Reunion Awards

Each year, the CSB Alumnae Board, on behalf of College of Saint Benedict, present Reunion Awards to four outstanding alumnae from reunion years whose daily lives reflect and honor the Benedictine tradition and mission of our alma mater. The four awards - S. Emmanuel Renner Service Award, Distinguished Alumna Award, Decade Award and the Benedictine Service Award - will be presented this year to alums from the reunion classes ending in "4" or "9". View past recipients.

Join us in congratulating our 2014 award-winners and be sure to register for the Gala Dinner on Saturday, June 28 during reunion weekend when we will hear their inspiring stories and celebrate the accomplishments of the 21,000 amazing Bennies around the world.

Sister Emmanuel Renner Service Award

Lynn Newman '79
Operations Manager, Evergreen Community Church

While Lynn's official title is operations manager at Evergreen Church, she pursues another full-time venture as a volunteer at Saint Ben's. She is in her second nine-year term on the board and is currently serving as board chair. While on the board, she has provided extensive leadership to the college, including spearheading the search for the college's 15th president. Lynn is also her class ambassador and an active member of the CSB President's Circle.

Lynn embodies many of the Benedictine values as she strives to live a balanced and mindful life. She is passionate about Saint Ben's as is evident in her extensive volunteer time and commitment over the years. She believes in the importance of "empowering women" and wants to see more Bennies ignited with an eternal flame for Saint Ben's. Lynn leads by example, and is well-respected by her colleagues and fellow board members. 

The Sister Emmanuel Renner Award honors an alumna for her service to the College of Saint Benedict and recognizes her contributions as a leader, steward and volunteer to her alma mater.     


Benedictine Service Award

Teresa Hess Seifert '89
Neonatal RN, Healtheast Hospitals

Theresa Seifert had a lifelong fear of blood and never imagined a career in the medical field. She graduated from Saint Ben's with an English degree and spent a year working in Haiti as a student. She quickly realized that an immediate concern was the lack of health care and that she did not have the skillset to provide what was needed. She was motivated by the quote "What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?" and she faced her fears and went to nursing school. Currently, she is a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Health East Hospitals in St. Paul. 

After obtaining her nursing degree, she teamed up with the nonprofit, Friends of the Orphans, and returned to Haiti to finish what she set out to do early in her career. She helped develop a NICU in Haiti and taught Haitian people how to perform certain nursing skills themselves. She has been back to Haiti five times and has even learned to speak Haitian Creole to become the most effective volunteer she can be. 

The Benedictine Service Award honors an alumna who has made a significant impact on those around her for her continued commitment and contributions to community service and social justice at a regional, national, or international level while also demonstrating a commitment to the Benedictine spirit of giving, hospitality, love of others, listening and social stewardship.

Decade Award

Ellie Jelsing, M.D. '04
Sports and Spine Physician, Clinical Assistant Professor,
University of Washington

Ellie attended the prestigious Mayo Medical School, where she pursued physical medicine and rehab in order to help increase patients' quality of life. She is now a sports and spine physician at the University of Washington. She has a long history of being a leader among her peers and using her experience in the medical field to serve her community. 

Ellie has demonstrated her global consciousness through her extensive work abroad. She was one of three American medical students who chose to do their clinical residencies for medical school in Tanzania. She also traveled to Haiti with a medical mission group, Project Haiti, to offer free medical services to the Haitian people. She also shares her talents with her local community by providing medical coverage for local sports teams and volunteering as a mentor through the local YMCA and Rochester Better Chance Tutor. 

The Decade Award honors a 2003 alumna who is recognized by her peers as a great role model and leader for younger alumnae because her outstanding achievements, representing global consciousness and community involvement in her chosen profession.

Distinguished Alumna Award

Colonel Kimberly S. Kuhn '89

Colonel, Military Police

United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID)

United States Army

Colonel Kuhn began her military career as a ROTC Student and Distinguished Military Graduate from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University. As a student she was not only one of the two non-nursing females in the ROTC program, she, along with her fellow Bennie, were also in the elite competitive training group, the Raiders. She continued to push down barriers by seeking and obtaining a commission into the Military Police. Cadet Kuhn was commissioned into the Regular Army in 1989 as a Second Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps, the first commissioned Military Police Officer out of the St. John's ROTC program.  

She continued to work hard, advancing in her military career at a commendable rate: from Platoon Leader in Germany and Panama, to Company Commander in Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina, to CID Battalion Commander in Kansas, to the Deputy Brigade Commander in Iraq. After being promoted to Colonel, she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and led a Secretary of the Army appointed Fraud Task Force.

 Colonel Kuhn ends her career with many honors, most notably the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Military Police Regimental Association's Order of the Marechaussee in Silver  #212. She is now transitioning to a civilian life.

 The Distinguished Alumna Award honors an alumna who has distinguished herself for her outstanding achievements in her chosen profession as well as has made a lasting contribution in her field as a role model or leader for alumnae.