Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, recently was interviewed on Prairie Pulse, a program on Prairie Public Television. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which examines both the history of the Nonpartisan League and its lasting effects on politics and community organizing. In the 25-minute interview, Lansing speaks about the genesis of the book, his research process, women’s involvement in the League, and many other topics.
Watch: Prairie Pulse 1308: Michael Lansing on Prairie Public Broadcasting’s YouTube channel.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press included Phillip Adamo, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, in its coverage of recent education news. Adamo was named the 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. More information about Adamo and the award is available on Augsburg’s News and Media blog.
Read: Education notes: News from schools near you on the Pioneer Press site.
Audrey Lensmire, director of Augsburg College’s East African Student to Teacher (EAST) program, and program participant Salah Ali ’17 were interviewed by MinnPost for a report on Minnesota’s growing number of Somali-Americans working toward careers in education. The article notes that the number of Somalis resettling in the state has more than tripled in recent years, which has caused an influx of Somali students and created a need for teachers, counselors, and socials workers with a deep understanding of Somali culture.
The EAST program is funded by the state’s Collaborative Urban Educator program and seeks to graduate and license K-12 teachers of East African origin. In the article, Lensmire is quoted as saying, “Typically, becoming a professional teacher has been available only to people who have money and the means to get the license.” The EAST program offers financial assistance by providing students with full tuition scholarships as they seek licensure.
Augsburg’s program is one of several made possible by the CUE program. In the article, Ali notes that he knows many Somali students in similar programs at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota. “A lot of us are in the education field right now. Many are doing social studies and ESL programs and counseling licenses,” he said.
Read: More young Somali-Americans are choosing careers in education on the MinnPost site.
Melissa Hensley, assistant professor of social work at Augsburg College, was quoted in a Star Tribune article about the substantial benefits that Habitat for Humanity homes provide to families who move into them. The article reports on the exceptionally positive findings in a newly released study by Wilder Research of more than 400 families. The improvements in the families’ lives include higher income, less reliance on government social programs, an increased sense of security, and better childhood performance in school.
In the article, Hensley states that the Habitat model, in which participants help construct their new homes, provides a sense of pride and cooperation that has ripple effects throughout the families’ lives. “Most individuals want to be engaged in a constructive activity,” she said. “This is something people feel they’re a part of and can be proud of.” She goes on to note that by “Enabling them to move into a place where they have stability and safety, they can blossom.”
Read: Habitat for Humanity dramatically improves families’ lives, study finds on the Star Tribune site.
(SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA) — Augsburg College History Department faculty members Kirsten Delegard and Michael Lansing were presented the Alice Smith Prize for best public history project completed in the previous calendar year by the Midwestern History Association.
The Historyapolis Project (historyapolis.com and facebook.com/TheHistoryapolisProject) was created when Delegard, a current scholar-in-residence at Augsburg College, realized that her hometown of Minneapolis was blind to its own tumultuous history, more comfortable planning for the future than confronting the past. Augsburg students are deeply involved with the project, which aims to make the city’s history accessible and helps catalyze community dialogue around challenging aspects of local history.
Delegard holds a doctorate in history from Duke University and is the author of “Battling Miss Bolsheviki: The Origins of Female Conservatism in the United States” (Penn, 2012). Delegard was also the co-editor, with Nancy A. Hewitt, for the two-volume textbook “Women, Families and Communities: Readings in American History“ (Longman Publishing, 2008). As part of the Historyapolis Project, Delegard is at work on a new history of Minneapolis, which is tentatively titled “City of Light and Darkness: The Making of a Progressive Metropolis in Minneapolis.”
Scott Washburn, assistant director of Augsburg College’s StepUP® program and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, was one of three experts interviewed by MinnPost in an article examining the impact of Minnesota’s legalization of medical marijuana on teens’ views of the drug. Citing multiple studies, the article explains that there is growing concern that recent legalization of the drug will result in a lower perceived risk, which could result in increased teen use.
In the article, Washburn agrees that there is a correlation between the perceived risks associated with using a substance and actual use of it. He references an ongoing University of Michigan study that tracks high school students’ views and habits regarding a variety of substances. In looking at their data on tobacco and marijuana use, he says, “What’s noteworthy is that in 2010, those two lines crossed. Tobacco use started to decline in 1998 continuing up to 2014. But marijuana use continued to go up and eventually was higher than tobacco use.” Washburn attributes this reversal to our culture’s “significant shift in attitude about marijuana use.”
Washburn then outlines his approach to unraveling what teens and students sometimes see as mixed messages, that the drug is medically beneficial while being potentially addictive and harmful. “I tell my students that just because a drug can harm you doesn’t also mean that it can’t help you,” he says in the article. He adds that, “Vicodin and Oxycodone are legal drugs, but just because they are prescribed by physicians for valid reasons doesn’t mean that they can’t be harmful and dangerous when used incorrectly.”
Read: ‘It’s just pot’: Does legalization of medical marijuana change teens’ attitudes about it? on the MinnPost site.
[Updated November 13] — 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.
In 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.
Pioneer Public Television and the Chippewa County Historical Society have announced that they will co-sponsor a reading, book signing, and discussion with Michael J. Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College. Lansing will read from his new book “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics.”
According to the announcement, Lansing’s book gives a historical account of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active from 1915 to 1920 as a means of limiting corporate influence in politics in favor of an empowered citizenship. Lansing argues that the League’s success and collapse offer valuable lessons that are applicable to popular movements in modern politics.
The event will take place on November 19 at the Montevideo Chippewa County Public Library. For more information, see the announcement on the Pioneer Public Television site.
In his most recent article for the Huffington Post, Harry Boyte, senior scholar in Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, argues in favor of a relationship-based model for engaging students in democratic society.
Boyte refers to the “organizing” versus “mobilizing” model pioneered by civil rights leaders such as Ella Baker and Bob Moses. In this view of activism, mobilizing is goal-driven and short-lived, while organizing is relationship-driven and sustains engagement over time. Boyte draws a parallel between these different types of activism and educational approaches that focus either on outcomes–such as test scores–or personal growth and agency.
Read: Education as a New Frontier of Democracy at the Huffington Post.