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


  (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


  (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


  (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


  (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


  (202) 885-3353

Yui Itokawa Advisor, Immigration and Programming

Yui joined the International Student & Scholar Services in August 2018. Prior to joining ISSS, Yui worked over five years at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC. At the Embassy, Yui was a national l


  (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


  (202) 885-3458

Alyssa Sistare Advisor Immigration & Programming

Alyssa joined the ISSS staff in August 2018. Prior to coming to AU, Alyssa worked at AMIDEAST on the Fulbright Foreign Student Program for the Middle East and North Africa. In that position, she focus


  (202) 885-3351