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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

Caroline Spiese, Assistant Director

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

Caroline Spiese serves F-1 students and H-1B/LPR faculty and staff as the Assistant Director of the Office of International Students & Scholars. Caroline earned her Bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Italian Studies from Miami University. During her undergraduate program, Caroline studied abroad for a summer in Russia and for a semester in Ferrara, Italy.  She went back to Ferrara to do research as part of her Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University. Caroline has pursued a career in international higher education working with undergraduate and graduate students to achieve their academic goals. Caroline believes that global perspectives are a vital part of campus diversity, and is proud to contribute to and support the international community at UNCW.   

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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 

John Larkins serves UNCW’s international community as the Program Coordinator for the Office of International Students & Scholars. John is a Wilmington, NC native and completes his Master of Education degree, Higher Education specialization, at UNCW in May of 2022. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management, Outdoor Experiential Education from Appalachian State University. John has worked in the recreation and tourism industry for ten years. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a Response Volunteer in the Philippines where he assisted the Provincial Government of Romblon in establishing eco-tourism in their region. While in graduate school, John studied abroad at Maynooth University in Ireland. Prior to joining the Office of International Students & Scholars, John was a Program Director for a Wilmington summer camp planning and leading residential surf camps for kids and adults in Wilmington and abroad. John’s goal is to foster a cohesive international community at UNCW through programs, communication, and fostering relationships.

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Jana Carver, Graduate Assistant


Anas Kaouss, Graduate Assistant


Maya Nakamura, Intern