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FOREVER CONNECTED

WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THE ICONIC ST. CATHERINE GATES, YOU BECOME A PART OF ST. KATE’S, AND ST. KATE’S BECOMES A PART OF YOU.

Look for this icon throughout this issue to see how you can connect and put your St. Kate’s network to work.


UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

SPECIAL EDITION 2018

3 FROM THE PRESIDENT

2018 ALUMNAE AWARDS

4 COMMON CONNECTIONS

8

10 THE B CONNECTION

18 STAY CONNECTED

19 FOREVER ST. CATHERINE

KATIES CONNECT THROUGH CHAPTERS

20

21 FINAL THOUGHT


EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT BETH HALLORAN VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING AND COMUNICATIONS TOCCARA STARK MAOL’09, EdD DESIGNER MOLLY ORTH EDITOR SARA BERHOW CONTRIBUTORS RUTH HAAG BROMBACH ’60 BETH RIEDEL CARNEY ’82 KARA DEMARIE MLIS’16 KAYLA FORBES MBA’17 LINDSEY FREY SARA KEIS NATALIE MANION KELLY POVO ’09 JAYNE STAUFFER KRISTEN WUNDERLICH

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PHOTOGRAPHERS RYAN JOHNSON ’19 MARA LANDON ’20 REBECCA ZENEFSKI SLATER ’10 HILARY STEIN ’14 SCOTT SUCHMAN ADDRESS CHANGES 651.690.6666 alumnae@stkate.edu ONLINE mag.stkate.edu

2 1 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet march in the processional leading into the inauguration of President ReBecca Koenig Roloff.

St. Catherine University Magazine is published three times a year by the Office of Marketing and Communications with the St. Kate’s Mag Advisory Board. No part of this publication may be reprinted without permission.

2 Members of the class of 1997 ham it up for the camera at their 20-year Reunion.

St. Catherine University was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

3 The entire campus community — students, faculty and staff — kick off the new academic year at the annual Opening Celebration.

Learn more: stkate.edu/ourhistory mag.stkate.edu/advisoryboard

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018


From the President I am always proud to tell others that I am a St. Kate’s graduate. Being a part of this community is a truly special opportunity that I cherish. This community is created by each of us through our shared experiences and relationships, and is a connection that stands the test of time.

O/R PHOT

When I came to St. Kate’s as an undergraduate student in 1972, I could not begin to imagine how it would shape my life. I arrived full of hopes and dreams, and in 1976, left with the confidence that propelled me toward new ambitions, career opportunities, and a personal and professional network that continues to support me today. St. Kate’s is part of who I am and who I have become, which is why I am a lifetime donor and supporter.

legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. As you will see in this issue, Katies make a difference wherever they go—here in Minnesota, across the country and around the world.

EB E

CC AS

But being a part of a community also comes with responsibility. Our ability to succeed and grow is dependent on each of us contributing our time, talent, support, and yes, our dollars. We were founded by a tenacious group of women who together made a vision a reality. By sharing our Katie pride, telling our stories, and supporting future students, we ensure that St. Kate’s will thrive for the next 113 years and beyond.

TE LA

St. Kate’s prepared me to excel at Harvard ’10 ,B Business School for my graduate studies. This is what it means to forever YR EBE CC A The leadership skills and social justice values I be part of St. Catherine, and why S T UD IOS gained in my St. Kate’s classes helped me become fostering our connections with all a strong woman leader in my professional roles at alums of the University is a key priority American Express Financial Advisors, Pillsbury, Cargill, in our strategic plan. From your first day on campus, the YWCA, and now St. Kate’s. In 1983, I became the St. Kate’s becomes part of your story. And you become youngest member of the University’s Board of Trustees. part of our story, forever intertwined. In my 12 years as a member of the Board, with the last four as the Board chair, not only was I able to share my St. Kate’s is and always will be a unique place because leadership skills and student experiences, but I was able of each and every one of us. Together, we create the to engage with and learn about St. Kate’s in a new way. future of our beloved University for the next generation My love for this great institution, the opportunities I had of leaders. as a result of my education and Board membership, and a desire to give back to the next generation of Katies all ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76, MBA brought me back here as your University president. R

As graduates of St. Kate’s, we are part of a powerful and influential collective. We are women and men who take bold actions to create the change we know our communities, organizations and world need, carrying forward the

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Common Connections Katies are diverse, yet they share one important connection: What is your advice to the next generation of St. Kate’s students? Study hard, but be active on campus and take time to enjoy the people you’re with and the special place you’re at. Your time on campus will go so fast, but St. Kate’s will remain with you for your lifetime if you do that. — Marilyn Grochala Gorham ’76

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St. Kate’s. Despite their differences, they have more in common than one might think. We asked a series of questions of these alumnae. Check the colored dots in their profiles to see who answered “yes!” to each of the seven questions.

Are you working in a profession that is directly related to your degree? Do you volunteer? Did you know someone at St. Kate’s before you attended? Have you traveled abroad?

ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018

Have you inspired anyone to attend St. Kate’s? Are you still in touch with your classmates? Are you still in touch with any of your instructors?


CL

A R A R. BURG

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CH AEL A OR

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12 N’

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SJ

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DEGREE

DEGREE

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations CURRENT ROLE

Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Psychology

CURRENT ROLE

Epidemiologist in Global Health, RTI International

Retired; former pastoral associate

RESIDES IN

St. Paul, Minnesota

CURRENT ROLE

Operations and Communications Manager, University of Minnesota’s Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship

RESIDES IN

Silver Spring, Maryland

N IK

DEGREE

Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education

RESIDES IN

St. Paul, Minnesota

K I B U RG D OC

MA

R I LY N GRO

MA

CH

RY EL L E N K

LA

S KE NN EDY ’81

OR FF ’07, DP

O RH A M ’76 AG

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9 DEGREE

DEGREE

DEGREE

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

CURRENT ROLE

Physical Therapist, Gundersen Health System

Retired; former Senior Vice President and Commercial Lending Team Lead

Capital Bureau Chief, Miami Herald

RESIDES IN

RESIDES IN

Tallahassee, Florida

La Crescent, Minnesota

Bachelor of Arts in Journalisim

CURRENT ROLE

CURRENT ROLE

RESIDES IN

Hudson, Wisconsin

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T T Y M CCOL

SI E H A K E S M J ES C

LU

M T ER

’86

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How they describe St. Kate’s.

S ’06

INNOVATIVE CHALLENGING LEADER NOSTALGIC COURAGE

DEGREE

EMPOWERING

DEGREE

Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies CURRENT ROLE

Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering

TRAILBLAZING

CURRENT ROLE

POWERFUL

Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives

Mechanical Design Lead, UTC Aerospace Systems

RESIDES IN

RESIDES IN

St. Paul, Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

GROWING AMAZING HOME BROADENING SERENE

Rockford, Illinois

WORTH IT GRATITUDE

DU

LC E O C A M PO

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B R A BA RO N

E

SH E AT

’18

S ’75

Be informed. Update your contact information at stkate.edu/updateinfo, so we can share University news and connect you with other Katies.

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DEGREE

Bachelor of Science in Business Adminstration CURRENT ROLE

DEGREE

Bachelor of Arts in Foods and Nutrition CURRENT ROLE

Inside Sales Representative, 3M’s Personal Safety Division

Faculty, St. Catherine University

RESIDES IN

St. Paul, Minnesota

ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018

Lake Elmo, Minnesota

RESIDES IN


SA

H R A N OOR

MA

RGOT NOT

M ’17 BA

2 ,’0

DEGREE

T I E OB E R M A KA N

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99

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DEGREE

DEGREE

Associate of Science, Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Bachelor of Arts in English

CURRENT ROLE

Healthcare executive; Certified Executive Coach

Owner, Margot Note Consulting, LLC; Faculty, Sarah Lawrence College

Sales Manager, Intersection Media

RESIDES IN

RESIDES IN

St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Nairobi, Kenya

LU

Master of Business Administration

CURRENT ROLE

MA

R Y B . PE A R

SO

N

O Vice President, Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe RESIDES IN

L SH ’60

83

WA

R’

DEGREE

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

Welch, Minnesota

RESIDES IN

New York, New York

C Y “LU” TA YL

CURRENT ROLE

CURRENT ROLE

DEGREE

Bachelor of Science in Nursing CURRENT ROLE

Are you still in touch with classmates? The answer is a big huge yes! Those friendships have been a stable part of our lives for 62 years, and I count them among my blessings on a regular basis. — Mary B. Pearson Walsh ’60

Retired; former psychiatric nurse and hospital administrator RESIDES IN

Downingtown, Pennsylvania and Tucson, Arizona

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KRISTEN WOMACK, KAY BAUER AND LINDA THRASHER. FUN FACT: THE ROCKING CHAIR VISIBLE IN THE BACKGROUND BELONGED TO MOTHER ANTONIA, ST. KATE’S FIRST PRESIDENT!

2018 Alumnae Awards Each year, St. Catherine recognizes graduates who demonstrate excellence in leadership and service to others. The Alumnae Award winners are not only leaders, they’re champions for women.

Kay Wilhelmy Bauer ’59 NAVY CAPTAIN

Classmates have called Kay Bauer brave for her decision to enter military service. “Really, I was just too poor to finish college any other way,” says Kay. She was the oldest of 13 children, and college funds were scarce. After changing her major to nursing as a junior, she needed a fifth year to finish a bachelor’s degree. Signing on to serve in the U.S. Navy provided the tuition assistance Kay needed to graduate. With a St. Kate’s nursing degree in hand, Kay entered the Navy. She anticipated a two year stint, but it turned into a 35-year career during which she reached the rank of captain. Kay served at bases in the U.S., Guam, Japan, Vietnam and Italy, including a tour during the Vietnam War. There, she treated U.S. soldiers, as well as Vietnamese civilians in need of medical care. In the early 1980s, Kay and other female Vietnam War veterans attended meetings aimed at getting a memorial in Washington, D.C. Through those meetings, she met others who, like herself, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since the Veterans Administration (VA) offered no PTSD care to women at the time, she formed a support group. The 25 Vietnam War nurses still gather regularly. After her military career, Kay worked as a critical care nurse at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018

Now retired, Kay has stayed active by volunteering. She designed and taught CPR courses all over Minnesota. She runs the gift store at her church. At the VA, she advocates for women veterans through the Sister to Sister program. She attends medical appointments, taking notes and offering support, so no veteran has to see a doctor alone. All along, Kay’s St. Kate’s friends have played a part in her life. From exchanging letters during her deployments to regular lunch gatherings to caring for classmates as they age, the friends are now more like family.

Linda Theis Thrasher ’88

BUSINESS LEADER AND ENTREPRENEUR From Capitol Hill to corporate boardrooms to Midwestern farms, Linda Thrasher has been a leader. As a young law school graduate, Linda moved to Washington, D.C. While anxiously searching for her first job, she called the St. Kate’s Alumnae Association. The first thing she heard from Ruth Brombach was, “Linda, it’s so nice to hear from you. How can I help?” Ruth provided contact information for alumnae in the area, and Linda reached out to each one. She soon secured a job on Capitol Hill, where she had a chance to shape issues at the national level in areas from agriculture to tax and trade legislation. In 2004, Linda was the only woman on the executive team that launched Mosaic, a Fortune 500 company. She helped take the $10B company public, and got the chance to ring the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange. Linda was later the CEO of DigitalTown, then ventured out to create Greenfield Nitrogen, a fertilizer company, with two co-founders. When the plant is up and running, it will benefit farmers in Iowa and Minnesota who apply ammonia fertilizer to their crops. Linda credits her St. Kate’s education with her ability to navigate a variety of roles and industries. “St. Kate’s gave me a liberal arts platform from which to pivot,” Linda explained. “I was an English and political science major. I never took a single business class, yet I’ve spent most of my career in the business world. I’ve learned about manufacturing, finance and chemistry. I had the critical thinking skills to learn these areas because of my liberal arts background.” Despite a busy professional and family life, Linda has made community service a priority. She’s served at St. Kate’s as chair of the Alumnae Council and a Board


PHOTO/REBECCA SLATER ’10, BY REBECCA STUDIOS

of Trustees member. Linda has also supported YWCA Minneapolis, Greater Twin Cities United Way and Second Harvest Heartland. Through her experiences, Linda has not forgotten the value of networks. “Be diligent in building your networks personally and professionally,” she advises young graduates. “It is through my networks and relationships that I’ve been able to open doors I never expected to.”

Kristen Vogel Womack ’08

PRODUCT LEADER AND COMMUNITY BUILDER Kristen Womack has been lauded for her work as a leader and innovator in the tech industry. Named one of Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, and — as co-founder of Hello Mom, — a Minnesota Business Most Likely to Succeed award winner, Kristen has made a name for herself. When Kristen landed at St. Kate’s, the power of learning in an all-women environment hit her like a ton of bricks. Watching her peers speak up in class was a revelation. In her core course, The Reflective Woman, she learned how language can hold women back, like by saying “I’m sorry” when no apology is needed, and she continued to study how language influences culture. After St. Kate’s, Kristen was hired at Best Buy, and felt at home in a role involving technology. In the 10 years since graduation, she has founded companies, built

teams, launched products, led departments (within both startups and Fortune 500 companies), consulted, and served as a board member. After having a supportive mentor herself, Kristen now works to open doors for others. Her work with the Twin Cities Geekettes and Hack the Gap, which she co-founded, allow her this mentoring opportunity. Both organizations seek to advance women in tech and close the gender gap in the industry. At a Geekettes class, she remembers watching surprised student faces when the instructor answered a question with, “I don’t know, let’s Google it.” “Understanding that it’s okay to look for help gives women permission to not have to know everything,” Kristen explains. “Women often apply for jobs only when they meet every qualification listed, and they’re holding themselves back. They don’t need to know everything; they just have to know where to look for answers.” One of Kristen’s latest projects is an app called Hello Mom, which sends supportive text messages to moms. This project is another passion for Kristen, who has her sights set on making the app so successful that she can use the platform to advance causes she cares about, like parental leave and mental health support. “Eventually, I hope everyone values life enough to value those who give life,” she says.

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B

JORDYN ARNDT ’11 HAS BEEN A MASTER OF MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY CONNECTION. AS A MENTOR, SHE IS GIVING INSIGHT AND ADVICE TO PROVIDE ST. KATE’S STUDENTS WITH THE CONNECTION BETWEEN WHERE THEY ARE NOW AND WHERE THEY WANT TO BE.

The Connection

How mentorship and the St. Kate’s alumnae/i network is raising a new generation of women leaders BY LINDSEY FREY

100 years. In a December 2017 blog post for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Jordyn Arndt ’11 writes about research predicting that it will take 100 years to reach gender equality at the top levels of U.S. corporations.

PHOTO/SCOTT SUCHMAN

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018


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Find the Opportunities Around You

“I

t’s a staggering figure,” Jordyn says. “It can lead to inaction, as the issue appears too big to tackle.”

But Jordyn is not one for inaction. She’s on the edge of completing a two-year master’s degree program in American foreign policy and international economics at Johns Hopkins University, and is driven by a belief that women need better support and mentorship to advance into leadership roles. Studies prove this repeatedly. Mentorship has a direct tie to professional advancement, and women have fewer mentorship opportunities than men despite research that suggests gender diversity improves business profitability, sales revenue and even economic growth. There remains a “leaky pipeline” of women graduating with high professional career goals and those who actually advance to senior leadership positions. A 2011 study by McKinsey found that women are filling 53 percent of entrylevel management jobs, with 37 percent of them going on to mid-management and only 26 percent advancing to vice president or high-level executive leadership. Jordyn believes better mentorship can help eliminate the drop-off and create a groundswell of support for women’s advancement into senior levels of business and government. “College graduates are at point A. They have their degree, and they know they want to end up at point C. They have goals and know where they want to go, but they aren’t always sure how to get there. What is point B? Our alumnae/i network—we can show them the B, the advice on how to get where they want to end up.” Her own experience is proof. Jordyn has sought guidance at every transition along her career path. These moments have provided her with various mentors, crucial advice, valuable connections and a steady stream of new opportunities.

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018

When Jordyn was a student at St. Kate’s, she sought out faculty and student resources to broaden her awareness of available scholarships, research positions and programs. She also used faculty office hours to gain additional time with her professors and studied abroad to expand her worldview. “Leverage that institutional support. Find the people you want to reach out to through the honors program, career development center, alumnae/i services and other places on campus. Many of those organizations can even help you get in touch or establish rapport with people of interest to you, since you have something in common to bridge the gap.” Jordyn also encourages students to turn to faculty and staff for available opportunities and connections. She credits time and advice from economics professors Nasrin Jewell and Deep Shikha for shaping her current career path. “Professors Shikha and Jewell have been very supportive of me throughout my education and career. They first introduced me to the field of international development and the importance of focusing on women.” As her interests in her economic studies grew, her dedication and vision for a more just world deepened her relationship with them and, in turn, their support for her. “It’s most effective when it happens organically,” Jordyn says of the relationship. “I went from office-hour meetings to taking additional classes and writing papers with them. It becomes symbiotic where your interests are strongest, and you find ways you can learn more from them but also support them in their work.” This reciprocation became instrumental in Jordyn’s senior year. Professor Shikha offered Jordyn a research assistant position over January term working in rural north India, and then another independent project that spring researching women in textile and clothing manufacturing. Jordyn’s resulting research paper earned her selection as one of 36 students worldwide to present her research at the 2011 Education Without Borders conference in Dubai. “During this time, I applied for different scholarships and study abroad opportunities, and they always supported me,” Jordyn said of her professors. “They wrote numerous recommendation letters and provided advice to help guide me along the way.”


After graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in French, international business and economics, Jordyn’s extra application efforts paid off. She received a 2012 Fulbright Scholarship to study women in textile and clothing manufacturing in Morocco. She spent 10 months documenting the experiences of women there, which cemented her desire to work in international policy.

Bravely Seek New Connections Jordyn’s next move was to Singapore, where she worked first as a research analyst and, later, as the government affairs manager at the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham). Shortly after her arrival, she attended a dialogue on Singapore’s future. The discussion was led by Australia native Penny Burtt, who was head of public affairs and external relations for global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Jordyn discovered that Penny had previously served in the Australian Foreign Service and attended The Women’s College within The University of Sydney, where she majored in economics and political science. Seeing they had a common foundation, Jordyn took a risk and asked if she’d be willing to meet for coffee. “I wanted to get to know her and learn more about her work,” Jordyn said. “She was very generous to agree to meet with me. Despite her busy schedule, she was helpful and supportive and we stayed in touch. She would send me different opportunities or provide suggestions of people to reach out to.” Over the next two years, Penny maintained a keen interest in Jordyn’s work and pursuits. Eventually, they were matched in a formal mentorship program. “She proposed we meet once a month. However, I hesitated to be in contact too frequently. I didn’t want to impose too much on her time.”

But Penny always made time for Jordyn and made it clear she was giving her full attention when they were together. “When you can sense that level of dedication from someone, it helps the mentee want to try to further that relationship,” Jordyn said. “I always got the sense that this was something she felt was important, and she would try her best to make the time for it.” Penny, now a vice president of government affairs in Asia Pacific for Visa, confirmed the commitment. “My goal was to support Jordyn in her work with the Chamber while also helping her to build both her professional skills and personal leadership for the longer term,” she said. Only 54 percent of women have access to senior leaders for mentorship or informal sponsorship in their careers, according to a 2017 study by Swiss consulting and executive recruitment firm Egon Zehnder. This statistic also suggests that women must be more deliberate in seeking out mentors and establishing relationships with influencers. “I have been very fortunate in my career to be supported by other women in so many ways,” says Penny. “Young women in the workplace are half as likely as men to have sponsors, and not all of them have mentors. Building and using relationships with successful, more senior women is an important way that young women can accelerate their careers and help both themselves and the rest of us address the sad reality that women remain systemically underrepresented at the most senior levels of business, government and policy. More women leaders at the most senior levels of our community, would, I believe, lead to greater diversity of thought, leadership models and better decision-making.” Jordyn echoes Penny’s beliefs. “For effective policymaking, we need to have diverse voices at the table to consider different points of view a nd exa mine how salient issues affect our communities. St. Kate’s reinforced that message for me,” she said. “I’d like to see more institutional reform across government, the private sector and civil society to ensure gender and other forms of diversity are factored into hiring and promotion decisions,”

PHOTO/SCOTT SUCHMAN

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BY HELPING OTHER WOMEN RISE, JORDYN BELIEVES ALL WOMEN BENEFIT. IN JANUARY 2018, JORDYN SPENT TIME WITH FOUR KATIES ATTENDING A PUBLIC LEADERSHIP EDUCATION NETWORK SEMINAR IN WASHINGTON, D.C., EVEN INVITING THE STUDENTS TO HER CIVIL SERVICE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY THE FOLLOWING DAY.

Jordyn continues. “The most qualified people who are going to add value to their teams—one way being through their unique perspectives—should be embraced by all organizations.” Jordyn and Penny continue to stay in touch and now consider their relationship a personal friendship. Penny supported Jordyn through her master’s degree work and the creation of her own intern-mentorship program at AmCham, where she gained management and mentoring experience. She also wrote a letter of recommendation that Jordyn credits, in part, for her successful application for graduate school at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., where Jordyn currently studies. “I am so hugely proud of all that Jordyn has achieved, and her incredible energy and determination in getting there,” Penny says. Their relationship makes a strong case for taking a risk and asking someone’s advice. Thinking on their initial encounter, Jordyn references Keith Ferrazzi’s 2005 book Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time. “This book transformed my perception of networking. It’s about meaningfully connecting with people, not schmoozing,” she says. “You never know how the relationship will develop. In this case, it developed into much more than I thought it would. And seeing how that happened has influenced how I respond when Katies or other people reach out to me.” According to a study by Development Dimensions International (DDI), 73 percent of women surveyed were more likely to mentor other women than to mentor men. This data makes a strong case for current students to reach out to an alumna or fellow women’s college graduate. Not only is the student likely to receive a positive response—DDI reported 71 percent of women in its study said they always accept invitations to mentor— but they already have something in common on which to start their conversation.

Pay It Forward The opportunities, advice and time Penny provided her inspired Jordyn to give back in ways of her own. “She went above and beyond what I would have expected. I’m more involved in mentoring than I would otherwise have been because of Penny’s generosity and my desire to pay it forward and help others. I know Penny

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018

did it, and she was really busy, but that’s how you help contribute to a better world—helping others achieve their goals while you pursue your own.” In 2016, while in her first year of graduate school at SAIS, Jordyn was contacted by Rebecca Roepke ’11, a St. Kate’s adjunct and fellow alumna. She had a first-year student, Erin Nelsen ’20, who was looking for someone in the international relations field she could interview for her introductory course, The Reflective Woman (TRW). Jordyn gladly agreed to the interview. Just a year after this seemingly one-off interaction, the Antonian Honors Program launched a mentorship program of its own, and Jordyn and Erin were officially matched. Nearly two years later, their mentoring relationship has been conducted almost entirely by phone and email. Jordyn would send resources for Erin to review. Erin would ask for advice on her résumés, internship opportunities and other topics. “Working with Jordyn has helped me refine my goals and take steps to achieve them, learn more about scholarships, fellowships and graduate schools, and provided me with a strong female role model in the discipline,” Erin says. “Jordyn has accomplished so much in the field of international relations. She is such a strong and inspirational woman, and I am so grateful for her mentorship. I would not be close to where I am today without all the advice and support that she has given me.” When it came time for Erin to decide on internship and study abroad programs, Jordyn was able to share the lessons she learned and the challenges she faced during her time in India, Senegal and Morocco, as well as tips for navigating the complex exam process for the Foreign Service. “As Penny had done for me, I weighed in but ultimately allowed Erin to make her own decisions. I encouraged her to study abroad in Africa, which was a possibility she was considering,” Jordyn says. “Erin is already doing phenomenal work, so I’m only serving in a supporting role. She applied for an internship at the State Department to be at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar in Senegal this summer. I was able to put her in touch with people I knew who worked in the Foreign Service at the embassy there.” Jordyn and Erin finally met in person in January 2018. Erin was traveling to D.C. to attend the Public Leadership Education Network: Women in Public Policy Seminar through St. Kate’s. Jordyn attended the reception and


PHOTO/COURTESY JORDYN ARNDT

spent time speaking with Erin and three other St. Kate’s students: Andrea Duarte ’19, Stefany Calderon ’18 and Biftu Bussa ’18. They enjoyed their time together so much, Jordyn invited all four of the students to attend a ceremony the following day where she was formally sworn into the Civil Service by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Biftu recalls the invitation. “Jordyn’s own family couldn’t attend the swearing-in ceremony, so she said, ‘My St. Kate’s family can be there instead.’ It was just so cool that she thought of us. To go into that building and see what happens there in that environment—for her to want us to be there for her special moment—that’s what I love about St. Kate’s. We have this special connection just by going to the same school.” Stefany and Andrea agree. “As young women, it gives us a real sense of empowerment,” Stefany says. “Just being in the space, knowing someone who has gone through that process and whose experience education-wise is similar to yours, it gives you that leverage of, ‘I can do this. That could be me as well.’ Just to be there with Jordyn, it was a sisterhood to be able to experience that together.” Andrea says, “Jordyn was a huge highlight of my trip. It was incredible to be there at her ceremony with former Secretary Rex Tillerson. She treated us to lunch afterward. We wanted to pay for ourselves as a gesture

of thanks for taking us to the ceremony, but she told us that when we’re in her position, we can give back to others like she did for us.” It meant a lot to Jordyn to have her fellow Katies there as well. She pledged her support to each of them after learning of their goals and accomplishments, and almost immediately followed up with them when they returned to Minnesota. “After they attended my swearing in, I sent them each a follow-up email with links to resources I’d suggested they consider,” Jordyn says. “If I hear about a scholarship opportunity or an internship program in D.C., I forward it to them, modeling how my mentors have supported me. It seems small, but it’s not. As you progress in your career, you get access to more information, opportunities, and people. Making someone aware of a new opportunity can be transformative, and I have always appreciated when others have done that for me. “Also, I try to recognize their achievements and send them a quick note. When Andrea became a finalist for the Truman Scholarship, I put her in touch with Janessa Schilmoeller ’11, who was a Truman finalist from my year. I knew she could provide her with advice on the interview process, and how to put her best self forward to become a recipient.”

Inspire Connection Jordyn’s generosity with her time, advice and attention has inspired all four of the students to find their own ways to mentor. “Even though I’m graduating, I want to be there for others like they were for me,” Biftu says. “St. Kate’s is

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such a special place to me, and I’ve learned so much. I want to be there for people in my space now. To help those people succeed, advance in their experience as well.” Andrea hopes others will reach out to her. “I have four mentees right now who are younger students, and another who is a Latina from my hometown. Having Jordyn as a mentor, I want to be the Katie that she is, give advice, or if I’m not the right person, connect them to someone like she did for me with her classmate Janessa.” Stefany has been accepted into the Peace Corps to work in Botswana, where she’ll work with the local government and support a national program for HIV/AIDS prevention. “I have a mentee from St. Kate’s who is from Zimbabwe who I’m still very close with,” Stefany says. “While I’m in Botswana, her family has invited me to spend Christmas with them. It just shows what a long way mentorship can go.” Erin was thrilled to let Jordyn know she received the internship at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar. She has since moved to Senegal to intern with Réseau Siggil Jigéen, a women’s rights organization, until her internship at the embassy begins. “I love seeing photos of what she’s doing in Senegal,” Jordyn says. “It makes me so happy to see that she’s enjoying her time there and making the most of the experience.”

“Jordyn has helped me so much, which has, in turn, inspired me to help mentor others,” Erin writes from Dakar. “I want to encourage Katies and all women to take some risks, ask for help and push themselves to be their best selves. If you want something, ask for it. If it happens, you’re better off. If it doesn’t happen, ask someone else. You’re not likely to get what you want unless you go after it.” Jordyn has also made career moves worth celebrating. She recently accepted a position as a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the State Department in Washington, D.C. This step positions her well to achieve her goal of working at the intersection of business, human rights and diplomacy. “We still have a long way to go,” she says, noting the national conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement and the outcomes of recent elections. “St. Kate’s can play an important role in helping women advance by preparing them for leadership roles. We all can. “I can celebrate with young women I’ve mentored when they are selected for top scholarships or job opportunities, and I can express gratitude when I share good news with my mentors. These are tangible experiences that have a profound impact on an individual and a societal level. This is how we can effect change. Framing the issue in this way motivates me to continue prioritizing professional development and fostering and maintaining relationships.” If Jordyn’s story inspires more women to connect with one another and share their knowledge and experiences, maybe it won’t take 100 years after all.

Be the connection. Look for role models. Reach out to your alumnae/i network for support and connections. Search outside your organization using social media. Volunteer or attend events that put you into a different set of professionals. Share a useful resource or book. Pass along the contact information for someone who would make a great mentor. Create opportunities where they are missing.

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And never undervalue the insights, wisdom and experiences you’ve acquired that might benefit someone else. The Alumnae/i Relations office is piloting a new graduate mentoring program with Menttium, a local business focused on providing mentoring services. At the end of the pilot, future plans will be determined. More to come in 2019!


Get to Know Your Fellow Katies

ERIN NELSEN

ANDREA DUARTE

STEFANY CALDERON

BIFTU BUSSA

CLASS: 2020

CLASS: 2019

CLASS: 2018

CLASS: 2018

MAJORS: Women and International Development and International Relations

MAJOR: Political Science

MAJOR: Public Health with a concentration in Public Policy

MAJOR: Public Health with concentrations in Public Policy and Health Sciences

MINOR: French GOAL: Work as a foreign service officer in the economics sector of the U.S. Department of State ACHIEVEMENTS: Intern with the Bureau of African Affairs in the U.S. embassy in Dakar, Senegal; campaign fellowship with Klobuchar for Minnesota; Principal Community Scholar; creator of “leading toget[her]” INSPIRATION: “I want to challenge my basic truths and become my best self through meaningful service. All of my experiences have led me to my internship in Senegal, and this will lead me to the next opportunity to make a positive difference in our world.

MINORS: Women’s Studies, Communications and Journalism GOAL: Pursue a master’s degree in public policy and juris doctor degree at the University of Minnesota ACHIEVEMENTS: Truman Scholar, Phillips Scholar INSPIRATION: “I’ve always known I wanted to help people. I’m a first-generation college student. My parents are Mexican immigrants. We’ve lived in many communities, mainly in the Midwest and in California, where people are from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Many of them are people of color and many are immigrants. I’ve lived through an ICE raid, and my uncle was deported. It led me to question the immigration system and to learn more about government and how policies are changed.

GOAL: Serve in the Peace Corps

MINOR: Psychology

ACHIEVEMENTS: Member of the Peace Corps, intern at the Constituent Services Department in the Governor’s Office, Outstanding Collaborative Leadership Award INSPIRATION: “Interning at the Governor’s Office, I’ve realized my passion is within policy with healthcare as my main interest. My family and I cofounded a family clinic in El Salvador, where I’m from, and being able to plan out budgets, policies and other things required to open a clinic was the main driver for me wanting to pursue this as a career.

GOAL: Become a physician assistant and eventually work on healthcare policy ACHIEVEMENTS: Intern for the Office of Inclusion in the Governor’s Office, president of the Student Senate, Outstanding Collaborative Leadership Award, accepted to the Morehouse College Public Health internship INSPIRATION: “I lived in Ethiopia during middle and high school, and it shaped the person I am. I learned about the privilege and opportunities I have in the U.S. I want to focus on preventative care and changing the current health system. I want to advocate for people of color to improve their health and their access to healthcare.

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A

lumnae/i Relations staff members Ruth Haag Brombach ’60 (right) and Stephanie Herr ’17 (left) have heard from countless graduates over the years. Here, they share their sense of why staying connected to your alma mater matters.

Stay Connected Why should alumnae/i stay connected? Ruth: The school you graduate from remains a part of your credentials; your reputation forever links to that of your school. By staying involved, graduates can share their input and ideas to keep improving the University. Stephanie: The relationships forged here can last a lifetime. They prompt a cycle of giving that allows graduates to continuously support each other and students. As your connections help you to succeed, you can open doors for those who come after you.

What’s the best part of working with alums? Ruth: I am fascinated by the desire of our alumnae/i to help others. Whether by giving advice to another alum, donating to current students or volunteering, Katies demonstrate time and again how committed they are to lifting each other up. Stephanie: Alumnae/i are bound together by their shared experiences and memories of campus. They have a connection to this place that washes away the distance and decades between them.

O/R PHOT

How has St. Kate’s remained a part of your life after graduation?

EB E

Ruth: My children were raised by the 8,000 St. Kate’s alumnae in the world when I graduated. My fellow graduates taught me invaluable lessons about job hunting, motherhood and dealing with the curveballs life throws at you — lessons I wouldn’t have gotten from anywhere else.

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Stephanie: St. Kate’s has become a place where I can take the sense of community that I felt as a student and work to ensure that other graduates have that same feeling of belonging when they come home.

ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018


KATIES WHO WORK AT ST. KATE’S (LEFT TO RIGHT): KATHLEEN (KAY) TWEETEN MAHS CERT’99, MARY OLUWALOWO ’16, DREUX HEMPE ’07, OSIRIS GUZMAN 2M’93, AND REBECCA MCGILL ’79, MAOL’94.

Forever St. Catherine O/R PHOT EB E CC AS

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Dear Alumnae/i, We write this letter to you on behalf of the more than 100 of us who bear two connections to this great institution: as graduates and as faculty or staff. Some of us graduated from St. Kate’s first, and loved the University so much that we came home to a career here. Others of us came to St. Kate’s as faculty or staff and were called to deepen our connection by becoming students and earning new degrees. On either path, we know firsthand the power of a St. Kate’s education and are witness to the incredible impact engaged alumnae/i can have on this wonderful institution. When St. Kate’s graduates, like you, leave the gates of campus, they are forever tied to the University. You are our legacy and the living examples of what happens when women and men are educated to lead and influence. We take great pride in the ways in which you make a difference in your communities, families, organizations and the world. We see the legacy of our beloved St. Kate’s grow stronger each year as we watch the next class of Katies enter the University in the fall and another class graduate in the spring. If you haven’t interacted with St. Kate’s students lately, we can assure you, they are inspiring and impressive. Like those who have come before them (you!), they are smart, they are passionate, and they are bold. We are thrilled to know the next generation of leaders will join our alumnae/i ranks and are poised to make the world better in countless ways. With more than 48,000 living alums, the Katie community is a strong force. We are leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, parents, teachers, lawyers, judges, nurses, doctors, social workers, librarians, humanitarians, scientists, researchers, members of Congress and more. We are making an impact through our careers, volunteer work and families, but we can make an impact at St. Kate’s, too. By staying engaged and serving as ambassadors for our alma mater, we strengthen and grow our community. We encourage you to share your time and talent with us; there are many ways to get involved. We are honored to be Katies and to be part of this wonderful community with you. Together, we carry on the heritage of this great institution and ensure that we are Forever St. Catherine.

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Be engaged. Share your expertise as a guest speaker for a class or student club.  entor a Katie. Your knowledge M and experience can help students and new grads be successful.  ell others how St. Kate’s T impacted your life. Your story can inspire others.  ake a financial contribution. M Your gifts help support other Katies. stkate.edu/giveback  hare your news and accomplishS ments. We love to celebrate with you! stkate.edu/share-news

Sincerely, Faculty and Staff Alums

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HEADED BY

CHAPTERS IN

23 18 CITIES

80

CHAPTER LEADERS

STATES

Katies Connect Through Chapters HOSTING MORE THAN

OLDEST CHAPTERS

50

Twin Cities Milwaukee

EVENTS PER YEAR

New York

Be social. stkate.edu/chapters

FOR MORE THAN

700

KATIE ALUMNAE/I

Washington, D.C. Chicago

OLDEST ALUMNA STILL ATTENDING CHAPTER EVENTS

Kansas City Seattle Earliest established

1928

TRUDY MACK ’40 97 years old Chicago Chapter

NEWEST CHAPTER “Global Katies” International Chapter Established 2018

> Join St. Kate’s Global Katies

CHAPTER THAT HOSTED THE MOST EVENTS 2017–18 NAPLES, FLORIDA Hosted six events

on Facebook

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY • SPECIAL EDITION 2018


I love my classmates, and I now consider them a part of my family. My peers were in service to my success as they were to their own. From them, I learned that serving others only worked to support and develop my own success, as we are all connected. I have also been touched by the compassion, strength and resilience of my peers. Many of us work multiple jobs, have families, and are still achieving academically. This

women can accomplish anything if they are empowered. to me is a testament to the fact that

Elizabeth Juarez Diaz ’18 COLLEGE FOR WOMEN COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Empower a Katie today with a gift to the Katie Fund. Your contribution supports scholarships and all that advances student success, including career readiness, undergraduate research, innovative course offerings and classroom technology. Every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference. stkate.edu/giveback

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