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St. Catherine University Board of Trustees elects four officers

Karen Dolan Rauenhorst was elected St. Catherine board chair in 2012 and continues in that position.
Karen Dolan Rauenhorst was elected St. Catherine board chair in 2012 and continues in that position.
Photo supplied.

The Board of Trustees at St. Catherine University has elected four officers to lead the governing body through the next phase of 2020 Vision, the University's strategic plan. Three of those officers have been re-elected to their current positions.

"I am grateful to Karen Dolan Rauenhorst, Jean Wincek, CSJ and Joanne Jirik Mullen for the continuity of their strong leadership as we move into the campaign to fund our new Women in Science Center and other strategic priorities," says St. Catherine President Andrea Lee, IHM. "In addition, Kathleen O'Brien brings expertise and new perspectives to an already innovative leadership team."

The new officers' two-year terms are effective June 1, 2014:

Karen Dolan Rauenhorst has been re-elected St. Catherine Board chair, a position she assumed in 2012. She has been on the board since 2003.

Ms. Rauenhorst is chair of the Aim Higher Foundation, which provides tuition assistance for Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. She serves as a trustee for the Archdiocese and is on the Better Way Foundation board. Her former board service includes work with Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Community Foundation and North Memorial Foundation. 

She has been a member of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health Advisory Council since 2007. Ms. Rauenhorst graduated from Creighton University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, and she holds a master's in public health from the University of Minnesota.

Jean Wincek, CSJ ’62 was re-elected as vice chair of the St. Catherine University Board and serves as the ex-officio trustee representing the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Leadership Team. She has numerous years of service to the St. Catherine Board, having been elected trustee from 1983 to 1992 and again from 2002 to 2009.

Sister Jean  is currently a member of the CSJ-St. Paul province leadership team. In addition to a Bachlor of Arts in education from St. Catherine, she holds a doctorate in education from the University of St. Thomas, a Master of Science in educational administration from the University of Dayton in Ohio and a Master of Arts in theology from the University of Notre Dame. She served as an education consultant and adjunct professor in graduate education at several universities, as well as a principal at local Catholic schools.

Joanne Jirik Mullen ’83 was re-elected vice chair of the St. Catherine University Board. Elected a trustee in 2004, she previously served the Board as an ex-officio member while president of the Alumnae Association from 2001 to 2004.

Ms. Mullen is corporate counsel for Ecolab and has distinguished herself as a trial attorney, having been named Attorney of the Year and as a Super Lawyer by area publications. She has been an adjunct professor at Carleton College, the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine, among other institutions. As a self-employed attorney and consultant earlier in her career, Ms. Mullen specialized in sexual harassment. In 2000 she won the largest sexual harassment award against an employer in Minnesota history.

She graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in 1988 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Catherine University. Her mother and two sisters are also St. Catherine alumnae.

Kathleen O'Brien '67 has been elected Board secretary; she was elected to the St. Catherine Board in 2013.

Before retiring in 2012, Ms. O'Brien had an accomplished career in education, city government and public service. Most recently she served as vice president of university services at the University of Minnesota for 10 years, during which time she directed the U of M's work on the Central Corridor light-rail transit line. She was city coordinator for the City of Minneapolis from 1994 to 2002, a period in which it was named one of three best-managed cities in the nation. Previously she was chief of staff for then-University of Minnesota President Nils Hasselmo.

Ms. O'Brien served three terms as a member of the Minneapolis City Council, from 1982 to 1989. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in history and politics from St. Catherine, she holds a Master of Arts in history from Marquette University and has completed coursework for a Ph.D. in history at the University of Minnesota.

For more information about the St. Catherine University Board of Trustees, contact Stacy Jacobson, executive assistant to the president, at 651.690.6525.

Feb. 26, 2014 by Amy Gage

See also: Alumnae/i, Leadership