Home FamMail iRattler FamCast
Office of International Education and Development


Meet the OIED Staff

Dhyana Ziegler
Interim Director/Assistant Vice President for Instructional Technology

Agnes Coppin Director of International Students and Scholars; Primary Designated School Official; and Co-Director of the Florida West Africa Linkage Institute Program

Mary Diallo Associate Professor of French, Faculty Senate President, Member of FAMU Board of Trustees, and FAMU Fulbright Advisor

Joseph Jones International Research and Development Coordinator and Responsible Officer for the Student and Visitors Exchange (J-1 Visa) Program

Karen Mitchell Education Abroad Coordinator

Cindy Peters Education Abroad Coordinator

Loretta Peterson International Students Program Assistant

Avis Simmonds Office Manager; Designated School Official for International Students and Scholars; and Alternate Responsible Officer for the Student and Visitors Exchange (J-1 Visa) Program

Myra Walton International Studies and Curriculum Coordinator

Hugh Williams Diplomat-in-Residence

Eddie Yon Webmaster

OIED Staff Bios

  Dhyana Ziegler:

Agnes Coppin: Mrs. Coppin is Director of International Students and Scholars; Primary Designated School Official; and Co-Director of the Florida West Africa Linkage Institute (out-of-state tuition exemption) Program. She provides regulatory immigration guidance and counseling to students regarding changes of status, practical training, employment, reinstatement, transfers, taxes, social security, insurance, maintains the immigration tracking SEVIS computer system and issues the I-20 immigration form. Mrs. Coppin conducts international students’ orientation and immigration workshops each semester and coordinates community outreach activities for the international students. She has been involved in international education and development for more than 20 years and has traveled to Bahamas, Benin, Bolivia, Guyana, Mexico, and Togo. She holds a B.S. Degree in Office Administration Management from Florida A&M University.

Mary Diallo: Dr. Diallo, who serves as Coordinator of Language and Study Abroad Programs, is Associate Professor of French, President of the FAMU Faculty Senate, member of the FAMU Board of Trustees, and Fulbright Advisor. She is a seasoned French professor with many years of teaching experience. Dr. Diallo was instrumental in the development of the Business French course at FAMU. She also has extensive experience in international education. She formally taught at Morehouse College and has been a contract interpreter for the US Department of State. Dr. Diallo has received Fulbright Exchange Teacher Fellowships in Benin (1995-1996) and France (2000-2001).

Joseph Jones: Mr. Jones is International Research and Development Coordinator and Responsible Officer for the Student and Exchange Visitors Visa (J-1) Program. His responsibilities include participating in the implementation of the various international projects. He also coordinates budget and financial matters related to the international projects.

He also works with the University departments to prepare H1-B petitions. He has served as coordinator of a training workshop for Tajikistan Solid Waste Managers in Budapest, Hungary and a training program in Egg Production for a participant from Macedonia. Mr. Jones has also served as Fulbright-Hays Groups Project Abroad Program coordinator to Brazil and has coordinated FAMU academic overseas course offerings in the Bahamas and St. Maarten. Additionally, he has led several faculty and student short-term service learning groups to the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Mr. Jones has been a panelist on selection committees for the David L. Boren National Security Education Program (NSEP) Undergraduate Scholarship for study abroad. He has been involved in international education and development for more than six years. He has traveled to several countries including Hungary, Ireland, St. Croix, Brazil, St. Maarten, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jamaica, Canada, and Mexico. Mr. Jones earned his Masters of Science degree in Counselor Education from Florida A&M University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Florida State University.

Karen Mitchell:Ms. Mitchell is Education Abroad Coordinator. She has the responsibility of coordinating education abroad experiences for students which includes recruiting students to participate in education abroad, as well as orienting and processing students to study, intern, and participate in Spring In-Service Learning experiences abroad. She also works with faculty in leading groups abroad. Ms. Mitchell has served as a liaison between Florida A & M University and Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic and managing the FAMU Center in the Dominican Republic . She has traveled to Nigeria , Colombia , Dominican Republic , Ireland , Brazil , Panama , Britain , and France . She is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and has a working knowledge of Italian and French. Ms. Mitchell is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Global Product Development at Florida State University . She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minor in Romance Languages from the University of Florida . She studied abroad at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota , Colombia and the University of Benin in Nigeria .

Cindy Peters: Ms. Peters is Education Abroad Coordinator. She has the responsibility of coordinating international exchanges and service learning programs. During her graduate studies, Ms. Peters served as Intern for the City of Tallahassee’s International Affairs Council. Her responsibilities included assisting the Council in coordinating international activities for the City, as well hosting international dignitaries. Prior to her current position, she was Program Coordinator for the North Florida International Visitors Council. In her capacity as program coordinator she arranged and coordinated professional programs for International Visitors participating in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program. Ms. Peters also serves as a volunteer on the City of Tallahassee International Students and Scholars’ Welcome Reception Committee which hosts all international students and scholars in the Tallahassee area during each Fall semester. She studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. She has traveled to several countries including, St. Maarten, Spain, Venezuella, the Netherlands, Bahamas, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cost Rica, Mexico, French Guyana, Anguilla, Dominican Republic, Belgium, and Grand Cayman Ms. Peters obtained her Master’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.

  Loretta Peterson: Ms Peterson is a Program Assistant. She has the responsibility of maintaining International Student records and facilitates the generation of periodic reports for management purposes.  She is also responsible for maintaining a database for international students’ immigration records to produce annual international students’ enrollment reports. She also a volunteer who assists in planning and coordinating activities for International Students and Scholars.  She holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Florida A & M University.

Avis Simmonds: Mrs. Simmonds is Office Manager; Designated School Official for International Students and Scholars; and Alternate Designated School Official for the F-1 program and Alternate Responsible Officer for the Student and Exchange Visitors Visa (J-1) Program. In this capacity, she provides professional administrative support to the Assistant Vice President and staff. Mrs. Simmonds provides assistance in planning, coordinating, and conducting of events and projects organized or managed by the office. She works directly with the Principal Designated School Official for International Students in preparing I-20s, advising international students on immigration issues, and updating data for the Student Exchange and Visitors Information System (SEVIS). She also assists with cross-cultural orientation and adjustment issues for new international students. Ms. Simmonds also assists the Coordinator of Curriculum Development with editing the Office of International Education and Development’s electronic newsletter. Mrs. Simmonds, in collaboration with International Office at FIU, presented at the NAFSA 2005 Region VII Conference in Birmingham, AL, “Making the Connection: International Peer Mentors in Action – A Home Away from Home.” She has served as home hospitality for international scholars visiting Florida A&M University under international projects implemented by OIED. She has been involved in international education for more than five years. She has traveled in various countries including South Africa, Nigeria, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Britain, St. Maarten, Nevis, Antigua, and Anguilla Ms. Simmonds holds Master’s and Bachelors’ degrees in Social Work from Florida A&M University .

Myra Walton: Mrs. Walton is International Studies and Curriculum Coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating education abroad and curriculum activities for faculty and was instrumental in initiating and implementing the new minor in international relations within the College of Arts and Sciences. She also coordinates promotional activities for the office, including editing the Office of International Education’s monthly electronic newsletter. Mrs. Walton began her international education career as the coordinator of FAMU’s inaugural study abroad program in the Dominican Republic in 1999. In this capacity, she coordinated the program of study and study abroad policies with Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, FAMU’s partner institution in the Dominican Republic. She also took the lead in establishing the HBCU Consortium for International Education & Development (formerly FAMU-HBCU International Consortium) and manages the day-to-day operations of the Consortium. She has traveled to various countries including Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Canada. Mrs. Walton holds a Masters degree in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T State University and a Bachelors degree in History and Political Science from Bennett College.

Hugh Williams: Hon. Williams is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the U.S. Department of State assigned to Florida A&M University as a Diplomat-In-Residence. A Foreign Service Officer since 1978, he has had numerous assignments at U.S. diplomatic missions overseas and at the Department of State in Washington, DC. His past assignments include postings in Canada, Jamaica, Belgium, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. As Consular Section Chief, Hon. Williams was responsible for issues concerning the protection and welfare of American citizens residing or traveling in the country in which he was posted. He was also responsible for operations that determined the visa eligibility of applicants who sought to enter the U.S. as visitors or permanent residents, and for processing their applications in accordance with U.S. immigration law and regulations. In Washington, he held a variety of positions that were responsible for the assignment, counseling and professional development of Foreign Service Officers. Before joining the Foreign Service, Hon. Williams served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he taught math and coached basketball. He fluently speaks French and Bahasa (spoken in Indonesia and Malaysia). Hon. Williams holds a Master’s degree in Education from Texas Southern University and another Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Delaware State College.

  Eddie Yon: Mr. Yon is the Webmaster for the Office of International Education & Development. He is responsible for the design, maintenance and content management of the departmental website and serves as the office’s technical support coordinator. Mr. Yon also hosts a weekly inspirational radio show, “Restoring Your Glory” and oversees an internet ministry of more than 250 members. Mr. Yon holds a B.S. Degree in Business Management from the University of Evansville in Indiana.