Professors team with students to research and share College history

If you’re interested in the history of Augsburg College, you’re probably familiar with “From Fjord to Freeway,” a book published by long-time professor of history Carl Chrislock ’37 in 1969. The publication, which tells the story of the first 100 years of the College, is receiving renewed interest and attention as we approach the institution’s sesquicentennial in 2019.

But no history is complete. Phil Adamo, associate professor of history and director of the honors program, is authoring a new book with students to bring furtherhistory3-300x200 aspects of the impact and personality of the College to life. The project is a deeply collaborative effort, giving students opportunities to hone their skills in research and writing while producing a work for publication and being credited as contributors.

Another group of historians is making use of tools Chrislock could only have imagined in 1969—smartphone apps and the Internet—to share the broader history of Augsburg’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. Jacqui de Vries, professor of history and director of general education, and Kirsten Delegard, scholar in residence in the history department and creator of the Historyapolis Project, an endeavor to share the first narrative history of Minneapolis in more than 40 years that recently won the Alice Smith Prize for best public history project, are working with Anduin Wilhide, a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, to develop a digital history tour of the area. The project will provide both a website and apps for iPhones and Android devices.

Learn more about both projects in the Fall 2015 edition of the Augsburg Now.

Dimension 1, Goal 1, Strategy 1: Invest in Curricular Innovation

Augsburg College professor named 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year

Augsburg College’s Phillip C. Adamo, associate professor of history and director of the College Honors Program, was named the 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Adamo, who was selected from more than 300 top professors in the United States, was recognized November 19 in a proclamation by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges who declared it “Dr. Phillip C. Adamo Day in the City of Minneapolis.”

“Phil expands the imaginative possibilities for students through the design of innovative and powerful learning experiences that foster critical thinking, advanced cognitive abilities, and habits of deep reflection,” said Karen Kaivola, Augsburg College provost and chief academic officer.

“He has answered his call to inspire, mentor, and educate students, providing serious challenges for the most advanced learners while guiding all students with compassion. Phil exemplifies and embodies Augsburg College’s mission to be a new kind of student-centered urban university, small to our students and big for the world.”

A national and statewide recipient of numerous awards and honors — in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and history — Adamo joined Augsburg’s History Department in 2001. Since that time, he has been awarded Augsburg’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning, the Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship award, and the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Medieval Academy of America. While in graduate school at The Ohio State University, Adamo received the Graduate Associate Teaching Award, the Provost’s Teaching Fellowship, and the Clio Award for Outstanding Teaching in History.

Adamo is the second Augsburg College faculty member to be honored by Carnegie/CASE. In 2004, Professor Emeritus Garry Hesser earned the prestigious award.

CASE and the Carnegie Foundation have been partners in offering the U.S. Professors of the Year awards program since 1981. This year, a state Professor of the Year was recognized in 35 states. Adamo was among those, and was selected from faculty members nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country.

This post originally appeared on Augsburg’s News and Media Services Department site.

Dimension 1, Goal 2, Strategy 2: Because an Augsburg education is defined by excellence, the College recruits, retains, supports, and celebrates an accomplished faculty fully committed to the academic and personal success of students.

Give to the Max Day 2015

Give to the Max Dayan annual one-day online giving event where donors around the world support their favorite nonprofitsoccurred on November 12 this year, with Augsburg College ranking as the No. 1 fundraising college or university in Minnesota for the third consecutive year!

In total, 1,050 Auggies—alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends, and families—gave more than $240,000 to support academics, athletics, and campus programs. These gifts help support every student, every day through The Augsburg Fund and every other Auggie Give to the Max Day fundraiser.

Dimension 3, Goal 9, Strategy 9: Augsburg is a sustainable and vital force for educating future generations.

U.S. Bank Veterans’ Lounge continues to bring Auggie vets together

A year after it opened, the U.S. Bank Veterans’ Lounge continues to be an important part of the educational journey of Augsburg student vets and has become a quiet respite for the College’s community of veterans.

“Many of our students are commuters, here for long days and on evenings and weekends, so the lounge becomes ‘home base’ when they are on campus,” said Lori York, Augsburg’s School Certifying Official. York also serves as liaison between current and prospective students and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dave Adams, a student in Augsburg’s Masters of Business Administration program, is grateful for the camaraderie and comfort the lounge provides.

“My crew, the group of four who all came together from the same National Guard unit, love the lounge,” Adams said. “It gives us a great place to meet before class and compare notes, as well as a quiet place to go when we have small group breakout sessions.”

Adams also acknowledged his appreciation for the treats–gifts from Augsburg staff members–that often appear in the lounge.

“I was truly dragging when I got to school yesterday. Walking into the lounge to meet the other guys and seeing cookies was just a nice surprise and a simple touch, but it did make a difference in the night.”

But the U.S. Bank Veterans’ Lounge, located in the Oren Gateway Center, is more than just a getaway. It’s also come to represent the connections and community of veterans who are all pursuing their next call.

“When I drop in at the Veterans’ Lounge, I see students meeting each other, sharing their past experiences,” said York. “Today when I stopped by, a student who is in his last semester here was greeting a new student and welcoming him to campus. They immediately jumped into a conversation about their time in the military, where they’ve served, when they got out. These students gravitate toward one another and they gravitate toward the lounge to find their comrades. The lounge is key to building and keeping this community at Augsburg.”

The connection between student vets and U.S. Bank, recognized as a top corporate supporter of veterans and military families, doesn’t end there.

Andy Norgard, pictured above (rear), is one of several Auggies to complete internships at U.S. Bank in recent years. A former member of the Marine Corps and Augsburg’s Student Veteran Representative, Norgard completed a Financial Analyst internship at U.S. Bank last summer and has recently been offered a job at McGladrey, one of the nation’s top accounting firms.

For the second consecutive year, Augsburg was named a Military Friendly® School, a list which is compiled through extensive research and a free, data-driven survey of more than 10,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. Military Friendly Schools have gone above and beyond to provide transitioning veterans the best possible experience in higher education. As of fall 2015, there were nearly 120 active members and military veterans attending Augsburg, a notable number for an institution of Augsburg’s size. The College graduated more than 20 military veterans this past spring and summer.

We are proud to partner with U.S. Bank in its continued support of veterans in both higher education and business.

This post was written by Jay Peterson and originally appeared on Augsburg’s Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations site.

Dimension 1, Goal 3, Strategy 3: Because we believe in meeting students where they are while challenging them to achieve, Augsburg equips all students to succeed.

Faculty and staff commit to increasing intercultural competence

Augsburg is an intentionally diverse and inclusive campus community, located in the most diverse ZIP code between Chicago and Los Angeles. Nurturing that vibrant learning environment—reflective of our complex and interconnected world—takes passion, vigilance, and innovation, three qualities that define Joanne Reeck. Appointed chief diversity officer in January, the St. Paul native is digging into the issues and developing workshops and programs to strengthen intercultural understanding.

“Our most important job as an institution is to work toward a learning environment where all of our students are able to bring forward their full selves,” said Reeck, who has served as Augsburg’s director of campus activities and orientation since 2008. “As such, faculty and staff need to not only work effectively across the cultural commonalities they share with students, but also across the cultural differences they do not share. When faculty and staff are able to effectively do this, the environment will naturally become one that allows all students to show up as their authentic selves and to more fully engage as learners.”

Increasing the intercultural competency of faculty and staff has been among the top three concerns of students in the 2004, 2007, and 2014 Student Inclusion Assessments, Reeck said. As a result, she created and implemented Augsburg’s first Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program, which launched the first day of fall semester. Fifty-eight faculty and staff members have signed up for the Certificate Program to date, with an average of 22 attendees at each of the 12 workshops that have taken place to date.

Faculty and staff may sign up for any number of diversity and inclusion workshops offered through Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives, but each person must complete the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Process and six workshops to complete the certificate program. Of the required workshops, three are new: Creating Inclusive Spaces, All About Bias, and From Microinequities to Inclusion. Reeck redesigned the layout for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Process and the Intercultural Conflict Styles (ICS) Inventory Workshop. Michael Grewe ’12 MSW, director of LGBTQIA student services, designed Ally Training I and Kathy McGillivray, director of CLASS Disability Services, developed Disability as Diversity: Building Bridges to Full Inclusion.

“Once people attend one workshop, they seem to be hooked,” Reeck said. “It’s encouraging to see how many Augsburg faculty and staff members are pursuing these opportunities to grow their understanding of the many different communities around them. Most importantly however, is what we all do to help foster an understanding, supportive community of lifelong learners.”

Dimension 2, Goal 4, Strategy 4: Shape and strengthen our learning community.

—by Kate Elliott

Pilot project encourages students to hop on the safe, sustainable travel train

Although free pizza remains the industry standard for enticing students, this year’s first-year students hopped on board a generous transit offer.

Auggies enrolled in Augsburg Seminar (or AugSem) received a Metro Transit Go To card loaded with $20 at student orientation. Those who loaded $10 on their card by October 1 gained an additional $45 on their card.

Ann Garvey, vice president of student affairs, said nearly 200 students (about 40 percent) took advantage of the offer, which was designed to introduce students to the ease of the Twin Cities’ transit system of buses, light rail, and commuter rail. The pilot project emerged from a collaboration between Metro Transit and the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership—a group of colleges, universities, hospitals, and health care organizations invested in the health and vitality of area neighborhoods.

“Augsburg is committed to its urban location and our Green by 2019 statement,” said Garvey, celebrating Augsburg’s involvement with Central Corridor. “We benefit from being at the crux of the two light rail lines, and we encounter the reality of a small campus footprint. A car-related solution to transportation cannot be our first step.”

Through curriculum, organizations, and overall mission, Augsburg is committed to engaging its neighbors through partnerships and service. Garvey said incorporating the transit offer into the AugSem excursion on City Service Day made sense.

“As we were discussing how best to introduce this idea to new first-year students, we quickly realized that all first-years have the Augsburg Seminar and all Augsburg Seminars have the embedded curricular commitment of engaging Minneapolis,” Garvey said. “It was a perfect fit to show how we integrate what we do with the city, and faculty were stunned with how wonderful it was, as they would sometimes encounter financial barriers in getting their classes out to the city.”

Garvey said another element of success was student involvement. Communications major Sulin Phat and history major Anisa Sharif helped shape a communications campaign to market the Go To card offer by sharing personal experiences and emphasizing the benefits of sustainability and connecting with the community.

“I loved this part,” Garvey said. “Students listen to other students and students bring the reality of their experience in coordinating the outreach that makes these efforts so much more effective. Plus, it gave two current students jobs and hands on experience for their growth and development.”

Results from student surveys, Garvey said, will inform Metro Transit’s offers to students in 2016. The overwhelming success of the project, she added, has certainly renewed interest in the Metro among the rest of the Augsburg community.

Dimension 3, Goal 7, Strategy 7: Engage anchor partnerships in developing, improving, and sharing resources that serve Augsburg, our neighborhood, and our wider community.

—by Kate Elliott

Grant provides paid, career-related internships for juniors and seniors

You’re about to graduate with a resume full of top honors and a cover letter that sings. But without a college internship, you’re like a bird without wings. Good thing Augsburg College is committed to helping its students take flight.

The Strommen Center for Meaningful Work secured a grant that will provide paid, career-related internships for juniors and seniors with demonstrated financial need. These Great Lakes Career Ready Internships will be available through spring 2018, outfitting hundreds of deserving students with real-world experiences that lead to a competitive edge.

During the 2014-15 academic year, the Strommen Center facilitated more than 50 paid internships supported by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Center Director Keith Munson said success of the one-year award prompted his office to reapply for funding from the Wisconsin-based non-profit dedicated to helping students reach their full potential.

“Employers expect new graduates to leave college with relevant experiences, which are sometimes unpaid,” Munson said. “In the first year of the grant, we created or converted unpaid internships into paid opportunities that ranged from non-profit agency work to jobs with larger corporations or STEM research positions. In a follow-up survey, almost every student stated that he or she would not have been able to participate in the internship without this grant.”

Munson could fill your afternoon with personal stories about social work students working as youth case managers or biology students shadowing physicians, but you might prefer to hear these stories from the students who are test-driving careers, building professional networks, and cultivating relationships with mentors.

An easy two-step application

Those interested in applying for the grant-funded experience must have junior or senior status at the time of the internship, which is 12 hours per week for 16 weeks during the academic year or a maximum of 25 hours for 10-12 weeks during the summer. Applicants must also be work-study eligible (as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and maintain Title IV Satisfactory Academic Progress, among other requirements.

Eligible students apply for the grant using the Augsburg College Human Resource Department work study system. After that, they seek out and apply for an internship through AugPost. Students may already have an internship arranged or they may obtain assistance finding an internship through Career and Internship Services in the Strommen Center, The SABO center, or the STEM programs at Augsburg.

“It’s exciting to think about all the students who are going to benefit from this grant in the coming years,” Munson said. “These opportunities are enriching their studies and helping them pay for school while preparing them to secure top jobs after they graduate. This certainly is rewarding work.”

Dimension 2, Goal 5, Strategy 5: Expand and systematize experiential opportunities.

—by Kate Elliott

Classroom Consulting program offers confidential faculty development

Augsburg is a community of lifelong learners, and that includes its faculty—striving to inspire students to achieve through relevant and engaging learning experiences. And this fall, the Center for Teaching and Learning launched a program to support professors eager to enhance their pedagogy and classroom management.

Classroom Consulting is designed to offer individualized and course-specific faculty development through confidential peer partnerships. The program—available to any Augsburg faculty member, including adjunct instructors—operates fully outside the tenure and promotion review process (see confidentiality policy). Heading the program is Tim Pippert, associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. Pippert said interactions with trained consultants—a mix of 17 faculty who specialize in a variety of teaching methods and settings—are provided in strict confidence and may take many forms.

“These anonymous consultations are a collaborative process, driven by the needs of each faculty member who reaches out for support,” said Pippert, who has taught at Augsburg for 16 years. “One faculty member may want to talk through a specific problem or ask a consultant to review course materials while another might request a consultant to observe a class or explore strategies to more fully engage students.”

Consultants are available on an on-call basis to offer assistance to fellow faculty members. Because consultations are course- and faculty-specific, Pippert said the center pairs inquiring faculty members with consultants whose expertise aligns with their needs, goals, and schedule.

“Our consultants are a great resource for all faculty, from the tenured professor who has taught the same class for 15 years to a newcomer eager to gain his or her footing,” Pippert said. “And while those involved with the program maintain anonymity, faculty who engage in the program are free to share their participation. Augsburg celebrates faculty who actively strengthen their teaching because it ultimately enhances our students’ learning experiences.”

For more information or to arrange a meeting with a consultant, email Tim Pippert.

Dimension 1, Goal 2, Strategy 2: Invest in faculty.

—by Kate Elliott

Bridging a gap between two communities

Augsburg is known for maintaining strong relationships with nearby communities. Whether it be supporting local businesses or serving our neighbors, Augsburg students, faculty, and staff take full advantage of our urban location. However, connection to one nearby neighborhood is made more difficult by the the divide—both physical and perceived—created by I-94.  

Directly south of Augsburg’s campus on the other side of I-94 is the eclectic and vibrant Seward neighborhood. Despite its relatively close proximity to campus, Seward seems much farther away than it really is. The existing pedestrian bridge over I-94, located between 22nd Avenue and 24th Avenue, is narrow, dark, and hidden behind the freeway soundwall on both sides. It is also disconnected from the street grid. It feels remote and unsafe and, as a result, diminishes the connection between Seward, the Augsburg campus, and the broader Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Augsburg College and Seward Redesign (a nonprofit that provides community development services) are partnering to pursue the design and construction of new pedestrian bridge that will provide an inviting, safe, accessible, and visible connection between the two neighborhoods.

In addition to activating economic, social, and environmental growth for the two areas, the bridge will also serve as a tangible example of an anchor institution like Augsburg, partnering with a community development corporation on a project of shared value.

The benefits of a new, pedestrian-friendly land bridge over I-94:

  • It will strengthen Augsburg’s connection to the Seward neighborhood for service-learning opportunities at local organizations such as Bethany Lutheran Church, Seward Montessori School, and Northern Clay Center, among others.
  • It will provide convenient access to the Seward neighborhood’s many amenities, such as restaurants, retail shops, arts and community organizations.
  • It will encourage greater use of Murphy Square Park by Seward residents, as the closest public park in an area without much green space.
  • It will draw more people into the Seward neighborhood for business and retail transactions, which will help support the neighborhood economy.
  • It will help provide Seward residents with easier access to services and jobs at Augsburg, Fairview Health Services, and the University of Minnesota.
  • It will create a model for how neighborhoods that have been divided by freeway construction can reestablish physical connections over the freeway to build community, stimulate economic development, and improve pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Crossing boundaries to pursue design and construction of a cutting-edge bridge

Oslund and Associates and Linda Figg of FIGG Engineering, have been retained to complete a feasibility assessment for a new bridge, including a conceptual design. In February, a design charrette was held with community stakeholders to inform the planning and design process. In addition to providing a wider pedestrian and bicyclist crossing, the bridge may feature green elements such as plants and vines, innovative lighting features, gathering space, and an iconic structure visible from the freeway to serve as the gateway into Minneapolis. It would be accessible and inviting to all.

The concept of a new pedestrian/bike bridge has been endorsed by the Seward Neighborhood Group, Seward Civic and Commerce Association, West Bank Community Coalition, and the Cedar-Riverside Partnership, and is widely supported by the community.

Dimension 3, Goal 7, Strategy 7: Engage anchor partnerships in developing, improving, and sharing resources that serve Augsburg, our neighborhood, and our wider community.

Auggie plan offers pathway to engage and enroll key
student population

In late May, officials from Augsburg College and Minneapolis Community and Technical College launched the Auggie Plan, a guaranteed pathway to a four-year degree for students whose academic achievement at MCTC helps prepare them for success at the bachelor’s degree level.

The Auggie Plan offers qualified students efficient and affordable tracks in their coursework by ensuring that the credits earned in a range of liberal arts classes at MCTC satisfy all first- and second-year general education requirements at Augsburg. In addition to mapping out the coursework needed at the institutions, the Auggie Plan gives students the opportunity to access advising support at both colleges during their entire term of study. Because students on the Auggie Plan enter Augsburg at the junior level, many will qualify for scholarships making it possible to earn a four-year private college degree with needs-based grants, manageable student loans, and minimal out-of-pocket costs for tuition.

For Augsburg, the Auggie Plan is an enrollment partnership that enhances the College’s prospective student pipeline and leverages the strengths of its enrollment management and student advising teams. Likewise, Augsburg College faculty play an important role in the Auggie Plan by engaging MCTC students through short seminars called Coffee Talks and prompting students to develop a relationship with Augsburg early on in their studies.

“The Coffee Talks are crucial in that they create intentional connections between MCTC students and Augsburg,” said Ron Blankenship, director of Augsburg’s Adult Undergraduate program.

And, the institutions complement one another naturally. Both MCTC and Augsburg are located in the heart of Minneapolis, provide services to help all students achieve college success, value intentional diversity, and are committed to developing future leaders.

In the media

Just after the program launch, Minnesota Public Radio included comments from Amy Strohmeier Gort, Augsburg’s dean of arts and sciences, in the story, “MCTC students receive clear ticket to Augsburg College.” One of the program benefits Strohmeier Gort mentioned is that Auggie Plan students could have more enjoyable experiences after arriving at Augsburg considering that they won’t need to spend time taking extra courses because some credits did not transfer.

“They will have the opportunity and the time to really engage in their major [and] to consider minors,” Strohmeier Gort said. “They’ll have time to do things on campus.”

The article also noted that while transfer agreements and partnerships already exist among some private and public campuses in the state, the Auggie Plan is unusual because it doesn’t lock students into a major early on. Instead, the Auggie Plan aims to provide an affordable four-year degree pathway to students who might not have seen themselves as college material but who have high potential for success.

Visit the Auggie Plan website to learn more.

Dimension 2, Goal 4, Strategy 4: Shape and strengthen our learning community.