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.


Director Dr. 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 CSB/SJU Summer Leadership Fellows Program.  In 2019, he led the CSB/SJU South Africa Semester Study Abroad 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 their dog, Sadie.


Joseph P. Farry Professor Dr. Christi Siver

Christi Siver is an Associate Professor at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN. Her research focus is on issues at the intersection of international security and human rights. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Washington in 2009 and earned an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 2002. She was also named an Academic All-American by the Cross Examination Debate Association in 1997. She competed in policy debate at the national level in college and high school and coached intercollegiate debate at Lewis and Clark College, the University of Washington, and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University. She is co-director of high school programming for the Women’s Debate Institute, which advocates for a more gender inclusive environment in debate one student at a time.

Dr. Siver works with debate programming, educating and enabling members of the CSB/SJU community to engage in civic and civil discourse on serious public policy issues through the McCarthy Center.


Program Coordinator Sabrina Gilchrist

Sabrina Gilchrist is the Program Coordinator for the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement.

Sabrina graduated from Averett University in Danville, VA with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. Since moving to Minnesota in 2011, she's been active with various non-profits with a focus on food justice and access, mental health advocacy, community development, and the arts.