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.

IME Becas Awards Scholarships to Augsburg Students of Mexican Descent

On October 30th, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad announced it had awarded Augsburg College $9,000 in scholarship funds to be distributed to students of Mexican descent.

This is the third consecutive year Augsburg has been a recipient of funds from the program.

At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Augsburg’s student population included 131 students who self-identified as Latin@. Approximately 86% of this group are students of Mexican heritage, including many with undocumented/DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status whose financial aid is made possible by the MN Dream Act.

As part of our commitment to provide a welcoming campus that helps students succeed, Augsburg operates four culturally-specific student support programs that mentor students of color, including the Latino Student Services (LSS) program. LSS is professionally staffed with an experienced and committed Program Director, Dulce Monterrubio, who provides students with the support and encouragement to successfully complete a bachelor or master’s degree. A graduate of Augsburg College, Dulce has over 10 years of student support services, academic advising, admissions, administrative financial aid, and study abroad experience in higher education.

Dulce also advises the Augsburg Latin American Students (ALAS) group and helps plan and carry out cultural and social events throughout the school year that recognize the diversity of nationalities, race, languages, and experiences of the Latino community.

During the 2015-2016 school year, LSS will offer a series of workshops and events designed to complement and enhance the scholarship awards provided by the Institute for Mexicans Abroad. These workshops will be free of charge for students and their parents.

Thanks to the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul and Head Counsel Alberto Fierro for their support.

Augsburg’s Civic and Community Engagement Efforts Recognized with Award from the Minneapolis Foundation

The Common Table
The Common Table, a partnership between Augsburg College and Trinity Lutheran, was one of seven neighborhood organizations to receive a grant from The Minneapolis Foundation’s West Bank Fund.

The Common Table was designed to support collaborative projects through which Augsburg students and community partners work in partnership to respond to community needs and opportunities. The $3,500 grant from the West Bank Fund will support a youth leadership program titled Connected Voices for Education and Engagement. The program will expand access for Cedar Riverside youth to the Common Table’s collaborative programming space and facilitate connections with Augsburg’s student body.

Part of Augsburg’s strategic vision for 2019, its sesquicentennial year, is to shape education to address the world’s needs by joining our neighbors and institutional partners at the table. The college looks to partnerships with organizations like Trinity Lutheran and the Minneapolis Foundation to help students discover their gifts, discern their vocations, and open doors to careers.

Other recipients of the West Bank Fund include several organizations which Augsburg has existing relationships with:

African Development Center –  to support African immigrant and refugee community conversations
African Immigrants Community Services – for the East African Youth Employment Program
Brian Coyle Center – for Changing Lives with Soccer, a partnership between the Center and the Somali American Police Association
Islamic Civic Society of America – to help build a system of community understanding and support for youth to enter career pathways
Korean Services Center – to support work with homebound elders
Shanta Link – to mentor youth in preparation for college

To learn more or get involved, please visit augsburg.edu/commontable.

Augsburg Awarded $447,986 Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes

With a three-year Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, Augsburg College will create over 220 new paid internships during the 2015-2018 academic years.

Augsburg was one of 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin that received a combined $12 million in Great Lakes grants to make internships more equitable for their students with financial need. The college was awarded $447,986.00, which will be allocated toward student internship wages, transportation, and administrative support.

Augsburg’s Strommen Center for Meaningful Work will collaborate with businesses and nonprofit organizations to create new opportunities for paid internships. “Over the course of this three-year grant, Augsburg will have an opportunity to build relationships with dozens of employers in the Twin Cities metro area,” said Keith Munson, Director of the Strommen Center. “Those relationships will benefit the college and our students for years to come.”

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[Click here to watch: Internship Stories from the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work]

This is the second Career Ready Internship grant Augsburg has received. A 2014 grant of $150,000 created nearly 60 paid internships for students with financial need.

Munson credits the success of the first grant to the formation of a cross-campus implementation team. The Strommen Center worked with staff and faculty from Business Administration, STEM Programs, Sabo Center for Citizenship and Democracy, Masters in Business Administration, Graduate Admissions, Alumni Relations, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and the Office of Institutional Advancement to identify prospective employers.

“Paid internships benefit students, colleges, and employers,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer. “Students gain meaningful workplace skills and are more likely to earn degrees and use their internship experiences to help secure good jobs upon graduation. Colleges will see increased completion and job placement rates, and employers gain a pipeline to fresh talent. It’s a win-win-win.”

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“I am delighted that Great Lakes shares our values with regard to experiential education,” said President Paul Pribbenow. “The Strommen Center plays an integral role in students’ overall education and helps to prepare them to make meaningful contributions to our communities. Our partnership with Great Lakes makes an enormous difference for our students.”

After three months of administrative planning, employer outreach, and student recruitment, staff will begin placing eligible juniors and seniors in paid internships in January 2016. The Great Lakes grant period continues through May 2018.

To learn more about internships at Augsburg College, please click here to visit the Strommen Center website

Photos above were taken at Augsburg’s Fall Career and Internship Fair in September. For more photos, click here to visit our Flickr page.

Thrivent Financial Supports Augsburg Central Health Commons



On their first day of the 2015-2016 school year, Augsburg faculty and staff came together to help celebrate the college’s 16th City Service Day by assembling hygiene kits for individuals who visit the Augsburg Central Health Commons in downtown Minneapolis. Supplies for the kits were purchased through a generous grant from the Central Minneapolis Chapter of Thrivent Financial, by way of its Care Abounds in Communities program.

City Service Day is an annual event in which members of the college community, including all incoming first-years, venture off campus to complete service work in Minneapolis neighborhoods.

The group of faculty, staff, and other friends of the college assembled 480 hygiene kits, which were comprised of socks, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and other commonly requested items of those who visit the Commons. Kits will be distributed at the Health Commons during normal operating hours on Mondays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

In addition to assembling hygiene kits, participants learned more about the history of the Health Commons, the people who visit the center, and opportunities to get involved as a volunteer.

Health Commons is a nursing-led free drop-in center that is dedicated to providing basic needs and health support for people living in poverty. The center also provides an opportunity for faculty and students from the Nursing Department at Augsburg College to become involved in independent practice.

The people who come to the Health Commons are from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. All services are provided free of charge. Health concerns might include nutrition, medication, stress management, respiratory conditions, injuries, skin problems, and chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension. Frequently, people with these problems come to the Health Commons for its easy access, its supportive environment, and assistance with connecting to other healthcare resources.

As a small, student-centered college located in the vibrant and diverse Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in heart of Minneapolis, Augsburg embraces civic engagement as a core part of its curriculum. We are grateful to Thrivent Financial and other corporations and foundations who support our work in the community.

To learn more about Augsburg Central Health Commons or its sister facility in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, please click here.

EAST Program Receives Renewed State and Foundation Support

EAST Scholars, Augsburg College, 2014-2015

In early June, the House and Senate Education Finance Committees of the Minnesota State Legislature approved the Collaborative Urban Educator (CUE) bill, which allocates $190,000 per year to the East African Student to Teacher (EAST) program at Augsburg College. The main goal of the EAST program at Augsburg College is to graduate and license K-12 teachers of East African origin. The CUE fund also supports teacher training programs at Hamline University, Concordia University, and University of Saint Thomas.

The EAST program also received renewed support from the Marbrook Foundation. In June, trustees of the Foundation approved a grant of $15,000 to provide one-on-one and small group English language support as well as ongoing tutoring for the MTLE exam for the program’s multi-lingual enrollees. This is the second year the Foundation has supported the EAST program.

Since the program launched in Fall 2013, three EAST scholars have successfully completed student teaching and obtained a MN teaching license, and two are employed as teachers in MN school districts. There are 13 additional students of East African origin enrolled in undergraduate and graduate Education programs at Augsburg’s Minneapolis and Rochester campuses, three as undergraduates and ten as graduate students. With the sustained funding from the State, Augsburg’s Education department will now accept a new group of EAST scholars to join the cohort. These students will begin coursework in the Fall semester of the 2015-2016 school year.

Thanks to everyone at the Capitol and in the community who have lent their support and encouragement to the EAST program!

Mike Newman Receives the Augsburg College Golden Bow Tie Award

President Pribbenow invited Mike Newman, Director of Community Relations at Travelers, to celebrate five years as a partner institution with the Travelers EDGE® program, Empowering 10930906_10153492962312119_7913379471985689532_n-1Dreams for Graduation and Employment, for a cocktail hour and focused program highlighting key aspects of the Travelers EDGE program:

  • Increase the pipeline of underrepresented students to Augsburg
  • Help underrepresented students graduate from Augsburg
  • Build awareness of careers in the Insurance and Financial Services industries

Newman is a true champion of education, and advocates strongly for access to higher-education for all students.  As a surprise to Mr. Newman, President Pribbenow, presented Mike Newman with the “Golden Bow Tie Award, which is bestowed upon a leader within the Augsburg Community who exemplifies outstanding contribution, embodies the core values of an Augsburg education and inspires great pride for all Auggies. The award was named, playfully, after Paul Pribenow’s daily ritual of wearing a bow tie, a tradition he started to initiate conversation with students.  Along with a certificate, Newman also received bowtie cufflinks.

We are so grateful for the strong institutional partnership with Travelers and the Travelers EDGE program.  Sixteen Augsburg EDGE scholars have completed eleven traditional summer/academic year internships and five short-term summer internships. Moreover, Travelers EDGE scholars graduate and are prepared with the soft-skills necessary for success in the workforce.

Attendees at the celebration event in April included representatives from Fairview Health Services, Wallin Partners, Upturnships, and Wells Fargo, Strommen Center staff, Travelers EDGE alumni and current students.   Mike Newman also shared during the event that, “Augsburg is a meaningful partner for Travelers:  the students are engaged and motivated, and the staff and faculty work hard to consistently support all students.”

Thank you to all who attended including four Travelers EDGE scholar alumni, and two current Travelers EDGE scholars, and Janet Morales the college access partnership manager.

For more information please contact, Asst, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Augsburg College, Amanda Scherer, 612-330-1720, scherera@augsburg.edu.


Increased Participation at the 3rd Annual Mayor’s Debate Challenge


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Participating students and judges: Mayor Chris Coleman, Christopher Oquist (Roosevelt High School), Angela Arikyu (Como Park Sr.), Ash Farah (South High School), Dwight Smith (Washington Technology Magnet), Barb Schmitt (Microsoft), and Donald Lewis (Nilan Johnson Lewis).

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Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Michael Goar and District Counsel Steve Liss meet Don Lewis of Nilan Johnson Lewis.

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Dean Eyler of Gray Plant Mooty, Chairman of MNUDL’s Advisory Board, gave the introduction at the event.


On Wednesday May 13th, Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL) held its third annual Mayor’s Debate Challenge. This year, Christopher Oquist (Roosevelt High School) and Ash Farah (South High School) represented Minneapolis Public Schools and debated against Angela Arikyu (Como Park Sr. High) and Dwight Smith (Washington Technology Magnet) who represented Saint Paul Public Schools.

The four debated on the topic of containing or eliminating the spread of invasive species in Minnesota lakes and waterways. Each presented an informative and sometimes humorous case. Although both teams presented thorough research and strong arguments persuading the affirmative and the negative, two out of three judges voted the negative the winner. (Mayor Coleman very diplomatically declared a tie.)

Don Lewis, of Nilan Lewis Johnson, shared his thoughts on the individual strengths and personalities of each debater.  Lewis shared, “Ash, you were the most quiet of all the debaters, but by using thoughtful pauses, you were the easiest to listen to. The pauses allowed the listener to follow your arguments without straining.”

These bright students were an inspiration to the 150 people who attended the annual event.  As active citizens who advocate for themselves and their communities, we are confident these young people will lead us well into the future.

THANK YOU to the following businesses and individuals for sponsoring the 2015 Mayor’s Challenge:

Changemaker Sponsors:  UnitedHealth Group, Gustafson Glueck PLLC, Nicols Kaster, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, and Microsoft.

Table Sponsors: Kristin Cronin-Cole, George Dow, Jerry & Sandy Eyler, Sarah Fossen, Fasail Hadi & Veena Iyer, Nick Khatri & Family, Aaron Klemz, Meg Luger-Nikolai & Pete Nikolai, Ashwin Madia, Joseph Musilek, Mark Raderstorf, Heather Riddle, Linnea Solom, Alex Thiele, Deluxe Corporation, Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP, Fagre Baker Daniels LLP, Gray Plant Mooty, Greene Espel PLLP, Merchant & Gould, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, University of Minnesota Communications Dept., and Zimmerman Reed Attorneys.

We’d also like to the thank the following corporations and foundations for supporting MNUDL’s operations and programs: Carolyn Foundation, The Donaldson Foundation, Social Venture Partners Minnesota, Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, H.B. Fuller Company, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation, and The Saint Paul Foundation.


Pohlad Family Foundation Provides Challenge Grant to MN Urban Debate League

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Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL), a program of Augsburg College, has been approved for a challenge grant of up to $10,000.00 from the Pohlad Family Foundation. The Foundation received 51 requests totaling $510,000 but selected only 16 organizations.  MNUDL was awarded the challenge grant because its strategy for increasing individual giving was specific, measurable, and likely to result in a full match.

The Pohlad Family Foundation will match individual donations up to $500 per person between April 1, 2015 through October 26, 2015.

MNUDL will issue a call for support during its annual Mayor’s Challenge Breakfast, which takes place May 13th from 7:30AM-8:30AM in Hoversten Chapel. This year’s honored guests St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Generation Next Executive Director and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will judge a special debate on the topic of aquatic species and the environment.

Thanks to the Pohlad Family Foundation for their continued generosity! To learn more or make a matchable gift, please visit the Minnesota Urban Debate League home page.

Pictured above: Young debaters from Seward Montessori School in Minneapolis.  

Corporate and Foundation Partners Help Bring Peacemakers and Peacebuilders Together at the 27th Nobel Peace Prize Forum

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Under the auspices of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum inspires peacemaking by focusing on the work of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and important international peacemakers and peace builders. For more than 27 years, the Forum has been one of only three programs officially associated with the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

The 27th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum took place March 6th, 7th, and 8th at the Radisson Blu in downtown Minneapolis. Speakers included:

Honored Laureate U.S. President Jimmy Carter 
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders and Former Prime Minister of Norway
Monica McWilliams, former Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and signatory to the Good Friday Agreement.
Honored Laureate the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, represented by Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü
Adama Dieng, the United Nation’s special adviser on prevention of genocide,
Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye of Kaduna, Nigeria
Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of our Nature
Sanam Anderlini, co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network
Roxanne Mankin Cason, CEO of the Cason Family Foundation
Ingrid Stange, founder of Partnership for Change

As proud host of the Forum, Augsburg College helped bring together a wide range of corporate and foundation sponsors and academic partners.

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum and Augsburg College are grateful to our partners, donors and supporters for making this important international peacebuilding opportunity possible. We are proud to thank:

Dialogue Sponsors:  University of Minnesota (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, School of Public Health; College of Biological Sciences); Medtronic; Bush Foundation; University of Minnesota Health

Youth Forum Sponsor:  Youthrive

Media Sponsor:  Minnesota Public Radio

Peace builder Sponsors:  El-Hibri Foundation; University of St. Thomas; Pacific Lutheran University

Delegate Sponsors:  University of California, Sacramento, Sanford Health; Robins Kaplan LLP; Augustana College; St. Cloud State University; Smaby Family Foundation; Winds of Peace, Robert H. Bruininks, and McGough Construction.

To learn more about the Forum, please visit nobelpeaceprizeforum.org.

For information on sponsorship opportunities for 2016, please contact Amanda Scherer at 612-330-1720, or scherera@augsburg.edu