International Student Center

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.