The Rising Star Young Leader Award is given annually in recognition of a professional who has impacted the field of international education during the first five years of the recipient's area of work. The rising star will have demonstrated a commitment to internationalization and an ingenuity of thought that has the potential for having substantial and lasting influence upon global education. 

Nominations for this award are forwarded from NAFSA regions. 

Caitlin Johnson

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Caitlin Johnson headshot. Caitlin smiles to the camera in front of a beige background wearing a black blazer over a black and red blouse.
University of Kentucky
Communications Coordinator, Region VI
Caitlin Johnson serves as the Sponsored Student & Scholar Coordinator for the office of International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) at the University of Kentucky International Center. Her passion for international education and intercultural mentorship began during her years at Centre College...

Dawn Wilkenfeld

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Dawn Wilkenfeld
Montclair State University
Lead Conference Planner, Region X
Dawn Wilkenfeld, MA, works as the international student services coordinator at Montclair State University. She also is actively involved in volunteering locally within the international education community, serving as the conference planner for NAFSA Region X. In her daily work, Wilkenfeld serves...

Anna McCreedy, MA

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Anna McCreedy
Berkeley International Office
Conference Co-Chair, Region XII Northern District
Anna McCreedy, MA, works at the Berkeley International Office at UC Berkeley, where she is an International Student Adviser and the Programming Lead for the office. She is also actively involved in volunteering in the local international education community, acting as the Chair for the NAFSA...
Criteria for Nomination
Nomination Procedures
Benefits and Recognition
All Past Recipients