$1 million grant prepares students for graduate school, meaningful work

AugSTEM students at Zyzzogeton
The AugSTEM Scholars Program, funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, supports students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The scholars participated in Zyzzogeton, a celebration of student research.

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.

Bill Green lends historical perspective to Black Lives Matter media coverage

Summer 2016 Pinterest6

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” Green studies 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.

In the article, “Allies on the front lines: Black Lives Matter’s non-black activists,” Green used the history of the Civil Rights movement to analyze current demonstrations and protests. He also discussed the ways “protest fatigue” could impact the movement’s progression.

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.

Congratulations to Auggies named to Fall Semester Dean’s List

Dean's ListNearly 1,000 Augsburg College undergraduate students were named to the 2015 Fall Semester Dean’s List.

The 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.

2015 Fall Semester Dean’s List PDF

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion. Visit the hometown news announcement web page for more information.

Dave Conrad writes on leadership and respect

PostBulletinIn his latest column for the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Dave Conrad, associate professor of business, counsels a reader who feels overwhelmed with conflicting advice by summarizing great leadership into one directive: treat employees with respect.

Conrad argues that, “Showing respect enhances a leader’s influence and performance,” but warns against insincerity. “I think employees are sensitive to phony displays of praise and recognition from their managers and perceive these acts as a form of manipulation,” he writes.

Read: Dave Conrad: Good leaders show employees respect on the Post-Bulletin site.

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.

Hibbing Daily Tribune touts Mike Fuenffinger as
Wrestler of the Year

The Hibbing Daily Tribune wrote about Mike Fuenffinger ’15, a Hibbing native who recently won his second consecutive NCAA Division III national title while wrestling at Augsburg College. He also was named outstanding wrestler of the NCAA tournament and then was named the NCAA 2015 Division III Wrestler of the Year.

Visit the Hibbing Daily Tribune website to learn more about Fuenffinger’s history in sports and goals for the future.