Homecoming Auggie Talk: A Hagfors Center Pilgrimage – Hosted by AWE (Augsburg Women Engaged)

Auggie Talks, Hagfors BuildingSaturday, Oct. 13 from 3 – 3:45 p.m.

Join Auggie women on a special exploration of the new Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion. This tour, led by Religion professor Marty Stortz, will begin with reflection in the Gundale Chapel, highlighting the vocational journey of Augsburg students; then a visit to the Food Lab; and along the way, reflect on the inspirational art that captures the intersections between science, business, and religion.

About Auggie Talks:

They’re back by popular demand! Join us for 30-minute, insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by your class reunion groups. Talks will be published as they become available on social media and in upcoming communications.

Space is limited. Please register today for Auggie Talks.

Other Auggie Talks:

Rebekah Dupont: STEM Stories

The Augsburg Podcast features voices of Augsburg University faculty and staff. We hope this is one way you can get to know the people who educate our students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Subscribe on Itunes.

 

Rebekah Dupont
Rebekah Dupont, director of STEM programs, shares a few of her most memorable student stories.

 

Meet Spirit of Augsburg Award Winner Grace Kemmer Sulerud ’58

Grace Kemmer Sulerud '58Grace Kemmer Sulerud ’58 has displayed faithful service to Augsburg University across her time as a graduate, librarian, faculty member, and alumna. She personifies Augsburg’s deep sense of calling to humbly serve others in a variety of ways, with joyful dedication.

As a dedicated volunteer, her nominators say, “You will find her wherever an extra hand is needed.”

Determined to gain a full education, Sulerud worked and saved money to go from her hometown, Williston, North Dakota, to Augsburg, as it was the college of the Lutheran Free Church. Sulerud’s Augsburg education and excellent professors prompted her to experience life in the Twin Cities, exploring the state capitol and fine arts like symphony concerts and plays. She made lifelong friends and enjoyed being on the staff of the student newspaper, The Echo.

After graduating from Augsburg in 1958, she was an elementary librarian and junior high English teacher in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. From 1961 to 1964, she was an elementary librarian in U.S. Air Force Department of Defense Schools in Tokyo, Japan; Tripoli, Libya; and Wiesbaden, Germany. This gave her an opportunity to travel around the world with a stop in India to visit a friend, Maxine Berntsen, another distinguished alumna of Augsburg. After returning to the United States, Sulerud studied for a master’s degree in Library Science (1968) and later received a master’s degree in English (1970), each from the University of Minnesota.

During her many years as Augsburg’s Collection Development Librarian and faculty member, she was committed to the learning of students. She served two terms as the treasurer of Augsburg Associates, from 2003 to 2007 and 2011 to 2017, ensuring they raised funds for Augsburg student scholarships. Her interests and energy lead her to participate in travels to Cuba with the Delegation For Friendship Among Women, and to Ethiopia supporting the efforts of REAL, Resources for the Enrichment of African Lives, an organization that helps girls stay in school.

In Minneapolis, Sulerud is a member of Trinity Lutheran Congregation located on Riverside Avenue, a congregation associated with the founding of Augsburg, where she sings in the choir, leads the monthly quilter’s work session and has participated in activities with Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing.

With her late husband Ralph, long-time Augsburg biology professor, Sulerud has remained a supporter and enthusiast for all things Augsburg. Though she retired from Augsburg in 2003, she continues to stay involved at important university events: the recent grand opening of the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion; Homecoming festivities; Velkommen Jul; and Advent Vespers.

Sulerud lives out the Spirit of Augsburg Award and exemplifies Augsburg’s historic mottos consistently: “Education for Service” and “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” Her loyalty, dependability, and generosity enable Augsburg to carry forward with hearty conviction, intellectual rigor, and relational connectedness.

Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres Publishes Book on Parenting While Christian

Is That Poop On My Arm? book cover of hand holding a diaperAugsburg University and Luther Seminary Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres has recently had his aptly named book “Is That Poop on My Arm? Parenting While Christian” published by Fortress Press. The book is now available in paperback and ebook format.

Lind-Ayres has been at Augsburg since 2013 and this is his first book to be published.

About the Book

Parenting is messy business. Joyful, but messy. When faith is combined with parenting, we double down on the mess. Pastor and father of three Justin Lind-Ayres chronicles his adventures (and misadventures) raising children and passing on his faith to them–teaching them to be compassionate, generous, quick to forgive, and to trust in God’s promises. But this father is sure to point out that it is children who are our best teachers in faith, opening our eyes and our hearts to God’s love for us. In the messy and challenging moments of parenting, and in the joyful ones, God is fully present. And a God who knows your story–especially the messy parts–is a God who can redeem you.

With stories full of humor, honesty, and, yes, even some poop, this book is a welcome encouragement for parents, grandparents, and anyone who cares deeply for the children in their life.

Homecoming Auggie Talk: Strengthening Experiential Education: A New Era – Hosted by the Clair & Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work

Register now for Homecoming!


Auggie Talks with Dr. Garry HesserSaturday, Oct. 13 from 2 – 2:30 p.m.

You could talk about the Mississippi river in class, or you could live on it for a semester and learn from experts all along its path. That’s the Augsburg way. Experiential education is at the core of every class here, and there’s a reason why. Join sociology professor emeritus and Sabo Chair for Citizenship and Learning Dr. Garry Hesser for a conversation and reading of his book “Strengthening Experiential Education: A New Era.” A book signing will follow the talk.

About Auggie Talks:

They’re back by popular demand! Join us for 30-minute, insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by your class reunion groups. Talks will be published as they become available on social media and in upcoming communications.

Space is limited. Please register today for Auggie Talks.

Professor Jeremy Myers Publishes First Book on Liberating Youth Through Theological Reflection on Vocation

 

book cover of Liberating Youth“I often say I love kids more than I love Jesus. I think Jesus is okay with this sentiment. In fact, I think Jesus prefers it this way. He can handle it. Jesus knows our young people are caged birds like the ones in Maya Angelou’s poem. I write this book to change the way we think about our young people so that we might love them as they are, not as we think they should be.”

This is how Dr. Jeremy Myers, associate professor of religion at Augsburg, begins his first book, “Liberating Youth from Adolescence.” The book is scheduled to be released in paperback and ebook format on Oct. 1 by Fortress Press.

Myers says he has been teaching this material in the Youth and Family degree program at Augsburg for the past decade and it was an honor and privilege for him to finally put it down on paper for a larger audience.

“The writing process was both exhausting and exhilarating,” Myers said. “I struggled to find the words to best communicate thoughts and convictions that are so important to me. There were many times I considered throwing in the towel. But the urgency and importance of the topic kept me motivated. I am so excited to have these ideas out there in the larger conversation and can not wait to hear what people think about it.”

Professor Jeremy Myers About the Author

Jeremy Myers has been teaching at Augsburg University since 2006. His approach to instruction includes a faithful, honest, and critical look at people’s lived realities while simultaneously attempting to seek and proclaim meaning, truth, and hope within the context of that reality. This is also how he approaches his discipline of Theology & Public Leadership. Therefore, he often incorporates insights from sociology, psychology, cultural studies, and ritual studies into the class’s theological process.

In addition to teaching, his work at Augsburg University includes directing the Theology & Public Leadership major, the Youth Studies minor, the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute, and the Riverside Innovation Hub. Jeremy’s areas of research include youths’ experiences of God’s presence and activity, how young people construct theology, contemplative youth ministry practices, interfaith youth work, a vocational understanding of young people, and a public understanding of church.

 

Augsburg Hosts Author Anne Panning ’87 Book Reading

Anne Panning ’87 returned to campus Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the Gundale Chapel to do a book reading and signing of her new memoir, “Dragonfly Notes: On Distance and Loss.”

Faculty, staff, students, family, and friends of Anne were present and were able to ask questions about her writing as well as get their new copies signed. Anne was an English major at Augsburg and is now an English professor at The College at Brockport, State University of New York.

Anne Panning '87 Book Reading and Signing

About the Book

When a seemingly routine medical procedure results in her mother’s premature death, Anne Panning is left reeling. In her first full-length memoir, the celebrated essayist  draws on decades of memory and experience as she pieces together the hard truths about her own past and her mother’s.

We follow Panning’s winding path from rural Minnesota to the riverbanks of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and all the way back again—a stark, poignant tale of two women deeply connected, yet somehow forever apart. Dragonfly Notes is a testament to the prevailing nature of love, whether in the form of a rediscovered note, a sudden moment of unexpected recall, or sometimes, simply, the sight a dragonfly flitting past.

Homecoming Auggie Talk: Advocating for Social Justice and Equality Within the Last Decade – Hosted by the Class of 2008

Register now for Homecoming!


Auggie Talks, two women talking

Saturday, Oct. 13 from 12 – 12:45 p.m.

From major supreme court decisions to how social media has influenced people’s perceptions and affected movements, a lot has changed in the last ten years. As informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders Auggies from the Class of 2008 want to talk with you about how they’ve seen social justice and equality change within the last decade. Conversations around these topics are often divisive, but this discussion will be moderated to ensure peacemaking in spaces where conflict may arise.

About Auggie Talks:

They’re back by popular demand! Join us for 30-minute, insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by your class reunion groups. Talks will be published as they become available on social media and in upcoming communications.

Space is limited. Please register today for Auggie Talks.

Augsburg Alumni Office Offering Tickets for the Church Basement Ladies Production of “You Smell Barn”

The Church Basement Ladies in You Smell BarnThe Augsburg Alumni Office has set aside a number of tickets for Auggies to see the Sunday October, 14 showing of “You Smell Barn by the Church Basement Ladies at 2 p.m. in the Ames Center Black Box Theater (12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville, MN). Tickets are $33 and can be purchased at https://advancement.augsburg.edu/2018-homecoming-registration

This new musical comedy is based on a novel by alumnae Janet Letnes Martin ‘68 and Suzann Nelson ‘68 and features Janet Paone ‘83 reprising her role as Vivan Snustead.

 

About You Smell Barn

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and the Jello molds are put away, these steadfast, sturdy women head to their farms, peel off their good girdles, and get on with their daily chores. In between picking eggs, milking cows, and dusting knickknacks, they congregate with some of the other lovable folks who inhabit this rural community: Earl, who delivers the mail up and down Rural Route One; Fergus, the hired man; and Tillie, who chronicles the action for the Fish County Weekly.

With plenty of crazy antics, loads of fresh laughs, and spanking new original songs, “You Smell Barn” celebrates rural life in the 1950’s. And, at the center of it all, are your favorite Church Basement Ladies. Whether you’ve seen several versions, or are new to the world of the basement, the 7th in the Church Basement Ladies series is a musical treat for all.

Produced by Curt Wollan, Troupe America, Inc., “You Smell Barn” is written by Greta Grosch, with music by Dennis Curley; lyrics by Greta Grosch and Dennis Curley; and inspired by the new book “Growing Up Rural, You Smell Barn” by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson.

Meet First Decade Award Winner Killa Marti, Esq. ‘08

Register now for Homecoming!


Killa Marti '08
Killa Marti ’08

Originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Killa Marti, Esq. ‘08 arrived in the United States in 2004 as a student. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics from Augsburg University in 2008. Shortly after, she left to fulfill an employment obligation in China. After concluding her employment contract with the Hua Qiao Language Institute in Chang Chun, China, Killa returned to the United States to obtain a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law).

One of her nominators, Zaira Solano, says this about Killa in her nomination letter, “Killa is a relentless advocate, woman of integrity, and leader in everything that she does.”

With the clear objective of working in the field of immigration, Killa took every opportunity to serve the immigrant population in the United States. She served in an internship at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota and was a volunteer for Civil Society, a nonprofit that works to help victims of human trafficking. She also completed a practicum at the law firm of Contreras Edin & Associates. Killa represented Hamline in the Inter American Human Rights Competition in Washington, D.C., and worked for the state legislature in Minnesota through its Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs. During this time, Killa also worked in the legal publishing division of Thomson Reuters, a global news agency and publisher. Upon graduation, Killa worked for the firm of Cole & Vondra, PLLC in Iowa City, Iowa, where she had the opportunity to litigate in the immigration courts of Omaha and Chicago. She also defended immigrant clients in the state courts of Iowa.

For the last three years, Killa has worked in Georgia, assisting the launch of the Immigration Services program at the nonprofit Lutheran Services of Georgia. During her time there, she worked closely with refugees and sponsors of unaccompanied minor immigrant children. Killa accepted a position at Solano Law Firm, litigating cases before the Atlanta Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. She also serves as the leader of a low-income, volunteer-run legal clinic called Gospel Justice Initiative in the city of Clarkston, Georgia. Killa is licensed to practice law in Iowa, Georgia, and immigration law all over the nation, and is now owner and managing attorney of her own firm, Marti Law Firm, LLC.

Killa is known as a fiercely motivated attorney who works tirelessly for her clients in districts and cases where the decks are stacked against them. In signature Auggie fashion, her career has developed as one which recognizes the needs in our diverse world and takes meaningful action to meet those needs. She served as chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association chapter in Georgia and Alabama from 2016 to 2018, and she continues to pair clients in need of Pro Bono services with local attorneys and mentor lawyers early in their careers.

Killa has been called a person of faith, integrity, intelligence, commitment, and compassion. She embodies the values of Augsburg through thoughtful stewardship, critical thinking, and rigorous pursuit of justice and equity. She is dedicated to ensuring education and financial support are available to girls, and she is working to grow her acts of kindness into a nonprofit where she can empower more students so they can live to their fullest potential.