U of M students identify Augsburg’s StepUp recovery community as “exemplary model”

Journalism students
U of M students look to Augsburg’s StepUp program as recovery community role model. Image by MinnPost.

University of Minnesota journalism students identified Augsburg’s StepUp program as a role model, according to a MinnPost article.

The StepUP Program at Augsburg strives to help students champion lives of recovery, achieve academic success, and thrive in a community of accountability and support.

“As soon as you start to look for recovery colleges, you see Augsburg because it is such an exemplary model,” U of M student Alex Wittenberg told MinnPost.

Tamarah Gehlen, StepUp’s director, said in the MinnPost story that the need for the program is demonstrated and it’s working. “We have produced wonderful results.”

Read the full story at MinnPost .

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.

Moody’s revises Augsburg University’s outlook to stable and affirms Baa3 credit rating

Moody’s Investor Service today revised Augsburg University’s outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the University’s Baa3 credit rating.

Moody’s cited Augsburg’s improved liquidity, effective fiscal oversight, successful fundraising, diverse program offerings, and urban Twin Cities location as strengths supporting its credit opinion. The report also noted that Augsburg continues to operate in a highly competitive student market and has moderately high debt relative to cash and investments.

“This favorable outcome is a great accomplishment, and one we’ve worked hard to achieve,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “It’s a reflection of Augsburg’s competitive strengths — including our distinct market identity and diverse enrollment — as well as our intentional, sustained efforts driving dramatic improvements in liquidity.”

See the April 5, 2018 Moody’s news release.