Spartan minute

As part of the Alumni/ae Council’s initiative to keep our alumni/ae community connected, SPA will be highlighting various alumni each week on the Spartan Minute! The Spartan Minute is a brief five-question interview used to learn more about your fellow SPA alumni/ae. Know of an alumnus who we should feature? Email alumni@spa.edu.

Meet your fellow SPA Alumni/ae! 

Jamie Forman '77

What is your current job and how did you get there after SPA?

Attorney. After SPA, I attended Lewis & Clark College and William Mitchell College of Law nka Mitchell Hamline Law School.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

Holland. I lived with a host family in Eindhoven, Holland in 1979 while part of a Lewis & Clark College Overseas Program to the Benelux Countries.

Where was the most recent place that you traveled to?

Portland, Oregon

If you could live inside any sitcom, which one would it be?

Cheers

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?

Guy Fiere, Bill Nye and David Tennant


Mercedes Henderson Clark '88

What is your current job and how did you get there after SPA?

Occupational Therapist, Health Administrator and Entrepreneur.

What's the best concert you've ever been to?

Stokely from Mint Condition, Beyoncé, and John Legend

Where was the most recent place that you traveled to?

Venice, Italy

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?

My mother, Kevin Hart and Michellle Obama.

What is one thing that SPA helped prepare you for in life?

Study skills, critical and creative thinking.


Meaghan Moriarty ’99

What's the best concert you've ever been to?

Ohh, that's a tough one! The best concerts are those that bring up the same emotions years after you see them - for the right reasons - so there are a few of them. Supporting Taylor McFerrin '99 back when we were both in NYC was always fun, and seeing Bob Dylan and Tom Petty back in 2003 (and in a rainstorm) will always stick with me for the experience and the chance to see legends in action. But, I think the best concert I have ever been to was tUnE-yArDs at First Ave during one of her first trips through First Ave - she just blew the doors off the place and I don't think I stopped dancing the whole time. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

Where was the most recent place that you traveled to?

Bozeman, Montana.

What was your favorite memory at SPA?

Working on the final project for Ms. Kelly's Shakespeare class with Anna (Stark) Kirkness, Jesse Kanson-Benanav, and Matt Dorris. We set up a slideshow where we acted out current day (then anyway) translations/interpretations of Hamlet. I've never had more fun on a final exam.

What teacher/coach inspired you the most? How?

Mrs. Victor. She was tough as nails but incredibly supportive. She seemed to have a sixth sense for when you hadn't given it your all and when you could do better or aim higher, but also when you had had enough. She taught me to believe that I could do more and how to find the tools to achieve it. I'm fairly certain that Maggie Smith based her performance of Professor McGonagall on Mrs. Victor.

What is your favorite thing about the SPA Alumni/ae Council?

The chance to meet other alumni/ae. In school, the members of other classes were usually so separate. You maybe knew some of them or had a crush on one of them, but you didn't get to know one another very often. It's a blast to get to know them now and laugh together and learn new things together.

Steven London ’91

What is your current job and how did you get there after SPA?

After practicing as a lawyer for a few years, I moved to Chicago to be with my now wife, Trisha. While there, she opened a store and I realized just how hard it was for anyone to start a new enterprise and I became particularly interested in small businesses. As I worked on my MBA back in Minnesota, I started to help and invest in start-ups, primarily through Gopher Angels, a local angel investor group. Helping, even in a very small way, people bring their dreams to fruition is the most interesting job I've ever had.   

What's the best concert you've ever been to?

Tie between Dave Mathews and Blues Traveler at Red Rocks and Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent at Target Center.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

North Korea, because of its isolation from the rest of the world.

Where was the most recent place that you traveled to?

The place I'm most excited to travel to is France this summer with my sister, Sarah '93, and brother, Tim '95, for a mini family reunion!

What is one thing that SPA helped prepare you for in life?

Being surrounded by relentlessly intelligent peers who were also interested in a myriad of other activities and having to compete in that environment all while learning to think for yourself is really the essence of SPA and those lessons carry you through the rest of life.

Kate Logan ’04

What is your current job and how did you get there after SPA?

I work as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm. My undergraduate degree is in Geology and my Masters focused on Environmental Public Policy. I'm one of those rare birds using their degrees.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Raspberries fresh from the backyard.

Do you collect anything?

Rocks. I have an embarrassing number of rocks.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

I'd go back to China in ten years to see how things have changed.

What is your favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities?

The Minneapolis Parks System is amazing. There's a never-ending list of things to do and explore.

Jonathan Brenner ’92 - Current Alumni/ae Council President

What is your current job and how did you get there after SPA?

In what has to be one of the best jobs in healthcare, I lead a team responsible for growing patient and healthcare provider access to Boston Scientific’s implantable medical devices.  My path to this job stemmed from two of my early passions at SPA: policy and science (now applied as medicine), which have guided my career path.  It was many years ago, renaming and co-chairing the Student Political Union that I dove into policy. From outstanding science classes to summer research opportunities, science beckoned, and I’m thrilled that SPA provided the foundation for what has become my career.

Where was the most recent place that you traveled to?

It's a blur. My work takes me all over the world, and I find each place captivating its own way, from Sao Paulo to Berlin, London, Paris, Beijing and closer to home many trips to Washington DC and Pittsburgh.

What is one thing SPA helped prepare you for in life?

Leadership: bringing people together, collaborating and achieving great things.

What was your favorite memory from SPA?

Convincing Senator Paul Wellstone to come speak at SPA.

What is your favorite thing about the SPA Alumni/ae Council?

Partnering with amazing people, who just happen to be connected to this remarkable place we call SPA, to engage our community.

Devon Holstad '07

What is your current job and how did you get there after SPA?

Attorney - College at Loyola Chicago and law school at Michigan.

What's the best concert you've ever been to?

On stage with John Mellencamp at a bowling alley in West Des Moines

Where was the most recent place that you traveled to?

Slovakia to go hiking with my brother

What is one thing that SPA helped prepare you for in life?

An appreciation that the world is large and that everyone has unique experiences and insight to contribute to society.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?

Barack Obama, Alan Cumming, and Hope Solo

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