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Meet our Team

William Vittetoe, Director

Advisor for Students A – B

William serves as the Director of International Student and Scholar Services. He has worked in multiple areas of campus internationalization. His approach emphasizes a perspective that values campus partnerships, synergy of efforts, and the utilization of technical efficiencies in order to create the greatest level of personal access and support to students and scholars. His experience has taught him that the greatest support to students is the creation of meaningful and tangible relationships that guide and encourage them as they pursue their educational goals.

Erik Simons, Assistant Director 

Advisor for Students V – Z

Erik currently leads a team that supports the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty, staff, and researchers by providing assistance in obtaining appropriate immigration status and assistance in adjusting to the US. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from DePauw University and a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University. Erik has lived and worked in Spain and traveled extensively in Europe and South America. He enjoys serving as a resource for international students and believes international education can be a powerful tool for teaching people about themselves and others.

David Lawson

Advisor for J-1 Exchange Visitors

David is a coordinator in International Student and Scholar Services with primary responsibility for the J scholar program and advising F and J students. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from East Tennessee State University and a master’s in counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. David is originally from Maryville, Tennessee. After his undergraduate degree he lived in Nairobi, Kenya, for two years. He believes that personal intercultural contact presents a great opportunity for a richer self-understanding and expanding one’s horizon.

Brian Todd

Advisor for Students C through H, O through R, and Athletes

Brian is a coordinator in International Student and Scholar Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Carson-Newman University and a master’s degree in college student personnel from the University of Tennessee. Brian has previously worked in international admissions and advising in the community college and liberal arts college settings. He has significant experience traveling and recruiting in Brazil, China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. Brian enjoys welcoming people from around the world to Knoxville as well as hiking in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other places in the East Tennessee region.

Yevie Teyfukova

Advisor for Students I through N and S through U

Yevie is a coordinator in International Student and Scholar Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Yevie also holds a master’s in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Originally from the former Soviet Union, she has studied in Russia and has traveled extensively throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, and Israel. Yevie enjoys learning languages, exploring new countries and cultures, and supporting international students throughout their time in the US.

Elizabeth Clevenger

Advisor for H-1B and PR cases; Faculty Hires

Elizabeth Clevenger is a coordinator in International Student and Scholar Services. She holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and human development/family studies from Samford University and a master’s degree in intercultural studies/teaching English to speakers of other languages from Wheaton College. She has previous experience in international student/scholar advising and programming, international admissions, adult ESL, and international scholarship programs. Elizabeth is a native Tennessean who looks forward to welcoming students and scholars from around the world to beautiful East Tennessee. She enjoys trying new recipes, kayaking, and reading.

Yana Mitsos

New Student and Special Programs Coordinator

Yana is a coordinator in International Student and Scholar Services. She holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kentucky in Psychology with a minor in Criminology and in Sociology as well as a Master of Science degree in Social Work with a certificate in Veterinary Social Work. Yana has previously worked as a graduate assistant in the International House and studied abroad in Italy. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing, traveling, and interacting with animals. Yana looks forward to supporting students and welcoming them to the University of Tennessee. Go Vols!

Valentina Gomez

Graduate Assistant

Valentina is the Graduate Assistant for International Scholar and Family Support. She is a recent Journalism graduate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Relations. Originally from Santiago, Chile, Valentina’s has previous experience working in marketing and social media, previously serving as the Center for Global Engagement’s Social Media Student Assistant. During her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants with her friends, and spending time with her dogs, Cleo and Petunia.