The vast network of Tommie alumni are out in the world every day making it a better place, a more inclusive place, a more FUN place – All For the Common Good. We thank them for that! In each issue of St. Thomas magazine, we are proud to introduce to you Alumni You Should Know. Who should be added to our list?
Spring 2020: Veterans
St. Thomas has housed a military program since 1903. We have a goal to become the most military-friendly university in the Upper Midwest, which led to the creation of the Veterans Resource Center in 2017. Meet some of our Tommie veterans!
Stacy (Mandelkow) Glaus ’10
Golden Valley, Minnesota
Her favorite St. Thomas memory is a toss-up. “It should be: ‘the day I met my husband’ … but another favorite is singing at Mass in the chapel,” said Glaus. After completing Air Force ROTC, she served as a flight commander in the 2nd Combat Camera Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. “I worked on our dual mission of combat documentation and video production, a mission that is highly unique in the Air Force. I served with some of the most talented photojournalists and videographers in the Department of Defense,” she said. She didn’t graduate with a degree in journalism or communications, but Glaus says that “St. Thomas gave me a strong entrepreneurial mind” and a liberal arts education that set her up for anything. She is back in Minnesota and loving her newfound role as “Mom.” “We bring our Little Tommies to campus whenever possible,” she said.
Dennis McFadden ’75, ’84 MBA
McFadden learned quickly that Tommies do more than be present. “In Father [James] Stromberg’s logic class, he opened by saying, ‘Attendance is a necessary, though insufficient condition for success in this class.’ Just showing up is not enough. We must make a concerted effort and be persistent to become successful in life,” said McFadden. He served in the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps in the early 1970s. “I was a radio operator and underwent extensive training: scuba, airborne, mountain and winter operations. That experience provided me with the discipline, drive and vision to go well beyond what I ever
imagined.” He is very active in the Tommie Network, even establishing a scholarship fund for active-duty military personnel or military veteran students. “My wife and I are grateful to help others have the same terrific opportunity that St. Thomas gave me years ago,” he said.
Bob Fleming ’84
“I received a commission in the Air Force immediately following graduation,” said Fleming. “I retired from the Air Force in 2004 after my reserve unit returned from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Fleming served as an instructor pilot on the T-38 and flew the C-130 for 15 years. He now flies A320 aircraft as a captain for Delta Air Lines. Like many alumni, his fondest St. Thomas memories revolve around friendships. “My favorite
memories are from my days in Ireland Hall just hanging out with some incredible people,” he said. He actively gives back to fellow veterans as a mentor in the Carver County Veterans Court. “We help veterans get their lives back on track after they run into some tough times.” He also volunteers with Common Hope, a nonprofit that supports children seeking education in Guatemala.
Spring 2019: Medical Professionals
Lt. Sean Navin '10
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Lt. Sean Navin serves on active duty as a pharmacist in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, where he stands ready to respond to domestic and international public health emergencies. However, "On a day-to-day basis I serve Native American patients and work with other health professionals to solve medication-related issues," Navin said. He is proud to provide critical health care services to underserved populations, but he also enjoys the opportunity to educate the public and fellow health professionals on the proper use of medications and healthful behaviors in general. He is a long way from Minnesota, so he sees the Tommie Network as a great way to stay in touch with the university. "It has allowed me to mentor students who are interested in pharmacy and health care," he noted.
Bob Maley '83
St. Paul, Minnesota
Bob Maley fondly remembers his days in Ireland Hall, a residence hall known for tis strong community. The late Monsignor James Lavin would be proud to see the strong community that Maley has built in his own life. "To me, advancing the common good is not one big project; it's meeting every person I encounter where they're at and being in communion with them," said Maley, owner of Maley Dental in St. Paul. "Our office is often part of people's community, their support system. That's why I love this work so much." He takes his practice on the road, too, having traveled to Peru three times on medical and dental missions, but it's clear that he is most passionate about his local extended family. "Going to St. Thomas was foundational in my life. I met my wife there, we set up our lives in St. Paul after graduating, and I started my dental practice here," Maley said.
Lauren Soukup '13
"I got into my current career due to my grandmother's disease that slowly took away her vision," said Lauren Soukup, who specializes in geriatrics. She is grateful to be able to help others live better lives. "Vision is highly undervalued, and it is when you work wiht patients who have low vision that you really value the services that you provide to the population. Above all else, the relationships that I have formed with my patients remind me every day of how attentive and personalized medicine can make outcomes better." She is equally passionate about helping other women enter the field, similar to how she was supported while at St. Thomas. "I will forever be grateful for my mentors in the faculty who helped tailor my undergraduate education to give me a leg up in post-graduate studies as well as my career."
Summer 2018: Farmers to Know
Franz Klein '04
Franz Klein and his wife took over his wife’s parents’ 40-acre farm last year and transformed it into a full-fledged business venture with gourmet garlic, winter squash and pastured meats. Franz says, “The garlic is in the ground, and we're poring over the seed catalogs.” Farm life is not exactly what he set out to do after St. Thomas. He was an academic in North Carolina, but the couple couldn’t pass up the chance to raise their five boys in a healthful environment nurtured by the values of hard work. He often reflects on his time at St. Thomas: “I feel that all my professors at St. Thomas … ‘unfettered’ me from excessive concern for the things of this world, and ‘empowered’ me to make the radical move of quitting a secure, full-time teaching job to become a small-time organic farmer. That's the ‘power of the purple’ to me!”
Frank Schiefelbein '53
Schiefelbein Farms runs one of the largest registered Angus herds in the country, but Frank Shiefelbein couldn’t have imagined such a future growing up in North Minneapolis. At age 9, his dad bought a fishing cabin, but he had to agree also to buy the attached farm and animals. Before Frank could follow his father’s example, he had to earn that college degree. He got a little distracted at times. “My whole first year I played bridge. The second year I played chess. And the third year I doubled down and took 38 credits so I could graduate and get back on the farm.” … “I knew nothing about anything, so I’m glad I got an excellent education at St. Thomas. They taught me how to think, and I could figure stuff out.” That’s an understatement. This family operation continues to grow as fast as the family, which includes 15 great-grandchildren!
Jason Amundsen '95
Jason and his wife, Lucie (pictured here paying tribute to “American Gothic” by Grant Wood), have a strong mission statement for their egg farm. “We’re creating real food for neighbors, while treating our livestock and the planet well in the process.” These entrepreneurs saw a need for locally sourced eggs at their local co-op, so they transformed their backyard flock into a full-fledged farm. This progression of thought to action mirrors Jason’s educational experiences at St. Thomas. “As with the mission of St. Thomas, I try to think critically (but not negatively) about events and situations and ask myself to make an honest assessment of any given situation, independent of emotion, superstition or personal bias. That’s a hard skill to develop and as an entrepreneur, it’s one of the most critical skills I need to practice every day.”
Fall 2018: Tommie Restaurateurs
Ryan Huseby '00
General Manager and co-owner
Ryan Huseby, who majored in communication and journalism, has great memories of St. Thomas, many of them with his professors and fellow students who showed great passion for their work. “I spent countless hours hanging out at the Grill, drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing, reading and studying. You could always count on running into friends at the Grill, so study time usually turned into social time.” Tongue in Cheek is a far cry from the Grill, but both eateries can claim themselves as gathering spots, an important piece for Huseby. “I am passionate about having a positive impact on my community. Tongue in Cheek is in a neighborhood that had long been in decline, and being part of the new businesses that are revitalizing the area is exciting. I also serve on the neighborhood business association board of directors, and previously sat on a community council committee.”
Tom Flanagan '11
Co-owner and operator
“We purchased Mac’s the summer before my senior year. I explained to my entrepreneurship professors that I had officially started ‘living the dream’ as an entrepreneur, and they were all genuinely excited and interested. This showed me the authentic passion they had for the success of their students, and that really stuck with me,” said Tom Flanagan (pictured here in Mac’s walleye suit). He’s grateful for St. Thomas’ role in preparing students for bringing God’s teachings into the world and workplace. “Mac’s has an amazing opportunity to be a part of so many people’s lives, and we always strive to make those moments with us as fun and as memorable as possible.” He’s grateful to all Tommies for their support. “We try to make Mac’s feel a part of a tight-knit community, much like what I have experienced with the Tommie network.”
Dave Erickson '07
Dave Erickson is among our lucky alumni who built their skills studying abroad. His best memories as a student are from his days “traveling and experiencing Europe while participating in the London Business Semester program.” He can easily draw from the university’s mission for inspiration in his busy daily life. “Similar to the University of St. Thomas, the hospitality industry is about reaching a common good for others. One drink at a time! The reach of the Tommie network is incredible. It’s fun meeting and connecting with other North Dakota Tommies!”
Winter 2018: Entrepreneurs to Know
Jason Utgaard '07
The Spotted Door
Salt Lake City, Utah
“I fondly remember pitching business ideas as a student to a small panel of local entrepreneurs who then would bombard us with questions to tear them apart. It was brutal yet beneficial, and surprisingly entertaining,” said Jason Utgaard, who likened the experience to the TV show “Shark Tank.” He has founded a curated online store exclusively for products made from recycled and reclaimed materials, a business idea that he says is rooted in the common good. “Americans generate more trash than anyone else on the planet. My work involves making you see beyond trash and to recognize that lost-function does not mean no-function. Beautiful, functional, quality products can be made from unlikely materials – such as cigarette butts, used denim, car tires and fishing nets. Through sustainable and eco-conscious design, products made from recycled materials will totally restructure our society’s predominantly one-way supply chain,” he said. See beyond trash, he says in his TEDx Talk, and consider yourself a “temporary user” of products rather than a “consumer.” He is thankful to the Tommie network, which has helped him to “connect with other alumni engaged in social entrepreneurship pursuits and to bounce ideas off each other about our interests.”
Kate Herzog '09 MBA
House of Talents
Kate Herzog taught herself to read at age 10 as a young girl in Ghana, West Africa. It was full-speed ahead after that, and her desire to give back and empower others to succeed motivates her. She gained insights into how to pursue those goals in her business ethics class at St. Thomas. “We had a discussion of the Charles Handy notion of business. His argument that business should be managed as a community and that the purpose of business is not to make profit, but that profit should be the reward for good business, made a lasting impression on me,” said Herzog. “I founded House of Talents in the final weeks of my program. We seek to alleviate poverty by connecting artisans in developing countries to consumers worldwide, so artisans can build the lives they envision for themselves. By connecting the resource-poor to those with access to resources, we strive to bridge the inequitable distribution of wealth.” Herzog’s experience at St. Thomas gave her the tools and inspiration she needed to fulfill her goals, but she gained a bit more in the end. “I attended St. Thomas for an education and left with a family.”
Martha McCarthy Krueger '11 and Emily Pritchard '11
The Social Lights
“One of our favorite memories is beating the Johnnies in the annual Tommie/Johnnie football game our senior year. We broke the 12-year losing streak, and the entire student section ran onto the field to celebrate the victory,” said Martha McCarthy Krueger and Emily Pritchard. Placing third in the inaugural Fowler Business Concept Challenge also brings back exciting times. “We stayed up the entire night before practicing and recording our pitch. We presented our newly formed business concept, Snap System Bikes, which was a proprietary bike-locking mechanism we had invented. … Neither of us was passionate about engineering bike locks, but it was a great experience to have our idea validated and ultimately gave us the confidence boost confirming that we could come up with an idea and turn it into a business.”
Today Krueger and Pritchard run a successful social-media firm, The Social Lights, and they have built a company culture based on core values. “Our team is passionate about and believes in what we're building together. We advance the common good by allowing our team to find purpose and meaning in their careers.” They’re grateful to the Tommie network for helping them launch their business. “We had a support system starting Day #1 that was willing to make introductions, take meetings, and connect us with the right advisors, clients and employees. Now we have the opportunity to give back!”
Spring 2017: Alumni to Know in Law Enforcement
Ramona Dohman '03 M.A.
Choosing to return to school for a master’s degree brought Commissioner Dohman a few moments of doubt. “I remember walking into my first class feeling overwhelmed, second-guessing myself about my intent to obtain my master’s degree, but immediately feeling a sense of inclusion, warmth and support from my first professor, Michael Paymar, and my fellow classmates.” She feels honored to work in public safety with people “who bring passion, commitment and dedication to the work” that they do to keep the people of Minnesota safe. Fortunately, the commissioner sees the "power of purple" as one answer to the stresses of her daily work. “Purple is calming to my mind. I feel as if it puts me mentally or emotionally into a state of being ready to absorb what is forthcoming … whether that be relationships with others, learning, decision-making, writing, reading, etc.”
Tim Leslie '95 M.A.
“As a law-enforcement official, I feel there is never enough compassion in the world we live in,” said Sheriff Leslie. “People can be quick to judge, and sometimes that can close their minds to the challenges others face in life. My attendance at, and relationship with, the University of St. Thomas has taught me to love and respect my brothers and sisters and to treat all with the respect and dignity that is deserved and that we all want, need and desire.” St. Thomas is proud to count Leslie among its adjunct faculty members as well. “I open classes with the question, ‘Have you had a St. Thomas moment since we last met?’ To me that is the 'power of purple.' The concept that we are working toward changing lives together, and that is accomplished through relationships with others and in a very deliberate manner working for the common good.”
Mike Martin '05 M.A.
Captain Martin is on the front lines as he fights against gang violence locally, nationally and beyond. “My experiences at St. Thomas have given me the opportunity to influence communities across North America, from the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan [Canada]. I really enjoy working with police agencies and communities to reduce gang violence, investigate gang crimes, and keep kids out of gangs.” The relationships that Martin forged with his fellow students at St. Thomas became a source of professional development that went beyond the textbooks. “I looked forward every week to meeting with my master's cohort. We discussed emerging issues in policing and shared ideas on how best to address them in our own agencies.”
Paul Schnell '86
Chief Schnell has been wearing blue since his college days! “I recall a trip to Goodwill for a tuxedo Halloween costume, and I ended up with a powder blue ruffled shirt and gray pants. I wore the getup once a week for months!” He earned a degree in social work and later transitioned from being a social worker to pursuing a career as a police officer, now serving as a police chief. “I see firsthand the need for a commitment to the common good. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help grow community partnerships and cohesion, which promotes our collective safety.” He is also happy to come from an alumni community that understands the meaning of Christ's admonition, "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."
Fall 2017: Alumnae to Know
Terri (Teresa) Martin '81
St. Paul, Minnesota
“The guys were lined up like bellmen to take our luggage,” Martin said about moving into Murray Hall.The rooms were so new; the paint was barely dry.” She credits the late Dr. Paul Schons for inspiring her to become an educator. “He was dedicated and caring.” She continued, “It is an honor to help [my students] not only with academics, but to serve as their advocate.,” she said. “The ‘power of purple’ is what happens when Tommies make a difference by living lives that exemplify strong values, integrity of character and generous service to the communities in which they live.”
Mary (LaVerdure) Deutsch '81
“I had so many wonderful professors that broadened my view of the historical, political and economic interconnections of our nation and the world. St. Thomas offered us the rich and vibrant tapestry of a truly excellent liberal arts education,” Deutsch said. “Monsignor Lavin helped me put my first semester schedule together. He was so kind and welcoming.” “I experience the Power of Purple whenever the choir sings the music of fellow alumni Father. Jan Michael Joncas, David Haas and Marty Haugen.”
Julie Kramer '81
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
“In 1979, several of the Aquin staff, including myself, piled into a friend's camper to drive to Des Moines to see Pope John Paul II celebrate an outdoor Mass at the Living History Farms. Wandering through the crowd of 300,000, I stumbled upon a busload from St. Thomas and photographed them for the student newspaper.” Kramer finds common threads between the St. Thomas mission and her professional journalists’ code of ethics, which calls her to minimize harm. “Which is why I only kill people fictionally,” she said. (Did we mention that she’s a mystery writer?).
Ann Licater '81
Like many alumni, Ann vividly remembers walking through the Arches at orientation. “St. Thomas was filled with endless possibilities, especially for the first graduating class of women.” The lighter moments of college life remain close to her heart. “I loved playing my flute for the Liturgical Ministry and serving as a member of the student council's social committee. Laughing with my Murray Hall dorm-mates while getting ready for the “Grease” dance-a-thon was another highlight,” Licater said. She finds herself giving back through her music these days, through which she hopes to “help people with their own spiritual paths by offering a form of contemplation and reflection with my relaxation music.”
Winter 2017: Alumni to Know in Comedy
Katie Moen '04
Moen credits the Power of Purple for at least one of her big breaks as a comedian. “A few years ago, I applied for a job at The Onion, a satirical news source, and I didn’t know anyone there. I got an interview because my future boss was a St. Thomas alumnus, so he knew I went to a good school. I got the job.” Her love of satire and big heart are a mighty combination. “I think that laughter is essential; it releases endorphins! If one of my jokes or videos can make someone laugh or crack a smile, I think I’ve contributed in a small way toward the common good.”
Julie Bane '94
Bane has many fond memories of living on campus (specifically Dowling 6N). “One of my favorites was when I wrote a letter asking to get the dorm curfew extended past 11 p.m. because ‘Cheers’ wasn’t over until 11:05. It worked!” As a comedian, she believes she helps to advance the university’s mission by getting people to laugh. “There is so much heavy stuff going on in the world. It’s nice to give people an escape from that.” For Bane, the Power of Purple “means that our shared connection as Tommies gives us a great foundation to build a friendship or work relationship. It’s like you already have an instant connection from which to grow.”
Chuck Gollop '91, '05 M.A.
Gollop works in comedy and realty after decades of service as a police officer. “It’s funny how the skills I learned from 21 years as a policeman serve me so well in both of those careers: dodging beer bottles and dealing with difficult clients and realtors.” His intrinsic drive to help others is clear as he describes his new career path. “Helping bring happiness to the world brings happiness to me. Especially in troubling times, it is so important to me.” Gollop describes the Power of Purple as “the spirit of St. Thomas, which never stops flowing through a Tommie’s heart!”
Bridget Jones Nelson '87
Local news legend Don Shelby made quite an impression on Nelson during class one day, as she recalled him saying, “You’re not much of a journalist, but you sure made me laugh. … You’re getting a B.” His intuition was spot-on, as Nelson has enjoyed great success making people laugh. “Often people tell me that watching one of our shows got them through a difficult time. That seems pretty good!”
Fall 2016: Alumni to Know in Political Journalism
Heidi Enninga '14
According to Heidi, “Political journalism done well, takes the sometimes complicated world of policy and makes it accessible and understandable to citizens.” She’s passionate about “helping to create a well-informed public and holding policy makers accountable for making just and fair decisions.” Heidi’s “power of purple” lies in the shared camaraderie and understanding among Tommies, something she felt and experienced in many ways including her years singing in the annual Christmas concerts with the Liturgical Choir.
Patrick Condon '95
For Patrick, the “power of purple” was displayed by the St. Thomas journalism and English professors who believed in him and prepared this “small-town Minnesota kid” for a career as a working journalist. “I try to hold elected officials and other government leaders accountable to the people they serve. I also strive to write stories that deliver content and depth in a polarized political system,” says Patrick. His best days at St. Thomas were spent with classmates, many of whom are like family today.
Tom Hauser '83
“I’m proud to represent the ‘purple’ as a graduate of St. Thomas’ well-respected journalism program where the focus is, and always has been, on ethics,” says Tom. He’s dedicated to giving viewers “accurate, fair and unbiased” coverage. “I believe journalism and the First Amendment are bedrock in our democracy and I take that responsibility very seriously.” He’s been dedicated to the news since he was editor of the Aquin at St. Thomas. His most memorable St. Thomas night came after delivering page galleys to the publisher at 3 a.m., only to find 15 inches of snow the next day. “Unfortunately, the blizzard came too late to get it in that week’s paper.”
John McCormick '91
“Maybe it's the simple things that stick with you the most, but I have lots of fond memories of simply walking across campus. Sometimes it was on glorious, sunny fall days buzzing with students …, and sometimes it was on frigid "January term" days when it seemed that I was the only soul around.” John has covered four national presidential elections, and he’s in the middle of his fifth and perhaps most contentious. “I'm a political reporter, so the phrase ‘power of purple’ naturally reminds me of presidential battleground states like Iowa, Ohio and Florida, which are neither red nor blue. They're the ones that are going to decide the next president.”
Joseph O'Sullivan '08
“I remember Professor Mark Neuzil’s edits on the first story I turned in for his advanced reporting class. Buckets of red ink from a great teacher,” said Sullivan. “I work every day to speak truth to power, reveal political decisions and public documents not previously seen, and show how government policies impact ordinary people.” He lives by the adage, “Service before self.”
Winter 2016: Alumni to Know Who Advance the Common Good
Michael Roach ’92
This award-winning ad man now directs and executes creative ideas for Harley Davidson. As a journalism major, Roach considers himself a story-teller at heart. He now calls Chicago home, where he cheers on his beloved Cubs every chance he gets.
Mary E. MacCarthy ’96 M.I.M., ’97 M.B.A.
Glorious Hugs’ mission is to alleviate loneliness and stress through custom care packages sent in the mail. Inspired by MacCarthy’s own mother’s experiences later in life, the care packages are designed especially for seniors and, now, college students. They are filled with Minnesota products, including original artwork, freshly made cookies and words of comfort.
James P. Snee ’10 M.B.A.
After more than 25 years at Hormel Foods, Snee was promoted last fall to this top leadership post and now oversees all of Hormel’s business segments and global operations. He is only the 10th president in the company’s 125-year history.
Barb Thukral ’99
Thukral’s son was born with clubfeet, a congenital condition in which the feet are improperly positioned. He’s undergone major surgeries in his short life, coupled with intensive physical therapy. This stay-at-home mom was so inspired by the care that her son received at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare that she and her husband, Avesh ’99, began raising money to give back to Gillette. Fast forward to now: She is the founding director of the Kids for a Cause Triathlon, a nonprofit organization that hosts an annual kids triathlon for all abilities and raises money for children being treated by the Children’s Miracle Network.
Julie Guggemos ’87
Guggemos’ teams are responsible for the design process at Target, from trend research to concept design to technical assessments and product testing. She travels the world looking for fashionable trends and brings them to the shelves of Target.