About ISSS

Since 1954, International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) has welcomed thousands of students and scholars to AU. Our diverse staff is dedicated to a single notion: that all world-minded students deserve a global education, and that education exists here at AU.

Mission Statement

ISSS builds on American University's traditions of valuing diversity and a global outlook by promoting international student and scholar mobility and serving as a resource for intercultural initiatives to the university community. To cultivate academic success and personal development for international students and scholars, ISSS aims at providing quality services and programs to the university community by educating, advocating and training while complying with federal regulations governing international education exchange.

Senem Bakar Director, International Student & Scholar Services

With over 25 years of experience in International Education and Exchange, Senem is directing the office to ensure availability of superb services and programs for international students and scholars a

  sbakar@american.edu

  (202) 885-3352

Blake Baxter Advisor, Transition & Retention

Blake joined the International Student & Scholar Services in September 2016. For nearly a decade, Blake worked in the ESL field as an instructor before transitioning to advising. He enjoys cross cultu

  bbaxter@american.edu

  (202) 885-3358

James Choi Associate Director, Immigration & Compliance

James joined the International Student & Scholar Services at American University in 2014. Before coming to AU, James was an associate attorney at an intellectual property law firm providing clients wi

  djchoi@american.edu

  (202) 885-3522

Juliana Fernandes Advisor, Immigration & Compliance

Juliana joined the International Student & Scholar Services in November 2015. Prior to joining ISSS, Juliana coordinated cross-cultural programs for AU graduates and pre and post departure orientation

  jfernand@american.edu

  (202) 885-3355

Fatmira Hoxha Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Mira brings over 18 years of professional experience in higher education including 10 years with American University. Functioning as Designated School Official (DSO) and Alternative Responsible Office

  fhoxha@american.edu

  (202) 885-3353

Sharena Payne Adjunct Instructor

Sharena joined AU in 2009 as an M.A. student in SIS and as a staff member in the AU Office of Enrollment, recruiting international undergraduate students in Europe and Brazil. Sharena first joined the

  sharena@american.edu

  (202) 885-3356

Katie Pettet Advisor, Immigration & Compliance

Katie joined ISSS in August 2015. Prior to coming to AU, Katie worked for several years at the American Council on Education (ACE). At ACE, Katie managed several leadership programs for senior campus

  kpettet@american.edu

  (202) 885-3458