50 Years Ago: One Day in May

On May 15, 1968, administration and faculty at Augsburg College (now Augsburg University) canceled class for “One Day in May” and invited speakers to discuss racism in and beyond Minneapolis following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and subsequent riots in major American cities.

The Pan-Afrikan Student Union Center (PASU) was formed shortly after the “One Day in May” with the purpose to provide student leadership development for Pan-Afrikan students at Augsburg through a wide variety of co-sponsored activities and opportunities to help plan an event. The Pan-Afrikan Center also provides student leadership training and resources to Pan-Afrikan students at Augsburg University. PASU hopes to enlighten the students with their cultural identity and the roles that they play in the surrounding communities and in the world. Furthermore, it is the intent of the organization to provide leadership formats and assist in the adjustment, and transition of people of Afrikan descent into the college life.

For access to exclusive “One Day in May” archived footage please click here.

Below, Auggie PASU alumni speak about their experience:

 

Agnes, Greg, Paris and Grayson

 

“I’m grateful to have been part of PASU during my years at Augsburg. Serving as an officer gave me a chance to be a leader and build relationships I wouldn’t have elsewhere. Putting my self in a leadership position really helped me grow and allowed me to reach other students and uplift them in their journey at Augsburg. I would do it all again.”- Agnes Kigwana ’09 (pictured right with husband Greg, and children Grayson and Paris)

 

 

 

 

“Thankful for PASU teaching the values of giving back to your community. Those are the same values that I use each day and share with students as a school counselor.”- Derek Francis ’08 (pictured left with student)

 

 

 

 

 

“I feel that PASU has initiated my journey to understanding who I am as a Black man in this world.”-  Nick Ward ’11 (pictured right).

An Auggie Love Story

 

Beth Florence ’08 was an Augsburg golden girl, from a family filled with Auggies, with a glowing reputation as both a campus leader and a hard worker. Florence, a Spanish major, made such an impact in her time at Augsburg, she received the Marina Christensen Justice Award for her civic engagement when she graduated. Florence later attended the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.  She is currently employed at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

Aaron Wells ’08 was recognized around campus for being incredibly funny.  In addition to writing many hard-hitting stories for The Echo, he also penned the popular, joke, horoscopes which caught the eye of Florence (“I just thought they were hilarious”).  Wells balanced his love of fun, by working hard and completing his Political Science degree in 2008.

He later attended Washington and Lee School of Law and is a partner at STG, a policy and public affairs consulting firm.

Wells and Florence were introduced eventually through a mutual friend and developed their own friendship at Augsburg. This friendship eventually blossomed Beth and Aaron engagedinto a romantic relationship in 2013.

When the time was right, Wells knew the perfect location for the proposal to Florence was the Christensen Center on August 12, 2017.  She said yes! The couple now live together in Washington D.C. and they embody the true spirit of Augsburg both individually and as a couple.

“All we do, we credit to Augsburg,” they agree. “We credit our strong moral and personal compasses to the time we spent at Augsburg. Nothing else measures up to it.” Both Wells and Florence acknowledge that the time and effort they spent searching for perfect jobs stemmed from the emphasis on vocation at Augsburg. They are both in careers that are service focused and continue to serve the community around them.

Augsburg University wishes Wells and Florence all the best for the future, and we are touched that Augsburg University has played such an integral part in their story.

Both Wells and Florence will be attending our exclusive regional alumni event at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Sunday, May 20, 2018, in Washington D.C. We invite you to join Augsburg, President Paul C. Pribbenow, members of Augsburg staff and Wells and Florence for this evening of exciting conversation and connections. For more information on this event click here.

 

National Volunteer Week Surprises!

As part of National Volunteer Week, the Augsburg Alumni Office decided to surprise some Auggie volunteer organization leaders with treats and balloons to show them how much we appreciate them!

Click here to watch us surprise Evan Decker, the President of the Young Alumni Council.

Click here to watch us surprise Butch Raymond, the A-Club President.

Click here to watch us surprise Nick Rathmann, the President of the Alumni Board.

Click here to watch us surprise the Augsburg Associates.

Click here to watch us surprise Cindy Piper, volunteer for the StepUp Board.

Auggie Eagle holding baloons

The Mutuality of Internship

One of the two presentations led by Fishbowl Solutions reps on April 5 (from left: Jake Ferm, Carmen Williams, Noah Bodner, and Amy Bowar Mellinger).
One of the two presentations led by Fishbowl Solutions reps on April 5 (from left: Jake Ferm, Carmen Williams, Noah Bodner, and Amy Bowar Mellinger).

Student questions following presentations by reps from Fishbowl Solutions yielded some interesting conversation in Professor Larry Crockett’s computer science class, April 5. For example, “As a software consultant, how often do you feel the need to go online to find answers to your own software challenges?”

The answer from Fishbowl’s Jake Ferm ’12 may have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but then again, maybe not: “Every ten minutes.”

Fishbowl Solutions, a Twin Cities-based software company, creates packaged software and develops custom technology solutions using the latest Oracle, Google, Mindbreeze, and PTC technologies. The company of 40+ employees, founded in 1999, has offices in both the U.S. and the U.K., and serves an international clientele.

The Fishbowl reps, invited to visit two sections of Crockett’s CSC/PHI 385 class (Formal Logic and Theory of Computation), included Noah Bodner (Recruiting), and three Auggies: Amy Bowar Mellinger ’97 (Fishbowl’s Director of Services), Jake Ferm ’12 (Software Consultant), and Carmen (Crockett) Williams MBA ’12 (Account Executive, Sales).

After the Fishbowl guests described the nature of their company and work, as well as their take on various current trends in technology, students raised numerous questions. The resulting interaction provided good advice on many issues, such as these comments on interviewing from Williams: (1) Prepare wisely for an interview (always plan on a glitch; arrive ten minutes early); (2) Think ahead about what questions to ask the interviewer (remember, you’re interviewing the company as much as they’re interviewing you); and (3) Ask what further education and training the prospective employer is willing to provide.

A photo of (from left) Jake Ferm, Larry Crockett, Carmen Williams, Amy Bowar Mellinger
(from left) Jake Ferm, Larry Crockett, Carmen Williams, Amy Bowar Mellinger

Mellinger stressed the importance of keeping an open mind when deciding on an employer, giving attention to the importance of matching one’s work-style with the anticipated projects. For example, she recalled working on one seven-year project at an earlier job, which, she said, may not have been as appealing to someone who enjoys working on a variety of projects or technologies.

Fishbowl reps emphasized how valuable a liberal arts education is in their work, since the broad scope of the classes they took continues to provide flexibility and greater opportunity in their work, and in the marketplace in general.

The Fishbowl visit to Augsburg was an excellent opportunity for students who are eagerly seeking internships or employment to connect with a company that is just as eager to find talented interns and employees. As Bodner explained, given the current Twin Cities unemployment rate in the area of computer science (less than 1%), students are in a strong position to find several appealing opportunities, and their thoughtful preparation for interviews can make an offer much more likely. A look at the website for Fishbowl Solutions says, “We’re looking for innovators with a passion for technology and learning to fill a variety of technical and non-technical roles.”

Mellinger, who worked for many years as a consultant prior to taking on her leadership role at Fishbowl Solutions, was surprised to discover recently that her colleague at Fishbowl, Williams, is the daughter of Crockett, who had taught two of her classes at Augsburg.

Larry Crockett with former student Amy Bowar Mellinger
Larry Crockett with former student Amy Bowar Mellinger

In the April 5 forum, about 50 students had a chance to interact with former students to compare and contrast pre-graduation education with in-field work experience, and to consider how one’s education must continue in the workplace. Ferm stressed that, especially as a software consultant, he is learning new things daily—online and in person—as he encounters new challenges that push him to continue educating himself. And when new interns come on board, they learn from the staff’s collective experience, and staff pick up new things from the interns. Nothing like a win-win situation!

The April 5 event was also an opportunity for three Auggie alums to take in the new Hagfors CSBR facility; they left deeply impressed.

—by Cheryl Crockett ’89

Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota

A portrait of Stewart Van Cleve
Stewart Van Cleve

Stewart Van Cleve is a librarian and digital archivist at Augsburg University’s Lindell Library, where he is responsible for Augsburg’s Digital Archives (library.augsburg.edu/archives). His passion for archiving began while studying toward a degree in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota when he had a student position working with the renowned Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies. The Tretter Collection is a vast collection of books, photographs, films, and other historical artifacts that Van Cleve calls “one of the most comprehensive accounts of international queer history in the world.” After receiving his master’s in urban studies from Portland State University, Van Cleve decided to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science at St. Catherine University, in St. Paul.

In 2012, Van Cleve published his book, Land of 10,000 Loves: A History of Queer Minnesota, a wide-ranging illustrated history of queer life in Minnesota. The book contains more than 120 historical essays exploring the earliest evidence of queer life in Minnesota before the Second World War—from Oscar Wilde’s visit to Minnesota, riverfront vice districts, protest and parade sites, bars, 1970s collectives, institutions, public spaces, and private homes. This rich history is illustrated in more than 130 examples, including images of annual “pride guides,” a number of archival photographs, and advertisements from local queer bars.

Having worked at Augsburg for nearly a year, Van Cleve says he loves the “student-centric” nature of the University. On Thursday, April 5, he will be joining the Augsburg Alumni office at its Auggies in the City: Kinky Boots, pre-theater event to discuss his book, and to provide more details on the history of queer life in Minnesota.

For more information on Augsburg alumni events please visit www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events.

 

A Sweetheart of a Sale

Just in time for Valentines Day join the Augsburg Associates for a “Sweetheart of a Sale”  February 13th and 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Christensen Center.  With vintage jewelry, homemade candy and one of a kind scarves it will be a great opportunity to pick out unique and special Valentines Day gifts! Love is in the air… see you there!

A photo of the scarves for sale.

Lefse, Waffles and Friendship: Velkommen Jul 2017

Augsburg celebratedPicture of Lefse the holiday period in true Norweigian style, and nearly fifty Augsburg Associates volunteered at the 2017 Velkommen Jul festivities on December 1. Many volunteers were busy putting in extra days to make special Norwegian treats, and arrived early to help butter bread and lefse, and ensure that the event was a huge success.

There was exceptional student participation, including the Associates scholarship students who served waffles to hungry patrons. The event celebrated long-standing Augsburg Three ladies browsing the items for sale.friendships, and encouraged guests to create new friendships from our diverse community. Guests expressed their appreciation with kind words and contributions, and the scholarship baskets gathered a superb $1190.

WILD about Augsburg!

Celebrate and respect our veterans and our men and women in service by joining the Augsburg University Alumni Association for the 6th Annual Minnesota Wild Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Awareness Night at the Xcel Energy Center on Thu, Nov 2 at 7:00 p.m.!

The Wild take on the Montreal Canadiens in a game that shouldn’t be missed… tickets include a new custom designed Grunt Style T-Shirt and entry into a raffle for autographed items.

Ticket collection will take place in the lobby of the Xcel Energy Center at 6:00 p.m on Thursday, November 2. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased at: http://www.augsburg.edu/alumni/events/

 

Planting Seeds for an Urban Arboretum • October 14

Campus quadAre you curious how the Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion will impact campus green space? Do you have questions or ideas for how Augsburg could maximize our green space in our urban neighborhood? Do you really love trees? Join us October 14th for a special chapel service featuring Professor Larry Crockett who will share insights and philosophies related to stewarding green space.

Following chapel, join us from 11am-12pm in Oren Gateway Center Room 100 for a panel with Q&A moderated by Regent Matt Entenza. The panel will feature partners helping in planning Augsburg’s campus transformation into an Urban Arboretum. Learn how we will maximize green space to improve experiences for students, faculty, staff, and our neighbors!

Panelists include:
Tom Oslund Principal, Oslund & Associates, Landscape Architect
Dale Pederson ’70, Associate Professor, Biology
Ralph Sievert, Director of Forestry & Certified Arborist, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, Augsburg College.

Honoring Elms, Embracing Green Horizons

Campus quadIn early August, two of the three remaining elm trees in Augsburg’s quad—an alumni gift from more than 50 years ago—were removed because of Dutch Elm disease. While it was a sad day on campus when the trees were felled, we reserved some of the wood to be transformed into pieces of art, partnering with Tom Peter, a local certified arborist and wood-turning artist.

photo 1The elms created wonderful character of space in the quad for decades, and have helped inspire our longer-term visioning of the central campus as a larger green space that, over time, becomes an even more significant component of campus life.

The design for an expanded quad is one of the central ideas resulting from work done in 2011 to develop a campus master plan, and has recently inspired new thinking around a special campaign effort to support the creation of an “urban arboretum”—a multi-functional green space that deepens the student, faculty, staff, and community experience through hands-on education, research, and recreation.

To learn more about Augsburg’s urban arboretum and how you may own a wood-turned creation from the elm trees, please contact Amanda Storm Schuster, Director of Leadership Gifts at 612-330-1098 or schustea@augsburg.edu