Brian Krohn Creates a Cell Phone Application to Combat Snoring

Brian Krohn presenting his application, Soundly.
Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune.

Star Tribune’s Richard Chin refers to Brian Krohn ‘09 as a “Minnesota Genius” in his article. Among Krohn’s creations are surgery tools, wizard staffs, a cycling workout app, and more recently, Soundly, a cell phone application designed to help people who snore by getting them to play a voice-activated game to strengthen their upper airway muscles.

While at Augsburg, Krohn switched majors from film to chemistry, that’s when his interest to becoming a scientist began. His undergraduate research led him to “Good Morning America” where he talked about a process to produce environmentally-friendly fuel, which was later commercialized in the development of a $9 million pilot plant.

“A lot of times I get a little bug about something, I kind of just do things and see where they go” says Krohn about his ventures.

Read full story at the Star Tribune site.

Matthew Demond speaks at Augsburg about his Pulitzer prize-winning book, “Evicted.”

Matthew Desmond speaking at Augsburg University
Photo by Greta Kaul – MinnPost

Housing prices are going up, and so are the number of evictions in the Twin Cities. Evictions are specially affecting some of the most disadvantaged populations. Matthew Demond, professor at Princeton University, spoke at Augsburg University about his Pulitzer prize-winning book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”. In this book, he follows eight families in Milwaukee and documents their struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

“Oftentimes evictions aren’t a condition of poverty, they’re a cause of it. In the Midwest, with cold winters, evictions spike in the summer because many people who struggle to pay for housing expenses pay their landlords in the winter, when utilities companies are banned from shutting off the gas, and switch to paying the utility company in the summer”, Desmond explained to a packed house at Augsburg University.

Read full story at the MinnPost site.

History Professor Michael Lansing Discusses the Beginnings of Processed Food in America

WUNC 91.5 radio station logoIn a conversation with radio host Frank Stasio, Michael Lansing, history professor and chair of the history department at Augsburg University, explores the beginnings of processed food in America. Lansing takes a step back to the 1870’s, the root of the industrial food take off in the diet of Americans.

He identified processed meat, canned food, and carbohydrates as the three primary sectors in this new diet. Lansing touched on some factors that affected the change of diets, declaring that intensive marketing campaigns convinced consumers to believe industrial food was better for their lifestyle. Cheap railroad transportation and the negotiations made by mass producers allowed them to sell at a cheaper price than local makers. In the early 20th century, more people began to move from rural to urban areas, which reduced the opportunity to farm their own food, making industrial food more reliable, explains Lansing.

Listen to the full radio broadcast at the WUNC 91.5 site.

Study by Jay Wallasper Predicts Market Growth in the Cycling Industry

Jay Wallasper photo
Jay Wallasper, Cycling Industry News

“The Surprising Promise of Bicycling Study in America” is a study conducted by Jay Wallasper, Senior Fellow at Project for Public Spaces and an Urban-Writer-in-Residence at Augsburg University. In the study, Wallasper and Melissa Blamer focus on advocacy, along with information useful to the cycling industry, such as the growth of bike share and infrastructure, the untapped demographic potential, and the deepening influence of grassroots advocacy. The study’s findings explain the impact that infrastructure for cycling has on the future growth potential, as well as the health benefits to bicycling, and the economic worth of cycling for transport.

See full story at the Cycling Industry News site.

Joseph Underhill in Support of ICAN’s 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Recognition

ICAN executive director Beatrice Fihnand steering committee members Daniel Hogsta and Grethe Ostern.
Photo: Martial Trezzini, Keystone Via AP

Joseph Underhill, program director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum talks with the Star Tribune’s John Rash about how ICAN’s award “fits very squarely within the mandate and framework of the Nobel Peace Prize as outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel, given its emphasis on disarmament, peace conferences and promotion of fraternity among nations.”

Geneva-based International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

Weapons are “seen as an ongoing concern,” but that the Nobel committee was clearly “signaling concern about the current risks of nuclear conflict given the level of tension and the rhetoric around the Korean Peninsula and the leadership in both the U.S. and North Korea” adds Underhill, who is also an associate professor of political science at Augsburg University, where the Nobel Peace Prize Forum took place last month.

See full story at the Star Tribune site.

Professor Andy Aoki discusses international and local politics on KSTP’s Political Insider

Augsburg Professor and Political Science Chair Andrew Aoki discusses United Nations, North Korea, and the Minnesota state budget on “Political Insider.”

Augsburg University Professor and Political Science Chair Andrew Aoki joined KSTP’s Tom Hauser on the weekly news segment, Political Insider to discuss President Donald J. Trump’s September address to the United Nations. Aoki also discussed local political dynamics between the Minnesota State Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton in the interview.

See the full “Political Insider” interview.

Hex Houses for Hurricane Victims and Refugees

Hex House
Builders work in Murphy Square Park to complete the “Hex House” model. Photo: Kare 11

This fall’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum showcased the innovative “Hex House,” a pop-up emergency shelter created to help respond to refugee and natural disaster housing crises. As part of Augsburg University’s continued commitment to social justice and technology, this six-sided, 510 square-foot prototype was constructed and on display at Murphy Square throughout the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum. The tiny houses can be packed in a kit, shipped flat, and assembled with tools and instructions, much like an IKEA design.

See the stories at KARE 11KSTP, and the Star Tribune.

 

Augsburg Faculty Receives Research Fellowship

Alicia Quella, associate professor and program director of the Augsburg University Physician Assistant program.

Augsburg Associate Professor and Physician Assistant Program Director Alicia Quella has received an AAPA-PAEA Inaugural Research Fellowship. This new fellowship program is sponsored by the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Physician Assistant Education Association. Each fellow’s institution will receive a grant of up to $25,000, which will allow recipients to focus on one of a number of research topics developed by the fellowship’s organizers. Quella also was awarded an AAPA Global Health grant in 2015.

Read more about the Inaugural Research Fellowship.

KARE 11 discusses the legacy of discriminatory housing policies with the Mapping Prejudice Project

Three researchers seated in a long room with file cabinets and tables.
Kirsten Delegard and other Mapping Prejudice researchers talk with KARE 11 about their project.

In a conversation with KARE 11 Reporter Adrienne Broaddus, Kirsten Delegard, Augsburg University scholar-in-residence and director of the Mapping Prejudice project, discussed the lasting impact of historically discriminatory housing policies in Minneapolis.

“People think that because we didn’t have segregated water fountains or waiting rooms that we didn’t have segregation in Minneapolis,” she said, “but racial covenants determined who could live where … We are still living with the legacy of these policies. We can point to all kinds of disparities especially in area of home ownership that we are living with today because of these polices enforced over the last century.”

The Mapping Prejudice project, once complete, will be the first comprehensive map of racial covenants for a U.S. city. Watch the KARE 11 report about the project.

 

Minnesota Daily features the Mapping Prejudice Project’s work to uncover Minneapolis’ discriminatory housing past

Three researchers looking at a paper map of Minneapolis
Researchers in the Mapping Prejudice project review a Minneapolis map. Photo: Minnesota Daily

Under the Mapping Prejudice Project, scholars from the University of Minnesota and Augsburg University have analyzed over 1.4 million historic Minneapolis housing deeds, finding racist language in more 20,000 documents. These racial covenants forbidding the sale of property to people of color are no longer legally enforceable, but researchers hope documenting this side of the city’s history will influence urban planning in years to come.

This article describes the methods that the Mapping Prejudice researchers use to conduct their work and discusses the motivations for the project with project director and Augsburg scholar-in-residence Kirsten Delegard.

The research group plans to map Minneapolis by the end of 2017 and all of Hennepin County next year.

Read the full story at the Minnesota Daily News site.