Augsburg Alumni City Service Day, September 2nd

Save the date for the inaugural, global Augsburg Alumni Day of Service which will be held on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. This day is one of a number of service opportunities for Augsburg alumni to lead by sharing their time and talents to make a difference.

Many Auggie alumni give back by working in the non-profit sector, sitting on boards of foundations and organizations, serving at the highest levels of government, becoming elected officials, volunteering for Augsburg, and sharing time, experience and energy with volunteer community projects. And the Day of Service is a chance for alumni around the world to come together on one day to celebrate this tradition of service. On the Augsburg Alumni Day of Service, alumni and their families and friends work side by side to make communities better because Augsburg alumni live there. The Augsburg Day of Service is a wonderful way for members of the Augsburg community to meet and reconnect with alumni who share this commitment to giving back. And for many alumni, the program provides the opportunity to share this value with their children (and grandchildren) through example – and fun! – as they work together on projects where they live.

Register for Augsburg Alumni City Service Day

Want to add a project to the Day of Service? Contact us at alumni@augsburg.edu for more information.

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Alumna Receives Award for Excellence in Teaching

In July, alumna Amy Vatne Bintliff ’01 was the recipient of the Teaching Tolerance Excellence in Teaching award. Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center which aims to reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and support equitable school experiences for children. The project also provides free educational resources to teachers and school practitioners to support its mission.

Amy is an accomplished educator and author. In 2011, she released a book on the topic of social justice teaching; Re-engaging Disconnected Youth: Transformative Learning through Restorative and Social Justice Education (2011).

Alumna Runs for Judge

Augsburg College alumna, Beverly “Bev” Benson ’81 annouced this summer that she will be running for Judge in the 4th Judicial District of Hennepin County. Supporting her in the campaign, are many other Augsburg alumni, including Kristine Johnson ’81.

 

Official Annoucement to Augsburg College

Bev BensonBev Benson, Augsburg Class of 1981, has announced she is running in November, to fill an open Judicial Seat on the Hennepin County Bench.  This means that there is no incumbent.   Former Augsburg graduate Kristine Johnson, Class of 1981 is a member of her campaign staff.   She has numerous other Augsburg graduates supporting her campaign.

Ms. Benson has been a prosecutor for 28 years, 25 years in Hennepin County, and 3 years in Stearns County.  She has specialized in the prosecution of domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and homicides.

She has been a presenter and trainer at the National and State levels.  She has also been a member of groups funded by the US State Department to do training for Judges, Prosecutors, Defense Attorney’s and Police in two of provinces, formerly part of the Soviet Union.

She has 15 years of experience moderating League of Women Voter candidate forums, as well as being a former President of her local Wayzata/Plymouth League of Women Voters.   Other personal volunteer service activities include presenting trainings on domestic violence at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Center and the Rape and Sexual Assault Center.  She has volunteered as a reader to second graders at the Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School.  She volunteered her time and energy toward various projects at Oak View Elementary School and Cedar Island Elementary School in the Osseo-Maple Grove School District.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact her by way of this email address:  bevbensonforjudge.@gmail.com and on Facebook at:  “Bev Benson For Hennepin County Judge”.

 

 

“Claim Your Trophy” to Be Broadcast on Fox

SwansonAAt a very young age, Nick Swanson ’09 BA, ’12 MBA took a keen interest in hunting, fishing, and the outdoors in general—an interest he shared with the most influential person in his life, his grandfather, Richard Hoffmann. Even last year, the two sat in the woods together for a full day during Wisconsin deer hunting season, in hopes of harvesting a good-sized buck. They were not disappointed—plus, the “great buck event” was all captured on film!

Swanson, who spends his workweek as supervisor of business services at the Hastings (Minn.) Medical Clinic, Allina Health, has long been interested in traveling and a variety of outdoor adventures, and spends most evenings and weekends in that world. But, over the years, his difficulty in finding good, reputable resources to assist him in his planning has usually left him frustrated. Finally, he decided to create a website (www.claimyourtrophy.com) and produce/host a TV show to do just that. His hunting/fishing outfitter directory helps you find reliable guides and outfitters for that once-in-a-lifetime event—to enjoy hunting (deer, elk, moose, bear, turkey, caribou, birds, antelope, sheep) or fishing (bass, musky, northern pike, salmon, salt water, trout, walleye).

Particularly pleased about having captured “the great buck event” on film, Swanson looks forward to sharing the footage with millions this fall on his television show. Recently picked up by Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin, “Claim Your Trophy” will run for 13 weeks, on Sundays and Thursdays at 8:00 a.m., beginning on August 24. It will also be found on YouTube (www.youtube.com/claimyourtrophy). “Having traveled across North America hunting and fishing with some close friends and capturing it all on film has been a dream come true,” says Swanson, “not to mention having our adventures shown on TV—well, that’s just icing on the cake!”

After majoring in Economics and earning an MBA at Augsburg (experiences which he says brought clarity to his vocation and helped shape him as a person), and doing additional studySwansonB at University College Cork, Swanson pursued medical school, even enjoying a stint as a Mayo Clinic Scholar in 2011-12. However, with his other foot in the business world as a broker, consultant, and marketing manager, it soon became obvious that his vocation was in the business side of health care. He now says that wearing the “health care administrator hat” on weekdays overlaps nicely with his evenings and weekends, when he switches over to the “outdoors hat.”

Swanson, who lives in Prescott, Wis., also finds time to serve on Augsburg’s Alumni Board—involvement that he enjoys. “I’m not sure they’ll ever get rid of me,” he says.

Auggie Strikes a Pose

We want to see Traveling Auggie at home, work, and at play!

Print and cut out Traveling Auggie and take him with you wherever you go – snapping photos of him along the way in funny, creative, or just everyday situations. Then, share your adventures on social media with #TravelingAuggie. Download Traveling Auggie now!

Simply…
1. Print
2. Cut
3. Photograph
4. Share with #TravelingAuggie

Happy Traveling!

Auggies Show Their Auggie Pride at Twin Cities Pride Festival

The 42nd Annual Pride Festival was held this past weekend, June 28-29, 2014. This year, Augsburg College hosted a booth at the festival, current students, alumni, parents, and friends of the College were all encouraged to stop by the table to learn about Augsburg College and life in the city. Those who stopped by the booth received a pair of Augsburg College sunglasses in addition to other Auggie “swag”.

 

50th Annual Clair Strommen A-Club Golf Tournament

Yesterday, the Augsburg College A-Club hosted the 50th annual Clair Strommen A-Club golf tournament at the Oak Glen Country Club located in Stillwater, Minnesota. Over 125 Auggies showed up in support of Augsburg College student athletes and the A-Club.

Support Minnesota Urban Debate League – Tournament Volunteers

The Minnesota Urban Debate League serves young people in Minneapolis and St. Paul through academic competitive debate. The Mission of MNUDL is to empower students through competitive academic debate to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities. Students deeply engage with the annual topic through in-depth research, analyzing data, and defend different policy options.  This process increases their critical thinking, reading comprehension and public speaking skills exponentially. MNUDL currently serves 600 students at 30 high school and middle school sites in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  Participating in debate has a great impact on students’ long-term goals. Ninety-nine percent of MNUDL debaters attend college, and Augsburg College is welcoming the second cohort of MNUDL program graduates this fall.

Urban DebateAs a Greeter, Judge, Lounge Staffer, Assistant Coach, Team Volunteer, or Ballot Runner, you’ll help to diversify the pipeline of future leaders in business, law and the community, and meet other leaders in the field who are committed to their community! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact: Mai Yer Vang, Community Outreach Coordinator, at vangmy@augsburg.edu, or 612-330-1730.

Groups interested in getting involved with Minnesota Urban Debate League, please contact Amanda Scherer at corporate and foundation relations at 612-330-1720, or scherera@augsburg.edu.

Volunteer at The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Volunteering at Augsburg College’s booth at the Minnesota State Fair is a great way to meet others in the community, and to promote Augsburg College. Past volunteers find the experience rewarding – so much so that teams of Auggies have developed over the years.

All alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff are welcome to volunteer – each volunteer will receive one admission ticket.

This year’s fair runs Thursday, Aug. 21, through Labor Day. Shifts at the booth last four hours with each bloc consisting of two volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer, contact us at volunteer@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1085.

 

Laboring for the Medically Underserved People in Burundi

The video Rachel (Selle) McLaughlin ’01 saw at age 16, featuring women who would walk for two days to reach a doctor, left quite an impression on her. Because pregnancy and its complications continue to be a leading cause of death in the developing world, she chose to focus on obstetrics in her medical education because of the great potential to help such women.

Now, as a medical doctor at Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi, McLaughlin has abundant opportunities to provide medical care to many, while also serving as professor and clinical faculty at nearby Hope Africa University, a Christian university that is growing explosively. With only 300 doctors in a country of 10 million, the needs are great. Though Burundi is quite fertile, it is still one of the 10 poorest countries in the world and is not big enough to support 10 million people and their farms. Most Burundians are subsistence farmers, earning less than $1/day on average, and the unemployment rate is about 40%.

McLaughlinFamWhat led McLaughlin to this East African country? During her residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan, McLaughlin and her husband Eric had ended up in the same congregation as two other medical couples, the Cropseys and Faders—and they became close friends. All six felt called to medical missionary work, and in 2009, they traveled to Africa for a two-year fellowship at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. They all sought a place to invest themselves long-term, a place that truly needed them and their medical education, and where there was African leadership and vision. They found it all in Burundi.

Their team (“the McCropders,” an amalgamation of their names), consists of doctors in six different specialties. They started work at Kibuye Hope Hospital in January 2014, in a facility that had no running water, empty shelves in the pharmacy, and only a few nurses. Little at a time, progress is being made, and thanks to an organization called Friends of Hope Africa University, they now have running water. However, the rusted-out pipes in the hospital need to be fixed, and essential medications are scarce. Most days, McLaughlin and her two OB nurses perform 3–5 deliveries, and care for an average of 30–40 inpatients—plus newborns. The hospital usually runs at 100% capacity (80–90 beds), with some patients sleeping on the floor or sharing mattresses. They lack medications, staff, and tests, and many days their X-ray machine is broken. But McLaughlin is excited about their 30-year plan, which calls for an eventual expansion to 300 beds. She knows, however, that they must manage the growth responsibly, confident that the necessary infrastructure is in place.

During her student years at Augsburg, McLaughlin took several mission trips to Mexico, her first few of many such trips. Having been very active in Augsburg’s campus ministry, she was especially pleased to return to campus in 2012 to speak at a Vocational chapel (“All Shook Up:  The Call to Change”), and to meet with students and staff. Just as she has been blessed, over the years, with many mentors, she now feels honored to advise and mentor students who are interested in medical or mission work.

Supported entirely by individuals and churches, McLaughlin and her team are seeking people with whom to partner in their hospital development and building projects. Several McLaughlinBabywebsites provide more information about the McCropders’ work—blog and articles (www.mccropders.com), an article on Hunger Culture (http://mccropders.blogspot.gr/2014/02/hunger-culture.html), an article on Poverty (http://mccropders.blogspot.gr/2014/01/first-impressions-poverty.html), and Rachel’s award-winning story about Burundi (http://thewell.intervarsity.org/in-focus/living-out-gods-pursuing-love-burundi).

So what drew the McLaughlins to Burundi? Friends have suggested “an amazing life experience,” or “an adventure,” or being “world travelers,” or doing “meaningful work.” But Rachel and her husband Eric agree, nothing captures the heart of it for them quite like this:  When we were far away, alienated and suffering, God pursued us with His love. And there is nothing other than this which will sustain our motivations. Laboring for the medically underserved people is a picture of the pursuing love of God for the world.