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U of I’s International Program Coordinator Receives NAFSA RISE Fellowship

MOSCOW, Idaho  Mimi Kestle, program coordinator at University of Idaho’s International Programs Office, has been selected as one of 11 international education professionals across the United States to receive the 2024-25 NAFSA RISE Fellowship. 


The NAFSA RISE (Representation, Inclusion, Support and Empowerment) Fellowship is a two-year, fully funded professional development opportunity for international educators from underrepresented backgrounds. 

“As a RISE fellow, Mimi will be actively engaged in professional development curriculum focused on global education, student mobility and campus internationalization that will help U of I advance our global engagement and initiatives as we move into R1 status,” said Dana Brolley, director of International Services at U of I. “She will spend two years gaining first-hand experience and learn from global leaders who are dedicated to international education, advocating for public policy that is globally informed, welcoming and engaged and be on the front lines of innovation in a changing world.”

U of I has international students, scholars, staff and faculty hailing from over 70 countries, and just this year, over 270 U of I students studied abroad. 

“This is a very exciting time for us,” Kestle said. “There is no doubt that international education enriches one’s university experience and opens the door to a world of opportunities. I believe international education intersects with almost every field of study, and I would love to see bridges built across every department at our campus.”

Kestle, who was born and raised in Australia by parents who are former Vietnamese refugees, is passionate about raising leaders and equipping international students and scholars with the skills and knowledge to give them ownership to enrich their educational experience. 

“The work is incomplete without ensuring the voices of those who come from diverse backgrounds are represented, included, supported and empowered because they are incredibly valuable,” Kestle said. “Proper stewardship of resources and education is the key in doing so.”

NAFSA: Association of International Educators serves the needs of more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide and is the leading organization committed to international education and exchange, working to advance policies and practices that build global citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today‘s interconnected world.

“Our NAFSA RISE fellows give us great hope for the future of the profession and the next generation,” said Fanta Aw, CEO and executive director of NAFSA.

The complete list of 2024-25 NAFSA RISE fellows is available at


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