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About the Center

The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement, created in honor of the late Senator and St. John's graduate, fosters dialogue and involvement regarding politics, values, and public policy. The McCarthy Center facilitates opportunities for creative and integrated learning through programming and experiential learning on and off campus.

In this day and age of "Crossfire" political reasoning and us/them political rhetoric, many young people are unfortunately steering away from political engagement. As a result, the faculty and core group of students from the Center work diligently to create venues for constructive, responsible and interesting civic debate and engagement in community affairs. Through events, conferences, lectures and social gatherings, the McCarthy Center gives students unique learning experiences

View our brochure for more information.

Our Team

Director Matt Lindstrom

Matt Lindstrom is the Edward L. Henry Professor of Political Science at St. John's University/College of St. Benedict and the Director of the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at St. John's University. He also serves as Co-Director for the CSB/SJU Washington, D.C. Summer Study Program and Co-Director for the College of St. Benedict Jackson Fellows Program

He edited Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment: History, Policy, and Politics, (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011) (Publisher page). He co-authored The National Environmental Policy Act: Judicial Misconstruction, Legislative Indifference, and Executive Neglect, (Texas A & M University Press, 2001) and co-edited Suburban Sprawl: Culture, Ecology, and Politics (Rowan and Littlefield, 2003).  Lindstrom's interest in experiential learning resulted in an essay titled, "What's a Bus Ticket Got to do with my Political Science Class" which won a "Best Paper Award" from the American Political Science Association.

Prior to starting at CSB/SJU in 2005, Lindstrom taught at Siena College outside of Albany, NY for eight years. At Siena College he chaired the Political Science department for two years, and together with his wife, Amy Braig-Lindstrom, also created the Troy Waterfront Farmers' Market (, a year-around entity with over 70 vendors.

Born in Willmar, MN, Matt graduated with a BA in Government from St. John's University and in 1997 Matt received a Ph. D. in Political Science (with distinction) from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Matt and Amy are parents of Isaac and Anna Lindstrom as well as two dogs and three cats.

Coordinator Stacy Penk


Stacy Penk is the Coordinator of the Eugene J. McCarthy Center. She was hired to fill the newly created McCarthy Center "coordinator" position in January of 2009. She is a 1995 graduate of the College of Saint Benedict.




Student Coordinators

Peter Dudziak

Hometown: Burnsville, MN

Graduated from: Burnsville High School

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Double major in Economics and Political Science, with a minor in French.

At the top of my reading list: Le Suicide Francais, by Eric Zemmour

Goal for this year: Survive two theses...

Random fact about myself: I am scared of hummingbirds.


Madison Morris

Hometown: Andover, Minnesota

Graduated from: Andover High School

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Double major in Political Science and Hispanic Studies

At the top of my reading list: "Zoo" by James Patterson and "1984" by George Orwell.

Goal for this year: Survive thesis and find a job for after graduation in May!

Random fact: My dream is to travel to 30 countries by the time I am 30 (I am currently at 13). I was born with an extra tooth.


Nash Stamson

Hometown: Savage, MN

Graduated from: Prior Lake High School

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Double major in Political Science and Economics, Minor in History.

At the top of my reading list: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown and 1776 by David McCullough

Goal for this year: My goal for senior year is to remain active in my clubs, while continuing to further my education and finish both of my theses.

Random fact: I was named after my great grandmother. Her maiden name was Nash. She was Edna Nash.



Elle DeBlieck

Hometown: Bloomington, MN

Graduated from: Jefferson High School

Currently a Junior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Global Business Leadership; Minor in Environmental Studies

At the top of my reading list: The Harry Potter Series

Goal for this year: My goal is to stay motivated throughout the rest of the semester, and to find a great internship for the summer. 

Random fact: I have been to all 50 states. 




Nicole Kelly

Hometown: St. Michael, MN

Graduated from: St. Michael Albertville High School

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Sociology

At the top of my reading list: The New Bread Basket by Amy Halloran

Goal for this year: To finish my CSB/SJU career as strong as I started

Random fact: I am a dual citizen (U.S. and New Zealand).




Quinlen Marshall

Hometown: Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Graduated from: Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Currently a First-Year at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Biochemistry; Minor in Music

At the top of my reading list: The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

Goal for this year: Run a full marathon in under three hours.

Random fact: I enjoy baking artisan bread and pizza.