We are looking for as many as 20 volunteers for each Vespers service to help usher and work at the will-call table. Central Lutheran Church has recently added a beautiful addition to their building and there is a need for extra hands this year to help direct attendees.
Vespers services will be held:
Thursday, November 29 at 8 p.m. (Dress Rehearsal)
Friday, November 30 at 5 & 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 at 2 & 5 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.
Please contact Kia Burton (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-330-1329) if you are able to volunteer.
About Augsburg’s Advent Vespers:
For more than three decades, Augsburg University has ushered in the Advent and Christmas seasons with Advent Vespers, a magnificent experience of music and liturgy, focusing on the theme of preparation and culminating in the joyful celebration of the Incarnation. Advent Vespers is set in downtown Minneapolis in the majestic sanctuary of Central Lutheran Church, soaring 65 feet high with large stained-glass windows.
Every fall, students from the Multicultural Student Services & International Student and Scholar Services organizations gather off campus for a Fall Leadership Retreat to build community, engage in important discussions, and gain leadership tools. During the retreat, students affiliated with the Augsburg Asian Student Association (AASA) have the opportunity to participate with AASA alumni in the Refugee Odyssey, an intense simulation that AASA started back in 2008.
Alumnus Cheemoua Vang ‘16 took part in the Odyssey as a student and has volunteered the last two years to help run the event. He says his first experience was indescribable, but a moment from which he bloomed and grew emotionally, mentally and spiritually. That’s why he and other AASA alumni choose to come back to volunteer.
“I call it the cycle of giving back,” he said. “Alumni volunteers who take part in the Odyssey have all participated in it before at least two to three times. This is important because those who have personally gone through the Odyssey will be able to connect with the student participants. They’ll understand the impact of it on a personal level and know the sensitivity of the event and what it takes to be involved with it.”
The sensitive nature of this event comes from students simulating the experience of immigrants running from their homes during wartime, fleeing from soldiers, to find safety. The simulation is meant to help students explore their history.
Senior Cam Thu Pham has participated in the Refugee Odyssey the past three years and says “the Refugee Odyssey is a learning experience of rediscovering one’s history or awakening an interest in learning one’s parent’s raw history and sacrifices. It is a frightening experience, and you would not know what to expect while laying in the pitch black grass and thorny bushes waiting with your adrenaline rushing as you try to get to a safe place.”
In her first two years, Cam was a runner during the simulation and last year she chose to be a soldier, whose job it is to catch the runners. These experiences have led Cam to further explore her personal family history.
“I finally came to the realization that my parents stories that they had always told me were not because they were bored and had nothing to talk about, but because it was all they had to talk about. It was their history and their roots. I never took the time to appreciate those stories until I sat down with my parents after [the Refugee Odyssey] and asked them to tell me those stories once again. I think these stories have led me to recognize my privilege to be where I am today from the upbringing of my parents, to not ever forget where I originally came from, and to appreciate my identity as a proud Vietnamese woman.”
For both Cam and Cheemoua, the Refugee Odyssey and AASA have helped to shape their experience at Augsburg.
“AASA is not just a platform of support, but to me it feels like a family that has lifted me up through my hard times throughout my experiences here. AASA members are empowering people who have so much influence on me as an individual,” Cam said.
Cheemoua feels a similar connection to the group.
“I first got involved with AASA during my first year of college,” Cheemoua said. “I was eating lunch all by myself and a group of AASA members invited me to eat with them. They were very welcoming and friendly. After joining them for the Fall Leadership Retreat, I found the leadership in me that Fall and I just kept growing ever since.”
When Janeece (Adams) Oatman ’05 worked with a late-phase clinical research company, she shared some lab results with a potential study participant. Picking up on one indicator that could be a sign of high blood sugar, she urged the woman to undergo a diabetes test. A week later, Oatman found a voicemail from the woman, who had gone to the doctor to be tested and, indeed, received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. She said the doctor had told her that she should be grateful to know she had the disease so that she didn’t end up having complications, like losing a limb. “You saved my life,” she said in the voicemail.
Oatman contemplated the situation and decided to call the ADA (American Diabetes Association) and ask for a job. As a pre-med graduate, she had both the passion and desire to better the lives of other people and knew that raising money to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes would be a fulfilling career. Although the ADA didn’t have a position immediately available for Oatman, eventually a spot within the Tour de Cure team opened up, and she got the job.
Oatman has now been employed with the ADA for approximately nine-and-a-half years and is currently the Development Director and the Director of the Tour de Cure. She still harbors the same passion for curing diabetes today, as she did the day she started.
“Thirty million Americans have diabetes,” she continued, “and an additional 84 million have pre-diabetes (meaning they are at a significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes within ten years.) Why wouldn’t we want to find a cure for an illness that affects so many people?
It’s a scary reality that every 21 seconds someone will hear the three words that will change life as they know it: You have diabetes.”
“Augsburg was instrumental in shaping my values, including a deep sense of community and stewardship. The fact that my career path brought me to a non-profit is a testament to Augsburg’s emphasis to serve others” said Oatman, regarding her time working with the ADA.
Oatman has remained active within the Augsburg University community and is a member of the Alumni Board. When asked what she loves the most about Augsburg, Oatman replied “Augsburg is a second home to me. It’s a place I love to go back to as in my mind it represents faith, family, and friends.”
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the Tour de Cure will take place at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. Tour de Cure is a fundraising event, where participants bike-ride, run or walk to raise money and show support for all people living with diabetes.
For more information on how to sign up for the Tour de Cure, click here, contact the Augsburg Alumni Office at email@example.com or Janeece Oatman directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Augsburg celebrated 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 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.
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 careerwho were instrumental to his career growth. These mentors were workplace leadershe 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 email@example.com.
Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference this Earth Day? Enjoy networking with Auggie alumni and some current students who need a study break! Want to learn more about gardening and don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty? With groundbreaking preparations afoot for a new building on campus, the community garden needs your help!
The community garden serves as a place to connect the campus and community through food. In order to continue to fulfill this mission there’s a lot of work to do – raised beds to beautify, pollinator gardens to rework, and all general love and care is appreciated. All of this will help gardeners start the season off right. Come ready to learn, dig, and “grow”!
What: Augsburg Community Garden Earth Day Volunteering and Celebration
Who: All Augsburg alumni are invited to assist a small group of student volunteers on this joint project
When: Earth Day, Friday, April 22, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Augsburg College Community Garden—Corner of South 7th St. & 20th Ave. South, near parking lot G
What to bring: wear clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. Gloves, tools, and gardening 101 education provided!
The Young Alumni Council is proud to announce the first elected President, Rosine Johnson ’10, and Vice-President, Evan Decker ’12. These positions have been added in preparation for anticipated council growth in engagement opportunities for young alumni. We are currently looking for additional young alumni who are seeking advanced leadership and professional board development experience, while expanding the opportunities for alumni connections to Augsburg College and other alumni. For more information or to apply, please visit our site.
Rosine Mina Johnson graduated in 2010 with a BA in Political Science with a Public Policy Concentration and minored in International Relations. After graduation, she chose to attend Minnesota State University Mankato to receive a Master’s in Public Administration degree, and graduated with high honors in December of 2012. She currently holds a few public sector administrative positions with Hennepin County and local city governments such as the City of Edina and Richfield. Rosine gives back to her community by working with youth ministries at Christ the King Lutheran Church and serves on the church council as well. She also volunteers at local charities and organizations. She loves to be with people, laugh, travel, be silly, cook, garden, ski, read, keep up with current events and politics, and attend Zumba and dance classes.
Vice-President: Evan Decker
Evan Decker graduated in 2012 with a double major in MIS and Management. While at Augsburg he participated in several activities on campus, including football, the Augsburg Business Organization, and working in the IT department. After graduation, he pursued a career in information systems because it combined two of his passions: business and technology. He currently works as an IT project manager and does consulting projects on the side. Evan joined the council in 2015 because he wants to give back to the college and further develop his leadership skills. Outside of work he enjoys anything away from screens—lifting weights, reading, DIY home improvement projects, hanging out with his cats, and riding his motorcycle.
The Augsburg Alumni Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. All alumni are welcomed and encouraged to apply. The Alumni Board is a governing body of the Alumni Association. The board exists to guide the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations of Augsburg College in serving the valued alumni, parents and friends by providing resources and opportunities to engage alumni with the College and each other through consistent communication, inclusive programming, and intentional relationship building. To apply or find out more, contact Katie Koch ’01, Director of Auggie Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.