A Rising Star at Pitt: Louis Deemer Receives the NAFSA International Education Rising Star Young Leader Award

Louis Deemer, M.Ed., Immigration Specialist in the Office of International Services, has been selected to receive the prestigious NAFSA Rising Star Young Leader Award for 2024.

“In his young career, Louis has earned the respect of his colleagues for consistently going above and beyond expectations,” said Fanta Aw, executive director and CEO of NAFSA. “He has demonstrated impressive knowledge of complex immigration-related issues, for example, to the benefit of the international students he serves. We commend Louis for his expertise at this early stage of his career and look forward to his future contributions to the field.”

The Rising Star Young Leader Award is given annually by NAFSA 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. Each of NAFSA’s eleven regional chapters are invited to nominate a professional for the Rising Star. Louis was nominated by his peers in NAFSA Region VIII, which includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

In addition to his incredible work as an immigration specialist, Louis serves in a number of impactful roles in the Pitt and larger Pittsburgh community, among those:

  • Teaching Academic Foundations as a First Year Programs Course Instructor
  • Volunteering as a mentor for students in both the Global Ties One Caring Person Initiative and in the Pitt Commons Mentoring Program
  • Serving as the Vice Chair of Pitt Queer Professionals
  • Training for the FSDP Intercultural Competency workshop
  • Represents NAFSA Region VIII in the Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG)
  • Serving as Programming Chair for the Lavender Graduation Planning Committee
  • Acting member of the Transgender Working Group

“Lou’s leadership, service and dedication to the University of Pittsburgh’s international students and the LGBTQIA+ community is nothing short of remarkable,” said Ariel C. Armony, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs and Director of the University Center for International Studies. “He is truly deserving of the NAFSA Rising Star Award and we are proud that he is part of our organization.”

Louis will be recognized for this achievement during the NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference and Expo this May.

NAFSA is the largest and most comprehensive association of professionals committed to advancing international higher education. The association believes that international education advances learning and scholarship, fosters understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, is essential for developing globally competent individuals, and builds leadership for the global community.

Note: Among his many roles in the Pittsburgh community, Louis also recently ran in the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon! Pictures include photos from the November 2023 Philly half-marathon, rowing at a 2023 practice, and an outing on the Gateway Clipper Fleet with OIS staff!