The KGSP advising team is made up of highly-qualified professionals from across different fields such as student services, international and higher education, and scholarship management. Based in the United States, Advisors assist students in their transition to the Scholarship, provide academic and pre-professional support, coordinate specialized internships and developmental opportunities, and serve as a general point of contact for students throughout their KGSP experience.
Senior Director, KAUST Gifted Student Program
Jeff Mervosh is the Sr. Director for the KGSP team in the United States, based in Washington D.C. where he manages implementation of the Program, advises on strategic priorities, and oversees special projects. Jeff joined the KGSP team in 2014. He has a Master of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and enjoys books, live music, cycling, and spending time with family.
Shannon Gibson is the Senior Advising Manager based in Portland, OR where she oversees the KGSP advising team, the new student onboarding team, and the program reports team. Shannon began with the KGSP in 2014 and has worked and volunteered in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Philippines.
Dani is an Advising Manager based in Washington, D.C. where she works with Undergraduate and Alumni Advisors. Dani has a master’s degree in International Education from the George Washington University. She joined the KGSP in January 2020 as an Undergraduate Advisor. Dani has seven years of experience working with international students from all over the world and enjoys traveling to new places.
Foundation Year Advising, Manager
Lauren is an Advising Manager based in San Francisco, CA where she works with Foundation Year and Undergraduate Advisors and their students across the US. Lauren joined the KGSP in 2017. She graduated from Wellesley College and has a M.A. in Higher Education and Students Affairs from the University of San Franciso. Her hobbies include watching movies and reading.
Meghan Perry Powell
Undergraduate Advising, Team Lead
Meghan is an Undergraduate Advising Manager based in Texas where she supports UG Advisors and their students across the US. Meghan joined the KGSP in 2016 first as an Advisor and then as an Advising Manager. She has worked with international students studying in the US for over a decade.
New Student Experience Lead
Kelly Almousily is the Onboarding Lead based in Chicago, IL where she manages onboarding processes for newly admitted students to the KGSP. A member of the KGSP team since 2014, Kelly has worked with Middle Eastern students since 2007 and brings her background in the language, culture, and religion to the Program. She studied Arabic while on scholarship in Egypt and Jordan. Kelly enjoys spending time with family and her dog, creating art, traveling, and walks along the Chicago lakefront.
New Student Advisor
Chinni Ifejika is the Onboarding Advisor for the KGSP is based in Washington, D.C. As the initial point of contact for incoming students to the program, he facilitates weekly webinars, conducts student outreach and communication, and produces resources to help them navigate the KGSP and immigration requirements. Chinni began working with the KGSP in 2022. Before working with the program, he worked with the Fulbright Scholar team in Outreach and Recruitment. He previously spent time in Spain teaching vocational and high school English and enjoys learning languages.
Josh Dubman is an Undergraduate Advisor based in New York, where he provides support to undergraduate KGSP students and advises them on academic and personal issues. Josh holds a bachelor's degree in Global Studies and International Business from UW-Milwaukee. He has over ten years of experience in international education and spent three years living in Hong Kong and consulting for international student recruitment for multiple different US universities. He loves music, travel, and rollerblading.
Yulia is an Undergraduate Advisor based in Chicago, IL where she advises students in Illinois, Oregon and California. She has extensive experience working in international education programs in Turkey, Great Britain, and Russia. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and master’s degree in Finance and Taxation. In her free time, she enjoys orienteering, swimming in lake Michigan, and spending time with her two daughters.
Ted is an Undergraduate Advisor working in Denver, CO. Ted began working in International Education in 2013 and working on the KGSP in 2016. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Wheaton College and a master's in International Business from the University of Colorado, Denver.
Tiffany is an Undergraduate Student Advisor for the KGSP based in Houston, TX where she supports students in the various ways they must navigate living and going to school. Tiffany joined the KGSP Team in 2021 and holds her Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also taught English to international students, refugees, and recent immigrants. She is currently a cellist in the Houston Civic Symphony and volunteers at the local library. Tiffany graduated from UT Austin for her bachelor's and is a proud Longhorn – Hook’em Horns!
Leah Jeedas is an Undergraduate Student Advisor based out of San Francisco, CA. She has been advising KGSP students at universities on the west coast since July of 2022. Leah holds her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with minors in Spanish and Community Service Studies from DePaul University, and her Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University. Leah enjoys being outdoors, seeing live music, traveling, and being overly competitive about rock paper scissors matches.
Garifallia Kasamias is an Undergraduate Student Advisor based out of the Washington, D.C. area. Garifallia advises student on academics, helps connect them to university resources, and provides guidance so that students can maximize their university experience. Garifallia has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Kent State University, and a Master of Art's in Global Conflict and Affairs from George Mason University. In her spare time, Garifallia enjoys learning new things, challenging herself, and traveling.
Sam Lebow is a Foundation Year Advisor based in Washington D.C. where he advises students at the University of Pennsylvania. He joined KGSP in 2019 and spent 3 years as an undergraduate advisor before transitioning to the Foundation Year program. He previously served as a student advisor and leadership curriculum instructor at the Washington Center for Internships & Academic Seminars. He holds a master's in International Education and has lived and taught English in China and the Republic of Georgia.
Monica Matais is an Undergraduate Advisor based in Washington, D.C. where she supports undergraduate students. She has advised students from five different universities across the east coast for the past four years. Monica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies in Florence Italy. She lived abroad for over 8 years where she spent her time working on archaeological digs, teaching English as a second language, and advising international students as they pursued degrees outside of the US. In her spare time Monica enjoys reading a book with her cat.
Chidera Ogbonna is an Undergraduate Student Advisor based in Houston, TX. He advises undergraduate students at five different universities located in the southern states of Texas and Georgia. Chidera began working with the KGSP in 2018. He loves seeking adventures around the world and has visited every continent except for Antarctica. In his free time, he enjoys staying active by playing soccer and basketball.
Kristen Olsen is an Undergraduate Advisor based in Washington D.C. where she works with undergraduate students at seven universities assisting them with their degree plans, coursework, support on campus and finding enrichment opportunities every summer. Kristen has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Elon University and a Master of Arts in Education Policy from King's College London. She also studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland during her undergrad.
Huzaifa is a Foundation Year Advisor based in Houston, TX where he advises students at North Carolina State University. Huzaifa grew up in India and moved to the US as an international student for his undergraduate degree. He has over a decade of experience in academic advising and college mentoring. During his free time, Huzaifa enjoys traveling, hiking, running, and cooking.
Susanna is a Foundation Year Advisor based in Colorado. She has advised FY students at three different FY programs over the past five years. After growing up overseas in Germany, Japan, and England, she earned her bachelor's degree from Colorado State University. In her free time, she enjoys reading and sewing.
Rawan is an Undergraduate Advisor based in Houston, TX. She advises students in California and Minnesota. Rawan started working with KGSP in 2022. Rawan holds a bachelor's degree in Arabic and English Translation. She has over 10 years of experience in international student recruitment and advising. She loves to travel and meet new people.
Matthew is the KGSP Alumni Lead based in Washington, D.C. where he works to support KGSP Alumni. Matthew earned a Master of Arts in Middle East Studies from the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Mary Washington. Matthew has spent time in many places in the Middle East and lived in Egypt while attending the American University in Cairo.
Nick Willon is an Alumni Advisor based in Washington, D.C. He provides support for KGSP Alumni across the world, organizes alumni-led events and activities, student mentorship, and program ambassadorship. Nick began working with KGSP in 2019. He has lived, worked, and volunteered in countries such as Tunisia, Georgia, and South Korea. In his spare time, Nick loves exploring the great outdoors by backpacking, camping, and hiking.