Revisiting the Magical Splendor of the Ballroom: Hoopla Train

 

Darcey Engen ’88

Sod House Theater, which was founded by Augsburg alumni co-artistic directors Darcey Engen ’88 and Luverne Seifert ’83 who are also husband and wife, presents “Hoopla Train” with Yard Master Yip and his Polkastra starting on September 21 through October 15. “Hoopla Train” is an event performed in old vaudevillian tradition with live music, singing and sketch comedy and is a show that welcomes the whole family. Dancing, with music provided by the Chmielewski Funtime Band, will be encouraged throughout the show, and free dance

Luverne Seifert ’83

lessons are offered one hour prior to the show time. Along with this, there will be a live talent show contest for audience members and prizes will be given out.

“We are interested in bringing the young and old back into the ballroom to revisit its magical splendor and its power in building community,” said Darcey Engen, “We were enthralled with the polka and waltz dancers of greater Minnesota, and witnessed a passionate commitment to this kind of community engagement. We are thrilled to bring “Hoopla Train” to the Twin Cities.” “Hoopla Train” has been performed previously in 14 historic ballrooms and dance halls across Minnesota.

The cast stars Darcey Engen, Elise Langer, Jim Lichtscheidl, Eriq Nelson, Kimberly Richardson, Luverne Seifert, Andrea Wollenberg and the Chmielewski Funtime Band. Tickets for “Hoopla Train” are $20 for adults; $10 for children, students and seniors and can be purchased at www.sodhousetheater.org or 612-414-2032.

Did You Know? Alumni Behind The Science Building- Fridlund

Week 4: Paul and Maxine Fridlund

Paul and his wife Maxine Fridlund were important donors to “Old Science Hall”.Paul graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in Chemistry in 1942 and then served four years at sea during World War II as a lieutenant with the U.S. Navy. After his service, Paul returned to education and received his Master of Science in 1952 shortly followed by his Doctorate of Philosophy in 1954, both from the University of Minnesota. He achieved distinction throughout his career and research in plant pathology, which included international work and travel to many countries such as South Africa, Australia, and Romania.  He was a long time faculty member at Washington State University and later in life he used his location to his advantage by writing several historical books about Prosser, Washington where he lived  when he sadly passed away in 2000.

As donors to Augsburg College, Paul and Maxine not only started a scholarship endowment for biology majors, but Paul’s financial gift and gift of equipment to the biology department gave students a unique opportunity to pursue and study plant biology at an earlier stage in their academic careers than most other biology students. A plaque honoring this financial contribution to Old Science is still standing and is located near room 214. Paul eventually received Augsburg’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1980 in recognition of significant achievement in his vocation, for outstanding contribution to church and community, and for a life that exemplified both the ideals and mission of Augsburg College. While the records don’t show much about Maxine’s accomplishments, we remember them both today for their generosity.

If you are interested in more of Paul Fridlund’s work with plant biology, he also edited a book called “Virus and viruslike diseases of pome fruits and simulating noninfectious disorders” which you can learn more about here.

Did You Know? Alumni Behind the Science Building – Arnold

WEEK 3: LUTHER A. and clarette arnold

Luther A. and Clarette (Jorenby) Arnold were Augsburg graduates from the class of 1929 and donors to the “Old Science” Building. Today, we remember them with a plaque outside Science 108, but they also gave generously to the college, including significant gifts to the Augsburg Fund, the Foss Center (where the atrium is named after them) and the Lindell Library.

We have little information regarding Clarette’s career, but we know her hobbies included reading, writing, travelling and music. After the couple married in 1928, they both graduated from Augsburg in 1929 and started their lives together.  Luther then went on to receive a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and later his Doctorate from the University of Florida-Gainesville. His career spanned science teaching and science education from public schools to the university level, where he was a Chemistry professor and instructor of sciences at the University of Florida.

Outside academia he was the first executive secretary emeritus of the Executive Committee of the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists, served on the board of directors for the International Fair, and was an adviser for the World Science Fair. They were members of Zumbro Lutheran Church and were married for 65 years.

Register Now for the Centered Life Series

This coming fall and spring, Augsburg University and Luther Seminary will be presenting three series of presentations and conversations surrounding the Reformation and the rewards of living a life centered in Christ.

  • October 18, 25, & November 2 – The first series, presented by Dr. Hans Wiersma, will explore the breakthroughs brought on by the Reformation regarding justice, freedom, and vocation.
  • February 21, 28, & November 2 – Dr. Mark Tranvik will host the second series, which will focus on vocation and its continuation into later years and retirement.
  • April 18, 25, & May 2 – The last series will be an exploration of Biblical characters who had important experiences in their third chapters of life, presented by Dr. Diane Jacobson.

All talks will take place at 12:00 p.m. at Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave, St. Paul 55108 in the Olson room.

Jack Fortin
Jack Fortin

These sessions are inspired by the writings of Jack Fortin, Executive Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning at Luther Seminary. In his book, The Centered Life,  Fortin encourages us to forgo attempts to achieve “balance” between the disparate facets of our lives: family, work, personal care, community involvement, and so on. Balance, he claims, is nearly impossible to maintain when there are so many ways our time and effort can be consumed by pressing needs in one area or another. In our attempts at balance, we can find that instead our lives are fragmented and contradictory, and hinder our aims for a life of purpose and alignment with God’s providence and love.

Instead, Fortin urges us to seek a centered life, one characterized by a consistent, daily focus on God. A life centered on God, he writes, can help us understand who we are and our purpose in life, and enable us to live out our vocation in all facets and moments of life.

Join us this coming October, February, and April for this inspiring series inspired by the concept of the Centered Life, each a set of three talks focused on a particular aspect of living in awareness of God’s presence, especially at later stages in life when the sense of vocation can seem unclear.

Register by visiting the alumni event page. Each three-week series is $45 and includes entrance to all three talks. Presentations will take place at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

We’re Hiring: Temporary Annual Giving Assistant (Give to the Max Day)

Job Description

Institutional Advancement are hiring a Temporary Annual Giving Assistant to help out with Give to the Max Day. This position will be working alongside the Senior Director of Advancement, Advancement Communications Specialist and the Give to the Max Day fundraising project managers to make this Give to the Max Day our best one yet.

The position will involve:

  • Orchestrating one-on-one interviews with Augsburg faculty, staff and student leaders.
  • Serving as lead project coordinator for up to 20 projects.
  • Completing necessary marketing collateral for projects including website registration and design.
  • Editing and sending email and mail copy.
  • Setting fundraising goals for individual projects.
  • Manipulating spreadsheets with donor data.
  • Assisting in the planning and execution of donor recognition events in coordination with various project managers.

Think that you would make a great Annual Giving Assistant? You can apply here.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum Associate’s degree required; Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • 1-2 years of administrative assistant or coordinator experience
  • Prior project management experience
  • Experience with website management/maintenance
  • Demonstrated competence in using multiple social media platforms to engage audiences, specifically Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Previous fundraising experience strongly preferred.

 

 

Did You Know? Alumni Behind the Science Building – Sverdrup

Week 2: Leif Johan and Johan N. Sverdrup

Leif Johan Sverdrup posing for a portrait in his uniform.
Leif Johan Sverdrup.

Leif Johan Sverdrup and his son Johan N. Sverdrup left their mark on Augsburg in “Old Science” Hall.  Leif who was also known as Jack, was born on January 11, 1898, in Norway and he emigrated to the U.S. in 1914 to live with relatives. He started attending Augsburg in 1916 and graduated in May 1918 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After his graduation, he served in the army in WWI.

Leif Johan Sverdrup eventually returned to education after  he finished his military service and earned a  civil engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in 1921. After completing his engineering degree, Leif Johan went into business with his University of Minnesota professor John Ira Parcel, and together founded Sverdrup and Parcel (a civil engineering firm specializing in bridge construction).

His career eventually led him to rejoin the army and eventually (between the years 1942-1958) he led engineering construction projects in Europe.

In the 1990’s his son, Johan N. Sverdrup, gave financially to establish the Johan N. Sverdrup Ozone Photophysics Laboratory, the Sverdrup Advanced Physics Laboratory, and the General Leif J. Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program in honor of his father. These plaques are situated in the basement of “Old Science” Hall.

Picture of a plaque situated outside the Johan N. Sverdrup Ozone Photophysics Laboratory
Plaque outside the Johan N. Sverdrup Ozone Photophysics Laboratory.

 

Did You Know? Alumni Behind the Science Building

Introduction: “Old Science” Hall

One of the current physical centerpieces of the campus, Science Hall, was constructed in 1947-1948 and opened for fall semester classes in 1949. Like the new Hagfors Center, which will realign how the campus is used, this multi-functional building became a hub, not only for science classrooms, laboratories, and lecture halls, but also for campus life.

It was home to administrative officeBlack and white photo of Old Science Hall.s, faculty offices, the student lounge, student org offices, the home economics department, and a prayer chapel on the fourth floor. Originally a library was envisioned as a part of this capital project, but was built separately years later. The Lisa Odland Observatory, which was constructed on the roof and accessed by an exterior stairway, was added in 1960.  The building cost $450,000 and was supported by Lutheran Free Church members, as well as alumni and other friends.  It was reported that part way through the fundraising campaign, 350 students gave a total of $3,611, towards their overall goal of $6,000. Alumni who gave financially to make this building an integral part of the Augsburg experience include Luther A. ’29 and Clarette (Jorenby) ’29 Arnold, Paul R. ’42 and Maxine Fridlund, Lisa Odland, Johan N. Sverdrup, and General Leif J. Sverdrup ’18.

As we eagerly await the grand opening of the Hagfors Center, this series we will pay homage to the important people who made the original science hall a possibly. In “Did you know? Alumni behind the Science Building” we will explore each week specific generous donors of “Old Science” Hall, and highlight the importance of the building to Augsburg College.

 

Register Now for Board Repair Recruitment Fair

Board Repair is an organization that aims to create a more effective nonprofit sector by increasing participation of people of color on boards in the Twin Cities. We are proud to announce that this year Augsburg will be sponsoring Board Repair’s 2017 Board Recruitment Fair on Monday, August 21st at the Courtyard Marriott in Minneapolis. This is a chance for prospective board members of color to meet and mingle with organizations looking to strengthen their leadership boards with greater diversity and fresh perspectives. All indigenous and people of color who are interested in nonprofit leadership roles are invited to attend the fair and a post-event social hosted by Make It. MSP. Board Repair is also still accepting registration for organizations interested in tabling at the fair.

Prospective board members of color or indigenous register here

Organizations can register in advance here 

Board Repair: Taking the Leap from Fretless Films on Vimeo.

7 People, 7 Passions, 7 Minutes

Come hear insightful talks from 7 passionate Auggies as we take over Sisyphus Brewing! This “mini-Ted Talk” style event is one you won’t want to miss!

When: July 7, 2017 at 7PM

Where: Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Avenue W., Minneapolis

TICKETS HAVE SOLD OUT! Look for the videos of the speakers once released and keep your eye on future alumni events!

Topic & Speaker Line Up:

Be You – Someone Else Isn’t an Option

Heather Cmiel ’02, Global Marketing Communications Strategist, 3M

After being what she thought was a communications agency lifer, two years ago Heather left 13 years of agency life behind to go corporate. She currently serves as the global marketing communications strategist within 3M Healthcare. Heather spends her free time as President of Minnesota PRSA and also leads a contemporary worship band. Heather has been referred to by many as spunky, hellcat, wild and fiery. Could it be she gets those descriptions because of the passion she holds for communications and its impact on business, how she keeps her husband on his toes or the fact at 6ft tall she isn’t afraid to wear heels?

 

These Kids Can Save Democracy (And So Can You)

Bob Groven, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Augsburg College

Bob Groven juggles many plates: associate professor and co-chair in the Department of Communication Studies, Film & New Media at Augsburg College, he is also co-founder and current director of the Minnesota Urban Debate League.  In his copious free time, he enjoys communication and political consulting where he recently helped run a successful and shockingly bipartisan state senate campaign.  Although some alumni may know him from his 12-year stint as Honors Program Director, he hopes memories of that time can be kept to outraged whispers or public court documents.

 

The Next Billion Dollar Business Is in Your Neighbor’s Garage

Justin Grammens ’96, Founding Partner, Lab 651

Justin lives at the intersection of emerging technology and leading communities on the Internet of Things. He is a founding partner of Lab 651, where he helps companies use sensors and intelligence to build smart, connected products. He is the owner of IoT Weekly, a free curated newsletter with industry expert perspectives on the Internet of Things, a co-founder of IoTFuse, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to position Minnesota as a leader on the Internet of Things and an adjunct professor at the University of Saint Thomas teaching a graduate level course on the Internet of Things.

 

Living Life as a Global Citizen through Diplomacy and Global Artistry

Trena Bolden Fields ’00, MFA ’16, Actor, Writer, Life Coach

Trena Bolden Fields is an international actor, speaker, career and life coach and writer who has performed in three different countries; Mexico, South Africa and the U.S. Trena is defining her work on her own terms as an actor and creative who helps other artists create career and personal success while she navigates the world as a “trailing spouse” of a U.S. Diplomat.

 

Intermittent Fasting: A Joyful Gateway to Weight Loss

Awale Osman ’15, Community Innovation Associate, Bush Foundation

Awale Osman has experienced much change–from war-torn Somalia, Kenyan refugee camps, learning English as a third language, to graduating with high academic honors. He has also created much change–expanding afterschool opportunities for Somali youth, impressing upon congress the value of federal TRIO programming, and activating safe spaces for women, people of color, and queer students. Awale is a philanthropist by trade, movie fanatic, charming fella and a health enthusiast.

 

The Essential Intersections of Liberal Arts, Engineering & Leadership

Dean Sundquist ’81, Chairman & CEO, Mate Precision Tooling

Dean Sundquist serves as Chairman and CEO of Mate Precision Tooling which is a global leader in the manufacture of tooling used in the sheetmetal fabrication industry.  As a Steve Jobs admirer, he is passionate about fusing together engineering and liberal arts and lives this mission out at Augsburg as an URGO sponsor of science students and as an active member of the Augsburg Board of Regents. When he is not busy working, this husband of 31 years and father of two, enjoys studying and practicing mindfulness, hypertrophy training and listening to rock and pop music of all kinds.

 

The Upside of Cancer

Stephanie Weiss, Director of News and Media Services, Augsburg College

Stephanie Weiss started her working life as the Page One editor of a daily newspaper … something she dreamt of since she was 11 years old. She transitioned into nonprofit public relations where she has been fortunate to identify with the missions of the organizations she has served. She isn’t good at following rules: real or implied. Away from work, she helps out the old lady across the street, works on local and state political campaigns, enjoys dark beer, mutts, open-water swimming, and riding an electric bike. Today she’s going to talk about her recent cancer diagnosis and how she hopes it has changed her for the better.

 

 

Access: It can change your life

Danielle Stellner smiling on a roof in St. PaulAs a child growing up in Chicago, Danielle Stellner ’07 heard mixed messages in her community about the importance of education. But in her family–a family of modest means–there was never any doubt that excelling in school was non-negotiable. Her mother made that clear.

Then, at the age of 18, Stellner herself became a mother. She knew her son was a real blessing. She also knew she yearned for something more in life, but she wasn’t sure what.

As she looks back over the years now, she is impressed at how dramatically access can change one’s life and trajectory. Access to college, access to job opportunities, access to mentors.

Stellner stands with her partner above the ruins of Machu Picchu
Danielle and her partner Herbert on a trip to Peru

One such mentor for Stellner was Erik Nycklemoe, an early supervisor in her career whom she sees as the first person to care about her career and life development. He made it possible for her to earn her B.A. from Augsburg, she says, making her the first in her family to earn an undergraduate degree. Access to evening/weekend study at Augsburg’s Weekend College (now Adult Undergraduate program) was a real break for Stellner, who needed to balance studies with being a working mom.

Moving to Minnesota in search of a safer life for Deion, her three-year-old son, Stellner landed an internship at a 24-hour news station in downtown Minneapolis, then moved on to editing, producing, and hosting. This experience helped hone her skills in content creation and delivery, and she later joined Minnesota Public Radio (a “happy accident”), where she now serves as Managing Partner of Business Planning. She sees public radio as more relevant today than ever. “You can trust public radio to rise above the pack and provide not only relevant news without slant, but arts and cultural programming that consumes you,” she says, and then quotes Thomas Jefferson: “…wherever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government….”

She also found time to complete an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, where she had access to another mentor, Lisa Bittman–a Godsend, and a grounding force through some tough years, she says.

In the whole process, Stellner fell in love with Minnesota and with her now-husband, Herbert Stellner, and they later welcomed two more children into the family, Herbert Stellner IV (9) and Clara Gem Stellner (7).

Stellner poses in cap and gown with her three children
Stellner completed her MBA at the Carlson School of Management

Stellner recalls her student days at Augsburg with gratitude, especially the fantastic lecturing of Dr. David Matz (sociology). In recent years she has reconnected with her alma mater, thanks to Shelby Andress ’56, who introduced her to the Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) group–”the most incredible group of women I’ve ever met,” says Stellner. She is grateful to now be serving as co-chair of the AWE Council.

Stellner also serves on the board of Friendship Academy of the Arts, a blue-ribbon school that serves predominantly African American students, and on the board of Isuroon, an organization committed to self-sufficiency of Somali women and their families. Recently elected board secretary, Stellner is drawn to the organization by its dedication to changing the narrative that is portrayed in mainstream media to one that more accurately reflects the true family values of Somali culture.

Even with a demanding work schedule, Stellner and her family manage to keep a garden, and take delight in eating the fruits of their labors. But they wouldn’t mind some additional time with no agenda–time for family play, reading for pleasure–and perhaps a few extra hours of sleep. During Homecoming this fall, Stellner will be honored with Augsburg’s First Decade Award.

–by Cheryl Crockett ’89