Students smile and wave at March Through the Arches on Sept. 4, 2018.

The Best of 2018: Newsroom, Photos, Social Media, Media Placements

As the online destination for St. Thomas’ stories, the Newsroom aims to celebrate our incredible community. In 2018, our staff has been constantly amazed at the seemingly limitless number of ways the St. Thomas mission has come to life, and we've been honored to be part of sharing some of them with others.

To celebrate once again a phenomenal year for St. Thomas, we've put together a list of the top 10 most-read feature stories; our personal favorite Newsroom stories; our 10 favorite photos; top social media posts; and our favorite media placements. We hope you enjoy getting to see some of them again; we can't wait to see what awesome things we find out about next year.

Top 10 Feature Stories of the Year

Kristen Hatfield, director of admissions, gives tips to students and families about what to do before, during and after college visits.

Twelve former Tommies were featured in the annual “40 Under 40” list in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for their involvement in the community as young business leaders.

The Class of 2022 participated in the annual March Through the Arches in September, making them official Tommies.

Students smile and wave at March Through the Arches on Sept. 4, 2018.

Students smile and wave at March Through the Arches on Sept. 4, 2018.

Mike Fox ’12 and his business partner Pat Hughes appeared on the ABC show “Shark Tank” by presenting their business, Hyde Sportswear.

As the Class of 2018 celebrated graduation, we took a look back at some of the outstanding achievements these Tommies made during their time here.

Confetti flies over students during the 2018 Graduate Commencement ceremony in O'Shaughnessy Stadium on May 18, 2018 in St. Paul.

Confetti flies over students during the 2018 graduate commencement ceremony in O'Shaughnessy Stadium on May 18, 2018, in St. Paul.

Gino Giovannelli, PhD, was the lead digital marker for the Minnesota Super Bowl Committee Host website, and answered some questions ahead of the big game.

Sophomore Michael Sullivan was named a Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow for his efforts in ending sexual assault.

On St. Thomas Day, five alumni and students were recognized for their contributions to the St. Thomas community and beyond.

Amy Pence-Brown ’05 is involved in many body-positive actions, including her viral video “The Stand for Self-Love.”

Valerie Brukhis ’18, a Fulbright Scholar, turned her mentorship into global research.

Our Personal Favorites

Innovation Immersion Workshop Gets Entrepreneurial Minds Thinking

"Inspired. That is what I felt after sitting in on the two-day Freshman Innovation Immersion program hosted by the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship this fall. The event not only welcomed students to campus, it also laid the seeds of an entrepreneurial way of thinking for first-year students. It was awesome!" – Scott Beedy, senior social media strategist

It Started in Ukraine

"As much as any Tommie I've ever met, Valerie Brukhis '18 made the most of her time as a St. Thomas undergraduate. From developing amazing mentorships with passionate faculty, taking advantage of funding for incredible research opportunities, and traveling the world multiple times over through study abroad, she packed as much into four years as many could in a decade." – Jordan Osterman, Newsroom editor

Changemaker Fatoumata Jaiteh Leading Aid for Maternal Care in Gambia

"Fatoumata is a visionary who believes that we can all work together to make maternal care better for the women in Gambia. This article introduced me to her idea and I enjoyed getting to know her after that. These are the types of students I am so excited to work with here at St. Thomas." – Vineeta Sawkar, senior media relations manager

Principal Latanya Daniels Makes Great Strides in Education

"When I first met St. Thomas alumna and Richfield High School principal Latanya Daniels for an interview this summer, I walked away feeling energized. The dynamic school leader has that effect on people – especially her students.  She wants every one of them to succeed and isn’t afraid to shake things up if that’s what it takes. Some folks would be hard pressed to remember the name of their high school principal; it’s hard to imagine anyone ever forgetting Daniels." – Amy Gustafson, writer

St. Thomas Wins First-ever Basketball Game at U.S. Bank Stadium

"It was a night of firsts, and the article coupled with the photos captured St. Thomas’ role in that evening." – Brant Skogrand, managing editor, writer and proofreader

Top Photos of the Year

Photographers Mark Brown and Liam Doyle (and former photographer Mike Ekern) once again captured the St. Thomas community with thousands of images in 2018. We asked them to show us some of their favorites from the past year.

Top Social Media Posts

Facebook: March Through the Arches (Fall): 45,729 people reached

LinkedIn: Steve Fritz retirement announcement: 41,237 impressions

Twitter: Mother attends commencement one day after giving birth: 167,000 impressions

Instagram: St. Thomas No. 1 in Minnesota for getting a job: 34,487 impressions


Students organize sit-in in a call for action against racism: 26,489 impressions


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Hundreds of students, faculty and staff sat in solidarity in a call for the university to take action against racism. @ustbesa @usg.ust #ourcommongood

A post shared by University of St. Thomas (@uofstthomasmn) on

Welcoming the Class of #UST2022: 22,603 impressions

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Happy decision day to all our future Tommies! Welcome to the class of #UST2022! Go Tommies!💜

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Our Favorite Media Placements

The New York Times featured the work of the College of Arts and Sciences' Center for College Sleep.

Valerie Brukhis '18 was featured by Fox 9 as an emerging expert in the cybersecurity field.

The Star Tribune featured undergraduate student Fatoumata Jaiteh's efforts to support maternity care in The Gambia.

The Playful Learning Lab was featured by the Boston Globe for its collaboration with the rock band OK Go in building the OK Go Sandbox.

Kare 11 featured the Office for Diversity and Inclusion's roundtable event on the friendship gap.