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Phone: +1.910.962.3367

Location: Hoggard Hall, 160

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Office of International Students & Scholars fosters globalization at UNCW by recruiting, admitting, welcoming, advising, supporting, engaging, and advocating for UNCW’s community of international students and scholars. OISS builds partnerships with overseas partners to attract international students to UNCW and fosters relationships with advisers, counselors, agents, and governmental agencies to increase the international student and scholar population on campus.  OISS provides transition support that addresses the unique needs of international students and scholars; ensures institutional compliance with federal immigration regulations for foreign students, visiting scholars, and employees on our visa sponsorship (F, J, H, and LPR); coordinates events and programs that engage international students with the broader community to promote a global culture throughout our campus; and serves the broader campus community in an administrative and advisory capacity.


Office of International Students & Scholars Staff

Dr. Jennifer Fernandez-Villa, Director

Jen Fernandez-Villa has served as the director of the Office of International Students & Scholars for more than a decade. Prior to joining UNCW, Jen worked at the Center for International Faculty & Student Services at Rutgers University. Jennifer has served on the NAFSA Region VII board, served as chair of the North Carolina Association of International Educators, and enjoys giving presentations and trainings at conferences. Jen earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UNCW, a Master's in Global Affairs from Rutgers, and a Bachelor's in Spanish from New York University. While attending NYU, Jen studied in Madrid, Spain for a year and Florence, Italy for a summer. Jen was born in Athens, Greece to an American father and English mother and is married to a Spaniard, with whom she has three children.  Jen feels privileged to work towards expanding UNCW's global footprint and loves getting to know students and scholars from around the world as they settle into their new life in the USA.

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Amy Stello Lekeu, Assistant Director

(J-1 Student & Scholar Adviser)

Amy Stello Lekeu serves J-1 exchange students and scholars as  the Assistant Director of the Office of International Students & Scholars. Amy earned her Master’s degree in International Education Policy from the University of Maryland and her Bachelor’s degree in English-Philosophy from Christopher Newport University. During her undergraduate program, Amy studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. After graduation, she spent a year volunteering with the Service Protestant de la Jeunesse in Belgium and continues to experience the importance of service-learning. Amy lives in Wilmington with her Belgian husband and infant daughter. She loves reading about innovative ideas and design, gardening, cooking, and traveling. As an educator, Amy is strongly committed to equity and diversity in higher education as well as serving local and global communities on campus. 

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Amy Lekeu Photo

Denise Gogarty, Assistant Director

(F-1, H-1B, LPR Adviser)

As Assistant Director, Denise Gogarty serves F-1 international students and manages H-1B and LPR sponsorship for international faculty and staff. Prior to joining UNCW, Denise worked at Oxford University in the UK, managing their faculty and researcher-led global travel program. Denise has traveled extensively in Asia and planned some of the first educational travel programs to Mongolia. She was involved in creating various community festivals and sustainable projects, including setting up an expedition lodge in the Gobi Desert. Denise holds a Master’s in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, where she lived for many years. She also earned an MBA and Bachelor’s in Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Denise feels passionate about UNCW’s commitment to diversity and globalization, ethics and integrity, and excellence and innovation.

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Riley Aldridge, Assistant Director of International Admissions  

Riley Aldridge serves prospective international students and applicants as the Assistant Director of International Admissions. Riley earned her Master’s degree in Leadership and Management from Notre Dame of Maryland University and her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Towson University. During her undergraduate program, Riley studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. After graduation, Riley moved back to Ireland where she worked for an international marketing company. After returning to the States, Riley pursued a career in higher education where she has worked in international, undergraduate, graduate, and law school admissions. Riley returned to her North Carolina roots to work with international students interested in an education at UNCW. Riley believes in the power of a diversified higher education and enjoys working with a wide range of student populations to help pursue their academic goals.

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John Larkins, Program Coordinator