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Alumni Profiles

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 Nicole Hochsprung '10  Associate, Higher Education at American Federation of Teachers.  In December 2012 I landed my dream job as an associate in the Higher Education Department at the American Federation of Teachers - the largest affiliate of the AFLCIO and the union representing the most workers in higher education. It is the hardest I have ever worked in my life but I love it very much. Some of the issues I work on are MOOCs, promoting student access, fighting fraud and abuse (particularly of for-profit institutions), contingent faculty issues, and promoting union-student coalitions on campus.

Jeff Morency (SJU '05) is an Arabic Linguist and Middle East Specialist. Jeff spent more than a year deployed to Iraq as a contract linguist with the US Military. Following his graduation from SJU, he learned Arabic through intensive study and travel throughout the Middle East, including Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey. Jeff broke into the field of translation while completing an MA ('09) in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He is fluent in Arabic and learned French and Farsi.  He worked in the West Bank with the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.

Brianna Jensen (CSB '10) began working in Guatemala with Common Hope in May 2010. Her degree in political science, with emphasis in international relations, helps her understand her position with Common Hope and assist visitors as they become acclimated to the third world country.  Brianna  became aware of both Common Hope and Guatemala through CSB. Her study abroad program, based in Quetzaltenango, first opened her eyes to international relations and multiculturalism. She then was inspired to write her POLS senior research seminar thesis on Guatemala and to continue studying international relations.


Zac White (SJU '08) is enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.  He previously worked in the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program and  teaching in China.  He was a POLS major and Asian studies minor and is planning a career that bridges the United States and Asia.

Amanda Benedict (CSB '08) graduated with a POLS major and SOCI minor. Her POLS studies focused on international relations.  After graduating she moved to Japan and taught English for one year. After Japan she moved to Saipan where she taught high school English literature. During this time she was compelled to begin the grad school application process and was accepted into the MA in International Relations program at the University of San Diego in California, which she completed in 2012.  Her master's thesis examined how the Chinese Communist Party conceptualizes human rights.

Timothy Enright (SJU '99) was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan from 1999-2001, graduated from Johns Hopkins SAIS with a Master's degree in 2004 and his experiences include work at a democracy non-profit, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and for consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. He joined the Foreign Service in 2005.  He is currently a Foreign Affairs Officer at U.S. Department of State. He has served in Baghdad and Moscow at U.S. Embassies as a State Department Watch Officer and as a Political Officer at the US Consulate in Dubai and Herat, Afghanistan.

Dr. Shawn Schulenberg (SJU '02) is currently a Director of Graduate Studies of Political Science at Marshall University and Track Chair of the Politics and Sexualities Track in the Latin American Studies Association. He completed his B.A. in political science at CSB/SJU in 2002 and his M.A. (2004) and Ph.D. (2010), also in political science, from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Schulenberg's research agenda looks at issues related to sexuality and LGBT politics in Latin America, with a focus on the counties of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Panama. He has published in the Journal of Human Rights (2012) and New Political Science (2013) as well as served as a co-editor and contributor to Same-Sex Marriage in the Americas (2010, Lexington Books) and Same-Sex Partnership Recognition in Latin America (2013, Lexington Books).


Jeff Schnobrich '09 graduated summa cum laude from St. John's. He received his Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the University of Memphis in 2014.  Previously he was a Policy Analyst at the   Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.  He represented unionized workers in every mode of transportation. There, he tracked legislation and regulations affecting transportation workers and advocates on their behalf before Congress and the Executive Branch. Jeff had an internship through the summer DC Program with the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.


Amy Walstein '00  Director of Education and Workforce Development Policy and Elections, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  Amy is responsible for policy development in these issue areas as well as  lobbying at the state Capitol.  Previously she was the Committee Administrator for the Senate Finance Committee, Director of Government Relations for the Minnesota Department of Education, and practiced law at Trimble & Associates, Ltd.  She graduated from the College of St. Benedict magna cum laude and then William Mitchell College of Law ('04).


Peter Meyer '06 - Congressional Research Service Analyst.  Peter Meyer is an Latin American Affairs Analyst at the CRS, a legislative branch agency dedicated to providing nonpartisan research and policy analysis to Members of Congress. At CRS, Peter is responsible for analyzing political, economic, and social trends in a number of Latin American nations, and how those trends affect the interests of the United States. He graduated summa cum laude from SJU in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. He received his masters in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2008 .


Amy Hertel '99 - Director of Impact Strategy, The Minneapolis Foundation.  After college, Amy went on to  pursue graduate studies in law at Stanford (JD '05) and public affairs at Princeton (MPA). After college, she clerked for the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder, Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Later, she returned to Minnesota and joined the trial group, Dorsey and Whitney, representing Native American tribes. Amy is currently serving the Minneapolis community as the Director of Impact Strategy at the Minneapolis Foundation. 

Mary Baumgard '13   I'm currently the Operations Manager at New Blue Interactive, a boutique digital fundraising firm that specializes in Democratic races, including congressional races and state parties.
The best thing about a my political science degree is that it prepared me for not only work in politics but working in a variety of fields, where I can have confidence in what I am doing, how I am approaching issues, and how I am presenting solutions to others

Chase Cushman '06   Director of Scheduling/Deputy assistant to President Obama

Kate Paul ' 14    Executive Assistant, Office of Congressman Erik Paulsen, U.S. House

Lauren Currie '14   Staff Assistant at U.S. House of Representatives

Jessica Vining '09  Law Clerk at Charles County State's Attorney's Office, attended George Washington University Law School '14

Bill Jaffee '13   Press Assistant at Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Madolynn Morken '12  Federal Government Relations Specialist, David Turch & Assoc.

Jennifer Nord Mallard '94   Director, Federal Government Affairs at Mayo Clinic

Kelsey Gustafson '10  Assistant Analyst at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Sean Suter '10  Teaching Assistant to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Georgetown University &  Attending Georgetown Grad School

Erik Anderson '09 Research Consultant for the DFL House Caucus at the Minnesota House of Representatives.


Brian Bowman.  Upon graduation, I worked on the staff of U.S. Senator Rod Grams in Washington, D.C., from 1996 to 1998 when I left to attend law school at Creighton University. I graduated from law school in 2001 and entered the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps after passing the bar exam. In the Air Force I was stationed for two years at Kadena Air Base, Japan, followed by four years at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In 2005 to 2006 I was deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. I left active duty in 2008 and entered the Iowa Air National Guard, where I was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In my civilian capacity I am an Assistant General Counsel at First National Bank in Omaha, Nebraska. My wife Liz is an immigration attorney and we have two children, Christian and Charlotte.


Matt Reubendale.  I'm an Account Manager for Esri which is the leading Location Analytics software developer. Organizations use our technology to create geographic understanding of disparate data. More simply put, our technology is the most advanced mapping platform available and it is used by professionals and anyone that isn't using Google (which is way more people than you think).  My role at Esri is taking that technology and helping retail organizations figure out how to utilize it to their advantage. Essentially I get to meet with retailers and help them think about how maps can help them better understand and serve their customers. It's a pretty awesome job.

Max Holmquist.  After St. John's, I attended Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and graduated in 2008. After living in Colorado for one year, I moved back home to Anchorage, Alaska.  I started out as a law clerk in state district court in 2009 and was there for one year. Since then I've been at a small law firm called Gorton & Logue. Our practice area is criminal defense. We have the indigent defense contract with the Municipality of Anchorage, so we're the equivalent of a public defender. I have a busy, but interesting, caseload of misdemeanor offenses such as DUI, assault, shoplifting, trespassing, etc. I'm generally in court at least once a day. I do jury trials, motion practice, and criminal appeals for the cases I work. I've had the opportunity to build a private criminal defense practice here as well. 

Mary Uran ('06) Political Science & Communication double major - Master of Public Health Nutrition, University of Minnesota

Currently Executive Director and Co-Founder, Girls on the Run Twin Cities

Immediately after graduating from St Bens, I moved to Washington D.C. to work for the National Association of Attorneys General. I first worked as a paralegal on the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, and then upon deciding to forego law school, moved to serve as coordinator of the National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute. In 2010, I returned to Minnesota to pursue my Masters in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. While in graduate school, I worked for the Network for Public Health Law and create a local non-profit, Girls on the Run Twin Cities. Girls on the Run empowers girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using an experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

What is your favorite aspect of your current job? Standing at the finish line of our culminating 5k run and seeing all of our girls exude confidence, excitement and pride at their accomplishment: it feels great to know that I played a role in helping to empower a young girl. And at the same time, also being able to share that incredible experience with community members from coaches to running buddies and other volunteers as well as donors.

What do you think was valuable about your experiences as a Political Science major? All of the opportunities to hone my writing and critical thinking skills. Access to professors such as Scott Johnson, Phil Kronebusch and Claire Haeg, who served as great teachers, supporters and mentors. The format of most Political Science classes provided a space to listen to differing opinions, have healthy debates, and ultimately build confidence in my own beliefs, values, issues to advocate for and mission in life. The emphasis on gaining practical experiences through internships and volunteering was also invaluable: being allowed to spend a whole semester in DC my junior year as an intern truly shaped my career path and gave me the opportunity to return to DC after graduation and land my first job.

What is your favorite memory of undergraduate life? Home football games on a gorgeous fall Saturday.