Follow the Alumni Instagram for Work Study Wednesday

One of the many Augsburg students who shared on our Instagram a bit about their on-campus jobs.

Alumni often reminisce about their student jobs, co-workers, and bosses. Augsburg parents are interested in what their students are experiencing.  Because you are interested, we want to share how on-campus work at Augsburg has evolved, and, how it hasn’t really changed at all.

On-campus jobs play a meaningful role in preparing students for future positions; not only do they help financially, but they help students network and learn valuable skills they can take with them into their jobs outside of Augsburg.

As we enter the new school year, The Augsburg Alumni Instagram will be taken over by students…in a good way! See for yourself by following Augsburg Alumni on Instagram.

Check out our Augsburg Alumni Instagram posts from:

April Johnson ’18  from admissions

Bridget Donovan ’20 from the grounds crew

Justice Jones ’20 from the art department

Destyn Land ’19 from residence life

Make sure to connect with us at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

Augsburg Theater Alumni Featured in a Sod House Theater Production

Come and see some Augsburg University Theater alumni from several generations perform this incredibly fun and evocative production!

An Enemy of the People written by Henrik Ibsen adapted by Darcey Engen and Luverne Seifert with music by Brian Laidlaw and Ashley Hanson, will be presented by Sod House Theater and tour eleven rural cities in Minnesota from July 25 – August 26, with a run in Hastings early September (TBA), 2018. The Sod House is teaming with local talent that includes a number of Augsburg University alumni!

This classic play examines how a community responds when a local doctor threatens to expose that the water it relies upon for tourism is being poisoned. The play questions how far a community will go to protect their town’s secret in order to avoid financial ruin. It will be performed at site-specific locations that are important to the historical narrative of each community.  Performance locations include town halls and river parks. “We’ve chosen communities to perform with that have recently experienced water pollution issues and whose lakes and rivers are a major contributor to their tourism economy,” said Luverne Seifert, co-artistic director of Sod House Theater. After each performance, water experts from local organizations will facilitate conversations centered on local water issues in hopes that the play and community dialogue will inspire water conservation.

 

About Sod House Theater:

Sod House Theater is a Minneapolis based theater whose mission is to perform in venues that serve historical significance in small-town communities. The works they choose to perform are relevant to the small-town atmosphere. Their goal is to be interactive in the communities by performing with local actors and at historical sites. They have been touring greater Minnesota since 2011.

Tickets for “An Enemy of the People” are $15 for adults; $10 for Children, Students, and Seniors.

Tickets are available at www.sodhousetheater.org. For show information call 612-414-2032.

Alumni who are leading the project:

Co-Artistic Director, Luverne Seifert ‘83; Co-Artistic Director, Darcey Engen ‘88; Production and Tour Manager Del Logeais ‘18.

Alumni who are performing in the Taylors Falls Production:

Peter Skjervold ‘83, Jenny Nordstrom Kelly ‘84, Lisa Pestka Anderson ‘86, Ali Fitzpatrick ‘11

Current students performing in Taylors Falls:

Madeleine Rowe ‘19, Hannah Dyson ‘20

6 Quick Questions With the New Conductor of The Masterworks Chorale

Mark Sedio ’76 has been the transitional conductor for the Augsburg choir for the past two years. Mark has recently accepted a new role as conductor for The Masterworks Chorale. We had the chance to chat with Mark about all things Augsburg and music. Check out these 6 Quick Questions with Mark Sedio:

Favorite memory as a student at Augsburg:

Conversation with friends in the old “Chin Wag” before Augsburg Choir rehearsals.

What makes singing in a choir so great/powerful/exciting?

The act of making something beautiful together – a true act of community.  The joy of performing a piece – the final result of hours and hours of rehearsal.  Then, of course, all the non-musical things wrapped up in it all – singing with friends, the performance spaces, the stories about the history of a piece – all coming together.

What excites you about working with Masterworks?

The caliber of the singing is so very high and the possibilities are endless.

What are you looking forward to with Masterworks?

Over the past four years, it’s been great fun for me to have worked first with Cedar Singers and then the Augsburg Choir.  Osmo Vänskä, the conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, says it’s all about the music – and it is.  How we form a phrase together, how we mold sound – not necessarily a pre-conceived notion of what an ensemble should sound like – but rather what we do with the sound we have.  That’s the concept I used with both Cedars and Augsburg Choir – it works – and the outcome can be really thrilling.

Share something about working with the Augsburg Choir:

It’s hard to put into words what the 50-plus singers in the Choir came to mean to me.  Again, it’s all about community.  It was a joy to be able to make music together – and I think it showed in each and every performance.  We had great fun – and it showed in their singing.  I am extraordinarily proud of those wonderful musicians (some whom I knew since they were first-years in Cedar Singers).  Their musicianship and growth over the years.  To work with them was both an honor and sheer joy.

Share a Mark Sedio fun fact:

If I wasn’t able to do what I am doing (choral music, organ, composition), I’d LOVE to have a talk-show.

 

If you are interested in joining The Masterworks Chorale, the gatherings are open to anyone interested in singing! The first gathering is Tuesday, September 4th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the Choir Room (M2) in Augsburg University’s Anderson Music Hall. For more information visit the Augsburg University Masterworks Chorale Facebook page here.

For the Augsburg University Music Department website, click here.

Brett Batterson ’80 Shines Bright on Tony Night

Augsburg alumnus Brett Batterson ’80 had big shoes to fill when he took the job as President and CEO of Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to his arrival,the theatre had been recognized at the Tony Awards on three different occasions. Under Batterson’s leadership, as part of the Independent Presenters Network, the Orpheum Theatre Group can now claim a share of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical! The Independent Presenters Network is an above-the-title producer of the 10-award winning show, The Band’s Visit.

In high school, Batterson was an actor in his school’s theatre productions. When he came to Augsburg, one of his theatre professors, Michael Beery, showed Batterson his potential to create the scenes on the stage itself as a set designer.

“I had wonderful professors at Augsburg including Julie Driver and Ailene Cole, but Michael Beery had the most profound effect on my career.” says Batterson.

Beery helped guide Batterson onto a path where he could find great success. He did perform in one show at Augsburg, but spent the rest of his time behind the scenes creating and designing sets.

While still a student at Augsburg, Batterson had the opportunity to work at The Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Jazz Dance Company and Minnesota Opera Company. Following Augsburg, he took the skills he learned and advice from Professor Beery and obtained his M.F.A. in set design from Tulane University. For 15 years he continued his stage design career until he discovered another passion – arts management. Batterson spent 10 years at Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Then another 11 years as the Executive Director of the national historic landmark Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. He has been in his current position as President and CEO of Orpheum Theatre Group in Memphis since 2016.

“Theatre education, like I had at Augsburg, builds better people,” said Batterson, “Whether they go into theatre or not, they will go into the world better prepared to succeed.”

Young Alumni Council: Lauren (Grafelman) Lesser ’12

The Young Alumni Council was formed to specifically represent the interests of young alumni in service of Augsburg University’s mission and goals.  Each council member helps connect and engage young alumni by planning and executing networking, fundraising, social, and volunteer events and programs. Click here for more information about requirements and qualifications.

As part of one of our series, we will be profiling members of the Augsburg Young Alumni Council (or YAC). This week, we spoke to Lauren (Grafelman) Lesser ’12, who is currently the YAC Vice-President. 

  • Name and Graduation Year?

Lauren (Grafelman) Lesser ’12

  • Time spent as a YAC council member?

2 years
.

  • What made you want to be a part of the YAC?

I enjoyed my time at Augsburg and I wanted to find a way to stay connected to the community. Additionally, I want to help others get re-connected with the Augsburg Community.

  • What is your favorite YAC memory or event?

My favorite event was the brewery tour. It was so fun to see so many familiar and new faces. Everyone really enjoyed hanging out as a group and it was a beautiful day!

  • Favorite memory from studying at Augsburg?

The summer after my freshman year, the band went on a trip to Romania. It was an amazing 10 day experience filled with new cultures, new foods, and new friends!

  • 
Why should other young alumni join the YAC?

People should join YAC to help their classmates re-connect to Augsburg and to help plan fun events that bring people together.

  • Interesting random fact about you?

I have lived in 7 states and went to 3 different high schools.

Are you interested in learning more about the Young Alumni Council? Visit http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/leadershipboards/yac/ for information on applications and eligibility.

Alumni in the Spotlight: Jazmine Darden

Jazmine Darden’13 graduated from Augsburg University with a double major in Mathematics and Physics. During her time at Augsburg, she was passionate about helping people and was heavily involved with the GISE and GEMS program (Girls in Engineering, Mathematics, and Science and Guys in Science and Engineering are after-school and summer programs designed specifically for K-8th-grade girls and boys in the Minneapolis Public School District). After graduating, Darden worked with Minneapolis Public Schools for 2 years.

“Augsburg drew me out of my shell,” said Darden, “I was incredibly shy before I started at Augsburg, but I gained confidence during my time there and the University made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted with my life.”

“Augsburg is such an open-minded place, and one of the key lessons I learned during my time studying was to follow my heart” Darden added.

Darden was unsure of what career path she wanted to pursue, and on a whim, she decided to have a look at Dunwoody College. After taking a campus tour and realizing she was interested in 3D printing technology, she enrolled in the Engineering, Drafting and Design program.

She started the program in August 2015 and was accepted into the Women in Technical Careers scholarship program in her second semester. During her time at Dunwoody, Darden had some internships in the technology sector but soon realized she didn’t envision herself working in the corporate world. She spoke to the dean of her program and told him she wanted to start her own business.

Darden then took a class at Hennepin Tech where they collectively built 3D printers. Recently, she purchased a second 3D printer and began working alongside her mother who runs an embroidery business. Darden now works on custom projects included 3D Printing, screen printing t-shirts, and sublimation printing.

To enhance her printing skill, she decided to undertake a certificate program at Dunwoody specifically for 3D printing. At that time, Dunwoody was looking for someone to teach the class, and Darden was instead offered the instructor position.

“I built this class from the ground up. I got to design the curriculum and make it so that this certification program was unique and cutting edge.”

In a full circle, Darden is currently partnering with the Minneapolis Public School system with the GISE and GEMS program (and eventually other schools) to host a new and exciting project this summer. This summer project will give middle school students a college experience and the opportunity to learn more about 3D printing technology. In this summer project, participants will design and 3D print a Bluetooth speaker, including the outer shell and setting up speaker wiring.

In her spare time, Darden also works as a lead tech hand, makes merchandise and is the website coordinator for Prince Tribute band, Chase and Ovation, and spends her weekend touring the United States (and soon internationally) with the group.

“Chase and Ovation are like family to me. I’m always busy, but I love everything I am currently doing” she added, “There’s no such thing as busy when you’re always having a good time.” said Darden.

As an alumna, Darden makes it very clear that she believes her confidence, ability to follow her heart and only do what she loves, stems from her time here at Augsburg.

“Augsburg creates honest and open-minded people, who are taught that anything is possible, and to always follow your dreams.”

Young Alumni Council: Evan Decker ’12 ’18 MBA

Photograph of Evan Decker

The Young Alumni Council was formed to specifically represent the interests of young alumni in service of Augsburg University’s mission and goals.  Each council member helps connect and engage young alumni by planning and executing networking, fundraising, social, and volunteer events and programs. Click here for more information about requirements and qualifications.

As part of a new weekly series, we will be profiling members of the Augsburg Young Alumni Council (or YAC). This week, we spoke to Evan Decker ’12, ’18 MBA, who is currently the YAC President. 

  • Name and Graduation Year?

Evan Decker ’12, ’18 MBA.

  • Time spent as a YAC council member?

3 years
.

  • What made you want to be a part of the YAC?

I wanted to give back to the University, network, and develop my leadership skills. The council has provided many opportunities in all of these areas.

  • What is your favorite YAC memory or event?

Picking just one is hard. If I had to, I’d say my favorite event each year is the networking event. It’s not necessarily a YAC event but YAC is heavily involved, and I enjoy the opportunity to network with students and other alumni.

  • Favorite memory from studying at Augsburg?

It’s also difficult to choose one. I really enjoyed living in Mort – nothing like living on the same floor/in the same building as all your friends.

  • 
Why should other young alumni join the YAC?

Why not? I feel like for the amount of time and energy I put into it I get much more in return. It’s an amazing opportunity to practice skills that are applicable in many other areas of life while hanging out with cool people. The networking opportunities are endless, and we get to plan and attend fun events!

  • Interesting random fact about you?

I had a pet tarantula growing up. She only managed to escape her cage once!

 

Are you interested in learning more about the Young Alumni Council? Visit http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/leadershipboards/yac/ for information on applications and eligibility.

Financial Update for Parents

The 2018-2019 financial aid awards are now being processed.  Please make sure your student has completed the 2018-2019 FAFSA and turned in all necessary documents to the Student Financial Services Office.  Students can go to http://www.augsburg.edu/studentfinancial/ and click on ‘Review Your Financial Aid’ to check the status of their financial aid, or to see what documents are missing or incomplete.  If all documents are turned in, your student will be emailed their financial aid award letter by July 9th, 2018.

Tuition accounts must be paid-in-full to register for fall term, and for a diploma and/or transcript to be released; payments can be made online by going to http://www.augsburg.edu/studentfinancial/payments/.   Students can go to http://www.augsburg.edu/studentfinancial/ and click on “Review Your Student Account’ to see if they have an unpaid balance.  Please see the Parent Information tab at  www.augsburg.edu/studentfinancial/ for instructions on making a payment  and obtaining access to discuss your student’s financial information, etc.  Please note that we will be unable to speak with any parent/guardian that has not been authorized by the student.

Alumni in the Spotlight: Janeece Oatman

When Janeece (Adams) Oatman ’05 worked with a late-phase clinical research company, she shared some lab results with a potential study participant. Picking up on one indicator that could be a sign of high blood sugar, she urged the woman to undergo a diabetes test. A week later, Oatman found a voicemail from the woman, who had gone to the doctor to be tested and, indeed, received a diagnosis of type 2 Janeece Oatman Photodiabetes. She said the doctor had told her that she should be grateful to know she had the disease so that she didn’t end up having complications, like losing a limb. “You saved my life,” she said in the voicemail.

Oatman contemplated the situation and decided to call the ADA (American Diabetes Association) and ask for a job. As a pre-med graduate, she had both the passion and desire to better the lives of other people and knew that raising money to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes would be a fulfilling career. Although the ADA didn’t have a position immediately available for Oatman, eventually a spot within the Tour de Cure team opened up, and she got the job.

Oatman has now been employed with the ADA for approximately nine-and-a-half years and is currently the Development Director and the Director of the Tour de Cure. She still harbors the same passion for curing diabetes today, as she did the day she started.

“Thirty million Americans have diabetes,” she continued, “and an additional 84 million have pre-diabetes (meaning they are at a significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes within ten years.) Why wouldn’t we want to find a cure for an illness that affects so many people?

It’s a scary reality that every 21 seconds someone will hear the three words that will change life as they know it: You have diabetes.”

“Augsburg was instrumental in shaping my values, including a deep sense of community and stewardship. The fact that my career path brought me to a non-profit is a testament to Augsburg’s emphasis to serve others” said Oatman, regarding her time working with the ADA.

Oatman has remained active within the Augsburg University community and is a member of the Alumni Board. When asked what she loves the most about Augsburg, Oatman replied “Augsburg is a second home to me. It’s a place I love to go back to as in my mind it represents faith, family, and friends.”

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the Tour de Cure will take place at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. Tour de Cure is a fundraising event, where participants bike-ride, run or walk to raise money and show support for all people living with diabetes.

For more information on how to sign up for the Tour de Cure, click here, contact the Augsburg Alumni Office at alumni@augsburg.edu or Janeece Oatman directly at joatman@diabetes.org.

 

50 Years Ago: One Day in May

On May 15, 1968, administration and faculty at Augsburg College (now Augsburg University) canceled class for “One Day in May” and invited speakers to discuss racism in and beyond Minneapolis following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and subsequent riots in major American cities.

The Pan-Afrikan Student Union Center (PASU) was formed shortly after the “One Day in May” with the purpose to provide student leadership development for Pan-Afrikan students at Augsburg through a wide variety of co-sponsored activities and opportunities to help plan an event. The Pan-Afrikan Center also provides student leadership training and resources to Pan-Afrikan students at Augsburg University. PASU hopes to enlighten the students with their cultural identity and the roles that they play in the surrounding communities and in the world. Furthermore, it is the intent of the organization to provide leadership formats and assist in the adjustment, and transition of people of Afrikan descent into the college life.

For access to exclusive “One Day in May” archived footage please click here.

Below, Auggie PASU alumni speak about their experience:

 

Agnes, Greg, Paris and Grayson

 

“I’m grateful to have been part of PASU during my years at Augsburg. Serving as an officer gave me a chance to be a leader and build relationships I wouldn’t have elsewhere. Putting my self in a leadership position really helped me grow and allowed me to reach other students and uplift them in their journey at Augsburg. I would do it all again.”- Agnes Kigwana ’09 (pictured right with husband Greg, and children Grayson and Paris)

 

 

 

 

“Thankful for PASU teaching the values of giving back to your community. Those are the same values that I use each day and share with students as a school counselor.”- Derek Francis ’08 (pictured left with student)

 

 

 

 

 

“I feel that PASU has initiated my journey to understanding who I am as a Black man in this world.”-  Nick Ward ’11 (pictured right).