Meet the Staff

Professional Staff

Yun Shi

Yun Shi


Dr. Yun Shi is the founding director of International Education, established in 2014 with Student Affairs. She is passionate about internationalization on UIUC campus and focuses on enhancing the transformative learning experience to support international students and engage domestic students. She is a firm believer that International Education is for all! She has received Student Affairs Outstanding Staff Member - Academic Professional Award, ISSS Outstanding Staff Member Award, Outstanding Asian American faculty-staff Award, International Women’s Day Award, and Student Affairs Outstanding Program Award. She previously worked as Assistant Director of International Programs and the Asian Program Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Yun earned a Ph.D. in education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, M.Ed. in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and B.A. in English from Xi’an International Studies University in China. Prior to coming to the United States, Yun taught at a local university for 13 years in China, where she was born. Yun enjoys cooking with students from around the world. Her hobbies include reading, listening to podcasts while knitting and crocheting.

Rebecca Hodson

Rebecca Hodson

Associate Director

Greetings! My name is Rebecca and I am thrilled to be the new Associate Director of International Education! I am a “townie,” who came to Champaign by way of Oklahoma as a toddler for my father, a first-gen student, to complete a PhD program. I attended UIUC myself and received my Bachelor’s in History, minoring in Spanish in 2009 (studying abroad in Ecuador in 2008). I then went on to earn my Master of Science in Library and Information Science in 2013. After working as a community college librarian and Spanish GED instructor, I joined UIUC as staff in January 2015 to coordinate internship programs and offer career advising to students at the School of Information Sciences (iSchool). Early in my career I realized I love connecting with students, instructing, advising and coordinating programs that help them learn, succeed, and build community. In particular I have focused on finding ways to improve international students’ experiences when they come to study and live in our country. I look forward to making an impact on the lives of our students in this new role. I am also a mother of fraternal twins, so to keep up with them my husband and I try to stay active by spending time outdoors, watching soccer/futbol (Arsenal fan!) and occasionally playing the game, also cooking, music and movies. 

Student Staff


Gates Daniel

Graduate Intern

My name is Gates and I'm a first-year grad student in the Information Sciences program. Before returning to university, I lived in Korea from 2020-2022 working as an English teacher in the countryside. My time there gave me a deep appreciation of other peoples' cultures and a respect for different worldviews. After university, I would very much like to return to working abroad if I can. If not, I'm more than happy to return to my home in Chicago where there are more than enough opportunities to work with people from all different walks of life.

But enough about my professional life, in my personal life I enjoy reading and listening to podcasts. Over the past year I've also reconnected with my childhood hobby of building and painting Warhammer models. While in Korea I also became a bit of an RPG addict, but we're working on curbing that one! I'm very excited to be a part of UIUC's international community.


Kit Murphy

Undergrad Marketing & Events Intern

My name is Kit and I am a senior studying Kinesiology at the College of Applied Health Sciences. I’m a transfer student as I studied at the University of Toronto and a community college near my hometown of Evanston, IL. My post graduation plan is to work in medical sales before pursuing a master’s in kinesiology. I love to meet new people, play sports, and take pictures. A fun fact about me is that I am a dual citizen of Canada and the US! 


Sofia Melendez

Undergrad Marketing & Events Intern

My name is Sofia and I am a junior majoring in Marketing with a minor in Spanish. I was born and raised in Chicago, always in neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville (go cubs!). I grew up as a native spanish speaker thanks to my parents who immigrated to the US from Mexico and Ecuador respectively, which motivated me to pursue my minor in Spanish. Some of my hobbies include Spanish and Latin dance, being a part of various dance related RSO's on campus. And during my spare time I enjoy biking and cooking.