Auggie Social Worker Driven to Support

SaraKaiserMany single moms work hard to juggle child care with maintaining a home and working a regular job (or jobs), only to find they have no safety net when something goes wrong. What happens if she gets sick? If her son has trouble in school? If she loses her job? Who can she count on to back her up?

Sara Kaiser ’08, a social worker for Rice County (Minn.), has seen first-hand the need for daily support for single moms. She knows there are many resources available to help them and their children, and she is passionate about helping them make those connections, and in creating extra support. In recent years, a variety of her experiences—working for the police department, staffer at a mental health practice, social worker at an apartment complex, and volunteer at a women’s center—have given her a solid background for her current social work. In addition to helping countless families, she has convinced the mayor of Northfield to designate a month for “Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness,” and she has worked in collaboration to create a young moms’ support group, which features guest speakers, simple conversations, and activities like cooking and scrapbooking, and negotiated with local churches to offer childcare and free dinners for the Friday evening gatherings. She has discovered, particularly in her internship at the Northfield Women’s Center and her work at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, that she has found her life’s calling, and she is pursuing a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Continue reading

PHD Teams Play World’s Longest Baseball Game

RainyIt was 6 a.m. on August 3, and the Red and Blue teams were finishing their second overnight shift at the Park High School JV Baseball Field in Cottage Grove as they attempted to beat the record for the world’s longest baseball game. Having played in two hours of torrential rain the day before, they were exhausted, though playing in shifts helped. The music behind the backstop kept them alert, but some worried they might not stay awake to beat the old record of 62 hours, 32 minutes, 59 seconds. Full count, the pay-off pitch, and the batter flailed uncontrollably for strike three. Then, blaring through the loudspeakers came the sounds of M.C. Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This,” producing a great moment of levity and a welcome energy boost. They persevered and completed the game after 63+ hours, setting the new record for the Guinness Book of World Records. They tallied 575 runs, 293 innings, and more than 12,000 pitches!

WLBG teamBryan Ludwig ’08, who organized the event, is a head coach and general counsel for the PHD Baseball Club, LLC, which was created in 2009 by another Auggie, Brian Bambenek ‘07, and two of his friends. The idea behind PHD (pitching, hitting, defense) is for the coaches to share the love of baseball and return immense value to participating athletes in a manner that is unmatched in Minnesota, training these young men and giving them the tools they need to succeed on and off the field. (Learn more at www.phdbaseball.us.)

The “longest game” was intentionally tied to charity to provide a way to live out PHD’s mission, and to encourage the athletes to give back. Their first attempt in 2013 to break the record fell short, but they raised thousands of dollars for the Masonic Cancer Center at the U of M. The group used this year’s event to support the ALS Association Continue reading

Volunteers Needed for Vespers

vespers servicePlan to be a part of Advent Vespers this year? If you’re able to lend a hand to this signature Augsburg College event, we’d love to welcome you as a volunteer at any one of five services. We could use many volunteers to usher and work the will-call table.

Vespers services will be held:

Friday, December 5: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Saturday, December 6: 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Volunteers should plan to arrive at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis (333 S. 12th St.) 60-90 minutes prior to each service. The service lasts approximately 90 minutes.

If you are able to volunteer at Vespers this year, please contact Jenna Leahy at leahy@augsburg.edu.

Calling All Norwegian Sweaters!!

Choir of SweatersWe like to think of Velkommen Jul at Augsburg College as the largest gathering of Norwegian sweaters in Minnesota. This traditional festival to usher in the Christmas season brings campus together around a lovely, historic tradition that features Scandinavian yuletide music, tasty treats including krumkake and lefse, Norwegian bunads, a bake sale of holiday goodies, and a visit from St. Nicholas during chapel. Donations are accepted and welcomed in support of student scholarships.

We love gathering together each year for this event that welcomes students from all backgrounds and faiths into long-cherished Augsburg traditions. But as we all know, these beautiful, long-wearing sweaters are not inexpensive.

Here is where you can help! Please consider donating any older or unworn Norwegian sweaters for our students to wear for this wonderful event and throughout the Christmas season. Sweaters must be clean and in reasonably good condition.  No matter who you are or your background, let’s share the wealth of Norwegian sweaters that is so proudly displayed here in Minnesota winters.

Please make your sweater donations by Wednesday, November 26 at noon. Please call 612-330-1085 with any questions. Sweater donations may be mailed or delivered to the Alumni and Advancement office at:

Oren Gateway Center
Suite 300
Augsburg College
2211 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis MN 55454

 

Board of Regents engages in strategic leadership conversation, renews President Pribbenow’s contract

Augsburg SealFollowing the Augsburg Board of Regents’ October meeting, Board Chair Paul Mueller ’84 shared a meeting summary outlining the topics addressed and actions taken during the meeting. This report is available online and is the first of what will become an ongoing communication following each of the Board’s three annual meetings. In addition to the actions outlined in the summary, the Board also voted unanimously to renew President Paul C. Pribbenow’s contract through 2021. Read more about that announcement on the Augsburg College News and Media site.

Book Signing and Reading with Professor Phil Adamo

adamoJoin us on October 29 at 3:15 p.m.

Medieval history professor Phil Adamo will sign copies of his book, and discuss scholarship and vocation.

Called to Scholarship with Phil Adamo
Book-signing, Reading, Refreshments
Wednesday, October 29, 3:15 to 5 p.m.
Oren Gateway Room 100

Celebrate medieval history professor Phil Adamo’s recent publication of two books:

- The Medieval Church: A Brief History (2013)
- New Monks in Old Habits: The Formation of the Caulite Monastic Order (2014)

Adamo will sign books, which will be available for purchase.

He will also read “Hanging Little Joe on the Suburban Ponderosa, Or, What has the Middle Ages to do with the Old West?” an essay soon-to-be-published in a special edition of the Journal of the West. This essay looks at Adamo’s childhood, growing up on the edge of a Texas suburb, and how that experience with the imagined Old West led to his vocation as a medievalist.

Phil Adamo directs Augsburg’s nationally recognized program in Medieval Studies. He has published articles and books on medieval monasticism and church history, for which he received Augsburg’s award for Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship in 2014. He is also an award-winning teacher, most recently the recipient of the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching, given by the Medieval Academy of America, the oldest and largest association of medievalists in the world.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Christensen Center for Vocation, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Department of History.

Refreshments will be served.

Connect with a Current Auggie

strommenThe Strommen Center for Meaningful Work is a terrific resource for students on campus. If you haven’t looked into its work in helping students develop the skills, habits of mind, and values that are the foundation for life choices, career success, and active citizenship, please do so. There are so many ways that alumni can support our students on their vocational journey.

Alumni are a critical way that students can connect with internships, learn about employment opportunities and how to navigate the hiring process. Ultimately, the Strommen Center works to help students find their own meaningful work. Be sure to check out the upcoming event’s on the Strommen Center’s website, or contact programming coordinator Sandy Tilton (612-330-1472; tilton@augsburg.edu) or DJ Hamm (612-330-1329; hammd@augsburg.edu) to find out more.

As an Augsburg alum, how can I help?

Continue reading

Maroon & Silver Society Reception Celebrates Record Growth

Meeting of the Presidents: President Paul C. Pribbenow and Day Student Body President Banna Kidane '15:

Meeting of the Presidents: President Paul C. Pribbenow and Day Student Body President Banna Kidane ’15.

Homecoming Week kicked off with the third annual Maroon & Silver Society reception on Tuesday, September 23, in the Arnold Atrium of Hoversten Chapel. The Maroon & Silver Society recognizes donors who give generously to the College’s annual fund, The Augsburg Fund, with gifts of $1,000 or more each year.

Continue reading

Auggies Aim for 1,001 donors on Give to the Max Day

Give-to-the-maxNovember 13 marks Give to the Max Day, a one-day online giving competition among Minnesota nonprofits. Last year, Augsburg came in first place among all Minnesota colleges and universities as a record- breaking 837 Auggies gave more than $313,000 in just 24 hours.

This year, Auggies are setting the bar even higher with a goal to raise $350,000 from 1,001 alumni, parents and friends.

With more than 35 Augsburg fundraising projects to choose from, from Biology to the Master of Arts in Leadership program, there are many ways to show your support for Augsburg!

Help Augsburg clinch a first-place spot once again:

  • Spread the word in social media with the hashtag #auggiesgive
  • Starting November 1, sign up online to make a gift to The Augsburg Fund to support every student, every day + another Auggie project like Women’s Hockey, StepUP, Biology and more!
  • Email giving@augsburg.edu to sign up for a one-hour volunteer shift on Thursday, November 13.

Go Auggies!

The Annual Auggie Adventure

Between laughs and conversation at a 2005 gathering of five Auggie friends, one of them suggested that they really ought to plan to meet once a year. They readily agreed, and Christian Shada ’03 says that he and his friends have gathered annually since then—sometimes for weddings, but most often for camping or weekends of simply hanging out together, catching up on news, and playing games.

Brad and Sarah Motl (class of '04), Grant and Karin Jordahl, Andy and Kara Zetzman, Ryan and Kellen (Bredison) Lambeau, and Christian and Andrea Shada. Class of 2003 in Wisconsin.

Brad and Sarah Motl (class of ’04), Grant and Karin Jordahl, Andy and Kara Zetzman, Ryan and Kellen (Bredison) Lambeau, and Christian and Andrea Shada. Class of 2003 in Wisconsin.

Over the years, the size of the group has expanded to include an additional Auggie (Laura Wade Machacek ‘04) and her spouse Joe Machacek, as well as the group’s nine children (with one on the way). Geographically, they are fairly close to each other (Minneapolis area, Rochester, and southern Wisconsin), so travel is relatively easy. The task of planning their events is shared so that one person doesn’t get burned out, and everyone keeps their antennae out for central locations that would work well. Usually, all it takes is a couple of phone calls and a few e-mails to get things organized, says Shada. Camping in tents—sometimes in state parks—can be a great way to start the tradition at a reasonable price, and provide fodder for some great storytelling in future years.

Some activities the group has enjoyed include badminton, Trivial Pursuit, pontoon rides, museum visits, and plenty of options for the kids (swings, climbing, merry-go-rounds, blowing bubbles—you get the idea). And at day’s end, what could be better than roasting marshmallows and sharing conversation with good friends around a nice fire? They even set up their own version of the Olympics, which provided a favorite memory, the egg toss. Continue reading