, and English USA.

American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI)

Ercan Balci

Ercan Balci

Director, American Language and Culture Institute


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Ercan Balci is the Director of ALCI at Clark University. Although he recently started in this role, he has been at Clark in various roles since 2019.

Ercan is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, where he completed his BA, MA, and Ph.D. in Language Studies. Prior to Clark, he taught language, culture, and Global Studies courses and directed programs at the University of Illinois and Brown University. Ercan has been a big fan of collaborating with faculty and staff from various departments and institutions to increase the visibility of international education, languages, and cultures.

Ercan considers himself a Global Citizen, and enjoys learning and teaching the richness of languages and cultures around the world. He has traveled to many countries in Europe, North America, and South America. One day, he wants to visit several countries in Africa and Asia, but he has a homestead with lots of farm animals, making it impossible for him to travel.

International Students and Scholars Office

Susannah Marcucci

Susannah Marcucci

Director, PDSO & RO, International Student and Scholars Office


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Susannah manages the daily operations of the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). She advises international students, scholars, and faculty while overseeing University compliance with federal immigration regulations.

Susannah grew up in a small town in New Hampshire dreaming about traveling the world and experiencing different ways of life. Her international journey took her to England for a gap year before attending Boston University to study international relations. While an undergraduate student, Susannah studied abroad in Turkey and Morocco. After graduation, she spent four years teaching English as a foreign language in Morocco and working on her Arabic skills.

Upon her return to the United States, Susannah realized that her intercultural skills and interest in education could be the foundation of a lifelong career. Susannah worked in immigration advising and international student support at several higher education institutions in the Boston area while earning a master’s degree in communication management from Emerson College. In January 2020, she made the move to central Massachusetts to join Clark. Susannah is now pursuing doctoral studies in Education Leadership.

Nathan Cruz

Nathan Cruz

International Student Advisor, International Students and Scholars Office


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Nathan comes back to Clark as an international student advisor. He works to advise international students regarding immigration and immigration-related issues, issue immigration documents, and maintain student records.

As an undergraduate at Clark, Nathan realized he could use his love for learning about different countries and cultures by working in immigration. This led him to study abroad in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, as well as complete internships working with migrant communities at his Congressman’s office in Lynn, Massachusetts and at Ascentria Care Alliance in Worcester. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Latin American studies, he worked at a corporate immigration law firm, completing immigration processes for both the United States and more than a dozen other countries.

When not working, Nathan likes to spend his time planning travel and finding the best new music from around the world.

Amanda Desai

Amanda Desai

Associate Director, International Student and Scholars Office


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As the Associate Director for the International Students and Scholars Office, Amanda supports and advises the international community at Clark regarding immigration and immigration-related issues, transitioning to the United States, and overall student success as a Clarkie!

Amanda earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Business Management from SUNY Cobleskill in 2009 and received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administrative Services from Mckendree University in 2011. Amanda has over ten years of Higher Education and Student Affairs experience, with a focus in Residence Life and International Student Services.

Amanda has a passion for supporting and serving international students while collaborating with the International Center team to create a positive and student-centered International Student experience at Clark University.

Sarah Gould

Sarah Gould

International Student Advisor, International Students and Scholars Office


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As a member of the ISSO, Sarah helps students navigate through the different aspects of their visas. Sarah grew up in Maine and obtained her BA in International & Global Studies from the University of Maine at Farmington. As an undergraduate student, Sarah completed travel courses in Peru, Germany, Austria as well as a year abroad in Le Mans, France. Upon completing her degree, Sarah taught English through the Fulbright Program in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She then rounded out her international adventure by completing an MA degree in International Migration at the Brussel’s School of International Studies in Brussels, Belgium.

Upon returning to the United States, Sarah’s goal was to find a job where she could help students make the most of their time abroad and support them throughout their journey. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Clark community and looks forward to the next adventures ahead!

Winnifred Spillers

Winifred Spillers

Compliance and Support Coordinator, International Student and Scholars Office

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Winnie is a language and culture enthusiast and is excited to lend support to Clark’s international students.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Russian Area Studies from Central Connecticut State College and earned TESOL/TESL/TEFL Teacher Training Certification from Oxford Seminars.  After graduating from college, Winnie traveled to Taiwan alone, where she quickly discovered she did not actually speak Chinese, was not proficient in the use of chopsticks and was faint of heart riding public transportation to erroneous destinations.   Since that time, Winnie has traveled widely and continues to test her skills in many languages, with no shame.

Prior to joining Clark, Winnie worked in the social service industry for 20 years, serving refugees and immigrants from around the world.  She taught Citizenship and English as a Second Language for seven years, before joining a program dedicated to assisting unaccompanied refugee and migrant children.

In a spirit of reciprocity for the kindness received from strangers around the globe, Winnie has welcomed exchange visitors from France, Sweden, Japan, The Netherlands, and Russia, refugees from Sierra Leone, and a youth from Guatemala to weave a shared story.

Office of Study Abroad and Away

Alissa Briggs

Alissa Briggs

Director, Study Abroad and Away


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Alissa serves as the Director of Study Abroad and Away Programs here at Clark.  Her main responsibilities include working with her team to advise Clark students through all aspects of the study abroad process and maintaining an office portfolio of over 50 approved study away programs.  She is also responsible for maintaining budgets, updating and executing health and risk management policies, monitoring academic quality and safety issues; institutional relationships and developing and implementing new programs to meet evolving needs of students. Alissa is a member of the NAFSA Association for International Educators and is currently Chair of the NAFSA Region XI Leadership Team. She is also a member of the Forum Standards of Good Practice, Diversity Abroad, and the CIEE Academic Consortium.

Alissa received her double Bachelor’s degree in Social Thought & Political Economy and Germanic Languages and Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she studied abroad as an exchange student at the Karls-Eberhard-Universität in Tübingen, Germany.  Realizing that she could make study abroad a career, Alissa furthered her education by getting her Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations and International Higher Education from Lesley University.  She has since worked for ISEP Study Abroad in Washington, DC and Boston University Global Programs in Boston, MA and Brussels, Belgium.

Clark Poland and Clark China Programs

Contact Information

International Center

Office Location
Office Hours
  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Monday – Friday