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Alumni Profiles and Careers

Asia Connections

CSB/SJU alumnae/i are actively working in and with Asia in a variety of fascinating ways, and our faculty and staff regularly travel abroad or host guests from Asia on our campuses. To learn more about their stories, choose a region:




  • Courtney Kimball (CSB '13) and Kunihiro Shimoji (SJU '13) participated in the 63rd Annual Japan America Student Conference. For more about their experiences, visit their blog.
  • Alex Cady (SJU '09) and Masaaki Genka (SJU '08) take part in 30th Design Festa Art Show
  • Masaichiro Nashiro, Visiting Japanese Scholar, Completes Ed.D.

South Asia

Southeast Asia

  • Kathryn Green, CSB '09 Receives Fellowship for Position in Thailand

United States / Asian America

  • Dhiraj Pant, SJU '05, is to complete his Ph.D. in Economics at Notre Dame in May 2012, and move to Washington, D.C. to work as an economist.
  • Jonathan Keillor, SJU '08, Pursues JD/LLM at Duke
  • Andy Morris '10 Shares Japan-Related Internship Experiences 

CSB/SJU Asia Hands (majors and minors):

  • Mike Ludwig (SJU '95) managed a manufacturing plant in southern China.
  • Amy Lund (CSB '96) taught courses with Asia content at a Wisconsin high school.
  • Anthony Sandeen (SJU '96) oversaw global marketing for the Amphenol Corporation in Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
  • Tony Nicklow (SJU '96) served as intern and then employee at the U.S. embassy in Beijing for several years.
  • Cher Thao (CSB '97), an individualized Asian Studies major, is a Social Security administrator serving the Hmong community in the Twin Cities.
  • Chor Lee (CSB '97), cousin of Cher Thao, worked on Hmong cultural materials at the Minnesota History Center and subsequently graduated from law school.
  • Lor Lee (CSB '97) counsels Hmong students in suburban Twin Cities schools.
  • Timothy Berglund (SJU '97), an individualized Asian Studies major, taught English in Japan and now manages a manufacturing plant in southern China.
  • Emily Dahm (CSB '97) taught English at SWU, earned a China-focused joint doctoral degree in international relations at Tufts University and in law at the University of California, Berkeley. 
  • Kiyoaki Tanaka (SJU '97), an individualized Asian Studies major, studied in Japan and now works in Toyota's New York office.
  • Eleise Jones (CSB '98) studied and taught for Maryknoll in China, took an M.A. in Chinese Studies at the London School of Oriental and African Studies, served as Associate Editor of Cheng & Tsui, a prestigious Boston-based publisher of Asian Studies books, and now directs the Asia Society's nationwide China Learning Initiatives Program.
  • Angela Anderson (CSB'98), taught for Maryknoll in China and worked for the Minnesota House of Representatives.
  • Elaine Garbe (CSB '98) interned at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, directed international programs at the Minnesota International Center, took an M.A. degree in Chinese Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University (where she was personal assistant to the school's Dean), and worked for an NGO.
  • Vinh Ho (SJU '98) was a co-president of the student Asia Club, interned at the Minnesota Trade Office, taught for Maryknoll in China, received his M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai'i, coordinated the university's Asian-Pacific Leadership Program, and serves on the National Association of Asian MBAs, Midwest Global Trade Association, and other boards.  In January 2015, he became Import/Export Analyst at Medtronic.
  • Vanessa Brigham (CSB '98) took her M.A. in Asian Studies at The University of Kansas and now works in city government. 
  • Toshiko Kawabata (CSB '98) did an internship at Kiku Enterprises in Minneapolis.
  • Nahoko Hori (CSB '98) interned and became an Asia manager at Banner Engineering in Minneapolis.
  • Gabriel Alisna (SJU '98), an individualized Asian Studies major, now directs the debate program at Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawai'i; he also manages the school's annual summer institutes for students from around the Pacific Rim.
  • Brian Lynch (SJU '98) interned in Asian trade at the Minnesota Trade Office, taught in Okinawa, and for many years has been a manager of Medtronic's Asia Pacific operation, in Tokyo and now at the Minnesota headquarters.
  • Carol Ruechert (CSB '99) taught in China for five years prior to managing a company which teaches business English to Chinese entrepreneurs.
  • David Harrison (SJU '99), studied at Sophia University in Tokyo, coordinated the Hong Kong-based Maryknoll China Service Project, recruited managers for Asia-based corporations, and is now an executive at Thompson-Reuters. 
  • Kim Therres (CSB '00) taught for Mayknoll in China, recruited students of color in the CSB/SJU Admission Office, and is now a YWCA executive.
  • Nathan Heuercamp (SJU '00), taught for Maryknoll in China and is now involved in the Twin Cities non-profit community.
  • Biraj Bista (SJU '00) worked for an NGO which promotes reproductive health in his native Nepal and is now pursuing an environmental studies Ph.D. in South Korea in preparation for taking this expertise back to Nepal after he graduates..
  • Damon Terhaar (SJU '00) taught in China and now works for Goldman Sachs in Tokyo.
  • Kiyoko Terhaar (CSB '00) has worked in BGU's International Programs office.
  • Naomi Nakada (CSB '00) shard Japanese culture with pre-schoolers at St. David's School in Minneapolis before returning to Tokyo, where she taught at ABC International School prior to completing her M.A. in Early Childhood Development.
  • Kevin Clancy (SJU '00) studied in China (where he produced a DVD on preparing CSB/SJU students for China study), wrote a Communication honors thesis on China, taught in China, coordinated the Maryknoll China teachers program for years and is now an administrator at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.
  • Ryan Hemmingsen (SJU '00), taught for Maryknoll in China, earned an MBA degree from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and is with Wells Fargo.
  • Lia Veenendal (CSB '00) wrote her senior Communication thesis in collaboration with Asian Studies.
  • Therese Albertson (CSB '01), an individualized Asian Studies major (with a senior thesis on the role of CSB's Benedictine sisters at China's Furen University), studied and taught in China, did an M.A. in management and Asian Studies at the University of California, San Diego, worked for an international accounting firm in Beijing, and helped Best Buy set up operations in China.
  • Mary Ebnet (CSB '01) taught English to Buddhist monks in Thailand through Maryknoll.
  • Gretchen Weber (CSB '01) co-taught with Mary in Thailand.
  • Michael Boerboom (SJU '01) taught for Maryknoll in China, took an M.A. in Chinese Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, and is now a China specialist for the U.S. government.
  • Kate Francis (CSB '01) taught with her husband, Mike Boerboom, for Maryknoll in China and took her M.A. degree in Chinese Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.
  • Shaun Crumb (SJU '01) taught for Maryknoll in China, worked in SJU's Campus Ministry office, and is now studying for the Maryknoll priesthood.
  • Eric Sumangil (SJU '01) majored in Asian Studies and is now a prominent actor and playwright in Twin Cities Asian American theater.  He also acts in television commercials.
  • John Schaus (SJU '01), former Maryknoll teacher, earned an M.A. at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and manages a program at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • Ryan McCarthy (SJU '01), taught for Maryknoll in China, earned a Harvard M.A. in International Education, worked to expand U.S.-China student exchange programs, and earned a Ph.D. in international education from the University of Minnesota, where he now holds an administrative position in that field.
  • Molly McClure (CSB '01), taught for Maryknoll in China and graduated from the University of Minnesota's graduate program in social work.
  • Joseph Tinguely (SJU '01) was commencement speaker for his graduating class, taught for Maryknoll in China, and attended medical school.
  • Rebecca Starr (CSB '02), an individualized Asian Studies major, won a Rotary International Scholarship for multi-year Chinese language study in Taiwan.
  • Damon Ter Haar (SJU '02) taught for Maryknoll in China, took an M.A. in International Business at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, and works for Goldman Sachs in Tokyo. 
  • Alyssa Francis (CSB '02) taught for Maryknoll in China, developed an ESL curriculum for the Twin Cities Hmong community, and pursued ESL graduate studies at Columbia University.
  • Andrew Schmitt (JSU '02) taught for the Peace Corps in China prior to entering a Catholic seminary in St. Louis.
  • Wendy Fuglestad (CSB '02) pursued graduate art education in China and studied for a Ph.D. degree in Chinese art at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Ryan Tauer (SJU '02) taught for Maryknoll in China and is now working in Asia-related publishing.
  • Michael Cass (SJU '02) taught for Maryknoll in China, pursued an internship at a Chinese law firm in Shanghai, completed a University of Minnesota China-focused law degree, and clerked for a Hennepin County judge.
  • Dia Yang (CSB '03) is a high school counselor of Hmong and other Southeast Asian students in the St. Paul public schools.
  • Erin Gleason ('03) wrote an honors thesis on the destruction of Cambodian artistic traditions by the Khmer Rouges; mounted an exhibition of photographs of the aftermath of Cambodia's "Killing Fields," and now pursues art-related NGO work in Cambodia.
  • Yoshimi Nakada (CSB '03) is employed by Medtronic, Tokyo, in market relations.
  • Yumi Hirayama (CSB '03) works in BGU's International Programs Office.
  • Chinatsu Inage (CSB '03) is employed by Air France in Tokyo.
  • Ross Anderson (SJU '03) is President of Midwest Rubber - Asia, based in Shanghai.
  • James Polga (SJU '03) studied and taught in China and coordinated community outreach programs at the University of Minnesota's China Center.
  • Anthony Sandeen (SJU '03) took Asian Studies courses and became Director of Global Marketing for the Mobile Division of Amphenol Corporation in Hong Kong.
  • Hoa Thi Nguyen (CSB '04), recipient of Asian Studies scholarships, chair of the campus Asia Club, and recipient of an Asian Pacific Leadership Award from the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, worked in the CSB/SJU Admission Office and most recently has been in the insurance industry.
  • Ryo Aikawa (SJU '04) studied in China and now runs his father's Japan-based business in Shanghai.
  • Charles Hipp (SJU '04) founded and taught at a primary school in China, worked as a consultant in Beijing, and is now a manager for Ecolab in China.
  • Ryan Heinz (SJU '04) co-founder of and teacher at the school referenced above.
  • Jeff Fellman (SJU '04) taught in China and now runs a North Dakota-based consulting firm which helps American companies enter the China market.
  • Katie McCarnie (CSB '04) taught for Maryknoll in China and is now Associate Director of Admission at CSB/SJU.
  • James Zamjahn (SJU '04) taught business in Thailand and earned an Asia-focused MBA degree.
  • Sophie Mohan (CSB '04) took an M.A. degree in Chinese Studies at The Johns Hopkins' University School of Advanced International Studies.
  • Anna Murayama (CSB '04), who came to CSB through our institutional ties to Okinawa's Shogaku High School, obtained her M.A. degree at Japan's prestigious Tokyo University in May 2008 and assists Minnesotans to maintain contacts in Okinawa.
  • Heidi Rodning Park (CSB '04) developed ESL materials and did graduate studies in South Korea and has pursued a journalism career.
  • Andrew Malone (SJU '04) now teaches courses on Asia at Central High School in Edina, Minnesota.
  • Jessica M. Davis (CSB '04), taught English at Central South Forestry University in China's Hunan province, where she organized a pen pal exchange between students there and at CSB/SJU.
  • Lue Moua (SJU '05), an individualized Asian Studies major, is now a Lutheran pastor to the Twin Cities Hmong community.
  • Paul Wegerson (SJU '05) taught for Maryknoll in China, edited an English-language newspaper in southern China, and now works in Beijing for Burson-Marsteller, which promoted the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 
  • Tom Kain (SJU '05) minored in Asian Studies and wrote a senior History thesis on President Theodore Roosevelt's mediation of the 1905 Portsmouth Treaty (which concluded the Russo-Japanese War).  It was published in Wittenberg University's Journal of East Asian Studies, a preeminent journal of undergraduate Asian Studies scholarship.  He studied in Japan, taught in Okinawa, and completed his M.A. in East Asian Studies at Sophia University in March 2008. 
  • Aaron Toussaint (SJU '05), minored in Asian Studies, studied in Japan, taught in Okinawa, worked at BGU, and has completed graduate studies at Sophia University.
  • Chad Reker (SJU '05) taught in China and Japan and is currently employed in BGU's International Programs Office.
  • Brian Heilman (SJU '06) was awarded an America India Foundation Service Corps Fellowship to promote the expansion of NGOs in Bengal, India. 
  • Philip Benusa (SJU '06), an individualized Asian Studies major, interned at a Hong Kong-based American firm and now pursues Asian business for Crown.
  • Kristina Sherman (CSB '06) studied and taught in China, completed her practitioner's degree in Chinese medicine, and now practices Asian medicine in Arizona.
  • Matthew Bonham (SJU '06) taught at Southwest University in China and subsequently worked for a Minnesota company in China.
  • Joseph Fuschetto (SJU '06) taught in China for several years and now practices law.
  • Mark Murphy (SJU '06) wrote an outstanding senior History thesis on late-imperial Korean contact with the West, taught English in South Korea for several years, earned his M.A. degree in international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul, and is about to graduate from law school.
  • Lee Miller (SJU '07) became interested in Asia in an FYS class, pursued an accounting career, and recently began teaching English in South Korea.
  • Nick Lenczewski (SJU '07), taught for Maryknoll in China, made an instructional DVD to help young Americans enhance their intercultural communication skills, and is Global Support Analyst at Global Measures International.  He also provides training services to help Americans and Chinese communicate better.
  • Peter Jordet (SJU '07) did a summer internship at the Japan-America Society of Minnesota and taught English at BGU.  He is now an architect, having taken his architecture degree focused on Japanese architectural methods at the University of Iowa.
  • Eve Vang (CSB '07), who, with her faculty adviser, Manju Parikh, received one of four coveted 2006-07 grants from the Social Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research to study the public health ramifications of the Minnesota Hmong experience, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to research Hmong in Thailand.
  • An Doan (CSB '07) wrote an Asia-related honors thesis and interned at an organization in China and Hong Kong which helps Chinese universities globalize their curricula.  Currently, she is studying intensive Chinese in Beijing in preparation for undertaking graduate studies in Chinese affairs.
  • Jonathan Keillor (SJU '07), an Individualized Asian Studies Major, wrote a prize-winning honors thesis on "Hakka Cultural Influence on the Taiping Rebellion" and presented it at the 2007 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Salisbury University in Maryland.  He graduated from Duke University Law School with a specialty in Asian law and is now an attorney in Vietnam.
  • John Van Rooy (SJU '07) taught English in Jaipur, India, won a prestigious William J. Clinton Fellowship in South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, and is now teaching English in Saudi Arabia.