Growing up with an entrepreneurial father planted the seed in his mind that running his own business could make a lot of sense—and was doable. But the idea really took root in his adult life, when Frank Grazzini ’96 realized, after 12 years of working for larger corporations, that this work wasn’t a very good fit for him. He’d much rather create something new than fine-tune an existing structure. So he switched gears. In fact, starting a new business seems to have become a way of life for him, and he sees himself as a serial entrepreneur of sorts. He is now involved in his fourth early-stage business (his third technology start-up), with the potential to scale into a much larger business. The down side? He’d much rather start a new remodeling project than mow the grass!
At Prevent Biometrics, his latest venture, Grazzini is working with two other co-founders and the Cleveland Clinic to commercialize a groundbreaking technology to monitor and measure the force of head impacts to athletes (both male and female) in sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and soccer. He says that if a concussion is treated early, it usually results in a full recovery; if not, there is a much greater risk the athlete will suffer permanent neurological damage, even CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) or Second Impact Syndrome, which can cause death.
In spite of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate that over half of all sports-related concussions in the U.S. (approximately 3.8 million each year) are never identified, response has been slow. But now, there finally seems to be a growing awareness that the problem must be taken seriously, as indicated by laws in all 50 states, as well as recent statements by professional sports league representatives. Though some would make the case for ending football altogether (most notably, Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose exposure of the widespread consequences of NFL injuries was dramatized in the recent film, Concussion), Grazzini believes that better monitoring of injuries, plus a few changes to the rules, would likely be sufficient to keep football a healthy sport for kids.
Prevent’s head-impact monitor, currently being tested by athletes, has been in development for six years and is expected to be officially released for sale in December 2016, though various inquiries to the company have already been made by researchers in the military and the NCAA for earlier sales. Continue reading “Measured Impact”→
Homecoming planning is already underway for Sept. 22-24, 2016. The Alumni Association looks forward to hosting reunions for the classes of 1966, 1976, 1991, and 2006. If you’re a member of these reunion classes, we need your help!
We want this chance to reconnect and revisit the campus to be awesome. If you would be willing to serve as a reunion leader and help coordinate plans and invite classmates, please join your reunion committee! Members of all reunion classes are gathering on campus to discuss ways we can make our reunion meaningful for all of us. We would appreciate your input and invite you to join us.
Please be assured that the time commitment for you is minimal. The Alumni Relations department takes care of a majority of the details, but we need YOUR help deciding how to celebrate this important milestone. We also need your help finding former classmates and encouraging fellow classmates to attend.
Our first meeting is Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in Oren Gateway Center, room 100. Please let the Augsburg Alumni office know if you would be interested in serving on the host committee. RSVP to email@example.com or 612-330-1173. If you would like to be a part of your reunion host committee, but cannot attend the first meeting, please let us know.
In addition, look forward to celebrating the awesome Auggies being honored at Homecoming this year:
• Karim El-Hibri and Kyle Loven ’06 will receive the First Decade Award.
• Norm & Evangeline Hagfors and Dr. Robert (Bob) Stacke ‘71 will receive the The Spirit of Augsburg Award.
• Ron Nelson ’68, Lee Roper-Batker ‘88, and Dr. Ray Yip ’72 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
On Saturday, November 7, the family and friends of Lois Swenson, a resident of north Minneapolis and well-known local peace and justice activist, will be gathering at Augsburg College to remember Lois and give a handcrafted, wooden bench to the college in her memory. Amy Gort, Dean of the College, will be accepting the gift on behalf of the college.
Lois left her estate to Augsburg so that seminary students will be financially supported in their study abroad through the Center for Global Education and Experience. “My experience living in Central America opened my eyes to the real world and changed my life. I would like to provide similar experiences to seminary students who will be in a position to further educate people.”
Saturday, November 7, 2015 2 pm Lindell Library, first floor 630 22nd Ave. S., Minneapolis
The handcrafted wooden bench, made by Wisconsin artist Edward Wohl will be placed on the first floor of Lindell Library so students will be inspired by and be reminded of Lois’ commitment and work for peace and justice. Inscribed on the bench is one of Lois favorite quotes, “Live simply so that others may simply live.” For more information, call Sherilyn Young, Donor Relations Coordinator at 612-330-1462.
You can help the Augsburg Alumni Board identify potential recipients for the2016Distinguished Alumni Awards. Use the nomination form to submit nominations by January 4, 2016. The Alumni Board votes on the recipients at their February board meeting.
The First Decade Award is presented to Augsburg graduates of the past 10 years who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community, and in so doing exemplify the mission of the College: to prepare future leaders in service to the world. Graduates from the day, weekend, and graduate programs are eligible.
The Spirit of Augsburg Award honors alumni and friends of the College who have given exceptional service that contributes substantially to the well being of Augsburg by furthering its purposes and programs.
The Augsburg Alumni Association bestow the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of significant achievement in vocation, for outstanding contribution to church and community, and for a life that exemplifies the ideals and mission of Augsburg College.
Continuing community engagement and volunteering are important parts of being an Auggie, even after graduation. The Augsburg Young Alumni Council invites other graduates from the last 10 years to volunteer on May 16 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Seward, where young alumnus Rev. Mike Matson ’06 serves as pastor.
Your help is needed! Augsburg volunteers are needed to serve meals in the Soup for You Cafe, and assist with the rummage sale and clean-up.
Sign up for a volunteer shift by emailing Katie Radford ’12 at email@example.com. Two time slots are available, and we need Auggies for both:
10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
2 p.m.-6 p.m. (If you have a truck or large vehicle that can be used for deliveries, sign up for the 2-6 p.m. time slot.)
Have more time to volunteer? If you’re available to help out on Friday, 5/15, please contact Sherry Reagan at 936-443-5650.
Donations to the rummage sale are welcome. Bethany accepts furniture, appliances, decorations, clothing, children’s clothing, toys, backpacks, hygiene items, blanketsm bikes, and more. Please, no old TVs. Drop off items at 2511 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, M-F 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Please come together with other Auggies and family members to help further the good a fellow Auggie is doing in the community. Matson was just featured in local media for his good work at Bethany. Read the StarTribune story.
The weekend of May 16 is a busy one for this well-known Seward neighborhood church. The annual rummage sale takes place on Friday, May 15, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
For more information about this event, volunteering, or joining the Young Alumni Council, contact Volunteer and Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-330-1329.
It may be a bit unusual for such a young alumnus to be as active in volunteer work as Josh Krob ’08 is, but he readily admits that his employer, Wells Fargo, provides ample opportunity to do so. In addition to volunteering for charitable organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and Feed My Starving Children, he has coached and supported various sports organizations as well. He has naturally gravitated toward hockey, the sport he played and loved most growing up; and he has helped the Eastview hockey team, Kansas City Stars, and Blake School hockey program.
Recently, another opportunity captured his imagination and passion—raising research funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He and 19 other likeminded individuals took on the challenge individually and raised more than $120,000 for CFF. Krob and the other 19 were each granted the prestigious “Twin Cities Finest” award, in recognition of their community volunteer efforts and professional growth in their fields. Continue reading “Alum is Among Twin Cities Finest”→