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  • Alumni Connections


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  • Alumni Connections

    MSUM economics alumni work in a variety of jobs in all industries, such as banking and finance, international business, general business, law, government and business consulting. In fact, CNNMoney recently listed economics as one of the highest-paid majors among business students in 2011.

    Take a look at what our economics alumni are doing.

  • 2010s

    Mark Frenzel, '10, will be starting the Economics Master's Program at Claremont Graduate School in Fall 2010. (updated 6/2010)

    Alex Kangas, '10, will be starting his Master's Degree Program in Economics at the University of Utah in Fall 2010 and will specialize in History of Economic Thought and Financial Economics. (updated 6/2010)

    Clayton Kramer, '10, will begin the Master's Degree Program at the University of Illinois this fall. (updated 6/2010)

    James Teigland, '10, will be pursuing his law degree at the William Mitchell Law School in St. Paul MN starting Fall 2010. (updated June 2010)

    Jena Thompson, '10, will be starting the Agricultural Economics Master's Degree Program at Purdue University in August. (updated 5/2010) 


    Eric Bigelow, '09, is working as the Assistant Branch Manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Sisseton SD. (updated 7/2010)

    Alyson Bjornstad, '06, is working as a Retail Branch Manager for State Bank & Trust in Fargo. After completing her BA in Economics with a Finance minor at MSUM, she went on to complete her MBA with the University of Mary, Bismarck ND. (updated 1/2008)

    Bryan Brenden, '01, is a Branch Manager for Smart Financial Credit Union in The Woodlands, TX. He is married (Jacey) with a three year old daughter (Jacelyn). (updated 7/2008)

    Chad Churchill, '00, is a financial services representative for First Investors in Bloomington, MN.

    Jeff DeWitt, '00, recently was promoted to the Legal and Corporate Affairs group supporting the Intellectual Property and Licensing Department of Microsoft Corporation. Last fall, he was one of a select group of Microsoft employees chosen for a Financial Global Exchange Program and lived in Johannesburg, South Africa working as a Business Controller supporting West, East and Central Africa as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. Jeff is currently planning his Fall 2010 wedding. (updated 5/2010)

    Lindsey Ellingsen, '00, was awarded the 2007 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture's Charles N. Shepardson Graduate Student Teaching Award. This national award recognizes outstanding graduate students who excel as teachers in agricultural disciplines. In January 2008, she accepted an Assistant Professor or Lecturer position at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. She will be starting the position the end of February 2008 and teaching undergraduate and graduate microtheory as well as working with water allocation issues. (updated 3/2008)

    Craig Ehrmantraut, '08, is a Credit Analyst at VISIONBank in ND. (updated 11/2008)

    Ian Flagg, '03, graduated with M.S. in Agribusiness and Applied Economics from NDSU in 2005. He is employed as the Assistant Director of U.S. Wheat Associates in Portland, Oregon. His job duties include export market development, commodity market analysis and international trade development.

    Mike Gesellchen, '01, is the business manager of a small non-profit organization that works with student journalists to help them improve their journalism skills. He is also currently working toward a Master's Degree in counseling and social services. (updated 06/2006)

    Lori Gieselman, '01, is a Personal Banker with Wells Fargo in Minnetonka, MN.

    Darren Glur, '04, worked at Osterbauer Law Firm for the summer. He's now at law school at Hamline University.

    Eric Graff, '02, accepted a position at Carlin Financial Group in Downtown Manhattan, NY where he is working as an Equity Trader.

    Derek Hagen, '05, is an associate in the Trading/Operations department of an investment firm in Minneapolis, Riverbridge Partners, LLC. He is in charge of the firm's performance evaluation and Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) compliance. He also works with IT to automate the office. His goal is to always find better ways to do something. Recently, he earned the CIPM (Certification in Investment Performance Measurement) designation and is a Level II candidate in the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program. (updated 02/2009)

    Jesse Hoban, '05, is working for BNSF Railway training as a Corporate Management Trainee. In his position he: assists in the implementation of policy and the execution of the operating plan; supervises train, yard and engine employees; plans daily train and switching operations; conducts operations tests; monitors and controls costs; investigates accidents and injuries; and insures compliance with BNSF policies and government regulations.

    Shiho Inomata, '06, is working as a systems engineer for NCR Corporation in Toykyo, Japan.

    Dustin J. Jeske, '04, is currently employed at RSM, a sister company of McGladrey & Pullen and a subsidiary of H&R Block, as an Assistant Plan Administrator. He will soon begin course work as he pursues a Pension Actuary designation.

    Jeremy Johnson, '01, has been named Assistant Director of Admissions at Minnesota State University Moorhead. His responsibilities include coordinating freshman recruitment and managing Admissions Department communication. After finishing his Economics degree at MSUM, Jeremy earned an MBA from North Dakota State University. (updated 08/2006)

    Katie Kapsner, '04, accepted a position as an Account Manager with Kraus Anderson Insurance in Burnsville, MN.

    Amy Kemp, '09, is a project manager at a marketing consulting firm in Minneapolis MN. The firm specializes in customer intelligence. Amy manages the predictive modeling and customer profiling for the projects as well as the marketing campaign logistics. (updated 7/2010)

    Marshall Kilzer, '00, works as a Reposessor for AR Services in Fargo, ND.

    Shane Kroeplin, '00, is an Account Executive with James River Technical in Georgia and Alabama.

    Curt Kuntz, '04, is employed at Red River Commodities in Fargo, ND as a cost accountant. His responsibilities include financial reporting for his division, production analysis and reporting, as well as budget planning. "If you asked me 5 years ago what I wanted to do with my Economics Degree, I would have said a lot of things that I'm essentially doing now. I believe that the area of Economics that has benefited me the most is the ability to think analytically. To first be able to obtain useful information, then being able to analyze and incorporate new ideas from it. And to always be aiming for enhanced efficiency in anything you do." He and his wife have been married for 5 1/2 years and have a 4 year old son. They live in West Fargo along with "two incredibly spoiled" dogs. (updated 7/31/06)

    Chris Liberda, '04, accepted a position as an underwriter with The Hartford Company in Charlotte, NC.

    Tessa Lunders, '00, works as a Pharmaceutical Account Representative for Novartis Opthalmics in St. Paul, MN.

    Thomas Mielke, '00, is working as an Economist in the IRS-Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Research Division in St. Paul, MN.

    Akiko Nakamura, '08, is pursuing a master's degree in Applied Economics at North Dakota State University, Fargo ND. (updated 6/2009)

    Elvis Nyame, '08, is pursuing a master's degree in Applied Economics at North Dakota State University, Fargo ND. (updated 6/2009)

    Nathan Och, '08, graduated from NDSU in Spring 2010 with a Master of Science in Applied Economics. He is currently employed by Array Services Group in Sartell MN as a Statistical Analyst. (updated 5/2010)

    Knute Ohman, '00, is a Senior Account Analyst for Frontier Trust Co., FSB out of Fargo, ND, working remotely from Chicago.

    Cori Otto, '01, is the Economic Development Director for Washburn, ND.

    Sarah Paulson Borgerding, '03, received her Master's in Health Administration at the University of Minnesota in May 2005. In June 2005, she moved to Wilmington, NC where she accepted a fellowship at New Hanover Health Network. There she is involved in strategic planning, business development and operational improvements.

    Ian Perkins, '04 (Econ Minor), "..the Econ Department....was where I learned the most and have been able to apply what I have learned to what I am doing. I am currently working at a company called Bioscrip, it is a specialty pharmacy, we service people with chronic diseases, Aids and transplant patients. I am working in the Cash Applications department as the team lead. I have helped move the department away from paper to doing more of the process electronically which has greatly helped improve accuracy and affiance...." (updated 7/2007)

    Heidi Peterson, '04, is currently working at the McGladrey & Pullen accounting firm in Minneapolis, MN.

    Isaac K. Poku, '03, accepted a position with the Home and Consumer Finance Group of Wells Fargo Bank as a Risk Analyst in Mineapolis, MN.

    Susan Rose, '01, is employed as a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, VA.

    Mitch Rosland, '05, is employed at Woodcraft Ind. as a Production Supervisor in St. Cloud, MN. Mitch is pursuing his MBA and PMI certification. He, his wife and their dog live in Sartell, MN.

    Kyle Schmit, '00, is a District Sales Manager for Interstate Seed in Fargo, ND.

    David Slovik, '07, is living in Omaha NE and working for Zurich North America building their catastrophic risk management department for a relatively new devision within the firm. "Being in more of the operations role is allowing me to use more of the skills I enjoyed studying at MSUM." (updated 2/2010)

    Josie Snyder Fix, '02, is an assistant vice president in the Financial Modeling department of Benfield in Minneapolis MN. She recently received the designation of Associate (ACAS) from the Casualty Actuarial Society. She lives in Inver Grove Heights MN with her husband, Jeff, MSUM '02. (updated 2/09)

    Kelli Steffl, '03, accepted a position with Fidelity Bank in Edina, MN, as a credit analyst.

    Akiko Takeuchi, '03, is working for Toyoshima USA Inc. in Cordova, TN. Toyoshima USA is a trading (import/export) company headquartered in Japan. They buy cotton domestically and internationally and sell it overseas.

    David Torpen, '06, is a business analyst at U.S. Bank in Fargo, ND. He recently published "Stakeholder Preferences for Water Management Alternatives in the Red River Basin" in the Agribusiness and Applied Economics Report No. 629 ( He and his wife, Amy, are enjoying their new daughter, Allison Jane. (updated 4/2009)

    David Thompson, '07, is working as an IT Manager for the Nanz Company in New York City while he pursues his Master's Degree in Information Systems. In addition to managing the IT department for his firm, David is also helping with operations restructuring and building their ERP system. He currently has three pending patents for location based algorithms. (updated 6/2010)

    Roy Thomsen, '01, is the owner/manager of Ordinary Joe's Restaurant in Detroit Lakes, MN.

    Kaila Wells Jones, '01, is a GIS specialist for gas/oil/coal companies in Wyoming. (updated 3/2010)

    Brian Wentz, '00, " I recently joined KleinBank in Maple Grove, MN as Vice President Business Banking. I am also about half way through my MBA program at the University of St. Thomas." (updated 7/2007)

    Erick Wikoff, '01, is a Catastrophe Modeling Analyst with Benfield in Minneapolis, MN.


    Michael C. Aasen, '98, is a Senior IT Consultant with Keane, Inc. in Edina, MN. He serves clients such as Xcel Energy, SUPERVALU, and Cargil. His focus for the last four years has been with web application, build and design.

    Joel Anderson, '93, is a mortgage lender at Vision Bank Mortgage and Loan in Fargo. He served as vice president with Western State Bank for the past four years.

    Andrew Bahn, '91, is currently working on his doctorate degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    Craig Bettmann, '95, is the Manager of the Analytics Groups at BI the business improvement company, in Minneapolis, MN.

    Damon Dubord, '97, is finishing his Master's Degree at the University of Wyoming in December 2006. He has accepted a position as an economist with the Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington D.C. He is working in the Industry Benchmark Division on Input-Output analysis. His advice to students, "...many of the federal agencies are hiring entry level economists this year and it is best to start applying a few months before the time they would actually like to begin working. The USAJOBS website ( lists most current openings." (updated 3/2006)

    LeAnn Ebersviller, '96, is an Internal Auditor for Noridian in Fargo, ND.

    Jeremy Erickson, '96, is the office owner of Allied Mortgage in Fargo, ND.

    Todd Ferderer, '96, is the Director of Finance for Hythiam, Inc., which is a Los Angeles based healthcare services management company with an innovative medical technology treatment to eliminate the addictive cravings for alcohol and drugs.

    Valerie Gunderson, '94, is the owner/manager of VMG Communications in Minnepaolis, MN, a public relations/public affairs consulting firm. (Valerie is an econ minor/adopted major.)

    Brian Gibson, '99, is a Transportation Planner for the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments.

    Niles Godes, '90, is a Managing Director of Clark & Weinstock, a government relations firm in Washington, D.C.

    Bridget Hanson, '95, lived in Los Angeles for 5 years working for Premiere Radio Network. She returned to Minneapolis to work for Victory Sports/MN Twins. When the company dissolved, she returned to Premiere Radio in Chicago. She works with Sales Representatives to create advertising schedules to run in any of their more than 100 programs and services.

    Joseph Hillberry, '95, is a Forecast Analyst for Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids, IA.

    Ryan Hop, '97, is a Marketing Database Analyst in the Retail Services Division of Conseco Finance in St. Paul, MN.

    Amy Kaldor, '94, is an attorney with Kaldor Law Firm, P.L.L.C. in Minneapolis, MN.

    Becky Knudson, '91, works for the Oregon Department of Transportation as a Senior Transportation Economist.

    Angela Lynde, '99
    , is currently an insurance agent with Nodak Mutual Insurance in Bismarck, ND.

    Dan Madsen, '95, works as a Catastrophe Risk Analyst for Willis RE, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN.
    As Senior Vice President, he is responsible for all analytic support for their North American operation. Dan states, "Catastrophe Risk Analysts are in very high demand by insurance and reinsurance companies and the supply of experienced professionals is low which means, if I remember my studies correctly, that salary levels are favorable for the experienced professional." (updated 8/2006)

    Kimberly Maluski Sarte, '93, is a Senior Fiscal Analyst with the Virginia Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Virginia State Legislature, Richmond, VA.

    Brad Monson, '93, is a Transportation Planner with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Detroit Lakes, MN.

    Timothy Newton, '92, is the director of internal audit for Life Time Fitness, Inc. and owns a consulting company specializing in Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance. He lives in Jordan MN with his wife and their children.

    Jarrod Olson, '92, is currently employed as the Economic Development Director for the City of Wadena, MN.

    Jennifer M. Onnen Smith, '96, is the Associate General Counsel with UnitedHeathcare and part-time adjunct professor of Economics at Community College. (updated 2/2008)

    Kris Pauna, '99, is a Finance Manger for Zimmer Medical Device. (updated 6/2009)

    Jerry Peters, '94, is the President of Mortgages on Main, Inc. in Princeton, MN.

    Greg Ross, '93, is a Commercial and Ag Underwriter for Wells Fargo in Bismarck, MT.

    Kimberly Sate, '93, is a fiscal analyst. In 2007, she was part of a team that won a National Legislative Program Evaluation Society, Excellence in Research Methods Award. She earned this award for research conducted on Virginia's state supported pre-school program. She lives with her husband, Pierre, and their two children in Richmond, VA. (update 10/2009)

    Kay Schneider, '90, is the Director of Assessment and Institutional Research at Concordia College. She recently presented at a national institutional research conference, was a co-presenter at a national accreditation conference, and was a presenter at a regional study abroad/international education conference. She will be traveling to the Gulf Coast with Concordia students to assist with hurricane relief efforts.

    Nicki Strom, '98, is a Customer Support Supervisor for Gate City Bank in Fargo, ND. She supervises customer support representatives and Gateline, Gate City's telephone banking service, for all branches.

    Robert Wagner, '99, is a Quantitative Risk Analyst at ConAgra Trade Group, Inc. in Omaha, NE. (Robert is an "adopted" econ major.)

    Amy Webster, '93, is the owner of Webster Photo Services LLC - a photography and digital printing business in Edina, MN.


    David Bialke, '89, is an attorney for an insurance defense law firm in Minneapolis, MN.

    Stacy Broman, '85, obtained a law degree from Hamline and is partner with Meagher and Geer, P.L.L.P. in Minneapolis, MN. Stacy is married to Robert Sauvageau, a 1983 Econ Alum.

    Joseph Chloupek, '80, is a lawyer with the West Palm Beach Public Defenders Office.

    Deb Huebner Battles, '82, is a Financial Consultant for Financial Network, Fargo, ND. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Univeristy of Colorado, Boulder, in 1986. Deb is also an adjunct instructor.

    Scott Jetvig, '89, is a farmer.

    Alan Krabbenhoft, '86, is the Dean of the College of Business and a Professor of Business at Purdue University North Central in Westville IL. (updated 10/01/07)

    Kathryn (Lind) Strombeck, '80, is the Supervisor of the Research Section of the Office of Tax Commissioner in Bismarck, ND.

    John Miller, '89, is semi-retired living in Chicago.

    Richard Nelson, '80, works for Northwest Airlines.

    Jon R. Norberg, '83, is a Partner and Founder of Contego Capital Partners, LLC and a member of the Investment Committee. He earned his Law Degree at the University of Minnesota. He was the director of two development-stage technology companies (Cybernet Systems, Inc. and Tech Squared, Inc.), was the Vice President and General Counsel for Blue Rock Advisors and worked with Winton Partners, a Minneapolis-based family office.

    Paul Oleson, '82, earned his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Arizona and presently is the Director of Economic Analysis for Spectrum Astro, Inc. in Gilbert, AZ. Spectrum Astro is a privately held company that designs and manufactures high-performance satellites and space hardware.

    Robert Sauvageau, '83, is a computer programmer with HealthPartners in Bloomington, MN.

    Bruce Thompson, '87, is an Investment Broker at A.G. Edwards in Fargo, ND.

    Nancy White, '81, earned her Ph.D. and is an Associate Professor of Economics at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. Dr. White was a guest lecturer at MSUM in Spring 2006.


    Jane Bratsch, '79, is working for an ING company in St. Cloud as a Financial Analyst. She is a supervisor in the Commission/Accounting department to faciliate process improvement and change in the processing area. ING is the 13th largest publicly traded company in the world. She states, "Working for a global company has been an amazing experience. Their growth strategy and how they approach it is absolutely amazing. They are committed to atrracting, engaging and retaining talent. They are obsessive about diversity. They are committed to serving diverse markets." (updated 10/13/07)

    Charles Fiedler, '76, is a General Legal Counsel to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

    Curtis J. Harris, '77, retired in February 2001 after 21 1/2 years of service with FirstBank, which included serving as President of the FirstBank of Lakewood and President of FirstBank of Evergreen, CO.

    Steve Hunter, '74, is a DC10 Captain with Northwest Airlines. He also serves as Chairman of the Board for the NWA Federal Credit Union board of directors.

    James McCabe, '71, is senior vice president for Wells Fargo Private Client Services in Beverly Hills, CA. In September, he was honored as one of America's 100 Best Financial Advisors at the "Top Advisors Summit" hosted by Barron's magazine.

    George Schatz, '71, is an Associate Professor of Accounting and Finance at Maine Maritime Acadamy in Castine, Maine. He is also a doctoral candidate in economics and finance at Pace University in New York Ctiy. He worked on American Flag merchant ships from 1972-1984 and has taught at MSUM and Maine Maritime Academy.

    George Soule, '76, is a founding partner of Bowman and Brooke LLP, a national law firm specializing in civil litigation. He was also appointed by Governor Ventura to serve as Chair of the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection.

    Gary Sustad, '74, is the Director of Deployed Sales for the U.S. for Finisar. Prior to Finisar he spent 21 years at Burroughs/Unisys in various management positions and worked at Siemens Pyramid and Hitachi Data Systems.

    Ray Yahrmatter, '76, is semi-retired, enjoying his time doing a little swing trading and fishing in Canada.


    David Bjornstad,'69, received his Ph.D. in economics from Syracuse and works as an economists for the Oakridge National Laboratory, a multiprogram science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy. One of his current assignments is working with the human genome project

    Bill Briggs, '67, of Detroit Lakes was recently elected president of the Minnesota Association of City Attorneys.

    Erling Christensen, '68, has been a self-employed CPA since 1985. He and his wife Carol live in Hubertus, WI.