Jane Austen on Wheels

Devoney Looser '89.

Devoney Looser ’89. Photo credit: Jennifer Roberts of Moonshadow Studios.

If Jane Austen were magically to come back to life and appear in Devoney Looser’s ’89 English classroom at Arizona State University, she would undoubtedly be charmed by the lively discussion of her writings from two centuries ago, pleased that they had survived and continue to be relevant among college students. If she decided to hang out after class, however, she would be in for quite a surprise, learning about Looser’s athletic alter ego. For the past five years, Looser has played roller derby as Stone Cold Jane Austen.

A Twin Cities native, Looser first encountered Austen’s novels as a teenager (thanks to her mother, who had not read the novels herself but sensed their importance). Looser loved the opportunity to read them then—and loves to teach them now—along with other favorites from that era, like Frances Burney, Mary Hays, and Maria Edgeworth. She also is intrigued by other truly unusual women from that period who led fascinating lives: Harriette Wilson, Lady Hester Stanhope, and Anne Lister.

Now, Looser is following their example. She is editor of a recently released volume, The Cambridge Companion to Women’s Writing in the Romantic Period (Cambridge University Press). As much as she enjoys spending time around people who’ve written fascinating books (one of the “great gifts” of her professional life), she is likely surrounded by many who feel the same about her. Find more information on her numerous publications and background at devoneylooser.com. Continue reading

MayKao Y. Hang Presents “Journey of 1000 Miles”

MayKao HangAugsburg College is excited to welcome MayKao Y. Hang as the third featured speaker for the 2014-2015 Strommen Executive Speaker Series. Hang will give a public presentation on April 9th at 5 p.m. in the Sateren Auditorium at Augsburg College.

MayKao Y. Hang is the President and CEO of the Wilder Foundation, and has extensive experience serving low income and disadvantaged populations in both public and nonprofit sectors.

As a young leader, Dr. Hang saw a need for increased support for Hmong women and co-led an effort in 1998 to initiate Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit and catalyst for lasting cultural, institutional, and social change to improve the lives of Hmong women. Dr. Hang continues to be actively engaged in the metro area as a community leader. She serves as a Trustee of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (9th District), and on the Women’s Economic Roundtable.

Dr. Hang will speak for thirty minutes, and take questions for the second half hour. Immediately following her presentation, she will meet with 20 students from Augsburg’s Pan-Asian student group.

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Curt Rice ’84 Named President at Norway’s Largest University College

Curt Rice '84

Photo: Sonja Balci / HiOA

 Curt Rice ’84 was appointed the new president of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA). Rice is the first non-Norwegian head of a Norwegian institution for higher education.

The University College is Norway’s largest, and is unique owing to its wide range of professional programs and close ties between research and corresponding fields of practice.

Rice, a philosophy major at Augsburg, and wife Tove I. Dahl ’84 jointly received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009.

“I look forward to meeting the faculty, staff and students and working closely with them and our other partners to write HiOA’s next chapter,” says Curt Rice.

Rice comes to the University College from a position as professor at the Department of Languages and Linguistics at the university in Tromsø. He earned his PhD in general linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Rice will assume his new position on August 1st. Continue reading

Teaching Must Be in the DNA

Jane Bracken and Jenna Held

Jane (Catlin) Bracken ’71 and Jenna (Bracken) Held ’05

Things have changed a lot since Jane (Catlin) Bracken ’71 began teaching first grade in Cannon Falls back in the early ‘70s. Handouts done on ditto machines (with that distinctive purple print), filmstrips, and simple newsletters have given way to iPads, Smart Boards, and classroom blogs. And though most of the tools have changed, the supreme satisfaction of teaching little kids how to read has remained constant for Bracken. For 41 years, she taught first grade (all in the Cannon Falls district), and in 2009, she was named Cannon Falls Teacher of the Year. She says it has been “so cool” to watch students grow up and have kids of their own, then meet with them as parents during conferences. One year not too long ago, one-third of her students were children of earlier students.

Bracken’s daughter, Jenna (Bracken) Held ’05, is now following in her mother’s footsteps, attracted to not only the joy that a teacher’s lifestyle can provide, but the opportunity to do something she loves—work with children. And last year, after having taught fourth and fifth grade for eight years, she copied her mother again and switched to first grade. Teaching at Lincoln Center in South St. Paul is especially sweet for her, as it allows her to work in the community where she lives, and to see her students around town. Continue reading

Auggies Give and Share Thanks

staff thank you note writingCelebrate Philanthropy Week March 30-April 2

Did you know that 95% of Augsburg students receive financial aid? Or that student support services like tutoring, the Writing Lab, and the CLASS office are available to all students at no extra cost? Financial aid, student support programs, faculty-student research and more are all made possible thanks to generous donors to Augsburg. Each year, more than 2,400 alumni, parents, and friends give more than $1 million to The Augsburg Fund. Philanthropy Week is an opportunity to teach current students about how their education is supported by donors, and thank current donors for their generosity. Come to the Christensen Center to write a thank you note. Staff will be tabling at the following times: Monday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Tuesday, March 31, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.; Wednesday, April 1, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Want to get involved?

  • Share what you love about Augsburg and why you support the College on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #auggiesgive.
  • Join us for a special Philanthropy Week lunch on Thursday, April 2, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in East Commons to help thank donors for their support and encourage them to make a gift this year (RSVP to Ben Krouse-Gagne ’11 at 612-330-1179 or krousega@augsburg.edu)
  • Become a donor to Augsburg! Make your gift online at augsburg.edu/giving.

Target – Augsburg Partnership Grant Extended for Summer and Fall Terms 2015

Dear Auggies,

Like the rest of our community here in the Twin Cities, Augsburg College and the Alumni Association were saddened to see this week’s devastating announcement about layoffs at Target corporate headquarters. News like this is especially painful when we know that Auggies were affected.

Regardless of your employment status, your alma mater is here to support you through education, mentorship, Auggie connections, and campus events. If you’re looking to further your education, Augsburg Admissions has put together a comprehensive package to support your next steps.

Augsburg College would like to extend its Partnership Grant program discounts to those affected by the recent workforce reduction at Target.

The Partnership discount of $50 per undergraduate credit and $80 per graduate credit will continue to apply to all previous Target employees if they newly enroll in an adult undergraduate or graduate program at Augsburg College in the summer or fall 2015 term.

Additionally, Augsburg has created a new alumni discount of $50 per undergraduate credit and $80 per graduate credit. To receive the alumni discount, a student must have earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree from Augsburg College. Alumni who newly enroll in further studies at Augsburg College will be able to receive this discount. The discount does not apply to CEU credits or workshops.

For maximum affordability, the alumni discount is stackable with one other discount! The alumni discount can be stacked with the military discount, the AmeriCorps/Lutheran Corps discount, or the Augsburg Partnership Grant.

For example, if you are an Augsburg alumna or alumnus that has been newly admitted into a graduate program and your Target Augsburg Partnership Grant program has been extended for the summer and fall terms, your two discounts may be stacked. Alumni Discount $80/credit + Partnership Grant Discount $80/credit = Total Discount $160/ credit. Continue reading

NYC Reception for Augsburg Alumni, Parents, & Friends

NY Alumni ReceptionAugsburg alumni are cordially invited to a reception in New York with President Paul C. Pribbenow, Associate Professors Peter Hendrickson and Joe Underhill, alumni, parents, and friends of the College, as well as current Augsburg students who will be in New York participating in the Model UN and vocalists singing at Carnegie Hall.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

5-7 p.m.

Scandinavia House

Volvo Ballroom

58 Park Avenue, map

New York, NY

RSVP by Tuesday, March 17 here or by calling 612-3430-1085.