On a Personal Note

Who knows where a liberal arts degree will lead? A geography major becomes
a UNESCO commissioner, a cultural studies major is a lawyer, an English major
is a stand-up comedian. Where did your degree take you?
Let us know at clareach@umn.edu.

1960s - 70s

John W. Carey, B.A. '64, psychology, was named a Twin Cities "superlawyer" by Twin Cities Business, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine and Minnesota Super Lawyers. He is a personal injury attorney with extensive experience in the field of medical malpractice.

Robert J. Tennessen, B.A. '65, economics, J.D. '68, was appointed chair of a committee of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws that is studying the feasibility of a uniform statute on criminal records accuracy and access. He also serves on the conference's committee that is drafting a uniform statute on prevention and remedies for human trafficking.

Diane Mitsch Bush, B.A. '75, Ph.D. '79, sociology, won a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. She is a professor at Colorado State University, and has served as a county commissioner. She ran as a Democrat, favoring the monitoring of groundwater quality around oilrigs.

Nancy Altman, B.A. '76, was named senior vice president, chief marketing officer, at Shopko, the national retailer. She previously held a similar position at Toronto-based Premier Salons, and at Younkers, a former division of Saks Department Store Group.

Sally Mays, B.A. '76, journalism, received the National Information Technology Pathfinder Award, which honors a school library media specialist who demonstrates vision and leadership through the use of information technology to build lifelong learners, from the American Association of School Librarians. Mays is a media specialist at Robbinsdale (Minn.) Spanish Immersion School.

Terry Faust, B.A. '77, studio art, has published Z is for Xenophobe, a novel about Hypothermia, Minn., and the aliens who invade it. Otherwise, Faust is a freelance photographer and writer.


Rochelle Calof, B.A. '86, speech communication, heads up Calof Production Services, LLC, a full-service, direct marketing company she founded that specializes in creative, strategy, data, e-marketing, print, mail, and fulfillment services. She previously worked in direct marketing for Carlson Marketing Group, Northwest Airlines, and Hyatt Hotels.

Photo: Yun-han ChuYun-han Chu

Yun-han Chu, Ph.D. '87, political science, was elected to Academia Sinica, the Republic of China's highest academic institution. He is a professor of political science at National Taiwan University, and president of Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange, and has served as director of programs at the Institute for National Policy Research, Taiwan's leading independent think tank.

Patrick Mendis, M.A. '87, public affairs, Ph.D. '90, geography, was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton a commissioner to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

Photo: Earl LewisEarl Lewis
Earl Lewis, Ph.D. '84, MA. '81, history, provost at Emory University, has been elected president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is the co-general editor of the eleven-volume Young Oxford History of African Americans.


John Troyer, B.A. '96, political science and theatre arts, Ph.D. '06, comparative studies in discourse and society, is a research fellow and deputy director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, England.

Photo: Maria BamfordMaria Bamford

Maria Bamford, B.A. '93, English, is a stand-up comedian and voice-actress. She has appeared on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Amazon.com named her CD one of the best comedy albums of the year. Watch her at z.umn.edu/bamford.

Tomáš Klvaa, Ph.D. '97, speech communication, is executive director of the Zdenk Bakala Global Non-Profit Programs, where he oversaw the establishment of the Aspen Institute in the Czech Republic. He previously worked as the press secretary and policy adviser for the president of the Czech Republic, and as a special government communications envoy for its missile defense program. He has been deputy editor-in-chief of Hospodáské noviny, a leading Czech daily newspaper, and last year published his first novel.

Nicole Druckrey, B.A. '99, sociology, has been elected to the board of directors of Adoption Resources Wisconsin. She is a partner in the Milwaukee office of the national law firm, Quarles & Brady LLP, focusing on unfair trade practices.

Photo: Cristi Rinklin's installation Diluvial

Cristi Rinklin's installation "Diluvial"

Cristi Rinklin, M.F.A. '99, art, is an associate professor of drawing and painting at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass. Last summer her immersive installation, "Diluvial," was on display at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. Inspired by the biblical Great Flood, Rinklin says the work "evokes the beauty and terror of a world undergoing the forces of creation and destruction." Watch a time-lapse video showing the installation of this complex piece: z.umn.edu/rinklin


Ingrid Christensen, B.A. '02, interdepartmental major, is founder and president of INGCO International Interpreting and Translating, Saint Paul. Her firm won the Deubener Award from the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce in the Woman- or Minority-Owned category. The chamber also named her Emerging Volunteer of the Year.

Dessa, B.A. '03, philosophy, singer and rap artist, has had a shade of lipstick named after her by The Elixery, a Northeast Minneapolis cosmetics house. She will donate her share of the profits to CARE's Power Within program, which educates girls in poor developing countries. Dessa says she became aware of the powerful effects of educating girls by writing her final philosophy thesis.

Spencer Martin, Ph.D. '03, music, is the violist on Gems Rediscovered, an album of sonatas for viola and piano by four lesser known, late-romantic-era composers, on the Delos label. Martin has been principal violist in the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and performed frequently with the Minnesota Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Watch him at z.umn.edu/spencermartin.

Molly Hauge, B.A. '06, individualized studies, was featured in a photography exhibition at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her work focuses on dance and its relationship to spiritual practices.

Portrait: Wanjiru Kamau-RutenbergWanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, M.A. '05, Ph.D. '08, philosophy, was named a Champion of Democracy by the Ford Foundation for her work with Akili Dada, a leadership incubator she founded and leads that invests in the next generation of African women leaders.

Allison Cimpl-Wiemer, B.A. '06, history, was appointed to the board of directors of the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers. She is an associate in the Quarles & Brady law firm, working in commercial litigation. She has done pro bono work for the Wisconsin State Public Defender and the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.

Photo: Peter J. Kaiser

Peter J. Kaiser

Peter J. Kaiser, B.A. '07, English, cultural studies and comparative literature, has joined the Milwaukee office of the national law firm of Quarles & Brady, focusing on securities.

Svetha Janumpalli, B.A. '08, economics and global studies, founded and is CEO of New Incentives, a non-profit based on an economic model she developed: invest directly in poor individuals -- conditional upon improvement, to help them make better decisions and lift themselves out of poverty. She is interviewed at z.umn.edu/janumpalli.

Anna Dikareva, B.F.A. '10, art, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to the Slovak Republic. A painter and printmaker, she lives in San Francisco.



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This page contains a single entry by Colleen Ware published on December 12, 2012 3:47 PM.

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