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

(more 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
Eigth 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)
Freelance 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
Freelance 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)

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

Kurt Belgum '80
High School Teacher

Lenore Franzen '75
Production Editor

Diann Hostert '82
Communications Consultant

Dave Seltzer
Editor, Waterloo Courier