Alumni Teachers May Qualify for Help with Student Loans

Education_HeaderTeachers working in designated teacher shortage areas in Minnesota may now qualify for help with their student loan payments. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) recently announced an assistance program for teachers with student loans.
The Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program, created in 2015, is intended to encourage teachers to teach in Minnesota in designated shortage areas by providing assistance with their student loan repayments.
In general, applicants must currently:
  • Hold a teaching license issued by the licensing division in the Minnesota Department of Education on behalf of the Board of Teaching
  • Be employed by a school district to provide classroom instruction
  • Teach in a designated teacher shortage area; and
  • Have outstanding qualified educational loan debt.
Qualifying teachers who apply by June 30, 2016, may be eligible for repayment assistance of $1,000 per year, up to a total of $5,000. OHE estimates that 194 awards will be made for the 2015-2016 award year, with as many as 1,940 annual awards made through 2019.
The Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program application is online here.
Please share this information with interested friends or colleagues. For more information, contact Sandy Connolly at 651-259-3902 or by email at sandy.connolly@state.mn.us.

Honors Program Passing of the Scrolls Banquet: Goodbye Bob Groven, Hello Phil Adamo

It was a treat to have alumni join current students for the Honors Program Passing of the Scrolls banquet on Saturday, April 23, 2016. The Honors Program holds a spring banquet annually as a capstone for students and faculty to celebrate the year, hear from senior speakers, and present various awards (both serious and humorous) to current students.  This year, however, the banquet took a new spin.

The Passing of the Scrolls theme was adopted not only to recognize the transition of Honors Program leadership from Bob Groven to Phil Adamo, but also as a way to welcome Honors alumni to the banquet. A Roast Bob Groven reception was held before the banquet for current students, alumni, and faculty to mingle while sharing their favorite memories of Groven. Alumni guests from 2006 to the present Honors class took to the microphone to share  funny stories and jokes. (Adamo received a decent amount of roasting as well.)

During the banquet, after current students were honored and senior speeches were delivered, a piece of Groven’s legacy was also highlighted. Before entering his Liberating Letters class, all students must have three people write on scrolls predictions about where the student will be in the future. Groven kept these scrolls from graduating classes as early as 2008.  Near the closing of the banquet, alumni were called to the front to receive their scrolls. The alumni then remained standing to shake hands with the graduating seniors as they welcomed the soon-to-graduates into the Augsburg alumni ranks.

In all, it was a great opportunity for students and alumni to recognize these instrumental professors and celebrate the end of the academic year.  Alumni attendees learned more about the program today, while reconnecting with faculty and one another.  More than 100 students, 30 alumni, and various faculty members participated in this wonderful event. Many thanks to Phil Adamo, Bob Groven, the Honors Desk staff, and the Honors Program for making this event happen! Many well wishes to Phil Adamo as he continues his journey as the new director of the Honors Program! Continue reading

Auggie Alumni in the Classroom: Bill Koschak ’91

Bill Koschak Auggies are everywhere, including back in the classroom!  Last week, Bill Koschak ’91 came back to speak to the seniors in the Business and Religion Keystone class led by Lori Lohman & Josh Miller. His topic? To speak about his vocational journey, his career path, and advice he would give students today.

Koschak had much to share about his journey from entry level job to partner at KPMG, to vice president of finance at General Mills, and now chief financial officer at YA Engage (formerly known as Young America). He noted he was especially thankful for his adviser, business professor Stu Stoller who first encouraged him to look into public accounting. Koschak made sure Stoller would be in attendance so that he could personally thank him.

Additionally, Koschak shared that he has had three strong mentors in his career who were instrumental to his career growth. These mentors were workplace leaders he admired for their management style, ethical behavior, and focus on work-life balance. He made a point to engage with these leaders and check in with them regularly. What started as occasional meetings turned into mentoring relationships that opened up many doors. He challenged the students to seek similar relationships as they start their careers.

Koschak is one of many alumni who have been invited to share their experiences with current students. If you are interested in speaking in classrooms or sharing your stories, contact Volunteer & Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu.

Grace Dyrud Honored by Alumni & Faculty

Grace smallerEarly in life, Grace Dyrud tested seven standard deviations above the mean on a measure of endurance, she joked at her retirement reception in May. Dyrud began teaching in the psychology department at Augsburg in 1962, and in more than five decades at Augsburg she exemplified not only endurance but a deep commitment to her students. Her areas of research include gambling risk and attitudes toward the environment.

At the reception, attended by psychology faculty and alumni from every decade of her career, Dyrud thanked Keith, her husband of 49 years, as well as her children, students, and colleagues. All six of her children are Auggies. Lars Dyrud ’97 and Lara (Dyrud) MacLean ’90—a music major who played the violin at the reception—were in attendance and shared words of support and admiration for her long career. Alumni stood to thank Dyrud for encouraging their path to vocation, speaking truth to power, and supporting feminism at a time when it was unpopular.

Neil PaulsonNeil Paulson ’77, a psychology graduate, initiated an effort to honor Dyrud on her retirement from Augsburg with a scholarship for a female psychology student.

“I remember Dr. Dyrud as a caring instructor who was always willing to talk with her students. For many of her 52 years at Augsburg, she led the psychology department as chair. Through her published research, we have a better understanding of addictions like gambling. Dr. Dyrud represents what was and is still today special about Augsburg—student-centered faculty who excel in their field,” Paulson says.

To date, the scholarship has received $6,000 toward the $25,000 goal. Continue reading

Record-Breaking Year in Grant Seeking

Dr. David Hanson

Dr. David Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has mentored 19 undergraduate student researchers and serves as an investigator on three active research studies.

On May 21, faculty and staff gathered to celebrate a record-breaking year in grant seeking at Augsburg.

At Augsburg, grants are used to support faculty-led research, scholarship, and inquiry; enhance and extend student learning, inside the classroom and out; and support a number of programs on campus and in our community.

In fiscal year 2015, Augsburg submitted 29 new  proposals for funding. This is five more than what was submitted in FY2014, and almost double what was submitted in FY2013. These proposals originated from 12 different departments on campus.

At the close of the fiscal year on May 31, Augsburg had received 13 new grant awards totaling $2,075,009, up from $1.6MM the previous year. The College maintained 48 active grants, 10 more than last year.

  • 18 of these projects support student learning or provide supportive services
  • 20 of these projects provide paid learning experiences, such as research or internships, to undergraduate students.

In total, it is estimated that these grants touch approximately 350 students each year.

Dr. David Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, reflected on how grants have supported his research and provided opportunities for his students to learn in his laboratory. Dr. Hanson’s current research on particle formation is important for urban air quality and global climate issues. Dr. Hanson has mentored 19 undergraduate student researchers and serves as an investigator on three active research studies—two funded by the National Science Foundation and one by the Department of Energy.

15 Give to the Max Secrets You Can’t Give Without

Give to the Max logo 2014November 13 is nearly here, and it’s already time to schedule your gift for Give to the Max Day. Let’s repeat last year’s outstanding effort, in which 837 Auggies gave $313,639 in just 24 hours—more than any other Minnesota college and university. We’re going to see this success again.

In honor of what’s going to be another great day in Auggie history, we are counting down the 15 Reasons to Give to the Max on November 13. We’re looking to reach 1,001 Auggies this year. Every gift counts! Why are you Giving to the Max for Augsburg?

  1. Give … in honor of an Auggie you love … an Auggie who was there for you,Student Support
  2. A professor who saw a little something more,5892309503_0242efc5f9_z
  1. A team that made you believe.volleyball
  1. The school that was there for you is there for 3,500+ students today. It is part of their work here on campus to give back.Bonner

Continue reading

Honors NOW Newsletter

Honors students Elise Hitchings ’16 and Mary Klecker ’16 are excited to share with you the first edition of Augsburg’s new Honors newsletter, “Honors Now.” Designed and written by current Honors students, the newsletter will provide news of the current Honors Program, with the twofold intent of staying in touch with Auggie Honors alumni, and connecting with prospective Honors students.

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Winter 2014 NOW