SPRING 2021 MAGAZINE
As a college for
WOMEN... What does it all mean?
INSIDE 10 A Woman’s World 14 Capturing HERstory 18 Creating Chemistry
IN THIS ISSUE
10 14 18
A Woman’s World Capturing HERstory Creating Chemistry
1 Message From the President 2 Worth 1,000 Words 4 News 26 I’m a Bennie 27 Class Notes 34 Bennie Connection 37 Generosity
The College of Saint Benedict Magazine is published three times a year by the office of Institutional Advancement. EDITOR Greg Skoog (SJU ’89) ASSISTANT EDITOR Abby Hansen ’12 CONTRIBUTORS Ellen Hunter Gans ’05 Tommy O’Laughlin (SJU ’13) COVER PHOTO Gabby Lott ’21, a biochem/pre-med major from Duluth, is right at home in the chem lab in the Ardolf Science Center. Photo by Tommy O’Laughlin (SJU ’13). CONTACT College of Saint Benedict Magazine Institutional Advancement 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374-2099 For address changes, please call 1-800-648-3468, ext. 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer The mission of the College of Saint Benedict is to provide for women the very best residential liberal arts education in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions. The college fosters integrated learning, exceptional leadership for change and wisdom for a lifetime.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Bringing the Best of Ourselves
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Boards of Trustees are continuing their work toward stronger integration. The Joint Strategic Visioning Committee is moving forward – along with several trustee working groups, the institutions’ leadership, and the two monastic communities – to secure approval for our change of structure application with the Higher Learning Commission, our institutions’ accrediting body. They are tackling all the legal and regulatory aspects.
We preserve and enhance our strength as a college for women because it is the essence of who we are.” At the same time, we’re taking on the internal culture work necessary to actualize stronger integration, particularly in nonacademic areas. We’re preparing for the very important single-president search. This work is going on across the campuses. All of that sounds great. And all of that IS great. This process of defining and implementing stronger integration is helping to clarify Saint Ben’s identity as a college for women. As the graduate of a women’s college, I remain keenly aware of that identity. Your board of trustees is aware as well. In fact, last summer, the CSB Board of Trustees planted a stake in the ground by officially endorsing a statement on what it means to be a college for women. Then, in the fall, our founding
order, the sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, joined in and offered their endorsement as well. We’ve included it here in its entirety on page 9 and I encourage you to read it. And once you’ve read it, keep reading – because in this issue we’re going to take a look at what it means. What are some of the significant aspects and outcomes of a college created intentionally for women? On page 14 we catch up with a group of eight successful Bennie chem/biochem grads from the class of 2010. None of them implies that she wouldn’t have succeeded without her women’s college experience. But each of them references the sisterhood they felt and the bonds they formed while preparing for a future in what is still a male-dominated field. The board and I are steadfastly committed to making sure the women of Saint Ben’s are well represented in this increased collaboration. We place stronger integration in the context of our statement on being a college for women. Always. I believe they are two sides of the essential strength equation. We preserve and enhance our strength as a college for women because it is the essence of who we are. And when we bring the best of ourselves to the process, it can only make the integrated aspects of CSB/SJU stronger.
Laurie M. Hamen, J.D. College of Saint Benedict Interim President
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WORTH 1,000 WORDS
TIME TO ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES S. Katherine Kraft ’60 is a former CSB Trustee. She was a CSB/SJU professor of theology. She was director of CSB Campus Ministry. And, now, she is vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus! In early February, CentraCare sent a vaccination “strike team” to set up in the Gathering Place and vaccinate the sisters. (The sisters have had NO cases of COVID-19 within the monastery.) S. Katherine sends her support and encouragement to fellow Bennies. “Anything we can do to encourage people to get vaccinated is worth doing,” she says.
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COVID-19 Protocols on Campus This Spring While this spring semester has still been far from “normal,” our students are back on campus, learning, engaging and growing. And, after the past two semesters, this one does hold a pronounced sense of optimism and progress. The approach to COVID-19 mitigation for spring semester has been threefold:
3. Keeping students on campus (and safer) through more activities and engagement
1. Testing more often and more effectively
This semester we are offering more opportunities for student clubs, programs and organizations to meet in person (while still being compliant with COVID-19 prevention measures). This has included loosening last semester’s visitation restrictions and expanding Link bus service later into the evening.
Given that testing is more available today than it was in the fall, this is the most powerful step we’re able to take. We required all students living on campus or participating in on-campus classes and activities to submit a negative COVID-19 test before classes resumed in January. After the first week, students were tested again. Those two tests gave us a baseline from which to construct this semester’s program of frequent, targeted testing. 2. Focusing on containing cases to avoid surges Part of that targeted program is testing specific groups (e.g., residence halls) to identify potential surges and thwart them before they get started. Student behavior is key to our success this semester. Whereas in the fall we communicated changes by tightening restrictions, this semester we have put more emphasis on communication and working closely with students. 4 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine
Both Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s are stressing outdoor activities, which are safer. Outdoor skating rinks were built on the Mall and Tundra, respectively. Cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing in the Arboretum have been popular. And a new lighted patio near the Benedicta Arts Center and gas fire pit outside Mary Commons have become popular gathering spots. In addition, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) resumed sporting activities in February – check out page 8 to learn more.
CSB Named a Top Fulbright Producer in 2020-2021
Amanda Bjerke ’20
Samantha Givens ’20
Allison Grodnick ’20
For the sixth time in seven years, the College of Saint Benedict was named one of the top producers of Fulbright U.S. students by the U.S. Department of State. CSB had six Fulbright awards offered in 2020-21, finishing in a tie for 24th with nine other schools in the baccalaureate category. The finish was CSB’s highest since placing 25th in 2016-17. CSB also placed 29th in the 2014-15 survey, 34th in 2015-16, 33rd in 2018-19 and 30th in 2019-20. Three CSB 2020 graduates received awards as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants (ETAs), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board: • Amanda Bjerke, from Elko New Market, Minnesota, accepted an ETA position in Germany. She received a degree in German at CSB. • Samantha Givens, from Ventura, California, accepted an ETA position to Malaysia. She received a degree in political science at CSB. • Allison Grodnick, from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, accepted an ETA position to Poland. She received a degree in biochemistry at CSB.
Three other 2020 CSB graduates received Fulbright awards but declined the award to accept other opportunities. • Tracy Magooba, from South St. Paul, Minnesota, declined a Fulbright Award in order to accept the Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Fellowship. She received a degree in political science at CSB. • Julia Petron, from Zimmerman, Minnesota, was offered but declined a Fulbright ETA Award to Germany. She opted to accept a Fulbright AustriaUnited States Teaching Assistant position offered through the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research. She received a degree in German at CSB. • Ilyse Putz, from Milo, Iowa, declined a Fulbright Award to accept an offer into the CEPLAS Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences Ph.D. Scholarship at Universität Düsseldorf, Universität Köln, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research Cologne, and Forschungszentrum Jülich. She received degrees in biology and German at CSB. In response to COVID-19 program adaptations, the 2020-2021 Top Producing data reflects the total number of awards offered, rather than the number of awards accepted as has been the criteria in past years.
Bowdoin College led all baccalaureate institutions, with 24 awards offered. Four other Minnesota schools were listed: Macalester (11 awards offered), St. Olaf (9), Carleton (7) and Minnesota-Morris (4). The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries. More than 2,200 U.S. students and 900 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators are awarded Fulbright awards annually. In addition, some 4,000 Fulbright Foreign Students and Visiting Scholars come to the United States annually to study, lecture, conduct research or teach their native language in U.S. institutions of higher education. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has given over 400,000 passionate and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems.
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Professor Emeritus Earns National Honor from AAAS Henry Jakubowski, professor emeritus of chemistry, who retired last June after a 32-year teaching career at CSB/SJU, was recently named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). His citation notes Jakubowski’s “distinguished contributions to molecular modeling chemistry education and for faculty development in molecular visualization” in the Education section. Jakubowski believes he was honored, in part, for the online work he developed.
book was clearly a factor in my selection as an AAAS Fellow.”
Years ago he assembled the biomolecular visualization images he had been working on into an electronic book to serve as the sole text for his biochemistry course. “I decided to put it on the web for free after spending time in China and realizing that the book could be used anywhere, at any time, but more importantly in places that lacked educational resources,” he explained.
Jakubowski is currently leading a team of biochemists to write a brand-new online biochemistry text that would cover a traditional full-year sequence of biochemistry. That project is part of the LibreText project developed by Delmar Larsen, Ph.D., from the University of California-Davis, to create free online chemistry texts for an entire four-year curriculum.
“Around 2006 I put a hit counter on just the table of contents page. That page alone has had about 450,000 hits from all over the world. I think the accessibility, broad usage and interactive nature of the
“I will be working on this book for another two years – at least,” Jakubowski said.
A Big Win for CSB Athletics Wednesday, Feb. 24, was the second annual CSB Athletics Give Day. For 24 hours, hundreds rallied together – former athletes, long-time fans, parents of current and former student-athletes, staff, faculty – to support the programs that develop some of our most impactful women leaders. And rally they did. By just after 6 p.m. we surpassed the stated goal for the day of 500 donors. And before the clock struck midnight we had passed a milestone no one had even dared speak above a whisper – $100,000.
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“It was so fun to see the different teams push and rally and compete right till the end,” said Maggie Weber Utsch ’00, director of annual giving. Total donors Total dollars
Top teams – donors Track/CC 140 Softball 134 Top teams – dollars Basketball $19,009 Softball $18,025
Music Department Icon Axel Theimer To Retire After Spring Semester
Find out more about Axel's career and farewell – including an amazing video of nearly 200 former and present students singing together virtually here. Simply point your smart phone at this QR code.
Axel Theimer, now in his 52nd year at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict, has decided to retire from his roles as choir director for the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir and the SJU Men’s Chorus and as a professor in the CSB/SJU Music Department at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year. Theimer’s retirement will bring to an end a long and distinguished tenure. It began when the former member of the Vienna Boys Choir and the director of Chorus Viennensis arrived in Collegeville from Austria in the summer of 1969, taking over for Gerhard Track as the choral director at SJU. Since that time, Theimer has become a leading voice (no pun intended) in his field. An active recitalist, he has presented master classes, workshops and seminars at state, regional, national and international conventions and conferences. He has also conducted All State Choirs, Choral Festivals and Honor Choirs in the U.S., Europe and the Far East. In addition to his work at CSB/SJU, he is also the founder and artistic director of Kantorei (a Twin Cities-based vocal ensemble which started 33 years ago as a CSB/SJU alum choir to give graduates the
opportunity to continue making music together, and is now one of the premiere vocal ensembles in Minnesota), and the Amadeus Chamber Symphony, a chamber orchestra for Central Minnesota musicians. He is the co-founder and has served as music director of the National Catholic Youth Choir and is a member of the faculty and the executive director of the VoiceCare Network. “He’s been here longer than all of us,” said Music Department chair David Arnott. “In fact, three tenured members of our department weren’t even born yet when he started teaching here. But we’re not just losing that vast amount of institutional memory and a truly accomplished teacher. We’re also losing all of the things he does – and has done for decades – that aren’t part of his job description. Organizing tours every year, organizing venues, and so much more.
“His light is always the last to go off in the (Stephen B. Humphrey Theater building) each night.” The position has been posted, interviews conducted, and the hope is that a candidate to replace Theimer will be selected and begin their job at the start of the 2021-22 school year. “Nobody is irreplaceable,” Theimer said. “The next person will come in with new ideas. There are plenty of things I never got started because I’d built my own traditions here. So this is a chance to try new things.” While he will miss day-to-day life at SJU, Theimer said he is looking forward to retirement. His only regret is that his last school year comes at a time when the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought a halt to annual concerts and recitals.
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Sports Are Back! BY | LEAH RADO
Game day doesn’t look the same in 2021. And it sure doesn’t sound the same. But when the puck drops, the basketball is tipped and the gun or whistle sounds for the first race – all is right with the world for athletes at the College of Saint Benedict. After a hiatus of more than 340 days, hockey, basketball, swim and dive and track and field returned to competition in late January. After voting to cancel competition through Dec. 31, and then delaying a decision on winter sports until mid-January, the MIAC Presidents’ Council voted on Jan. 11 to allow winter sports to compete. There are some caveats – no fans are allowed for any competitions, there are no conference tournaments or championships, and strict social distancing rules must be enforced on the pool deck, the track and the basketball sidelines. Caveats, rules and empty gyms aside, CSB basketball coach Mike Durbin is just happy to see his team on the court again. “I told our team the night before our scrimmage that, at 61 years old, I might not be able to sleep because I was so
excited to see them play,” said Durbin, who is in his 35th year with the program and won his astonishing 700th game against St. Thomas in an empty Claire Lynch Hall on Feb. 24. The Bennie hockey team was the first to officially kick off 2021 with a road game on Jan. 30. The basketball team played at home on Feb. 3 – the college’s first home contest since hosting the 2020 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 27-29 – and the swim and dive and track and field teams got their first competitions under their belt Feb. 6 and 7, respectively. All four teams are playing shortened schedules – MIAC rules allowed basketball and hockey to schedule 11 games, while track and swim both scheduled five meets. All schedules were subject to change, and many of them frequently did. But after
months of uncertainty, coaches know not to take a single minute on the court, rink, track or in the pool for granted. “I have really tried to remind this team that any opportunities we get this year should be considered a celebration,” Durbin said. “We need to be in the moment and enjoy the moment with each other.” At the time of publication, the MIAC athletic directors and Presidents’ Council had just released schedules for spring sports and were still in discussions on playing abbreviated seasons for some fall 2020 teams here in spring 2021. To stay up to date on all Bennie schedules and changes, go to gobennies.com or follow CSB athletics on Twitter and Facebook.
LOOK AT HER GO • #BENNIENATION and gobennies.com. 8 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine
College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees Statement What it Means To Be a College for Women
As a college for women, the College of Saint Benedict was founded to educate marginalized and disenfranchised young women – the daughters of German immigrants and farmers. Our legacy, as a Catholic and Benedictine institution, calls CSB to be an open and welcoming campus for all. As a college for women, CSB maintains a visible commitment to diversity and inclusion: including gender nonconforming and transgender people, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, people of various ages, people with limited economic means, and people of varying religious, spiritual and political beliefs. At CSB, we live our Benedictine value of respect for persons. This commitment requires ongoing intentionality and work to fully hear the perspectives of women and other marginalized groups. In our community, this intentionality is worthy and valued. As a college for women, CSB honors, values and respects the voices, perspectives and needs of women. We expect CSB and SJU to amplify women’s stories and to educate men about their role in amplifying the voices and perspectives of women. As a college for women, CSB is a space centered on serving women physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually.
CSB provides experiences that have value and meaning for our students and assist in their identity development and their emotional growth as women and as Bennies. We expect the space CSB provides, and the activities needed for this development, to be supported by an integrated model that invests equally in the curricular and cocurricular experiences of women and men. As a college for women, CSB advocates for women and women’s issues, seeking to end institutionalized sexism and structural inequity present within and outside of our community. Bennies graduate from CSB with a full understanding of their rights as women and with tools to dismantle systems of privilege and oppression.
As a college for women, CSB develops women leaders. Visible role models within the community are key to that aim. We expect CSB and SJU to continue CSB’s legacy of thoughtfully and intentionally recruiting and hiring women into positions of power. We expect the expertise, leadership and professionalism of women at all levels of the integrated organization to be authentically valued. We expect their advocacy on behalf of CSB students to be listened to intentionally. We expect women and men to be paid fairly and their work to be valued equally. We expect opportunities to be given based on ability and potential, rather than gender stereotypes. Endorsed by the CSB College for Women: Mission, Vision and Strategic Directions Committee on June 5, 2020 Endorsed by the CSB Board of Trustees on June 19, 2020 Endorsed by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict on Oct. 22, 2020
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A WOMAN’S WORLD WHY WOMEN’S COLLEGES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER BY | ELLEN HUNTER GANS ’05
ow many of us had an exchange like this one with quasi-baffled relatives, high school teachers or friends: “I’m going to enroll at Saint Ben’s.” “Isn’t that a women’s campus? Why would you want to live with all women?” For many of us, the instinct was to point to the partnership with Saint John’s. “There are men up the road! There are men in our classes! There’s even a bus!”
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And of course, that partnership is an important part of the Saint Ben’s experience. But what about our identity as a college for women? For those of you who elevated this exchange by emphasizing the critical role of a women’s college, you may well have been met with blank stares. And those blank stares are easily forgiven, especially now, in 2021, when our collective understanding of things like the gender spectrum, identities and roles have evolved since I first had exchanges like the one above 20 years ago.
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he number of women’s colleges in the United States has declined significantly in recent decades, down by nearly 85% since 1960. “Many of the holdouts have updated their missions: to serve transgender students, to admit men in certain programs, and/or to partner with nearby men’s or coeducational institutions,” reports Kathryn Enke ’05, chief of staff at Saint Ben’s. Dr. Enke has contributed substantial research on the women’s college experience, including a recent study in partnership with the Women’s College Coalition for her article “Access and Opportunity at American Women's Colleges: Contemporary Findings,” printed in the third volume of “Collectif,” Dec. 2020. This sharp drop-off could be chalked up to a larger cultural shift. We had the women’s movement, right? Didn’t you hear that women can have it all now? No special treatment, thankyouverymuch. It’s a level playing field. Except that it’s not. The women’s movement gave people who identify as women the pressure to have it all without the corresponding shift in infrastructure and support. Today, women-centric colleges aren’t obsolete. They’re more important than ever.
TAKING UP SPACE At a women’s college, women are not only permitted to take up space, but they are expected to do so. This is meant in the literal sense, as they are expected to be present, but it’s also meant in the broader sense. In a world where men (especially cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied white men) are the default, a women’s college, by design, defaults to women. And by starting with that category, there’s more space for all women, including those who aren’t cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied and white. Dr. Enke’s research indicates that “women’s colleges enroll a statistically higher
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percentage of undergraduate women of color than liberal arts colleges” [in general]. And she concludes that “women’s colleges are enrolling students similar in demographic profile to public universities (enrolling those who have been historically less well served by higher education) and achieving completion rates like liberal arts colleges (statistically higher than public universities).” That doesn’t mean any women’s college, including Saint Ben’s, has cultivated that space optimally. Yet the starting point – women are the priority here – delivers an advantage that strictly coeducational institutions simply can’t match. No clubs or speaker series or inspirational posters can accomplish what is built into the DNA of a women’s college. At a women’s college, the message is clear: You are not a second-class citizen. Take up all the space you need. No need to shrink or apologize.
EXPECTING MORE Does a women’s college leave students unprepared for this men-as-default world? Quite the opposite. For starters, Saint Ben’s doesn’t operate in a gendered vacuum. It’s very much part of the larger society, with a global perspective and an experience designed to illuminate, not shield. And while this isn’t a vacuum, it is somewhat of a microcosm of a matriarchal society, and the effect is pretty incredible. Have you seen what happens when women leaders aren’t the exception, but rather the rule? Have you seen what happens when women don’t need to apologize or fear gender discriminatory backlash for speaking up and speaking out? Saint Ben’s has an interim president who is a woman, a cabinet that is predominantly women, a board of trustees that is predominantly women, and a staff that is predominantly women. Here, we don’t simply talk about elevating women. It’s visible and felt, infused into the entire experience. That’s
by design, and it’s remarkable in a higher education landscape that is still largely dominated by white men – particularly in certain disciplines. Much research has been done confirming that men are taught to expect more and achieve more professionally, and they often tend to back that up with essential self-promotion. As reported by the Harvard Business School, “When women communicate with potential employers … they systematically give less favorable assessments of their own past performance and potential future ability than equally performing men.” In other words, women sell themselves short. How do you combat a systemic discrepancy – one of many that make the world smaller and more difficult for women? One place to start is by creating a space where women experience leadership and success firsthand. Where they assume that their voice is important. That their experience and perspective is valued and valid. That their contributions are worthy. That they are worthy. When they enter the world, even an imbalanced one, emboldened with a lived, proven conviction of fundamental worth, they expect more. They become advocates for themselves and for others. That’s how you begin to dismantle systems of oppression and systemic inequities. Not by giving lip service to a movement, but by emboldening the movers. Dr. Enke notes that there are two ways of thinking about gender. “One is the way I see myself – my identity. The other type is the way others gender me. No matter how I identify, others gender me every day, based on their assumptions given the way I look. How do people whom society genders as women navigate the power dynamics and stereotypes that come with that gendering?” That’s a question that a women’s college is uniquely positioned to confront.
YOU ARE NOT A SECONDCLASS CITIZEN. TAKE UP ALL THE SPACE YOU NEED. NO NEED TO SHRINK OR APOLOGIZE. A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP Some people might be feeling a little on guard at the prospect of an agenda that unapologetically supports women. But let’s be clear: Pro-women does not equate to anti-men. It’s about ensuring that all people have the opportunity to contribute fully to our families, our communities, our workplaces and our world. The partnership between Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s is not an accident. It has evolved thoughtfully. There’s a reason the two have aligned in so many areas, and there’s also a reason they haven’t fully coalesced into one institution. In this case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Saint Ben’s womencentric campus experience gives voice and opportunities to women. It gives the men of Saint John’s a model of what women-centric spaces can be as they see women in leadership roles in administration, on the Saint Ben’s Senate and beyond. And co-educational classrooms offer a platform where the separate campus experiences converge in discussion, challenge, confrontation and growth.
And just as Saint Ben’s doesn’t operate in a vacuum, neither does Saint John’s. The recently published statement endorsed by the CSB Board of Trustees and Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict states, in part, that: “We expect CSB and SJU to amplify women’s stories and to educate men about their role in amplifying the voices and perspectives of women.” The onus of progress doesn’t fall solely on women’s shoulders, nor are women the only ones who benefit from that progress. This isn’t a zero sum game where someone loses in order for someone else to advance. Indeed, it’s worth noting that a true antisexist (not just non-discriminatory) agenda includes challenging the narrow framework of hegemonic masculinity that hurts both men and women.
A LEGACY OF PROGRESS The Board-approved statement on page 9, “What it means to be a college for women,” is the latest, and perhaps clearest articulation of Saint Ben’s position on inclusion, diversity, and women’s rights. But it’s not a paradigm shift. It’s the evolution of a core tenant that is as foundational as the cornerstone of the Main building. Actually, it goes further back than that. It goes back to the sisters arriving on a frozen prairie well over a century ago with a calling to educate marginalized and disenfranchised young women. Since its inception, Saint Ben’s has existed to elevate, empower and educate women so they can lead courageously, advocate passionately, think critically, and seek to dismantle the structures that would hinder them – or the women who follow behind them. And today, that mission is as important as ever.
“This isn’t about separating women, or excluding men,” says Dr. Enke. In fact, she underscores that men shouldn’t be excluded from this dialogue. From her perspective, when confronting any sort of “ism” where there are marginalized groups and groups that traditionally hold power, the marginalized groups deserve a safe space where their needs are at the center, and the power-holding groups must be willing to listen to and act toward those needs.
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The HERstory Time Capsule Project seeks to “recognize and honor those who have been at the forefront of the climate crisis, the racial justice uprising, and in the political sphere as we lived through the consequential and tumultuous year of 2020.”
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ver the last year, some of us have O grown tired of masks. Some have grown tired of skipping large gatherings. But all of us have grown tired of the phrase “unprecedented times.” Yet here we are, looking back at a year like no other, and wondering what to make of it all. For the women of the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), the answer was a time capsule. “It came up during a board meeting,” recalls Danee Voss ’21, program coordinator for the IWL. “We were talking about the number of stories not being documented during COVID isolation. We’re all going through something … unprecedented. And we’re not going through it together. We should share these stories.” And, as a women’s center on a women’s college campus, they’re clear about the stories they want to capture and amplify. “All too often, the experiences of women and non-binary folks, and especially young people, are pushed to the margins of history books or are simply a footnote in the greater story,” explains Flannery White ’21, Hynes Scholar coordinator
for the IWL. “This project recognizes women and those of other marginalized genders as shapers of the world whose stories must be recorded and deserve to be remembered, not just as a brief annotation, but as full and complex persons who have contributed to history.”
Sampling some submissions Students, faculty and sisters have answered the IWL’s call for the HERstory Time Capsule. These next few pages showcase some of the photos, observations and insights that will help provide perspective on this past year.
In collaboration with the CSB Student Senate and the College of Saint Benedict Archives, they’re creating a space to save these stories. And they welcome submissions of experiences from between March 2020 and March 2021 – photos, artwork, journal entries, first-person accounts, physical objects – from students, faculty and alumnae. Even beyond COVID, 2020 was a remarkable year. The HERstory Time Capsule Project seeks to “recognize and honor those who have been at the forefront of the climate crisis, the racial justice uprising, and in the political sphere as we lived through the consequential and tumultuous year of 2020, in harmony with the IWL’s mission and vision to empower women and facilitate dialogue.”
The Future Is Feminist Dr. Sucharita Mukherjee, CSB/SJU Economics Department Chair
The CSB Women’s Center began operating in February 2004. In September 2007 the center was dedicated to S. Nancy Hynes, OSB. In 2009 the S. Nancy Hynes Center for Women became the S. Nancy Hynes Institute for Women’s Leadership. The change in name indicates the change in the institute’s focus. The primary focus is now on gender issues and women’s leadership.
Feminism in its quest for equality has been an overarching movement drawing attention to myriad, intersectional inequalities around the globe. The pandemic has once again revealed the fragile progress in racial and gender equality with women and people of color bearing a disproportionate share of the burden. We can ignore inequality and the need for gender and racial justice no more. The future is feminist.
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A Letter to My Younger Self Charlotte Rose Bjorn Frisk ’21 My last day in my study abroad program in Madagascar before I was evacuated. I played Ambar Lucid’s song “A letter to my younger self” about a hundred times that week. I was reassured by the following lyrics: “I promise all of this is not gonna last. Trust me, I know. Ya no quiero que llores. The universe is gonna give you muchas flores. Quítate ese miedo. You’ll be a lot more trust me, yo te entiendo.”
Sunflowers Brigit Stattelman-Scanlan ’21 Being a senior in college during these times is especially difficult. Being on campus and having that “normality” of going to class and the library, but also not being able to spend it with all your friends at football games or Thanksgiving dinner is very hard. This picture was taken during the first weeks back. It was a warm, sunny Friday after classes had finished and I rushed to the St. Joseph Farmers Market and bought a bouquet of my favorite flowers – sunflowers. Finding the small and simple things got me though the semester.
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Emily Kling ’21
Capri Potter ’23
“Friendsgiving” 2020 in Leutmer 340. We prepared and cooked all day for our elaborate Thanksgiving feast. We successfully attempted a full turkey in our college kitchen, so we decided to commemorate the moment. The clock reads 8:07 pm. Our festivities continued into the early hours of the morning. This is my favorite picture of us together. Our collective joy will be forever immortalized.
It’s not the most profound thing, but I’m a photographer for the school and I’ve always enjoyed dark humor, so I thought it was fitting for the year. Plus, it made the people (and their kids) who stumbled across us taking these laugh. This was taken in the woods outside Rochester, Minnesota, directly after the end of A Block.
The Radiance of Our Love S. Lois Wedl ’53, OSB In March 2020, after having lived in Evin Hall for eight years and in Margretta Hall for 26 years, I was asked to move out of Margretta because the county had asked CSB, SJU and SCSU to prepare one or two residence halls that had single rooms with baths in case the St. Cloud Hospital could not handle all the patients possibly affected by the coronavirus. Both Margretta and Lottie were chosen for this possible need. At the same time, both the administrators of the college and monastery agreed that to protect the Sisters from getting the virus from the students, the Sisters would not have any one-on-one contact with students. Not only had I been living with students, I’d been living with students for 34 years. I’ve been privileged to interact with more than a thousand of the finest young women and men in my 25 years in the Education Department and First-Year Seminar program. I have the reputation of being the #1 fan of the Bennies/Blazers and have hardly ever missed a home game. (I’m also prone to hopping the bus to travel to a few away games.) And I also direct the Benedictine Friends Program, which involves many students. So, for me to not have this personal contact was exceedingly hard. Early in the semester, Head Basketball Coach Mike Durbin and the members of his team, knowing how I would be missing this contact with coaches and athletes, sent me a lovely red plant with a card telling me how much they missed my presence. Both VP Mary Geller and Interim President Laurie Haman called and/or texted me wondering how I was doing. All I can say is thank goodness for Zoom, phone calls, email and letters. I, for one, will welcome the day when we can hug one another, welcome all into our monastery and smile without a mask covering the radiance of our love.
Just Keep Swimming Samantha Bruce ’21 March 13, 2020, is a day I will never forget. It was like life changed overnight. I remember waking up and talking to my roommate about the virus, debating whether or not getting sent home was a real possibility. Every class I had that Thursday and Friday discussed what online learning might look like. It was surreal. When we got the email sending us home for two weeks, I cried. I felt a combination of fear of what was to come and sadness over having to leave my friends for an unknown amount of time. We said our goodbyes with no idea of what was to come.
I went from being occupied as a full-time student with a research internship lined up for the summer and a stable plan for taking the Medical College Admissions Test and applying for medical school, to having no clue what was going to happen. I moved back home and went back to work at a local family-owned greenhouse – the same job I’ve had since high school. I went in looking for some extra cash and ended up taking on a new project. A group of colleagues and I were tasked with the challenge of putting together a new curbside and delivery department for the store. This had been scheduled to release in 2021 but had to be rushed because of the pandemic. Having very little business experience outside of customer service, I was surprised to find myself heavily involved in this. However, it ended up being an incredible learning experience. I learned more than I ever thought I would about business. I was able to work on my teamwork and communication skills as we quickly found ourselves swamped with orders. Though I never saw myself participating in anything business related ever, I am really glad that I took on this challenge.
I Can’t Breathe Danee Voss ’21 This year, from climate change to racial injustice to the pandemic, has had a profound impact on what I value. I want to be able to share some of the moments of 2020 that challenged me and brought me joy for people in the future to be able to witness the resiliency of Saint Ben’s students. (Danee submitted a series of photos from the year. This one is from her time at the first protest immediately after the death of George Floyd, May 26, 2020.)
As an alumna, your voice is welcomed in the HERstory Time Capsule project. If you would like to submit your own photos, artwork, journal entries, first-person accounts or physical objects, snap a photo of this QR code to visit the submission form. But please move quickly! The IWL hopes to close submissions in the first week of April. Spring 2021 | 17
CREATING CHEMISTRY BY | GREG SKOOG (SJU ’89)
Take eight curious women. Introduce science in combination with the liberal arts. Apply pressure in the crucible of a rigorous academic curriculum while carefully adding supportive sisterhood and the empowerment of a women’s college to serve as a catalyst.
OBSERVE REACTIONS AFTER 10 YEARS.
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Spring 2021 | 19
ANNE HYLDEN ’10 CSB MAJOR: Chemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Master’s, Inorganic Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania CURRENT ROLE: Chemistry and Math Instructor GameFace Tutoring Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
KATIE HARTJES CAMPBELL ’10 CSB MAJOR: Biochemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Ph.D., Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Graduate School CURRENT ROLE: Asst. Prof. of Interprofessional Education St. Catherine University St. Paul, Minnesota
SARAH PARKER BUCHERT ’10 CSB MAJOR: Chemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Master’s, Food Science, Kansas State University CURRENT ROLE: Data Steward Global Data Governance Services General Mills Minneapolis, Minnesota
STEPHANIE ROE ’10 CSB MAJOR: Chemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Master’s, Teaching, College of St. Scholastica CURRENT ROLE: Chemistry Instructor Rockford High School Rockford, Minnesota
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ry Googling “women in STEM” and the responses you find will whipsaw back and forth between analysis of the obstacles (girls aren’t conditioned to picture themselves there, and a gender pay gap awaits them when they do …) and profiles of pioneers who’ve bucked the system.
It feels daunting. Talk to a cohort of eight Saint Ben’s chemistry and biochemistry alumnae, just over 10 years out from their 2010 graduation, and it doesn’t sound quite so daunting. That’s not to say that chem and biochem aren’t challenging majors. “It’s not an easy road to get a STEM degree,” recalls Courtney Tiegs Ingalsbe ’10. “There will be days you wonder why you thought you could handle three labs in a semester. There will be long days of hard work.” But when offered the chance to grumble about the challenges of being a woman in the chem and biochem programs at CSB/SJU, none of these eight alumnae had a horror story to tell. “I like to think it is because of the welcoming community of CSB/SJU,” says Associate Professor and Chemistry Department Chair Alicia Bossen Peterson ’03, earnestly. For one thing, the department itself is located on the CSB campus. “Twenty-five or so years ago when the Ardolf (Science Center) was built, the chemistry faculty chose to be on the CSB campus to help increase the number of CSB majors,” explains Peterson. “I think this has helped the CSB majors feel more welcome.” Beyond that, there has been a focused effort in the last handful of years to improve gender representation in the faculty. “Since 2009, the number of women faculty in the Chemistry Department has increased,” Peterson confirms. “We now have eight females in the 13 people who teach chemistry courses and labs. In 2009, there were only three tenured or tenure-track female faculty members.” That’s a concerted effort. And while departments like Physics and Computer Science still have work to do in this area – and nearly all academic departments have work to do in improving racial and cultural representation – that work is in progress. And the Chemistry Department success story demonstrates what is possible.
COURTNEY TIEGS INGALSBE ’10 CSB MAJOR: Biochemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Bachelor’s CURRENT ROLE: Consumer Safety Officer U.S. Food and Drug Association Minneapolis, Minnesota
HADLEY MCINTOSH MARCEK ’10 CSB MAJOR: Chemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Ph.D., Environmental Chemistry, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science CURRENT ROLE: Science Writer American Chemical Society Washington, D.C.
AMY HOGERTON STADING ’10 CSB MAJOR: Chemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Ph.D., Bioanalytical Chemistry, University of Minnesota CURRENT ROLE: Chemistry Instructor St. Paul Academy St. Paul, Minnesota
NICOLE GAGNON BOUSU ’10 CSB MAJOR: Chemistry HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Minnesota CURRENT ROLE: Senior Scientist H.B. Fuller Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
Spring 2021 | 21
A COLLEGE FOR WOMEN
When choosing a college, all eight chose a women’s college, though hardly any chose Saint Ben’s specifically because it’s a women’s college. Looking back, however, each sees the importance. BOUSU: I wanted to make sure that I would still be exposed to diverse voices, especially in non-science courses like the first-year symposium and some of the liberal arts courses I knew I would be taking. ROE: So the partnership with Saint John’s and the coed academic programs provided nice balance. MARCEK: As I have gone to other institutions since CSB, I realize what a special opportunity it is to have gone to a ‘college for women’. CAMPBELL: I appreciate the unique value that a women’s college has played in my academic and personal development. I teach at St. Catherine University and can see that value from a faculty perspective. BUCHERT: I have much more appreciation for it now. Saint Ben’s is a place where womanhood is celebrated, women are empowered and women lift each other up. During and since college, I have come to realize how rare and special a place like that is. MARCEK: My mom went to a college for women and had a fabulous experience. Forty years later there is still a group of six of her friends from college that she regularly talks with. I wanted that.
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Finding a major is a journey for many college students. For most of this group, it was a fairly short trip. They arrived at Saint Ben’s in love with science and quickly coalesced around chemistry/biochemistry. STADING: I really liked chemistry in high school. I thought it made a lot of sense and was fun. I also felt like it had a lot of viable career paths. HYLDEN: It’s called the ‘central science’ for a reason. It bridges the gap between theory and application. To understand any natural phenomena on a deep level, you have to know some chemistry. It’s the study of how the universe is put together. MARCEK: I liked the intertwining of math and science together. BOUSU: I love how chemistry answers questions about the world around us. It’s fascinating to learn about things on a molecular scale that can be applied to our everyday life.
THE PLACE TO BE
For these eight alumnae, Saint Ben’s was an ideal place to pursue an undergraduate degree in science. They found opportunity, support and, counter to the narrative of female underrepresentation in STEM, they found a relatively gender-balanced cohort. HYLDEN: While I was in the CSB/SJU chemistry program, I believe it was about 60% men and 40% women. I remember that because when the program was up for re-accreditation, some evaluators interviewed me and a classmate, and they asked about that ratio specifically. Before then, it hadn’t occurred to me to consider myself a minority in the program. I never felt outnumbered, because there were always other female students around. Which is quite different from when my mom went to Saint Ben’s – she was the only woman in her Physical Chemistry class. INGALSBE: We were very supportive of one another. The men and women in the biology, chemistry and biochemistry programs helped each other to succeed. There was never a feeling of ‘men are better at this’. We took on the battle together. MARCEK: The students in our class knew each other’s names, we studied together outside of class, we spent four hours a week together in lab, and that really bonded us. ROE: The other women in my major were always a really supportive group. The guys were, too, but I remember spending more time and collaborating more often with fellow Bennies. BOUSU: We supported each other through late-night study sessions, as lab partners and as emotional support when classes and life were stressful.
STADING: After graduate school at the U, I feel really familiar with the pros and cons of pursuing a technical degree at a PUI (primarily undergraduate institution) versus a larger university. There are so many rich research experiences available at large universities. But students need to be really proactive in seeking those out and seeking out a community for themselves. I think I would have gotten lost had I jumped into a large university as an undergraduate. It was great for graduate school, but I did a lot better at a PUI. My classes were small, so we were the focus. I was close with my peers and we moved through our coursework as this cohesive little cohort. I needed that sense of community. CAMPBELL: I think the value of a smaller institution is the individualized mentorship that the faculty can provide. I always felt welcomed and that I had a place in the classroom and in the lab. INGALSBE: I often feel a great deal of the success I had was the small class sizes. My professors knew me. They knew our names and they remembered where we struggled and where we excelled. MARCEK: One of the best things about the CSB/SJU faculty was their open-door policy. I probably was one of the annoying students who took too much advantage of it, but I remember sitting in almost all of my professors’ offices to ask questions.
Spring 2021 | 23
SUMMER UNDERGRAD RESEARCH
The undergraduate research opportunities at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s are designed to promote collaborative studentfaculty scholarship in all disciplines. Every one of these eight took that opportunity to grab hold of a summer job that would keep paying into their future.
INGALSBE: It was a great learning experience for me, learning that failure yields results, how to adapt to the situation at hand and what working in a lab could be like. Dr. J. (Professor Emeritus Henry Jakubowski) was an amazing mentor to have throughout my education at CSB.
CAMPBELL: I did organic chemistry research with Dr. Brian Johnson and it was instrumental in preparing me for an external research experience at the University of Iowa and for my future Ph.D. path. BOUSU: Undergraduate research was a great experience in seeing a glimpse of what graduate school would be like. I worked on a project that pushed me academically and I learned a lot about critical thinking, independent work and troubleshooting. Research is so much more than just the project you’re working on. It teaches you how to think and brainstorm in a scientific manner and it takes the classroom learning to a new level.
MARCEK: My research project was fully intertwined with Amy’s. They were supervised by Dr. Kate Graham and Dr. T. Nicholas Jones. To have two students and two mentors together, it was like we were a real research team. STADING: We learned a ton. How to replicate and modify lab procedures from literature, how to collect and analyze data, and how to communicate our results with an audience. While the lab experiences were great, what I most enjoyed was just living on campus during the summer. There is such a small group of students there in the summer that you really get to know each other well. I definitely encourage undergrads, especially those seeking summer opportunities, to consider summer research.
BUCHERT: It was really fun being part of a small group of scienceminded students spending our entire days in the lab. It was serendipitous – for me and my resume – that I inherited a food-testing research project and then found my career home in a food company! ROE: I did undergrad research for two summers, and that experience definitely helped build my resume and my confidence. I got to try a lot of different things. I felt like I was making a small but significant contribution to scientific research, and that was empowering. HYLDEN: My summer doing research with Dr. Jones at CSB resulted in my first-and-only first-author publication! It was a great experience, working one-on-one with a professor and getting a glimpse at the process of contributing to the scientific literature.
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SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WOMAN IN STEM FROM A WOMEN’S COLLEGE?
It took their hard work and a supportive environment. But, over 10 years later, what’s the result of that effort? CAMPBELL: I feel a sense of pride in my role as a woman in STEM and a deep sense of responsibility in the work I do to support undergraduate women in STEM and health care fields in their own research experiences. I don’t take the opportunities I have been given lightly, and hope that my work will help create similar opportunities for other young women in STEM. ROE: Women are overrepresented in teaching – at least at the K-12 level – but underrepresented in science, so I’m at a weird intersection point. I guess, to me, being a woman in STEM means being intelligent and knowledgeable about science content and, maybe more importantly, science practices. It means being someone who actually uses science to make decisions within my professional and personal spheres. As someone who’s also an educator, it means actively encouraging others’ interest in science, regardless of gender. HYLDEN: I’ve been lucky to have many female role models in STEM: my mom, my sisters and scientists I’ve worked with along the way. It has never felt unusual to me for a woman to pursue one of these disciplines. To me, being a woman in STEM simply means being an individual who is following their interests.
MARCEK: I think being a woman in STEM is important, but at the same time I think it is more important to have a diversity of ideas and people in science. Science moves forward when new people join and bring in their experiences and thoughts on what needs to be researched further. For me, that diversity comes from gender, but also from life experiences, socioeconomic background, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and so much more. BUCHERT: I have two young daughters, so it’s important to me that they realize there are no limitations on what they can study or what careers they can pursue. And I have come to realize that my identity, including as a woman, affects the way I show up at work, and my team benefits from that. Ultimately there are no teams or projects in any field that can’t benefit from female contributions. It’s to everyone’s advantage when women have a seat at the table. BOUSU: Saint Ben’s gave me a solid foundation to not only work in a STEM field, but to be an overall good employee and teammate. What I love about a liberal arts school like CSB/SJU is that you not only learn the curriculum, but you also learn how to articulate and communicate, how to work in a team, how to support others, and how to critically think.
INGALSBE: The people I work with on a daily basis, both men and women alike, are intelligent and appreciate each others’ contributions to our mission of public health. Working for the federal government means part of our mission is diversity and inclusion. And part of that is elevating and supporting women in their careers.
Spring 2021 | 25
I’M A BENNIE
ALISON HOXIE ’99 WHEN EVERYONE’S AT THE TABLE “I knew when I entered Saint Ben’s I likely was going to do engineering … which is kind of funny since at the time I didn’t really know what being an engineer meant.” Clearly, in the years since then, Alison Hoxie ’99 has figured out what being an engineer means. She’s spent the last 10 years sharing that insight at the Swenson College of Science and Engineering – University of Minnesota Duluth – where she is currently an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of graduate studies for her department. “I get so much energy and joy for engineering from my students,” she says. “I love it when they get excited about the subject and want to learn as much as they can.”
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As a student, Alison chose Saint Ben’s not because it is a college specifically for women, but because it is a liberal arts college – she wanted the freedom to explore classes outside her major. But attending a women’s college ended up having a profound impact on her. “I remember during orientation they referred to us as ‘women,’ and I thought ‘Ahhh, I’m just a girl.’ But before long that simple change of language took root and changed me,” she recalls. “My whole experience at Saint Ben’s was like that. It gave me confidence to believe in myself and what I could do and become. I don’t think I would have ended up where I am today without having gone to Saint Ben’s first.
For Alison, “where I am today” means working in a field where women have been traditionally underrepresented. Doing her part to bring balance to her field is important to her. “I think we are facing some of the toughest problems like climate change, access to clean water, to health care, the list goes on and on,” she says. “I have come to believe that we will only solve these problems if we have everyone at the table searching for solutions. Studies show that the more diverse the backgrounds of the people at the table, the better the solutions. STEM should reflect our general population in terms of diversity in order for us all to succeed.”
Major at CSB Natural science
First-year residence hall Aurora
Favorite class: Well, two classes come to mind. Jeff Anderson’s Intro to Peace Studies class and all the physics labs I took! So FUN!
Favorite Bennie memory I did work study in the theater, so I became friends with many theater majors. I was studying lots of technical and not always very exciting subjects at that time, so spending time using the other half of my brain, working on theater sets with theater kids, was so fun and such a great experience. I loved spending time there.
Carrie Fenna Torgersen published a 1995
Mai Yang was named to Twin Cities 2013
Samia Tarraf was recognized by Twin Cities Business Magazine as a 2020 Notable Woman in Technology, Dec. ’20.
Katy Jenkins Steinbach published her 2014
aren Ronningen Jones started a new K position as clinical consultant in the Science Department at Beyond Celiac, Nov. ’20.
nne Dotson Doepner was featured in A Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for outstanding work with the Minnesota Vikings, Oct. ’20.
picture book titled “Magnus the Naughty Dog Steals Lunch,” Dec. ’20.
S. Mara Faulkner, OSB contributed to 1962
the writing and publication of “Becoming Sinclair Lewis”. The book was written mostly by Sauk Centre resident David Allen Simpkins, but his sudden death two years ago put a halt to the project. At that point, friends and fellow Lewis aficionados like S. Mara came to the rescue, pulling together to finish the book.
Catherine Zabinski published “Amber 1983 Waves: The Extraordinary Biography of Wheat, from Wild Grass to World Megacrop,” Sept. ’20.
Nancy Bishop Polomis was named one 1984
of the 2020 Notable Women in Law by Twin Cities Business, Oct. ’20. She also received the Community Associations Institute-Minnesota Business Partner Excellence in Service Vision Award, which recognizes individuals and companies for their outstanding achievements in the community association industry, Dec. ’20.
Elizabeth “Beth” Brinkman Fletcher 2002 was elected to the Eden Prairie, Minnesota, school board, Nov. ’20.
Melissa Horning Dehmer received 2006
the Junior Investigator Award and over $1 million in research grants from the University of Minnesota, Oct. ’20.
County (Minnesota) commissioner, Nov. ’20. St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce was recognized as a 2020 Most Admired CEO by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Dec. ’20.
first children’s book, “Pip and Charley Make Friends,” Oct. ’20.
Kathryn “Kate” Francis started a new position as senior consultant with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington, D.C., Sept. ’20.
Lisa Fobbe was re-elected as Sherburne 1985 Brenda “B” Piette Kyle of the 1986
Business 100 list of People To Know for 2021, Dec. ’20.
atricia Nolan Meling was elected P to the Sartell-St. Stephen, Minnesota, school board, Nov. ’20.
ABIGAIL “ABBY” BUSHEY
was highlighted in Duluth News Tribune for becoming part of the cardiothoracic team at St. Luke’s Hospital, Nov. ’20.
Judith “Judy” Borchlewicz Symalla is a fiscal year 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Ann Walker Hansen was recognized by 1988
Twin Cities Business Magazine as a 2020 Notable Woman in Real Estate, Oct. ’20.
Mary Maus Kosir started a new position 1989 as executive director of Concordia Language Villages, Oct. ’20.
Dr. Julia Jasken was selected to be 1993
the tenth president of McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, Dec. ’20. She will begin her new position in June ’21. Cami Longstreet Zimmer was recognized by Twin Cities Business Magazine as a 2020 Notable Woman in Technology, Dec. ’20.
HEATHER JOHNSON GRIFFIN
DR. NANCY PESTA WALSH was honored for her 10 years as a clinical faculty member at Frontier Nursing University in Versailles, Kentucky, Dec. ’20.
was promoted to assistant director of admissions for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing in Lubbock, Texas, Dec. ’20.
was recognized as one of the Minne Inno Under 25 for 2020, Nov. ’20. Each year, Minne Inno recognizes a group of deserving people under the age of 25 that are local startup leaders. Precious was recently promoted from her role as director of the gBeta Greater Minnesota St. Cloud accelerator to now lead gener8tor’s Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator, Jan. ’21. She also recently recorded a TEDx Talk titled “Who Gets To Be Called An ‘Entrepreneur’ and Why It Matters”.
ichelle Pokorny Jones was recognized M by Twin Cities Business Magazine as a 2020 Notable Hero in Health Care, Dec. ’20.
For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect: csbalum.csbsju.edu or email us at email@example.com. Spring 2021 | 27
Sophia Korman to Joseph Wocken ’15, 2015 Oct. ’20
Alissa Langer to Trevor Plasky ’15, Sept. ’20 Marie Nilles-Melchert to John Millberg, Oct. ’19 Mackenzie Sullivan to Maze Thompson ’15, Oct. ’19 Jennifer Ulveling to Jack Hamilton ’15, Oct. ’20 Alicia Evenson to Joshua Bungum ’16, 2016 Aug. ’20
Alexandra Hammerstrom to Andrew Commers ’16, Aug. ’19
ANNE WURTZ PARKS TO J. JOSEPH OTTE, SEPT. ’20
ACKENZIE LECY TO RYAN M MENDEN, JULY ’20
Katrina Lusty to Dan Daley, Oct. ’20 2000 Nicole Michels to Nicholas Storm, May ’20 2005 2006 Kathleen Utley to Wayne Smith, April ’20 2008 Catherine Burke to Fernando Arellano,
Elizabeth Erickson to Thomas Budd ’17, 2017 Nov. ’20
Alexandra “Lexie” Nepsund to Mitchell Bebus, Nov. ’20
Katherine Ellis to Karl Selewski, July ’20
Alexandra Pindro to Anthony Hernandez, July ’20 Megan Van Loh to Michael Weck, June ’20
Bethany Beniek to Joseph Wierzbicki, 2011 Nov. ’19
Kari Hartmann to Jason Hehr, Nov. ’19
Brittany Dingman to Karsen Yelle ’12, 2012 Aug. ’20
Meghan Nelson to Adam Colon, Oct. ’19
STEPHANIE PINKALLA TO STEPHEN KATZ ’14, SEPT. ’20
BRIDGET GOHMANN TO ISAAC KNOWLES, SEPT. ’20 2013
Anna Harren to Ethan Kvidt ’14, Oct. ’20
Molly Kalina to Jeremiah Hales, Aug. ’20
Jordyn Reed to Christian Tomyn, Sept. ’19
Sarita Tabor to Kevin Sour, Sept. ’19
Amanda Dixon to Andrew Rose ’15, 2014 Nov. ’20
Abigail Jarnot to Dylan Gertken ’15, Dec. ’20
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bby Lundeen to Adam Rosenthal, A Sept. ’20 Magdalen Morris to Dylan Graves ’14, Sept. ’20 Meghan O’Brien to Tommy Rongitsch ’14, May ’20
Ashley Radatz to Stephen Uphus ’17, Sept. ’20 Emma Woods to Mackenzie Jarocki ’17, June ’20 Sarah Manning to William Canfield ’16, 2018 Aug. ’20
Lauren Noel to John Gregory, Aug. ’20
Kayla Steffen to Brian Woods, Oct. ’19
Alisha Voigt to Ryan Fuchs ’13, Sept. ’20
Paige Ryer to Carlos Esquibel, Sept. ’19
Alexandra Alviani to Michael Keithahn, 2015
Maggie Wothe to Justin Vigesaa, June ’20
Haley Anderson to Jacob Collins, Aug. ’20
Marisa Amacher to Ross Carlson ’15, May ’20
Aren Gerads to Bradley Omann, Oct. ’20
Nicole Cornell to Dominic Plutino, Oct. ’20
Mary Lindell to Robert Geisenhof, Oct. ’19
Estee Sieben to Titus Bishop, Sept. ’19
Josie Thelen to Mitchell Fritz ’19, Jan. ’21
Jordan Falk to Dallas Westergren, Sept. ’20
BIRTHS / ADOPTIONS
JESSICA MADER CAVAZOS & ADAM CAVAZOS, GIRL, ALEXANDRA, JULY ’19
HEATHER SINGER DEMARIS & STEVE DEMARIS, GIRL, HANNAH, OCT. ’18 1999 Elizabeth Nesset Ferguson & Derek
2004 Desiree Sanner Murphy & Nicholas
2001 Kari Hartmann Hehr & Jason Hehr, boy,
2005 Kelly Ackerman Rojeski & Phillip
Rina Shockman & Jeff Willihnganz, girl, Eve, June ’20
Megan Rose & Walter Forney, boy, Walter, Sept. ’20
2002 Sara Gordon Zegarelli & Christopher
2006 Abby Campbell Wong & Shane Shucheng
2003 Kate Ritger & Mark Anema, girl, Lillian,
2007 Tamara Slivnik Shaughnessy & Kyle
Ferguson, girl, Gabriella, Oct. ’20 William, March ’20
Zegarelli, girl, Maisie, Sept. ’20 Dec. ’20
Mary “Maluszka” Slabinski-Schmidt & Mason Schmidt, girl, Edith, Feb. ’20
Murphy, girl, Adeline, Nov. ’20
Rojeski ’03, girl, Olivia, Oct. ’19
Wong, boy, Pascal, Jan. ’20
Shaughnessy ’07, girl, Natalie, Dec. ’20
ABBY STAHL ZIPOY & PAUL ZIPOY ’08, GIRL, ISABELLA, MARCH ’20 assandra Koltes Ryan & Kevin Ryan, K boy, Kamryn, July ’20
2009 Jolene Brink & John Smith ’09, boy, Leo Smith, March ’20
2010 Heidi Golliet Colburn & Joshua Colburn, twin boys, Felix & Maxwell, Nov. ’20
Stephanie Maher Fredrickson & Todd Fredrickson ’10, girl, Evelyn, Feb. ’20 Mychaela “Callie” Harp Koehler & Jacob Koehler ’10, boy, Levi, Dec. ’20 Angela Tate & Andy Aebly ’10, boy, Eamon, Nov. ’20
2011 McKinsey Weydert Haider & Jacob Haider ’10, boy, Augustine, Oct. ’20
Spring 2021 | 29
Lauren Herzog Scardigli & Anthony
Scardigli ’12, girl, Mary-Kate, July ’20
2013 Anna Harren Kvidt & Ethan Michael Kvidt ’14, boy, Mason, Nov. ’20
Andrea Tobias Mattison & Lars Mattison, boy, Tobias, July ’20
2014 Amy Kiminski Baebenroth & Timothy Baebenroth ’14, girl, Rae, Sept. ’20
Alexa Bollig & Cody Lambert, boy, Conrad, March ’20 Alexandra Brancale & Shane Kline, boy, Chase, Dec. ’20 Natalie Landwehr Halloran & Jesse Halloran, boy, Ian, Dec. ’20 Sarah Deutz Stassen & Nick Stassen, girl, Eden, Aug. ’19
2015 Nicole Ramler Carbert & Evan Carbert, girl, Adley, Dec. ’20
L INDSAY WIMMER ANDERSON & PAUL ANDERSON, TWIN GIRLS, ADDILYNN & FINLEY, OCT. ’20 ourtney Christenson Opsahl & Luke C Opsahl ’11, boy, Drake, May ’19
2012 Kaycee Knutson Miller & Gavin Miller ’12, boy, Beau, Nov. ’20
2016 Alyssa Zirbes & Devin Maskowski, girl, Calliope, Oct. ’20
2017 Lauren Wallerius Gardea & Ricky Gardea, boy, Marcus, Dec. ’20
Hannah Brink Willard & Adam Willard, boy, Beckham, Oct. ’20
2018 Jamie Scherer Vossen & Jarod Vossen, girl, Paisley, Dec. ’20
Kathleen Omerza Recht & Anthony Recht, girl, Brooklyn, April ’20 Emily Dobesh Roscoe & Nicholas Roscoe ’12, boy, Walter, Oct. ’20 Courtney Schmidt-Anderson & Noel Anderson, boy, Kade, Dec. ’20 Brittney Helmbrecht Schoephoerster & Alex Schoephoerster ’11, boy, Griffin, Nov. ’20
2012 Ellen Griffith Boquist & Brandon
Boquist ’11, girl, Natalie, Dec. ’20
IMBERLY SCHENDEL ELLIAS K & MIKE ELLIAS ’11, BOY, BROOKS, APRIL ’19 nna Martin Larson & Peter Larson ’08, A boy, William, Sept. ’20 Chelsea Haugen Ludvigson & Anthony Ludvigson, girl, Scarlett, Dec. ’20
30 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine
LEXA LAPATKA MICHALETZ & PETER MICHALETZ, GIRL, A VIOLET, JAN. ’20
DEATHS 1931 1941
Ruth Cashman Tucker, Jan. ’92
1954 Patrice (Patricia) Reed, OSB, Nov. ’20 1956 Jean (Norma) Gibson, OSB, Nov. ’20
Rose Boehm, Nov. ’12
Carol Bauer Rose, Sept. ’20
Patricia Lavelle Raines, Feb. ’14
Mildred Schwankl Kastner, Nov. ’20
Phyllis Kohler Favors, Nov. ’20
Kathleen Neis Schwitalla, Dec. ’20
Dolorez Schmitz Battaglia, Sept. ’20
Delia Maldonado Duggan, May ’13
1944 1945 1946
Lenore Kelly Meyers, Sept. ’03
Margaret Byrne Larson, Nov. ’18
Mary Kobylinski Stodolka, Nov. ’20
1964 Daniel Kammeyer ’60, spouse of Diane
Patricia Kidwell Zapp, March ’20
Emma Wetsch-Sauer, Sept. ’09 Marjorie Appert Canzanella, July ’12
1949 Roger Bechtold ’83, son of Eulalia
“LeMay” Wagner Bechtold, Oct. ’20
Rosemary Keating Richie, Oct. ’20
1951 Bernice Rausch Neuer, Jan. ’18 1952 Charles Dooley ’51, spouse of Kathleen Hughes Dooley, Sept. ’20
Shirley Renkes Nord, Oct. ’20
1953 Phyllis Dufault Hart, mother of Sheila Hart ’78, Leigh Hart ’82 & Maureen Hart-Miller ’91, Nov. ’20
1959 Judith Matousek Blazinski, March ’20 1960 Miriam Hof, Nov. ’20 Edward Sweere, spouse of Catherine 1963 Rewitzer Sweere, Sept. ’20
Ione Wieber Torborg, Nov. ’20 Reisdorfer, Dec. ’20
1965 Kathleen Farah Hendrickson, Dec. ’20 1966 Sheila Hogan Mulcahy, Oct. ’20 Walter Berg, spouse of Marilyn Myott 1969 Berg, Nov. ’20
Marcia Anderson, mother of Barbara 1972
Anderson Heinz & Teresa Anderson ’82, Nov. ’20
Mary Kay Toumi Langager, Nov. ’20
Agnes Steil, mother of Mary Steil, Oct. ’20
1974 Francis Nierengarten ’43, father of Susan
Mimi Collignon Norris, April ’13
Roald Olson, spouse of Margaret “Peg” Harding Olson, Oct. ’20
Eugene Hanauska, spouse of Joyce 1958 Martini Hanauska, Nov. ’20
1975 Thomas Mans ’74, spouse of Mary Kay Melcher Mans, Dec. ’20
Robert White ’57, father of Catherine White, Jane White Schneeweis ’76, Mary White Frey ’80, Margaret “Peggy” White ’80 & Judith White Jaffee ’81, Dec. ’20 Ethel Backes, mother of Lynn Backes 1976 Keller & Cheri Backes ’82, Nov. ’20
Mary Ruff, mother of Julie Ruff Pink & Ann Ruff ’77, Nov. ’20 Michael Sullivan ’74, spouse of Lori Burns Sullivan, Nov. ’20 Jeanne Musielewicz Welch, mother of Rebecca Welch ’04 & Kristin Welch Jurek ’06, Oct. ’20
Joanne Dirkes, Nov. ’20
ichael Johnson, spouse of Mary M Dombovy, Nov. ’20
Denis Montplaisir, spouse of Patricia Noehring Montplaisir, June ’19 Ann Guilfoyle Wadlund, mother of Lynn 1978 Guilfoyle Abe, May ’20
James Sexton ’55, father of Mary Sexton Cromer, Oct. ’20
Lana Kirkpatrick-Murray, Jan. ’14
Sheryl Marstone Petron, Nov. ’19
Nierengarten Cohen, Dec. ’20
Arla Olive, mother of Geralyn “Gigi” Olive Schroder, Sept. ’20
Roseanne Hertel, Nov. ’20
Marjory Silvers, Oct. ’20
Thomas Rieser, spouse of Elizabeth Wilder Rieser, Nov. ’20
Let’s start the conversation now, so your voice can carry on through generations. A legacy gift of any size pays exponential returns. It’s an investment in ambitious, promising women – women who will honor your legacy with transformative, world-changing impact. Make a bequest through your will or trust, name CSB as a beneficiary, or establish a charitable gift annuity.
The choice is yours. Your legacy is in good hands.
Contact Gigi Fourré Schumacher ’74 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-363-5480 and learn more.
Spring 2021 | 31
1979 Patrick Dwyer ’79, spouse of Jeanne
Fred Valente, father of Kristi Ann Valente 1983
Rosemary Flynn, mother of Mary Flynn, Dec. ’20
Jerome Pelkey, father of Karen Pelkey 1984
Leo Hickey, father of Theresa Hickey 1985
Cofell, Nov. ’20
V ictor Toepfer, father of Barbara Toepfer Patrin & Ruth Toepfer Schmuki ’83, March ’20
1980 Lambert “Larry” Zenner ’53, father
of Kathryn Zenner Wendel, Nov. ’20
Patricia Swirtz, mother of Sharon Swirtz 1981 Maus & Christine Swirtz Vaala ’82, Sept. ’20
John Henle, father of Shelley Henle Sauer, Dec. ’20 Donald Tadich, father of Mary Tadich, Nov. ’20
Stotz, Nov. ’20
Christian, Nov. ’20 Durkin, Sept. ’20
Elmer Kohorst, father of Therese Kohorst Ghyzel, Dec. ’20
1986 Stephen Boerner ’86, spouse of Christine Morris Boerner, Dec. ’20
Andrew Blenker, father of Diane Blenker Braun, Oct. ’20
eorge “Bill” Huber, father of Carole G Huber Garrison, Nov. ’20
1982 Robert Foley ’53, father of Katherine
Roger Monn, father of Lori Monn Leininger, Kelly Monn Laurent ’88 & Stacey Monn Cavanaugh ’91, Oct. ’20
Robert Wurtz, father of Mary “Colette” 1983
Sara Chapman, Oct. ’20
ichael Evans, father of Deborah Evans, M April ’20
Foley, Oct. ’20
Wurtz Bresnahan & Anne Wurtz Parks ’85, Nov. ’20
Cynthia Corcoran, Oct. ’20
Dorothy Perry, Dec. ’20
Richard Salk ’46, father of Lisa Salk Ripka & Susan Salk Severson ’89, Nov. ’20 Diane Martinka, mother of Teresa Martinka Simonett, Birdie MartinkaBreiner ’87, Amy Martinka Knebel ’89, Julie Martinka Severson ’91 & Katharyn Martinka Stricklin ’92, Dec. ’20
Jane Hickethier, daughter of Caroline Ruff Hickethier, Aug. ’20
Ann Tyrrell Horn, Oct. ’20
F rank Janisch, father of Karen Janisch, Dec. ’20
Glenn Rollins, father of Marie Rollins LaForce & Cheryl Rollins Stein ’89, Nov. ’20
Patricia Krize, mother of Kimberly 1988 Krize Bohlke & Katherine Krize Schliesman ’89, Sept. ’20
Arlene Meyers Marek, mother of Connie Meyers Meeker, Dec. ’20
1989 Patrick Mahowald ’61, father of Monica Mahowald, Oct. ’20
Arnie Jostock, father of Laura Jostock 1990 Hoag, Dec. ’20
James Seiberlich, father of Angela Seiberlich, Sept. ’20 Madonna Pierce Thein, mother of Leah Campbell Wagner & Stephanie Campbell Fluharty ’95, Oct. ’20 Sandra Conway, mother of Kathryn 1991 Conway, Dec. ’20
Llewellyn Linde, father of Sara Linde, Nov. ’20 Jo Jane Binsfeld, mother of Wendy Binsfeld Urban, Oct. ’20 Julia Bunnell, mother of Amy Bunnell Bell, 1992 Nov. ’20
Patricia Ratelle, mother of Kelly Ratelle Calengor, Nov. ’20
LeRoy Kopp, father of Kristin Kopp, Oct. ’20
Judith Schwab, mother of Keri Schwab Lahl, Nov. ’20 Carol Kinney, mother of LuAnne Kinney Pederson, Nov. ’20 Elizabeth Collins, mother of Elizabeth 1993 “Liz” Collins, Dec. ’20
E dwin Heinecke, father of Brenda Heinecke Lockwood, Nov. ’20
obert Landrigan, father of Kimberly R Landrigan Stone, Oct. ’20
V irginia Wieland, mother of Laura Wieland, Oct. ’20
Norbert Dardis, father of Nicole Dardis, 1994 Dec. ’20
Dean Rabideau, father of Jane Rabideau 1995 Gangl, Nov. ’20
YOU THINK YOU LIKE SAINT BEN’S, BUT DO YOU
Eric Netter, father of Ericka Netter Kuser & Jessica Netter, Dec. ’20 Karleen Tomsche, mother of Michelle Tomsche, Nov. ’19 Keith Peters, father of Alicia Peters & 1996
Andrea Peters Swenson ’97, Dec. ’20
1997 Irene Sabin, Dec. ’20 Michael Harms, father of Mandy Harms, 1998 Dec. ’20
CSB and SJU on social media are great, but the CSB Alumnae Association has a whole stream of alum-specific content to keep you up-to-date and connected. Like and follow us everywhere!
32 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine
Mary Cady, mother of Erin Cady Macheel, Dec. ’20
arbara Barrie, mother of Jennifer Barrie B Hjelle, Dec. ’20
Kathleen Friedrich, mother of Catherine 2000 “Katie” Friedrich, Sept. ’20
Wayne Moe, father of LaVon Moe Lietha-Hormann, Nov. ’20
Lavern Cronin, father of Jackie Cronin 2001 Dols, Dec. ’20
Thomas Schoeneberger ’72, father of Maria Schoeneberger Smyth, Oct. ’20 James Dickinson, father of Christine 2002
“Casey” Dickinson Piersma, Dec. ’20
Harold Walters, father of Anne Walters, Dec. ’20 Sharon Cornwell, mother of Michelle 2003 Cottingham Prokott, Nov. ’20
Rodney Kolb, father of Sara Kolb, Sept. ’20 2004 Roland Lundby, father of Rachael Lundby Webb & Karen Lundby ’06, May ’20 John Boone, father of Mary “Ellie” Boone 2007 Langlas, Dec. ’20
Russell Hoehn, father of Lindsey Hoehn 2008 Jerke, Nov. ’18
Catch up now on the most Bennie-centric collection of webinars anywhere. Just point your phone at the QR code below. Sept. What it Means To Be a College for Women Oct. A Conversation With Interim President Laurie Hamen Nov.
The CSB Student Experience
Moore, Nov. ’20
Your Meeting With the Deans
ichard Nichols, father of Ashley Nichols, R Oct. ’20
Jan. The Economic Impact of the Pandemic on Women
Paul Strohm, father of Shannon Strohm 2010
Throughout this academic year, our Saint Ben’s @ Home webinar series is examining what it means to be a college for women – on campus and off. Watch for live episodes coming in April and May. Or point your phone at the QR code below and look up any of our past episodes.
Judith Chock, mother of Carolyn “Cari” 2013 Chock O’Laughlin, Dec. ’20
E ducation Lessons Learned Through COVID
Women, Success and Athletics
Douglas Johnson, father of Emily 2015 Johnson, Nov. ’20
Mary Kay Pauluk, mother of Anastasia 2016 Pauluk, Nov. ’20
Life is better when
BenniesConnect When Bennies connect, old friendships thrive and new friendships blossom. Use BenniesConnect to submit class notes, update your address, check on a friend and plant the seed for more meaningful connections— both personally and professionally. To register, go to csbsju.edu/csb-alumnae and click on the BenniesConnect link.
Spring 2021 | 33
1. Friends gathered in June ’20 to celebrate the wedding of Emma Woods ’17 and MacKenzie Jarocki ’17. L to R: Derek Bare ’17, David Kruger, Max McPherson, Dylan Franklin ’17, Christopher Charles ’17, Riley Jarocki ’20, Casey Jarocki, MacKenzie Jarocki ’17, Emma Woods Jarocki ’17, Katie Kruger, Sophia Woods ’19, Samantha Reamer ’17, Victoria Vogt Piper ’17, Hayley Jarocki ’23 and Alexis Wendlandt ’17. 2. This group of Bennie friends got together to lend a hand and help a friend move in January. L to R: Jeannie Bykowski Kenevan ’98, Toni Schewe ’98, Stacy Rooney ’98, Missy Baumert Frigaard ’98, Tina Tuohy ’98, Erin Finn Burgraff ’97 and Anne Olson Kilzer ’97. 3. Bennie alumnae like these friends from the class of 1999 pulled together this winter to create and mail individual care packages for every first-year Bennie student in February. Front row, L to R: Sarah Kraling Trull and Karrie Schmitz Maetzold. Back row, L to R: Laurie Hagen Strey, Melanie Ziskovsky Peterson, Kelly Stockwell Hanson and Anne Rohe Holmberg. 4. For the past 15 years, eight class of 1997 Bennies have gathered together annually. This past November the group was smaller, but still had a great time catching up in a hotel lobby, dining and enjoying a nice walk. Pictured are Bridget Sullivan Hammond, Rachael Weiss Wachlarowitcz, Tania Schaust Tschudi and Sara Mullenmaster McGrath.
3 34 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine
5. T his favorite photo of a group of Bennies from the class of 2014 was taken in 2018. In January though, it got the popular Bernie Sanders treatment and circulated again for fun. Front row L to R: Tasha Arignamath, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Mai Nhoua Lee. Back row L to R: Chaarissa Romero, Kia Her, Mai Cua Yang and Suzy Xiong.
6. B ecause friends get together, even when they’re staying apart, this group of 2012 Bennies gathered this summer outdoors in Hopkins. L to R: Brenna Finley Erdmann, Liz Petterssen, Laura Tiffany Hendrickson, Christy Duncan, Abby Hansen and Anna Martin Larson. 7. In October, class of 2015 Bennie friends celebrated the wedding of Marisa Amacher ’15 and Ross Carlson ’15. Pictured are Leah Schermann, Katherine Rogosheske Funk, Jordan Falk Westergren, Jessica Fischer, Marisa Amacher Carlson, Emily Lueck Dale, Megan Lawson Meyer and Jennifer Ulveling Hamilton.
7 Spring 2021 | 35
Your words have
POWER The Alum Referral Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship (renewable for four years, totaling $4,000) available to deserving prospective Bennies and Johnnies. And all it takes to qualify is your recommendation. Give your support to help them make a CSB/SJU experience affordable while you help us fill our campuses with talented, ambitious students who can make our community stronger. We’re counting on you to help us recruit an amazing group of new students … and, with the Alum Referral Scholarship in play, those students are counting on you, too.
Think about the students in your life, then visit csbsju.edu/refer today and get started.
ALUM REFERRAL SCHOLARSHIP
36 | College of Saint Benedict Magazine
An Emphasis on Education BY | GREG SKOOG (SJU ’89)
Marie Zaczkowski ’71 and her husband Jim Becker both grew up understanding the importance of education. Jim’s mother began her teaching career in rural oneroom schoolhouses in New York. Marie's mother (Helen Muggli Zaczkowski ’47) taught high school for two years and her father was Professor of Biology Nicholas Zaczkowski (SJU ’47), who became the first male lay teacher at the College of Saint Benedict, and taught here until his retirement in 1994. So, for years, giving in support of higher education – to Saint Ben’s and to Jim’s alma mater, Alfred University – has been a priority for them. For years, they gave consistently to the Saint Ben’s Annual Giving program. Eventually, “after years of hard work, conservative financial habits and probably no small amount of good luck, we found that we could consider ways to perpetuate our level of support,” says Jim. “The obvious way to do that was an endowment gift.” They established the Nicholas K. Ph.D. & Helen E. Zaczkowski Endowed Scholarship to assist Bennies majoring in the sciences or mathematics. Things were going well. The college was grateful. Marie and Jim were happy to be helping. Bennies were leaning into the opportunities being granted them. It was good. But Marie and Jim began talking with Senior Principal Gifts Officer Chad Marolf about the possibility of establishing a planned gift from their estate. The idea was appealing to them, but they didn’t know what they could commit or where they should best direct it.
Marie and Jim were in a position in life to make a positive impact on others through the development of a valuesbased estate plan. Chad connected them with a professional service through Saint Ben’s that helped them clarify their personal values and goals. The plan they developed incorporates those values, along with strategies on how to provide for loved ones and reduce tax burdens. As a result, Marie and Jim are comfortable putting a planned gift in place that will hopefully fund an endowed professorship in the CSB/SJU Nutrition Department. “I was a dietetics major,” explains Marie, “and was the only student in my class with that major. Saint Ben’s had an agreement with the University of Minnesota that allowed me to take some of the courses required for the major at the U of M. There was a class I needed as a prerequisite for one of those U of M classes. And I remember that, since I was the only major, S. Ingrid Anderson spent the whole semester tutoring me exclusively.”
The CSB/SJU Nutrition Department today is considerably larger and much more established. But Marie and Jim are excited about the potential to be able to continue that tradition of student-centered education.
Find out more about creating a values-based estate plan of your own by reaching out to Ellie Varberg in our Office of Planned Giving at email@example.com or 320-363-5307.
Spring 2021 | 37
NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID TWIN CITIES, MN PERMIT NO. 93723
INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED
SUSTAINERS GET THE
BIG PICTURE WHEN YOU SPEND JUST A FEW MINUTES SIGNING UP TO BECOME A SAINT BEN’S SUSTAINER ONLINE, YOU’LL GET … • the comfort of knowing your regular (monthly or quarterly) gifts are providing real scholarship support for today’s Bennies.
• the peace of mind of knowing your gifts happen automatically – there’s nothing for you to remember.
• the pride of knowing that your comfortable, recurring gifts quickly add up.
And now you’ll also get this great set of four colorful notecards, showing off some of the most identifiable parts of our campus. Mail them as greetings or keep them for yourself as colorful reminders of a place you’ll always be able to call home.
LEARN MORE AND BECOME A SAINT BEN’S SUSTAINER TODAY AT GIVECSB.COM/SUSTAINERS.