This past May, Minnesotans mourned the passing of Koryne Horbal. In her lifetime, Horbal launched the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus and the DFL Feminist Caucus, served as a U.S. representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and was appointed the DFL party chair at the age of 31. A vocal and unapologetic activist, Horbal was a champion for women, as well as the LGBTQ+ community. Neither the loss of her husband in 2015 nor the three strokes she subsequently suffered stopped her from working on the 2016 presidential campaign for Hillary Clinton. Horbal did not have the money to attend college in the 1950s, but Augsburg University granted her an honorary degree in 2008 due to her work as a consultant with Augsburg’s Women’s Resources Center. Koryne Horbal lives on through her children, grandchildren, and the feminist spark that she ignited in people around the world.
Mike Sime, Augsburg StepUP® program advisory board chair, talked with Paul Douglas on WCCO Radio Friday about the program’s foundation, success, and work to support other institutions in establishing recovery programs. Douglas called StepUP® a revolutionary program, as it currently is the largest residential collegian recovery program in the U.S. The program is dedicated to students in recovery from drug of alcohol abuse and provides a sober living environment and counseling.
“I look at it as a parent. If you have a student who is newly in recovery, has been sober and now you think about sending them off to college, that would be my worst nightmare, so to have a safe and supportive environment that they can come to that is clean and sober with other students, it really makes sense and creates an unique environment,” expressed Mike about the importance of having such program.
The program began after a student in recovery shared his need for a sober environment, explained Mike. The student expressed that his experience would have been easier if he had a community who was also in recovery with him. Augsburg made the commitment to develop StepUP® and through it, the program has helped over 750 students in 20 years.
Star Tribune’s Richard Chin refers to Brian Krohn ‘08 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.
Midwest Home Magazine featured a Q & A with Kristin Anderson, professor of art history and Augsburg University archivist, about her presentation, “Residential Architecture of the 1950s and 60s,” which focuses on ordinary homes from the period.
Anderson developed the presentation after she encountered strong interest in her continuing education class for real estate agents from people outside the real estate industry.
The interview by Camille LeFevre is available on the Midwest Home Magazine site.
Nationally, it is estimated that 30 percent of college students are battling substance-use disorders. Colleges and universities are asking what role they can play in helping their students stay sober. Augsburg’s StepUP program is a national leader in the field, with substance-free dorms and counselors available on site. For 20 years, StepUP has welcomed students in recovery, and continues to support those fighting addiction and seeking their degree.
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.
In 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.
“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.
In recognition of his work promoting civic engagement and non-violence, Augsburg scholar Harry Boyte has been awarded the Spirit of Gandhi Award. Boyte, the senior scholar in public work philosophy with the Augsburg Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, describes the spiritual, moral, and psychological aspects of non-violence in his Huffington Post article on the new nonviolence movement. The Spirit of Gandhi Award is given in celebration of Nonviolence Day, a globally-observed day on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, at the Minnesota State Capitol.
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.