International Education
O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(map)
(248) 370-2889
ie@oakland.edu

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843
azimmerman@oakland.edu

Meet the Staff



Alex Zimmerman 
Director, International Education
azimmerman@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2843

Alex has been OU's Director of International Education since April 2016. Prior to coming to Michigan, he worked for four years as Study Abroad Coordinator at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and for one year as Project Manager at an Islamic interfaith organization in New York City. His international experience includes five years in South America, where he taught English in Argentina and Peru and had a fellowship from the Rotary Foundation to study microfinance and entrepreneurship in northern Peru, and a year in the Middle East where he directed a study abroad program for American high school students to learn Arabic in Amman, Jordan. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Middle Eastern studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He speaks Spanish, Arabic, French and Mandarin with declining levels of ability, and has also studied German and Navajo. He has studied abroad in 10 countries on five continents.
 Cynthia Weil
Assistant Director
weil@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2212

Cindy has been helping Oakland University students realize their dreams to study abroad and study away since in 2011 through promotion, advising, and direction. Her current role as Assistant Director and National Student Exchange Coordinator in the International Education Office was preceded by one year as OIE interim Director and three years as Study Abroad Coordinator. Cindy holds a Master of Business Administration from Oakland University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Lawrence Technological University and Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in German from Ohio University. Two undergraduate study abroad programs include German language immersion in Salzburg, Austria and Western European Business Study through seven countries. She studied German, French, and Russian languages to varying degrees. Nationally, Cindy has traveled to 46 of the 50 states and plans to notch the final four and U.S. Territories, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in the very near future.
Shirley Smith
Administrative Secretary
campbel4@oakland.edu
(248) 370-2889

Shirley started at Oakland University in the Office of International Education in March 2008. Her primary responsibility is to provide clerical support to the director and his staff. Shirley is also the first point of contact for students who are seeking to apply for study abroad or study away, scholarships, or to make an appointment with an OIE staff member. Additionally, she provides support by answering questions and directing students to appropriate campus resources. Shirley comes to OU with more than 20 years of experience in the administrative field.

Francis Alva

Francis Alva Martinez                                                                                    Student Adviser                                                                              alvamartinez@oakland.edu

(248) 370-4505

Francis has been a Study Abroad Student Advisor at the International Education Office since September 2016. Currently she is an International Student from Mexico pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Oakland University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico and participated in an exchange program in Brussels, Belgium, where her interest and passion in learning about other countries and cultures started. After completing her bachelor’s degree she started working for a Japanese automotive company based in Mexico. Her wanderlust and interest in the German culture took her back to Europe, where she immersed herself in the German language and Bavarian culture in Ingolstadt, Germany for 7 months. She likes to share her living and studying abroad experience and motivate students to pursue their own cultural journey and a unique learning experience in another country.