Alumni Updates from Abroad to Down the Street

Will Larry ('12)

Will Larry (‘12) completed the Master of Theological Studies at Vanderbilt University in 2013 and is currently pursuing an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lipscomb University. He is also a new father.

Shannon Cashin (‘16) is a Pastoral Associate at St. Paul University Catholic Center.

Talia Syverson (‘16) is just down Linden Avenue at UW-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Jess (Hare) Panlener (‘14) received an MA in Theology from Marquette University and works as the Campus Minister at Newman Catholic High School in Wausau, WI. She coordinates service retreats in grades 6-12, and all of Newman’s liturgy.

Andrew O'Connor ('10)

Andrew J. O’Connor (’10) is a doctoral candidate at the University of Notre Dame and has received a Fulbright for research in Jordan, where he will be hosted by the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies.

Andrew sends us this reflection on the value of his time in RS:

“I first became interested in Islamic Studies as a result of one of my undergraduate courses at the UW and have been invested in the field ever since. The RS certificate was valuable in gaining admission to a PhD program at Notre Dame in ‘World Religions.’ It has had a more lasting impact as well. One of my PhD candidacy exam questions was on ‘the modern study of religion,’ for which I relied upon questions discussed in my undergraduate Religious Studies courses: ‘Why study religion? ‘What can we learn from the academic study of religion?’ ‘How has the study of religion changed over time?’ Furthermore, much of my research on the Qur’an is built upon methodologies which I picked up not from my MA or PhD coursework, but from my Religious Studies coursework at the UW. Thus much of my multidisciplinary and methodologically-conscious approach to Islamic Studies—which I hope to share with Jordanian scholars at the Royal Institute—is a legacy from my time at the UW.”

Teja Vemuganti (‘16) began the Master of Public Health program, focusing on behavioral health, at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Becca Wanta (‘17), award-winning RS graduate, is just next door pursuing her MSW at the University of Wisconsin School of Social Work. 

Devin Inabinet ('13)

Devin Inabinet (‘13) who wrote her capstone thesis on religious experience and rave culture, entered the doctoral program in Audiology at The University of the Pacific this fall. She is on her way to becoming “an integrative health professional and advocate for the preservation of people’s ability to experience the miracle of sound.”

Daniel Bliss (‘15) recently married Min. They met while teaching English in South Korea. Back in Minnesota, Daniel is considering a graduate degree in Library Media.