Life After Luther Events

The English Department cares about how our majors choose to spend their lives after Luther.  We help students find internships to give them exposure to professional work and to help them learn career skills.  We also bring in English alumni to talk about their lives, about their job search, and about how to find fulfilling work.  After graduation our alumni take off in a great variety of directions, and they come back to share how their liberal arts education—in particular, their English major—has helped them live rich and rewarding lives. 

The department has organized annual mini-conferences on careers since the mid-70s. In the past these events have typically included a panel of recent graduates starting out in careers, a dinner, and an after-dinner speech by a graduate in mid-career. To help integrate our advising with other college support, we have also often included remarks from the director of the Luther College Career Center.

Many current students and alumni have commented on the helpfulness of these mini-conferences. Some other academic departments have followed our leadership and have instituted their own similar programs.

Our alumni stories are as individual as the people, but listening to others' choices and challenges helps current English majors make their own choices about opportunities and career paths.  We hope looking at this list of people and careers will help you think about your future. 

(We apologize for our incomplete records. Please contact us if you can help fill in the blanks.)

Spring 2012 Internship Panel

Allison Croat '12
Internship at Creative Memories, St. Cloud, MN and Inspire(d), Decorah, IA

Joe Schifsky '12
Internship at Kocina Branding & Marketing Companies, Burnsville, MN

Aaron Schmaltz '12
Internship at Dragonfly Books, Decorah, IA

Fall 2011

Rebecca Sullivan, Library School
Assistant Professor in Library and Information Studies, Luther College

Andy Hageman, English Graduate School
Assistant Professor of English, Luther College

Amy Zalk Larson, Seminary
Campus Pastor, Luther College

Eric Fern, Law School
Putnam Law, Decorah, IA

Spring 2011

(for further information)

Kathy Sime '94
Sesquicentennial Alumni Visitor (co-sponsored by Luther's Center for  Ethics and Public Life)

Former ELCA senior administrator, writer, and consultant  (Sime's Presentation Notes for "Use Your Words")

Short presentations by Luther grads Scott Zierath '89, Jenna Mockler-Gjerde '06, Lilly Steinberg Jensen '07, Stephanie Conant '10 

Spring 2010

Dustin Ross '05
Assistant Director of Annual Giving, Luther College
Clint Schnekloth '95
Pastor, East Koshkonong Lutheran Church
Sarah Schultz ' 06
Language Arts teacher, Linn-Mar Community School

Fall 2008

Chris Rogers '99
Ph. D. student in English at UW Madison
Jenny Welp '01
public relations writer and editor Morningside College
Julie Bauch '03
ICU RN, Fairview Southdal Hospital
Steve Sheppard '71 (Keynote Speaker)
CEO Winds of Peace Foundation

Fall 2007

Sarah Meyer-Reyerson '96,
library director, Waverly Public Library, Waverly, Iowa
Peter Schletty, '01
editor, MBI Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minn.
Erin Appel '02,
administrative assistant, Timberland Partners, Minneapolis, Minn.
Vince Wixon '66 (Keynote Speaker)
poet, retired teacher, video producer, and editor

Fall 2006

Emily Bush '01,
project editor (team coordinator), Carlisle Publishing, Dubuque, Iowa
Joe Brekke'97,
English teacher, Ames Middle School (and formerly a journalist), Ames, Iowa
Jessica Etten '98,
director of marketing and communications, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, St. Paul, Minn.
Sue Rothmeyer '81 (Keynote Speaker),
interim executive director, Department of Higher Education and Schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Chicago, Ill.

Fall 2005

Jen Johnston Kovarik '95,
registrar, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, Decorah, Iowa
Ryan Brown '01,
executive team leader, Target Corporation, Roseville, Minn.
Julie Broker Moenck '99,
communications specialist, Thomson Legal and Regulatory, Egan, Minn.
Cindy Zautcke '85 (Keynote Speaker),
public advocate of education and founder and teacher at El Puente High School, Milwaukee, Wis.

Fall 2004

David Wake '00,
investment research production coordinator, Piper Jaffray, Minneapolis, Minn.
Dawn Bowlus '93,
student activities coordinator, John Pappa John Entrepreneural Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Kristin Aasmundstad Walsh '93
owner and operator, KAW Marketing Communicaitons, Chicago, Ill.
Lori Erickson '83, (Keynote Speaker),
freelance writer
 

Fall 2002-Spring 2003

Seth Ansorge '98,
freelance journalist and writer, Madison, Wis.
Sarah Maxwell '99,
Director of Media Relations, Carleton College
Ryan Gjerde '99,
Bibliographic Librarian/Visiting Assistant Professor Preus Library, Luther College
Diann Hostert Kirby '82 (Keynote Speaker),
Communications Administrator, City of Bloomington, Minn.

Fall 2001

Gretchen Wikan Lettau '98,
Research Editorial Associate at Isthmus Architecture,Inc., and former Americorps volunteer
Julie Chamberlain '96,
Luther College Admissions Counselor, and former high school English teacher
Matthew Bersagel-Braley '97,
Learn and Earn Program Director, Minneapolis YMCA, studying for his M.A. in religion and theology at United Theological Seminary.

Fall 2000

Matt Becker '98,
Special projects Assistant, Big Brother/Big Sister Organization, Minneapolis; formerly Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgystan, 1998-2000
Yvonne Humbayr '92,
Freelance writer, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; formerly history instructor, Rochester Community College
Teresa Anderson Owens '89,
Attorney, Private Practice, Madison, Wis.
Marilynne Robinson (Keynote Speaker),
Author of the novel Housekeeping and the essay collection The Death of Adam

Fall 1999

Paul Hauser Van Brocklin '90,
US Corporate Communications Consultant, ING Equitable Life
Evan Abbey '98,
English/Language Arts Teacher, North Winneshiek Community Schools
Amy Easton Bingenheimer '89,
Manager of Legal Information Services, Quarles and Brady Law Practice
Brian Newhouse '80 (Keynote Speaker),
Produce and Host, National Minnesota Orchestra Broadcasts and MPR National Classical Music Service, Freelance Writer/Singer

Fall 1998

Alyn Beckman Bedford '93,
Production Editor, Augsburg Publishing
Stan Blazek '94,
Intelligence Analyst, Wisconsin Dept. of Justice
Suzanne Roverud '96,
Assistant Director of Planned and Major Giving, Iowa Foundation
Michael Hovland '72 (Keynote Speaker),
Senior Consultant, ACT Center for Enhancement of Educational Practices

Fall 1997

Kathryn Sime '94
Research Associate, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Amalia Vagts '95,
Community Organizer/Lobbyist, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
Brian Andreas '79,
Artist, Entrepreneur, Creator of StoryPeople
David Crowe '82 (Keynote Speaker),
Assistant Professor of English, Augustana College

Fall 1996

Philip Coleman-Hull '88,
Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Luther College
Shelby Myers-Verhage '91,
8th grade Language Arts Teacher; Director of Drama Activities, Prairie Middle School
Mike Augustin '90,
Manager in Financial Services, Andersen Consulting
Mary Sundet Jones '81 (Keynote Speaker),
Free Lance Writer and Editor

Fall 1995

Mike Augustin '90,
Staff Consultant, Andersen Consulting
Kirsten (Jensen) Hornseth '90,
Public and Media Relations, Minnesota Office of Tourism
Ellen Vander Lugt '91, English teacher,
North Winneshiek High School
Greg Kovaciny '73 (Keynote Speaker),
Director of Computer Networking at Iowa City Public Libraries

Fall 1994

Jon Hamborg '88,
Customer Service Agent , Central Life Assurance, Des Moines, Iowa
Christine Long '88,
Attorney, Owatonna, Minn.
Stephanie Peterson Karno '88,
English Teacher, St. Charles, Minn.
Mary Bunge Docken '79 (Keynote Speaker),
Director of Admissions, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn.

Fall 1993

Kathleen Thronson Hook '86,
Publications Manager, Madison Area Technical College
Heather Bronner '89,
Publications Assistant, Luther College
Michael Rye '90,
Student, University of Iowa School of Law
Douglas Smith '69 (Keynote Speaker),
Director of Patient and Family Therapy, Hospice of Central Iowa

Fall 1992

Chris Frantsvog '86,
Recycling Coordinator, Winneshiek County
Diane Kirschmann '88,
Assistant Production Manager for Trade Magazines, Industrial Fabrics Association
Ann Link '88, Managing Editor,
Gastroenterology
Nathan Aaseng '75 (Keynote Speaker),
Freelance Writer of Christian fiction for children and nonfiction for adolescents

Fall 1991

Chris Larsen '82,
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Wisconsin
Beth Hermeier '83,
Free-lance Financial Writer
Andy Wittenborg '88,
News Anchor/Producer, KEYC-TV
Stephanie Frey '74 (Keynote Speaker),
Co-pastor, First Lutheran Church, St. James

Fall 1990

Peter Heimer '85,
English Teacher and Coach, Pleasant Valley
David Carlson 83,
Sales Representative, Medline Industries
Sue Rothmeyer '81,
Lay Campus Minister, Lutheran Campus Ministries at Iowa State
Nordis Hererdahl-Fowler '64 (Keynote Speaker),
Marketing Manager, Minnesota Historical Society Press

Fall 1989

Camilla Carroll '86,
Producer-Reporter at KGAC
Chris Gade '86,
Communications Specialist, Mayo Clinic
Ellen Hanusa Wonderlin '84,
Employee Benefit Communication Analyst, The Principal Financial Group
Blair Deeb '71 (Keynote Speaker),
Freelance Writer

Fall 1988

Sandra Neitzel Joppa '87,
Industrial Relations, Lutheran Brotherhood
Karen Shostrom Lehmann '78,
Librarian, Hampton High School
Jeff Schmidt '87,
Development Associate, The Minnesota Opera
Wendell Larson '58 (Keynote Speaker),
Senior Vice-President, IC Industries

Spring 1988

Allison Nichols Greenwald '82,
Cancer Education Coordinator, University of Wisconsin Hospitals
Kris Gregersen '82,
Manager of Group Operations, ITA Incorporated
Nancy Rodenbeck '84,
Seventh grade English Teacher and Head Volleyball Coach
No Keynote Speaker
(Attended Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest)

Fall 1987

Catherine Hanson '82,
Seventh and Eighth Grade English, Cleveland Junior High
Lori Mitchell Evans '83,
Librarian and Book Store Manager, Laboratory of Clinical Medicine
Peter Ylvisaker '84,
Associate Editor and Feature Writer, Buildings Magazine
Hans Carlson '76 (Keynote Speaker)
Lawyer

Spring 1987

John Hermeier '85,
Accountant with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.
Sue Buhr O'Brien '80,
Public Relations for Morgan and Myers
Carol Popelka Coupal '74,
Director of The LaCrosse Foundation
Bob Schultz '74, (Keynote Speaker)
Luther English Professor specializing in Creative Writing

Fall 1986

Paul McCarthy '82,
Marketing Administrator, HBO
Lori Weiman '82,
Technical Writer and Communications Specialist, McGladrey, Hendrickson and Pullen
Peter Scholl,
English Professor, Luther College
Janet Purmort Shanahan '73 (Keynote Speaker)
Sales Manager, Group Travel Directors

Spring 1986

Sheri Brenden '81,
Contributing Editor of Marketing Publications for CENEX
Brian Newhouse '80,
Producer/Announcer for Minnesota Public Radio's KSJN
Mark Yarwood '83,
Stockbroker, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Ann Leon '75 (Keynote Speaker),
Marketing Support Representative for IBM

Fall 1985

Mark Tiedemann '80
          Teaching English/administration in Nagasaki, Japan
Kris Silseth Peterson '75
          Middle school English teacher, Hampton School District|
Rachel Faldet '78
          Freelance writer, college writing teacher
Peter Zetterberg '72 (Keynote Speaker)
         Administration and advising, University of Minnesota

Spring 1985

David Lubben '74
           Health care program administrator/lawyer
Mark Gardner
Mary Sundet '81
Deborah Corey Wemette '73

Fall 1984

Dave Crowe '82,
English, University of Minnesota
Greg Johnson '78,
Journalism, University of Iowa
Kitty Nelson '83,
Library Science, University of Iowa
Ruth Olson '83,
Paralegal Training, The Institute of Paralegal Training
Mike Ostermeyer '83,
English, Notre Dame
David Faldet '84

Spring 1983

Marion Beatty '75,
Lawyer
Kurt Belgum '80,
High School Teacher
Lenore Franzen '75,
Production Editor
Diann Hostert '82,
Communications Consultant
Dave Seltzer,
Editor, Waterloo Courier
English grad Stephanie Conant '10 (second from left) talks to English Emeriti faculty and Professor Diane Scholl