Spotlight: Office of International Programs

A group of international students on the campus green

Caption: The NSU Office of International Programs assists international students, such as those pictured above.


Staff members, student workers come from all over the country and world

ABERDEEN, S.D. – For Northern State University’s Dominika Blum, growing up around individuals from all over the world gave her a strong global outlook – which is very important when working in the field of international education.

“Spending most of my life in Chicago, traveling to over 40 countries, and studying abroad during college exposed me to what international education is all about,” said Blum, director of the Office of International Programs at Northern. “It is a melting pot of people, diversity of thought, cultures, ethnic groups, beliefs, and languages.”

That’s exactly why Blum loves working in the NSU Office of International Programs.

“Between the staff, graduate assistants and undergraduate students, we are all from different parts of the country and the world, speaking nine different languages,” she said. “We all bring a different perspective and variety of thoughts to the table. We give the opportunity of expanding the academic and social college experience for our domestic and international students.”

Each member of the OIP team is passionate about working in the Office of International Programs. Below, Blum and her team share in their own words why they love what they do:


Dominika Blum, OIP Director:

“Global education creates personal and professional growth, it’s a multicultural learning atmosphere which makes it the ideal setting for increasing students’ social mindfulness and cultivating their understanding and appreciation of those who come from a different upbringing to their own. Our goal at OIP is to keep developing and implementing strategies for increasing international enrollment while ensuring that international students have a high-quality experience. We work with many departments on campus, provost, deans, admissions, faculty, staff, exchange partners, program providers, and community members to create global opportunities and support for our students. We offer worldwide programs such as student exchanges, study abroad, internships, service-learning, and engagement for all majors and colleges of the University. As South Dakota becomes more multicultural and diverse, as technology allows us to be connected and learn more about people and challenges and opportunities around the world, young people want to experience the differences, and the similarities, first-hand. Significantly, the future leaders graduating from Northern will have had experience understanding others who think and believe differently either by learning from an international student on campus or going abroad themselves. It is an exciting time to work in international education at Northern State University. Despite the challenges we are faced with on the daily basis, we are prepared for the future, as one of the leading international impact universities in South Dakota. I love my job, and the team we have here is second to none! I feel so fortunate to do this kind of work every single day because when you love what you do and you get to change lives in the process, it doesn’t feel like work!”


Monica Burgeson, School of Business Senior Secretary:

“I am excited to work with the Office of International Programs as I get to help International students be successful in their time at NSU and beyond.”


Stephen Deduck, International Student Services and Compliance Coordinator

“As someone who was an international student (in Russia) for such a long time, I am excited to help others along their journey in international education. I was so greatly impacted by my experience, I want to help others feel that same impact, and grow as much I have.”


Becky Nelson, Assistant Director of International Recruitment and Admissions:

“Every day, I am fortunate to observe and foster the exchange of new ideas, thoughts, traditions, languages and experiences between our diverse group of international and domestic students, staff and faculty. These exchanges open countless doors and windows of opportunity for anyone involved and it is a beautiful thing to witness when someone discovers the world is even larger, broader and more colorful than they previously imagined.”


Kirika Shimmei, Japan Outreach Initiative coordinator:

“I teach Japanese culture workshops to Aberdeen’s community throughout the year that range from tea ceremonies, origami and calligraphy to Japanese alphabet. The reason why I'm excited to work with OIP is to meet and work with people who have different cultures and experiences from my own.”



Michael Mohammed:

“My goal is to encourage students to study abroad, and support them throughout their journey. I really love working for NSU's OIP because of how dedicated the program is to promoting student opportunities and success abroad. It's such a great atmosphere!”

Betser Roney:

“I particularly serve international students by reminding and helping them with some of their upcoming academic related matters.”

Patrick Sowah:

"I see this opportunity as a way of improving myself."



Malu Avila:

“For me, I like working in the International Office because it is a safe environment where I'm able to express my ideas and thoughts.”

Christina Beusch:

“I am excited to work with IOP because it allows me to help open other people's eyes to the communities and the cultures that we have right here on this campus.”

Doyeon Kim:

“I came to NSU as an exchange student, and I'm working with OIP. As an international student, I wanted to help international students if they had any difficulties. I am helping students who want to come to NSU and those who want to participate in NSU study abroad programs to other countries. I communicate with students and help them solve their challenges.” 

Tony Mangialetti:

“My reason for being excited to work in the IPO is: This is a wonderful environment that allows me to flourish and expand my worldview, while also getting to interact with people from around the world on a daily basis.”

Eduardo Mendoza:

“The part I love the most about working at OIP is planning events for international students that provide fun and diversity, while fostering a sense of community (which is extremely important during these uncertain times).”


About Northern State University

Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and, soon, an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $120 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.