International Recruitment and Admissions Team

Leanne Stillman

Leanne StillmanLeanne is the Manager of International Recruitment & Admission.

Leanne is the Manager of International Recruitment & Admission. She came to the University of Guelph over 10 years ago, and remained because of the caring environment and inspiring students she meets on campus and around the world. Her passion to constantly improve the student experience within international admissions guides the spirit of the amazing team of people that make up International Recruitment and Admissions (IR&A).

As the number of international students from around the globe increases at the U of G, it is her goal to continue to take time to connect with people one-on-one and to find time to learn and grow.

In her free time when she is in Canada, you can find her volunteering and developing rugby programs for youth in Toronto.

Education:

  • Mount Allison University, Bachelor of Arts, Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • University of Leeds, Masters of Arts, International Education Management​

Deneene Ricketts

Deneene Ricketts

Currently on maternity leave. 
Deneene is another face that you will see representing the University of Guelph throughout the world. She really enjoys meeting people from different walks of life. They introduce her to different experiences and perspectives, all of which she does not take for granted. She feels these international perspectives are what build U of G, and enhance the students’ experience on campus.

The students who express their dreams and excitement are her favorite part about travelling! She hopes to contribute, even in a small way, to making those dreams a reality. And though the travelling can be exhausting at times, it all has brought so much joy to her life.

Why Guelph? Well, if you ask her she will immediately say the FOOD! She says that you can find anything you’re looking for on campus, especially if you’re missing “home” cooking or wanting to try something new. But, the community at U of G is also what makes the transition to the university smoother, and friends easy to make!

Education:

  • University of Guelph, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Co-op 

Ernest Damalie

Ernest Damalie

Ernest sincerely believes that the U of G’s “Improve Life” motto works like magic.

Words can’t express how much he loves U of G’s campus, its inclusive community and safe environment. He will also tell you that Canada, and its multicultural spirit, offers you so many opportunities to explore and work. That could be why Ernest has adventured here, himself, from Ghana.

Ernest finds that being on the road has proven, over and over again, that the greatest satisfaction is the smiles and joy he witnesses from the students and their families. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” This quote fuels his passion for recruitment.

Ask him, and he just might sing to you about the U of G!

Education:

  • University of Ghana, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Agri-Business
  • University of Guelph, Master of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics with International Development

Sarah Stefoff

Sarah Steffof

When you ask what her favourite thing is about the U of G, she will always say the warm atmosphere. The people aren’t just your classmates, and the professors aren’t just your teachers, everyone becomes your family.

She can’t wait to immerse herself in the different cultures around the world, and to talk to you about Canada’s diverse climate, ethnicity, spirituality and landscape. You can come to Canada and live freely as you are, and Sarah looks forward to helping you make the decision and the transition.

In her spare time, Sarah is a tradesman of sorts from playing the Ukulele, painting, speaking French and even singing! Be sure to welcome her when she visits your country and school.

Education:

  • University of Guelph, Bachelor of Arts, International Development; minor in Economics

Shiva Vaghei

Shiva

Shiva was immediately drawn to the U of G’s beauty. Having worked and traveled to many universities around the world, she can honestly say that the University of Guelph has one of the most beautiful campuses. And as a compliment to that, when you step off of campus into the city of Guelph, you’re welcomed by one of the friendliest cities and most genuine people.

Having grown up in Iran, and studied in the UK, her experience immigrating to Canada is what she loves to share with students who are considering studying abroad. She speaks to Canada’s cultural diversity, freedom, safety and scenery – which makes it one of the top countries to live in. Stepping out of her comfort zone to pursue her education in a foreign country changed her life; she wants to play a part in you making the right decision!

Outside of work? She enjoys the theatre and is passionate about soccer. FIFA 2026 in Canada!

Education:

  • University of Isfahan, Bachelor of Arts, English Language and Literature
  • University of Sheffield, Masters of Applied Linguistics and Intercultural Communication 

Lesley Jump

Lesley Jump and the Gryphon Statue.

Meet Lesley! Though she doesn’t travel around the world, she recruits and admits international students from the comfort of her office. She likes to think of herself as “mission control” – which is very true.

In fact, her favorite part of her job is in September when the international students arrive. She finally gets to meet the students she has been in contact with throughout the year, and introduce them to the welcoming community at U of G.   

Growing up in the United Kingdom, she came to Canada when she was 18 and never left. She is still a fan of Manchester United and Coronation Street, but she loves that Canadians embrace the four seasons, even in the cold. Just be sure to bring a warm jacket!

Jimmi Hemmenbach

Jimmi

Student recruitment is something Jimmi is very familiar with, and we are extremely excited to welcome him to the International team. When speaking to the U of G, he can’t speak highly enough about the community – that is crucial in the integrity process. He’ll also chime in about the food here, so be sure to ask him about that.

Speaking of food, this is something he also looks forward to when on the road. He sees the culinary explorations, along with connecting with other international recruiters, as a privilege. As an international student himself throughout his undergrad (and having been to almost 50 countries), he can sincerely speak to what it means to come to another country to explore academic options. He knows you, and your parents, will find this very helpful.

Coming from Sweden, you know he’s a soccer aficionado. He even played semi-professionally in Europe! In addition, you might even find him singing as he continues his travels throughout the world.

Education:

  • Hawaii Pacific University, Bachelor of Arts, Journalism
  • Gothenburg University, Master of Arts, Spanish Philology

Hirak - in-country representative

Hirak Pic.jpg

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1
Canada
519-824-4120