Center for Global Study and Engagement
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
Executive Director of the Center for Global Study and Engagement and Associate Provost
Samantha, a graduate of Dickinson College, earned her Bachelor of Art’s degree in German and Anthropology. As an undergraduate she studied abroad in Cameroon, Germany, and France. She earned a Master’s degree in International Communication from the School of International Service at American University. Samantha’s professional experience includes having served as Programs Manager at the Institute of International Education; Study Abroad Advisor at the University of Maryland; Associate Director of the Office of International Programs at Brown University; Visiting Staff Member at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen; and Assistant Director of Off-Campus Studies at Gettysburg College. Her research interests lie in the study abroad gender gap, intervention in student learning abroad, and development and assessment of intercultural competencies. In addition to numerous conference presentations, she recently published an article in the Journal of International Education in Business on experiential learning theory and intervention in learning abroad. As Associate Provost and Executive Director, Samantha is responsible for all global education programs, operations and services at the College, including Education Abroad and International Student and Scholar Services.
In her free time, she enjoys eating and cooking global cuisine utilizing locally sourced agricultural products, cycling through the rolling hills of southern central Pennsylvania, anything Austrian, and traveling with her family.
Director of International Student and Scholar Services
Sonja Paulson holds a Bachelor's degree in English from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) where she studied abroad in London and Florence. Sonja taught English in the beautiful Tatra mountains of Slovakia for three years between her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She earned her Master's degree from the University of Minnesota in Comparative International Development Education. After working on short-term and customized programs at the University of Minnesota, she served as Assistant Director for the Office of Intercultural Affairs at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN for five years. Now in her fourth academic year at Dickinson, Sonja serves as PDSO for F-1 students and RO for J-1 students and scholars. She oversees International Student Orientation, advises students on visa compliance, and works with faculty in hosting visiting scholars and professors. She also serves as a College Dean.
Sonja was a Fellow at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication and is an active NAFSA Trainer Corps member. Recently, she became an IDI Qualified Administrator and participated in the 2018 Fulbright IEA seminar to South Korea.
Sonja is fascinated by the concept of home and how space and place shape worldview—some of her favorite conversations with international students involve learning their initial impressions of the U.S. and their adjustment to college life. In her free time, Sonja enjoys ethnic cuisine, treasure hunting at thrift stores, trying to practice kon mari, and taking long walks with her adorable dog. Having grown up in the Upper Midwest, she is accustomed to cold weather, and appreciates most anything that reminds her of home.
Associate Director, Education Abroad
Katie earned a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Anthropology/Archaeology and Classical Humanities from the University of Maryland, where she studied abroad in England and Israel. Katie holds a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Florida and entered the field of International Education in 2005 as a graduate student working in International Programs at the College of Business. While in graduate school, she worked for Suffolk University in Madrid as a summer intern. After graduation, Katie became the Coordinator of International Education at Santa Fe College, where she ran a one-person office and subsequently joined the Education Abroad team at the University of Tampa. Most recently she worked at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where she coordinated all aspects of short-term study abroad programs for a university of 63,000 students. Katie has completed the NAFSA Academy program, is an IDI Administrator, a member of NAFSA’s Trainer Corps and a Fulbright grantee to Korea.
At Dickinson, Katie is the Associate Director for Education Abroad where she supervises the education abroad team, provides leadership regarding education abroad policies, procedures and best practices, and advises students on all aspects of education abroad participation. She works closely with the Associate Provost & Executive Director and faculty to develop and administer a portfolio of short and long-term study abroad options as well as assisting in the monitoring and evaluating of study abroad programs.
If she had free time, Katie would enjoy going to the gym, reading, traveling, attending the theatre, frequenting museums, hiking, volunteering, gardening, and hosting fabulous dinner parties.
Luis Fernando Apolinário Johnson
Coordinator/Advisor, International Student and Scholar Services
Luis, a Brazilian native, who holds a law degree from PUC/Goias, Brazil and a Masters of Law (LL.M.) from Loyola University New Orleans. Prior to coming to the United States, he practiced as an attorney in Brazil. Luis moved to the US to pursue a degree in immigration law because he was particularly interested in the US perspective. While at Loyola, he assisted on pro bono immigration cases and interacted and worked with students and clients from various cultures and nationalities. His position at Dickinson connects his passion for immigration law with his interest in working with a diverse population. His own experiences and background allow him to assist other international students in following their own educational dreams.
At Dickinson, Luis serves as a DSO and ARO, advising students through the immigration process and life at the college. He also coordinates with faculty and staff across campus in support of Dickinson’s international, exchange students, and visiting scholars.
In his free time Luis enjoys cooking, shopping, spending time with his family, and watching TV shows.
Program Manager, Center for Global Study and Engagement
Kristine brings more than fifteen years of Dickinson service and experience to her role within the Center. As the Program Manager, Kristine has the primary responsibility for managing much of the day-to-day work in the Center related to process, procedure and policy. She supports overall Center-based programming through managing the Studio Abroad software platform, the education abroad application process (all program types), serving as an ARO in support of incoming visiting scholars, advising students and faculty on CGSE policies and procedures related to the application and post-acceptance process and collecting and sharing data and statistical information with a variety of constituents.
In her free time, she manages the busy lives of her children, from whom she occasionally escapes, to ride on the back of her husband’s Harley.
Coordinator/Advisor, Education Abroad
Stephanie is a graduate of Gettysburg College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Organization and Management Studies. She spent the fall semester of her junior year studying abroad in London and at Lancaster University in England. Stephanie got her start in education abroad first as a student worker and then post-graduation as Interim Assistant Director of the Center for Global Education at Gettysburg College. Stephanie hopes to continue her education by obtaining her Master’s degree one day. At Dickinson, Stephanie works with students through the study abroad advising process beore, during, and after the educational expereince and coordinates a portfolio of programs including Dickinson's programs in Australia, England, Italy, and New York. Stephanie also works closely with faculty and staff at Dickinson and overseas to assist in managing study abroad programs. She also helps in creating and maintaining program information and program materials, assists with event planning and oversees the Center’s social media accounts.
In her free time, Stephanie enjoys baking, interior decorating, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. She also likes playing tennis and enjoys learning about health and fitness.
Coordinator/Advisor, Education Abroad
Marissa Mitchell holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, Political Science and Spanish from the University of Evansville in southern Indiana, where she studied abroad in the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, and China. She earned a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Denver. After receiving her graduate degree, Marissa spent a year teaching English in rural Spain through the Spanish Ministry of Education. Before joining Dickinson, Marissa began her career in Education Abroad at the University of Evansville, first as the Coordinator of Short-term Programs Abroad, and then as a Program Coordinator. At Dickinson, Marissa works with students through the study abroad advising process and coordinates a portfolio of programs including Dickinson’s programs in Cameroon, China, France, Japan, Latin America, South Korea, and Spain.
In her free time, Marissa enjoys traveling, hiking, and watching football. As a native Coloradan, she continues to cheer on the Denver Broncos no matter where she is.
Coordinator/Advisor, Center for Global Study and Engagement
Leslie holds a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from The New School and a master's degree in Public Policy from New England College. At Dickinson, Leslie works with students through the study abroad advising process and coordinates a portfolio of programs including Dickinson’s programs in Germany and Russia. She also assists with outreach and helps with programming and events. In addition, Leslie supports our international students and visiting faculty, including serving as DSO and ARO for our F1 and J1 exchange program.
Administrative Assistant, Center for Global Study and Engagement
Melodi earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Cross-cultural Studies from Toccoa Falls College in northeast Georgia. During her undergraduate studies, she completed an international internship in Madrid, Spain. Before joining the Dickinson staff in 2018, she served for 16 years as the Director of Global Partnerships for a large church in Mechanicsburg, PA. Her global initiatives and philanthropic work took her to over 20 countries on five continents. These years of leadership in forging international partnerships afforded her the privilege of making deep connections in countries like Ecuador, Mali, Cambodia, and Jordan. At Dickinson, she embraces her role at the front desk of the Center for Global Study and Engagement and enjoys bringing administrative assistance to her colleagues and the many students who walk through our doors.
In her free time, Melodi soaks in as much fun as possible with her husband and two kiddos, and works hard to get away with her friends in an effort to eat sushi, drink bubble tea, take road trips, and laugh until her stomach hurts.