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.
Award-winning author, columnist, and professor Samuel Freedman featured five Augsburg College community members in a commentary for The New York Times’ On Religion section. The piece, “Muslim College Chaplains Extend a Hand Across Religious Divides,” highlighted the work of Muslim Student Program Associate and Chaplain Fardosa Hassan ’12.
As Freedman reported, Hassan is among dozens of chaplains on college and university campuses across the U.S. to “play a vital dual role: helping Muslim students feel welcome, and introducing Islam to non-Muslims.”
This work, according to Hassan, has the potential to assist students during their college days and positively influence individuals’ lives long after graduation.
“My role is to help students negotiate this multifaith, diverse environment,” Hassan explained to Freedman. “I’m going to give them a tool for when they go out of this institution, so they know how to be respectful of others. A lot of times, people are afraid even to ask the questions of people who are different. So I say, begin with friendship. Start by saying hello.”
In his column, Freedman acknowledges that interfaith conversations are meaningful and necessary not only on Augsburg’s campus but also just beyond its borders in Minneapolis.
Augsburg “is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has traditionally attracted the vast majority of its students from white Protestant denominations,” he writes. “Yet its campus directly abuts the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood that is the epicenter of Minnesota’s population of 31,500 Somali Muslims. Perhaps nowhere else in the United States does a hockey rink sit so close to a halal meat market.”
While Augsburg has been a collaborative neighborhood partner for many years, President Paul Pribbenow has deepened that commitment in an effort to help the College fulfill its calling to foster conversations between the diverse residents of its vibrant community.
The story touches on interactions between Hassan and Augsburg College students whom Hassan has helped reflect on their spirituality to consider how it shapes their interpretations of the world. In this role, Hassan partners with College Pastor and Director of Ministries Sonja Hagander in individually supporting students as they navigate highs and lows, challenges and opportunities, faith and even their final exams.
Person-to-person efforts, according to Hassan, are at the heart of her work.
The National Science Foundation awarded Augsburg College a highly competitive $1 million grant for continued support of the AugSTEM Scholars Program. Under the direction of Professor Rebekah Dupont, the program will provide scholarships to as many as 80 academically talented students with financial need who are pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The four-year grant is part of NSF’s work to address the need for a high-quality, diverse workforce. With a traditional undergraduate student body that is more than 35 percent persons of color, Augsburg is well positioned to support this goal. The program provides direct financial support, delivers hands-on learning, offers research opportunities, and pairs each student with a faculty mentor. Research shows this combination of hands-on learning and close mentorship is highly effective in helping students leave college ready for graduate school and the workplace.
Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 1565060 and 1154096. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Donte Collins ’18 was named the “Most Promising Young Poet” by the Academy of American Poets this fall. His poem, “what the dead know by heart,” previously won Augsburg’s John R. Mitchell Prize, which qualified him for the prestigious award.
Collins is a theater major who is active in the local, regional, and national spoken word and poetry scene.
Collins told Minnesota Public Radio that he plans to use his $1,000 prize from the award to self-publish his first collection of poetry, a chapbook called “autopsies.”
More than 100 Augsburg College undergraduate students were named to the 2016 Summer Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg College Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.
(MINNEAPOLIS) — Augsburg College at 10:15 a.m., today, welcomes it’s most diverse, first-year undergraduate class — with more than 45 percent persons of color. At the same time, the College is announcing its initial equity framework to remove the social, institutional and individual barriers that contribute to inequity.
This important work garnered support from the St. Paul Foundation — a grant of $10,000 and the opportunity for additional funding as the framework takes shape.
“Working to foster diversity and inclusivity has been a cornerstone of the Augsburg promise for many years and is an important extension of our commitment to social justice and equity,” said Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow.
“We are honored to have the support of the St. Paul Foundation which places high importance on racial equity work. We know, as a democracy college, that Minnesota is strengthened by the diversity of its people and that educating persons of diverse backgrounds who learn at the intersection of differences is what best prepares young people to become engaged citizens and educated problem solvers.”
Since 2006, Augsburg has more than tripled the percentage of persons of color in the full undergraduate student body, growing from 11 percent in 2006 to 33 percent in 2016.
Through this work, the College has earned a leading reputation for demonstrating a unique way of engaging in the work of higher education. Within the Minnesota Private College Council, the overall enrollment average among schools includes 27 percent first-generation students and 20 percent Pell-eligible students. Augsburg leads the state among private, four-year institutions with nearly 50 percent of students who are first-generation and more than 40 percent of students who are Pell-eligible.
Associate Professor Lars Christiansen teaches courses in Augsburg’s Department of Sociology and Urban Studies Program. Christiansen puts his scholarship into practice as director of the Friendly Streets Initiative, a St. Paul-based organization that facilitates community organizing through creative public engagement events. The group aims to help communities envision positive change to public spaces, collect and analyze data, and assist neighbors in navigating city planning processes.
Christiansen described the successes of the Friendly Streets Initiative to author Jay Walljasper for a chapter of the new book, “America’s Walking Renaissance: How cities, suburbs, and towns are getting back on their feet.” Walljasper serves as a senior fellow in Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and his writing explores how new ideas in urban planning, tourism, community development, sustainability, politics and culture can improve citizens’ lives.
An excerpt from “America’s Walking Renaissance” was published by MinnPost and included a photo of Darius Gray ’15, a community organizer with FSI.
What does it mean to matter? What does it look like to matter?
With the Black Lives Matter movement, questions of racial equity have ignited important—and difficult—conversations in communities and courtrooms, on political campaign trails, and at college campuses.
Augsburg College Professor William “Bill” Greenstudies and writes about Minnesota history and law. He teaches U.S. Civil Rights subject matter, and he recently has been called upon to share his expertise on these topics to assist media outlets covering Black Lives Matter news in the Twin Cities.
Green was quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio article that examined the roles non-black activists play in furthering the Black Lives Matter movement’s agenda.
On August 5, Green also appeared on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac” program where he provided a comparison between contemporary protests or demonstrations and those occurring decades — perhaps even centuries — earlier. Green explained that the tactic of making a public display can be useful when a group is seeking to meet a particular goal.
“The trick with the demonstrations, of course, is somehow helping society turn the corner so that … a community doesn’t feel the need to resort to desperate measures,” he said.
The interview with cohosts Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola is available on the TPT website and begins at the 31:55 minute mark.
Green’s comprehensive knowledge of Minnesota history has been cultivated over decades, and his latest book, “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912” chronicles conditions for African-Americans in Minnesota in the half-century following the Civil War. The publication picks up where his previous book, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Minnesota, 1837-1869,” left off. Green spoke with MinnPost about the publication, describing his interest in state history.
“The history [of Minnesota] is amazing, particularly when you look at who was here before statehood and how they interacted with each other,” he said. “I found that we were lacking a good accounting of the black people who were part of that history. Most of them didn’t leave a written record, which looks like they had nothing to say, but of course they did. They were part of this experience.”
The Minnesota Book Awards honored Green and “Degrees of Freedom” with the 2016 Hognander Minnesota History Award.
Michael Lansing, associate professor and History Department chair, recently penned an article comparing the United States’ contemporary political landscape with periods in the late 1960s and late 1970s.
Lansing is a historian of the modern United States, and his research focuses on political history, environmental history, and other topics. In his Community Voices commentary, Lansing argued that the state of American democracy and milestones occurring in 1979 are similar to current events.
WCCO TV recently sought counsel from Andy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College, to answer a question about how much a presidential candidate’s vice president selection influences voters.
“How Much Does The Vice President Pick Matter?” was the focus of the recent Good Question segment.
Aoki provided a straightforward answer.
“It doesn’t usually matter a lot,” he said. “The vice presidents tend to get a lot less attention, so it’s not that easy for people to make their pick based on them because you don’t know much about them.