Alumna Spotlight Archive

Alumna strives to continue tradition of leadership on Saint Ben's Campus - Spring 2012

Anne Oberman '82 returned home to Saint Ben's in 2005 as the controller in the Business Office, where she oversees daily operations in the areas of accounting and finance for the college. In 2011, Anne was nominated and selected to join the inaugural class of the Council of Independent Colleges' Leadership Academy. The year-long program was designed to elevate individuals to leadership positions in higher education. Throughout the program, Anne participated in conferences, analyzed case studies and compiled monthly reports. She worked closely with her mentors from on and off campus, including CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger, to learn the ins and outs of various leadership positions in higher education. Anne was invited to present at the closing conference where she discussed college finances and budgeting. As for returning to Saint Ben's, Anne says it's like being with family. "The opportunity to "come home" to CSB to further my career allowed me to see the college from a completely different perspective than as a student." 

Alumna brings CSB identity home to Bosnia - Spring 2012

Political science and peace studies graduate Kristina (Tina) Seslija '10 returned home to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she strives to empower women through local farm projects. As the director of EkoMozaik Ltd., Kristina oversees the greenhouse and farming project that provides jobs for women in the underdeveloped and highly unemployed community of Sekovici. Here, women do not share equal rights with men, and for many of the women, this is their first paying job. The women grow lavender which attracts bees to produce honey. This spring, the farm will produce honey, vegetables, and flowers, and it will add fruits for the first time. EkoMozaik had its first CSB/SJU student intern in summer 2011. Kristina hopes that more students and members of the CSB/SJU community will visit to see how U.S. aid dollars are being used abroad. "Saint Ben's focus on sustainability and community has influenced me and this project. It is rewarding to see the positive impact on the women involved and the entire community." 

Alumna Receives 2012 Distinguished Teacher Award - Spring 2012

Sandy Anderson '78, an early elementary school teacher at the St. John's Area School in Foley, Minn., will accept the 2012 Distinguished Teacher Award for Region 8 at the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) conference in Boston, Mass. in April. Region 8 includes Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. The award recognizes one teacher from each of the 12 regions across the country. Anderson has a passion for teaching, especially guiding her students through the preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion. She states, "This is a great way to renew my own faith as I see the faith of my students grow." In reflecting on the award, Anderson says, "It validates what I have done for the past 33 years and encourages me to continue to work hard and meet the needs of my students." She works to create a loving and caring atmosphere in her classroom and strives to ensure her students feel comfortable to take risks, believe in themselves and be supportive of others.

Alumna Recognized as One of KARE 11's 'Eleven Who Care' - Spring 2012

Joan DesLauriers Donner '80 was honored as one of KARE 11's 'Eleven Who Care' for her dedication to the Mora Food Shelf. Answering a call for volunteers posted in her church bulletin, Donner jumped at the opportunity to help. After only a few months, she was running the food shelf. Through her commitment to make a difference in the Mora community, Donner raised the number of families the food shelf helps from about 30 families each month, to now almost 350 families, all of which runs solely on donations and volunteers. In addition to working at the Food Shelf, Donner also attends Minnesota Food Share conferences annually, where she has the opportunity to choose from various workshops to learn more about food shelf work.

Alum Honored for Service - Spring 2012

Jackie Boucher '87 is the Vice President for Education at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF), a position she has held since 2007. Recognized nationally for her work regarding education, nutrition and prevention programs concerning heart disease, Boucher is currently the editor-in-chief of Diabetes Spectrum, the second ranked publication on diabetes. She also leads a team for the internationally-acclaimed Heart of New Ulm Project and a new program on women's heart health with the MHIF. After graduating from Saint Ben's, she received  her master's degree from the University of Minnesota, which included a research project for her thesis  on the eating habits of the 160 Sisters at Saint Ben's. Boucher is pursuing her Ph.D. from the University of New Jersey, while continuing her work  at MHIF.

Alumna Honored for Service - Fall 2011

Mary Stangler '74 is the founder of the tutoring center at St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC), and was a math teacher for 37 years. After announcing her retirement in 2010, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and passed away in May 2011. On Sept. 16 a dedication and renaming ceremony was held in her honor to rename SCTCC's tutoring center to The Mary Stangler Center for Academic Success. More than 100 family members, friends and former colleagues attended the ceremony in support of Mary's commitment to the school and her students.

Young Alum Named Optometrist of the Year - Fall 2011

Dr. Gina O'Neill Wesley '02 was awarded Minnesota's Young Optometrist of the Year for 2011. This award is peer-nominated and peer-voted, and represents involvement within the profession, strong dedication to both patients and peers, and potential for future success. Dr. Wesley practices in Medina, MN where she started Complete Eye care in 2008.

Outstanding Woman in Finance - Fall 2011

Patricia SJ Proshek '84 has been named one of Finance and Commerce's 2011 Top Women in Finance. This distinction is for her outstanding achievements in finance. Proshek graduated with a major in accounting and started her career working for a CPA and property management company. Currently, Proshek is the senior managing director for Client Accounting Services at CB Richard Ellis in Minneapolis.

Hibbing newspaper names new editor - August 2011  

Kelly Grinsteinner '99 has been promoted to editor of the Hibbing Daily Tribune and assumed her duties August 15, 2011. She began at the Tribune as a staff writer upon graduating Saint Ben's, and then became an assistant editor in 2006. In her new position, Kelly will be a member of a four-person leadership team, replacing the Tribune's former general manager.

Grad begins residency - July 2011

Abby Johnstone '07 majored in Biology and recently received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) from the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy with honors, Magna Cum Laude. Abby has since accepted a residency at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview where she will be focused in pediatrics working at the newly opened University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.

She's not out of the woods - or water -- yet - May 2011

Lori Dowling '00 was named the director of regional headquarters in Bemidji by The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. She will serve 23 counties in northwestern Minnesota. Dowling has experience in forestry, waters and economic development. Born and raised on a small beef and crop farm in northern Minnesota, she grew up hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation and logging. She will work with local units of government, tribes and cooperators in promoting a unified DNR effort to enhance the economic, recreational, and conservation uses of Minnesota's natural resources.

The ocean draws her in - May 2011

Hadley McIntosh '10 has earned a distinguished scholarship from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary for her graduate research. She's been called a 'dream student' for her exceptionally bright, creative, and scholarly approach to research. She graduated from Saint Ben's with a degree in chemistry and has no trouble adjusting to the ocean from the landlocked Midwest. Full story.

At the top of her medical field - April 2011

Sandra Zurcher Beulke, M.D, '90 was recently counted among the top local doctors by Minneapolis St Paul Magazine in the 15th edition "Top Doctors" issue. This is not the first time Dr. Beulke's passion and dedication has been recognized. After graduating from Saint Ben's, she attended Mayo Medical School where she was elected outstanding medical student by the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians in 1994. Later she was appointed resident of the year, also by the MAFP, while completing her residency in Duluth in 1997. Dr. Beulke now works as a family practitioner at Lakeview Clinic in Waconia, MN.

She instills confidence through style - April 2011

Jodi Montgomery Mayers '98 is now president and owner of Corset Boutique and Styling Studio in Hopkins, Minnesota. The boutique teaches the importance of personal style, shopping techniques that speak to you, accessorizing, and more. She started her new role with an appearance on KARE-11 just in time for the royal wedding, sharing how to achieve royal style on a budget. 

Justice on a whole new level - April 2011

Honorable Patricia Milun '81 was just appointed Chief Judge of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals by Governor Mark Dayton.  Milun takes up this role well prepared after working 25 years in Worker's Compensation law, 18 of those years as a judge. After graduating from Saint Ben's in '81, Milun went on to receive her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

She has the market on loyalty - April 2011

It's no surprise CSB alumna Margaret Murphy '90 was just named an Industry Leader in The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal annual Women in Business Awards. Murphy is President and COO of OLSONdenali, one of the top 10 independent, full-service brand connection agencies in the U.S. The agency provides brand strategy, advertising, interactive, social engagement, design, public relations, media, loyalty, and analytics for the world's most respected brands. Her bio tells of the trip to the top of her game. Full Story.  


Bennie helps fund the American Dream - April 2011

Kristina George '91 was named director of development at St. Cloud Technical & Community College Foundation. As development director, George works to ensure that all students attending the college have access to "The American Dream" - an education. The Foundation partners with donors to invest in St. Cloud Technical and Community College students, programs, and faculty and staff to support students in achieving success and to build the economy of Central Minnesota and beyond.


She provides care and compassion one patient at a time - March 2011 

Jennifer Dean-Dwyer '77 received the Physician Assistant of the Year Award from the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants. Currently she  is employed by Paynesville Area Health Care System. Each year the award honors a PA who provides exceptional quality patient care and exhibits a commitment to the profession and in service to their community.  Besides leadership roles in the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants, a few of Dean-Dwyer's community service roles include Girl Scout leader, PTA president, assisting immigrants with language skills, and mentoring PA students.

Community spirit springs up - March 2011

Kenzie Kraemer '08 graduated from Saint Ben's with a nutrition major and a desire to live in a culture vastly different from her own. After living in the Dominican Republic for two years as a health volunteer with the Peace Corps, Kenzie initiated a project to bring clean water to the residents of her community. This spring, she did just that. Full Story.