Skip to content

New faces at AURI’s Waseca office

Mary Steidler

Ag Innovation News has a new byline and Waseca’s AURI office has a new voice. In November, Mary Steidler joined AURI as project and communications assistant.

Steidler, who grew up in New Richland, Minn., lives in rural Owatonna. She holds a bachelors degree in English from St. Mary’s University in Winona, a master’s in English from Kansas State University and a master’s in philosophy from Vanderbilt University.

“I became interested in working for AURI because I understood that a lot of innovative people worked here,” Steidler says. “AURI seemed like a great place to continue my education, so to speak, while using my writing, marketing and communications skills. I’m excited to be here.”

Steidler taught literature and composition at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas and was a Pearson Education marketing representative.

In addition to handling administrative tasks, Steidler maintains the AURI Web site, publishes newsletters and writes for Ag Innovation News.

Kevin Hennessy

Kevin Hennessy has joined the AURI Waseca coproduct utilization program as associate scientist.


For the past three years, Hennessy has studied for a master’s in biomass and renewable energy at the University of Minnesota department of biosystems and agricultural engineering. The previous 16 years he taught junior high math and science for Minneapolis Public Schools.

“I spent a summer working at 3M in research and found I really enjoyed it, reaching the point where I decided that a career change was in order,” Hennessy says. “I am very pleased to be here working for AURI.”

At AURI, Hennessy researches new uses for agricultural biomass and coproducts.