Page 1


FALL 2012

Our global classroom Where world views meet

in this issue 2 As We See It 4 News 13 The World at Our Fingertips 22 Jill Thompson ’81 24 Donor Profile 25 Class Notes 34 Bennie Connection 37 I’m a Bennie

Saint Benedict’s Magazine is published three times a year by the office of Institutional Advancement, Kimberly Ferlaak Motes ’89, vice president.

Editor: Tammy Moore Designer: Karen Hoffbeck Contributors: Diane Hageman, Mike Killeen, Ellen Hunter Gans ’05, Jill Yanish ’13, Bea Lund ’13, Joy Pohland ’10, Connie Nelson, Kristin Sawyer Lyman ’00 Cover Photo by Kelly Hayes ’13: Ashley Rynda ’13 takes time to admire and reflect during fall 2011 study abroad, inside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. 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 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 university tradition. The college fosters integrated learning, exceptional leadership for change and wisdom for a lifetime.


A springboard to the world You can learn a lot about students on Move-In Day — the sheer quantity and contents of their trucks, cars and mini vans speaks volumes! It’s exciting to see the various cultures and experiences our students represent and their enthusiasm to connect as a community. At College of Saint Benedict, students converge from 40 countries and 40 states, from different ethnicities and backgrounds and with a broad range of interests and talents. They learn from one another, and they become friends. Campus events, courses, student organizations and activities reflect our commitment to intercultural competence and diversity. Our students immerse themselves in cultures around the world through study abroad programs, service trips, internships and exchange programs. These opportunities, on and off campus, promote international awareness throughout students’ four-year experiences. Our wide-ranging commitment to integrative global education is the foremost reason College of Saint Benedict, and its partner Saint John’s University, will receive the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization in November 2012. This award is the most prestigious award for international education and celebrates the people, relationships and experiences that weave a thread of global awareness and connectivity into every facet of our learning. Preparing global citizens Provost Rita Knuesel ’75 says it best in the feature article, “The world at our fingertips” (page 13), when she describes Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s culture of global learning as “preparing students to be citizens of the world.” The depth of this commitment was not born overnight or via a few well-run programs. On the contrary, the aspiration to prepare global citizens can be traced to the 1850s when six Benedictine Sisters emigrated from Bavaria to St. Cloud and moved to St. Joseph in 1863. These forward-thinking women set out to create global connections and opportunities guided by the Benedictine

MaryAnn lends a hand to the Class of 2016 on Move-In Day.

values of community, commitment to the common good and practicing justice. It is no surprise, then, that nearly 100 years after the founding of Saint Ben’s, these same Benedictine values require that our community include people and cultures from around the world. Simply put, our cultural fabric represents a commitment to learning about every facet of human experience. The Senator Paul Simon Award offers formal recognition for a nearly century-long dedication to internationalization, and our students and alumnae continue to demonstrate every day their ability to make a difference at home and abroad. Proof positive: • Jill Thompson ’81 runs a non-profit micro-savings organization in South Africa that educates local citizens on best practices for saving and planning for the future (page 22); • Hudda Ibrahim ’13 shares her personal experiences with maternal mortality in Ethiopia in an article recently published in The Huffington Post (page 19); • Ginny Contreras ’03 lives and works abroad as a language instructor and freelance writer (page 37). I invite you to travel our global community throughout this magazine. You’ll learn the breadth and depth of our global spirit. You’ll meet Jill, Hudda and Ginny in addition to other fascinating people who are lifelong students of the world. Through their stories and the stories of many other students and alumnae, we learn that College of Saint Benedict is simply a springboard to a world of ideas waiting to be cultivated. In any language, this is what it means to prepare citizens of the world.


Reflection and friendship Location: Machu Picchu, Peru Pictured: 2013 graduates Anna Moore, Mary Schweich, Anna Williams, Molly Cook, Mackenzie Diekmann, Megan Smith, Allyson Kohler The experience: “After classes, a few friends and I traveled to Peru to see Machu Picchu. We climbed up Huaynapicchu (a small mountain) to get a good view of Machu Picchu. This is a picture of us reflecting on our journey.” Molly Cook ’13, photographer


Saint John’s welcomes Michael Hemesath as 13th president In July 2012, Michael Hemesath began his official post as the 13th president of Saint John’s University. “I am delighted that Saint John’s University has chosen Dr. Hemesath as its president,” said MaryAnn Baenninger, president of College of Saint Benedict. “His background and qualifications are stellar. More importantly, he has high aspirations for Saint John’s, as I do for Saint Ben’s. I believe that together our leadership will guarantee a bright future for CSB/SJU.” Hemesath graduated summa cum laude from Saint John’s in 1981 with a degree in economics and received his master’s and doctorate in economics from Harvard University. He was on the economics faculty at Carleton College since 1989 and served as faculty president since 2009. Before Carleton, he was on the faculty for two years at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. His wife, Elizabeth Galbraith, teaches in the religion department at St. Olaf College, and they have a son, Cameron. Hemesath is the first lay president elected to a full term in the 155-year history of the institution. Saint John’s President Michael Hemesath ’81 and Saint Ben’s President MaryAnn Baenninger

CSB alumna recognized as entrepreneur of the year Margaret Murphy ’90 was selected as the 2012 CSB Entrepreneur of the Year by the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship serving CSB/SJU. Murphy is president and chief operating officer at Olson, an award-winning advertising agency in Margaret Murphy ’90 Minneapolis, Minn. Murphy had her first taste in business when she started a fast food restaurant at the age of 17. After receiving a MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas, she began her career at Carlson Marketing, where she was the youngest recipient of the company’s top honor for customer service. She then moved to Denali Marketing in 2007, growing the firm to more than $20 million in revenue. Olson, Murphy’s current workplace, acquired Denali in 2010. The CSB Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a Bennie who exemplifies the ideals of entrepreneurship while practicing Benedictine values in the workplace and in her life. Also recognized this year were Cary Musech ’80, founder and CEO of Tonka Bay Equity Partners, as SJU Entrepreneur of the Year, and Joe Cavanaugh ’81, founder and CEO of Youth Frontiers, as CSB/SJU Social Entrepreneur of the Year.


Accounting grads chart their way to the top College of Saint Benedict ranks number three in the country on certified public accountant exams, according to the Best-Performing Accounting Programs of 2011 by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). This ranking is determined from the results of all first-time CPA exams taken. Saint Ben’s students collectively had an 84.8 percent pass rate on the CPA exam in 2011. The state of Minnesota averaged 52.6 percent and the national average was 45.5 percent. According to the report, the top five schools for first-time exam takers were (listed in descending order) Wake Forest University, University of Pennsylvania, College of Saint Benedict, University of Virginia and Duke University.

Centennial Commons opens its doors This fall, 124 Saint Ben’s seniors became the first occupants of the new Centennial Commons, named for the college’s Centennial in 2013. Each of the four buildings that comprise the Commons is named for a Sister from Saint Benedict’s Monastery who has made significant contributions to the Saint Ben’s community: Mother Cecilia Kapsner, S. Mary David Olheiser, S. Mary Anthony Wagner and S. Lois Wedl.


Upward Bound program receives $1.4 million grant College of Saint Benedict has received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the Upward Bound program at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. The program will serve 64 high school students each year for the next five years. Upward Bound began at CSB/SJU in 1995 with a mission to create opportunities for high school students to attend college, with two-thirds of those students coming from low-income families or whose parents did not attend college.

Paul Krump ’82 and Anne Schmidt-Krump ’82

Krumps establish $2 million endowed scholarship Anne Schmidt-Krump ’82 and her husband, Paul Krump ’82, believe a college education can take you wherever you want to go in life. This core value, which is a product of their own experiences at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, is a primary reason they have established the Anne Schmidt-Krump and Paul Krump Endowed Scholarship at College of Saint Benedict. The Krump’s gift is a $2 million single premium life insurance policy, which will be designated to the scholarship funds named in their honor at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. “Our gift is truly a stepping stone,” Schmidt-Krump explains. “As members of the CSB/SJU community, we must remember that education gives students more options in life. If we can help make a four-year degree available to a young student who values it, it is worth it. It is worth it to the individual, their family and the community at large — it is priceless.” The Krumps live in Mendham, N.J. Their oldest daughter, Emily, graduated from Saint Ben’s in 2006.


$1 million gift sustains Jackson Fellows program The Marie and Robert Jackson Fellows program was established in 2008 with a gift from an anonymous donor. In spring 2012, the same donor gave another $1 million to sustain the program, which provides students the opportunity to serve the common good through community engagement, collective learning and leadership and professional development. Every year, nine students with varying majors, interests and experience are selected through an application and interview process to be a part of the Jackson Fellows program. Each Fellow serves at a community site for a summer. The 2012 Jackson Fellows internship placement sites included Anna Marie’s Alliance, United Retirement Center, Finnegans’, Jubilee USA, Breaking Free, Friendship Ventures, Children’s Museum of South Dakota, The Minnesota Project, Jeremiah Program and Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council. Areas of focus range from women’s empowerment to sustainability to eliminating hunger. The diversity of the site placements and the type of work and leadership required from each Jackson Fellow creates a rich, vibrant and holistic learning environment.

Ninety-one percent of our students rely on scholarship assistance to make a Saint Ben’s education possible. Planned gifts such as life insurance, will bequests, real estate and charitable gift annuities secure future resources to strengthen and sustain our mission. Learn more at, click on Planned Giving.




Celebrations of philanthropy: President’s Circle and Young Alumnae President’s Circle The President’s Circle and Young Alumnae President’s Circle are two special groups of donors who have committed to leadership levels of giving. Every spring, we celebrate the difference they make in the lives of current and future Saint Ben’s students.

1. Ashley Ver Burg ’10, MaryAnn Baenninger, Tiffany DeLeon ’10 2. Joyce and Bob Humboldt 3. Rachel Stalley ’12, Mary Schmidt ’12, Adia Zeman ’12, Jackie Corral ’12 4. Brian Boevers ’77, Sara Hillen Boevers ’77 5. Jim Bassett ’58, Diane Starbird Malone ’79

1 3





Axel Theimer hits a high note with lifetime achievement award

For more than 40 years, Axel Theimer ’71, CSB/SJU professor of music, has been creating melodious harmonies on the Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s campuses and beyond. For his dedication and extraordinary passion for influencing students’ lives with music, Theimer received the F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota at the Summer Dialogue conference. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor given by the association to recognize lifelong conductors with outstanding contributions and distinguished service to choral music in Minnesota. Theimer has been on the music faculty since 1969, when he established the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir and began directing the SJU Men’s Chorus. In addition, he is founder and director of Kantorei, Amadeus Chamber Symphony and National Catholic Youth Choir. He is an active recitalist and has presented master classes, workshops and seminars for state, regional and national music conventions and conferences.



Welcome new members of the Saint Ben’s Board of Trustees Pam Bacon, vice chair, faculty senate, is an associate professor of psychology at CSB/SJU. She received her bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and her Ph.D. from Iowa State University. Her research focuses on selfconcept, self-theories and the scholarship of teaching. She is the project shepherd for Saint Bens’ new academic building and the assessment director for a NSF S-STEM grant designed to increase the number of women majoring in math and science. Bacon received the S. Mary Grell Teacher of Distinction Award in 2007. Pam Bacon

Rebecca Bergner Coborn ’81 earned a bachelor’s degree in management from College of Saint Benedict. She has been a community volunteer with the Clemens Garden Advisory Board, Cathedral High School, May Bowle, Sacred Heart Parish and other organizations. Coborn is married to SJU alumnus and former Regent Chris Coborn ’81. The Coborns’ daughter, Emily, Rebecca Bergner Coborn ’81 graduated from Saint Ben’s in 2008 and their sons, Michael and Peter, are currently attending Saint John’s. Sister Patricia Ruether ’66 joined Saint Benedict’s Monastery in 1965 and currently works in their development and communication department. She has degrees in home economics education and nutrition/dietetics. She taught home economics for 10 years at Saint Benedict’s High School and Cathedral High School and worked as a dietitian Sister Patricia Ruether ’66 for 10 years in Long Prairie, Minn. Additionally, she has served on the St. Cloud Diocese Catholic Charities board and currently on the St. Joseph’s Farmers’ Market board. She has also been active with Habitat for Humanity.

Terrance Dolan is the vice chairman of Wealth Management and Securities Services at U.S. Bancorp. He is a certified public accountant and received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas. Dolan serves on the board of directors of Artspace Projects, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Terrance Dolan Minneapolis Foundation. In addition, he serves as a member of the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts Council and is a strategic advisor for the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. His daughter, Hannah, is currently a senior at Saint Ben’s. Tu Tran ’13, student trustee, is a management major at College of Saint Benedict. Tran is an E-Scholar and member of the WeCar team, a student-run venture through the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship. She participated in CSB/SJU’s summer internship program in Hong Kong in 2012. Born in a refugee camp in Thailand, she moved to Vietnam with her Tu Tran ’13 family when she was two and then to the U.S. when she was five.



Blazer athletics announce new head coaches Jordan Wolfum, the associate and assistant swimming and diving coach, has been named interim head coach for the Blazers. The St. Cloud State University graduate is in her fourth season with the Blazers.

Rachael Click is the new head softball coach. Click comes to the Blazers from Jacksonville (Fla.) University. She served as a graduate assistant coach for the Dolphins from 2010-12. Prior to coaching at Jacksonville University, Click served as an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 2009-10. Rachael Click

Jordan Wolfum

Soccer team continues 23-year winning tradition For the Blazer soccer team, the 2011 season was one of lasting traditions: 23 consecutive years with a winning season record and 16 straight years with 10 or more wins. In addition to these milestone achievements, the team was the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) co-champs and MIAC playoff champs. The team also made its way, for the second time, to the NCAA Sweet 16 tournament.


MIAC Championships


All-MIAC players



All-Region players

Season highlights Sami Meyman ’12 earned CSB Athlete of the Year Award. Previously, she earned a place on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/ Continental Tire NCAA Women’s Division III All-America Third Team. In spring 2012, three members of the Blazer soccer team represented the U.S. as part of the Division III All-Star team: sophomores Colleen Bouchard and Kristina Burk as players and assistant coach Annie Haws was named head coach of the U.S.A. All-Star team.


Team GPA

Head Coach Steve Kimble was named 2011 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Coach of the Year and 2011 MIAC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year. In only his third year with the Blazers, Coach Kimble led the team to the program’s fourth MIAC Championship. The outlook for 2012 is bright: 16 returning players and a talented class of first-year athletes complete the roster.


MIAC Players of the Year


Top three finishes in the MIAC

“This school, this experience, this education is now one of the most essential resources of your life. Cherish it, nurture it and it will sustain you through all that life puts in your path.” President’s Medal Recipients Dan and Mabel Coborn, President MaryAnn Baenninger and Commencement Speaker Anne Thompson, NBC News’ chief environmental affairs correspondent

Anne Thompson commencement speaker


“Let’s go forth and jump. If we get wrapped up in the glory days we miss the opportunity to see the glory that lies within each day.” Allison Horton ’12 student commencement speaker

World The

at Our Fingertips

By Ellen Hunter Gans ’05, M.A., MSc.



Moments in time



Six Sisters emigrate from Bavaria to St. Cloud and move to St. Joseph in 1863.

First Bahamian students enroll.

“Comprehensive internationalization.” That’s the phrase NAFSA, the leading professional association dedicated to international education, used earlier this year when announcing that CSB and SJU would receive the prestigious 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in campus internationalization. Those two not-so-little words reflect decades of active, deliberate dedication to the creation of a global experience for our students. Today, the numbers speak volumes about our efforts*: • For the second consecutive year, CSB/SJU rank No. 1 nationally among baccalaureate institutions with students who participate in mid-length study abroad programs. • We are home to more international students than any other private college in Minnesota.

Semester-Long Study Abroad Programs Australia Austria Chile China France Greece/Italy Guatemala India Ireland Japan South Africa Spain United Kingdom


Australia Austria Bahamas Bangladesh Belize Bolivia Burma Burundi Canada Chile China, PR Costa Rica El Salvador

• CSB/SJU rank No. 13 among baccalaureate institutions with 270 international students. We had the highest number of international students among Minnesota schools listed in the top 40 baccalaureate institutions. • Our students hail from 40 countries. These striking statistics helped us earn the highest honor in international education, but numbers don’t tell the whole story of our “comprehensive internationalization.” You can hear it in the stories of those who left the other side of the world to find a home at Saint Ben’s and those who will leave Saint Ben’s to find another home on the other side of the world. You can see it in the photographs of those who studied abroad in Kolkata, joined a service-learning trip to Ecuador or completed a teaching externship in Germany.

International Students Ethiopia France Germany Ghana Guyana Haiti Hong Kong Jamaica Japan Kenya South Korea Mexico Mongolia

Nicaragua Nigeria Poland Rwanda Somalia Sri Lanka Sudan Sweden Thailand Trinidad and Tobago United Kingdom United States Vietnam Zimbabwe

Short-Term Study Abroad Programs Bosnia and Herzegovina Costa Rica Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador Germany Peru Tanzania United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Alums reside in 76 countries around the world.




> 1969

First group of students study abroad in Luxembourg.

Bahamian Continuing Education Program begins.

“We are proud to serve as leaders in an increasingly interconnected world,” says Saint Ben’s President MaryAnn Baenninger. “Saint Ben’s opens doors, traverses borders and encourages women not only to discover the world around them, but also to create it.” Rounding out the global focus Building upon a strong foundation in study abroad, a globalized faculty and curriculum, international students and our monastic tradition, Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s formed a Center for Global Education in 2010. The Center provides support, services and resources to deepen the level of engagement on many levels across the campus community. While the Center’s name is new, the philosophy is not. In fact, we can trace our international roots to the Benedictines who hailed from Bavaria and traveled the world as philanthropists and entrepreneurs before settling in Minnesota to found the College. As Provost Rita Knuesel ’75 says, “Our Benedictine monastics were engaged in globalization long before anyone was talking about globalization.” This spirit of extending comfort zones, of blazing new trails, of embarking on journeys of internal and external change is the result of the marriage between our Benedictine heritage and the commitment to the liberal arts. As for the Senator Paul Simon Award, Center for Global Education Director Joe Rogers says, “We see it as national recognition that what we’re doing here serves as a model. The whole campus ethos has been shaped by an intention of

“The whole campus ethos has been shaped by an intention of global engagement and focus, and this award celebrates all of us and all the efforts we’ve made.”


International House established at Saint Ben’s.

Spotlight on: Tu Tran ’13

CSB/SJU 2012 Summer Intern Program: Hong Kong

When did you know you would lead a global life? I have been incredibly blessed to see and experience many unique communities throughout my young life. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand when my parents fled there due to the political turmoil in Vietnam at the time. We moved back to Vietnam when I was two and then to Dallas, Texas, when I was five. I lived in Los Angeles and Minneapolis during high school. Recently, I was a participant in CSB/SJU’s new summer internship program in Hong Kong. What has been your favorite moment abroad? I have so many favorite moments! I get to represent Frenzoo (my company) at such events as Hong Kong Fashion Bloggers Style Summit, even as an intern! This internship gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get my foot in the door in a global scene.

global engagement and focus, and this award celebrates all of us and all the efforts we’ve made.” The Center for Global Education exists as an acknowledgement that “comprehensive internationalization” includes all aspects of campus life. That means developing



> 1977

Students study abroad in Austria and France.


Father Roger Klassen is first director of international study abroad program. Students study abroad in Spain.

a competent faculty with a world view, a curriculum infused with intercultural and global content and students who graduate prepared for life in an interconnected and competitive world. “This isn’t just about a semester-long study abroad experience,” says Rogers. “While study abroad enriches the experience our students have in understanding the world around them, our vision is to provide a four-year experience that is deeply embedded in global issues and perspectives.”

Citizens of the world While our study abroad tradition is just one part of our global story, the impact can hardly be overstated. “Our signature, faculty-led model for semester-long study abroad has created a campus ethos for a global approach,” says Peggy Retka, Director of Education Abroad for CSB and SJU. “The question becomes where are you going, not if you will go.” And now our worldwide networking has turned the school into a magnet for international students who study abroad on our campus. Today, many Saint Ben’s students who study internationally take advantage of internships in their host cities. Additional internships and externships have been set up across the globe, and we also offer numerous volunteer and service programs. “We are quite literally preparing students to be citizens of the world,” says Knuesel.

“Deepening our global connections helps to build mutual understanding in so many important corners of the world.”

Festival of Cultures: Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s students host a community celebration sharing the music, art and cuisine from their home countries and study abroad sites.


For the women of Saint Ben’s, there’s an undercurrent running through all of these travels: See the world. Learn about it. Then change it. Case in point? Patricia Bolaños, associate professor of gender studies, leads the Yambiro project, connecting Saint Ben’s students with a women’s cooperative in Otavalo, Ecuador. The focus: women’s empowerment and gender issues. The mission: promoting economic self-sufficiency for women in the indigenous Yambiro community. 8,833 miles away in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 18 representatives from Saint Ben’s gathered in Abu Dhabi for the Women as Global Leaders Conference in March 2012 — the fourth year Saint Ben’s has sent delegations to the conference. “Deepening our global connections helps to build mutual understanding in so many important corners of the world,” says Retka. “There truly is a worldwide network of Bennies and Johnnies and friends of the colleges who have been impacted in one way or another by our international programs.”

Bringing it home These exceptional opportunities are merely a sampling of the options presented to Saint Ben’s students. And these are just the off-campus manifestations of our international initiatives. On campus, faculty members make a conscious effort to infuse globally-focused curriculum into every academic department. One department living this initiative in a significant way: Global Business Leadership, the new name for the management program. The adjusted moniker — and reshaped curriculum — reflects a renewed and enhanced focus on what the management curriculum had already been doing for several decades. Margrette Nemanich Newhouse is the John & Elizabeth Myers Endowed Chair in Management. As a 1988 Saint Ben’s alumna and faculty member, Newhouse has a unique perspective on the history of the college’s global commitment. “The new name matches what’s already at the heart of the program, and it reflects where we’re going with the department and the business environment our graduates will inhabit,” says Newhouse. The revamped curriculum includes a new approach aimed at launching students with a foundational, intentional global business leadership focus early in their academic


> 1979

Students study abroad in Greece, Italy, Ireland and England.


Students study abroad in China.

Spotlight on:

Mary Weber ’13 CSB/SJU 2012 Summer Intern Program: Shanghai

When did you know you would lead a global life? During my study abroad experience on the Roman-Greco program. Wherever I go, I learn a little from others, and they learn a little from me. I think that is the most important part of living a global life. Understanding how others think and see the world opens up opportunities for new ideas and innovations to better our world. With that in mind, I went to China to understand and experience an old culture with a lot of history and to see the evergrowing country that changes day by day. After living and working here, I now know that a global career is a direction I want to take. What has been your favorite moment abroad? Experiencing a traditional Chinese business dinner — it gave me a complete opportunity to experience what the Chinese do best: food, hospitality and celebration of hard work.

Students gather in a nineteenth century British cemetery in Kolkata with Indian author Kunal Basu as part of the Writers at Home program, a partnership between the Literary Arts Institute and Office of Education Abroad.



Students study abroad in Australia. 101 students from over 35 countries enroll at CSB/SJU.

Joe Rogers

director, Center for Global Education Two-minute resume. • 1989 graduate of Saint John’s University; participated in CSB/SJU study abroad program in London. • Master of arts in East Asian Studies and law degree from University of Minnesota. • Private practice lawyer for six years. • Joined CSB/SJU to work with the Asian Studies Program. Was director of the Office for Education Abroad at CSB/SJU for three years and became director of the Center for Global Education in 2010. Most interesting place traveled. One of my favorite places is Penang, Malaysia. My wife and I visited during the Chinese New Year in 1993, when we were living in Taiwan. Penang is an island located in the Straits of Malacca, at the crossroads of South Asian and East Asian cultural traditions. Penang is physically beautiful, the food is amazing and the people were wonderful. I wish I was back there! Life experience that prepared you for your current role. Growing up in a family that embraced intercultural experiences has impacted me a great deal. Making friends with people from all over the world is something I can always remember myself doing. The fact that I now do this as part of my job is icing on the cake. The Center for Global Education 10 years from now. I see the Center partnering more intentionally with faculty, departments, alums and global partners to deliver a cuttingedge global education to students throughout their four-year experience. We will continue to be a leader in study abroad, and more of our students will participate in internship and other experiential learning opportunities that impart global skills. More students will conduct research on global issues or in collaboration with our partner schools. Ideally, a fully-funded Center for Global Education will provide support to sustain these programs as well as create fellowships so that all students have equal opportunity to graduate fully-prepared for life in our globalized world.




> 1998

Students study abroad in South Africa.


Students study abroad in Japan.




> 2004

Students study abroad in Chile.

Students study abroad in Guatemala.

careers. Starting with the class of 2015, sophomores will immerse themselves in master’s-caliber qualitative and quantitative courses designed to impart skills necessary for success in a global business community. Students will put this solid foundation into context as juniors and seniors with internships, service learning and study abroad opportunities fitting for a career in global business. One additional advantage for students: engagement with alumnae who are spread across the world, doing the work for which Saint Ben’s prepared them. “At Saint Ben’s, we’re fortunate to have a wonderful network of alumnae doing extraordinary things around the world,” says Newhouse. Students in her courses use Skype technology to connect with former students in China, Sweden, Spain, Hong Kong and Guatemala to learn firsthand how a globally-focused curriculum translates into a global life. As technology evolves, students will have more opportunities to engage in global teamwork without leaving the campuses. The journey continues Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s recently established the Global Center Advisory Council, a group composed of faculty from all four academic divisions as well as administrators from Academic Affairs, international student admissions and programming, Education Abroad and Fine Arts Programming. The Council — along with the Center for Global Education — offers structure to support and sustain the comprehensive approach to internationalization that earned us the Senator Paul Simon Award.

… students from every major will cross the stage at graduation and enter into a world where global consciousness isn’t just a competitive advantage — it’s often a prerequisite.


550 students study abroad.

Spotlight on:

Hudda Ibrahim ’13

What brought you to Saint Ben’s? Saint Benedict had everything I was looking for in a college. I wanted a liberal arts school that offered a reliable and challenging learning environment. Also, I wanted to get individual attention from professors and grow in my leadership capabilities. College of Saint Benedict is a beautiful campus. It has a great environment and a hospitable community. The college is a great place to have a wonderful education, and the students are positive and friendly. When did you know you would lead a global life? I have always had a passion for women’s health and advancement globally, but as I grow older and get educated, I realize that women are vulnerable and need empowerment. Seeing my mother die from maternal mortality motivated me to stand up for that cause. Read Ibrahim’s article on maternal mortality published in The Huffington Post.

The “comprehensive” component of our efforts is paramount. It’s not one department. It’s not one program. It’s a core perspective evident in every class, every day. That’s because students from every major will cross the stage at graduation and enter into a world where global consciousness 19

Center for Global Education created.


Recognized nationally as No. 1 in semester-long study abroad participation among baccalaureate institutions.



> 2010

Asian Studies major approved.


No. 13 in the country, and first in MN among baccalaureate colleges for international student enrollment.

Saint Ben’s students in Guatemala, as part of the Alternative Spring Break Program.

isn’t just a competitive advantage — it’s often a prerequisite. To that end, Rogers has a clear eye on the future: “We’ve built extraordinary relationships all around the globe,” he says. “Today we’re focused on deepening the level of engagement that our students have abroad as well as the engagement that international students have on our campus. We’re also continually enhancing curriculum to reflect an ever-changing world.” We’re immensely proud of the Senator Paul Simon Award — but we’re even more proud of what it reflects. As you read this article, Bennies are all over the world. They’re in Australia. They’re in Japan. Chile. France. Ireland. London. China. Greece. They’re stockpiling memories, expanding their comfort zones and gaining priceless cultural perspectives. They’re changing their lives.


*Statistics represent Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s as coordinate partners, according to Open Doors 2011, the annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Ellen Hunter Gans ’05, M.A., MSc. Owner, Word Couture Consulting Sometimes a place occupies a space in your brain and won’t let go. For Ellen Hunter Gans ’05, that place is London. She studied abroad there in 2004 and found herself back in London pursuing a master’s degree in global media and communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Today, Ellen brings a global perspective to her work as a writer and communications strategist. She travels abroad as frequently as possible.


> 2011

Students study abroad in India.


Recipient of NAFSA’s Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. All dates refer to CSB/SJU unless otherwise noted.

Where in the world is George? By Joy Pohland ’10

Romania. The Philippines. Cuba. Ecuador. George Hemmesch, Saint Ben’s carpenter and maintenance staff member, has swung his hammer in all of these places around the world. For Hemmesch, service trips are a way to “serve God and community, broaden horizons and share our gifts with others.” His first trips abroad were with church groups — Romania in 2005, The Philippines in 2011 and Cuba in March 2012. And in June 2012, he traveled with Saint Ben’s staff and students to Ecuador. The group fixed desks for students, made improvements to buildings and repaired a jungle gym, along with other projects to support the Yambiro community. The global emphasis at Saint Ben’s reaches beyond students. And like George, there are countless faculty and staff who are enlightened to consider their impact on the world. Think global. Do global. Be global. That’s the formula many in the Saint Ben’s community subscribe to. The result? A global education and international service mindset that has hit critical mass, creating a dominant thread in the Saint Ben’s community. Hemmesch says that each trip abroad brings a wealth of learning. In Ecuador, “everything has purpose. What looks like a weed is really a remedy for an ear infection. Everything… everything has purpose.” So, where in the world will George go next? He has his sights… and his hammer, ready for Africa. George Hemmesch and Alexandra Brancale ’13 work together to repair desks for students in Yambiro, Ecuador.


Creative solutions provide powerful answers By Connie Nelson

In spring 2012, my husband Jim Schnepf and I had the opportunity to lead a semester study abroad to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Spurred by a chance email exchange, one weekend Jim and I met Jill Thompson ’81, who lives in nearby Jeffreys Bay. A diverse path Jill has had quite the life since she left Saint Ben’s. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in two different African countries before she became an associate Peace Corps director for small enterprise development in Mali, West Africa, and then Botswana in southern Africa. After leaving the Peace Corps, she worked as a micro-enterprise consultant for various nongovernmental organizations and government programs before deciding to leave consulting and make Jeffreys Bay her home. A new journey Jeffreys Bay is a picturesque town known primarily for its surfing. And, as is common in South Africa, extremely impoverished townships of mixed Xhosa and ethnic people surround it. Especially considering the economic impact that the AIDS pandemic has had on vulnerable households, upon moving to Jeffreys Bay, Jill quickly saw the need to improve the livelihood of people in nearby townships. But she did not see people in the townships as helpless victims. She wanted to help them improve their financial resiliency, starting with the assets they already had. With this intent, five

Jill Thompson ’81


years ago Jill founded a micro-savings nonprofit. Quite often these days, we read about the promise of micro-lending — disbursing small loans to someone involved with a small-scale business venture. Culminating in a Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Bangladeshi Muhammad Yunus, micro-credit has been the rage in economic development the last 30 years. So, what is a micro-savings plan? A nascent cousin of micro-loans, they flip the equation on its head. Instead of leading with debt (even small debt), micro-savings plans encourage people to save first. Members accrue their savings and make loans to one another from their pooled funds. No outside money is needed. No money is repaid to anyone outside the group. All interest earned on the loans accrues to the savers. Mpendulo Savings Jill’s program, called Mpendulo Savings, helps individuals in the Jeffreys Bay area form micro-savings and lending groups. Each savings circle must agree to meet for a year. They set their own ground rules: how often they will meet, where and the required savings target from each member each month. Saving in the township is hard, as 50 percent of the residents are already in debt to moneylenders or credit card companies. If they do have some money to save, their small deposits in traditional savings accounts get quickly eaten up with bank fees. Mpendulo Savings helps people work, little by little, toward the elimination of debt and the building of their assets. Jill’s staff of four training officers supports the groups by providing advice, basic financial literacy training and a savings “kit.” The kit contains a calculator, stamp pad, passbook for each member and a unique “strongbox.” Since it is important that members can trust that no one is tempted to run off with all of the group’s funds, this simple metal box is locked on three sides. Each side requires a different key to open it. To safeguard the money, three separate people in the circle hold the keys and a fourth keeps the metal box. The box can only be opened at the savings meetings in front of all group members. Meetings are held in members’ homes, and each member brings the group’s savings target:  between one and five shares

Photo by Connie Nelson

provides a powerful of 50 Rand (about affirmation that the $7). The money is singular purchases counted in front of tell only part of the everyone and placed story. The women in the lockbox. of Mpendulo Individual group gain something members then no money can request loans, buy: confidence. explaining why they Knowing that are needed. The at any time they group discusses the could call upon loan requests and savings and credit decides as a group in a manner that whether to grant is flexible and set the loan. (Once Saving circle members count and record the money. in a social group granted, at each where they feel of the subsequent understood. One woman summed it up by saying, “This is months’ meetings, the person with the loan must continue to the first guilt-free money I’ve ever had.” bring at least one share to save, as well as the monthly interest Jill is now studying micro-franchises, where small-scale owed on the loan.) At the end of the year, all savings deposits business ventures are available for purchase, such as a bicycleand interest earned are paid to members in what is called the delivered milk route. Basic business plans come with the “share-out.” In 2011, savings group members earned over 50 franchise, including how to price the products or where to percent on their money. purchase supplies cooperatively. She thinks micro-franchises Now in its fifth year, the nonprofit organization supports hold great promise in an area with more than 30 percent more than 130 savings groups with more than 1,300 unemployment. members. Even these impressive numbers underrepresent the Near the end of our visit with Jill, I asked, “What does project’s full effect, as savings groups that have met for at least the word Mpendulo mean?” Jill smiled and said that the one year have become fully independent. members came up with the name. “In isiXhosa, Mpendulo means ‘the answer’.”   The ultimate payoff While Mpendulo may not be the only answer to getting Intrigued by the growth and success of this simple idea, I people out of poverty, it is proving to be one answer that works.   asked members of Mpendulo how they used their savings and Learn more about Mpendulo Savings, at loans. One woman put herself through a nursing assistant program and now works in eldercare. Another woman saved for a kitchen with running water. Yet another member added Nelson, along with her husband Jim Schnepf, chair of the a room onto her home for her mother while saving for her CSB/SJU computer science department, have led semesterwedding. long study abroad trips to Beibei, China, in 2008 and to Port Many Mpendulo members took out loans at times when Elizabeth, South Africa, in 2012. an infusion of cash is needed (i.e. the start of school), to Nelson is a partner emeritus of The Public Strategies Group pay off higher-cost loans or to buy an asset while paying the in St. Paul, Minn. She spent 30 years as an executive leader in savings group over time. Minnesota state government and as a consultant on public Another enlightening fact: 80 percent of the current savers sector reform. are women (down from 97 percent the first year). This



Nassau to Minnesota: Bennies support Bennies By Joy Pohland ’10

Shenique Albury ’04 believes in Bennies. So much so, that she decided to make a financial gift to help young women afford a Saint Ben’s education. A biology major and environmental studies minor from Nassau, Bahamas, Albury was encouraged to come to Saint Ben’s by a Bennie she believes in: her mother, Zelma Albury ’87. Albury’s gift to Saint Ben’s was inspired by her academic experience and also her appreciation for the donors that made her own education possible. Her gift makes Albury a member of the Young Alum President’s Circle, which recognizes young alumnae who give at a leadership level for the first 15 years after college. Experiences, relationships to remember Albury has many fond memories of her time at Saint Ben’s: dancing with the Bahamian Club and the annual international fair, where students showcase their culture through food, clothing and rituals to name a few.

Creating a lifelong partnership Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s have a long-standing partnership with St. Augustine’s College High School in Nassau, Bahamas. Albury is one of more than 650 students from the Bahamas who have made CSB/SJU their home away from home. The following milestones illustrate the evolution of CSB/SJU’s partnership with the people and schools of the Bahamas: • 1920s — First Bahamian students enroll at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. • 1974 — Saint Ben’s sponsors Benedictine University College in Nassau, in response to a request from two Saint Ben’s alumnae who sought assistance in providing in-service programs for teachers. • 1994-2000 — The colleges sponsor the CSB/SJU Bahamas Campus. Today, Bahamian students continue to come to CSB/SJU for a four-year liberal arts experience.


She also fondly recalls the summer she stayed at Saint Ben’s to do research with Gordon Brown, associate professor of biology. Albury was able to tour environmental studies labs and relate her research to real life situations. She describes Brown as a key ingredient to her Saint Ben’s transformation. “Gordon pushed me. He was the most influential person for me at Saint Ben’s. He was my adviser and teacher. I am very Shenique Albury ’04 and her mother, Zelma Albury ’87. grateful for him.” Brown’s positive influence, as well as Albury’s experiences working as a residential assistant and tutoring with Head Start significantly influenced her college experience. She also acknowledges the value of a liberal arts education. “I didn’t want to take writing and other core classes, but I am glad that I did. No matter if you are going into science or any other field you need to know the basics, like writing.” When the opportunity to make a financial gift to Saint Ben’s presented itself, Albury notes that it wasn’t a difficult decision. She says there are many reasons to give, but “first and foremost are my Christian and Benedictine principles — giving is part of those beliefs.” After Saint Ben’s, Albury went on to earn a master’s degree in environmental consultancy in England and is now a senior policy advisor/country representative with Nature Conservancy in Nassau. Her time at Saint Ben’s, she says, has fueled her passion to teach others. “When I give to Saint Ben’s, I get something out of it, too — the satisfaction of helping students. I was once in their shoes. Now, it’s my turn.”

Alumnae milestones

For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect:

Milestones 1947 Honor O’Connell Hacker was awarded Hill Murray High School’s Distinguished Alumni Benedictine Award in May ’12. Hacker spent 31 years inspiring students in her religion classes and received the Teacher of the Year Award in ’86.




Mary Hougnon Benjamin is the development director at CROSS Food Shelf.

Anne Nicolai lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and works as an associate editor of Sol: English Writing in Mexico.

Sharon Brin Hathaway illustrated a book written by her sister, Becca Brin-Manlove ’79, Hauling Water: Reflections on Making a Home in the North Woods. Jonelle Spanier Heinen received first place at the Rice Memorial Hospital’s My Nurse Makes a Difference awards in May ’12.

Judith Sitarz was named the 2011 CSB Entrepreneur of the Year by the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship.

Mary Lenard joined the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation as director of the Aging Services Program.

1974 Mary Kay Schanhaar Welle received the 2011 Nan Hilt Writers Award from the editorial board of the journal, Orthopaedic Nursing. Her manuscript, “Inferior Vena Cava Filter Use as Pulmonary Embolism Prophylaxis in Trauma,” was selected as making the most significant contribution to the nursing literature for volume in ’11.

1983 Mary Cassidy Lenker was named executive director of the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools.

1985 Collette Balder Miller received her master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and deaf/ hard-of-hearing educator’s license.

1988 Irma Mayorga is a professor of drama and humanities at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Jan Wilson Haas is the author of the book, Moving Mountains – One Woman’s Fight to Live Again, second place winner for autobiography/ memoir and merit winner for inspiration/ spirituality in the Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association 2012 EVVY Awards.

1975 Elizabeth Dinndorf was named the 18th president of Columbia College in Columbia, S.C. She began her presidency in July ’12.

“Bennie was a good girl… going to see the whole world.”

Denise DeVaan was named the 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship.

1977 Peggy Landwehr Roske, was awarded the spring ’12 Extraordinary Performance Award for her work as a College of Saint Benedict archivist.

1978 Sandy Stumvoll Anderson received the Region 8 Distinguished Teacher Award from the National Catholic Education Association in April ’12. Connie Kutzke Dilts is a marriage and family therapist in private practice in Billings, MT. She is currently teaching a master’s-level play therapy class at a local university.

From the song, Bennie and Johnnie, by national recording artist Mat Kearney, who headlined this year’s 12 Pines concert. Kearney was so inspired by our communities, he later wrote the song which played more than 10,000 times within the first 24 hours of being posted online.

1979 Lynn Newman was appointed chair of the College of Saint Benedict Board of Trustees.

Scan to listen

Photo by Paul Middlestaedt





Stephanie Wetzel Landsem signed a three-book contract with Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Her debut novel, The Well, will be released in June ’13.

Jennifer Leonard received a MA in music therapy from the University of Minnesota in May ’12.

Anne Marie Walters is a senior development officer at College of Saint Benedict.

1993 Angie Hoffmann Nagel received the Companions on the Journey Award at the Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference in Nov. ’10.

1996 Bridget Lyons wrote the book, On the Rocks: Marriage and Margaritas, published under the pen name Erika Daniels. She is the founder and owner of

1997 Amy Fredregill was named executive director of Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, Inc.

1998 Kara Jones is a parent co-facilitator for “Up With Downs,” a clearinghouse for information on Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Carolyn Parsons Sullivan was promoted to account director in the Corporate, Community and Public Affairs group of Weber Shandwick. She served as co-chair of the 20th annual Weber Shandwick pro bono communications workshop.

2000 Chrissy Lee Baune is senior planner for web strategy at Best Buy.

2003 Raeana Rice earned a DVM degree from the University of Minnesota Veterinary School in May ’12. She works at the Stillwater Veterinary Clinic. Terri Way received the 2011 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award for the state of NH.

2004 Maggie Weber Utsch is director of annual giving at College of Saint Benedict.

Jacklyn Stockinger was promoted to team lead of desktop operations at W3i in Feb. ’12.



Christine Smeby was promoted to sourcing analyst, Technology Acquisition, at Target. She will also complete her MBA in Dec. ’12 from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.

Elizabeth Becker Typhina received a $4,000 fellowship and full funding to attend North Carolina State University Communication Ph.D. program in Raleigh, NC starting in fall ’12. Heather Berscheit Grothe earned a MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May ’12.

Six alumnae graduated in spring 2012 from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis: Elise Johnson ’06, Katherine “Katie” Ward ’08, Sarah Eisenschenk ’08, Margaret “Maggie” Sweeney ’08, Caitlin Kennedy ’08 and Heather Berscheit Grothe ’05.


Jenna Forner ’08 to Miguel Salinas, June ’11

Andrea Wise ’07 to Andrew Meyer ’07, June ’12

Kris Kubicek ’01 to Anthony Engler, June ’12

Amanda Gustafson Burns graduated with beta gamma sigma honors from the University of St. Thomas Opus School of Business with a master’s in business communication in May ’12.

Caitlin Kennedy received a MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May ’12.

Jade Johnson was awarded the Rising Star Award at Charter Media, where she has been a marketing representative for one year.

Maggie Sweeney received a MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May ’12.

Larissa Ranvek received a MS in physician assistant studies from Des Moines University in May ’12. She is practicing at the Community Health Care Center in East Moline, IA.

Megan Pavek Boyle received a MA degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University in June ’12. Laura Sand Prink received a MSW degree from Augsburg College in June ’11.

Katie Ward received a MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May ’12.



Elise Johnson earned a MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May ’12.

Andrea Carrow graduated from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain with an International MBA in Dec. ’11.

Rena Rolfsen Thomas was named one of 40 movers and shakers under 40 who made a significant impact on the future of the region of Ocala, FL. She is an academic advisor at Saint Leo University’s Ocala Center.

2007 Lindsay Grove completed a master’s in philanthropic studies and nonprofit management from The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University in May ’12. Molly Moriarty Rusin received a MD degree from Creighton University in May ’12.

2008 Sarah Eisenschenk received a MD degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in May ’12.

Leah Juster graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a MA in museum studies in May ’12. Britta Kolb interned at the Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, CA and is a public programs intern at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, CA. She will graduate with a master’s in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, CA.

Kristal Sawatzke is the orientation and learning community director at University of Aukland in New Zealand. She received a MA in student affairs higher education from Colorado State University in Denver in May ’12.

2011 Emily Bina is an associate producer with The Huffington Post in New York, NY. Megan Kelly is a second-year medical student at Rush Medical College and a second lieutenant in the Minnesota Army National Guard. She completed a basic officer leaders course at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX in June ’12.


Penny Yu is a law student at Chinese University.

Anna Martin is a marketing and communications intern at HealthPartners in Bloomington, MN.


From this day forward

Melissa Fujan is enrolled in Rocky Vista University Medical School in CO.


Suzie Coffey to Jeremy Busch, Aug. ’11

Stacey Jessen is a CPA.

Kris Kubicek to Anthony Engler, June ’12


Michelle Minke to Cam McCambridge ’03, May ’12

Hallie Jackson Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a master’s degree in hospital administration.

For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect:


Gretchen Adelmann Korf ’00 and Michael Korf, boy, Edmund, Feb. ’12

Jill Mensing Kelly ’98 and Scott Kelly ’98, boy, Michael, Feb. ’12

Juliet Govern ’04 and Tommy O’Keefe ’04, girl Elena, Oct. ’10


Mary Schwarz to Tim Oakland ’02, Oct. ’11

Jenna Forner to Miguel Salinas, June ’11

Bundles of joy


Jenna Joelson to Will McNulty ’03, Oct. ’10


Margot Bieging to Blake Kraemer ’06, July ’12

Caroline Starr to Thomas Berndt ’03, March ’11

Laura Bredeck to Christopher Johnson ’09, June ’12


Marguerite Flynn & Shawn Petersen, girl, Tess, Feb. ’12


Susan Matthees to Ronald Blum, April ’12

Katherine Eng to Josh King, Aug. ’11


Ronna Kohorst Baca & Marco Baca, girl, Nina, Feb. ’11

Elissa Pfannenstein to Philip Ryan ’01, Nov. ’11

Brooke Johnson to Brock Vestrum ’05, June ’12

Sandy Trierweiler Jerpseth & Keith Jerpseth ’95, boy, Jack, March ’12

Susan Schulzetenberg to Michael Gully ’00, Jan. ’12

Abby Milton to Ryan Turbes ’09, June ’12


Jill Funk Simons & Brent Simons, twins, Samuel & Charles, Dec. ’10


Annikah Colon to Sean Moaratty, Jan. ’12


Bryn Aaberg to Nicholas Davis, April ’11

Jennifer Schulte Rogan & Michael Rogan, boy, John, Feb. ’12

Melody Landwehr to Justin Gertken, Dec. ’11

Courteney Ellison to Jon Reed, Aug. ’11

Stacy Tasto Ferderer & Douglas Ferderer ’95, boy, Owen, March ’12

Kelly Vilson to Jason Romo, Nov. ’10

Lindsay Hansen to Matthew Anderson ’11, Feb. ’12


Jody Cushing Zetah & Christopher Zetah, boy, Tucker, June ’12


Megan Haines to Tony Berendes ’06, July ’11

Sarah Hund to Joe Solberg, Oct. ’11

Connie Goeden Gottfried & Andrew Gottfried ’96, girl, Sydney, Dec. ’11

Kristina Sherman to Jeff Polzin ’04, June ’12

Hallie Jackson to Kirby Johnson ’10, May ’12

Kelly Sauer Collins & Craig Collins, boy, Michael, April ’11

Erin Smith to Matthew Meredith, Sept. ’11

Ana Johnson to Bob Burge, May ’11

Jeannie Bykowski Kenevan & Matt Kenevan, boy, Clayton, Sept. ’11

Meghan Fitzgerald to Kyle Bonde, June ’12

Mandy Libbesmeier to Mark Krippner, June ’11



Jill Mensing Kelly & Scott Kelly ’98, boy, Michael, Feb ’12

Stephanie Gassert to Scott Paul ’09, Sept. ’11

Christine Long to Jake Schwartz, Feb. ’12

Jennifer Hafner Doom & Benjamin Doom ’98, girl, Harper, April ’12

Megan Kurtz to Tyler Engelke ’08, Feb. ’12

Nicole Magedanz to Ben Morris ’10, June ’12

Brittany Meyer to Eric Power, June ’12

Tanyele Kajer & John Fuchs, boy, Caden, Dec. ’11

Alice Lousberg to Kyle Kindseth, Jan. ’11

Shayla Swartz to Paul Blaschko, June ’12

Julie Nester Carlson & Boe Carlson, girl, Hazel, Feb. ’12

Molly Moriarty to Spencer Rusin, April ’12

Ashley Theisen to Richard May, May ’11

Andrea Wise to Andrew Meyer ’07, June ’12

Stephanie Wegmann to Erik Peterson, June ’12

Julie Russomanno Nilsson & Steve Nilsson, girl, Lucy, Feb. ’12

Erin Buss to David Rynda ’09, Oct. ’10

Courtney Christenson to Luke Opsahl ’11, Dec. ’11

Heidi Mueller Buckentine & Michael Buckentine, girl, Harper, Feb. ’12





Mikala Foehrenbacher to Drew Gaffke, July ’12

Carolyn Parsons Sullivan & Thomas Sullivan ’99, boy, Liam, Oct. ’11


Shannon Speidel Braaten & Randy Braaten ’99, girl, Dru, June ’12

Sarah Young Erickson & Mark Erickson, girl, Olivia, April ’12

Katie Flynn Benscoter & Adam Benscoter, girl, June, March ’12


Gretchen Adelmann Korf & Michael Korf, boy, Edmund, Feb. ’12


Sara Anderson Krieg & Brendon Krieg, boy, Simon, March ’12

Sarah Madge Carey & Mike Carey ’02, girl, Katherine, March ’12

Amy Larson Sand & John Sand ’00, boy, Michael, Feb. ’12

Stephanie Braegelmann LaBine & Nathan LaBine, boy, Parker, Dec. ’11

Jennifer Myers Kutter & Ryan Kutter ’03, girl, Corva, Jan. ’12

Rebecca Reibestein Johnson & David Johnson ’99, boy, Devin, June ’12

Caroline Starr Berndt & Thomas Berndt ’03, boy, Oscar, Aug. ’11

Nicole Schmucker Apold & Dallas Apold, boy, Sander, Nov. ’11

Kathleen Penkala Massmann & Ronald Massmann, girl, Kathrine, Dec. ’11

Jaclyn Bodeen Klinkner & Ryan Klinkner ’04, boy, Evan, May ’12

Debra Wentz Ferraro & Dan Ferraro ’00, boy, Jack, Dec. ’11

Julie Hauwiller Empey & Craig Empey, boy, Marcel, Sept. ’11


Kate Eder Edrey & Patrick Edrey ’04, girl, Grace, March ’12

Dawn Bauerly-Pieper & Corey Pieper, boy, Brady, May ’12

Mary Joyce Houghton & Joe Houghton ’02, boy, Joseph, April ’11


Laura Guetter & Matt Novak ’03, girl, Elizabeth, Sept. ’11

Angela Busse Boylan & Art Boylan ’01, girl, Nora, May ’12

Mary Keane Willner & William Willner, boy, William, Sept. ’11

Ann Gunville Singewald & Phil Singewald, girl, Emma, July ’11

Amber Dingmann Jacobs & Paul Jacobs, girl, Lillyan, Dec. ’11

Kristin Kragseth Tapper & David Tapper, boy, Samuel, Dec. ’11

Kristin Kattar Carlson & Luke Carlson, girl, Madeleine, Nov. ’11

Susanna Cook Miller & Brent Miller, boy, Ethan, March ’12

Jennifer Maza Otremba & Timothy Otremba ’01, girl, Eleanor, Aug. ’11

Katie Knewtson Deibele & Brooks Deibele ’02, girl, Vivienne, Sept. ’11

Jessica Johnson Keating & Ryan Keating ’03, boy, Christian, Aug. ’11

Sara Pfeninger Friedrichs & Bill Friedrichs, girl, Elizabeth, March ’12

Maria Kraemer Schwartz & Eric Schwartz, girl, Emma, June ’11

Angie Minnerath Spitzley & Robert Spitzley ’01, girl, Sydney, March ’12

Natalie Wills Mulrooney & Jim Mulrooney ’03, girl, Annemarie, March ’12

Dayna Logering Francis & Alex Francis ’04, boy, Peter, Jan. ’12

Katie Rothstein Minnich & Tony Minnich ’00, girl, Luella, Nov. ’11


Kirsten Andenas Aligada & Reynaldo Aligada ’98, girl, Ruby, July ’11

Beth Meierhofer Dixon & Joshua Dixon, girl, Sawyer, Dec. ’11

Trina Rothstein Stephens & Tim Stephens, boy, Logan, May ’12

Jackie Bye Boldt & Michael Boldt ’03, girl, Katherine, Jan. ’12

Rachel Peters Studanski & Ryan Studanski, boy, Landon, May ’12

Ellen Tuchner Kennedy & Mike Kennedy ’99, girl, Victoria, Nov. ’11

Stephanie Casey Bielat & Ryan Bielat ’03, boy, Ollie, Sept. ’11

Anne Trebtoske Jacobs & Cory Jacobs ’03, girl, Ava, Nov. ’10

You’re an investor in Saint Ben’s. Here’s why your stock’s looking up: of seniors rate the overall quality of their academic experience as good or excellent.



Your investment is in students like Madison Mick, a junior from Sartell, Minn. studying pre-dental with a biology major and gender studies minor. She’s here because of scholarship support made possible by donors who understand the value of a Saint Ben’s education.

of seniors identify a faculty member as a mentor or role model.

students say their academic major prepared them well for their career or graduate school.

9 IN 10


The graduation rate is higher than the national average for women.

Give a gift that really matters.

For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect:


Facebook Friends Deepen your friendship with CSB. Like College of Saint Benedict Alumnae Association on Facebook and access the latest news, events and photos.


Janelle Heitzman Loehlein & Matthew Loehlein, girl, Isabella, May ’12

Anne Yager Pogatchnik & Jeff Pogatchnik, boy, Jeffrey, April ’12

Heather Navratil Singsank & Michael Singsank, girl, Kylee, April ’12

Juliet Govern O’Keefe & Tommy O’Keefe ’04, girl, Elena, Oct. ’10

Theresa Nykodym Needham & Marcus Needham ’04, boy, Sully, Dec. ’11


Rachel Deutz Holmgren & Justin Holmgren ’03, girl, Nora, Feb. ’11

Kathy Wenker Gilk & Steven Gilk ’04, boy, Jackson, Dec. ’11

Janet Fiedler Barthel & William Barthel, boy, Charlie, April ’12

Kathryn White Schad & Adam Schad, boy, John, May ’12

Amy Martinka Schuett & Dusty Schuett ’04, girl, Allison, Oct. ’11

Tricia Nolan Meling & Shaun Meling ’05, boy, Grayson, June ’12

Marian Studer Lyndgaard & Kyhl Lyndgaard ’99, boy, Lars, Feb. ’12

Tracy Studniski Ebnet & Jason Ebnet, boy, Gavin, July ’12

Katie Wilcox Jahnke & Brady Jahnke ’03, girl, Isabelle, May ’12

Heather Parker Plumski & Jamie Plumski, girl, Grace, Oct. ’11

Amanda Thompson Ramler & Wayne Ramler, girl, Anna, Feb. ’12


Lisa Bush Nelson & Tyler Nelson, boy, Connor, May ’12

Kelly Denne Minnich & Adam Minnich, boy, Owen, Jan. ’12

Sarah Domine Engdahl & Ryan Engdahl ’06, boy, Bennett, May ’12

Kristin Beranek Hillesheim & James Hillesheim, boy, Gavin, May ’11

Jessica Koskela Johnson & Kurt Johnson, boy, Bennett, Jan. ’12

Laura Krippner Gorder & John Gorder, boy, Owen, June ’12

Christine Pladson Wayne & Christopher Wayne ’06, boy, Benjamin, Aug. ’11

Amanda Tiegs Buermann & Scott Buermann ’06, boy, Evan, July ’11

Share your passion for Saint Ben’s with the next generation of Bennies and Johnnies. Refer a student and he or she will receive a free CSB/SJU T-shirt. Complete the online referral form at



Molly Gruber Denne & Mitchell Denne, girl, Alyse, Feb. ’12

Heather Johnson Kruk & Michael Kruk ’06, girl, Lilah, May ’12

Lynn Paradis Boerger & Jon Boerger, boy, William, Dec. ’11


Erin Buss Rynda & David Rynda ’09, girl, Claire, Nov. ’11

Laura Doboszenski Lahti & Tim Lahti ’06, boy, Isaac, April ’12

Carolyn Hejny Stang & Chad Stang ’08, boy, Charlie, Feb. ’11

Katie Ranallo Boegel & Kevin Boegel ’08, boy, Landon, May ’12

Emily Rayman Luitjens & Steven Luitjens ’08, boy, Gabriel, Nov. ’11

Hillary Thoma Sass & Joseph Sass ’08, boy, Easton, Jan. ’12


Michelle Horning Sperr & Adam Sperr, boy, Ethan, Nov. ’11


Janessa DeRosier Harren & Nicholas Harren, boy, Beau, Dec. ’11

By the Numbers

557 1,754 61 6.4

alumnae who list a country outside of the U.S. as their home residence.

In memoriam

alumnae majored or minored in a foreign language.

estimated percentage of Peace Corps population that are female.

million Americans work or study overseas.


Pauline Wetzel Borg, Jan. ’12


Beatrice Weisser Compton, Dec. ’11


Gertrude Dorle Foley, Feb. ’12

Marie Ludowese Spedick, April ’12


Bettie Peffer Mertz, May ’12


Alda Smith Thiessen, Dec. ’11


Marian Spengler Ryan, Dec. ’11

Richard Monahan, spouse of Jan Selly Monahan, April ’12


Donald Liebsch, spouse of Jean Laubach Liebsch, Feb. ’11

Robert Vleck, spouse of Kathy Ophoven Vleck, Dec. ’11


John Cumming, spouse of Jeanne Krause Cumming, Oct. ’11

Fran Voelker ’53, spouse of Mil Padrnos Voelker, Feb. ’12

Sister Mary Ann Henn, Jan. ’12


Carol Fettes Baland, July ’12


LeRoy Poganski, spouse of Jean O’Hotto Poganski, March ’12

Sister Margaret Van Kempen, March ’12

Sister Terence Nehl, May ’12


Jerry Bottema, spouse of Corky Korte Bottema, May ’12


Gerald “Jerry” Murtha, son of Dorothy Fish Murtha, June ’12


Patricia Poston Scott, Nov. ’11

James White ’63, spouse of Jo Ann Terhaar White, Jan. ’12

William Nichols ’48, spouse of Mary Chouinard Nichols, Dec. ’11

Renee LaBrosse Ichinose, daughter of Betty Hunt LaBrosse, Oct. ’11



Susan Moebius, May ’12

John Janey, son of Phylis Geering Janey, June ’12

Robert Ruether ’56, spouse of Jane Schmid Ruether, May ’12


Dom Hillesheim ’69, spouse of Sandy Harris Hillesheim, Nov. ’11

Ruth Spohn Andersen, March ’12


Greg Ruprecht ’58, spouse of Mary Wyant Ruprecht, April ’11


Dr. William Tomcek, spouse of Mary K. Roble, Dec. ’11

Jerry Twomey ’49, spouse of Joan Ulrich Twomey, May ’12

Eileen Potter Simmons, Jan. ’12

Sister Lucille Hubmann, Jan. ’12


Ken Daniels, spouse of Judith Muyres, Nov. ’11


Lee Gresser, spouse of Lorraine Barthel Gresser, Dec. ’11


Mary Carol Matt Beirne, April ’12


Mary Lou Lubbesmeier Burns, Jan. ’12

Norene McIntee Foster, March ’12


Anne Lommel ’87, daughter of Sandra Stotko Lommel, Feb. ’12


Michael Utsch, son of Deborah Dingmann Utsch, May ’12

Bill Twohy ’85, son of Shirley Savoie Twohy, Feb. ’12


Sister Marilyn Kulzer, March ’12

Curtis Olson, spouse of Marjorie Schutz Olson, April ’12

Donald McMillan, spouse of Patricia Diegel McMillan, April ’12

Jordan Karasch, son of Mary Gruenes, May ’12


Barbara Scherek, July ’12

Julie Ann Lickteig, May ’12

Shirley Harris, Feb. ’12

Thomas LaBonte, son of Mona Baril LaBonte, Feb. ’12


Carol Beacom Borgeson, Oct. ’11

Edward Nilan ’61, spouse of Sharon McNamara Nilan, Nov. ’11

Anne Lommel, Feb. ’12



1987 1988

Kathryn Portilla-Trettel, Feb. ’12


Joanne Ardolf Decker, Feb. ’12


Gloria Gustin Eng, Jan. ’12

For complete news and notes from classmates and to post your notes, go to BenniesConnect:


REUNION 2012 Photos by Michael Swenson, Bea Lund ’13 and our amazing alumnae





Bennie Connection

1. Raquel Gudiel ’09, Jackie Corral ’12, Ashley Ver Burg ’10, Tiffany De Leon ’10, Anna Burgason ’11 and Adia Zeman ’12 enjoy the Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color 20th Anniversary Boat Cruise on the St. Croix River.


2. Jen Fischer DuBois ’01, Mindy Fradin Gallagher ’01 and Rina Shockman ’01 in front of Rockefeller Center on their trip to New York City — an impromptu getaway they hope to turn into an annual tradition with other Bennie friends. 3. Bennie alumnae mothers with their graduating Bennie daughters during the annual Mother/ Daughter Senior Brunch at Saint Ben’s. 4. Elizabeth Humbert ’11, Brianna Shrankler ’12 and Kate Holzer ’11 cheer on the Minnesota Twins with the Young Alum Committee. 5. Anna Schumacher ’10 and Nakita Poon Kong ’10 on the backwaters in Alleppey, Kerala, India. 6. Rachael Rudeen Klos ’00, Katie Diedrich Dake ’00, Barbara Kilzer ’05 and Brooke Jacobsma Wolf ‘97 enjoy a wine tasting in Denver, Colo.

Bennie Connection

Send us a photo and description of your Bennie connections to

2 3

4 5



Alumnae Events Log on and click Events or call 800-648-3468, ext. 2

Oct. 21 Alum Gathering in Phoenix, Ariz.

to learn more about these and other Bennie gatherings added throughout the year.

Oct. 28 Wine Country Garden Party in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Sept. 27 Bennie Day Wherever Bennies are around the world! Twin Cities gathering at Amore Victoria

Nov. 3 Alum Gathering in Nassau, Bahamas Nov. 3 Blazer Hockey Game & Alum Reception in Blaine, Minn.

Sept. 28 Centennial Commons Dedication & Blessing College of Saint Benedict

Nov. 7 Career Expo at College of Saint Benedict

Sept. 29 Young Alum Homecoming Breakfast LaPlayette, St. Joseph, Minn.

Nov. 17 Blazer Basketball Game & Olympic Training Center Reception in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Dance Team Homecoming Brunch College of Saint Benedict

Intercultural LEAD Homecoming Reception & Lunch College of Saint Benedict

Nov. 17 Red Mass at College of Saint Benedict Feb. 7-10, 2013 Eco-Spirituality Dogsledding Retreat in Ely, Minn.

Upcoming Events in 2012:

Push Play

Ac o u


sti c Af

BeauS ole i


hael Douce Mic t



c ve

Fri, Sept 28 at 7:30 p.m. CSB

The Good Lov

eli e

Sat, Dec 8 at 7:30 p.m. CSB


Sat, Dec 15 at 8:00 p.m. PRE-SHOW SJU DINNER



Brickman ft . th e


JU Orchestra B/S CS



Sat, Dec 8 at 7:30 p.m. CSB

Hot Club of San Francisco: Cinema Vivant - 9/15 at SJU Lucky Plush: The Better Half - 9/22 at CSB BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - 9/28 at CSB Live Action Set: The 7-Shot Symphony - 10/13 at CSB Acoustic Africa - 10/20 at SJU The Second City - 10/27 at CSB Pastiche - 10/26 at SJU David Wax Museum - 11/9 at SJU Accidental Hero - 11/16 & 11/17 at CSB Jim Brickman featuring the CSB/SJU Orchestra - 12/8 at CSB The Good Lovelies - 12/15 at SJU

For Tickets: 320-363-5777 or 36

I’m a bennie

Ginny Sawyer Contreras ’03

Please describe your work. I’m an English teacher at a private language school in Prague, Czech Republic. Previously, I taught English in Hungary, Russia and Japan. In Europe and Asia, many companies offer language lessons as a part of their benefits package, and that’s where I come in. On a typical day, I traverse the city by subway and tram to teach at up to four companies in one day. I’ve taught at L’Oreal, Honeywell, Air Navigation Services, Tchibo coffee service and so on. I’m a “senior” teacher, which means in addition to my teaching hours, I give methodology workshops and seminars and mentor a small group of “junior” teachers. In my spare time, I’m a freelance travel writer. I work with the two major English publications in Prague — and The Prague Post. Most of my articles are about activities in and around the city, day trip options from Prague and specialty food shop reviews. How did you end up doing what you are doing? Actually, I have Saint Ben’s to thank for that. During my senior year, I attended a presentation at the career resource center about the JET Program — a program sponsored by the Japanese government to bring recent college graduates to be assistant language teachers in their public school system. At that time, I had no background in teaching. I majored in Spanish with a minor in political science, but I was (and am) fascinated by culture and language and was always looking for an opportunity to travel.  My husband and I ended up spending two years in Japan. The JET Program provides on-the-job training, but mostly it’s learn-as-you-go. After my contract was up, we decided that the lifestyle suited us. At that time (and I think still

now), one of the most recognized certificates in the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) world is the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). We did an intensive CELTA course in Budapest, Hungary, and haven’t looked back.  What opportunities and obstacles have you encountered as you live and work abroad? Well, let’s start with the obvious challenge: the language barrier. One time — I think it was the first week we were in Japan — my husband and I had to walk out of a restaurant. The menu had no pictures, the waiter didn’t know English, and we didn’t speak Japanese at the time. After trying hand gestures and miming (I was never good at charades!) — we gave up and embarrassingly left without ordering. I’m pleased to say we studied Japanese every day and quickly picked up enough to get by. Nowadays, most of our challenges are baby-related. Child rearing in general is a difficult undertaking, but even more so when you get conflicting advice — the Czech way, the American way and the Mexican way (my husband is from Mexico). Our baby girl, Olivia, was born in Prague in December 2011, and it’s funny how babies can complicate your life. We never bought a car because with the amazing public transport it wasn’t necessary, but now when we take the tram to the grocery store we have to get creative when coming back home with the baby stroller and all the shopping bags. Also, we’ve always missed having our families nearby. Now more than ever, we miss having ready babysitters close at hand.  The opportunities, where to start? As many challenges as there are, we wouldn’t still be doing this if the opportunities didn’t outweigh the challenges. A selling point for me is the chance to be an amateur anthropologist — learning about the people, the culture and the language firsthand. The travel opportunities are unbeatable: long weekends in Rome, Christmas in Bangkok, windsurfing in Vietnam, summer break in Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia. But more than anything, living and working abroad has allowed me to get to know myself and challenge myself in a different context. For better or for worse, I’m definitely not the same person who left the U.S. seven years ago.   Do you have any advice for young people — either those who are thinking of your line of work or just general advice? Key words like flexibility and adaptability that you always try to work into your resume or cover letter… well, I can guarantee that after a year in this line of work it will be true and then some.


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID College of Saint Benedict

Institutional Advancement 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374 CHANGE Service Requested

Celebrating 100 years 1913-2013

Mark Your Calendars and Don’t Miss

Saint Ben’s

All-School Reunion June 28-30, 2013 All class years invited.

Preregister online at before Oct. 15, 2012, and save $10 off your official registration fee!

Saint Benedict's Magazine Fall 2012  

Saint Benedict’s Magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Institutional Advancement.

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