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.

Chasing Justice: Rachel Engebretson ’98

Rachel EngebretsonAs an immigration lawyer at Binsfeld & Engebretson P.A., Rachel Olson Engebretson ’98 is fulfilling her dream of “chasing justice.” Though she serves a diverse clientele from around the globe, many who seek her help are attempting to reunite their immediate family members, a process that requires advance permission in order to live their lives together in the U.S. She is passionate about helping them.

Though most people believe it is a crime to live illegally in the U.S., in most instances it is not. Immigration law is civil, administrative law.

Likely, Engebretson’s resolve to help these families can be traced back to her childhood. Growing up as a “PK” (preacher’s kid) in Watertown, S. Dak., she moved with her family to Granite Falls, Minn., in 1978 when her parents felt the call of the soil and the rural suffering community’s need for young blood to find new life. Those were the days when family farmers either “went big” or found another way to pay their bills—so there were challenges. During these formative years, Engebretson also became aware of international relations, and was particularly concerned about the civil wars in Central America and illegal arms-dealings there. The lessons learned from her parents—especially with regard to a commitment to human rights and the value of diversity—fit squarely into what she later learned was required to handle immigration issues. Continue reading “Chasing Justice: Rachel Engebretson ’98”

LinkedIn Alumni Group Merging with Augsburg College Group

linkedinFor those of you who attended the Auggie Networking Event on Tuesday, February 9, in Hoversten Chapel, a highlight was the demonstration of using the College’s LinkedIn group to reach out to other alumni or students. Join the Augsburg College group and increase your ability to connect with other Auggies across every field. For those who are open to being contacted for networking or mentoring, join the sub-group Auggie Student-Alumni Connections. Note: you must be part of the Augsburg College group first. For tips on connecting with Auggies across all disciplines via LinkedIn, see the how-to guide shared at the networking event.

The Augsburg Alumni LinkedIn group is in the process of merging with the College’s group. If you’re not already connected with the Augsburg College group now, do so today. The Augsburg College Alumni group will close at the end of April 2016 in an effort to form the most robust group for building connections among Auggies everywhere.

We ♥ All Auggies

We hear so many stories of lifelong partnerships found at Augsburg—couples who met in their first year, in class, at the Chin Wag, or working on campus—we’re tempted to call Augsburg cupid. Or just lucky to play host to a lifetime of heart-enriching connections of all kinds—lifelong friendships, mentorships, and partnerships. We put a call out on social media to share a photo with Augsburg Alumni if you met your mate at Augsburg College. Thank you to all who shared your photos and stories. This Valentine’s Day, the Alumni Association sends love to Auggies everywhere!

lovebird-collage2016Auggie lovebirds include: Kari Aanestad ’08 and Brian Krohn ’08, with Sean Stanhill ’08, Krista Costin ’08, and Ryan Lisson ’08; Alissa Blood-Knafla ’07 and Patrick Knafla ’04; Anjie (Tonolli) ’93 and Tac ’91 Coplin; Carol (Pederson) ’72 and Wayne ’71 Jorgenson; Caitlin Hozeny ’09 and Seth Lienard ’11; Abby (Johnson) ’05 and Zac ’03 Schnedler; Alisha Esselstein ’15 and Tyler Dorn ’15; Simoné (Johnson) ’91 and Alex Gonzalez ’90; Shannon Connaughton ’13 and Erik Grindal ’13; Cherie (Elliott) ’03 and Brad Christ; Ross Murray ’00, MBA ’09 and Richard Garnett ’07, MBA ’09; Joanne (Varner) ’52 and Harvey ’52 Peterson; Heather Johnston ’92 and Jason Koch ’93; Lisbeth (Jorgensen) ’70 and Earl ’68 Sethre; Joan (Moline) ’83 and John Evans ’82; Hayley Thomas ’12 and Emerson Ball ’14; Becky (Bjella) ’79 and Jeff ’77 Nodland; Barbara (Beglinger) ’63 and Dean ’62 Larson; Laura Schmidt ’11 and Patrick DuSchane ’13; Pam (Hanson) ’79 and Mark ’79 Moksnes; Christine ’09 and Cody ’09 Tresselt-Warren with Noah; Denielle Johnson ’11 and Tim Stepka; Jennifer (Feine) ’94 and Erik Hellie ’93; Molly (Fochtman) ’92 and Greg Schnagl ’91; Bev (Ranum) ’78 and Dennis ’78 Meyer; Nancy (Mackey) ’85 and Paul ’84 Mueller; Emily Crook ’07, MAE ’15 and DJ Hamm ’08, and many hundreds more!

New Uniquely Augsburg Travel Info Sessions Added

Berlin-WebAugsburg alumni, parents, and friends of the College are all welcomed to be a part of the Uniquely Augsburg Travel programs in 2016 and beyond, including a celebration of Lutheran heritage in Germany and Prague that coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Curious to learn more? A special information session will answer all your questions. Join Sally Daniels Herron ’79 and religion professors Mark Tranvik and Hans Wiersma on Sunday, October 11, at 2 p.m. in Oren Gateway Center (OGC) 100. This is your chance to get on board for this historic trip happening October 27-November 6, 2016. Find cost information, registration details, and a full itinerary here.

In January, 2017, English Professor Kathy Swanson and her husband, Jack, will lead an educational trip through Thailand and Cambodia, visiting Bankok, Chiang Mai, and Siem Riep along the way. Learn more at the information session scheduled for Sunday, November 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. in Oren Gateway Center (OGC) 100. Don’t miss these thoughtful and educational tours customized specifically for Augsburg alumni, parents, and friends!

To RSVP for either information session and secure your parking pass, contact Sally Daniels Herron ’79 at herron@augsburg.edu.  For more information, visit the Uniquely Augsburg Travel page or contact Sally via email or phone at 612-330-1525.

Alumni Connect at Rochester Reception

More than 90 Augsburg alumni, friends, and community leaders came together for a special networking event at the Kahler Grand Hotel in Rochester on May 18, featuring Rochester mayor Ardell Brede, President Pribbenow, and guest speaker Dr. Paul S. Mueller ’84.

Mueller, the chair of the Augsburg Board of Regents spoke on the topic of “Augsburg College: Small to Our Students and Big for the World,” and cited current student Vision Bagonza ’17 and recent graduate Michelle Grafelman ’15 as students living out Augsburg’s mission. With more than 2,500 Auggies living in the Rochester area, the College’s presence in Minnesota’s fastest growing city is growing. The event was an opportunity for local alumni to connect, meet community leaders, hear more about the great work Augsburg is doing as the premier private education provider in Rochester. Continue reading “Alumni Connect at Rochester Reception”

Auggies Across the US

Auggies are everywhere! Beginning in February, alumni gatherings in Arizona coincided with Centennial Singers performances at eight churches. An alumni reception, dinner, and luncheon were hosted by Arizona Auggies and attended by President Pribbenow.

Alumni, parents, and friends in the Washington, D.C. area gathered for a reception held at OmniEarth Inc., a sci-tech start-up launched by alumnus Lars Dyrud ’97, who serves as President and CEO.  While we enjoyed food and fun conversation, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Karen Kaivola discussed how Augsburg is educating students for a life of meaning and purpose in the 21st century.

An alumni reception at Scandinavia House, in New York City, helped celebrate what was the opportunity of a lifetime for Auggies who performed at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Peter Hendrickson ’76. He directed The Augsburg Choir in a mass chorale with members of the Masterworks Chorale and Choir alumni, who loved the chance to  connect with classmates on a dream trip!

Auggies, wherever you go, bring Traveling Auggie with you on your travels and share pics of Auggie gatherings with us via Facebook or Twitter. Are you interested in hosting an Auggie reception in your city? Let us know at alumni@augsburg.edu.

Student & Alumni Networking Event

strommen

 Student & Alumni Networking Event

A reception for Augsburg students to connect

with Auggie alumni representing many careers.

Connect with fellow Auggies, support student success, and build your Auggie network!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 • 5:30−8 p.m.

Remarks by President Paul Pribbenow

Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center (map)
Augsburg College
Minneapolis

Learn more about the Strommen Center’s Alumni Resources

and Augsburg Builds Connections mentorship program

auggie RSVP bar Registration is required.

Students register here

Students with questions, contact Sandy Tilton at the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work:

 612-330-1472 ~ tilton@augsburg.edu.

Alumni with questions, contact Becky Waggoner: 612-330-1085 ~ waggoner@augsburg.edu.

alumni bar

David “DJ” Hamm ’08
Augsburg College

Sally Daniels Herron ’79
Augsburg College

Sara Schlipp-Riedel ’06
Augsburg College

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 “PHD Teams Play World’s Longest Baseball Game”

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 “The Annual Auggie Adventure”