Mission and Staff

Mission Statement

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) has the responsibility for meeting University federal compliance with regard to international students.  ISS strives to support international student success through the following endeavors:

  • Advising students on immigration regulations that affect their status in the U.S.
  • Providing programs that help promote cross-cultural adjustment
  • Serving as a resource to the campus and international student communities
  • Advocating for international students and international education

Karen Michael-Mikel
Karen Michael Mikel
F-1, J-1 Advisor

About Karen

Aloha! My name is Karen Michael Mikel and I am excited about being your international student advisor. I am a proud alumni as I have received both my undergraduate (2003) and graduate (2007) degrees in Asian Studies here. I come from Malaysia but I have been living in Hawaii since 2000. I loved my college years and now I love working with international students. I hope to assist you achieve your academic and professional goals. Outside of the office I enjoy eating out and yoga. I also love to travel domestically and internationally. Attending college is a great opportunity to grow, explore and make connections, make the most of it!

Viet Ngo
Viet Ngo
F-1, J-1 Advisor

About Viet

I was born in Vietnam, raised in Arkansas, went to college in Ohio, and lived in Japan before coming to UH Mānoa to complete a Master's in Asian Studies. Growing up as an immigrant and spending time abroad has greatly shaped my worldview and sensitivity to those who are "strangers in a strange land."

In my spare time, I lead a laid-back lifestyle (i.e., cheap) and try to live out my childhood dreams through my two boys.

Ray Allen
Ray Allen, PhD
F-1 Advisor

About Ray

I went to Nigeria, West Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1966, and stayed after to work as a principal in a trades school there. In my lifetime, I have also worked as a Sunday school teacher and a firefighter and National Park Ranger for Yosemite National Park. Now I am at ISS and hope that I can help international students while they are here. My advice to students: Don't take a pill; have a laugh.

Lisa S. Houghtailing
Lisa S. Houghtailing,
Immigration Specialist

About Lisa

Aloha! My name is Lisa Houghtailing and I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. A proud alumni of UH Manoa, I have a Master’s degree in Second Language Studies (SLS).  A former ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, I love working with international students and helping them to achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals. In my spare time, I love to read, karaoke, explore the latest restaurants, and travel. E komo mai!

Kendyll Dοi,
IT Specialist

About Kendyll

I keep this webpage operational and other things that involve technology. I am a person of few words or a lot of words, never in between.