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College of Saint Benedict I Saint John’s University

Off for

Oxford Rhodes Scholar Rachel Mullin ’14 reflects on the path she has taken


What to expect


SportsCenter on the Road comes to Collegeville


Tales from the U.N. conference on climate change

Spring 2016






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

ALSO INSIDE 1 2 8 12 14 18 20 24 26 32

EDITORS Greg Skoog ’89 Mike Killeen

Message from the Presidents Rhodes to Success Shared Voices Jump In LynxedIn Caught on Film For the Record First Impressions From White House Intern to Full-time Employee #csbsju

EDITORIAL TEAM Tiffany Clements Tammy Moore Tommy O’Laughlin ’13 Courtney Sullivan STUDENT EDITORIAL TEAM Amanda Baloun ’17 Tommy Benson ’17 Gretchen Brown ’16 Annie Dittberner ’17 Elizabeth Flaherty ’17 Jeff Johnson ’17 Nicole Pederson ’17 Jake Schultz ’16 Megan Towle ’16 CONTACT CSB/SJU Magazine Office of Marketing and Communications 37 South College Avenue St. Joseph, MN 56374



GREAT EXPECTATIONS The careful search for the right fit in a college or university is a sometimes-murky process of discovering and embracing expectations. But when looking at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, it boils down to two seemingly simple questions:

1. What will CSB/SJU expect from me? 2. What can I expect from CSB/SJU? First, we’ll expect you to continue to excel academically. In fact, we’ll expect you to make academic strides of which you may have never thought yourself capable. To help you meet that expectation, you can expect an exceptional faculty. One-hundred percent of our classes are taught by professors, and there are only 21 students in the average class. We’ll expect you to be leaders. When you choose to lead a club or a team or a residence hall or an endeavor all your own, we look forward to watching your leadership skills develop and grow. You can expect opportunities to lead. We have more than 100 clubs and 23 varsity sports between the two campuses. Also, two campuses mean two student governments, which means twice the potential for leadership. We expect you’ll want to help make your community better. You can expect volunteer opportunities around the world. Our

Mary Dana Hinton College of Saint Benedict President

service learning courses make serving an explicit part of the learning process. And the Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement helps you put it into practice and prepares you for careers after college. It’s one reason why 99 percent of CSB/SJU grads are employed, continuing their education or engaged in a full-time volunteer program within one year of graduation. We will expect you to have a curiosity about the world around you. Over 60 percent of our students study abroad. CSB/SJU are consistently among the top-ranked baccalaureate institutions for the number of students we enroll in semester-long study abroad programs. You can expect that the vast majority of our studyabroad programs are organized, ongoing and led by CSB/SJU faculty. Most of all, we expect you will find and believe in your value and your voice. There is outstanding potential within you. We will help you explore and uncover the power and value of your voice, not only to serve your own needs but to transform the world around you. Every day, our entire community is dedicated to this outcome. Whether it’s the sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery and the monks of Saint John’s Abbey, the faculty, the trustees, our dedicated staff and administrators or ourselves, we most want your voice to be heard.

Michael Hemesath ’81 Saint John’s University President



“The 2016 Rhodes Scholars for District 13 are . . . Emily Mediate and Rachel Mullin.” If anyone had told me when I was making my college decision that I would hear those words, I would have laughed. To be honest, even 15 minutes before the announcement was made I wouldn’t have believed it. But sometimes, life takes us on paths we didn’t foresee. That is exactly what my time at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University did for me. When I arrived at Saint Ben’s I had three plans. I was going to play soccer, study abroad in Chile and apply for a Truman Scholarship. I only followed through on one. When you’re making your plans for college, do it in pencil. Be able to erase plans, add plenty of new ones and amend as needed. You’ll be amazed what it looks like by the end. For me, I realized that Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s had more to offer than any tour guide could adequately sum up – even with two campuses to show me – and my plan was going to need some major edits. Thanks to the opportunities I had at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s I am now a Truman Scholar, a Fulbright grant recipient (I returned in November after 10 months as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia) and a Rhodes Scholar – the first Bennie or Johnnie in school

On Nov. 21, College of Saint Benedict graduate Rachel Mullin was one of 32 Americans to receive a 2016 Rhodes Scholarship. She is the second CSB graduate to receive the prestigious academic award. (Laura McGrane received a Rhodes Scholarship in 1992.) We asked Rachel to write how the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University helped prepare her for that honor.


Rhodes “Ask any Bennie or Johnnie … they’ll tell you with a smile of the prof that changed their lives.”

history to receive all three. Additionally, I got to travel the world, complete four trips abroad and spend time in 10 countries throughout my four years “on campus.” I have also become part of an indescribable community of Bennies and Johnnies who have provided vital mentorship, support and friendship along my journey. As I told Michael McFaul, the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during my Rhodes interview, “Choosing the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University was the best choice I ever made.” At Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s I benefitted from countless opportunities that I encourage every student to consider. I joined the Honors Program and learned from not only inspiring professors and challenging classes, but brilliant classmates – classmates with whom I spent hours in Sexton Commons discussing life’s “big questions” rather than studying for whatever exam we had the next day. Many of the honors students I met in my first few classes became close friends throughout the rest of college and were among the first people I called when I received news on the Rhodes. I took advantage of on-campus resources such as the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement. Through the McCarthy Center I was able to join programs such as its mentorship program that introduced me to accomplished alumnae/i who are leading inspiring careers. The center also awarded me a Brandl Scholarship to spend 10 weeks in Bosnia-

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

to Success By Rachel Mullin ’14

Rachel and administrators from SMK Mengkarak School share cake in a traditional Malaysian farewell.



“ …I got to travel the world, complete four trips abroad and spend time in 10 countries… ” Herzegovina working for an for a nongovernmental organization and conducting field research for two senior theses focused on the Bosnian conflict. Resources like the McCarthy Center allow students outlets to apply the theories and principals we gain in classrooms to on-the-ground experiences and realities. I was also lucky to be part of one of CSB/SJU’s most unique organizations: Extending the Link (ETL). The student-led documentary team highlights under-told social justice issues around the world and connects them back to the campus community. During my junior year, the organization focused on the social stigma surrounding mental health and traveled to Kolkata, India, for filming. As co-director my senior year, I had the chance to spend three weeks in refugee camps in Thailand focusing on the experience of the Karen and produce a film that went on to win a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – Upper Midwest Regional Student Production Award. Not only is ETL an amazing talking point in interviews, but my experience in ETL was what inspired me to apply for the Rhodes and pursue graduate studies focused on refugees. By far though, my greatest resource was the incredible professors. My first two days of classes, I met two professors who radically shaped my future plans. Dr. Nick Hayes and Dr. Christi Siver became more than professors – although I did have at least one of them every semester I was on campus. They became my academic advisers, bosses, letters of recommendation writers, heads of my theses committees and, above all, friends. They


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

challenged me, academically and personally, to be better; pushed me to dream bigger than I thought possible (such as applying for a Fulbright after winning the Truman) and were the very first people I notified when I won the Rhodes. While I was lucky to have them as my guides, my experience is not unique. Ask any Bennie or Johnnie and I guarantee they’ll tell you with a smile of the prof that changed their lives. As students at CSB/SJU, we have an unparalleled experience. We receive a world-class education that I believe, having spent a great deal of time among graduates of the nation’s “top” institutions, is truly among the very best. We also benefit from the schools’ exemplary commitment to learning outside of the classroom, whether it be through study abroad, research, internships or the countless student organizations on campus. And running through both of those we have the heart of our community: the Benedictine values, pushing us to use our opportunities not just for our own benefit but to assist others as well. For me, that means CSB/SJU gave me the education and confidence to earn a Rhodes Scholarship. I’ll be heading to Oxford to join a Rhodes cohort of the world’s next generation of leaders and I will be fully funded to pursue a master’s in refugees and forced migration studies as well as a master’s degree in international diplomacy. It’s my dream to help the world’s most marginalized populations and CSB/SJU helped me both realize that dream and make it a reality.

Left – While in Malaysia, Rachel would get together twice a week after school and evening prayers to play soccer. “It was a way to connect with students I didn’t have in class as well as show them girls can play soccer too” (something not typically done in Malaysia). Center – Rachel and a fellow Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang, Malaysia. Right – Rachel with five of her high school sophomore students in Malaysia as they show off their self-portraits of all the non-physical things that make them beautiful. “It was part of a Women’s Empowerment Camp I put on to help my female students deal with issues like body image, stress management and expectations of beauty.” I realize though that not everyone is interested in becoming a Rhodes Scholar. (If you are that’s awesome and I highly hope you don’t erase that plan. Let’s not let another 24 years pass before the next one.) But the wider themes of my experience such as getting involved on campus, allowing yourself to discover new passions (I had no film experience prior to ETL), embracing faculty mentorship and taking advantage of the Bennie/Johnnie community are things that I think every student entering CSB/SJU can benefit from.

If you choose CSB/SJU, you’ll be set on a path for an incredible four years and I have a feeling you’ll be surprised and thrilled by where it will lead you. You never know just what announcements you may hear your name included in.


C P E S A Office


By Mike Killeen

You get called to the bosses’ office early one morning, and you’re thinking … is this it?

if I knew what it was about. I told him I didn’t dare guess.”

Army Col. Mark Vande Hei got that call in August, but the NASA astronaut and 1989 Saint John’s University graduate wasn’t worried about getting fired. In fact, he was hoping for some good news.

But Vande Hei got the assignment he was looking for. He will be part of the Expedition 51 crew – including Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Nikolai Tikhonov – to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule with a tentative liftoff date of March 11, 2017.

“The way it works, they normally talk to the crew members that get assigned (to a flight) before they make an announcement to the office,” Vande Hei says. “I had an early-morning meeting with (Bob Behnken, who was chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston).

“Mark’s story is a great little encapsulation of what the liberal arts can do for you.” – SJU President Michael Hemesath ’81

“My initial reaction to that process was wondering if it was possible it was going to happen. I was kind of anticipating it,” Vande Hei says. “When I showed up, I remember him asking me

He’ll stay aboard ISS as part of the Expedition 52 crew for between five and six months, and be part of a six-person crew while there. It’s his first flight into space.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

very bad day on the Russian segment of the space station,” Vande Hei says. “It can be a tough couple of days, but I expect to be extremely well prepared.” Vande Hei says newcomers are given several days to acclimate themselves to working in space and the ISS. “The thing I’m looking forward to the most is getting a different perspective on Earth. It is a very unique opportunity,” Vande Hei says. “Being able to look back on the Earth and adapting to the space environment I think will be really interesting – figuring out how a human being designed to work in contact with the ground adapts to a situation where you are constantly floating. “I’m looking forward to the work as well, but when I think about work, I’m – very honestly – more concerned about making sure I don’t mess something up,” Vande Hei says, laughing. “There are a lot of people that make sure that doesn’t happen. “I’m really looking forward to it. I’m hoping somehow I can share this unique experience with as many people as possible so that they can appreciate what their tax dollars are helping us accomplish,” Vande Hei says. “I was definitely happy. I was very excited,” Vande Hei says. Vande Hei joined NASA in July 2006 to serve as a Capsule Communicator at the Mission Control Center in Houston. He was one of nine men and women selected in the 2009 astronaut class, and completed his training in June 2011 to qualify for space assignments. His undergraduate career as a student began in 1985 at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. A member of the ROTC “Fighting Saints” Battalion, he majored in physics at SJU. After being commissioned in the Army through ROTC, he served in Italy and Iraq before receiving a master’s degree in applied physics at Stanford University.

Facing page and left above, NASA astronaut and Saint John’s University graduate Mark Vande Hei ’89 prepares for underwater training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. The laboratory provides a controlled neutral buoyancy environment – a very large pool where astronauts train to practice extra-vehicular activity tasks while simulating the zero-g conditions they’ll encounter in space. Below, Vande Hei takes classroom instruction with fellow astronaut Mike Hopkins (right). (Photos courtesy of NASA.)

“Mark’s story is a great little encapsulation of what the liberal arts can do for you,” says SJU President Michael Hemesath ’81. “With a great liberal arts education, you can go off and go into space. You can be an astronaut. We don’t have a major called astronaut studies. We don’t have Astronaut 101. You learn how to be a great scientist. You learn to think on your feet. “You learn how to learn new things, and that’s what Mark has done throughout his career and that’s what has given him the opportunity to go into space (in 2017).” Now, Vande Hei has to learn about the systems aboard the ISS, as well as working with his Russian counterparts. Like college students, he’ll have to go through two final exams with Misurkin and Tikhonov – one in September, when they serve as the backup crew for Expedition 50 – and then with their own flight. “There’s a full day when they put you through a very bad day in the Soyuz, and another full day where they put you through a




By Elizabeth Flaherty ’17 College of Saint Benedict President Mary Dana Hinton didn’t have to sing when she mentored the Women’s Choir this fall. But she still has a powerful voice. And Hinton’s message to the choir was important, no matter how it was conveyed.

Hinton shared her research and knowledge about spirituals and the historic black church, the symbolism and significance that spirituals have played historically in culture and the role that spirituals can play in the lives of the CSB/SJU community. She spoke to the choir three times during the fall 2015 semester. Hinton, who holds a doctorate in religion and religious education from Fordham University, taught religion at Misericordia University (Pennsylvania) and is the author of “The Commercial Church.” She has a long-standing interest in spirituals and their role in the historic black church. The collaboration with the choir “demonstrates how our imaginations and active engagement with historical context can provide an authentic connection to the past, invigorate our current voices and enhance our musical expression,” writes Hinton. “It’s nice to get to see a side of her (Hinton) that we normally don’t get to see,” says Emily Dosch, a sophomore member of the Women’s Choir.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

The collaboration between Hinton and the choir began at the reception the night before Hinton’s presidential inauguration in 2014. After hearing the choir sing “Saint Benedict’s Ever,” Hinton asked that the choir sing another song. The spiritual, “The Storm is Passing Over,” was chosen. Even though the choir had just begun practicing the song, their performance came off without a hitch.

“I love how music can reach so deep inside of you, and can speak to your deepest hopes and fears…” – CSB President Mary Dana Hinton “It was a great surprise. Everyone in Clemens (Library) was blown away,” Hinton says. Hinton enjoyed the performance so much that she came to every Women’s Choir concert she could during the 2014-15 school year. She eventually struck up a conversation with Women’s

Voices Choir director Susan Cogdill and suggested half-jokingly that “we should do something together.”

together, and that we shared our love of music with one another,” Hinton says.

And so they did. “We found ourselves in June, sitting in the Local Blend (coffee shop) figuring out how we could work together,” says Hinton.

Hinton and Cogdill, an assistant professor of music at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, used the experience to present a session on the individual and collective voice expressed within spirituals at the 2016 Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic in February. Participants learned how the choir and Hinton explored the historical context of traditional spirituals and connected the spirituals to personal, communal and musical expressivity. The choir sang pieces that highlight the musical and historical importance of spirituals.

Hinton has had to emerge from her comfort zone a bit when she joins the choir’s freestyle singing exercises. She does not consider herself to be a singer or performer, but rather a “lover of all types of music.” “I love how music can reach so deep inside of you, and can speak to your deepest hopes and fears, and help to articulate those hopes and fears through song,” Hinton says. In the future, Hinton hopes to continue working with the Women’s Choir.

Editor’s note: Elizabeth Flaherty is a three-year member of the Women’s Choir.

“Hopefully the Women’s Choir will say that this was a great opportunity to learn together, and that we shared our voices 9

Searching It’s no secret that science can change lives. But Emma Bonglack’s research has personal ties. The College of Saint Benedict junior biochemistry major was born in Cameroon, a country in central Africa. She moved to Minnesota at age 12, but has always felt a connection to the place where she was born. So when Bonglack was considering options for summer research, she chose a subject with a pressing need in Cameroon – tropical disease. “In the rainy season, if people don’t have mosquito nets, they’re very susceptible to disease,” says Bonglack. Tropical disease is widespread – 21.4 million people in Cameroon are at risk for one or more tropical diseases. Bonglack was accepted to a competitive summer research program at Yale University in 2015, where she studied the sleeping sickness parasite (trypanosoma brucei) and its progression to infectivity. “My lab actually extracted tissue from tse tse flies – they transmit the disease by biting humans and injecting the parasite into our blood,” explains Bonglack. “We mimicked the environment


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

of the fly’s body, and studied how its progression to infectivity changed when we amplified a certain target gene.” Another part of her research was early-stage work in coming up with treatments that are less toxic and more accessible to the patients. Creating a vaccine that can attack the parasite upon infection is important, as the immune system has a hard time fighting it off naturally.

“It’s truly refreshing to know that I have such a strong support system here.” – Emma Bonglack ’17 “Once we know how the parasites work, we can work around those mechanisms to develop better treatments,” says Bonglack. “It’s still a study in progress, but as it is with almost all scientific discoveries, you have to start somewhere, and work your way further as you discover more information.” As impactful as the summer was, it wasn’t Bonglack’s first time studying something with which she was personally connected. During her sophomore year of college in 2014, Bonglack conducted a completely different kind of research – studying


for Research pancreatic cancer at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. “I specifically wanted to do cancer research,” says Bonglack. “Four years ago, I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. So when I was looking at all the topics that they had, that caught my interest.” At UNC, Bonglack was able to assist with research that the university has been working on for more than a decade. She looked into what leads to the division of pancreatic cancer cells. Bonglack’s summer research gained national recognition in November 2014. She was one of 20 people to win an award for cancer research presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in San Antonio, Texas. While her two summers in the lab have been impactful, Bonglack aspires to apply her skills to a different kind of experience this summer. “I’m looking into more personal experiences,” says Bonglack. “Not just in the lab, but more with patients. I’ve also considered going to an underdeveloped country and doing some work there.”

By Gretchen Brown ’16

Bonglack’s goal is to someday return to Cameroon. Part of reaching that goal has been sharpening her French language skills. French is one of the official languages in Cameroon, and a necessity to communicate with healthcare professionals. Bonglack studied abroad in France during the fall semester of 2015 to help with her grasp of the language. Studying abroad as a biochemistry major may not have been possible at a different university. But one of the things that drew Bonglack to Saint Ben’s was the ability to be involved beyond her major. “It’s truly refreshing to know that I have such a strong support system here,” Bonglack says. “There’s nothing more invaluable than people who, for whatever reason, see potential in you while consistently pushing and encouraging you to pursue your goals and dreams.” On campus, Bonglack is a member of the dance crew Element, an aerobics instructor and is active in the Black Student Association. “I generally do culturally related events on campus,” says Bonglack. “I love sharing my African culture.”


Jump I

Alex Wald ’16 is a familiar face around the CSB/SJU community.

The current president of the Saint John’s Senate can be found cheering in the stands at most Blazer athletic events, cracking open his textbook in the basement of Alcuin Library, or at the head of the Saint John’s Student Senate table. Despite his casual and laid-back demeanor (closely resembling a young Mark Zuckerberg, and usually found in his familiar uniform of khakis and a witty T-shirt), Wald has become an effective change maker both through our campus policies and culture. Wald, a senior economics major, has embodied what it means to be a leader on the Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s campuses. He has spent the last four years taking advantage of every opportunity the school has offered him, and ensuring that those opportunities will be around long after he graduates. “There’s so much history on these campuses. As a student, you’re always aware that you’re standing on the shoulders of giants who came before you. If you trace it back, there is always someone who said ‘This Johnnie or Bennie changed my life,’ ” comments


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

Wald. “There have been so many people from SJU that have helped me realize how I want to live my life and have been true role models.”

“As a student, you’re always aware that you’re standing on the shoulders of giants who came before you.” – Alex Wald ’16 In his four years as a student, Wald has not wasted much time. He studied abroad as a sophomore in Guatemala, completed a short-term study abroad in Cuba and held an internship in Washington, D.C., with a nongovernment organization, working to promote economic development. His best advice for incoming students? “Jump into stuff. Jump into stuff that makes you uncomfortable. That’s where growth happens, right? When you’re uncomfortable. That’s when you find out who you are. And it turns out it’s really awesome to find out who you are, even when you figure out not so nice things about yourself, it’s still awesome.”

Wald’s own path to the presidency certainly included some jumps – starting with his choice to run for senate in the first place. He ran for Academic Affairs Chairman his sophomore year and squeaked his way into office with the fewest votes of any elected senator. While he might not have won the hearts of all the student body by that point, his journey was only beginning. Wald’s passion for Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s and the people who make up our institutions motivated him to continue his involvement in senate and eventually run for president. As president, his subtle leadership style has allowed him to listen to the students’ needs, advocate for the issues being felt on all corners of campus, and demonstrate his ability to be a voice of the people.

“Jump into stuff that makes you uncomfortable. That’s where growth happens.” – Alex Wald ’16 Wald has spent his senate career addressing tough issues on campus, such as promoting a respectful drinking culture at CSB/SJU through policy reform and working with on-campus groups to ignite steady cultural shifts. He has also played a leading role in the “It’s on Us” campaign that works to promote a safe and supportive environment regarding sexual assault on our campuses. Through these campaigns, Wald has noticed a definite change in our community. “I am proud of SJU for being receptive to the message and for answering the call to take action.” Wald isn’t sure what is in store, post-graduation, but the doors are wide open. “First, I want to learn a new language. Second, I want to learn about how businesses run. Third, I want to solve world hunger. And then maybe attend Hogwarts,” he smiles. Wherever he lands, four years at CSB/SJU have certainly given him a solid place to jump off from.

By Megan Towle ’16

Nicole Pederson ’17





By Annie Dittberner ’17

Bennie/Johnnie duo work as interns for Minnesota Lynx During the 2015 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired former Duke University basketball star Tyus Jones in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The trade shocked fans everywhere. But it was no surprise to SJU senior Adam Kolb. Last summer, the communication major from Wabasha, Minnesota, interned as a game presentation assistant for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. In addition to working Lynx games, Kolb and nine other interns worked special events – one of those being the Timberwolves’ Draft Party. “About 15 minutes before the trade occurred, I heard on my headset that we were going to trade for Tyus,” he says. “It was pretty cool that I was able to know before pretty much everyone else that was watching.” But Kolb had to keep quiet. “Part of the job was being professional,” he says. CSB junior Erika Schlangen is familiar with this kind of professionalism. Schlangen, a Paynesville, Minnesota native, worked alongside Kolb as a game presentation assistant for the Lynx. Kolb started his internship in May and Schlangen joined him in June after returning from studying abroad. “We were in such close range to [the players] and it seemed so ordinary,” Schlangen says. “I couldn’t necessarily be a fan, and I had to remind myself that they are normal human beings just like us. It had to be very professional.” Throughout the summer, Kolb and Schlangen worked nearly every home game of the Lynx’s 2015 championship season. They set up promotional events, on-court games, halftime activities and T-shirt tosses. According to the duo, it was all about the fan experience. “It was our job to make sure the fans had a good time,” Schlangen says. “It was a mix between being on court and off stage. I enjoyed coordinating all of the things that fans don’t think about.” “You definitely learn a lot about how a sports organization is 14

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

run,” Kolb says. “It almost felt like we were shadowing someone while also having an internship.”

COMFORT OF CONNECTION Several of the other Lynx interns attended public universities and had previous experience working for the University of Minnesota athletic department. Kolb and Schlangen couldn’t relate to those backgrounds, but the two of them shared something that the other interns did not – the Bennie-Johnnie connection.

“… CSB/SJU does an outstanding job of building individuals into who they are.” – Kate Ulrich ’12 Last spring, Kate Ulrich ’12 contacted the athletic and communication departments at CSB and SJU. “The time came where I had to hire interns for the season,” says Ulrich, who now works for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. “So I contacted CSB and SJU. That’s when they got me in touch with a few different people, and Erika and Adam stood out to me.” Looking back, Ulrich says, it was a seamless transition for the two students. “I never had any reservations about Erika and Adam,” Ulrich says. “I knew they were good students, and I had heard from faculty that they were also exceptional human beings. I know that CSB/SJU does an outstanding job of building individuals into who they are.” But besides the Bennie-Johnnie connection, Kolb says, the CSB/SJU liberal arts education prepares students for this kind of experience. “Having knowledge about various things really shows your diversity,” he says. “A lot of other interns went to public universities, and a lot of them had a different perspective.”

ONE OPPORTUNITY LEADS TO ANOTHER When the Lynx won game five of the WNBA finals, Kolb and Schlangen finished the season with a championship organization and a new opportunity in front of them.

Erika Schlangen ’17, Kate Ulrich ’12 and Adam Kolb ’16 helped keep the ball rolling all summer long as the Minnesota Lynx soared to the WNBA championship. Last fall, the students began working for the Timberwolves Action Pack, a group in charge of leading promotional activities and interacting with fans during games. The two started the Timberwolves’ 2015-16 season on Nov. 1 and will continue to work for the professional team through the conclusion of the season April 13. “The action pack is the Timberwolves’ version of what we did for the Lynx,” Schlangen says. When Kolb started to work for SJU Athletic Media Relations during his junior year, he was introduced to SJU Athletic Media Relations Director Ryan Klinkner. According to Kolb, Klinkner has impacted his desires to work in sports. “He has had a huge impact on my passion for working in sports because he was the first person to give me the opportunity to work in the field,” Kolb says. “He is someone that likes to have fun, but also pushes you to work hard and do your job the right way. “All of my opportunities have kind of grown on each other and allowed me to get this internship. My time here has allowed me to grow as a person and as a professional. It’s hard to put it into words.” Schlangen’s interest in sports followed her to college. During her first year, she was a member of the CSB basketball team. “I was really interested in this internship because I have always been a huge fan of basketball, and I love watching the Lynx,” Schlangen says.

opportunity with the Lynx and contacted Ulrich to tell her that she was interested. “I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Schlangen says. “I have always loved sports, but I guess I decided I wanted to work in sports after deciding to change majors.” The elementary education major also works in the CSB athletic department during the school year. For the past two years, Schlangen has spent her summers working as a camp assistant for CSB athletics. This summer, she will be the camp lead. “Becoming an athletic director really interested me so I started working in the [athletic] office and summer camps, took Jana’s class, and started coaching,” she says. “I really enjoyed each of these opportunities and all of them combined really solidified my decision to work in sports. “The internship taught me that, yes, this is a job, but it’s sports and entertainment so you definitely want to make it fun. And that’s something I can correlate with working summer camps. It was my job, but I did everything I could to make it fun for all of the campers. “I could see myself teaching. But I could also see myself working in sports entertainment.” “The ultimate goal is to work somewhere in sports,” Kolb says. And thanks to Ulrich, their futures look promising. “They were a huge help to our organization this past summer,” she says. “The Bennie-Johnnie connection is obviously something.”

After taking CSB/SJU associate professor Janna LaFountaine’s coaching class, Schlangen heard from LaFountaine about the



We’ve got



Johnnie football is a century-old tradition that typically rallies more than 10,000 fans to Clemens Stadium on Saturdays in the fall. But on Sept. 26, 2015, there was nothing typical about the NCAA Division III record-breaking 17,327 fans who came out for the annual rivalry between Saint John’s and the University of St. Thomas.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

Earlier in the day, ESPN’s “SportsCenter on the Road” broadcast live from Clemens Stadium. The broadcast included stories on Saint John’s, its football program and student-athletes. The CSB Dance Team also took part in the broadcast. “We’ve never had a crowd with that kind of passion, energy and excitement,” wrote Matt Barrie, ESPN co-anchor. “From the time we got to town until we left, it was a first-class experience.”




By Gretchen Brown ’16

SJU juniors Conor Murphy, Pat Reagan, Curtis Williams and Ian Fritz make up the SSQTCH Media team. The videographers make three-minute videos set to music, mostly covering events on campus, and 15-second promos to rack up anticipation for them. They post them on social media sites like Facebook and Vimeo. The group’s Facebook page already has nearly 1,200 likes. Their most popular video has over 13,000 views.

The Saint John’s University students behind SSQTCH Media (read: Sasquatch) never meant to be videographers. As biology and economics majors, Ian Fritz, Curtis Williams, Pat Reagan and Conor Murphy came to Saint John’s with graduateschool intentions. Videography was something they fell into. Grabbing a camera before a Johnnie football game was a spontaneous decision. Editing together the footage and posting it on social media? That may have changed their lives. “Within a couple days, we were getting texts from clubs, saying ‘You have to make us a video, this is amazing, we’d love to see more,’ ” Fritz says. “It just caught us off guard, we had no idea.” Since that first football game, SSQTCH Media has taken off.

It’s enough buzz to get noticed on two campuses. Especially when getting noticed was something they never expected to happen. The students behind SSQTCH Media say their amateur, teamminded approach is what makes them unique. They don’t have professional training. While they’re not communication or theater majors, they’re able to spend hours in the multimedia lab at Saint John’s as a group, putting the final touches on their videos. “Because we’re the majors we are, rather than art or business majors, we have such a different perspective,” Fritz says. “Rather than trying to sell something to someone, we’re trying to produce an emotion or a feeling. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re trying to make: something that we would want to watch.” It’s not their full-time job, but it might as well be. Their most popular full-length video, three minutes and 15 seconds of

Their most popular full-length video … coverage of the Sept. 26 SJU-University of St. Thomas football game.


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

FILM coverage of the Sept. 26 SJU-University of St. Thomas football game, took them a total of 62 hours between shooting and editing. They spent an entire night, from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m., just editing the video. “It’s definitely time intensive, because we care about all the details,” Williams says. “But it doesn’t feel like it,” Reagan says. “Which is the beauty of it.”

“When I found out that there’s a possibility of me turning this into a career, it was easy. We’ve never been happier in our lives.” – Curtis Williams ’17 They take a somewhat scientific approach to their videos. Beyond just instinct, they have to think methodically about their decisions. “We’re a little more critical in what we do,” Reagan says. “We’re very careful, very picky about things.” “After we were done editing the Tommie-Johnnie video, I looked at it again and thought, ‘Is this even good?’ ” Williams says. “But then I thought back to all the times we freaked out about a twosecond sequence. We’re desensitized to it.” The mass appeal and professionalism of their videos is getting SSQTCH corporate attention. They have several business offers for the summer. On campus, they’ve been contracted to work on projects for Institutional Advancement and the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement. They’re also in talks with the Admission Office.

“Not a lot of people know how to keep you engaged for an entire video,” says Edwin Torres, a student coordinator for the McCarthy Center. “These four students are doing work that I would expect an entire team of professionals to do.” While the four Johnnies aren’t planning to change their majors anytime soon, they’re committed to making videography a part of their future. But they’re not sitting back and letting the work come to them. They’ve been reaching out to companies and using Career Services to get in contact with alumnae/i. Their future has many possibilities. “We kind of went through our lives up to this point with predetermined paths, and on a way to [a situation where] we would all have great lives,” Williams says. “But, at least for me, I always felt like something inside of me was sort of missing. And when I found out that there’s a possibility of me turning this into a career, it was easy. We’ve never been happier in our lives.”

To see SSQTCH Media’s work, visit their website at, Instagram handle @ssqtchmedia or on Facebook as SSQTCH Media.



Beth Leipholtz ’15 and Jake Schultz ’16

Adam Tucker graduated from Saint John’s University in 2014. In his four years at SJU, Tucker – who was raised in Omaha, Nebraska – got to wear many hats. We’re not talking about baseball hats, stocking caps or even football helmets (not even his beloved Denver Broncos or Nebraska Cornhuskers).


For eight semesters, he worked in the the Office of Marketing and Communications as a student media relations assistant/writer. He also worked four years at The Record, the award-winning student newspaper of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

Balancing jobs in student news and institutional public relations with a full course load might seem daunting, but it worked out just fine for Tucker. And he wasn’t alone. In fact, the last three editors-in-chief of The Record have also taken student jobs in marketing and communications. Tucker was editor-in-chief for three semesters in 2012-14, Beth Leipholtz in 2014-15 and now Jake Schultz in 2015-16. In addition, 2013 CSB graduate Jill Yanish served as managing editor in 2012-13. All four are profiled on the following pages. “In your career, you have to play a lot of roles,” Tucker says. “Being employed as a student while in college lets you begin to try out that multi-role experience in a relatively safe learning environment. “It is one of the best things you can do for your collegiate career,


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

By Mike Killeen

and the career that comes after,” Tucker says.

Student employment is an important part of the overall experience at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. During the 2014-15 academic year: • A total of 2,458 students from CSB and SJU worked on-campus jobs; • Those students worked a total 491,893 hours for 233 departments. The experience pays off for students both financially and experientially. Surveys of student workers indicate that the top five skills gained while working on campus include communication, time-management, professionalism, teamwork and responsibility, according to Angie Mareck, director of student employment at CSB and SJU. “I would encourage any student to take a work award if they are offered one, but to try and find a student job that somehow correlates with what they want to do as a career. Making those connections and learning skills as a student employee is beneficial when it comes to the real world,” Leipholtz says.


BETH LEIPHOLTZ ’15 Becoming a member of the Fourth Estate was all Beth Leipholtz ever wanted to do. However, getting sober in college and starting a blog to write about it was never part of that plan.

about to argue with,” she says. “It all kind of fell into my lap, but I love doing it. It can be difficult to get your foot in the door with freelance work, and my being sober kind of made me stand out and helped me open the door so I could tackle other topics. “Professionally, I think just having Huffington Post on my resume was huge. It’s a well-known publication and tends to stand out to people, so that helped me get my foot in the door to a lot of positions.” Like her current job in Alexandria. Writing about her sobriety pushed her out of her comfort zone, and “nothing has ever forced me to be as honest as examining myself and my sobriety,” Leipholtz says. “I think telling my story has been a good thing in terms of after-college life,” Leipholtz says. “I actually talked about it at the interview for the job I currently have, and I don’t regret that. I honestly think it was part of why I got the job. It made me real and showed who I really was.”

JAKE SCHULTZ ’16 “Going into the media had been my intention since the ninth grade, so the blog didn’t make me come to that conclusion (of going into the media),” says Leipholtz, who graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in 2015 with a degree in communication after serving as editor-in-chief of The Record her senior year. “However, I do think (the blog) helped to propel me in the right direction because of the connections I made and the places I wrote for,” says Leipholtz, who started a job in November at the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, as a reporter and social media manager. “I am lucky enough to have a job in journalism today, which has been my passion. Yet, I am able to continue freelancing and running my blog in my spare time. I get the best of both worlds.” Her blog tackles her own battle with sobriety while attending college. Her work was picked up by many outlets, including the Huffington Post and Cosmopolitan magazine.

During the summer of 2015, members of the Marketing and Communications office staff were trying to select someone to conduct a video interview with Saint John’s University President Michael Hemesath, who had just been appointed to his second three-year term. Anderson Cooper? Not available. Oprah Winfrey? Too expensive. Then, the staff turned to a student employee who was sitting in the room. Jake Schultz had worked as a student employee in the office since January 2015, and on this July day was asked to interview the president. As any good student journalist would do, Schultz – who was about to become the editor-in-chief of The Record newspaper – eagerly accepted.

“I started doing (the blog) for myself, as a way of coping, and it just kind of took off,” she says. “There is a very active online sober community, and crossing paths with them kind of propelled my work forward.

Schultz, however, is an English major. That isn’t unique on the staff of the paper, where communication and English majors work alongside chemistry and biology majors.

“Before I knew it, I was freelancing and writing for the Huffington Post, which I wasn’t

“My favorite part of CSB/SJU is that they allow me to do a



The Record’s spring 2016 staff relax in the paper’s newsroom in Guild Hall at SJU. bit of everything. That’s exactly what the liberal arts is all about, and I’ve been very lucky to do so much,” Schultz says. “While most of my work has been involved in my major or my love of the media, I still believe that my time in college has been indicative of what the liberal arts are about. I haven’t needed to specialize in only newspapers or stick with my English major and only work with literature. I’ve gone cross-discipline and I’ve had plenty of hands-on experience doing a variety of activities I enjoy,” Schultz says. That background has also helped him as editor-in-chief of The Record. Since the experience level at the paper varies from semester to semester, he is more of a teacher than a gruff editor. He has to be “ready for everything.” “Some people need my help much more than others, so it’s important to use everything I do as learning moments for myself and the other writers and editors,” Schultz says. “I’m a firm believer that the best way to get better is to teach, and because we don’t have a journalism program, a lot of that teaching comes down to myself or other editors. “Teaching others what a good story is versus a bad story makes me think a bit more about how I can get better. I’ve also been able to see a different side of newspapers. As editor-in-chief, I have to look at more than just the stories or layout; I am


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

working on the business side and social media and the general direction of the newspaper,” Schultz says.

ADAM TUCKER ’14 Not having done something before is no excuse for not trying to do it now. Just ask Adam Tucker. Tucker came to Saint John’s University in the fall of 2010 and wanted to write for The Record, the award-winning student newspaper of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. He got on the staff of the paper right away, but it wasn’t in the position he originally sought. “I started right away as a news editor in an amusing mix-up with a staff vacancy,” Tucker says. “I came into the newsroom in the fall of my freshman year, assuming I was ‘applying’ to be a reporter – I even brought my resume. I had attended one meeting for reporters up to this point. “As it turned out, it was an interview to be one of the on-staff news editors, a position which I held until I was asked to join the executive board,” he says. Tucker had a four-year run at The Record, ultimately becoming editor-in-chief of the paper for his final three semesters. He

also worked four years for the schools’ Office of Marketing and Communications. He found the combination of reporting breaking, relevant news while also wearing the hat of a student media relations assistant unique. “It forced me to be both accountable and honest to each role,” Tucker says. “I had to learn to be focused on being the most valuable in whatever role I was operating. I had to be a ‘wearer of different hats.’ It wasn’t really a challenge that ever truly became a problem. “Self-control is a marketable skill, and one that this perspective and experience between the two roles taught me. And it was also a symbiotic relationship – the student job gave me both stories and contacts for the newspaper, and the public relations office benefitted from being able to leverage our story ideas, and often, our student writers and contacts.” Tucker, who now works in corporate communications for General Electric in San Francisco, encourages students to take a student employment position at CSB and SJU, calling it a “rare window of opportunity.” “Student employment deepens your connection to your school, affords you resume-boosting professional experiences before graduation and makes you more responsible for your time management,” Tucker says.


and we had a very long conversation. “I told her I was anxious about the journalism career outlook and job opportunities. She told me to follow my dreams and it will all work out,” Yanish says. “I’m very thankful for the confidence she has instilled in me and that I had such a great role model.” Yanish is happy she stayed in her career choice. In September 2015 she started a new job as an associate digital editor at Mpls. St. Paul Magazine. She manages the magazine’s social media accounts, creates and executes digital strategy, gathers and reports web and social analytics, coordinates e-newsletters and writes online blogs. Prior to her job at the magazine, Yanish was an associate editor at PBS, working on one of its flagship digital programs called Next Avenue. Yanish says her three-year student work experience with the Office of Marketing and Communications and her three years with The Record have helped her in her career. “From working at The Record, I gained the knowledge and the experience of reporting, writing and journalistic integrity. And from working on public relations in the OMC office, I learned about branding and marketing,” Yanish says. “While these worlds are different, these skill sets have prepared me for my career and made me more well-rounded,” Yanish says. “The student employment program really adds to the wholesome experience you get at a liberal arts college.”

Having the right supervisor as a student employee at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University can make all the difference in the world. Jill Yanish spent her first three years as a student at CSB preparing to become a journalist. Then, during the first part of her senior year… “I had a career-switch crisis and no longer thought that journalism was the right fit for me,” says Yanish, a 2013 graduate. That’s where Glenda Isaacs Burgeson stepped in. Burgeson was Yanish’s student supervisor in the schools’ Office of Marketing and Communications, and sat down to have a talk with her. “Glenda had been vocally weary of my sudden career-path change,” Yanish says. “One day, she sat me down in her office


first By Jake Schultz ’16 The tour starts with an outreached hand and a smile. Before a student meets their resident assistant, before they even meet their roommate, most students meet one person: a tour guide. Saint John’s University senior Frantz Soiro and College of Saint Benedict senior Mikayla Curtis were in that same position only a few years ago. They remember those questions about what liberal arts means and who is Saint Benedict. How tour guides answer those questions and interact with high school students are vital to the admission process, says Peggy Boettcher, an admission office coordinator for CSB/SJU. “They really are some of the most important people in getting students to come here because there’s that student-to-student interaction,” Boettcher says. Soiro and Curtis are each part of a team consisting of roughly 40 student employees chosen for their charisma, hardworking nature and communicative skills. Admission also relies on volunteer tour guides with similar qualities. So it starts with an introduction as Soiro greets two prospective students and a father. He says his name, his major (chemistry) and where he’s from (New Jersey). He asks their names and the tour begins. Starting from the Great Hall at Saint John’s, Soiro walks and talks, making sure to turn back to each student and the father as he tells them something about the building. He asks them questions, too. “What type of major are you interested in?” Soiro asks as he holds


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

open the door to the Saint John’s Abbey and University Church for the guests. “Pre-med, I think,” the prospective Johnnie says. The prospective Bennie thinks political science, but what she’s really interested in is the ROTC program.

“I have the best job here, because I get to talk about why I love this place and make them picture themselves here.” – Mikayla Curtis ’16 “That’s great. The ROTC program here is really strong, you’d like it,” Soiro says. “I think a lot of the reason is because of our liberal arts education. We learn a bit of everything here and it makes us better students.” He jumps from liberal arts to athletics as he guides them from the church to Peter Engel Science Center to Clemens Stadium. All along the way he makes sure to smile, keeping eye contact at each stop along the tour. “It’s important to connect with them,” Soiro says. “Each group I have is different so I try to tailor what I ask and how often, depending on the group.” Every group is different in their interests, too. While some people will be geared toward the sciences, others have a keenness for humanities. The discussion is always different. When Curtis’ prospective student mentions playing volleyball in high school, her tour takes on a different dimension.


ASK QUESTIONS It isn’t always easy to know if the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University – or any other college, for that matter – is the right school from an hour-long tour. CSB Senior Mikayla Curtis and SJU Senior Frantz Soiro, two student tour guides, have questions they think will help, though. When you take your own campus tours, try asking your guides some of these. “A big question to ask is ‘Why did you decide to come here?’ It gives me the chance to break it down into a bite size piece that they can remember pretty easily,” Curtis says. Another important question is asking what the tour guide would change about the school. “This can help give an idea of the pros and cons of a school. Every place you go has good parts and bad parts and I think you can tell a lot about a school by what the tour guide thinks could be changed,” Curtis says. Soiro says it’s important to think about the times when you won’t be in class, too. “You’re not in class all day every day, so it’s good to ask questions like, ‘What do you do on the weekends? How is the social life?’ Or even something like, ‘How can I get around to and from the shopping centers if I don’t have a car?’ Imagine yourself on the campus and think of the day-to-day services you might need,” Soiro says. As Curtis leads her CSB tour from the Main Building to Sacred Heart Chapel, through Mary Commons and Aurora Hall, they talk about intramurals, making sure to point out the sand volleyball court right outside Corona Hall. She also speaks about her own intramural experience of trying doubles tennis, something she had not done before. Connection, Curtis says, is key. “Basically, I try and connect with them as much as I can to get all of their questions answered,” Curtis says. “It makes the tour much more personal and interesting for them. Connecting with them in any way opens up the idea of calling CSB/SJU home. That’s why I have the best job here, because I get to talk about why I love this place and make them picture themselves here.” In the end, that’s the goal for both Soiro and Curtis, to make the schools seem like a place where prospective students want to be for the next four years of their lives. 25

From White House Intern to Full-Time Employee CSB alumna takes advantage of CSB/SJU resources and finds full-time employment in the White House By Annie Dittberner ’17

After Bridget Cummings spent a summer in Washington, D.C., she wanted to go back. And back again. The 2015 graduate participated in two internships over two summers in Washington. When she graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015, she started working full-time at the White House in August. As Cummings adapts to a new role in the White House, she credits her previous


internship experiences for preparing her for the position.

the next summer, and it was my goal to intern at the White House.”

Following her sophomore year at Saint Ben’s, Cummings participated in the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University Summer Washington, D.C., Study Program, where she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The next summer, Cummings did just that.

“I learned so many valuable lessons about public policy and what it is like to work in the government,” Cummings says. “After the D.C. Summer Study Program ended, I knew I wanted to come back to D.C.

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

The political science major from Chaska, Minnesota, was one of about 140 college students selected from across the country to participate in the 2014 Summer White House Internship Program. That year, she was the only participant in the program who attended a college or university in Minnesota.


“CSB/SJU has provided me with an education that not only prepared me for this internship, but also taught me the skills needed to succeed.” – Bridget Cummings ’15 assistant in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

government work is the type of career you would like to pursue after graduating.

Currently, Cummings works on the Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) local team and engages local elected officials from across the country. The office, she says, serves as a front door to the White House through which local, county, tribal and state elected governments can participate in and inform the work of President Barack Obama.

“Most importantly, stay in touch with all of the people that you build relationships with while interning. I would not be in my current role at the White House without the advice and guidance of mentors from my prior internships.”

“While I have more responsibilities as a staffer than when I was an intern, I still have the same goal of assisting my team in the best way possible,” Cummings says. Recently, her office assisted with a panel discussion on criminal justice reform that the president hosted at the White House. “It was amazing to see the president interact with law enforcement leaders and discuss such an important issue,” Cummings says.

ENJOYING HER TIME According to Cummings, the most satisfying part of the job is interacting with local elected officials.

“My experience as a White House intern only reaffirmed my thoughts about public service, and I knew that this was the type of career path I would like to pursue after graduation,” she says. “Both of these internships taught me the importance of hard work, teamwork and always having a positive attitude.”

A NEW ROLE IN THE WHITE HOUSE What began as an internship for Cummings transformed into a postgraduation, full-time position as a staff

“I love hearing about what is going on in their communities and how they are working to better the lives of their constituents,” she says. “It is fascinating to see how the president’s priorities can translate into outcomes at the local level.” For students interested in government work, Cummings advises them to intern with the government while still in college. “Since these are often unpaid, I recommend that students look into the many scholarship opportunities that CSB and SJU have to offer,” she says. “The internships provide a great opportunity to get real experience and determine if

CSB AND SJU TO CREDIT Throughout her years at CSB and SJU, Cummings recognizes that the faculty were preparing her for this experience. “They invested time into helping me improve my writing skills, communicate effectively and determine what I want to do after college,” she says. “I think working on campaigns and getting involved in the (Eugene J.) McCarthy Center (for Public Policy and Civic Engagement) taught me the importance of civic engagement and public service.” Looking back, Cummings acknowledges the strong Benedictine values at CSB and SJU and how well those teachings translated into the real world after college. “Teamwork is essential in the professional world,” she says. “I try and build strong relationships with my colleagues and be someone they can trust to work hard and have their back.” Even after her summer internship experience, Cummings never imagined her first job to be in the White House. “I still walk into work every day and have to pinch myself,” says Cummings, whose job ends when the Obama Administration concludes in January 2017. “I don’t think this feeling will ever go away.”


GLOBAL FRONT LINES By Courtney Sullivan

This past fall, students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University enrolled in a course entitled “Climate Studies: Culture, Science and Policy in a Changing Environment,” taught by Jessica O’Reilly, assistant professor of anthropology.

leaders and government officials,” says O’Reilly. “To effectively address a global and complex issue like this, collaboration across disciplines is essential. That’s why students from this class represent majors in sociology, business, peace studies, political science, physics, environmental studies and many others.”

But for a dozen of those students, the climate negotiations and the Parisian streets became their classroom as they joined highranking international delegates, civil society representatives, business leaders and thousands more at the United Nations conference on climate change.

CSB senior Anna Cron, a political science and Latino/Latin American studies double-major, focused her research on how

“It was inspirational to see so many countries participating in the conference …” – Anna Cron ’16 Thanks to the work of O’Reilly, Matt Lindstrom, professor of political science, and many others, Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s were granted non-governmental organization observer status to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21). This status gave members of the group access to areas where sanctioned U.N. discussions and decisions took place, areas otherwise closed to the general public. To secure a spot on the CSB/SJU delegation, students participated in a competitive internal application process and were required to demonstrate how they planned to apply this opportunity to their academic and/or professional pursuits. “A solution to climate change doesn’t live solely with business


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016


indigenous populations around the world are adapting to the effects of climate change. “It was inspirational to see so many countries participating in the conference,” says Cron. “But personally, I was excited to see how well indigenous people were represented. They are disproportionally affected by climate change, often living carbon neutral lifestyles, but feeling the brunt of climate change most intensely on their livelihoods. They have a small voice in the international community, so hearing their perspective firsthand provided me with greater insight on how climate change is not just a scientific issue, but a human rights issue.”

firsthand. Instead of reacting to news reports or relying on internet updates, they were able to conduct research and follow the progress of the negotiations as they were occurring. “It’s not often that students in the social sciences can go in the field and watch what’s happening,” says Giese. “This was an incredible opportunity.” As individuals who hope to build careers around addressing climate change, they also agree that it was motivating to be around so many people who have taken the mantle of leadership on environmental issues. Cron plans to volunteer in a developing country after graduation and Giese is currently interviewing with

Above, Haruka Kimura ’16, Anna Cron ’16, Professor Matt Lindstrom, alumnus Clement Dai ’12, Tyler Thompson ’16 and Olayemi Fadahunsi ’18 pause for a photo in between discussions panels, workshops and listening to world-class speakers. At left, Cron ’16, Lucas Giese ’17, Amanda Jendro ’16, Diana Elhard ’16 and Professor Jessica O’Reilly arrive early and prepare to observe official climate negotiations and discussions. Other students made impressive professional contacts. SJU senior Lucas Giese, a political science major who is studying abroad in India this spring, connected with several Indian organizations participating in the conference. He is spending the spring 2016 semester working at a service learning site in Kolkata with the Association for Social and Environmental Development. In this position, he will help develop and enact local initiatives that engage people with environmental concerns, including climate change.

environmental research, lobbying and advocacy organizations in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the academic and professional interactions, Cron and Giese agreed that it was inspiring to watch this event unfold

CSB/SJU intends to participate in COP22 in November 2016 in Morocco.

This year’s conference in Paris ended with a new global climate deal, but O’Reilly and her students emphasize that this does not mean the issue has been resolved. “It’s more important than ever that we continue to push forward,” says O’Reilly. “Equity and climate justice are integral to building a low carbon and more resilient future for us all.”



Would you debate philosophy with this man? By Jeffrey Johnson ’17

During the week, John Houston is a professor of philosophy at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. In his free time, he is a professional heavyweight arm wrestling champion. But for Houston, the two activities are not entirely dissimilar. “It is fundamental to being a human being to be able to exercise our agency in the world with our bodies,” Houston says. And exercise his agency he does. Both Houston’s intellectual


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

and physical strength are immediately evident whether he is speaking in a classroom or crouched over an arm wrestling table. He has the sort of stature that commands attention, but does not demand it. This distinction is important to him, because he is very conscious of his relation to others and the world around him. Above all, Houston wants “to know others and be known by others.” In fact, human relationships are so important to him that he wrote his doctoral thesis on friendship. He argues that by

our very nature, we need friends – we should not shut ourselves away from the world and reside only in our minds. Sometimes that means finding an outlet. “For me that happens to be manifested in arm wrestling,” Houston says. “It used to be boxing. For eight years it was wrestling. I boxed in the Golden Gloves for a number of years. I used to assert my agency in Strongman and powerlifting.” Houston, who started arm wrestling in 2012, has won national amateur titles. At one point, he ranked No. 9 in the nation in the professional left-hand super heavyweight division. Today, he arm wrestles alongside his daughter Grace Houston, 12, who was the Midwest Champion and is the current Minnesota State Champion in the kids’ division. Together, they travel to competitions all over the nation. In recent matches, Grace faced off against a woman 40 pounds heavier. John squared off against world champion Jason “The Mighty Oak” Remer. Both John and Grace managed to subdue their opponents at least once over the course of those best-of-five matches. It has taken John Houston a lifetime of study and hard work to be able to express his personality in the ways he does. He grew up on a farm in Nebraska, and from an early age he had philosophical questions that the people around him could not answer.

Professor John Houston and his daughter, Grace, take some time at home to “exercise their agencies.”

“There were certain categories of questions that other people didn’t daily entertain and for me they were burning questions,” Houston says. After attending three different universities including Purdue, and trying vocations ranging from truck driver to oblate at a Benedictine monastery, Houston found his way to CSB/SJU.

Now Houston wants to provide students with the same experiences he enjoyed. He is thinking of starting an arm wrestling club on campus with SJU junior Kurt Schmitz as team captain. Houston would serve as the faculty adviser. “If I were the last man on Earth, I would still exercise my agency by moving iron from here to there. Sometimes I sentence myself to the gym because it is my place of zen,” Houston says.

John Houston is well versed in more than just philosophy. When asked why existing strongly in the world both mentally and physically is so important to him, he responds by quoting “A Song of Joys” by Walt Whitman: O the joy of a manly self-hood! To be servile to none, to defer to none, not to any tyrant known or unknown, To walk with erect carriage, a step springy and elastic, To look with calm gaze or with a flashing eye, To speak with a full and sonorous voice out of a broad chest, To confront with your personality all the other personalities of the earth.



#csbsju ian_scherber .......and that’s a wrap. I officially graduated today. Thank you for all the memories, opportunities and friendships SJU. #JohnnieAlum #CSBSJU

jdquinby Swimmers vs. Swammers! Awesome day at the Alumni Meet! #CSBSJU

malythao Merry (Early) Christmas from all the exchange students from BGU!! #Japan #Tokyo #Diversity #Exchange #Students #StudyAbroad #CSBSJU #CSBSJUAbroad #BGU #Family #Friends #Tomodachi #ILoveYouAll #IllMissYouAll #LifesGood #InternationalLove

csbsjuiiss Aren’t they beautiful!? #hmong #beauty #festivalofcultures2015 #csbsju

JOHNNIES JOHNNIES! Lets show that we have the best fans in the nation! Kickoff 1 pm.

csbsjuglobal Reinvent Handholding #csbsjuabroad #southafrica #explore #experience #engage

makenzie.krause “If you study while you eat it, it doesn’t count.” - A little known nutrition fact shared by @presidentmdh #csbsju #specialkbars #finalsweek


College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University 2016

polxar Explore. Learn. Conquer. #csbsju

nowiamdefyinggravity You know that sweatshirt you got in college ... and just putting it on makes you feel fabulous because of all the memories that has been woven into it? samueljohnsonpottery Burning embers being removed from the #csbwoodkiln during the second day of firing. Photo by Susanne Juratovac #pottery #woodfire #PIAwoodfire #bringingtheheat #csbsju


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

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

PROGRAMS OF STUDY Accounting – Finance – Public Accounting – Traditional Art – Art Education – Art History* – Book Arts* – Studio Art Asian Studies Athletic Training** Biochemistry Biology Business (See Global Business Leadership) Chemistry – American Chemical Society – Chemical Biology – Environmental Chemistry – Industrial/Materials Chemistry – Traditional Chinese* Chiropractic** – Classics – Greek* – Latin* Communication Computer Science Dentistry*** Economics Education – Elementary – Secondary* (English, Music, Social Science, Natural Science, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Art, Theology) – Teaching English as an International Language* – Teaching English as a Secondary Language* Engineering*** English – English Secondary Education – Creative Writing – Writing* Environmental Studies European Studies Exercise Science and Sport Studies* Finance (See Accounting) Forestry** French Studies Gender Studies German Studies Global Business Leadership (formerly Management) History Humanities – Classical Studies – Medieval/Renaissance Studies – Modern European Studies

Individualized Major Japanese* Latino/Latin American Studies* Law** Mathematics Medicine** Music – Liturgical Music – Music Composition – Music Education – Music Studies – Performance Natural Science – Secondary Education Biology – Secondary Education Chemistry – Secondary Education Physics Numerical Computation – Discrete Computation – 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 Family Studies Spanish (Hispanic Studies) Theater Theology Pastoral Ministry Veterinary Medicine** Women’s Studies (See Gender Studies) 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 Areas of concentration or minors

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 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, visit 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.

QUALITY CSB and SJU are listed among the top colleges in America in U.S. News & World Report. FACULTY 292 full-time; 53 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

$40,846 CSB $10,229 CSB

$40,226 SJU $9,604 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 $22,000 a year, are based on academic, leadership, artistic and service abilities. GEOGRAPHIC FACTS 37 states represented 46 percent from Minneapolis/St. Paul area 32 percent from greater Minnesota 22 percent from outside Minnesota MULTICULTURAL/INTERNATIONAL FACTS 16 percent American students of color 5 percent international, 27 countries represented, 179 international students INTERNATIONAL STUDY We offer semester-long international study programs to Australia, Austria, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece/Italy, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom. More than 500 students study around the world each year. 56 percent of all CSB/SJU students study internationally. CSB/SJU rank at the top nationally in mid-length study abroad programs. ENROLLMENT FACTS First-year enrollment: 927 Total undergraduate enrollment: 3,685 APPLICATION FACTS High school GPA: 3.34 – 3.90 ACT/SAT Composite: 23-28/1590-1880 RETENTION 88 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 STUDENT ACTIVITIES Varsity sports: 11 at CSB; 12 at SJU Club sports: 16 Intramural sports: 10-15 Clubs and organizations: 100 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 Org. U.S. Postage

PAID Saint John’s University

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

Our classrooms are lovely, but…

Our opportunities for international studies look pretty good too. Nearly 60 percent of CSB/SJU students will travel abroad during their four years – many for one of our 15 facultyled, semester-long programs. Get out of your chair and see where you can go. You can start by estimating the scholarship help you can expect.


CSB/SJU Magazine Spring 2016  

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

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