This section of the News and Media Services department site tracks stories in print and broadcast media that feature Auggie faculty, students, and staff. The area also is home to material developed for media about College-related programs, events, and more.

Star Tribune reports Augsburg’s transition to test-optional admissions

The Star Tribune‘s Maura Lerner covered Augsburg’s new test-optional admissions policy.

“The change is designed to level the playing field for those without the money or time to get private tutors, take prep classes or take the exam multiple times,” said Nate Gorr, interim vice president of Augsburg admissions, in the article. “It’s also a recognition that standardized tests don’t always capture a student’s potential, and can discourage good candidates from applying to college.”

Lerner noted that according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, many of the 274 test-optional colleges saw an increase in diversity without any loss in academic quality.

Read the full article at the Star Tribune website.

Economics professor Jeanne Boeh discusses vacation day usage on WCCO

Jeanne Boeh on WCCO
Jeanne Boeh on WCCO

When WCCO reporter Christiane Cordero wanted to know why Americans are taking more vacation, she interviewed Augsburg economics professor Jeanne Boeh.

“The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low” said Boeh, chair of Augsburg’s business administration department. “It’s even lower in Minnesota. People are feeling more confident.”

WCCO reported that a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association found that the average number of vacation day usage among Americans has hit a seven-year high, at 17.2 days. Most days off are being used for chores.

The study also found that 52 percent of Americans have vacation time left at the end the year. Why? “Some of those are self-employed,” Boeh told WCCO. “Think about it. If you’re just starting a business, if you go off for two weeks, you lose two weeks of income.”

Watch full video on WCCO’s website.

Augsburg psychology professor Bridget Robinson-Riegler talks with the Pioneer Press about TV’s “Reminiscence Bump”

The Pioneer Press reports that there is no question the ’00 are back in television. Given the high demand for reboots, relaunches and remakes, Ross Raihala, of the Pioneer Press, interviewed Augsburg psychology professor Bridget Robinson-Riegler about what she describes as a “reminiscence bump.”

“Most memories come from age 10 to age 30 or so,” said Robinson-Riegler, in the article. Many network executives are of an age where some of their most potent memories formed around the turn of the century, thus the oncoming tide of ’00s throwbacks, she told the Pioneer Press.

Recent hit television revivals include Trading Spaces, Will and Grace, and Queer Eye and movie sequels such as Super Troopers 2 and Incredibles 2.

“One of the main things nostalgia does is help people find meaning in life and to connect with other people,” Robinson-Riegler said. “When you’re connected to other people, life has meaning. Nostalgia makes people feel protected, loved and happy. People even feel physically warmer.”

Read the full article at the Pioneer Press here.

Augsburg Names Inaugural Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, Advancing Music Education in a Pluralistic World

Kristina Boerger head shot
Kristina Boerger

Augsburg University has named Kristina Boerger the inaugural John N. Schwartz Professor of Choral Leadership and Conducting, beginning fall 2018.

The Schwartz Professorship supports Augsburg’s 21st century choral program—combining music reflective of a pluralistic society, superior choral performance standards, and the University’s commitment to civic engagement and inclusion. Boerger, who most recently served as director of choral activities at DePauw University, will lead a creative and visionary program that honors Augsburg’s legacy of engaging music majors and students from across campus, forging innovation in choral music education.

“Kristina Boerger has collaborated with leading composers and artists in creatively advancing the field of choral study and performance,” said Augsburg University President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Her work has garnered national recognition, and we’re excited to have her join Augsburg this fall.”

Boerger holds degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Illinois; has worked in public school, collegiate, and professional settings; and spent a number of years working in New York, where her work received favorable reviews in The New York Times. In addition to conducting, she’s performed with numerous groups as well as being a soloist. Boerger also has founded choirs and is deeply committed to the values of inclusion, access and equity, musics of diverse cultures, and commissioning original works.  

Augsburg undertook an international search to fill the Schwartz Professorship. Named for alumnus John N. Schwartz ’67, the professorship will initially be supported by an operational fund that provides for creative choral activities. Like many Augsburg choir alumni, Schwartz was not a music major. He majored in business but found meaning in the choir and has been singing his entire life.

Augsburg adopts test-optional admissions policy

Augsburg University is introducing a pilot test-optional admissions policy.

Submission of ACT or SAT test scores for admission is optional for fall 2019 incoming undergraduate (first-year and transfer) student applicants, except in specific circumstances.

“The test-optional admission policy aligns with Augsburg’s mission of intentional diversity and is expected to increase the University’s pool of completed applicants each year,” said Nate Gorr, interim vice president of enrollment management.

For a number of student populations, standardized test scores may not reflect an accurate indication of academic ability — including, for example, people without access to test preparation courses and tutors; those who can’t afford to retake the test; people with learning and physical differences, and English language learners.

This also aligns with Augsburg‘s holistic admissions process, which looks at quantitative metrics and beyond. The application-review process allows Augsburg to maintain the University’s academic standards and ensure Augsburg admits students with the capacity to succeed here.

Faculty, earlier in April, approved the test-optional admissions change recommended by the University Council Enrollment Committee and endorsed by the Faculty Senate and the Academic Affairs Committee.

For additional information about the test-optional process, see A-mail post.

Support for Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama

(Updated 5/9/2018)

Augsburg University is sharing this background about the immigration case involving Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama to keep our campus and the public informed.

Next meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Dr. Wanyama and Mary Mzenga attended their monthly check-in appointment at Immigration and Customs Enforcement on May 10. The ICE office asked them to return on June 7 for their next monthly check-in.

Background
On April 5, Dr. Wanyama and his wife, Mary Mzenga, were informed in a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ICE would allow them 90 days to depart the United States.

Augsburg University statements
Augsburg issued a statement from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow following the Wanaymas’ April 5 ICE meeting, as well as statements before and following the previous ICE meeting, on March 9. These statements are posted below:

Augsburg University Faculty Senate statement
The Faculty Senate of Augsburg University wishes to express our unanimous and unconditional support for our friend and colleague, Professor Mzenga Wanyama. We urge all those who care about Professor Wanyama to consider signing the petition on his behalf at https://www.change.org/p/augsburg-university-support-augsburg-professor-mzenga-wanyama.

Augsburg University faculty statement
The Augsburg University faculty calls on the U.S. government to halt plans for the unjust deportation of our colleague Professor Mzenga Wanyama and his spouse and Augsburg nursing student Mary Mzenga and to permit their continued work and residence in the US. We stand against the anti-immigrant sentiment that is prompting the current wave of deportations and proudly affirm our status as an institution that supports the many immigrant and refugee members of our academic community.

Website
A website, www.mzenga.com, has been created by friends and supporters of Mzenga and Mary Wanyama. The site includes a statement from the Wanyamas, information about the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting, and information about getting involved and providing support.

Work authorization and sponsorship
Augsburg University complies with federal law that requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Dr. Wanyama has authorization to work in the United States, issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sponsorship for permanent resident status is not an option at this time due to a restriction related to a J-1 two-year home residency requirement. The two-year home residency requirement means that those who come to the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status, or get work or family-based visa status until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively. A request to waive the two-year home residency requirement was filed several years ago, but the waiver was denied. Augsburg is working with legal counsel to pursue all options available to us under the current scenario.

Augsburg Mourns Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold

Pastor Dave in a suitPastor Dave speaking at commencementAugsburg Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold passed away on Thursday, April 12. Following is the message sent this morning, Friday, April 13, from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Pastor Dave Wold passed away last night. Pastor Dave served Augsburg for three decades — 1983 until he retired at the end of the 2012-13 academic year — and was named Campus Pastor Emeritus by the Augsburg Board of Regents in recognition for his many contributions to our campus life and faith community.

One of Pastor Dave’s gifts was that he knew everyone’s name. He knew each of us. It’s hard to imagine how he was able to personally connect with so many people, but he did, and the breadth of his pastoral care strengthened and supported generations of Auggies. He touched thousands of lives and is beloved by alumni and Augsburg community members around the world.

Pastor Dave was also quick witted and loved to craft words and music. I’m sure everyone who knew him can recall how he loved to share jokes as a way of engaging with people. He lent those talents for words and music to the leadership of our Advent Vespers services over the years. He also wrote hundreds of light-hearted parodies, using familiar tunes as a unique means of sharing messages about faith.

Of course, we all know Pastor Dave’s passion for athletics and for working with young people. He was director of youth ministries for the American Lutheran Church (prior to the formation of the ELCA), founded the Holy Hoops congregational basketball league, and supervised many intern pastors. And, while the number of athletic games and matches he announced may not be known, our memory of his distinct announcer voice will not fade.

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Cathy Wold, Dave’s wife, and his family. Pastor Dave was a fiercely committed husband, father, and grandfather. We will share information about memorial services once those plans are confirmed. This morning, those on campus are invited to gather in Hoversten Chapel following our daily chapel service (10:55 a.m.), for a brief time of remembrance, prayer, and song.

I was honored to work with Pastor Dave for seven years, to sing with him before many an athletic contest, and to have him as my pastor on campus.  I join Dave’s many friends and colleagues in mourning his death and the loss of a good and faithful servant.

Faithfully yours,

Paul

 

Moody’s revises Augsburg University’s outlook to stable and affirms Baa3 credit rating

Moody’s Investor Service today revised Augsburg University’s outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the University’s Baa3 credit rating.

Moody’s cited Augsburg’s improved liquidity, effective fiscal oversight, successful fundraising, diverse program offerings, and urban Twin Cities location as strengths supporting its credit opinion. The report also noted that Augsburg continues to operate in a highly competitive student market and has moderately high debt relative to cash and investments.

“This favorable outcome is a great accomplishment, and one we’ve worked hard to achieve,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “It’s a reflection of Augsburg’s competitive strengths — including our distinct market identity and diverse enrollment — as well as our intentional, sustained efforts driving dramatic improvements in liquidity.”

See the April 5, 2018 Moody’s news release.