The University of St. Thomas

Alumni You Should Know

Alumni listed below were featured in the latest edition of the St. Thomas MagazineWho should be added to our list?

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The heroes in blue are not prone to patting themselves on the back, so we will gladly do it for them! We introduce you to a few alumni who proudly advance the common good as members of the law-enforcement community.
Ramona Dohman '03 M.A.
Ramona Dohman '03 M.A.
Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Choosing to return to school for a master’s degree brought Commissioner Dohman a few moments of doubt. “I remember walking into my first class feeling overwhelmed, second-guessing myself about my intent to obtain my master’s degree, but immediately feeling a sense of inclusion, warmth and support from my first professor, Michael Paymar, and my fellow classmates.” She feels honored to work in public safety with people “who bring passion, commitment and dedication to the work” that they do to keep the people of Minnesota safe. Fortunately, the commissioner sees the "power of purple" as one answer to the stresses of her daily work. “Purple is calming to my mind. I feel as if it puts me mentally or emotionally into a state of being ready to absorb what is forthcoming … whether that be relationships with others, learning, decision-making, writing, reading, etc.”
Tim Leslie '95 M.A.
Tim Leslie '95 M.A.
Sheriff, Dakota County Sheriff's Office
“As a law-enforcement official, I feel there is never enough compassion in the world we live in,” said Sheriff Leslie. “People can be quick to judge, and sometimes that can close their minds to the challenges others face in life. My attendance at, and relationship with, the University of St. Thomas has taught me to love and respect my brothers and sisters and to treat all with the respect and dignity that is deserved and that we all want, need and desire.” St. Thomas is proud to count Leslie among its adjunct faculty members as well. “I open classes with the question, ‘Have you had a St. Thomas moment since we last met?’ To me that is the 'power of purple.' The concept that we are working toward changing lives together, and that is accomplished through relationships with others and in a very deliberate manner working for the common good.”
Mike Martin '05 M.A.
Mike Martin '05 M.A.
Instructor and Curriculum Development, National Gang Center
Captain Martin is on the front lines as he fights against gang violence locally, nationally and beyond. “My experiences at St. Thomas have given me the opportunity to influence communities across North America, from the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan [Canada]. I really enjoy working with police agencies and communities to reduce gang violence, investigate gang crimes, and keep kids out of gangs.” The relationships that Martin forged with his fellow students at St. Thomas became a source of professional development that went beyond the textbooks. “I looked forward every week to meeting with my master's cohort. We discussed emerging issues in policing and shared ideas on how best to address them in our own agencies.”
Paul Schnell '86
Paul Schnell '86
Police Chief, City of Maplewood
Chief Schnell has been wearing blue since his college days! “I recall a trip to Goodwill for a tuxedo Halloween costume, and I ended up with a powder blue ruffled shirt and gray pants. I wore the getup once a week for months!” He earned a degree in social work and later transitioned from being a social worker to pursuing a career as a police officer, now serving as a police chief. “I see firsthand the need for a commitment to the common good. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help grow community partnerships and cohesion, which promotes our collective safety.” He is also happy to come from an alumni community that understands the meaning of Christ's admonition, "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."