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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

Anna Cron

Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN 
Graduated from: Benilde-St. Margaret's High School.   

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Double major in Political Science (International Relations focus) and Latino & Latin American Studies.   

At the top of my reading list: I am currently reading "I found the World Inside My Mother's Coffee Mug" by Daniel Lundberg and am hoping to read "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein soon!  

Favorite TV Show: Tie between "Scandal" and "One Tree Hill."   

Random fact about yourself:  I am terrified of roller coasters.    


Peter Dudziak

  Hometown: Burnsville, MN
  Graduated from: Burnsville High School

 Currently a Junior 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: "How to Spend $75 Billion to  Make the World a Better Place" by Bjorn Lomborg.

  Favorite TV Show: Fringe.
  Random fact about yourself: I am scared of hummingbirds.

Diana Elhard

Hometown: St. Cloud, MN.
Graduated from: Cathedral High School.

Currently a Senior, pursuing degrees in: Political Science and Peace Studies.

At the top of my reading list: Anything relevant to my thesis. (No, I am currently working on the list of "classics." I'm halfway through Little Women, and also reading a volume of short stories published in the early 1900s.

Favorite TV Show: Currently, I am on season two of "The Wire" with my friends.
Random fact: My work with Extending the Link and my upbringing in St. Cloud have inspired me to work with refugee resettlement when I graduate.


 Madison Morris

Hometown: Andover, MN
Graduated from: Andover High School

Currently a Junior at CSBSJU pursusing a degree 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.

Favorite TV Show: Game of Thrones
Random fact about yourself:  My dream is to travel to 40 countries by the time I'm 35 (I'm at 13 as of this summer)! I was also born with an extra tooth.

Anastasiia Okuvena 

Hometown: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Graduated from: South High School in Minneapolis, MN.

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

At the top of my reading list: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother.
Random fact about yourself: I attended a wedding as a guest for the first time this year.

Richie Podvin

Hometown: Roseville, MN  
Graduated from: Cretin-Derham Hall High School

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Political Science Major with a Pre-law focus.

At the top of your reading list: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee 

Favorite TV Show:  The Office.
Random fact about yourself: This past summer, I had the opportunity to take a two-week trip to Havana, Cuba with 11 other CSBSJU students led by Dr. Gary Prevost!

Edwin Torres

Hometown: San Pedro, California
Graduated from: San Pedro High School   

Currently a Senior at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: Political Science (Public Policy concentration) and a minor in History (American Revolution focus)

At the top of my reading list: Harper Lee "Go Set a Watchman"

Favorite TV Show: Marco Polo (A Netflix Original) 
Random fact about yourself: I am a great chef!                                  




Nash Stamson

Hometown: Savage, MN
Graduated From: Prior Lake High School

Currently a Junior 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 Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield is a must read for anyone who loves golf. Otherwise The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a witty and ultimately hilarious look at the universe and our place in it. 

Favorite TV Show: The Newsroom, West Wing, or anything else written by Aaron Sorkin 

Random fact about yourself: I had an internship with the Citizens League of Minnesota this summer, and I enjoy golfing, fishing and hunting.