Alumni Profiles

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Anthony Jensen '12


Matt Reubendale '06, University of St. Thomas MBA '13

Account Executive for Teradata

Immediately after college I spent a year in China teaching English at Xiamen University. When I returned the economy was starting to sour (2007/2008) so I tapped my CSB/SJU network and was introduced to Ryan Heining who owned MSpace. He hired me on as an Account Manager (sales guy). While I hadn't intended to get into sales I found that I was decent at it and enjoyed working with my customers. After three years with MSpace I decided to move to SPS Commerce as an Inside Account Manager working with Fortune 500 retailers. After a year and a half there I was recruited to Esri as an Outside Account Manager. Esri is a geospatial mapping and analytics company so I was selling those capabilities to Fortune 500 retailers. After almost 3 years in that role I was recruited to join Teradata which is the global leader in data analytics and "Big Data".

 What is your favorite aspect of your current job?  I'm still pretty new to this specific position but the thing I've always liked about all of my jobs has been the opportunity to work with customers and create new ideas for how technology can impact their business. Most companies get stuck in how they've always done it and I've been fortunate to work with technologies that can totally disrupt the status quo. It's really fun to blow peoples' minds with new technology.

What do you think was valuable about your experiences as a Political Science major?  I had the opportunity to work with Dr.  Scott Johnson and Dr.  Claire Haeg quite a bit. Dr.  Haeg's classes were much more practical, the actual how to get things done in politics. Dr.  Johnson's classes were theoretical; questioning the foundation of the politics themselves. Every day I'm balancing similar conversations with my customers and employer. There are times when it is appropriate to ask, "Why do we do it this way?" but there are other times when you simply do it that way to get it done. In my experience, many people will focus on one or the other throughout their careers but thanks to my experiences with Dr.  Johnson and Dr.  Haeg I've been fairly effective at balancing the two. It's been a quality that I've been told is unique, and one that I do not think I could have gained without a POLS background.


Nicole Hochsprung '10  is a double major in political science and history. She participated in the Washington DC Summer Study program in 2009.

In her own words: "In December 2012 I landed my dream job as an associate in the Higher Education Department at the American Federation of Teachers - the largest affiliate of the AFLCIO and the union representing the most workers in higher education. It is the hardest I have ever worked in my life but I love it very much. Some of the issues I work on are MOOCs, promoting student access, fighting fraud and abuse (particularly of for-profit institutions), contingent faculty issues, and promoting union-student coalitions on campus."


Brian Bowman '96

"Upon graduation, I worked on the staff of U.S. Senator Rod Grams in Washington, D.C., from 1996 to 1998 when I left to attend law school at Creighton University. I graduated from law school in 2001 and entered the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps after passing the bar exam. In the Air Force I was stationed for two years at Kadena Air Base, Japan, followed by four years at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In 2005 to 2006 I was deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. I left active duty in 2008 and entered the Iowa Air National Guard, where I was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In my civilian capacity I am an Assistant General Counsel at First National Bank in Omaha, Nebraska. My wife Liz is an immigration attorney and we have two children, Christian and Charlotte."


Bryan Koontz '90 -  Foreign Service Officer, US Foreign Service


Barbara Wagner '01 - Chief Economist, Montana Department of Labor and Industry


Colleen Gross Ebinger '01  -  Director of Public Innovators, Root Cause


Kenna Dooley '04 - Senior Development Associate, Mercy & Unity Hospitals Foundation


Marcy Twete '05 - Founder & CEO, Career Girl Network


Karen Janisch '87

Karen Janisch graduated cum laude from the College of St. Benedict in 1987, and in 1992 she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School.  Karen Was appointed in January 2009 as a judge in Hennepin County District Court.  She is currently assigned to the Court's criminal division.  Prior to joining the bench, Karen was General Counsel in Governor Tim Pawlenty's office where she worked on a broad range of legal issues related to state government, legislation and public policy.  Before that, Karen was a partner with the Rider Bennett law firm in Minneapolis, where she practiced primarily in the areas of public sector, education and employment law.

Jim Mulrooney '03

Jim received his Bachelor's Degree from Saint John's University and went on to receive a Masters Degree in Political Management from George Washington University.  In 2003 he began work as a Government Relations Representative, a post which he occupied for the past seven years.  In this role, Jim worked with senior executives of Wells Fargo to present Wells Fargo's message to members of Congress and their staff.  In the spring of 2010, Jim became a Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo Business Banking.  This new opportunity allows Jim to work with small and mid-sized businesses and help them with their banking needs.

Scott McMahon '01

During Scott's time at Saint John's, he participated in the Washington, D.C. program where he interned at the Council of State Governments.  Scott currently serves the Associate Vice President for External Relations at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.  In addition he is the Executive Director at the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership.  Previously he served as the Director of Government and Community Affairs at the Minnesota Private College Council.  In that role, he was responsible for advocating at both the state and federal level for the public policy agenda of the seventeen private liberal arts colleges in Minnesota, including the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.  His previous work experience includes serving as the Research Director of the National Institute of Health Policy and Special Assistant to the Dean at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Vic Moore '72

Vic Moore graduated with a Government major at St. John's in 1972.  He has sat on the Board of Directors of the St. John's National Alumni Association, and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the St. John's Politics and Public Policy Alum Chapter. Vic is co-owner of a legislative consulting company called Franzen and Moore.  Prior to that, he worked in the Minnesota State Senate for 22 years, and the last 13 years as the DFL Chief of staff.  Before that he was a planner and director at the Minnesota State Planning Agency for 10 years.

Christine Zimmer '88


Christine graduated in 1998 from the College of St. Benedict with a B.A. where she studied Political Science and German.  She is co-chair of the St. Ben's and St. John's Public Policy Chapter.  She is currently Director of Government Relations for Winthrop and Weinstine P.A.  Christine promotes client agendas at the Capitol, develops strategic goals and builds coalitions and partnerships for successful client-advocacy.  Christine has been an active contributor to many issues affecting Minnesota government over the years, including transportation, gaming, long-term care, and traffic safety reform.  Prior to her position at Winthrop & Weinstine, Christine was the Government Affairs Manager at Minnesota Life Insurance Company.

Ashleigh Leitch '09

Ashleigh, a 2009 graduate of the College of Saint Benedict, graduated in May 2014 from the University of Minnesota Law School.  Previous she worked as a field manager on Taryl Clark's congressional campaign.  Prior to that, Ashleigh interned full time at the White House in the Office of Cabinet Affairs and was a former Precinct Coordinator and student organizer for President Obama in the St. Cloud area.

Michael Wilhelmi '92

Michael is a 1992 graduate of Saint John's University.  He has previous experience working with Minnesota Senator LeRoy Stumpf as a Committee Administrator and as the director of Intergovernmental Relations for the city of St. Paul.  He has also worked as the Director of Government and Community Affairs for the Minnesota Private College Council.  Most recently, he is a Government and Public Affairs Consultant at Ewald Consulting.

Elizabeth Ann Hayden '68

Elizabeth is a 1968 graduate of the College of St. Benedict and is also a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law.  Elizabeth served as a judge in Stearns County, Minnesota.  She was first appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich in 1986.  She served as assistant Stearns County attorney from 1981 to 1986.  She has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on General Rules of Practice.  In 2009 she was appointed to preside over the election contest from the United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008.

Dick Virden '63

Dick, a 1963 graduate of Saint John's University, retired from the Department of State in 2004 after more than 38 years in the Foreign Service, the final two as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Brasilia.  He had a previous tour in Brazil as well as postings in Portugal, Romania, Poland (twice), Thailand (twice) and Vietnam.  From 1986 to 1997, Virden directed public diplomacy programs successively at American embassies in Lisbon, Bucharest and Warsaw.  Virden also served on the faculty of that senior service college for two years and as a diplomat-in-residence at Georgetown University, where he created and taught a course on the evolution of public diplomacy.

Erin Sexton '98

Erin, a 1998 graduate of the College of St. Benedict, currently serves as Director of Government Relations at Mayo Clinic. Previously she was the Senior Manager of State Government Relations at Medtronic.  Before she worked at Medtronic she served as the Director of Health Care and Transportation Policy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and in Government Affairs at Minnesota Medical Association.  She was recently featured by "Politics in Minnesota" as a leader in public policy: