I have lived in Minnesota since 2008 and am originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I received my Bachelors degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and had the opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain during that time. This experience changed me as an individual and sparked my career in International Education. I spent eight years living in Chicago working in the field and received my Masters degree in Multicultural Communications from DePaul University.
I have caught the travel bug and love to travel internationally when I can. Those who know me well know that I have a love for trying new foods from all over the world. I enjoy spending time with close family and friends and watching Wisconsin football (Go Packers!).
Samba DiengAssistant Director
I moved to St Paul, Minnesota from the State of Illinois, where I spent almost two years in International Education at the University of Illinois- Springfield Campus. I am originally from Senegal, where half of my family still resides. I came to the United States in 2001 as an international student and obtained my B.A. in political science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and my M.S. degree in international relations and political science at Indiana State University. I have been in many countries and I strive to tour the world by the age of 50.
Those who know me very well will tell you that I love the game of basketball and I am a great fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. I also love to cook and try food from all over the globe. My greatest life pursuit to this day is to visit the planet of Mars but do not hold me to it because I know it will not happen. Upon arrival to the University of St Thomas and after some interaction with your peers, you will come to realize that the atmosphere of the institution and the modest and outgoing nature of the students will all be in line with your desire to join the campus community. We look forward to your participation in campus activities and help in enriching our institution in its entirety.
Sarah ChurchillIntercultural Programs Coordinator
Hello! Due to my parent’s work, I spent most of my childhood in Japan, living in Kanazawa, Kobe and Tokyo. I absolutely loved my time in Japan and enjoy going back to visit when I am able. I first came to Minnesota to attend St. Olaf College in 2003. I received my B.A. in Psychology and Family Studies. While at St. Olaf College I was able to study abroad in Rome, Italy.
In 2010 I came to the University of St. Thomas to continue my education in the Leadership in Student Affairs program. During my time as a graduate student I was able to work as a Graduate Assistant in International Student Services. I graduated in May 2012 and am extremely excited to now continue working with International Students as the Intercultural Programs Coordinator. Please stop in anytime and say hello!
Miho PataniOffice Coordinator
I came to the University of St. Thomas after working for University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a foreign education consulting company in the field of international education. I received my B.A. in International Studies from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and M.S. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Throughout my career, I’ve always enjoyed working with people from different cultural backgrounds and learning from them. I’m very excited to be a part of UST community. I hope to play a part in your process to success in your new endeavor at University of St. Thomas.
Megan CouchGraduate Assistant
I was raised in Iowa, but moved to Wisconsin in 2001 where I stayed up until this year. I obtained my B.A. at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse in 2013, concentrating in Rhetoric/Writing and French. I studied in Nancy, France for a semester while honing my foreign language skills and traveling to all parts of the country. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about a new culture and finding new foods and fashions. I have worked for study abroad offices and international education/foreign language departments in the past, and have found the experiences to not only be very enriching but also thrilling and educational.
Through my graduate degree here at St. Thomas, I hope to find a job in higher education pertaining to International Education and Study Abroad after my two-year stint at our university. I am extremely excited to get started with our international students this year, and to create fun, culture-driven events for students in hopes that our St. Thomas community can develop and deepen our learning experience!
Hi! My name is Ruben Helmersen Johansen and I am an International student from Norway. I am a student worker at the International Student Services and I hope all of you find St. Thomas as exciting as I do! In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing basketball and playing videogames. Please feel free to drop by our office (ASC 218), even if you only want to say hi!