Meet the Student Coordinators!

Carolina Apaez 

I am a Junior at the College of Saint Benedict where I am double majoring in Political Science and Hispanic Studies with a minor in Latino/Latin American Studies. On campus, I am the event planner for Exploring Latin American Cultures Club and Extending the Link. As a John Brandl Scholar, last summer I interned for a non-profit named Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), aiding attorneys representing unaccompanied minors in immigration cases. Last Fall, I spent the semester studying abroad in Chile.

I started off as a volunteer for the McCarthy Center during my first and second year, helping with the Civic Engagement, Polling, and Events Teams in addition to helping organize a fall residency. The McCarthy Center creatively involve students in a variety of different topics and issues. Promoting civic engagement through providing a safe space for challenging ideas. The McCarthy Center provides a safe place for students to engage in a variety of different topics and issues.


During my free time I enjoy listening to podcasts, going on hikes, doing facemasks, and attempting to cook.


Joe Bastian

I'm a Senior, Environmental Studies Major, and History Minor at St. John's University. I grew up in Foley, Minnesota. It's ok, I probably never would have heard of it either if I didn't grow up there. I am involved in Cross Country along with Track and Field on campus. On top of this, I enjoy playing hide and go seek in the woods while wearing camouflage and holding a fake rifle. This is my first year working for the McCarthy Center and I look forward to bringing those outside experiences that I have to better the center as a whole.

As an Environmental Studies student, I am very interested in the collision of the environment and political issues. My passions center around the conservation of natural resources and combating Climate Change but Environmental Justice has become very important to me as I have learned about the subtle and not so subtle ways that people are discriminated against.In my free time, you can find me tearing up the cribbage board... That's it! That's all I do in my free time. Oh yeah and I enjoy listening to records and traveling to places. Ask me about my favorite record. 

Elliot Edeburn

I'm a third-year student at Saint John's, and I study Political Science and Hispanic Studies, with a minor in Latino/Latin-American Studies. I have been involved with the McCarthy Center since my first year on campus when I joined the team as a volunteer. I have truly enjoyed helping coordinate events such as a "TED Talk Tuesday" about the role of a Prosecutor with Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall.

I am passionate about the mission of the McCarthy Center to encourage civic engagement and participation on campus. Our events allow us to have conversations with incredibly engaging speakers and discuss important political and societal trends. Working with the Center helps me to deepen my understanding of public policy and current events at a global, national, and state level.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, reading, skiing, going to concerts, and spending time hunting, fishing, and relaxing at my cabin on Lake Shamineau. This Fall, I am spending my semester abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile.

Skylar Gast

I am Junior here at the College of Saint Benedict, majoring in accounting. This will be my second year being a student coordinator for the McCarthy Center, and I look forward to all it will hold. I always loved attending the many speakers brought to campus by the Center, but my involvement with the McCarthy Center began at the end of my first year on campus. I enjoy the values of the MCC and how they advocate for discussions between people who did not always see eye to eye. Personally, I am very passionate about having those conversations, because they are important and needed for our future.

I am very excited to be a part of the team that brings civic engagement between students on both campuses.

Quinlen Marshall

I am a senior chemistry (chemical biology concentration) major and Hispanic studies major at St. John’s University. This will be my sixth semester as a student coordinator with the McCarthy Center, and I have helped lead or organize events such as a sustainability study tour to Colorado, a panel on the climate justice movement, a panel of experts on Minnesota healthcare reform, and others. The McCarthy Center has been a challenging yet very rewarding part of my college experience, as it pushes me to confront my assumptions about the world with notions that are unfamiliar to me. I hope our team can bring these difficult conversations to our campus community, fostering dialogue that enriches our shared experiences.

Outside of the Center, I am a chemistry tutor/teaching assistant, chemistry researcher, senior team lead in the Student Health Assistant program, and musician in various music ensembles. This December I will be attending the 25th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile to conduct research on the intersections of climate change and human health. As an aspiring physician-scientist, I am passionate about pediatrics and research that bridges the bench to bedside. I have been fortunate to present my work across the United States during my undergraduate career.

During my free time I love to read, play the trumpet, travel to parts known or unknown, exercise, and cook! A favorite meal is tamales de mole amarillo con camote.

Tessa Pichotta

I am a junior at CSB with a double major in political science and classics. During the school year, outside of working with the McCarthy Center, I am the Asian Art History Research Assistant for Saint John’s art department, act as an organizer for the school’s unofficial Classics Club, row on the crew team, and volunteer with Jim Read’s State Legislative campaign.

The McCarthy Center has given me an amazing opportunity to expand my political views through student-led discussions and connect public policy and political philosophy to everyday life.

Nick Swanson

My name is Nick Swanson, and I am a senior studying political science. At St. Ben's and St. John's, I am involved with The Record as the opinion editor, an Orientation Leader, a McCarthy Center Volunteer, the co-president of United Politics and a student senator. At St. Ben's and St. John's, it is important to engage in your community, because together, we can ensure everyone feels like they belong.

Everyone is invited to participate with the McCarthy Center. The McCarthy Center enables students to pursue civic engagement and public policy opportunities. To that end, students will hopefully find an outlet to pursue their desires through the McCarthy Center. And remember, we live in a republic where participation matters, for it is the only thing that keeps our country moving forward.

During my free time, I love watching sports, particularly the Twins and Vikings, along with good conversation, reading, being outside, and traveling.