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.
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.
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.
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.
Hannah Spaulding shoots over a defender during a women’s basketball game against Augsburg University on February 7, 2018 in Schoenecker Arena in St. Paul. The Tommies won the game in overtime by a final score of 70-66.
Amy Keele of TUB People, left, poses for a portrait with Jason Utgaard, right, next to large tires at a recycling facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 19, 2018. Jason Utgaard, ’07 Entrepreneurship, founded The Spotted Door, an online retailer that sells recycled and reclaimed products. Keele’s company makes wallets and other products from recycled inner tubes. Utgaard sells the products on his site.
Fatoumata Jaiteh poses for a studio portrait on May 7, 2018 in St. Paul. Jaiteh started a nonprofit to support mothers in Gambia and is spending part of summer 2018 in Africa working with the organization. She is a member of student government and the Muslim Student Association.
Confetti flies at the end of the 2018 undergraduate commencement ceremony in O’Shaughnessy Stadium on May 18, 2018 in St. Paul.
Studio portrait of Doug Hennes taken upon his hiring as head of university relations at St. Thomas. Doug Hennes, vice president for government relations and special projects (and longtime vice president of university relations) passed away July 18, 2018.
Student body president Bisrat Bayou stands for a portrait in Aquinas Hall on Aug. 21, 2018.
Student fans cheer from the sidelines during the Tommie Johnnie football game at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville on Oct. 13, 2018. The University of St. Thomas fell to Saint John’s University with a final score of 40-20.
O’Shaughnessy Science Hall and Owens Science Hall amidst the autumn colors, as seen on Oct. 18, 2018.
Ron Fowler, President Julie Sullivan, former finalists and other university VIPs gathered to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Fowler Business Concept Challenge and honor the Ron Fowler in the create[space] of the Anderson Student Center on Nov. 15, 2018.
Attendees enjoy Christmas music and hold candle lights during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Anderson Student Center on Dec. 4, 2018.
University of St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan addresses the entirety of the University of St. Thomas community, consisting of students, faculty and staff, who came together for a gathering focused on an action plan to combat racism in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex field house on Oct. 31, 2018. The event was held in light of a recent event, when a freshman student discovered a racial slur written on the door of his residence hall room on campus.
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
Welcoming the Class of #UST2022: 22,603 impressions
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.