Sharena Cotellesse Payne

Sharena Cotellesse Payne

Associate Director of Employer Relations
American University

Sharena Cotellesse Payne is the associate director of employer relations at American University (AU). She began her career in international education 15 years ago working in Education Abroad with GlobaLinks and Colorado State University, before living and working in Guatemala for two years. Sharena has worked at American University in several capacities for the past 10 years. First, as the assistant director of international admissions, recruiting and advocating for international students. Her passion for representing and supporting international students grew and she then spent two years as an adviser of immigration and compliance in the ISSS office, where she acted as DSO/ARO and liaison to AU's International Accelerator pathway program. Sharena currently works in the AU Career Center, where she continues her efforts to support the international student population. Her diverse roles and perspectives have made her a strong advocate for cross-campus collaboration in efforts to support international students before, during and after their time on-campus. In addition, Sharena has held several volunteer and leadership roles with NAFSA, including two years on the Leadership Cultivation Subcommittee.