Nicole Bernardi

N. Bernardi bioNicole Bernardi has the distinction of being of the earliest and longest serving members of the Catholic Studies Advisory Board. A native New Yorker, she earned a B.A. in Sociology and International Relations from Clark University in Worcester, a master’s degree in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work in Manhattan, and a nursing degree from St. Catherine University.

Nicole has worked in child protection for Hennepin County, in private practice with teens recovering from physical and sexual abuse, as an employee-assistance counselor at Optum Health Care, and as a home hospice social worker for North Memorial Hospital.

Nicole joined the Catholic Studies Advisory Board in 2003, and currently serves as Chair of the development committee. She also serves on the board of the College of Arts and Sciences at UST. Married to Luigi Bernardi, their daughters both attend UST, Francesca (’16) and Antonella (’18).

Thomas P. Flynn

Thomas Flynn
Dr. Flynn received a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry summa cum laude from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.  His MD was awarded by the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.   He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University/Barnes Hospital in St Louis,  followed by  a  fellowship  in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Minnesota.

For seven years he was on staff in the Hematology-Oncology section at St. Paul  Ramsey  Medical  Center  and  a  member  of  the  University  of Minnesota Medical School faculty.  Since 1987 he has been in the private practice of hematology/oncology as a partner at Minnesota Oncology with a clinical practice based in Minneapolis.  Dr. Flynn served as the group’s President for 12 years, from 2001 to 2013.  Since 2012 Dr. Flynn has served as Chair of the National Policy Board of The US Oncology Network.

In addition to the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors, he has been involved with the Angel Foundation since 2001, and has been a member of the board of directors since 2010, serving as board chair in 2014.  He also chairs the board of the Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania, and is a member of the Steering Committee for the Minnesota Cancer Alliance.

Dr. Flynn lives in Mendota Heights with his wife, Helen who recently retired from oncology nursing.   Their three daughters all work in medical fields, and one received an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.   Dr. Flynn enjoys travel, music, skiing and spending time at their lake cabin.

Ann Folkman

Ann Folkman CAS Board Member headshotAnn earned her B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, where she also completed coursework toward her M.B.A.

Ann is managing director of global marketing and corporate communications for CarVal Investors, a subsidiary of Cargill. She joined the firm in 2004 and is responsible for leading the group’s branding and marketing strategy and activities. Prior to joining Cargill and CarVal, Ann was director of public relations for Select Comfort, where she led corporate communications for the company. Before that, she owned her own marketing firm and spent several years in marketing communications at Padilla Speer Beardsley and with Burlington Northern.

She earned her accreditation in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America and served as the Society’s chapter president in Minnesota. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Convent of the Visitation School, where she chairs the marketing committee. She also serves on the board of directors of Urban Ventures where she chairs their marketing committee and formerly chaired governance. She has served on the steering and development committees for the University of Minnesota’s Lillehei Heart Institute annual gala.  She has served on the board of directors of the University of St. Thomas Alumni Association, and has been active in a number of other educational, civic and non-profit organizations.

Jennifer Kinkead

Jennifer Kinkead Headshot ‌Jennifer Kinkead graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a BA in Marketing in 1988. Over the past 28 years she has worked in sales in one capacity or another. In 2011 she started a business, JELLA World Artist Collections. This business was inspired by travel to Africa with Give Us Wings, a nonprofit that Jennifer is on the board of and has been involved with for 14 years. While in Africa she found that she could learn about the people and the culture by connecting with people in her search for art and artifacts. Jennifer procures items from all over Africa, Asia and Europe through her travels and sells these pieces to shops, galleries and directly to consumers.

Jennifer is also involved with the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, on their Ordway Connect Board, as well as her work with Give Us Wings as a board member.

Jennifer and her husband George have three kids. Their oldest, John, graduated from St. Thomas in 2015, Payton is a sophomore at Wake Forest in North Carolina, and their youngest, Mason, is a senior at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School.

Kelly Larmon

Kelly Larmon updated

Kelly Larmon received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas in 1997, her M.B.A from the University of St. Thomas in 2003 and her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law in 2006.

Kelly’s career has primarily been in the financial services industry, largely in legal and compliance roles. Currently, Kelly is Senior Counsel at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Minneapolis, MN.  While at Thrivent, she has been responsible for providing legal support for the following:  distribution of insurance products, creation of alternative distribution models and the topic of sales practices to seniors and working with vulnerable adults. Currently, Kelly focuses on new business development activities at Thrivent.  Kelly has also acted as Secretary and/or Chief Legal Officer for several subsidiary boards within Thrivent and was a member of the Thrivent Foundation Grant Review Team.  

In addition to serving as the Vice Chair for the College of Arts and Science Board of Advisors, she has also been a member of the Women Connect Steering Committee at the University of St. Thomas.

Odeh Muhawesh

Odeh Muhawesh is the Adjunct Professor and Associate at the Muslim Christian Dialogue Center at the University of St. Thomas where he teaches as a specialist in theology and Modem Middle Eastern history. He serves as a board member for the Norris Institute. He has written several books and publications and speaks across the nation on issues related to policy, theology, and business.

Dr. Muhawesh has founded several very successful businesses over the course of 26 years, developing products for software and service companies in the IT field. He has led both private and publicly traded companies and has created thousands of jobs in the state of Minnesota and elsewhere. One of his companies was listed among the 100 fastest-growing privately-held companies in the United States. He currently serves as honorary Co-Chairperson of the Congressional National Business Advisory Council in Washington, D.C.

Brad Palecek

Brad Palecek is a 1991 Graduate of the University of St. Thomas and has been a top selling Realtor with Edina Realty for nearly 20 years. Brad is very active in the Minneapolis & St. Paul Arts community and has served and volunteered on a variety of organizations, including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Decorative Arts Council, Museum of Russian Art and the Ordway Circle of the Stars.

In addition to being a Board Member of the Minnesota Aids Project, Brad is also an active community volunteer and has worked with such organizations as the Center for Grief & Loss as a Grief Counselor, the Take-a-Tommy to Lunch Program, Friends of the Mississippi and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. Brad also loves to travel and is an avid art collector.

Rev. Larry Snyder

Since February 2, 2015, Father Larry Snyder has served as the Vice-President for Mission at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.‌‌

Prior to that, he served as President of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the national office of more than 160 local Catholic Charities agencies 
nationwide that provide help and create hope to more than 9 million people a year, regardless of their religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Since joining CCUSA in 2005, Snyder was responsible for leading the overall direction of the Catholic Charities movement and the strategic leadership of CCUSA. He oversaw CCUSA’s work to reduce poverty in America, encouraging government, business, and academia to raise the issue of poverty in the national conversation.

Snyder is the author of Think and Act Anew: How Poverty in America Affects Us All and What We Can Do About It. The book calls on our nation to commit to supporting innovative approaches to combating poverty and spotlights effective and efficient programs being run by Catholic Charities agencies across the country.

Just six months after his arrival at CCUSA, Snyder led the network’s response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, in which more than 110 Catholic Charities in the Gulf Coast and beyond provided immediate and long-term aid to more than one million hurricane victims. Over his past decade of leadership, CCUSA has led responses to natural and manmade disasters, helped establish a bold partnership that led to the creation of a first-of-its-kind domestic anti-poverty lab, acquired a new permanent national office, launched a national social innovation initiative, and continued to serve as an advocate for the poor before Congress and the White House.

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Snyder to the President’s Advisory Council of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In addition, he has been recognized three times by The Non Profit Times in its “Power and Influence Top 50” of non-profit leaders. In 2007, he was named to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which oversees the Church’s charitable activities around the world. He was also president of Caritas North America from 2006-2011.

Prior to joining CCUSA, Snyder served as executive director of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the largest private provider of social services in the Twin Cities. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1988 and was a high school teacher for eight years prior to joining the seminary.

Dr. Niels Sorensen

Niels SorensenNiels Sorensen graduated from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry, and from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1974 with a Doctor of Medicine.

After graduating from medical school, Sorensen interned at Baylor University Medical Center, in Houston, Texas. He completed his surgical residency training at Ramsey County Hospital, now known as Regions Hospital, and is currently a general, and laparoscopic, surgeon for Allina Health Systems in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

In 2006, he and his wife Carol endowed a scholarship for students majoring in biology, chemistry, or engineering who are also planning on attending medical school after graduation. Sorensen is also helping to create a mentorship program for pre-medical students at St. Thomas.