River Semester media attention grows as class travels down-river

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.35.52 PM[Updated September 30] — The Augsburg College River Semester, created and led by Joe Underhill, associate professor of political science, departed from St. Paul’s Harriet Island on September 1. As part of the kickoff, the River Semester class was joined by a group of nearly 100 students, parents, high school students and members of the Augsburg College community who paddled in a flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from St. Paul to South St. Paul. Students participating in the semester-long program will earn as many as 16 credits in the arts, humanities, and sciences as they travel nearly 2,000 miles of the 2,350-mile Mississippi River.

The River Semester kickoff garnered a range of attention. Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed September 1 “Augsburg College River Semester Day” and many media outlets covered the launch of the class.

Since the students and faculty departed on their voyage, print and broadcast media have been sharing the story of this hands-on, interdisciplinary program. In fact, multiple stories have been picked up by the Associated Press and shared through the AP’s member media throughout the nation.

A snapshot of the ongoing media coverage is below. As additional coverage occurs, it will be added to this post.

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Star Tribune tells story of Hagfors Center through leadership of Regent Emeritus Mike Good ’71

MikeGood-StarTribuneThe Star Tribune’s Neal St. Anthony on Sunday, September 27, wrote a profile about Augsburg College Regent Emeritus Mike Good ’71 and his exemplary leadership as chair of the College’s successful capital campaign for the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

St. Anthony reported that Good retired early in 2012 to “take on for Augsburg’s Board of Regents what Good considers a challenged that transcended his athletic and business career.” Under Good’s leadership, the capital campaign met its goal by exceeding $50 million.

Read “St. Anthony: Retired CEO Mike Good was the All American behind Augsburg’s business building.”

Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester

Class paddled more than 250 miles since leaving St. Paul on Sept. 1

(MINNEAPOLIS) – The Mississippi River and four, 24-foot voyageur canoes are home and classroom for a group of Augsburg College students who will be in Dubuque from Sept. 28-30 as part of the nation’s first-ever River Semester.

The students, who have paddled more than 250 miles of river since departing St. Paul on Sept. 1 as part of their nearly 2,350-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico, will earn as many as 16 credits in biology, environmental studies, health and physical education, and political science.

“The canoes are a floating classroom where students translate into action what they learn on shore during lectures and from their reading and homework,” said Professor Joe Underhill, creator of this hands-on learning program.

“Each student also is responsible for personal research project, some in partnership with state and national agencies. Some of these projects contribute to the common good, and every project is a chance for teamwork and collaborative excellence.”

The dozen students participating in this hands-on learning program, created by Underhill, is offered in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit and inclusive travel provider that specializes in experiential programming and outdoor travel for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

“We know that what happens in the boats transfers to the classroom and life,” said Chad Dayton, director of programs and partner relations for Wilderness Inquiry. “Students develop increased confidence, better relationships with faculty, and throughout their college careers, they have a shared experience to refer back to that can help with problem solving.” Continue reading

Augsburg receives prestigious award for commitment to diversity

diversity(MINNEAPOLIS) – Augsburg College recently received the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — Augsburg will be featured, along with 91 other recipients, in the November 2015 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“It is essential that Augsburg work from a foundation of diversity, inclusion, equity and intercultural competency if we are to achieve our mission of truly educating students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers and responsible leaders,” said Joanne Reeck, chief diversity officer and director of campus activities and orientation.

“Augsburg is committed to the continuous work of recognizing and removing tangible and intangible barriers for all members of our community so that individuals are fully affirmed in self and progressing to their greatest potential. We are honored to receive the HEED award as an outward reflection of our commitment to diversity.” Continue reading

Media Advisory: River Semester launch is Sept. 1 at St. Paul’s Harriet Island

Media invited to paddle in flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from Harriet Island to South St. Paul

(MINNEAPOLIS) – A group of nearly 100 students, parents, high school students and members of the Augsburg College community will launch the nation’s first-ever River Semester on Sept. 1 at Kelley’s Landing on Harriet Island in St. Paul by paddling a flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from St. Paul to South St. Paul.

Members of the media are invited to participate in the kickoff event and to paddle in one of 13 voyageur canoes with students and guests to South St. Paul.

Guests and media will be transported back to Kelley’s Landing and Augsburg College.

The 16 students in the Augsburg College River Semester will continue to travel nearly 2,000 of the 2,350-mile-long-Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The group will live and study on the river until mid-December.

Members of the media can reserve paddling spots by noon, Thursday, Aug. 27, by contacting Stephanie Weiss, director of news and media services for Augsburg College at weisss@augsburg.edu.  Continue reading

Back-to-school for 16 Augsburg students means traveling the length of Mississippi River as part of nation’s first-ever River Semester

Students, from Sept. 1 to mid-December, will study, live, travel more than 1,795 miles on Mississippi from St. Paul to the Gulf of Mexico

(MINNEAPOLIS) – A class of 16 Augsburg College students led by Professor Joe Underhill will depart Sept. 1 in 24-foot voyageur canoes to spend the semester studying, researching and living on the river. The students taking part in the nation’s first-ever River Semester will travel nearly 2,000 miles of the 2,350-mile-long Mississippi River to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The group will depart from Kelley’s Landing on St. Paul’s Harriet Island in a launch event that is open to the public.

Students participating in this hands-on, interdisciplinary program will earn as many as 16 credits studying biology, environmental studies, health and physical education, and political science. Continue reading

Back-to-school for Augsburg students means spending a semester canoeing from St. Paul to New Orleans

In nation’s first-ever River Semester, students starting Sept. 1 will paddle, study, research, and live on the Mississippi River

Augsburg College River Semester: Augsburg College on Sept. 1 will launch the nation’s first-ever River Semester. Students, who will earn as many as 16 credits, will travel the length of the Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans in 24-foot voyageur canoes.

This hands-on, interdisciplinary learning experience begins in St. Paul on Sept. 1 and concludes Dec. 17 when students will arrive back home at the St. Paul Union Depot. Continue reading

President Paul C. Pribbenow conferred honorary fellowship at United International College in China

Pribbenow and Sung

UIC President Prof. Ng Ching-Fai shakes hands with Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow at UIC’s commencement ceremonies and following conferring an honorary fellowship on Pribbenow.

Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow was conferred an honorary fellowship at the 7th graduation ceremony of United International College in Zhuhai, China.

UIC Dean and Prof. M.H. Sung, in conferring the fellowship, the equivalent of an honorary degree in the United States, said the award is “in recognition of Dr. Paul C. Pribbenow‘s outstanding accomplishments in promoting liberal arts education and social ethics as well as in appreciation of his support for UIC.”

Augsburg and several other members of the Minnesota Private College Council have been partners with UIC since its founding 10 years ago as the first liberal arts college in mainland China. Learn more about the graduation and fellowship ceremonies on the UIC website.

MPR talks with Dean Gort about Auggie Plan

MPRLogoIn late May, officials from Augsburg College and Minneapolis Community and Technical College launched the Auggie Plan, a guaranteed pathway to a four-year degree for MCTC students who earn a certain GPA and who follow a particular path at MCTC. Students in the program can take a range of liberal arts courses with the knowledge the courses will be accepted by Augsburg. Listen to Minnesota Public Radio’s story, “MCTC students receive clear ticket to Augsburg College,” which included an interview with Amy Strohmeier Gort, dean of arts and sciences.

KARE 11 features Urban Debate’s Somali Debate Initiative

kareMinnesota’s first-ever Somali Debate Initiative got underway on May 27 when middle- and high-school students from Minneapolis and St. Paul schools discussed the topic of remittances to Somalia. The initiative, part of the College’s successful Minnesota Urban Debate League, was developed in partnership with members of the Somali community. Learn more about the program in the KARE 11 story, Augsburg hosts first debate tournament for Somali students, and that features MnUDL staff members Amy Cram-Helwich, executive director of MNUDL, Awale Osman ’15, community outreach intern, and students.