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Undergraduate Program

John Kalis '04

Computer Science, Computer Informatics, & Applied Philosophy

Pre-Law Program

From the Hill to Air Force

John Kalis ’04 can trace the beginning of his career as an active duty Air Force attorney in the Judge Advocates General’s (JAG) Corps all the way back to Mount Mercy University.

Kalis graduated from MMU with a triple major in computer science, computer information systems, and philosophy, while also attaining a minor in political science.

“I was born and raised in Minnesota, grew up on the family farm, and was proud to come to Cedar Rapids for college," said Kalis. "Mount Mercy and Cedar Rapids were just the right fit, and I had the chance to work with amazing people.”

"Mount Mercy and Cedar Rapids were just the right fit, and I had the chance to work with amazing people.”

Connections on campus

When he wasn’t focusing on his academics, he served as SGA president, was involved in theater, and was on the cross country and track teams. He also received the Catherine McAuley Award—one of the highest awards conferred—at graduation and went on to pursue his first master’s degree at Harvard University.

Due to his success with the cross country and track teams, he was able to continue to run and has ran and completed 26 full marathons. Holistic wellness has always been important to Kalis, and it’s something he learned at Mount Mercy.

Studying abroad

During his time in law school at Ohio State, Kalis had the chance to study abroad at Oxford University. Kalis realized while studying at Oxford that it was important to contribute to the world around him.

Giving back

After Kalis came back to the U.S., he joined the Air Force.

“I joined the military to practice law in a meaningful way and to serve the needs of society,” said Kalis. “Since coming on active duty in 2012, I’ve worked in places as varied as North Dakota and Afghanistan.”

Kalis has worked as a criminal prosecutor, worked on international law agreements between the U.S. and partner nations, practiced contract law, and has served as the legal advisor for important cyberspace operations systems.

"Part of the adventure is that I don’t know what will come next, but whatever comes my way, I know that my time at Mount Mercy equipped me to face the next chapter with confidence," said Kalis.

Part of the adventure is that I don’t know what will come next, but whatever comes my way, I know that my time at Mount Mercy equipped me to face the next chapter with confidence.

John Kalis '04
Computer Science, Computer Informatics, & Applied Philosophy

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