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 (www.troymarket.org), 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.

Stacy is also the Chair of the Litchfield Area Empower, Women United in Philanthropy. This group is committed to the early education of children through its early learning initiatives and its focus on parent support and education.

She and her husband Derek Penk live in Litchfield with their three children.

Student Coordinators

 Madison Morris

Hometown: Andover, MN

 Graduated from Andover High School

Currently a J unior at CSB, double major in Political Science & Spanish.

On my reading list: "Zoo" by James Patterson and "1984" by George Orwell

 Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones

Random fact about me: 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.

Richie Podvin

What is your Hometown? Roseville, MN  

What High School did you graduate from? Cretin-Derham Hall High School   

Currently a (Jr./ Sr.) at CSBSJU pursuing a degree(s) in: (majors/minors) Political Science Major with a Pre-law focus.  

What are you currently reading/ is at the top of your reading list? (outside classroom assignments)
Currently, I am reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.   What is your favorite TV show?  My favorite TV show is The Office.


What is one random thing that people don't know about you? 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!


Contact Us

Matt Lindstrom
Director, McCarthy Center
Edward L. Henry
Professor of Political Science
Simons 142
Saint John's University
Collegeville, MN 56321
(320) 363-3364

Stacy Penk
Simons 136
Saint John's University
Collegeville, MN 56321
(320) 363-3266

McCarthy Center Student Coordinators
Anna Cron
Peter Dudziak
Diana Elhard
Madison Morris
Anastasiia Okuneva
Richie Podvin
Edwin Torres