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College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

Ready for

Spring 2017

Adventure? Consider this your personal invitation.

INSIDE 2 Two Campuses Full of Adventure 12  Explore the Outdoors 18 A Learning Environment


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Message from Senate Presidents Two Campuses Full of Adventure Extending the Link Pre-med and Poetry Day in the Life The Dream Awakens Explore the Outdoors Working for a Good Cause Adventures in Globetrotting A Learning Environment Play On! Big Things Await Benedictine Community Programs of Study


CSB/SJU Magazine is published annually by the Office of Marketing and Communications. EDITOR Greg Skoog ’89 EDITORIAL TEAM Barbara Hein Mike Killeen Tammy Moore Bridget Nordlund ’08 Courtney Sullivan Tommy O’Laughlin ’13   STUDENT EDITORIAL TEAM Tommy Benson ’17 Annie Dittberner ’17 Elizabeth Flaherty ’17 Megan Flynn ’17 Jeff Johnson ’17 Morgan McCormack ’17 Hope P. Mueller ’18 Jake Schultz ’16

ON THE COVER CSB and SJU have separate student senates that frequently work together. For presidents Ramond Mitchell and Elizabeth Erickson, it’s always an adventure! CONTACT CSB/SJU Magazine Office of Marketing and Communications 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374


Ready for

Adventure? Ramond Mitchell ’17

Elizabeth Erickson ’17

2016-17 President, SJU Student Senate Theology major • Nassau, Bahamas

2016-17 President, CSB Student Senate Accounting major • Oakdale, Minn.

As graduation approaches, leaving the familiar comfort of home to head off to college is an adventure – no matter where you go. I, for one, was very uncomfortable coming all the way from the Bahamas to this new environment. However, the welcoming Benedictine communities of CSB and SJU make this an easy place to arrive. As soon as you’re here, you become part of a community like no other. You’re home. That means you’re free to create the adventure you really want. You can build your experience here around academics or new friendships or amazing opportunities or travels to places you’ve never seen. The warm, Benedictine sense of hospitality is always here supporting you. I am so glad that I made the decision to attend CSB/SJU four years ago. As graduation approaches I definitely know that CSB and SJU have prepared me for the next chapter in my life. CSB and SJU will not only be where you went to college, these communities will become who you are.

When you come to Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, every class is an adventure of its own. On the first day of class you have a general understanding of the material, but you have no idea where the course will take you. It turns into a critical thinking adventure where you will discover how to shift your perspectives, learn from the diverse minds around you and articulate your opinions in a professional way. All of our classes are led by professors with the passion to help their students unlock knowledge and make discoveries. My choice to attend this institution is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have been challenged both inside and outside the classroom, leading me to discover passions I did not know I had. The plan I originally envisioned has been shaped and is continuously transformed through my interactions with those at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. I feel confident as I dive into my future with the skills, knowledge and support system to succeed in pursuing my passions. 1

Two campuses

Lake Sarah

The hidden treasure




Mongolian Grill

at Gorecki

Breaking Free by Marton Varo




Gary’s Pizza

“The Special”

Local Blend

Best Under-21 Venue

Wobegon Trail

Sacred Heart Chapel

College of


Saint Benedict Renner House

12 1. Lake Sarah There’s always something new to discover at CSB/SJU. Take, for example, the hidden treasure of Lake Sarah at Saint Ben’s. Not all students even know the lake exists. And, if they do, they aren’t certain where it is on campus - but it’s worth the adventure to explore. 2. The Mongolian Grill at Gorecki Two campuses means double the amenities: dining options, libraries, gyms, etc. The Mongolian Grill in the Gorecki Center is a student favorite. In fact, The Princeton Review recently ranked CSB/SJU in its top 20 for best campus food. 3. Breaking Free IV, sculpted by Hungarian artist Marton Varo, stands proudly in Clemens Library. The statue was carved from Carrera marble from the same quarry as Michelangelo’s David. The sculpture is just one of many artistic gems scattered across both campuses. 4. Wobegon Trail The scenic Wobegon Trail passes close to both Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s and offers students 62 flat, paved miles for biking, walking, snowshoeing and more. 5. Gary’s Pizza Come to Saint Ben’s or Saint John’s and you’ll get to know Gary’s Pizza – soon. There’s no telling how many friendships have formed and roommate relationships have been cemented over a late-night delivery of “the special.” 6. Local Blend Enjoy a hot cup of coffee at the Local Blend – a local meeting spot where students often do homework and relax. The Local Blend’s reputation speaks for itself: it’s been voted Central Minnesota’s Best Under-21 Venue, Best Coffeehouse and Best Place to Buy Local Music. 2

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

full of


Stella Maris Chapel

Star of the Sea

Sexton Commons

Catch a concert at Bro Willie’s


Saint John’s Abbey Clemens Stadium Johnnie’s Football


Saint John’s 10

Seton Earth-Sheltered Apts How about a man-cave?



The Solar Farm Carbon Neutrality


7. Clemens Stadium Attending Johnnie football games is a treasured tradition. It’s a time for our students, alums and community to rally together around our athletics. Clemens Stadium has been named one of the top 10 venues in America to watch college football by Sports Illustrated. 8. Stella Maris Chapel (“Star of the Sea”) stands on the far shore of Lake Sagatagan. At just over two miles, a hike through the Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum (over 2,600 acres of lakes and forest) to the chapel is a perennial favorite. 9. Sexton Commons With a bookstore, a credit union, student mailboxes, a sandwich joint, multiple meeting spaces and more, everyone spends some time at Sexton. 10. Seton Earth–Sheltered Apts National studies show that a wide range of learning happens as a result of living on campus. At least 85 percent of our students live on campus (or are engaged in international studies) in residence halls, apartment complexes and houses. 11. The Solar Farm The solar farm is Saint John’s Abbey and University’s most visible step toward carbon neutrality. The farm will generate about 18 percent of the university’s needed electricity. On a sunny, summer day, it could produce as much as 88 percent of the power the campus needs. 12. The Link How do students get from one campus to the other? The Link bus transports students throughout the day, with an average ride lasting nine minutes. Even though 6.5 miles separate the two campuses, the Link helps keep that connection tight! 3

Under-told social justice issues are just that – under-told. However, one group of CSB/SJU students aims to explore these issues abroad and bring awareness back to campus through documentary film.

“This year we will focus on electronic waste, which includes devices nearing the end of their useful life, intended for resale, reuse, salvage, disposal and/or recycling,” says sophomore political science major Mackenzie Kuhl. Kuhl is a research coordinator for Extending the Link (ETL) – a student-run documentary film team. Each ETL project begins in April after the previous year’s documentary premieres. The team brainstorms a new topic and location, then spends the summer researching and planning. Come fall, they are ready to begin marketing and fundraising for their upcoming production. “As a team of 14 inspired students, we work together to bring awareness and ignite social change in our community,” says senior art major Erin Beacom, one of this year’s co-directors. Over winter break, six members of the group traveled to this year’s location, Hong Kong.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

While there, the team met with individuals versed in the topic and captured enough video to create a 30-minute documentary before returning to CSB/SJU to edit and share their film during the spring semester. “Through this documentary we hope to depict the relevance of e-waste both at home and abroad,” explains junior biology major Georgia Holm, an outreach coordinator for this year’s production. ETL is planning to implement a computer fix-it clinic this year to raise awareness of the issue of electronic waste here at home. A non-profit, student-run organization, ETL strives to create awareness about an international situation and empower local organizations to develop sustainable action to address that issue. ETL views these documentaries as a first small step toward the increased awareness and inspired action that the world needs.



“Somos de Café” Documenting the significance of fair-trade coffee.


“Del Micro al Cambrio” Discussing the impact of micro-lending on women entrepreneurs in South America.


“Essubi: Growing Up With Hope” Raising awareness about child-run households in rural Uganda.


“Pragati Nepal” Highlighting the progress being made in eliminating human trafficking.


“Obnova” Celebrating the rebuilding efforts after war and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


“Khulla” Investigating the stigmas surrounding mental illness in India.


“Ger Kler: A Journey of Untold Strength”* Highlighting refugee issues, specifically involving the Karen people on the border between Myanmar and Thailand.


“Obasa Ain Gàllit: We Continue” Exploring the Sámi people; the last recognized indigenous group in Europe.


“Ubumwe: Together We Grow” Looking at women in agriculture, both in Minnesota and Rwanda.

*“Ger Kler” received a National Acadamy of Television Arts and Sciences Upper Midwest Regional Student Production Award. ETL was one of four student production teams who took home a Student Production Crystal Pillar Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Chapter/Foundation in the College Non-Fiction Category. It also received official selection for the Best Short Films Award at the Greater Washington Immigration Film Festival.

View the documentaries at


CSB/SJU English instructor Chris Bolin sees that. So in fall 2013, Bolin presented a unique opportunity for prehealth science students at CSB and SJU: To immerse themselves in the medical humanities through a course typically offered to graduate students. His course, Creative Writing: Clinical Encounters, helps future clinicians learn to communicate with imagery and metaphors while revealing connections between the practice of medicine and the arts of poetry and fiction. “It allows students to see patients as people who are not defined by their diseases,” Bolin says. The year-long class meets twice a week and consists of 12 students. Before finalizing the class enrollment, Bolin interviews each of the students. “Interviewing students allows me to confirm that selected students have an understanding of chronic illness — and that they are mature enough to explore difficult subject matter with a community member, responsibly,” Bolin says. 6

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University


For a natural science/pre-med student like Nistler, with plans for medical school and a career as a physician, it’s certainly important to be well educated in the sciences. But physicians deal with patients. And patients are humans. And humans need connections.

Senior Josie Nistler is learning to appreciate the importance of real communication in medicine.




A LOCAL CLINICAL EXPERIENCE Throughout the year, outside the classroom, the course offers a clinical experience where students make weekly visits with patients, usually in the Coborn’s Cancer Center or the CentraCare Dialysis Center in St. Cloud. Bolin describes the students’ relationship with chronically ill patients as a joint exploration. “We want students and their patient partners to look through the lenses of poetry and fiction to see how they might better capture their own experiences as well as how they might come to better understand others’ experiences,” he says.

“IT ALLOWS STUDENTS TO SEE PATIENTS AS PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT DEFINED BY THEIR DISEASES.” Chris Bolin CSB/SJU English instructor “I want to be a physician that isn’t just good at healing the physical body,” Nistler says. “I want to be able to truly empathize and communicate with my patients with whatever they’re going through. Talking with [my patient partner] has helped me start more meaningful conversations with other people who might be going through similar things.”


P ssibilities With a powerful range of specific courses, programs and partnerships, CSB/SJU makes an excellent starting point for a career in medicine.

STUDENT HEALTH ASSISTANTS (SHA): Students involved in our SHA program help with a variety of tasks in the emergency department at the St. Cloud Hospital and run research projects in the ER targeting different patient populations. According to Manuel Campos, professor of biology and pre-professional health adviser, “SHA provides students with the most structured shadowing experiences I have ever seen, anywhere, as a pre-professional health adviser.” EXPLORING MEDICINE COURSE (EM): The Exploring Medicine course is a unique experience that allows students to directly bridge their academic background to a structured clinical setting, and to begin to experience the intellectual world as seen through the eyes of a physician. The course, developed by Dr. Steve Jameson, a physician in the emergency trauma center at St. Cloud Hospital, shows students how to critically think like a doctor and how to apply the material they’ve learned in basic science courses to the process of clinical diagnosis. “In the process of helping Steve implement his vision at CSB/SJU, I have seen hundreds of students (many of whom are now working as physicians, physician assistants and physical therapists) engage in their first meaningful clinical discovery,” says Campos, professor of biology and pre-professional health adviser. “Exploring Medicine is the bridge from the world of the humanities, social and natural sciences of our college campuses to the experiential setting of clinical medicine and practice.” MAYO INNOVATION SCHOLARS PROGRAM The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program offers an unparalleled opportunity for selected undergraduate students, along with an MBA student, to research and make marketing recommendations for medical innovations invented by Mayo Clinic professionals. Science and business students work side-by-side to research the medical- and business-related

aspects of the project under the direction of the MBA student and faculty mentors. As such, MISP students are able to explore cutting-edge products, evaluate market potential and make recommendations to the Mayo Clinic.

MAYO IMPACT PROGRAM Another high-profile collaboration between CSB/SJU and the Mayo Clinic is the Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) program. This competitive research opportunity was developed by Dr. Katie Campbell ’10 while she was a graduate student at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Currently an assistant professor of pharmacology, Dr. Campbell works directly with researchers at Mayo Clinic to identify real-world biomedical questions that they then challenge undergraduate students to solve. Examples of previous IMPACT challenges are, “What is the underlying cause of hypoplastic left heart syndrome?” and “What is the non-genetic cause of bipolar disorder?” CSB/SJU students form teams of 2-4 members and work with a faculty mentor to develop innovative solutions. All students are invited to present their ideas at an annual IMPACT symposium and the top teams are awarded $1,000 per student and a paid summer internship at Mayo Clinic. Now in its fourth year, the IMPACT program has engaged


Minnesota undergraduate students from


different colleges and universities across the state.

Just this past year, a team of four SJU students (all brothers!) won the gold medal IMPACT award for their novel hypothesis on the cause of sporadic ovarian cancer.



What will your day look like at CSB/SJU? That’s kind of up to you. With a liberal arts curriculum, over 100 clubs and organizations and over 20 varsity sports – every new day brings a new adventure. Annie’s a senior from New Prague, Minnesota. She’s also an English major and a four-year starting point guard for the CSB basketball team. Here’s what her day looks like.

7:20 a.m. Alarm rings… Just five more minutes...

8:10 a.m.

 ut the door for my morning walk to class O I can grab a latte at Clemens Perk if I move!

8:20 a.m.

Nutrition class So carbs ARE good for you!

9:30 a.m. 

Work study in the Office of Marketing and Communications What story will I get to write this time?

11:30 a.m. 

Lunch at Gorecki Treating myself to lava cake today.

12:30 p.m.

Grab a table in Sexton and get some homework done in between classes Earbuds in… Music on.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

1:50 p.m. Green Writing Going to class is easy when you love your major.

3:15 p.m.

Nutrition lab Turn in lab report? Check

4:30 p.m.

Bus leaves for basketball game Quick scan over the scouting report.

7 p.m.

Tip Off Lace ’em up and let’s go.

8:45 p.m. Bus ride home Got the W!

10:45 p.m.

Finally home. Now…homework. Crunch time.

11:30 p.m.

Peacefully Netflixing my way to sleep



A NOT SO LONG TIME AGO, IN A LAND NOT SO FAR AWAY… Sophomore Keith Sweet interned with Bad Robot Productions in Santa Monica, California. Bad Robot is the film and television production company run by CEO J.J. Abrams, who is the director, creator or producer of film and TV favorites such as “Super 8,” “Lost,” “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – just to name a few. Sweet spent two summers (2015 and 2016) at Bad Robot, handling a number of daily tasks including cleaning, distributing mail, taking art classes, making his own short films and working as a production assistant on two of Abrams’ recent films: “God Particle” and “Star Trek Beyond.” However, his favorite part of the experience was working on “The Force Awakens” film set in 2015. “One day when I was working on set, I was in charge of locking up the props and, all of a sudden, Harrison Ford comes out and


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

Sweet grew up watching the Disney Channel and retro film classics like “The Goonies,” “Back to the Future” and, of course, “Star Wars.” However, what really drew him to study film was his passion to be a mentor for the next generation. “My parents worked a lot, so we got our fair share of TV time. I kind of feel like television and film helped raise me. It helped me to develop the way I think,” Sweet says. The dream was always there. But how to start making it come true? Sophomore Keith Sweet took the advice of filmmaker J.J. Abrams and ended up at CSB/SJU.

then J.J. comes out, and then they just sat there for 30 minutes, having a filmmakers conversation,” says Sweet. “I was just sitting there watching them talk, almost tearing up a little bit, because it was so surreal. I thought, this is what a filmmaker’s life is about.”

His first experience with Bad Robot was in 2015, while Sweet was still in high school at Verbum Dei High School in South Central Los Angles and trying to figure out where he wanted to go to college. Naturally, he turned to his mentor Abrams for advice.

“I ASKED J.J. IF I SHOULD GO TO AN ACCREDITED FILM SCHOOL AND HE TOLD ME ‘NO,’ AND SAID, ‘GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN WHAT TO MAKE FILMS ABOUT – DON’T GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE FILMS.’” It’s a bit of advice Abrams himself had received and heeded from his father. “So I packed up and moved to the middle of the country to write about people,” Sweet says. At CSB/SJU, Sweet has an

individualized major (composed of art, communication, English, theatre and business classes) and is studying film. “A liberal arts education is a little bit of everything and it’s perfect for a film student

because I’m learning so many different things, which will contribute to my own writing style,” says Sweet. “It makes you expand your horizons of what you would usually think.” “Film is amazing,” Sweet concludes. “You get to meet and work with a lot of amazing people. You’re like a magician; in my eyes, you’re making magic. It’s something that I am really passionate about and something that I really enjoy doing.”



The Office of Experiential Learning & Community Engagement provides students with access to hands-on experiences like internships that complement and accompany ideas, theories, practices and methods taught in the classroom.


The CSB/SJU internship experience is a hands-on form of education that integrates the knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting. What that looks like depends on your chosen field, but here are some roles Bennies and Johnnies have filled recently.

Music Marketing Intern, Crowd Surf Optimized Operations Engineering Intern, 3M NFL Draft Prep Intern, Whitfield Athletix Sales Operation Intern, Boston Scientific Health and Wellness Intern, Hmong American Partnership Major Crimes Division Intern, District Attorney’s Office Women’s Advocate Intern, Anna Marie’s Alliance Business Analyst Intern, Target Headquarters Human Resource Intern, Love Your Melon Foundation Foundation Intern, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

11 11


Take advantage of the (Saint John’s Abbey) Arboretum and all the trails. Don’t be afraid to go climb a tree or go off trail. Find all seven lakes in the arboretum, because we do have seven. Don’t be afraid to get lost.” – Senior Pearce Jensen on outdoor adventure


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

Last October, 40 students – including senior Pearce Jensen – took this advice to heart when they participated in the Outdoor Leadership Center’s 15th annual Outdoor Leadership Adventure Challenge. And, no one got lost along the way. The Outdoor Leadership Adventure Challenge includes both outdoor and indoor adventures. The four-person teams climbed the rock wall at Warner Palaestra, carved a pumpkin, ran to the Lake Sagatagan beach and canoed across to Stella Maris Chapel where they answered a riddle about the campus. They then canoed back across the lake,

ran to Watab Island, set up a tent and broke it down again. All the while, they had to carry their carved pumpkin. “I participated in the challenge my sophomore year and had a super-great time doing it. Now it’s my senior year and I had to take advantage of the awesome opportunity to get outside while it was still warm enough for it,” Jensen says. “My favorite part was the canoeing,” says first-year student Denisha Demeritte. “Simply because that was my first time ever canoeing in a lake. I’m from the Bahamas, so we don’t really have lakes and we don’t really canoe.”

It’s your adventure

Our Outdoor Leadership Center provides countless opportunities to explore: • Bonfires in the arboretum • Challenge courses • Collegebound Outdoor Orientation Program • Fruit at the Finish Triathlon • Indoor climbing wall • Langlauf Ski Race • Moonlit snowshoe walk • Polar Bear Plunge • Sledding hill • Wilderness trips • 45+ types of outdoor recreational equipment available to use



Senior Antoine Taylor never expected to end up in snowy central Minnesota. At the same time, the North Hollywood, California, native also didn’t expect to be the face of a growing apparel company while in college.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

Taylor, a natural science major and running back for the Johnnie football team, is also the founder of The Cause International, an organization dedicated to giving back to different organizations through profits on the sales of personalized socks. In 2015, the company made about $7,000 and turned around to donate $3,000 worth of toys and games to the Chicago Boys and Girls Club. In summer 2016, Taylor and The Cause International led a giveaway of $6,000 of donated clothes, bags, food, health kits and haircuts in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. A Christmas trip to Detroit resulted in another $3,000 donation. In the future, Taylor is committed to continue giving at least 10 percent of earnings from the company.


THE DONALD MCNEELY CENTER The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship provides classes, coaching and assistance to students, faculty and alums that are interested in cultivating their entrepreneurial spirit. In the Donald McNeely Center’s signature Entrepreneur Scholars (E Scholars) program, a selective three-course sequence explores the entrepreneurial process from ideation to launch.

entrepreneurial mentors dedicated to working with students

25 current E Scholars on campus

miles traveled since the program began


“We need our youth to step up and make a difference,” Taylor says. “That’s what I want to do so that’s why I made The Cause International.”

student start ups and ventures grown by CSB/SJU students

The Cause International began after Taylor’s first year at SJU when he realized he needed to help his mom a bit financially. “I felt bad being home for the summer, eating her groceries and watching the TV,” Taylor explains. “I feel like it’s always been my duty to help my mom out and after seeing her struggle just opened my eyes, like, ‘I can do so much more. Why am I not giving everything I have to get out of this situation?’” The answer was budgeted fashion. Shirts, beanies and shoes all seemed like crowded markets to Taylor. Socks, however, looked like a niche with room to grow. So he connected with Silky Socks, a company dedicated to manufacturing specialty socks. He approached them with the idea of making a tall black sock with “Johnnies” in cursive. It was a simple design that initially wasn’t cheap, costing almost $30 just for one pair. The word spread quickly, though. A week later, Taylor had sold about 400 pairs of socks. And from the beginning, for every sale, the organization has taken 10 percent of the profit and donated it to “the cause” of the group’s choice. The organization includes other CSB/SJU students who help Taylor with everything from marketing to accounting. “The Cause International wouldn’t be anything without CSB/SJU,” Taylor says. “When I was looking at schools, I knew I needed something that was going to be a for sure and was going to help my future, and Saint John’s has been that for me.”

cohort begins 2017-18 academic year

E Scholars travel to Asia and Silicon Valley to meet with business leaders

60 hosted luncheons featuring alum entrepreneurs

Staff and faculty provide coaching every step of the way


Exploring curiously. Identifying opportunities. Embracing ambiguity.  Taking risks.  Solving problems. Being resilient.  Instigating change. Starting something.   Creating value. Applying the liberal arts. Designing their lives.



College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

For the last 12 years, CSB/SJU has ranked near the top of the Open Doors annual report on international education published by the Institute of International Education. We offer 19 different semester-long study abroad programs – 15 of them led by CSB/SJU faculty. In fact, one-third of our professors have led a study abroad program. At the same time, we’re home to 163 international students from 21 different countries. Our students, and the places they travel, shape the culture of our campuses.

Lukas Steffensmeier ’17 Ireland

I got invited to my Irish roommate’s house out in Dingle County, which is a hotspot for traditional Irish music. We were there three nights and each night I got to go out and listen to some of the best Irish music I’ve ever heard in the atmosphere that it was made for.

Michael Kerfeld ’16 Spain

Kezia Burrows ’17 Guatemala

When you study abroad you return to campus a different person. In some way, big or small, the country, the culture and the people have changed you.

Joshua Flaig ’18 Chile

Living with a host family was the best cultural experience I had. I learned all about the different holidays and rituals that go along with being Chilean and had the opportunity to experience them firsthand.

I joined a basketball team through our university in Segovia. Playing with a bunch of guys from all over the world showed me how important teamwork can be and how a fundamental game can bring so many different people together.

Noah Ice-Cook ’17 London

British Music in the 20th Century may have been the best class I have ever taken. I studied a variety of music starting with classical and, as the class moved on, so did the music generation we studied.

Peter Dudziak ’17 France

Ka Lia Vang ’16 China

One of the biggest cultural experiences I had consisted of sitting in a café with students from dozens of different countries. We talked for hours comparing our various cultures, political systems, music preferences, etc.

One society may think that their way of thinking is correct. However, once you leave that society and travel to another, the world becomes colorful because of the different perspectives you interact with every day.

Stephanie Skoro ’17 Austria

I have definitely changed because of my semester abroad. I am now more confident and secure in who I am. I now understand the power of the world and the amazing opportunities that are available.

Patrick DeWitt ’16 South Africa

I was able to volunteer in a rural clinic in one of the most impoverished areas in the world, explore the southern coast of South Africa for spring break, and better yet, I became very close to some of the vendors at the local market. The relationships I was able to make will forever hold a big space in my heart.

Kablia Lee ’17 Japan

Living in the international dorm with CSB/SJU students and students from Nepal and Malaysia was so much fun. Not only were we able to live together, but we became a big family that supported each other. Morgan Durbin ’17 India

Visiting Shantiniketan was so cultural and raw. We witnessed folk arts like Baul singers and saw some of the most incredible art, jewelry, etc. It was the home of Rabindranath Tagore, a famous poet and artist, for much of his life. The whole town exuded culture, history and intellectualism of the most sincere kind.




College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

The classroom environment at CSB/SJU is great – but that’s not really the environment the environmental studies (ES) department at CSB/SJU cares to study. It’s a big world, and our students are out connecting with it.

In May 2016, that meant canoeing 150 miles of the Missouri River, tracing the route Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery took in 1804. In November, it meant engaging and networking with Nobel laureates and elected officials from around the world at the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Morocco. On a daily basis, it means eschewing the classroom in favor of field work in the lakes and forests of the Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum. “Most liberal arts colleges don’t have (ES) departments, they just have programs,” explains department chair Derek Larson. “We have a rigorous, research-based core curriculum (for ES majors) that starts with first-years and ends with their senior thesis research seminar. That’s a luxury that you would only typically have at a really big school.” With five full-time faculty and instant access to the great outdoors, it’s no wonder the ES department at CSB/SJU has grown into one of the nation’s largest among liberal arts schools. That size opens up possibilities for innovative and interesting courses and programs. Last year’s canoe expedition to Montana was a test of what could become an ongoing field program says Larson, whose specialty is environmental history. “We hope to build a program around the history and environment and management of this Wild & Scenic River region – and potentially rotate between five or six other sites that we’ve looked at across the Western United States. The trip to Morocco focused more on environmental policy. And CSB/SJU is positioned with a seat at that table. Saint Ben’s

and Saint John’s are two of around 1,400 non-governmental organizations with formal observer status through the UNFCCC. “Less than 200 of those are academic institutions,” says Larson. This elite status gives CSB/SJU students access to every UNFCCC meeting around the world. “Two years ago, 18 of our students – of all majors –went to the conference in Paris. Last year 19 went to Morocco. Next year we’ll be sending a cohort to Bonn, Germany,” says Larson. “They have the credentials to sit in on discussions and presentations that the general public can’t.”

We have a rigorous, researchbased core curriculum (for ES majors) that starts with first-years and ends with their senior thesis research seminar. That’s a luxury that you would only typically have at a really big school.” Derek Larson, Environmental Studies department chair

Environmental studies is one of the fastest growing and most innovative disciplines in the liberal arts curriculum at CSB/SJU. But it’s not the only one. There’s a whole spectrum of things to learn. And in the liberal arts, students can explore any of them.




In addition to work on the complex, new bleacher seating has been installed at Claire Lynch Hall, home of the CSB volleyball and basketball teams.

CSB has begun work on the College Avenue Athletic Fields complex, which is located between Centennial Commons and Renner House. When completed, the complex will include two soccer/lacrosse fields; two softball fields; three intramural/multi-use fields; and an athletic center featuring dedicated locker rooms and a training room. The athletic center will be built to a LEED Silver sustainable building standard, and will include LED site and field lighting. All of the storm water and runoff from the site will be contained to protect waterways.

Meanwhile, outdoor tennis courts are returning to the SJU campus with the completion of the Chang Tennis Complex. The complex, to be dedicated in late April, includes seven courts, bleachers, lighting, fences with wind screens and a “bang board” for practice.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

The tennis complex, which has been made possible through the generosity of Paul Winter ’61 in honor of his wife, Dr. Lian Chang, is located beyond the left field fence of Becker Park, the Johnnies’ baseball home.



GAGLIARDI FIELD AT SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY WILL HAVE AS MANY USES AS ITS NAMESAKE HAD COLLEGE FOOTBALL WINS. OK, we’re probably stretching the truth here a little bit. It might be hard to find enough uses to match the 489 wins that John Gagliardi accumulated in 64 years of coaching football, including the last 60 years at SJU, to become the winningest coach in college football history. Still, it’s safe to say that Gagliardi Field and its seasonal dome will be a busy, versatile place for students to practice and recreate. Gagliardi Field is a 120-yard, regulation, artificial turf football field. From approximately mid-November until April, it’s covered by a seasonal dome. But it’s not just a practice site for the Johnnies’ football team. It’s being used by a variety of students who participate in varsity, club and intramural sports (80 percent of Bennies and 90 percent of Johnnies participate in one form of activity or another). Besides the lines for a football field, the field is also lined for rugby, lacrosse and soccer. There are also batting cages for baseball. But wait, it gets better. The Bob Alpers Golf Learning Center – named for the SJU athletic director and 2010 inductee into the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Hall of Fame – is located on the north side of the field/dome.

The center, measuring almost 1,800 square feet, includes two hitting bays that feature TrackMan technology, two putting greens and mats to hit chip shots. The TrackMan technology allows golfers to measure their club speed, launch angle and spin rate. It can also be used as a golf simulator to play famous courses like Pebble Beach, Augusta National or St. Andrew’s. Then, after working with the technology, players can hit shots into netting in the multi-purpose dome.




Changing majors at CSB helped Corie Barry ’97 change the direction of her career after she graduated. Barry started as a chemical engineering major at CSB, but “it wasn’t clicking for me,” she said. With the help of Ernie Diedrich, professor emeritus of economics at CSB/SJU, she realized she was drawn to more math-based, linear problems “that had an answer.” That sent her full-bore into the accounting major, and it has worked out pretty well for the native of Cambridge, Minnesota. In June 2016, she became chief financial officer at Best Buy Company.

BEING A BENNIE OR JOHNNIE DOESN’T END AT GRADUATION. IN FACT, IT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING! Our alums take the lessons they’ve learned around the world and succeed in fields they may have never even heard of before coming to campus. Get a closer look at where our recent alums are at


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

Prior to joining Best Buy, she completed audits at Deloitte and Touche. “I knew pretty quickly that audits was not going to be the life for me,” Barry said. “Thank goodness for the opportunity that Saint Ben’s afforded me, to switch majors. It was kind of the same mental process.” She moved to Best Buy in 1999, and held various financial roles before being named CFO. “There was something really important for me going to an all-women’s school and having it juxtaposed with the classes being co-ed in nature. I got this amazing ability to really focus on women’s leadership and women’s issues, but at the same time I had this balance with discussions on an average day that included both men and women,” Barry said. “It jolted me a great deal, and gave me a great deal of confidence and passion around this idea that you really as a woman can do anything.”


Mark Vande Hei will have to wait just a bit longer for his big adventure. Vande Hei, a 1989 SJU graduate and a NASA astronaut, was scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in March 2017. But NASA and its international space partners have updated the assignments for several crews. That schedule change pushed Vande Hei’s flight with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin back to September. They’ll launch aboard Soyuz MS-06 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. When Vande Hei visited SJU in 2012, he was asked how a liberal arts education prepared him to become an astronaut. “Quite honestly, I think the liberal arts education was more important than any technical education (he received),” said Vande Hei, who majored in physics at SJU. “I taught physics for a bit at West Point, and some physics students asked me, ‘Of your education, what did you use the most?’ I told them, my English. My ability to communicate with people. Even in the Army, you have to write a lot of things. Your reputation can be established a lot based on how you communicate, and how people perceive you, based on how you communicate. “I also think that there’s a strong ethical component to the education that Saint John’s gives you. That was incredibly important. Especially in the Army, because when you’re potentially going to give soldiers orders that may cause them to put their lives at risk, every interaction you have with them, reinforcing that they can trust you, is really important. That helps out,” Vande Hei said.


Each day in New York City brings a sense of adventure to Emily Bina. Bina is a creative executive and producer for Katie Couric Media. She researches new projects, reads scripts and pitches, develops and produces large-scale, long-form projects like documentaries, scripted television, podcasts and Web series. “Each day in this job – and in New York City – is thrilling and different than the last,” Bina said. “But many years ago, without ever needing to leave campus, I learned to love the adventures each day might bring.” That came while she was a student at CSB from 2007-11. The cum laude graduate received a degree in communication. “Four years at Saint Ben’s instilled in me a profound sense of adventure; the kind that didn’t necessarily require leaving campus to find,” she said. “After graduation, this same spirit prompted – to my parents’ chagrin – my move to New York City for an unpaid internship.” She worked as an intern for The Onion, an entertainment newspaper and website featuring satirical articles reporting on world news. Bina then took on a role as an intern for The Huffington Post, an online news site, then was hired as associate producer for HuffPost Live. Ten months later, she was promoted to producer. “A friend helped me land my first job as an associate producer for The Huffington Post during the launch of HuffPost Live,” Bina said. “A few fast-paced years and promotions later, I landed my current role as creative executive and producer at Katie Couric Media.”


Kesang Yudron is empowering a marginalized economic community in her native country of Nepal. The CSB graduate runs a company called Padhma Knits. The Himalayan artisan knitting brand based in Virginia and Nepal takes more than 50 women knitters from socio-

disadvantaged backgrounds and offers them a holistic approach to development by providing a steady income. Padhma knitters can also receive low-interest loans and educational scholarships for children (35 children are enrolled in an education program). The knitters come from three communities in Nepal – Nepalgunj, Lolang and Kathmandu. The women have become the drivers of the economy and leaders in their communities. “Running Padhma Knits … I have been able to push myself in fields I never thought I would be involved in,” Yudron said. “From sourcing the yarn from New Zealand for hand knitting to marketing, I have been able to push the boundaries of learning and to keep challenging myself in the process.” That sense of learning was developed while earning a degree in accounting at CSB. “Attending CSB/SJU was a wonderful experience, and I am grateful for the supportive community I am still in touch with,” she said. “Being able to take classes on Islam, history or social work at college has helped build a foundation of learning for life.”

“Despite our recent successes, we certainly cannot become complacent. We need to continue being innovative and bold with our strategies as well as working to ensure that we can maintain the support of local communities, improve law enforcement and keep the rhino rangers motivated in the face of what has developed into an extremely difficult and dangerous job.”


Trent Kirchner took networking for a job to an extreme level. Kirchner, the current co-director of player personnel for the Seattle Seahawks, is a former high school quarterback from Fulda, Minnesota. He knew he wanted to get into sports management while attending SJU and began contacting teams in the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA. But football was his first love.


There are roughly 5,000 black rhinos remaining in the world today. Jeff Muntifering is one person working hard to make sure they thrive in Namibia. Muntifering is a conservation biologist with the Minnesota Zoo and works directly with Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia as the organization’s science adviser. He said that only four rhinos were lost to poaching in northwest Namibia in 2016, thanks to efforts to increase community-based protection and improvements in law enforcement. A bigger concern has been a four-year drought in the rhinos’ range. “We have lost significantly more rhino from the drought than from poaching,” Muntifering said. “Despite the extremeness of the drought event, drought is a part of our natural climate cycle. However, the timing with the increase in poaching has put our rhino at even greater risk of severe decline.” Muntifering spends much of his time designing new tourism models that specifically improve rhino conservation. This has had a positive impact on both the safety of the rhinos and the value local people attach to saving them, he said. Still, holding the line against poaching continues to be a major concern.

“I just kind of dove into contacting guys in the NFL and simply started writing letters. I didn’t hear back from a lot of people. I would literally write letter after letter. It was borderline crazy,” Kirchner said in a 2014 interview. His big break came in February 2000, during the annual NFL Scouting Combine. He drove to Indianapolis and wound up outside the security gate – without a pass to get in. Kirchner introduced himself to Marc Trestman, who was the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears at the time, and finagled a pass from Trestman. Inside, he met John Schneider, who was then working for the Kansas City Chiefs. That led to a post-graduate internship working in both the public relations and scouting departments for the Seahawks in 2000-01. He then worked as a college scouting coordinator for the Washington Redskins (2001-02) and a pro scout for the Carolina Panthers (2002-09). In 2010, he returned to the Seahawks and helped Schneider – now the general manager of the team – completely overhaul the roster. Their moves worked, as the Seahawks advanced to two consecutive Super Bowls, beating Denver in 2014 and losing to New England in 2015. Kirchner has been linked to a number of recent open general manager jobs in the NFL, including the Lions and Jets in 2016 and – at press time – the 49ers in 2017.





“There are several avenues to hone your faith at CSB/SJU. Sunday and weekly Mass, Praise in the Pub, Men of Benedict, Benedictine Friends, etc. There are ample opportunities to grow through fellowship.” - Owyn Ferguson ’20

MODERATION “The balance of work and leisure is emphasized at CSB/SJU. One of the first things I noticed on campus was the relaxed lifestyle.” - Jacob Kirsch ’18



STEWARDSHIP “The Quadrangle at Saint John’s was partially constructed using materials collected from the bog that is now Clemens Stadium. The entire physical campus has features that have been harvested and reused from the 2,600+ acres of arboretum.” - John Colleran ’20


The values of our founding Benedictine communities are a constant presence on our campuses. Students get the chance to experience them every day.



“Here at CSB/SJU we hold a unique standard of excellence and pride in both our own work and the work of our peers, always supporting each other and developing into dedicated students and scholars with an incredibly strong work ethic.” - Chloe Becker ’20

JUSTICE “I am glad to be a part of a community where students are able to create conversations and bring awareness to issues that are sometimes overlooked or unnoticed.” - Pa Kou Vang ’18




“At CSB/SJU I have learned how to respect others’ opinions, values and decisions while still standing up for what I believe and voicing my own opinion.” - Kaitlyn Ludlow ’17


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University


“I have had various professors give the entire class their home phone number with the understanding that, ‘If you need anything, I am here to help you.’” - Sarah Manning ’20



There’s no shortage of interesting and stimulating work, meetings, classes, projects, discussions and events on campus, but moments for peace nevertheless abound. Whether it is breaking for noon prayer with our monastic friends or taking a walk along Lake Sagatagan or out to Lake Sarah, it’s easy and encouraged to find that space of peace.” - George Dornbach ’18

“The Sunday night Masses give me an opportunity to worship consistently. I feel like the space created allows me to have a stable faith life.” - Jocelyn Alcala ’17

“I have been part of amazing classes and organizations on campus that have made me aware of the people, ideas and situations that have been marginalized. Through CSB/SJU, I have been able to listen to those marginalized with the ear of my heart and I have been inspired to motivate others to do so as well.” - Lesly Gonzalez-Barragan ’20

COMMUNITY LIVING “Living next door to my best friends was something I never dreamed about a few years ago. It’s amazing how normal it becomes living with the people who truly bring out the best in me. The ability to learn outside the classroom from those around me is something I do not take for granted.” -Joseph McGraw ’17

CSB/SJU Overview

PROGRAMS OF STUDY CSB/SJU students match their academic interests with more than 60 areas of study and 37 majors. Accounting - Finance - Public Accounting - Traditional Anthropology* Art - Art Education - Studio Art Art History* Asian Studies Athletic Training (See Exercise Science and Sports Studies) Biochemistry Biology Book Arts* Business (See Global Business Leadership) Chemistry - American Chemical Society - Chemical Biology - Environmental Chemistry - Industrial/Materials Chemistry Chinese* Chiropractic** Classical Languages Communication Computer Science Dentistry** Economics Education: Elementary Education: Secondary* Education: Teaching English as an International Language* Education: English as a Second Language* Engineering** English - English Secondary Education - Creative Writing Environmental Studies European Studies - Classical Studies - Medieval and Renaissance Studies - Modern European Studies Exercise Science and Sports Studies* Finance (See Accounting) Forestry** French Studies Gender Studies German Studies Global Business Leadership Greek* Hispanic Studies History Individualized Major Integrative Science

Japanese* Latin* Latino/Latin American Studies* Law** Mathematics Medicine** Music - Liturgical Music - Music Composition - Music Education - Music Studies - Performance Numerical Computation - Discrete Computation - Over the Continuum Nursing Nutrition - Dietetics - Food and Business - Nutrition Science Occupational Therapy** Optometry** Peace Studies Pharmacy** Philosophy Physical Therapy** Physician Assistant** Physics - Applied Physics Political Science Priesthood Studies/Lay Ministry** Psychology Social Science Sociology - Anthropology Spanish (See Hispanic Studies) Sports Medicine* (See Exercise Science and Sports Studies) Theater Theology - Pastoral Ministry Veterinary Medicine** Women’s Studies (See Gender Studies) Writing* Other Courses - Coaching/Exercise Science - Dance - Military Science/ROTC - Language in Translation

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University admit students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to the students at the schools. We prohibit any and all discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation including gender identity, marital status, civil union status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, or unfavorable discharge from military service in regard to the administration of educational programs, admission of students, employment action, athletics or other sponsored activities.

to race, religion, creed, color, national origin/ethnicity, status with regard to public assistance, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all members of the community are aware of and respect the rights and human dignity of every other member. Therefore, we will investigate and promptly seek the equitable resolution of allegations of discrimination relating

* Minor ** Pre-professional program - Areas of concentration

ACADEMIC PROGRAM More than 60 areas of study and 37 majors. Semester schedule. Core curriculum. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in nursing. Student/Faculty Ratio: 12:1 Average class size: 19 QUALITY CSB and SJU are listed among the top colleges in America in U.S. News & World Report. FACULTY 294 full-time; 50 part-time. 90 percent of full-time faculty have the highest degree in their filed. 100 percent of classes are taught by faculty members. CATHOLIC BENEDICTINE SPONSORSHIP Benedictine men and women are actively involved on both campuses as teachers, administrators and role models. 55 percent of students are Catholic; students of all faiths are welcome. COSTS (2015-16) Tuition and fees Room and board

$43,738 CSB $10,742 CSB

$43,356 SJU $10,116 SJU

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE More than 95 percent of students receive assistance. Average need-based award is $35,168 (including scholarships and other aid). Scholarships, from $1,000 to $23,000 a year, are based on academic, leadership, artistic and service abilities. GEOGRAPHIC FACTS 39 states represented 45 percent from Minneapolis/St. Paul area 34 percent from greater Minnesota 21 percent from outside Minnesota MULTICULTURAL/INTERNATIONAL FACTS 17 percent American students of color 4 percent international 21 countries represented 163 international students INTERNATIONAL STUDY In the 2016 Open Doors report, we ranked third in the nation among baccalaureate schools with 524 students studying abroad during a semester-long study abroad trip (from the 2014-15 school year, the most recent reported by the organization). ENROLLMENT FACTS First-year enrollment: 961 Total undergraduate enrollment: 3,712 APPLICATION FACTS High school GPA: 3.34 – 3.90 ACT/SAT Composite: 23-28/1590-1880 RETENTION 87 percent of first-year students return to CSB and SJU for their sophomore year. RESIDENTIAL LIFE Through a four-year residential experience, nearly all students live on campus. GENDER FACTS 53 percent women; 47 percent men

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and adhere to the principles put forth in the Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP). For more information about NACAC and the SPGP, visit

STUDENT ACTIVITIES Varsity sports: 11 at CSB; 12 at SJU Club sports: 16 Intramural sports: 10-15 Clubs and organizations: 100

Under the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, formerly the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act, CSB/SJU must annually distribute campus crime statistics. The most recent report from CSB/SJU can be found at or by requesting a written copy of this report from the Admission Office.

GRADUATION RATE 90 percent of graduates earn a degree within four years. PLACEMENT Typically, 20 percent of all graduates go directly to graduate school. About 80 percent of all graduates have found career-related positions or entered service work one year post-graduation.


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Saint John’s University

ADMISSIONS OFFICE P.O. Box 7155 Collegeville, MN 56321-7155 (320) 363-5060 or (800) 544-1489 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED



More information found here:

CSB/SJU Magazine Spring 2017  

CSB/SJU Magazine is published in the spring by CSB/SJU Office of Marketing and Communications.

CSB/SJU Magazine Spring 2017  

CSB/SJU Magazine is published in the spring by CSB/SJU Office of Marketing and Communications.