A special thank-you to the outgoing St. Thomas School of Law Alumni Board members for their years of dedicated service, including Bryan Feldhaus ’06, past president, and the following directors: Aaron Brown ’17, Jessica Drewiske ’14, Mike Lammers ’08, Amanda Lorentz ’10, Kelly Micheletti ’08 and Emily Menchaca ’11.
Congratulations to the incoming alumni board members! What’s next? We asked incoming president Joe Johnson ’07 to share his vision for alumni engagement and what the board will focus on in its first few months.
What are the greatest opportunities you see for alumni engagement with the law school?
Engage where they are most passionate. Look back at their time and reflect upon the opportunities and experiences that had the greatest impact on them. Was it a summer clerkship? If so, create an opportunity for a student to work in their office. Was it a guest speaker in class? Reach out to a professor and offer their expertise.
How does the alumni board advance the mission of the school?
The administration does a good job of engaging the various stakeholders as they guide the school and uphold the mission. This is the opportunity for us, as alumni, to engage and provide support to them on issues that they are facing and/or are important to us. Furthermore, we have the benefit of perspective. Now that we are where we are in our careers, what would have been helpful in law school that can be offered and provided to students to set them up for further success in the future?
What do you like best about being on the alumni board?
I love seeing the different classes represented and hearing all of the great things our alumni are doing. It is great listening to their impact in the community and hearing the St. Thomas values shine through.
It is also nice to engage, on a truly meaningful level, with Dean Vischer and Associate Dean Brabbit. They bring real and challenging issues to the board and genuinely listen and take input.
What inspires you about our alumni?
There are quite a few things that inspire me about our alumni. I absolutely love that they continue to advance the mission of St. Thomas. I am so proud of how they not only have established, but enhanced, the reputation of a still relatively new law school. They are blazing a path for future students by erasing any doubts or concerns. And I think it is super cool that they took a risk, but trusted their heart and believed in, and lived, the mission, and as a result are a key part of the success of where the school is today.
What are your priorities during your year as president?
I look forward to the alumni board helping the school and the community navigate the tail end of the pandemic. I anticipate we may run into new logistical and philosophical issues to address as well as the impact on mental health and social/professional norms. I would love to continue to reach into the alumni network to create stronger and meaningful connections with the school. And I am excited to hear from alumni on what is important to them and how they want to help the school.