2011 Commencement

The Catholic Studies Department congratulates its fall and spring graduates and wishes them the best on their new careers and future endeavors.

This spring 50 Catholic Studies majors and 18 Catholic Studies minors will graduate from St. Thomas. In December, five students graduated with a major in Catholic Studies and one with a minor in Catholic Studies for a total of 74 students graduating with a major or minor in Catholic Studies during the 2010-2011 academic year.

Of the 55 majors, 41 are double majors and six are triple majors. These students have combined Catholic Studies with such fields as biology, chemistry, Spanish, music, international business, English, health education, elementary and secondary education, theology, philosophy, Latin and classical languages, communication/journalism, economics, computer and information sciences, marketing, social work, international studies, political science, accounting, family studies, studio art, the Renaissance Program, German, operations management and entrepreneurship.

A special congratulations goes to the 34 students who have earned Latin honors: Nine students will graduate cum laude, 18will graduate magna cum laude and seven are candidates for summa cum laude. Students must pass an oral exam in late spring in order to graduate summa cum laude. Furthermore, many graduating seniors took advantage of studying in Rome during their time at St. Thomas. Approximately 72 percent of this year’s graduating seniors spent at least one semester at the Angelicum through our Rome program.

Our departing seniors will move into graduate school, the work world and missions, among other areas. Following area few of these seniors and their post-graduation plans.

Among our graduating seniors are:

John Kieffer, a chemistry major with Catholic Studies and aerospace minors and a summa cum laude candidate, will attend medical school. After medical school, he hopes to work as anAir Force physician.

Irma Montes, a Catholic Studies major and psychology minor, will serve as a missionary with Christ in the City, which “responds to John Paul the Great’s vision of a New Evangelization through summer and semester-long commitments to communal life and prayer, intellectual and spiritual formation, and service to the poor and vulnerable.”

Michael Pohl is an accounting major and Catholic Studies minor. He will attend St. Thomas to pursue a master’s of science in accountancy and then hopes to become a Certified Public Accountant.

Paul Solomon will graduate with a Catholic Studies and philosophy double major. He will attend major seminary studies at the North American College in Rome, Italy.

Elizabeth Jamison, a political science major with Catholic Studies and Spanish minors, will move to Indiana to work for Target as an executive team leader.

Matt Kuettel is graduating with a triple major in Catholic Studies, philosophy and history. He hopes to continue his studies in religious education and Church history at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Kelsey Schimmel will graduate with a major in social work and a minor in Catholic Studies. She plans to work as a full-time missionary for St. Paul’s Outreach.

Christopher Meehan will graduate with majors in German and operations management and with a Catholic Studies minor. He will work for OptumHealth, a segment of UnitedHealth Group, as an operations analyst.

Sheila Keeling will graduate with a double major in Catholic Studies and education. She spent the spring semester studentteaching at St. Mark’s in St. Paul and hopes to teach full time in the Twin Cities after graduation.

Daniel McClure, a Catholic Studies and philosophy double major and a summa cum laude candidate, will continue his seminary studies at The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 Master's Essays

John Rogers, “Foretaste of Glory: A Phenomenological Analysis of the Pre-Evangelical Characteristics of Literature”

Dustin Katona, “The Beauty of the Sacrifice: The Sacrificial Act According to the Cinematic Art of Andrei Tarkovsky”

Kelly Miller, “Conceptions of Church and Authority in G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy and George Tyrrell’s Medievalism”

John Kelly, “Christ’s Incarnational Presence in History and Society: Reflections on Newman and Dawson’s Views of Catholic History”

Katie Whalen, “Behold, the Handmaid of the Lord: The Ethos of Femininity According to the Pedagogy of Edith Stein”

Mary McGrath, “Feeney’s Return: A Lesson in Ecclesial Unity”

Matthew Muller, “Imagination and Learning: Newman’s Concept of the Imagination in the Catholic University”

Renee Burke-Drazba, “Peter Maurin’s Simple and Powerful Christianity”

James Hamlin, “Christopher Dawson and the Rise and Fall of European Culture”

Terence Sweeney, “The Connection Between Gabriel Marceli’s ‘Homo Viator’ and Walker Percy’s ‘The Moviegoer’”

Cameron Thompson, “What is the Nature of the Union Caused by Love?”

Jill Olson, “Christopher Dawson’s View of Culture and Polish, Catholic Identity”

James Carrico, “The Newmanian Quality of Chesterton’s Orthodoxy”

Allison Koop, “The Catholic Mystical Aesthetic in the Work of Adam Mickiewicz”

Homer Twigg, “Law and the Reception of Grace”

Latin Honors

Cum laude: a cumulative GPA between 3.500 and 3.699

Magna cum laude: a cumulative GPA between 3.700 and 3.899

Summa cum laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.900 or higher

Summa cum laude candidates:

James Heaney

Burton Hendrickson

Cara Hubly

John Kieffer

Daniel McClure

Darin Schmidt

Kelsey Willits

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