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Series brings international professionals to College

Kaitlyn Rabach | Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Saint Mary’s College Department of Global Studies announced Thomas Herder, General Counsel of the Energy Division of Siemens AG, as the inaugural speaker of its new lecture series, titled “On Developing Global Mindset.”

“We are delighted to have Tom Herder as our inaugural speaker in the series,” department chair and business professor Jill Vihtelic said. “He values [a] global mindset and women’s roles in globalization. He will offer good insight to our students.”

In his role at the Munich-based electronics and electrical engineering company, Herder manages a global department of more than 150 lawyers, contract managers, paralegals and support staff located in more than 20 locations in eight countries.

This broad experience and insight makes him an ideal addition to a speaker series highlighting people in successful global careers, Vihtelic said.

“We want students to hear firsthand how they can develop a global mindset,” Vihtelic said. “We want students to be able to dialogue with him and learn what his job is, what education prepared him for his role in the company and what sort of previous experiences he has had abroad.”

Herder is no newcomer to Saint Mary’s College. He and his wife, Sally Herder, a 1978 alumna, are co-chairs of the Saint Mary’s College Parent Council, and their daughter, Julie, is a senior communications major. (Editor’s Note: Julie is employed as a photographer for The Observer.)

Susan Dampeer, assistant to College President Carol Ann Mooney, recommended Herder as a potential speaker, Vihtelic said.

“As the parents of a senior, they understand the importance of bringing real world experience to our students,” Dampeer said. “Mr. Herder’s talk about his career in international law should be both informative and inspirational to our students.”

Though the Global Studies major is a new addition to the College’s curriculum, Vihtelic said its students can already begin considering career paths in the international job market that tie into the department’s business and economics concentrations.

“An important part of this major is not only academic skill, but to also get our students thinking about different professional opportunities,” Vihtelic said. “A speaker like Mr. Herder complements the business concentration of the major.”

But Global Studies students are by no means limited to careers in business, Vihtelic said.

“For future lectures in the series, we would like to include government officials, non-profit organizers and global leaders of education,” she said. “It is important for students of the major to see all types of global careers.”

Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at krabac01@saintmarys.edu