Center for Global Education Staff
Nicole Clements - Assistant Director, Semester Education Abroad
Nicole joined the CGE staff in January of 2011, bringing a variety of experiences with her to the position. Previouslyshe served as an AmeriCorps volunteer, a college admission counselor and academic advisor, a corporate human resources specialist, and the on-site recruiter for a study abroad program in Lithuania.
Nicole received both her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota. As an undergraduate, Nicole was fortunate to spend an academic year studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain, and as cliché as it sounds, that year changed her life. She gained a passion and appreciation for connecting with new cultures, a love of language learning, and a desire to experience more of the world. And while her career path has been a bit circuitous, Nicole credits her year in Spain with leading her to the role she has today!
Nicole enjoys helping students be successful in college - providing support, guidance, and troubleshooting as they navigate their undergraduate careers. She has a particular passion for helping students incorporate an international experience into their undergraduate career. At CSB/SJU, she manages the following semester programs: Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Greco-Roman/Roman-Greco, Guatemala, South Africa, and Spain. We encourage you to stop by our office to learn more about any of our programs, and to explore how an international experience can work for you!
Contact me: 320.363.5961
Joy Ruis - Assistant Director, Semester Education Abroad
Joy joined the CSB/SJU community and CGE staff in July 2008. Before that time, Joy worked for the Minnesota Historical Society, Wells Fargo, and then the International Education Center at University of St. Thomas. While at University of Saint Thomas, she also received my M.A. in Leadership in Student Affairs.
Joy also has a Bachelor of Science from University of Wisconsin-River Falls in History with a double minor in Political Science and International Studies. While there, she studied abroad for a semester just outside of Edinburgh with the Wisconsin in Scotland program just outside of Edinburgh. Prior to college, her love of travel started with a high school language program to Germany where she stayed with a host family for a week and then traveled to different areas in Southern Germany.
Growing up in the area, it is great to be close to family and friends. When not at work, Joy likes to spend her time with her husband and 2 children on the golf course, being on the lake, playing volleyball, or watching the Minnesota Twins baseball games.
Here in CGE, Joy manages the semester programs including: Australia, China, London (Fall & Spring), India, Ireland (Cork, Dublin, & Galway), Northern Ireland, Japan, and External study abroad programs. Come into our office to see how you can fit study abroad into your time here at CSBSJU.
Contact me: 320.363.5590
Manager of Global Programs
Jessica Dickau, a Bennie and Prepster, joined the Center for Global Education team June 2015. She works in close partnership with Nichole Matuska to welcome international students and guest to campus. Her hope is to provide an experience that is both enriching and fun. She is very excited to help international students and guests develop lasting bonds with our CSB/SJU community.
Prior to joining the team, Jessica, her husband Todd (a Johnnie), and favorite little person Zoey, lived and taught English in South Korea for 10 years. It was an amazing experience and she gained some valuable insights on the international EFL market. She is delighted to share what she’s learned with students through CSB/SJU’s Teach in Asia program.
Jessica caught the travel bug as a student at CSB. She studied abroad in Spain, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Cuba. She's managed to visit over 30 different countries. She loves to talk travel, scuba diving and yoga.
Contact me: 320.363.5930
Manager of Global Programs
Nichole Matuska joined the CSB/SJU community in October of 2009 working first in the Admission office then transitioned to the Intercultural and International Student Services office. While with IISS Nichole worked primarily with international students pursuing their 4-year degree advising on immigration and cultural adjustment.
In February, 2015 Nichole began working in the Center for Global Education as the Manager of Global Programs. In this role Nichole works with inbound short term and exchange programs from Japan, China, Chile, Germany, Australia, India, Northern Ireland, and the UK.
Nichole's interest in other cultures and countries began while she was a student at the College of Saint Benedict. Her first opportunity abroad came as a short-term program traveling to Guatemala. From there she studied abroad for a semester through the HECUA program to Ecuador, Guatemala and Colombia. After graduating from CSB, Nichole continued her international experience by living and teaching abroad in China.
Since returning to the United States, Nichole has had the opportunity to work in the areas of Human Resources, Social Services and Education. Nichole currently lives in Cold Spring with her husband and three boys.
Contact me: 320.363.5930
Merry joined CGE in November 2007, having previously worked in the St. John's Health Center for the past five years. Merry graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology and accumulated twenty years of experience in that field. So, with her medical background how did she end up working in Education Abroad?
Merry credits to her uncle for sparking her interest in travel to learn about other countries. When she was sixteen years old, she traveled to Europe with her uncle who was an art teacher, and a friend. Together, they went to Amsterdam, London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Florence, Geneva, and Berlin and learned a little bit about everything while abroad. She returned home realizing there was so much more to learn.
As a second year student at St. Olaf College, Merry took a theology course and studied abroad in the Rome program. It was intensive, truly a tremendous learning experience, and a time of spiritual growth.
Several years after finishing my college education Merry moved to Hawaii, and lived and worked there for twelve years. Many fond memories come to mind as she reflects on Hawaii as a true melting pot of peoples, with their various customs, foods, and history.
Merry currently lives in Sartell with her husband, two children, a cat and a dog. They enjoy camping, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, biking, soccer and basketball.
Contact me: 320.363.5958
Center for Global Education Student Employees & Coordinators –
Patricia Ambros, Accounting
Emma Becker, Nursing
Kao Chang, Communication
Franchesca Cromett, Psychology
Bridget Davis, English and Art
Alison Gerads, Accounting
Kristine Vang, Biology
Shoua Vang, Accounting
Audrey Wong, Biochemistry: Pre-Pharmacy
Padra Xiong, Sociology
CGE is always a busy place and we are on the front line! We greet students and faculty that come into the office; answer telephone calls; schedule appointments; update brochures, bulletin boards, websites, and other marketing materials. We are happy to assist you in finding more information about studying abroad through CSB/SJU. We can answer basic questions about the study abroad programs, Study Abroad 101, applying to a program and passports. We can also show you how to fully utilize the CGE website.
Contact us: 320.363.5952
Education Abroad Questions: [email protected]
International Exchange Program Questions: [email protected]