Star Tribune interviews Prof. Andrew Aoki about Russian fake Facebook campaign targeting Minnesota

Post promoting a rally was among the sponsored ads on Facebook, targeted to people within 50 miles of Minnesota.
Post promoting a rally was among the sponsored ads on Facebook, targeted to people within 50 miles of MN.

The Star Tribune reported about thousands of recently disclosed fake Facebook ads and posts and interviewed Augsburg political science professor Andrew Aoki.

Many of these ads and posts released by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee referenced several Minnesota events, including the police shooting cases of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile.

“There’s obviously some significant division in this country, and so my guess is that they looked for where there are real divisions and then tried to make them deeper,” Aoki told the Star Tribune. “Because it’s a lot easier to stoke the fires that are already burning than to start new ones.”

Read full story on the Star Tribune website.

Economics prof. Keith Gilsdorf interviewed by Kare 11 about low unemployment rate

Professor Keith Gilsdorf on Kare 11Cory Hepola from Kare 11 spoke with Augsburg economics professor Keith Gilsdorf to discuss the country’s current unemployment rate, which is the lowest it has been since 2000. Unemployment topped out at 10 percent in October 2009, and ever since it has been on a steady decline.

“I don’t think that you can think of it as a permanent kind of place where the economy is going to continue that for a long period of time,”  Gilsdorf said. “It’s a tight labor market and there’s going to be pressure for employers to try to attract workers to their business, and at some point they’re going to have to offer higher pay.”

Watch full report on the Kare 11 website.

KSTP interviews Augsburg prof. about 25 School Districts Still Negotiating Teacher Contracts

Andrew Aoki speaks with KSTPKSTP spoke with Augsburg political science professor Andrew Aoki about Minnesota school districts that have teachers working with expired contracts. Teachers are strictly working their contract hours and are no longer staying late after school or grading papers and responding to emails at home, KSTP reported.

He says the pressures around organized labor is likely a concern for teachers unions.

“You only have to look to Wisconsin to see there are some real pressures on the unions,” Aoki said.

Watch the report on the KSTP website.

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.

Kelly D. Holstine ’11 named Minnesota’s 2018 Teacher of the Year

Kelly D.Holstine
Kelly D. Holstine photgraphed by Jeff Wheeler for Star Tribune

Kelly D. Holstine ’11 is Minnesota’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. She earned her M.A.E. from Augsburg in 2011 and currently teaches at Tokata Learning Center, an alternative high school in Shakopee.

“Every kid matters” is the motto she’s carried throughout her 11-year teaching career.

“Sometimes they might need a little bit of extra love, a little patience, a little more understanding, and once they get that, they can flourish and blossom and excel and learn,” Holstine told the Star Tribune’s Pat Pheifer. “All children deserve the opportunity to grasp their dreams … regardless of ZIP code, race, creed, color, sexual orientation.”

Education Minnesota named Holstine the 2018 Teacher of the Year in May.

Read full story on the Star Tribune’s website here.

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 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.

News reports: Augsburg professor challenges Economist ranking Minneapolis third most expensive in North America

 

Jeanne Boeh talks to Kare11
Jeanne Boeh talks with Kare11

When The Economist named Minneapolis the third most expensive city to live in North America, just after New York and Los Angeles, reporters from Kare11, Fox 9, and WCCO turned to Augsburg University Professor of Economics Jeanne Boeh for answers. Kare 11’s Gordon Severson questioned the ranking, given that the latest U.S. Census data listed Minneapolis as the 46th most populated city. The Economist study analyzed 150 items such as food, utility bills, rent, and private schools, but left out the cost of owning a home.

Boeh, also chair of the Business Administration department at Augsburg, argues that the study isn’t exactly accurate. “It doesn’t really reflect the average experience of the people who are living here right now,” Boeh tells Kare 11. “If I go to San Francisco, which technically we’re supposed to be more expensive than, the average cost of a house is well over half a million dollars. So, it doesn’t really make sense that Minneapolis would cost more to live in.”

While the study’s measures may be more applicable for high-end executives who travel internationally, Boeh says it’s not an accurate representation when it comes to the average Minnesotan.

See full story on the Kare 11 website.

Related articles: WCCO, Fox 9

See full report from The Economist on The Economist website.