The Jerusalem Post website recently published an article by Julian Kritz ’16, Interfaith Scholar and vice president of Students Supporting Israel at Augsburg College. In the piece, Kritz discussed his experience traveling to Israel with a diverse delegation of Minnesota legislators and community leaders.
He remembered the diversity of the group — which was bipartisan, interfaith and intergenerational — as being particularly impactful as they toured sites of importance to Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
“As a Jew, seeing Israel through the eyes of the Christian members of our delegation was a moving experience which greatly added to my understanding of why so many people care about this small piece of land,” he explained.
Kritz was selected for the trip due to his work as an intern with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) and his travel was sponsored by a grant from the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. The JCRC was asked to plan the trip, which included meetings with key figures in Israeli and Palestinian politics and tours of religious sites, centers of business, and locations of political importance.
Read Minnesotan State Legislator Delegation Travels to Israel on the Jerusalem Post site.
The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder recently included comments from Jennifer Jacobs, assistant athletic director at Augsburg College, and student athlete Rob Harper ’16 in an article on the struggle to increase the diversity of coaching and administrative staff at NCAA schools. The article is a response to pro-diversity resolutions passed at the league’s annual conference last month.
In the article, Jacobs acknowledged that the drive for inclusion and diversity must start at the top. “Athletic directors and assistant athletic directors can’t feel empowered unless it comes from the presidents,” she said.
Jacobs added that “…people in general will hire people that look like them. The only way to counteract that is [that] you have to be intentional in your hiring practice.”
Harper, a sociology major and member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, discussed his experience attending the conference and interest in observing the league’s voting process.
Read Moving from talk to action on diversity and inclusion on the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder site.
Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow was one of the high-profile Minnesotans recently included on a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper that denounced anti-Muslim bigotry as “un-Minnesotan.”
Others who added their support to the campaign include Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and the CEOs of prominent Minnesota businesses such as Best Buy, General Mills, and Cargill.
The ad was a joint effort between Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management. It states that although Minnesotans, “may be a soft-spoken bunch, we know better than to be silent or still in the face of bigotry shown to Muslims. Our fellow Minnesotans.”
Several media outlets have reported on the ad, including:
Augsburg College staff members Lori York, associate registrar, and Leah Spinosa de Vega, director of global initiatives and off-campus study, were quoted in an article for International Educator — a bi-monthly magazine published by NAFSA: the Association of International Educators.
The article focuses on the specific challenges faced by veterans who wish to study abroad and how schools can better facilitate global education opportunities this group of students.
To help navigate the nuances of veterans’ benefits, “I would encourage the study abroad office to tap into the expertise of the School Certifying Official on their campus,” York said in the article.
Read: Helping Military Veterans Study Abroad (pdf) from the International Educator.
As part of an ongoing conversation about democracy in education, Harry Boyte, senior scholar in public work philosophy for Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently contributed an article to Education Week in which he argued in favor of free spaces–“places where people find it easy and enjoyable to swap stories, plan adventures, and discuss and argue politics.”
In the article, Boyte draws on his experiences with Sabo Center colleague Dennis Donovan, national organizer for Public Achievement, to articulate the importance of providing places for challenging yet compassionate dialog.
Read: Free Spaces in Democracy Schools on the Education Weekly site.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead recently published an article on North Dakota’s short-lived presidential primary and its return to the current caucus system. Included in the article were statements by Michael Lansing, author and associate professor of history at Augsburg College.
Lansing said that since North Dakota returned to the caucus system in 1935, the state “has even less of a role in primary races than ever.”
He added, “The same is true of many Upper Midwest states.”
Read: Robin Huebner reports: ND’s place in presidential primary history on the Forum website.
The Minnesota chapter of Campus Compact, an organization that supports civic engagement and democratic renewal across college campuses, recently published an article about Augsburg College’s proactive approach to supporting Muslim students and the local Muslim community.
Following inflammatory statements made by high-profile politicians and presidential candidates about the Muslim community, the Augsburg College faculty passed a resolution declaring their “deep support, love and friendship for the Muslim members of our campus, community and world.” The Campus Compact article states that, “Faculty and staff at the college make this commitment real through myriad practices and partnerships.”
Included in those partnerships is the work that the College has done with Sisterhood Boutique, a “second-hand clothing store and youth social entrepreneurship program developed by young women, a majority East African and Muslim, living in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.” Augsburg faculty members — such as Assistant Professor of Business Marc Isaacson — have engaged their students in projects to support the boutique.
Read: In Word and Deed: Augsburg College in Support of Muslim Students, Colleagues, Neighbors on the Campus Compact site.
WCCO recently sought counsel from Andy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College, to answer a viewer’s question about the timing of the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus.
“Why do Iowa and New Hampshire vote first?” was the focus of the recent Good Question segment.
Aoki provided a straightforward answer.
“Today, they’re first because they want to be,” he said before explaining the history of the events in more detail. The segment goes on to explain how the advent of television turned the previously ignored New Hampshire primary into a nation-wide media spectacle. This prompted the state to pass a law requiring that they remain the first to select a candidate.
How did Iowa end up voting earlier? “Technically, New Hampshire is the first primary and Iowa is the first caucus, so they’ve worked out a little agreement,” Aoki explained.
Read and watch: Good Question: Why Do Iowa & New Hampshire Vote First? on the WCCO site.
The Des Moines Register has published a profile of Meghan Peyton, head coach of women’s and men’s cross country at Augsburg College and University of Iowa graduate. The article is part of a series focusing on 11 Iowans who are competing in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
The article details Peyton’s running career and her training routine for the event, which takes place in Los Angeles on February 13. It also tells of the careful balance she maintains between her coaching duties and her running career.
“Coaching is my way of giving back to the sport. I didn’t want to neglect that,” she said.
Read: Mile posts: Former Hawkeye Meghan Peyton eager for marathon best on the Des Moines Register site.
Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, was interviewed by South Dakota Public Broadcasting for the Dakota Midday radio program. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which presents the history of the Nonpartisan League as a model for future political movements.
Lansing describes the League as a grassroots organization started by Midwestern farmers in 1915 who were getting “ripped-off” by the large grain milling and transportation corporations in the region.
“I know that’s pretty strong language,” he said. “But if you look at the evidence in retrospect, it’s rather true.”
Listen to: Dakota Midday: Insurgent Democracy (13 minutes) on the SDPB Radio site.