Director, Intercultural and International Student Services; Student Human Rights Officer; Coordinator, Intercultural LEAD
I'm originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated with a degree in Spanish from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan from 1995 - 1998, where I met my beautiful and way cooler better half, Zhanna. I worked at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park and Webster University (where I received a master's degree in Human Resources Development in 2005) until my family and I moved to Pella, Iowa, where I worked at Central College from 2006 - 2013. I started working at CSB/SJU on Monday, July 1, 2013 and have been absolutely amazed at the caliber, intelligence, and social consciousness of our students. I have a son named Gabriel and a daughter named Valeriya. You'll see them around campus occasionally, soaking up some of the vibes of these great institutions. Please feel free to stop by and socialize, vent, process, philosophize, converse, or just be. Our awesome student assistants are ready to welcome you to our space and to our campuses.
Peace, Blessings, and Health and Wellbeing
Assistant Director, Intercultural and International Student Services
I guess you could say I am truly a "local"--but with a heart to connect with and understand others who are culturally very different from me. I grew up in St. Joseph, MN, earned a high school diploma from Cathedral High School in St. Cloud, MN (1987), a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the College of St. Benedict (1991) and two tracks of a Master's degree in Counseling from St. Cloud State University (Guidance Counseling in 1994 and College Counseling & Student Development in 2010). Despite living most of my life in Central Minnesota, I have travelled and studied abroad quite extensively. While in high school, I spent a semester studying in the Netherlands. And while studying at CSB, I spent a semester in Greece and Italy (as well as 10 days in Turkey). Beyond my college years, international awareness and diversity remained a passion of mine. My husband (SJU class of 1988) and I (along with our two boys) have been a friendship family and host family to many international students throughout the past ten years-we are currently hosting Peter from Beijing, China. Professionally, I spent the last four years building and directing the international student program at Cathedral High School. Now, as I start my newest adventure at my Alma Mater, I look forward to learning how CSB/SJU has changed and how I can contribute to the schools I once called 'home' . . . and more importantly, help the current students who now consider CSB/SJU 'home'. Whether you need help, advice, or just want to chat or hang out, come by Murray Hall 150 . . . we have candy!
Graduate Intern, Intercultural and International Student Services
I am originally from right here in St. Joseph, Minnesota. I went to St. John's Preparatory School, but then decided to go to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. While there, I spent 4 months travelling and studying abroad in Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Austria. After graduation I worked in the Twin Cities where I met my husband (who happens to be from a town west of St. Cloud, Albany). I went on to get my Master's degree in English from St. Cloud State University while living in Monticello, Minnesota (30 miles east of St. Cloud). I also began teaching at Rasmussen College in 1996 after graduation and the same year I had my son, Matt who is now a sophomore in college. My daughter, Paige, now a senior at St. John's Prep, came along little over two years after that. I just moved back to St. Cloud area officially in 2011 (up to that time I was commuting). I started teaching FYS at CSBSJU in 2013, and decided to return to get my M.S. in Higher Education Administration last year at St. Cloud State University. I also taught last year at St. Cloud Technical and Community College where I worked with a great diversity of students including immigrant students, PSEO students, adult students returning to college, and many first generation students. I am hoping to learn much more about IISS operations, CSBSJU students who work in IISS, and finally I'm super psyched that I get to hang out with students and see them grow and thrive as future leaders outside of the classroom.