About ISSS

Since 1929, American University has welcomed thousands of students and scholars to AU. Our diverse staff in International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) is dedicated to a single notion: that all world-minded students deserve a global education, and that education exists here at AU. You may read more about the ISSS Story here

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 27 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

James Choi Associate Director, Immigration & Compliance

James joined the International Student & Scholar Services at American University in 2014. Previously, he served as a volunteer with a non-profit organization called Youth With A Mission for five y


  (202) 885-3522

Shannon Conheady Advisor, Immigration and Programming

Shannon joined the ISSS staff in August 2021. Prior to coming to AU, Shannon worked as a Program Officer at AMIDEAST on the Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program and the Fulbright Foreign Stude


  (202) 885-3358

Fatmira Hoxha Assistant Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Mira joined the International Student & Scholar Services in July 2010. She brings over 29 years of professional experience in higher education including 19 years with American University. Function


  (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 nation


  (202) 885-3356

Nicole Powers Advisor, Immigration & Compliance

Nicole joined the ISSS Staff in July 2019. Previously, she worked at AUWCL as the International & Comparative Legal Studies Coordinator where she advised international LL.M. students and facilitat


  (202) 885-3458

Alyssa Sistare Sr. Advisor for Immigration and Compliance

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

Anna Tigan Associate Director, Services & Programs

Anna has been coordinating international education projects for a number of global institutions, universities, and organizations in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining AU, she has coordinat