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Whitewater laughing – CSB and SJU students plunge into a rafting adventure while studying abroad in Chile. Study abroad at CSB/SJU is a part of the campus culture and a rite of passage for large numbers of students. The schools offer 20 semester-long study abroad programs, including our signature 16 facultyled programs. Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s consistently rank among the top baccalaureate schools nationally in student participation in mid-length study abroad programs, according to an annual ranking released by the Institute of International Education. photo: Brittany Ayers ’14


2 The Liberal Arts 10 Meet a Professor 12 Student Activities 16 Off-campus Performance 18 After Graduation: What Now? 24 Summer Opportunities

Saint Benedict’s/Saint John’s Magazine is published annually by CSB/SJU Communication & Marketing Services EDITOR: Glenda Isaacs Burgeson, ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Mike Killeen DESIGNERS: Karen Hoffbeck, Greg Becker EDITORIAL TEAM: Tiffany Clements, Diane Hageman, Barbara Hein, Michael Hemmesch STUDENT EDITORIAL TEAM: Tommy Benson ’17, Jesse Dykhoff ’14, Molly Reger ’14, Melissa Torgerson ’16, Adam Tucker ’14


The Liberal Arts What are we thinking?

The liberal arts have been called a luxury. They have been called irrelevant. At the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, we call them essential. CSB senior Camry Martinez explained it this way in an opinion column in the student newspaper, The Record: “A liberal arts education works to form a deeper person. A person who knows how to think, not just what to think, and a person who can internalize a deeper empathy for others and apply it to daily life.” We live in an age of twittering thoughts, viral videos and digital sound bytes – all of which can shape-shift in a single click. At CSB/ SJU, our students learn far more than how to navigate in this everchanging environment. They learn how to think when the how-to manual is outdated. They learn to take initiative and to lead. That’s because, in a time of constant change, the liberal arts take the long view. They define what it means to be educated. The liberal arts are about big ideas and bold thinking. As an example, a new interdisciplinary honors humanities course, Souls, Selves and Persons, challenges students to wrestle with a basic yet profound question: What does it mean to be human? Students examine changing conceptions of the self at pivotal points in history. The influence of Copernicus, Darwin and contemporary developments in neurobiology and psychology frame the discussion. Designed and taught by Emily Esch, associate professor of philosophy, the course uses novels, film, guest speakers and a broad range of reading assignments to explore thinking from different contexts, perspectives and angles. One of the goals of the course is to help students recognize that the struggles they experience in trying to make sense of the world are the same struggles that have stumped great thinkers through the ages, and that contemporary problems have deep historical roots. Another goal is to encourage active learning. As Esch explains it, she hopes to transform students from “performance-based learners (that is, trying to please the teacher) to internally motivated ones (learning because you are curious).” These goals speak to the heart of a liberal arts education. It addresses enduring questions, and it seeks to transform students into curious lifelong learners. In an era where time is punctuated by the rate of rapid change, the value of the liberal arts is timeless. Glenda Isaacs Burgeson, editor Saint Benedict’s/Saint John’s Magazine 2014







Travelers v

Students take advantage of global opportunities at CSB/SJU By Adam Tucker ’14 photo: Paul Middlestaedt

Two students, four years, 26 countries. Seniors Austin Eighan and Rachel Mullin never expected it. In fact, both admit they would have laughed if they had been told they would visit a combined 26 countries during their college years at CSB/SJU. “I would have laughed in your face,” Mullin says. “I didn’t think there was any way that could possibly happen.” “Going international is something that’s progressed with my understanding of what I want to do,” Eighan says. “It’s not something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s evolved.” Although the two may not have seen the opportunities beforehand, they were always there. In 2012, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University received the prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in campus internationalization. “Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s have been really great about financial aid and also been great about setting up these opportunities,” Mullin says. “Plus, with CSB/SJU having so many opportunities to study abroad, it’s almost impossible to not take advantage of those.” And for Eighan, a German and political science double major, and Mullin, a political science and history double major, the opportunities they experienced are almost too many to count. Consider these few: Shooting a documentary in Calcutta, India. Teaching English for a summer in Brazil. Working with youth and political activism in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Running with the bulls in Pamplona. That’s right, the running of the bulls.

“A good friend and I made a deal to do something abroad that we could never do the rest of our lives. I wanted to go to Morocco, and he wanted to do the running of the bulls. We did both,” Eighan says with a smile. “There were a lot of prayers said that day.” Mullin has spent time in several countries and continents: teaching English during her semester abroad in China, filming a student documentary in Calcutta, India, and interning with a nongovernment organization in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Another student documentary trip is booked to Thailand. Eighan studied in Germany his junior year, with a focus on the German economy, and he is writing his senior thesis in German. “Somehow, I don’t think there is going to be a lot of questions at my thesis defense,” he says with a grin. His other international experience during his time at CSB/SJU includes a summer teaching English in Brazil, simply because he wanted to learn Portuguese. “CSB/SJU has made me culturally aware, what I know and what I don’t know – which is the most important thing, helping me understand where the USA is in the perspective of the world, for Minnesota as well as Saint John’s,” Eighan says. The international experience Eighan and Mullin have had as undergraduates has fueled their desire for careers abroad. Mullin, who was named a national Truman Scholar her junior year, is applying for a Fulbright scholarship, as is Eighan. The Fulbright Program is a highly competitive program for merit-based grants for international education exchange. Mullin wants to teach English in Malaysia, and Eighan hopes to return to Germany. Twenty-six countries and counting.





Twins add drama to their honors projects

By Jesse Dykhoff ’14 photo: Paul Middlestaedt

College of Saint Benedict twins Rose and Marcelline Gangl have found the perfect way to blend their love of psychology and their passion for theater. While searching for suitable topics for their senior honors theses, they came across an emerging field called drama therapy, which blends traditional therapy techniques with theater. “When I first heard about drama therapy, I thought of it as a way that I could continue doing theater and psychology — two of my passions. But the more that I looked into it, and the more that I read about it, I realized that there are so many things in theater and in drama that overlap into psychology,” says Rose, whose project uses theater to improve refugees’ use of English. “They are different ways of approaching how to describe the human condition or how to categorize the self. Psychology is very much about the internal, whereas theater takes you out of your own personal experiences,” adds Marcelline, whose experiment looks at effects of theater on people who have had brain injuries.

For the Gangls, the projects go further than just their honors theses. Drama therapy has become a career aspiration to pursue together. “It’s such a new field, and it’s not yet officially recognized in Minnesota, so I think the reason why we’re both so excited about it, and able to do it is that the other person is doing it too. We’re both working toward the same goal of one day having drama therapy be recognized in Minnesota,” says Rose. “We joke that in 10 years, we are going to have our own practice called the Gangl and Gangl, and we’re going to hire all of our theater friends,” she says. Their love of theater does not end with their thesis work, however. The twins are very active in the Theater Department productions both as cast members and backstage crew. They also dance in Swing Catz and serve as study abroad ambassadors and orientation leaders. Rose is a member of the improvisational comedy group Attention Starved Children and works for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Human Resources Office, and


Marcelline is the office assistant to the director of art and theater. The twins credit their ability to blend their interests to the open nature of CSB/SJU. “I feel like [the liberal arts education at CSB/SJU] has given me the opportunity to do everything that I want because somebody could go to a school specifically for theater or you could go to a tech school and learn one trade, but here, not only do I learn my subject, but I learn how to communicate with others and how to share ideas and to work collaboratively in groups, and I feel like that is really important in the education that we receive and in today’s society,” Marcelline says. “I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to do what I wanted to do if I had gone to another school. I think that at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, the professors have been very willing to let me incorporate my love of theater into my psych courses or my knowledge of psych into my theater courses and even to minor in French. It allows me to explore all of my passions and to combine them,” adds Rose.



Marcelline, left, and Rose Gangl


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By Mike Killeen A smile crossed Brandon Dorsey’s face when he was asked what he hasn’t done while attending Saint John’s University. “My dentist would say I probably don’t floss enough,” he says, smiling. Make that one negative in an otherwise busy four years at SJU. A senior majoring in management, the native Californian serves as an admission campus tour guide, is part of a men’s spirituality group, works as a resident assistant at Saint Bernard Hall, serves on the senior class committee, works in the SJU Sustainability Office and volunteers for weekend retreats sponsored by Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in St. Louis Park, Minn. He’s also studied abroad in China, was the student speaker at the kickoff celebration for the SJU Capital Campaign and spent a year playing golf for the Johnnies. “And, I like to have fun. Fun is one of my values,” Dorsey says. “I think fun has the tendency to come naturally when people are doing what they want to be doing. And at Saint John’s, I see 130 monks who are actively pursuing their life’s passions, their life’s work. I think that lays the groundwork for a college environment that fosters purpose-driven living. And, I think fun has a tendency to come from doing what you want to be doing,” Dorsey adds. Folks thought he was crazy to leave California — home of some great colleges and golf courses — four years ago. “One guy at the golf course told me there was a good chance I might die during the winter of frost bite. He said that with a straight face,” Dorsey says. “But being away from home has

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the perfec t co idw lleg e f es t t Moon Walk, Anyone?

given me the autonomy and confidence in what I’m doing, and confidence and an ability to be whoever I am.” Dorsey was interested in attending a small school away from home, and one where he could play golf. He also sought a school with a strong alumni network that provided him a community to support his personal growth and development. “I thought, here’s a small school that’s far away from home, has a great golf program, and seems to produce a large number of successful entrepreneurs. I thought this is definitely what I’m looking for,” Dorsey says of SJU. Even though he left the SJU golf program after his first year, he remains busy. “I remind myself every day with personal affirmation, that I can do whatever I want to do,” Dorsey says. “And, I rely very heavily on a calendar, almost exclusively. My calendar and my reminder’s list, a to-do list, is the only way that I’m able to keep track of what I’m doing.” Dorsey says he gets excited when he thinks about his future, about finding and owning his own business in northern California that will “incorporate sustainability or sustainable technology. I want to target the heart of fundamental need — food, communication, shelter, health or well-being.” But he will miss SJU. “I’ve grown to love this place a lot more than I ever thought I would have,” Dorsey says. “It’s definitely become a part of who I am, and it always will be. I’m already looking forward to the opportunity to come back and help future Johnnies.”

Brandon Dorsey helped students solve the mystery of the moon walk in a dance workshop he organized. Students from both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University took part in the workshop, which covered basic moves in tap dance as well as how to moon walk. A dancer with the Rhythmic Circus dance troupe led the workshop. Dorsey generated interest and handled the organizational details, working with Deb Lehman, director of community outreach of Fine Arts Programming at CSB and SJU. “He (Dorsey) marketed the event, he garnered the excitement and he got the enthusiasm going,” Lehman says. “I can imagine what it took to get a bunch of Johnnies to say, ‘Sure, I’ll try tap class.’ ” “I always like to try something new,” says Broc Auringer, an SJU sophomore from Mantorville, Minn., who was one of 13 students who took part in the workshop. “I thought it was good, something different. I wanted to give it a try.” Dorsey’s take on the experience? “I can now scratch something off my bucket list,” he says.

from doing what you want to be doing.



> >> >>> of the classroom >> Computer Science professor helps students succeed, in andByout Glenda Isaacs Burgeson > Imad Rahal is among the successful coaches at CSB and SJU, but you won’t find stats about his teams in the sports section. That’s because his teams compete in the academic world of computer programming. An associate professor and chair of computer science at CSB and SJU, Rahal and the whiz kids he coaches have built a reputation in recent years at programming competitions in the Upper Midwest. He has coached seven of the last eight years, and his teams routinely bring home first-, second- or third-place honors. Rahal’s dedication to his students — in and out of the classroom — provides a clue to the secrets of his coaching success. Students say he challenges them to be their best. “Not only does Imad care about the success of individual students, but he challenges his students in a way that shapes them into the best they can be at the skills necessary for life after college,” says Alyssa Anderson, a senior math and computer science major. “As a result, students learn and do more than they thought possible.” Preston Hardy appreciates that dedication in his teacher, mentor and coach. Hardy was a member of the CSB/SJU computer science team that took third place in October 2013 at the Digi-Key Collegiate Computing Competition. “Imad is passionate about the classroom material while still maintaining personal relationships with his students,” he says. “I know that Imad takes an interest in my plans after graduation and wants to help me achieve those goals.”

>>> >>

Hardy has accepted a programming job at Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis after graduation in spring 2014. Rahal is equally committed to student research, so much so that he changed his research focus to increase its appeal among undergraduates. “We are not a research institution, but there is a push at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s to involve students in research,” he says. “When I started in 2005, my research wasn’t all that interesting to students.” In 2007, he wondered, “What can I do to involve students that would be productive?” The answer: Source code plagiarism detection. Professors often check student essays to see if plagiarism has occurred, he explains, but, unless the plagiarist has copied another paper word for word, plagiarism is difficult to detect. “I want to see if the logic has been plagiarized,” Rahal says. He posed the idea to a student, who got excited about the topic. The research morphed from a summer research project into an honors thesis topic. Eventually Rahal and his student presented their research findings in Hawaii at an international conference, which published them. That is a noteworthy accomplishment. As Rahal explains, “An undergrad having a publication at a technical conference is not common.” Rahal continues to have success with students interested in research.



coach Jeremy Iverson did further analysis in source code plagiarism detection. He and Rahal presented their findings at a conference in San Francisco. Another student, Sean Landman, a biology minor, used computing techniques involving artificial intelligence to solve a biological problem in gene data. He, too, presented his findings at the conference in San Francisco. Both Iverson and Landman are now studying data mining in the Ph.D. program in computer science at the University of Minnesota. Since graduating from SJU, Landman has continued to work with Rahal on the research. The two have published their findings, including a study published in 2013 using a data mining model to predict gene locations in DNA. Landman describes Rahal as one of the best teachers he had at CSB/SJU. “He really cares about getting students to think critically about the concepts in a course,” Landman says. “He will come prepared with multiple ways to explain a concept, in case students get lost, and when Imad doesn't fully know the answer to a question, he will always do a little homework himself and start the next class with a better and more thorough answer. He is also great about keeping things lighthearted and engaging with his outgoing and friendly personality.” Iverson echoes those comments.

"Professor Rahal is among the most prepared and knowledgeable professors from whom I have had the pleasure of taking a class,” Iverson says. “His thoroughness, attention to detail, and engaging teaching style made his classes both complete and accessible to many different types of learning styles. “In my personal dealings with Professor Rahal, he made himself available outside of class for mentoring and general advice, which was not required of him, but helped me to discover the opportunities and choices which would lead me to the rewarding career path which I am currently a part of, that being pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science.” Rahal’s reputation among students helps explain the reputation his competitive programming teams have established — to the envy of his colleagues at competing schools. After one victory, he received a note of congratulations from a colleague at a rival school. It read: “You won — again.”



Saint Ben's Turns 100 Students celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the College of Saint Benedict with birthday cupcakes, balloons and bubbles. Throughout the yearlong centennial celebration, the college has hosted events to honor its history and the achievements of its alumnae and to celebrate its progress as a nationally recognized Catholic college for women.




Career Expo

Typically, 20% of all graduates go directly to graduate school. About 80% of all graduates have found career-related positions or entered service work.

Every year, students from all classes, majors and career interests are invited to participate in Career EXPO where they meet 150+ alums and employers. They learn about major and career possibilities, network with alums, and learn how to present themselves to professionals.

To see our graduates successes:

Irish Hurling Club

Residential Life

Polar Plunge

One of the newest club sports at CSB/SJU, Hurling has attracted 134 members in its first year. Two students imported the sport to campus after discovering it while studying abroad in Ireland.

Through a four-year residential experience, 87% of all students live on campus.

Bennies and Johnnies charge into the near-freezing waters of Lake Sagatagan. Maybe it’s for bonding, or maybe it’s for bragging rights. Either way, a bonfire and hot chocolate help take off the chill.

Student Activities Varsity sports: 11 at CSB; 12 at SJU Club sports: 16 Intramural sports: 20 Clubs and organizations: 104


Enrollment Facts First-year enrollment: 1,035 Total undergraduate enrollment: 3,922

Gender Facts Percentage women: 52% Percentage men: 48%

Retention 89% of first-year CSB students and 89% of first-year SJU students return for their sophomore year.

Application Facts (Middle 50%) High school GPA: 3.34-3.90 ACT/SAT composite: 23-28/1590-1880

International Study We offer semester-long study abroad programs to Australia, Austria, Chile, China, England, France, Germany, Greece/Italy, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Spain. Approximately 550 students study around the world each year on semester and short-term programs. 53% of all CSB/SJU students study internationally. CSB/SJU currently ranks second nationally in mid-length study abroad programs.

Multicultural/International Facts American students of color: 13.2% International percentage: 5.4% Number of countries represented: 32 Number of international students: 213

AROUND Festival of Cultures Students learn about the cultures of fellow classmates from around the world at the annual Festival of Cultures at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. The festival celebrates diversity at CSB/SJU through music, student performances, traditional food sampling, cultural displays and a fashion show.


Geographic Facts


Number of states represented: 39 Percentage from Minneapolis/St. Paul area: 44% Percentage from greater Minnesota: 34% Percentage from outside of Minnesota: 22%

318 full-time, 51 part-time. 75% of full-time faculty have the highest degree in their field. 100% of classes are taught by faculty members.

Graduation Rate 90% of graduates earn a degree within 4 years.

Quality CSB and SJU are listed among the top colleges in America in US News & World Report.

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: 20

Costs Detailed information about costs is available in our Financial Aid and Scholarships brochure and on the Web at

Financial Assistance More than 95% of students receive assistance. Average need-based award is $23,905. Annual academic scholarships range from $6,000 to $20,500 and are renewable for a four-year value of up to $82,000.



Music at Basilica CSB/SJU musicians and choral groups perform their annual “Celebrating the Season” holiday concert to a packed house at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. The event attracts a loyal following of choral alums, many of whom join in on selected annual favorites.


Catholic Benedictine Sponsorship Benedictine men and women are actively involved on both campuses as teachers, administrators and role models. Sixty percent of students are Catholic; students of all faiths welcome. photo: Cory Ryan




Leadership Bennie applies values learned on campus in Afghanistan By Melissa Torgerson ’16 As a platoon leader in the desert sands of Afghanistan, 2nd Lt. Gretchen (Leyendecker) Zilka ’12 draws inspiration from an unlikely source — an ice rink in central Minnesota. Zilka learned the value of teamwork while playing hockey at the College of Saint Benedict. She also gained life lessons in leadership from her participation in ROTC and from the Benedictine heritage that defines the character of Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. “The College of Saint Benedict taught me the Benedictine values; Blazer athletics taught me the values in team; and ROTC taught me the Army values,” she says. “What blends it all together is a shared value system.” While all Bennies and Johnnies are aware of the Benedictine values at CSB/ SJU, Zilka says that, since deployment, she has “really become more open and aware of the Benedictine values” — especially the value of community. Zilka’s platoon is expected to work together as well as live in close quarters, and she has learned to value community living. “In the Army you build a sense of pride within your unit. You watch out for the soldier on your left and the soldier on your right.” As a platoon leader in the 377th Transportation Company, Zilka is responsible for the training, morale, welfare and safety of 33 soldiers in addition to managing operational readiness within her unit. Soldiers in the company are the Army’s truck drivers. They drive the Army’s largest

wheeled vehicle and haul equipment ranging from non-tactical vehicles (Toyotas) to equipment as large as helicopters. Zilka works on a management level within the company in addition to her duties as a platoon leader. She says her duties involve coordinating between customers to get equipment where it needs to go.

The College of Saint Benedict red Blazer flag flies over Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on Sept. 16, 2013.

Though I will never reach perfection, I will never expect anything less than my best.

Left: 2nd Lt. Gretchen (Leyendecker) Zilka ’12 19

“We are the only heavy truck company in all of Afghanistan so we stay pretty busy.” According to Zilka, it is important to understand how everyone in the unit operates. That’s where the value of community — or what the Army calls camaraderie — helps. To build camaraderie, Zilka says that she and her platoon “train every day to take care of each other … We run practice exercises, we do resiliency training together, we hang out in our free time.” As a Blazer athlete, Zilka says she and her teammates “did just about the same thing. We practiced together every day, a lot of us were roommates, a lot of us hung out together on weekends, and come game time, we performed together.” Just as in athletics, military teamwork requires that every member puts forth their best effort for the success of the team. “The Blazers challenged me to be perfect. Though I will never reach perfection, I will never expect anything less than my best. That’s what has empowered me to be a leader. I do not expect anything of my soldiers that I do not expect of myself.” Even though she is far from home, she still does what she can to be involved in Blazer athletics. She remains in touch with Carol Howe-Veenstra, director of athletics at CSB, and checks the Blazer website on just about a daily basis. When she is not deployed, Zilka lives in Fort Bliss, Texas, with her husband, Benedict Zilka, who is a 2012 Saint John’s graduate and was also active in the ROTC program.


Top Cop SJU alum takes the helm as local police chief

By Adam Tucker ’14

Before becoming the newest police chief in St. Joseph, Minn., Joel Klein became a Bennie. “People sometimes joked that I was a Bennie since all my classes were at CSB,” Klein says with a smile. Klein, a 1997 SJU alumnus and 13-year veteran of the St. Joseph Police Department, is just completing his first full semester as police chief. The College of Saint Benedict is directly under Klein’s supervision, and St. Joseph also provides the nearest law enforcement officers to nearby Saint John’s University. Klein says he almost did not notice that he was responsible for protecting his alma mater and its sister school. “It’s been too short of a time yet. It hasn’t sunk in,” Klein says. “I love this town, though, I really like the people.” And, for the sometimes-introverted Albany, Minn., native, this new job might be the best one yet. “This job is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me, because it’s made me come out of my shell,” Klein says. “I’ve met a ton of people and some very good people. It’s been a very good experience.” When Klein graduated from SJU with a degree in psychology, his only career goal was to become a police officer. “As long as I can remember, I’ve just wanted to be a cop. I have no good explanation for it other than I like helping people,” he says. The St. Joseph Police Department is a small one, consisting of seven sworn police officers, including Klein, and up to nine voluntary reserves serving the city of about 6,500. But


Klein says that the community feeling of the town and colleges is something that he has greatly enjoyed. “I’m very proud of where I am at, and I am very happy with the community here,” Klein says. “I love working with the people at Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s because we do work together a lot. “Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s to me was a wonderful experience because it creates a very well-rounded person,” Klein says. But as for envisioning himself as a future St. Joseph police chief, he never saw it coming. “No, never ever. I just wanted to be a cop back then, and I’m very happy with where I ended up.” Klein’s philosophy as a law enforcement officer is one of mutual respect, of treating others by the golden rule, and of considering other people’s viewpoints — something he credits Saint John’s as an influence in helping him do. “The great thing about going to school here was that it really opened my eyes and I think that that’s been helpful to me in my job,” Klein says. “I know that there’s now other points of view other than mine, and it’s a lot easier to work with people if you respect their viewpoints.” Klein said that, after his time at CSB/SJU, a sense of Benedictine fairness and respect for persons has come to define his work as a law enforcement officer. “Just because someone makes a bad choice doesn’t make them a bad person,” Klein says. “To me, respect is very important, everyone deserves that.”





CSB and SJU students excel in interdisciplinary research project By Michael Hemmesch How often can undergraduates put on their resume that a world-class medical institution allowed them the opportunity to conduct and present challenging and innovative research? In the last eight years, 40 students comprising 10 groups at CSB and SJU have participated in the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program (MISP), an experiential learning program offered through Mayo Clinic. The interdisciplinary program provides research opportunities to teams of business and science undergraduates from Minnesota private colleges, under the guidance of select graduate students. The CSB and SJU students work on projects on campus throughout the academic year, and then present their findings in March at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and in a written report. On average, each student puts in roughly 150 hours of work. The students are supported by graduate students, many of whom are CSB or SJU graduates. Faculty members from the social and natural sciences serve as advisers. “I was impressed with the way our students engaged with a challenging project and with each other,” says Jennifer Schaefer, assistant professor of biology at CSB and SJU, after the 2013 student presentations. “They were given a task that would be difficult for many professionals and were able to work together to determine goals and troubleshoot problems in order to produce a high-quality report for Mayo Clinic.” “A key part of the project is learning how to deal with ambiguity,” says Daniel Kolar, project adviser and graduate student at the University of St. Thomas. “The students were given concepts/ideas and given access to experts in the field, but there is no outline and


very few right or wrong answers to the questions that arose. The students were forced to really engage in the granular details of the project and developed an evidence-based recommendation. These students engaged it, wrestled with it and became experts.” MISP aims to assist Mayo Clinic in the assessment of new product submissions by Mayo researchers, provide research opportunities for undergraduate science and business students and provide leadership development and research opportunities for MBA students. “The students who participate in this program are offered the incredible opportunity to work on a real-world problem of assessing the scientific and market potential of an actual invention or product idea,” says Lisa Lindgren, associate professor of global business leadership at CSB and SJU. “In addition, they learn how to work together as an interdisciplinary team, a skill that is necessary in any field in the 21st century.” Staff members from Mayo Clinic routinely comment on being impressed by the quality of the students’ work, saying the students did a tremendous job researching cutting-edge material. The program was designed in 2006 by John Meslow, a retired Medtronic executive. Together with Mayo Clinic Ventures and the Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC), Meslow created this unique program to place students from a variety of disciplines at the interface of innovations in science and medicine and the fields of intellectual property, marketing and business development. Financial support for MISP is provided by the Medtronic Foundation. Additional funding and support comes from Mayo Clinic and MPCC.


Recent CSB and SJU graduates comment on MISP program Katherine Nystrom ’13 graduated with a degree in biochemistry and is a graduate student at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, studying for a master’s of public health in global epidemiology with a concentration in maternal and child health. She works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemiology assistant in the National Center for Birth Defects and Disabilities. “The research, teamwork and presentation skills I gained as a Mayo Innovation Scholar have proved to be invaluable to my studies in graduate school and in my job as an epidemiology assistant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Working with my Mayo Innovation Scholars team opened my eyes to the complexity and necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration in the health care community; now, I experience this collaboration in my daily life as a master of public health student.”

Katherine Nystrom ’13

Ben Bitterman ’11 has a degree in management and is now a sales account executive with CODE42

Ben Bitterman ’11

“The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program helped shape the path for my career. I went into the program, expecting it to be challenging and at the end gratifying, but had no idea it would help open my eyes to what industry I wanted to start my career. Our project centered around cardiovascular health, wireless consumer products and online health platforms that aid in the prevention of heart disease. I quickly discovered how vast and exciting the technology industry is, and found a job out of college working for a company called Compellent that had recently been acquired by Dell. The relationships I built at Compellent lead me to an unbelievable opportunity at one of the fastest growing tech companies in Minneapolis, CODE42, where I currently work as a sales account executive. MISP prepared me for the level of professionalism that the modern workplace demands, and also greatly honed my skills for presenting and developing a creative pitch with a limited amount of face time for your audience. Above all, I learned how to execute as an effective team with a group of three other students with varying talents that I had no prior work experience with.”




W nks Students gain insider knowledge as D.C. summer interns Written by Glenda Isaacs Burgeson, Molly Reger ’14 and Tommy Benson ’17

Each year over a dozen students from CSB/SJU head for the nation’s capital and take part in the CSB/SJU Washington, D.C., Summer Study Program. For 35 years, the nonpartisan program has provided a rich learning environment for students while they serve as interns in Congressional offices, federal agencies, museums, as well as nonprofit and lobby organizations. Several features make this program attractive and unique, says Matt Lindstrom, professor of political science and one of the program’s faculty moderators. Most importantly, he says, the program is not out-sourced to an organization off campus. Instead, CSB/SJU faculty and staff work directly with students as they apply for internships, and they conduct job training and orientation sessions. During the summer, CSB/SJU faculty visit D.C. to meet with students. In recognition of the value of the liberal arts curriculum, the program encourages students from all majors to apply and to pursue internships that align with their interests. Students earn academic credit, and they learn from an assortment of professionals who meet with students in roughly two dozen seminars. Through these meetings students gain insights from Washington insiders of various ages, professions and political parties.



A ‘Political Nerd’ Bridget Cummings’ internship at the Department of Justice proved to be more than she expected. “It was a life-changing summer. There were so many moments where I was pinching myself in disbelief,” Cummings says.

One of those moments involved helping prepare nominee James Comey for Senate confirmation as FBI director. Cummings conducted baseline research on key senators and helped create the briefing notebooks Comey used in his meetings with them.

Clockwise from top: Cummings, left, enjoys the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in the Mall with an intern from Georgia Tech; Cummings with Attorney General Eric Holder; attending a Washington Nationals ball game with a friend; with FBI Director James Comey.


Cummings attended the hearing and has a memento. The New York Times ran a photo of the Comey hearing, and she appeared in the background. As an intern Cummings had the opportunity to meet Attorney General Eric Holder. “I had 15 minutes with him, and he actually took all 15 minutes to talk. He is really down-to-earth. We talked about his children — his son who will be driving soon — and about Minnesota,” she says. Cummings knew that D.C. would offer her the opportunity to witness influential events but she also understood the more mundane aspects of an internship. “Many people get internships in D.C., and they think they will be doing all these memos, but you learn that sometimes you need to get coffee, and we learn to accept that and love it,” she says. In fact she embraced every moment. “This summer I was answering the phone and talking to famous people, well maybe people I think are famous because I’m a political nerd,” Cummings says. Cummings’ passion for politics began before her time at CSB/SJU. As a prospective student she learned about the D.C. program from Matt Lindstrom, CSB/SJU professor of political science. “Before I was a CSB/SJU student I knew that I wanted to be a part of this program, she says. “I have a passion for public policy, and D.C. was the perfect city for it.” Acceptance into the program is competitive, but Cummings is no stranger to competition. On campus she is a captain of the CSB golf team, a Saint Ben’s senator, chair of College Democrats and a student ambassador. Now, she can add D.C. intern to her resume.


A Bucket of Fun When John Hite was accepted into the program for summer 2013, he knew right away he wanted to make the most of the experience. Before he set foot in Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office as an intern, the political science major composed a bucket list of things he wanted to do. Some of the items on the list are goofy; some are serious. Altogether, they tell the story of an unforgettable summer. “Each item comes with an incredible memory that I will cherish forever,” he says.

Hite savors the view at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

A Different Kind of Playing Field Kevin Battis has spent a substantial part of his life on the football field. But in the summer of 2013, he found himself on a much different playing field. He traded blocking and tackling for business and politics when he participated in the Washington, D.C., Summer Study Program. Battis interned at the Public Affairs Council, a nonpartisan professional association that provides public affairs resources to over 600 members, ranging from corporations to associations to consulting firms. While rubbing elbows at the PAC with some of the most dynamic leaders in the United States, Battis matured and advanced his capacity for leadership. “I got a lot of workplace experience, and that was great. It was a really awesome professional environment. We hosted a bunch of different conferences and seminars for

public affairs professionals for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and other large organizations,” the smiling pre-season All-American center says. “You’re definitely with the big wigs, as far as that’s concerned.” When asked if he was intimidated by the intense atmosphere among prominent businessmen and professionals, the central Minnesota college student says he just had to be himself. “Just throwing out a smiling face and being a helpful person is the best thing to do,” Battis says. The maturity he gained from the experience carried over into his leadership roles in both the classroom and on the athletic field. “It helped broaden my view and understand that I can take the reins a little bit more.” He took the reins of both the SJU football, and track and field teams as captain of both sports, as well as being named Academic All-American. 26

Battis prepares to snap the ball as center for the Johnnie football team.

The memory of living and working in Washington, D.C., is one he won’t easily forget. He made it a point to take evening walks around the capital and soak up the atmosphere. “You take for granted that people are going to run the different branches of government, and you don’t realize you could actually go out and do that, and that was fascinating.”


Bennie and Johnnie alums connect with CSB/SJU interns in D.C. By Mike Killeen When Jennifer Nord Mallard ’94 speaks to members of the Washington, D.C., Summer Study Program, she wants to make sure students understand how politics and policies in our nation’s capital have a profound impact around the country. “Being in health care policy, it’s very important to have all students, not just political science students, understand that health care policy is embedded in our entire world — in business, in our personal lives as receivers of health care and in caring for our elderly parents,” says Mallard, who is the director of federal government

relations at the Mayo Clinic. Mallard enjoys talking to the students off the record and speaking freely about her career, including “the bumps” along the way. “In a way, it provides me validation that I am doing something professionally interesting that is worth sharing,” says Mallard, who majored in government (the forerunner to political science) and communication at CSB. “I also enjoy when students reach out to me afterwards so they can learn more, and I can help them explore career paths and opportunities and

continue building networking skills. “It’s worth my time because I remember being a student and trying to figure out my path. Talking to people and learning about their career paths — just being a sponge — really helped me understand the plethora of career paths and jobs one could have with a political science major. It is one small way I can give back,” Mallard says.

Jennifer Nord Mallard with President Bill Clinton

✩✩✩✩✩✩✩ Former Congressman Mark Kennedy ’79 made a trip to Washington, D.C., while still a student at Saint John’s University that changed his life. Kennedy wasn’t part of the Summer Study Program, but visited Washington with his brother, Steven, while both were in school at SJU. They met with thenRep. Arlan Stangeland. “It made a big impression on me and reinforced my interest in public service,”

says Mark Kennedy, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001-07. That’s why Kennedy, director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, Washington, takes the time to visit with student groups in the Summer Study Program. “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to return the favor and to encourage others to follow through on their passion to

contribute to the community through service,” Kennedy says. “The Saint John’s and Saint Benedict’s students I meet with are well-informed and anxious to make a difference,” Kennedy says. “I always leave my interactions with them encouraged and optimistic about the future.” Mark Kennedy

✩✩✩✩✩✩✩ The networks Breanna Olson ’04 established at CSB and SJU played a significant role in her career path. That’s why the government affairs manager for Target Corporation has been “honored” to talk to students in the Summer Study Program. “A job early in my career kick-started the path I’ve taken, all made possible by a Saint Ben’s alumna who took the time to meet with me and introduce me to her

network,” Olson says. “CSB and SJU has bright, driven and qualified students who may only need a door to open to become their best selves. I’m honored to help play a role.” Olson, who majored in political science at CSB and is completing her master’s in government from Johns Hopkins University this spring, says she hired two SJU students to intern with her during their summer program, “and their work

product and ethic made an impact to our business during their times with us,” she says. “I find it valuable to hear what the students are learning in the classroom and to which areas they are most drawn,” Olson says. “They provide me with energy and a fresh perspective.” Breanna Olson



HowI spent my summer vacation Get to know these students who took advantage of summer opportunities. Alexandra Brancale and Robyn Hall are scholars in the CSB MapCores Program, which facilitates summer research projects. MapCores (Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science Research Scholars) is a scholarship program for women, funded by the National Science Foundation, that provides cross-disciplinary academic and research experiences. Qian (Charles) Zhang and Juhaan Johar were fellows in the CSB/SJU Center for Global Education’s 2013 Global Internship Program.

Alexandra Brancale

Major? Applied physics and numerical computation

Let go, and let God.

Extracurricular activities? Orientation leader, SJU wrestling manager, Admission tour guide, MapCores Program, Companions on a Journey, Benedictine Friends, Sustainability intern, Ecuador Study Abroad and second-grade catechist at St. Joseph Parish. Summer research project? In the summer of 2012 I worked on the all-sky camera at the SJU observatory with Professor Jim Crumley. I researched and modified different meteor recognition programs. I also implemented physical changes to the camera in order to increase accuracy. This last summer I was an REU (research experience for undergraduates) student in the Physics Department at Kansas State University. I collaborated and conducted research with a group of physics graduate students to construct an efficient FrequencyResolved Optical-Gating system for ultrafast laser pulses. Working with the lasers gave me a ton of hands-on optics experience! Also, I wrote and tested LabView computer programs that controlled and monitored apparatuses in the lab. The REU program also consisted of bi-

Juhaan Johar

From Sri Lanka Major? Economics and global business leadership

I ’m a go-getter.

Extracurricular activities? SIFE (Students for Free Enterprise); International Affairs Club Summer internship? As business development assistant for The China Guide, a travel agency in Beijing, China, I assisted with marketing, public relations and business development activities.

weekly research presentations, an electronics class, a shop class, frequent physics lectures and 13 other awesome REU students from around the country. Plans after graduation? I will be a programming analyst in the IT Department at Securian Financial Group in St. Paul, Minn. What is your favorite snack food while studying? Popcorn! I am a huge fan of Stir-Crazy popcorn! Choose a hashtag that best describes yourself. #RedHairDontCare Tell us about an experience or a moment at CSB/SJU that you value. At the President’s Dinner this year, it all hit me. My time here at the College of Saint Benedict is coming to an end. As an orientation leader, I was invited to this dinner that warmly welcomes each new class of Bennies. Every year, I have a different experience. My first year, I was nervous and excited. My second year, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. My junior year, I felt a lot of love for my schools. This year’s dinner brought on a mixture of all of those feelings and many more I can’t even

What’s your advice to future students applying for this program? Embrace ambiguity and try everything. Explore more around your living environment. Get to know your co-workers at a personal level, even workers outside your company by attending networking events. What is your favorite snack food while studying? Crackers

begin to describe. I have such a connection and love for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, and I am so extremely grateful for everything these last four years have given me. Welcoming another class of Bennies and Johnnies is one of my most valued experiences because I love being able to share this amazing, beautiful, special place with others. If you had a time machine where would you go? I would go to the day before my last physics test and study more! What is your personal mantra? Let go, and let God. What would you do with $1 million? Of course, I would pay off my student loans first! Then, I would start investing and give back to CSB. Oh, and a new car would be nice… What is your favorite building on campus? Why? My favorite building at CSB is the Sacred Heart Chapel. It’s so bright and welcoming. Plus, there are always friendly sisters around! My favorite building at SJU is the Quad. I can always feel the rich sense of history there.

Tell us about an experience or a moment at CSB/SJU that you value. Thanksgiving dinner at Saint John’s. An RA (residence adviser) took most of the residents on our floor. It was a spectacular moment. What is your personal mantra? I’m a go-getter. What is your favorite movie? “Inception” What is your favorite building on campus? Why? My favorite building at Saint John’s is the Quad. It’s so homey.


Commitment; work harder

Robyn Hall

Major? Biophysical sciences (individualized major); mathematics minor Extracurricular activities? Nordic ski team; Benedictine Friends; math tutor – CSB/SJU Math Skills Center (on campus job); Phi Beta Kappa Summer research project? Investigation of Oxalate Decarboxylase by electron paramagnetic resonance I participated in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory REU (research experience for undergraduates) at the University of Florida.

Every day is a learning experience. Always feel positive.

Qian (Charles) Zhang From Chengdu in southwest China Major? Communication Extracurricular activities? Founder of Electronic Sports League (a campus club); was on the board of Project 8 (a student film club); CSB/SJU Joint Events Council; volunteered at St. Benedict Senior Community and at Discovery Elementary School; interned at SJU Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML). Summer internship? I interned as a marketing project manager with the Minnesota-based Midwest Rubber Co. in its office in Shanghai, China. The program provided me an opportunity to experience a different lifestyle which I have never experienced before. It changed my understanding of myself and my future career. From the experience, I asked myself who I want to be in the future and what I want to do.

Plans after graduation? Graduate school — biomedical engineering

AT CSB/SJU, students match their academic interests with more than 60 areas of study and 37 majors.

What is your favorite snack food while studying? Tea or frozen grapes, just not both at the same time.

Programs of Study

Tell us about an experience or a moment at CSB/SJU that you value. MapCores; study abroad — Cork, Ireland; taking courses outside of my major; Nordic ski team; living in an apartment with a great group of friends What is your personal mantra? Commitment; work harder What would you do with $1 million? I would probably pay for the rest of my tuition, my younger brother’s college tuition, and help my parents out financially. I would spend the summer traveling and return to Ireland where I studied abroad. In the fall, I would return to begin graduate school and would buy a new bike, new skis and a used car. Then I would put a significant amount in savings and then donate the rest to charities.

Tell us about an experience or a moment at CSB/SJU that you value. I am amazed by the SJU alumni connections around the world. What is your personal mantra? Every day is a learning experience. Always feel positive. What is your favorite snack food while studying? No snacks — too distracting Choose a hashtag that best describes you. #Outgoing If you had a time machine where would you go? I would go back to before my grandfather died. He died in the spring of 2012, while I was in the U.S.

Accounting - Finance - Public Accounting - Traditional

Art - Art Education - Art History* - Book Arts* - Studio Art

Asian Studies Biochemistry Biology Business (See Global

Individualized Major Japanese* Latino/Latin American Studies* Law** Mathematics Medicine** Music - Liturgical Music - Music Composition - Music Education - Music Studies - Performance

- American Chemical Society - Traditional

Natural Science Numerical Computation Nursing Nutrition

Chinese* Chiropractic** Classics

- Dietetics - Food Studies - Nutrition Science

- Classics - Greek - Latin

Occupational Therapy** Optometry** Peace Studies Pharmacy** Philosophy Physical Therapy** Physician Assistant** Physics

Business Leadership)


Communication Computer Science Dentistry** Economics Education - Elementary - Secondary* (English, Music, Social Science, Natural Science, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Art, Theology)

Engineering*** English

- Applied Physics

Political Science Priesthood Studies/ Lay Ministry** Psychology Social Science Sociology - Family Studies

- English-language Arts - Literature - Literary Studies* - Writing*

Spanish (Hispanic Studies) Theater Theology

Environmental Studies Exercise Science and Sport Studies* Finance (See Accounting) Forestry** French Studies Gender Studies German Studies Global Business Leadership

Veterinary Medicine** Women’s Studies (See Gender Studies)

(formerly Management)

History Humanities - Classical Studies - Medieval/Renaissance Studies - Modern European Studies

- Pastoral Ministry

Other Courses Anthropology, Coaching/Physical Education, Dance, Geography, Military Science/ROTC, Modern and Classical Literature in Translation * Minor only ** Pre-professional program *** Dual-degree program with the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University - Areas of concentration or minors

Favorite movie? “Batman the Dark Knight” What would you do with $1 million? Pay my tuition; give 6 percent to my family; they made me and I appreciate them; I want to travel around the world. To experience another culture is a fast way to observe another culture and also myself. What is your favorite building on campus? Frank House, because I live there and enjoy the small community. Everybody knows each other. I arranged an international dinner party. The international students are so cool. At the dinner party, we eat food from different countries and learn about everyone’s different countries.


The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University admit students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students at the schools. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admission policies, scholarships and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. The College of Saint Benedict, Saint John’s University, and the Order of Saint Benedict 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 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 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, please visit their Web site at 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 on the Web at or by requesting a written copy of this report from the Admission Office.

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See our graduates’ successes: Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Amy Meath ’93 Major: Biology

Acclaimed Actor

Michael Hayden ’87 Major: Theater

NASA Astronaut

Lt. Col. Mark Vande Hei ’89 Major: Physics

White House Chief of Staff

Denis McDonough ’92 Major: History and Spanish photo: flickr PM413194

Broadcast Journalist

Maury Glover ’91 Major: English

Forensic Scientist

Stephanie Eckerman ’98 Major: Chemistry

Associate Producer

Sarah Gebeke ’02 Major: Communication

Corporate Secretary and Vice President

Judy Poferl ’82 Major: Government

Saint Benedict’s / Saint John’s Magazine Spring 2014  

Saint Benedict’s/Saint John’s Magazine is published in the spring by CSB/SJU Communication & Marketing Services.

Saint Benedict’s / Saint John’s Magazine Spring 2014  

Saint Benedict’s/Saint John’s Magazine is published in the spring by CSB/SJU Communication & Marketing Services.