Mentors 2016-2017

Teresa Abraham

Associate, SMI, Inc.  

Dr. Teresa Abraham connects innovators with the resources they need to advance research and bring ideas to market. She served as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she worked in the Division of International Health Security at HHS. At HHS, she led several multilateral and bilateral engagements with the G7+Mexico that promoted global health security. In her prior role at Gryphon Scientific, Dr. Abraham was the science communications lead and technical expert for the National Institute of Health's Influenza Research and Surveillance programs. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Biology from the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chris Bergstrom

Assistant Store Manager - Sales, Best Buy

Chris is a 2009 graduate of SJU, who graduated with a Political Science degree. However, he did not go into a field that was directly related to his field of study. After he graduated, Chris went into the private sector, and he hopes that he can provide guidance to students who are wondering what their options are with their degree.


Neil Bjorkman

Director of Digital Economy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (U.S.-India Business Council)

Neil Bjorkman serves as the Director of Digital Economy. In this capacity, he advocates on behalf of Information and Communication Technology companies in the United States and India as they seek to increase trade, create jobs, and grow the economy. He helps U.S. companies overcome regulatory hurdles in India while assisting Indian companies in the United States. In addition, Neil serves as the lead for USIBC's relationship with the United States Congress.

Before moving to Washington, D.C., Neil practiced law with a private firm in San Francisco. He recently served as the Policy Counsel for the Majority staff of the Committee on Rules in the United States House of Representatives, where he handled Chairman Sessions' India portfolio. In 2007-2008, Neil served as the Judicial Clerk to Justice Dalveer Bhandari at the Supreme Court of India, where he helped craft a landmark constitutional judgment on affirmative action in university admissions.

He lived in India for two years and in Guatemala for a year. Neil speaks Hindi, Malayalam, and Spanish. A graduate of Saint John's University, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He's a big fan of pour-over coffee, extremely dark chocolate, burritos al pastor, and hot yoga. His wife is from Kerala, India. They live in D.C. with their sons, Jai and Jon.


Steven Chavez

Attorney & Council Member, Metropolitan Council

Steve Chavez is a legal executive with a high profile, broad practice serving Fortune 500 and mid cap corporate clients in diverse industries headquartered in the Twin Cities area. Presently, he conducts his multi-national transactional practice from his office in Eagan, which includes ethics, compliance, corporate governance, enterprise risk management, business continuity planning and government relations. In March 2011, Governor Dayton appointed Chavez to the Metropolitan Council where he serves as the chair of the Litigation Review Committee, vice chair of the Management Committee, member of the Audit and Community Development Committees and as the liaison for the Metropolitan Council to the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The Metropolitan Council, with 3700 employees, an annual operating budget of $750,000,000 and an annual capital budget in excess of $500,000,000, is the planning authority for the seven county Minneapolis regions and operates public transit, waste water treatment facilities and recreational open space, serving 2.8 million residents. Chavez earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in Government from Saint John's University.

John Chromy

Retired Vice President, Cooperating Housing Foundation International (CHF)

CHF International is an international development organization founded in 1952 that works in post-conflict, unstable and developing countries. Chromy has been with CHF International since 1996. He initiated programs in India, Kosovo, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Serbia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Georgia and Lebanon; he also pioneered CHF's unique "Bottom-up Community Participation and Self-Help Planning" approach to economic development, job creation, community stabilization and infrastructure re-construction. John brings a broad experience in managing programs designed to help low-income people on the community and local government level. During his time at CHF, Chromy managed the foundation's relationship with US Congress and the Department of Defense.


Kevin Clarke

Urban Planner and Designer, Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.

Kevin works as an urban planner and park planner for Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc. based in Minneapolis, MN. After studying economics and political science at St. John's University, Kevin went on to graduate school at the Hubert H. Humphrey School for Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota College of Design to pursue urban planning and landscape architecture. With Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc., Kevin develops comprehensive plans for cities throughout the state and region. These policy documents inform the decisions that cities make regarding land use and the environment, as well as investments in infrastructure, parks, and economic development. His work includes urban design, small area & downtown plans, park plans, public engagement, and redevelopment projects for public and private clients.

Emily Cook-Lundgren

Researcher and Consultant

Emily Cook-Lundgren is an independent researcher and consultant, based in Kigali, Rwanda, specializing in international development program evaluation. Current clients include the World Bank, Kepler Rwanda, Innovations for Poverty Action, and ACDI/VOCA. Previously Emily spent nearly three years with Innovations for Poverty Action in Nairobi, Kenya where she managed randomized evaluations of poverty reduction programs. Prior to moving to Kenya, Emily worked on strategy and policy for the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, DC; program development and monitoring with Mercy Corps in Niger; and in higher education administration in the U.S. Emily holds a MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BA in Psychology and French from the College of Saint Benedict. She is fluent in French and speaks basic Kiswahili.


 J. Michael Dady

Attorney, Dady & Gardner, P.A.

Michael Dady is widely regarded as one of the most prominent franchise attorneys in America. He and the other lawyers in his firm, Dady & Gardner, P.A. of Minneapolis and New York, limit their nationwide practice to helping franchises and dealers nationwide preserve and enhance the value of their businesses as effectively and as efficiently as possible. He and his partners have successfully represented franchises and dealers in more than 350 different franchise and supplier organizations, and they currently represent more than 20 different national franchise and dealer associations. Dady is active in supporting several service organizations. He formerly served as both the Chair of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Chair of the Board of Regents of St. John's University. He has been honored by both his university, Saint John's University and his high school, Sisseton High School, as their Alumnus of the Year. Dady has long been active in Democratic political activities. A native of Sisseton, South Dakota, Dady is a rancher in his spare time, and considers "doing cowboy work" his favorite recreational pursuit. Dady is a graduate of Saint John's University, class of '71.

Melissa DeOrio

Research Assistant for the Armed Conflict Database, International Institute for Strategic Studies

Melissa DeOrio graduated from CSB/SJU in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. As a student Melissa worked as a McCarthy Center student coordinator and completed an honors thesis on the civil-military relations of Turkey. Since leaving CSB/SJU Melissa has spent time working in Bosnia and Herzegovina where she interned with Fondacija Mozaik. While working with Mozaik, Melissa worked with the UNDP, USAID and the Austrian Army to coordinate flood relief efforts across 19 principalities. Melissa then moved to Turkey to complete a Fulbright ETA grant in Samsun, Turkey. Melissa recently finished an MSc in Security Studies at University College London as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar. Melissa is now based in London and works at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on the Armed Conflict Database, specifically monitoring ongoing conflicts in Turkey, the Central African Republic as well as India's Assam, Manipur and Naxalite conflicts.


John Dube

Research Assistant, Mayo Clinic

John is a graduate of St. John's University with a double major in Biology and Political Science. John was highly active in extracurricular activities including four years of football, three years of lacrosse, two years of model United Nations, two years of teaching assistant experience in introduction into biology and genetics, and two years of volunteering with the St. John's ROTC battalion. Research experience included work in the cardiovascular disease lab during high school and neural engineering while in college. Neural engineering experience culminated in an honors thesis which resulted in a Biology degree with distinction. Post- graduation, volunteered with the St. John's Benedictine Volunteer Corps (BVC) Program in Sant Anselmo Rome Italy for 11 months. John is currently working as a research assistant in a pancreatic cancer research lab at Mayo Clinic, helping to identify biochemical and molecular biological mechanisms in the attempt to better understand the disease and provide improved patient outcomes.

Gary Eichten

News Editor-at-Large, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)

Gary Eichten wore many hats during his 40-plus-year career at Minnesota Public Radio, including news director, special events producer and station manager. He served as host for Minnesota Public Radio's live, special events news coverage, and hosted all of the major news programs on Minnesota Public Radio, including Midday, which he hosted for more than 20 years. Among the honors Eichten has received during his career is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting award for best local news program. In 2007, he was inducted into the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting's Hall of Fame. Eichten was also awarded the prestigious 2011 Graven Award by the Premack Public Affairs Journalism Awards Board for his contribution to excellence in the journalism profession. He currently serves on the Westminister Town Hall Forum advisory board.


Timothy Enright

Political Military Officer, U.S. Embassy Abuja, U.S. Department of State

Since graduating from St. John's in 1999, Timothy Enright has worked extensively in the foreign affairs field. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan and since joining the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer in 2005 has served in Iraq, Russia, Washington D.C., Dubai and Afghanistan. Tim is now serving as the Political-Military Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, where he is responsible for coordinating U.S. security cooperation and assistance to the Nigerian armed forces in their effort to combat Boko Haram. He previously worked on European and NATO policy at the Pentagon and for the consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton.


Mike Erlandson

Principal, Aurora Strategic Advisors

Aurora is a big picture public affairs, government relations and communications firm.  Positions prior to joining Aurora include: Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs and Vice President of Government Affairs at SUPERVALU (2007-2013) where he also chaired their federal political action committee and helped lead corporate social responsibility; Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Martin Sabo (1993-2006); Member of the Bi-Partisan Policy Center's National Transportation Project (2008-2011); State Chair of Minnesota's Democratic Party (1999-2005). Mike ran for Congress (2006) finishing second in a multi-candidate primary and was elected to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Washington, D.C. (1991-94).  He has appeared on national television and radio shows including: NBC's Today Show, Hardball, ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CNN, C-SPAN, and NPR. He graduated from St. John's University and Harvard's Kennedy School's Program for Senior Managers in Government.

Colin Frederick

Consultant, Inter-American Development Bank

Colin Frederick works as a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, which finances development projects and technical strategies to reduce poverty, expand economic growth, increase trade and investment, and foster private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean. During his time at St. John's, Colin was a Washington, DC Summer Study Participant, a Marie and Robert Jackson Fellow and he also represented the school at the Harvard National Model United Nations and the 62nd Student Conference on US Affairs held at the US Military Academy in West Point. Additionally, Colin was a member of the St. John's Senate, played varsity soccer and also served as a resident assistant. To gain international exposure, Colin spent a semester abroad at Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala, where he fostered a greater understanding of Latin American anthropology, cultural norms, environmental practices, and volunteered for community-based organizations.

Tom Freeman

Government Relations Advisor, Faegre Baker Daniels

Tom Freeman is a government relations advisor, representing the firm's clients before the Minnesota Legislature, state government agencies and local units of government. He has represented businesses, nonprofit organizations, and trade and professional associations before the Minnesota Legislature, state agencies and local units of government. Tom graduated from Saint John's University in 2008.


Nick Hansen

Communications Specialist, Hennepin County Bar Association

Nick is a 2010 grad who has worked in the fields of environmental recreation, journalism, and now in nonprofit communications. He is passionate about civic engagement, journalism, sustainability, and justice. More often than not, Nick probably has a newspaper tucked under his arm.


Matt Hughes

Minnesota Managing Director, Cooperative Network

Matt Hughes is the Minnesota Managing Director for Cooperative Network, a two state association of cooperative businesses. He directs the business, legislative, and political affairs of the Minnesota office. Previously, he has served as as staff in the Minnesota House of Representatives, the office of Governor Tim Pawlenty, and was a Senior Executive Officer at the Department of Human Services during the Pawlenty Administration. In Washington DC, he served as legislative staff for Minnesota Congressman Mark Kennedy and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, and was a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Administration of President George W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington DC.


Ben Hutterer

Legislative Correspondent, United States Senate

Ben works as a Legislative Correspondent for a Midwest Democratic Senator. While at CSB/SJU, he participated in the D.C. Summer Study Program, student senate, and debate. Ben also worked in the Political Science Department and volunteered in the McCarthy Center. Ben moved to D.C. immediately after graduation and was an intern in the House of Representatives before finding a Staff Assistant job in the Senate. Ben now handles correspondence for the Senator in veterans' affairs, foreign affairs, homeland security, and defense.


Ryan Kelley

Senior Planner, Metropolitan Council

Ryan Kelley is currently a planner for the City of St. Louis Park. He was previously a land use planner in the Active Living Program at Hennepin County and a planning intern for the City of St. Paul. Ryan received his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and studied landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Prior to graduate school he was the director of a Minneapolis AmeriCorps program and was a program officer for ServeMinnesota, the AmeriCorps State Commission. This was after a year of volunteering in New Orleans where he fueled his passion of how people and places interact, and especially his passion for food!


Sean Kershaw

Executive Director, Citizens' League

In 2003 Sean Kershaw became just the sixth Citizens League Executive Director in its 60 year history. Sean has been a member of the Citizens League's 50th Anniversary report on Doing the Common Good Better prior to becoming the executive Director. During his tenure, membership in the Citizens League has more than doubled; revenue has tripled, and the organization has helped to initiate new ways of addressing public policy issues. Kershaw left his position as a Deputy Director for the City of Saint Paul's Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED), where he had worked for 11 years. Prior to that, he was planning coordinator for the Public Housing Authority in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Kershaw is passionate about active citizenship, civic organizing, and good public policy. He is a founding member of the Active Citizens School, a young adult civic leadership program, and is currently part of the Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative. Kershaw is on the Board for the Twin Cities United Way.

Lindsey Krause

Law Clerk, Stearns County

Lindsey Krause earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in May 2016. She is currently a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Frank J. Kundrat in Stearns County. While a law student she served as the President of the Women's Law Student Association and as the Lead Student Articles Editor on the Journal of Law and Inequality. Krause's article on juvenile criminal sentencing reform was published in Volume 33 of the journal. She hopes to ultimately pursue a career in business litigation. During her time at CSB/SJU, Krause was heavily involved in political campaigns and served as an intern in Amy Klobuchar's Washington D.C. office though the school's DC Program. Her interests include craft beer, traveling, and collecting political campaign buttons.

Deanna (Dee) Lamb

Retired, Professor Emeritus, CSB

Deanna has been a learner/educator all of her adult life.  Her earliest experiences were teaching music and remedial math and reading to elementary children.  She spent the bulk of my teaching career on the CSB Education faculty where my primary assignments were teaching a variety of human development classes and literature for children and young adults.  Lamb was the lead writer for the Education Department's diversity plan, a plan that received accolades from NCATE and the  MN State Department of Education.   League of Women's Voters nourishes her need for active civic involvement. They have worked to engage regional community groups regarding the overwhelmingly positive long-term benefits of welcoming immigrants and refugees to Central MN.  Beyond this, they are also active in a variety of activities that promote voter rights and registration, support public policy/issues forums, and study many other issues of civic importance.     

Mary Kay Carle

Retired Lisc. Marriage and Family Therapist - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Team Leader at League of Women Voters

After graduating from the College of Saint Benedict, Mary Kay volunteered in the Jesuit Volunteer Corp in Alaska for one year. Together, Mary Kay and her husband Dan (an SJU graduate) have raised three children in the St. Cloud area. She taught at Cathedral High School part-time and later worked as a Parent Coordinator in the Early Childhood Family Education Programs in Dist. #742 until 1974. At that time she joined Family Counseling Center, a private counseling center in St. Cloud working with parents and children. Mary Kay Carle retired in 2008 and has since been a caregiver to my aged parents and relatives. Mary Kay and Dan have eight grandchildren with whom they are involved with who live in the Twin cities. She has also been involved with the League of Women Voters for the past 10 years serving as co-president (3 years) and a board member. Presently, she is a member of the Community Outreach Team for LWVSCA. Mary Kay received the distinguished alumnae award this year for the class of '61 at the CSB/SJU Reunion.


Zack Liebl

Executive Director, The Barn Theatre

Zack Liebl was born and raised in the Willmar community in West Central Minnesota. He is a 2010 graduate of the political science program at St. John's University. Zack is currently working as Executive Director for The Barn Theatre, a non-profit stage theatre and concert venue in Willmar. Also, he is currently a Captain in the Minnesota National Guard serving as an Engineering Officer. In 2014 Zack ran a competitive campaign for Mayor of the city of Willmar. In 2012 he was the Independence Party of Minnesota's candidate for MN House Distinct 17B (Kandiyohi County) and ran a very successful campaign as an independent candidate. His interests include current events, fitness and cooking, and he currently resides in Hutchinson, Minnesota.

John Lindstrom

Retired Judge and Mediator

Judge Lindstrom was most recently a Minnesota District Court Judge for the Eighth Judicial District from July 1976 to August 2005. From January 1973 to June 1976 he was a Minnesota State Representative and prior to that, engaged in private practice of law for over nine years. He was the President of the Minnesota District Court Judges Association as well as a member of the Board of Directors for the organization. He is also a member of both the Minnesota and American Bar Associations and the National State Trial Judges Association. He has received numerous honors throughout his career, Lindstrom was a Fellow of the American Bar Association and received a Saint John's University Presidential Citation. Lindstrom currently serves as a mediator and arbitrator with the Gilbert Mediation Center. John is a 1963 graduate of Saint John's University.

Bob Loonan

State Representative MN, St. Paul

Bob Loonan is a Former School Board member. He currently serves as a MN State Representative on the Commerce Committee, Government Finance Committee, Energy/Jobs/Development Committee, and No-Fault Reform Task Force.


Sean Lynch

Account Executive, Olson Engage

Sean is an Account Executive supporting Olson's public relations programs in the Corporate Affairs division. He supports Olson's clients both nationally and in Minnesota in developing and promoting a positive public image through proactive media relations and outreach efforts. Sean joined Olson Engage after serving as the public affairs lead with the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), an education nonprofit based in Alexandria, VA. Sean served as ACTE's primary spokesman and lobbyist, provided media and advocacy training , and built the organization's national media presence. Previously, Sean worked with the Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, where he managed day-to-day communications with executive leadership for nationally recognized manufacturing brands. Sean graduated from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn. with bachelor's degrees in Political Science and German Studies.


Vic Moore

Co-Owner, Franzen and Moore

Vic Moore is the 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 a DFL Chief of staff. Before that he was a planner and director at the Minnesota State Planning Agency for 10 years. He graduated with a Government major from SJU 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 CSB/SJU Politics and Public Policy Alum Chapter. In college he played football, basketball and baseball and he is currently on the Board of Directors of the J Club.


Luke Newgaard

Legislative Correspondent, U.S. House of Representatives

While at school at Saint John's, Luke studied in Spain and participated in the DC Summer Study Program. Luke has a variety of experiences ranging from working in a metal scrap yard all the way to working on Capitol Hill. Luke places a high value on networking, because that is exactly what Saint Ben's and Saint John's provided him. Three days after graduation Luke drove to DC to begin a summer internship on Capitol Hill. It was there where he developed a passion for policy and solidified his desire to work in the legislative branch of the government.


Jessey Niyongabo

Environmental Analyst, the World Bank

A native of Bujumbura - Burundi, Jessey Niyongabo is an Environmental Analyst at the World Bank in the Climate Change Department and the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice. He supports the Bank's project in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Indonesia. Previously he worked in Addis Ababa - Ethiopia as a Research Analyst at the African Climate Policy Centre, a centre par-excellence for climate policy in Africa and Secretariat of the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Initiative, and as a Partnership and Liaison Associate at the United Nations Environment Programme. Through the McNeely Centre for Entrepreneurship at Saint John's University for which he was a Scholar, Jessey started a car rental service that is still operational. A true "Johnnie," he is a member of the Saint John's Alumni Committee for his Cohort and a mentor for the students through the McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement.


Cap O'Rourke

Principal, O'Rourke Strategic Consulting

 Cap O'Rourke has spent his entire career working as a legislative strategist, policy advocate and grassroots campaigner. With every experience he has gained a greater understanding of the complex political, financial and human pressures that affect how public policy decisions are generally made. Using that experience Cap founded O'Rourke Strategic Consulting (OSC), which assists organizations strengthen their position and have a greater impact on policies in which they are invested.  His client base affords him the opportunity to work inside a broad range of issues.  His career started while working on a number of political campaigns across the state of Minnesota, which helped him transition to a staff position in the Minnesota Legislature. Being on the front lines of both state-wide and smaller municipal campaigns was a great experience and allowed him to understand what factors elected officials consider when making decisions. With over a decade of legislative experience he has had the privilege of working first hand on a number of major legislative proposals including tax reform, stadiums, education reform and small business development projects.

Joyce Overman Dube

Senior Principal Health Systems Engineer, Mayo Clinic

Joyce currently leads the Commitment to Safety Program at Mayo Clinic across all campuses (Rochester, MN, Jacksonville, FL, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Mayo Clinic Health System in MN, IA, Wi). She brings extensive experience leading a large surgical/procedural nursing division with multiple projects and priorities; an ability to work with diverse multidisciplinary teams and individuals to bring complex problems to resolution; experience as the leader of projects for noise control in the hospital, service excellence and RN bedside handoff across Mayo Clinic campuses; and leadership for the promotion of scholarly activities and health promotion. Joyce has presented and published on a variety of topics locally, nationally and internationally.
Prior to her current role, she served as a staff nurse, nurse manager and nurse administrator. Joyce is a Mayo Clinic Silver Quality Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.


Stephanie Pinkalla

Environment Projects Assistant, Saint Paul Public Schools

Stephanie is a 2014 graduate of CSB/SJU who currently oversees environmental sustainability, health and safety work for Saint Paul Public Schools. After being a DFL organizer in the 2014 election cycle, she worked at the MN legislature for a government relations firm and in urban agriculture. As a Political Science student at CSB/SJU, her focus was environmental policy. She directed the Full Circle Greenhouse, participated in Sustainability Alliance, the Peer Resource Program, College Democrats, and in the DC Summer Study Program doing climate research. She completed a CSB/SJU research fellowship on climate science and her senior honors thesis on wilderness policy.


Richie Podvin

Juris Doctorate Candidate, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

A recent graduate of CSBSJU in May 2016, Richie began law school at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law (MHSL) in St. Paul, MN in the fall of 2016. While a CSBSJU student, Richie worked as a Student Coordinator at the McCarthy Center. Currently at MHSL, Richie serves as a part-time volunteer for MHSL's Criminal Expungement Self-Help Clinic for Pro Se litigants. Richie's current interests include criminal law, tort law, anything public policy-related, and surviving the first year of law school with sanity intact.

Eric Reeve

Operations Administrator, Mayo Clinic

Eric is an accomplished healthcare manager with over 13 years of experience at Mayo Clinic. He has performed in a variety of roles in clinical and non clinical assignments including Operations Administrator, Operations Manager, Health System Engineering Analyst, and Finance Supervisor. Eric's education includes MBA from the CAHME accredited University of Saint Thomas Health Care MBA program and a BA from Saint John's University. Eric has demonstrated leadership in patient care administration, process improvement, finance, change management, and personnel development.


Alex Ricci

Legislative Assistant, United States House of Representatives - Committee on Education and the Workforce

Alex Ricci is a 2013 graduate from Saint John's University, and is currently working as the legislative assistant for the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to moving to D.C., Ricci worked on multiple congressional campaigns in MN. He sees his post-graduate life as a testament to the strength of the Mentor Program - the alumni connections he made as a student referred him to his first jobs after graduation. Ricci's experiences as a Saint John's student and graduate have inspired him to seek a career helping people solve problems.


Patrick Stewart-Hester

Legislative Assistant, United States House of Representatives

Patrick Stewart-Hester is a 2013 graduate of Saint John's University. During his time at SJU he studied history and served as the president of the Saint John's Senate. After graduating he moved to Washington, D.C. where he began interning and later working for a member of the Minnesota Congressional delegation. Patrick now works for a Republican congresswoman as a Legislative Assistant.


Jessica Slattery

Foreign Service Officer, United States Department of State

Jessica Slattery is a Foreign Service Officer stationed in Port au Prince, Haiti beginning Feb 2017. Previously, Ms. Slattery was a foreign affairs officer at the State Department in Washington, D.C. in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Office of International Labor Affairs, which covers global child labor, the International Labor Organization, supply chains, the informal economy, and labor conditions in the countries of South and Central Asia. Ms. Slattery previously served as political officer responsible for the human rights and labor portfolio at U.S. Embassy Dhaka, Bangladesh. In the Spring of 2014, Ms. Slattery covered the International Labor Organization multilateral diplomacy portfolio in the Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Office of Human Security. In 2013, Ms. Slattery also served as a political officer at the U.S. Mission to the European Union covering human rights and European enlargement as well as the EU's relationship with the countries in Africa. Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Slattery worked as an attorney practicing business and commercial litigation in Minnesota and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Justice Wilhelmina M. Wright. Ms. Slattery holds dual M.A.s in International Relations and European History as part of the Atlantis Program through Collegium Civitas in Warsaw, Poland, and the University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia, and West Virginia University, a J.D. from the University of St. Thomas, School of Law, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and a B.A. in Management and Communications from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. She is the recipient of two of the State Department's Meritorious Honor Awards for her work on Bangladesh and two Franklin Honor Awards. Ms. Slattery has language skills in Spanish, Russian, Polish, Estonian, French, and Haitian Creole.


Kyle Smith

Field Organizer, DFL Senate Caucus

Kyle graduated from SJU in the spring of 2016 with a major in political science.He currently works as a field organizer for the Minnesota DFL, which includes organizing volunteers and direct voter contact for campaigns in the St. Cloud area. As a student, Kyle was involved with the CSBSJU College Democrats, served on the Saint John's Senate, managed a local campaign for Minnesota State House of Representatives in 2014, and interned with No Labels as part of the 2015 Washington, D.C. Summer Study Program through the Political Science Department.



Drew Stommes

Doctoral Student, Yale University 

Drew is a doctoral student in political science at Yale University, specializing in comparative politics in general and the intersection of elections and violence in particular. His research agenda leverages data and cases drawn from the entire South Asia region. Prior to Yale, Drew received my master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago and worked briefly in the private sector as a market research analyst. Additionally, he provided research support at two Washington, D.C.-based think tanks, studied abroad in India as a CSB/SJU student, and worked as a student coordinator at the McCarthy Center.


Sean Timmins

Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Sean Timmins is a new Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia where he covers the aviation, defense and ICT portfolios. He joined the officer corps after nearly ten years as a civil servant working in various positions within the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Most recently, he worked as a desk officer in the Office of East Asia, covering the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. In addition to his government experience, Sean spent 2-1/2 years with a small international development consulting firm where he provided home office management of USAID economic growth projects in Southeast Europe and West Africa. He holds an MA from GW's Elliott School of International Affairs and a BA in Political Science and German from St. John's University in Minnesota.


Tyler Thompson

Socioeconomist Assistant, Bureau of Land Management, National Operations Center

Tyler graduated from CSB/SJU in May of 2016 with a major in environmental studies and minor in economics. This fall he began working as a Socioeconomist Assistant at the Bureau of Land Management's National Operations Center in Denver, Colorado. Tyler's work for the BLM involves analyzing social, economic, and environmental justice impacts of various land management practices, and how state and local communities are affected by the decisions made. As a student at CSB/SJU Tyler served as the manager of the Outdoor Leadership Center, coordinator for Collegebound, Intern at the CSB Office of Sustainability, and a delegate at the UNFCCC in December of 2015.


Edwin Torres

Class Action Clerk, Nichols Kaster, PLLP

Edwin Torres works as a Class Action Clerk for Nichols Kaster, PLLP, an employee and consumer rights law firm with offices in downtown Minneapolis and San Francisco. Edwin graduated from CSBSJU on May 2016 and while as a student, he had the privilege to be part of and lead several on-campus organizations/clubs - such as the Saint John's Senate, MDI, Cultural Affairs Board, and the Eugene J McCarthy Center. Because of his involvement on campus, Edwin developed a strong passion for social justice and due to my civic and community engagements Edwin was awarded several recognitions; most notably he was recognized as one of this nation's top 20 Young Hispanic Leaders by the United States Hispanic leadership Institute in 2015. Currently, Edwin has taken that passion and turned it into serving and fighting for people's right at Nichols Kaster. He is the main clerk on 22 cases, representing more than 7,000 clients, assisting attorneys in employment matters, consumer class actions, sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, or unpaid overtime.


Mike Zumwinkle

Senior Program Officer, The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

Mike Zumwinkle is an experienced corporate and government affairs leader. Formerly, he was the director of government relations for Cargill, where he was responsible for government relations impacting the company's food and agriculture business. He was with Cargill's Corporate Affairs division for nearly 15 years. Previously, Zumwinkle worked for SJU in institutional advancement and the U.S. Department of State. He has also held a year-long U.S. Department of State Fascell Fellowship in East Germany. A native of Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Zumwinkle received a bachelor's degree in government from SJU, attended the University of Leipzig and earned a Master's Degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota. Zumwinkle also attended the National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College and serves on several boards.