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.

A nominee for this award shows passion and has made significant contributions to their department, unit, institution, organization, to the NAFSA community, and/or to the field of international education. The Rising Star shows promise in making further contributions to the field of international education as a leader.

Nomination Process

Nominations should be submitted to Region II per the instructions below. At the annual Region II conference, the recipient of the award will be announced and then submitted to national NAFSA for consideration as the national Rising Star Young Leader in the following spring. Please do not submit nominations directly to national NAFSA – all Region II nominees for this award must be funneled through the regional process.

  • This award requires at least two nominators, both with an accompanying letter of support
  • Nomination form Icon PDF 16
  • A letter of support, describing the rationale for nominating this individual. Please be sure that you address all of the criteria in the description above. While printed copies with original signatures are not required, the letter should be written in an actual document in letter format (not an email). Remember that the recipient of this award will be further nominated for the national award, so write your letter of support with this in mind.
  • If more than one person is nominating the same individual, please submit all documents in one email if possible.
  • Updated resume of the individual being nominated (required).
  • Submit all materials above to the current Chair-Elect by September 15

Previous Recipients

Year Recipient
2020 Sara Boro, Kansas State University
2019 Kaitlyn Emerson, University of Wyoming
2018 Bodhi Murphy, University of Montana
2017 Naomi Olson, Regis University
2016 Katie Van Wyk, University of Arizona
2015 Melody Stratton, University of Kansas