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.

Support for Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama

(Updated 6/11/2018)

Augsburg University is sharing this background about the immigration case involving Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama to keep our campus and the public informed.

Next meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Dr. Wanyama and Mary Mzenga attended their monthly check-in appointment at Immigration and Customs Enforcement on June 7. The ICE office asked them to return on June 29 for their next check-in. ICE still expects them to leave the U.S. by July 4.

Background
On April 5, Dr. Wanyama and his wife, Mary Mzenga, were informed in a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ICE would allow them 90 days to depart the United States.

Augsburg University statements
Augsburg issued a statement from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow following the Wanaymas’ April 5 ICE meeting, as well as statements before and following the previous ICE meeting, on March 9. These statements are posted below:

Augsburg University Faculty Senate statement
The Faculty Senate of Augsburg University wishes to express our unanimous and unconditional support for our friend and colleague, Professor Mzenga Wanyama. We urge all those who care about Professor Wanyama to consider signing the petition on his behalf at https://www.change.org/p/augsburg-university-support-augsburg-professor-mzenga-wanyama.

Augsburg University faculty statement
The Augsburg University faculty calls on the U.S. government to halt plans for the unjust deportation of our colleague Professor Mzenga Wanyama and his spouse and Augsburg nursing student Mary Mzenga and to permit their continued work and residence in the US. We stand against the anti-immigrant sentiment that is prompting the current wave of deportations and proudly affirm our status as an institution that supports the many immigrant and refugee members of our academic community.

Website
A website, www.mzenga.com, has been created by friends and supporters of Mzenga and Mary Wanyama. The site includes a statement from the Wanyamas, information about the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting, and information about getting involved and providing support.

Work authorization and sponsorship
Augsburg University complies with federal law that requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Dr. Wanyama has authorization to work in the United States, issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sponsorship for permanent resident status is not an option at this time due to a restriction related to a J-1 two-year home residency requirement. The two-year home residency requirement means that those who come to the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status, or get work or family-based visa status until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively. A request to waive the two-year home residency requirement was filed several years ago, but the waiver was denied. Augsburg is working with legal counsel to pursue all options available to us under the current scenario.

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.

News reports: Augsburg professor challenges Economist ranking Minneapolis third most expensive in North America

 

Jeanne Boeh talks to Kare11
Jeanne Boeh talks with Kare11

When The Economist named Minneapolis the third most expensive city to live in North America, just after New York and Los Angeles, reporters from Kare11, Fox 9, and WCCO turned to Augsburg University Professor of Economics Jeanne Boeh for answers. Kare 11’s Gordon Severson questioned the ranking, given that the latest U.S. Census data listed Minneapolis as the 46th most populated city. The Economist study analyzed 150 items such as food, utility bills, rent, and private schools, but left out the cost of owning a home.

Boeh, also chair of the Business Administration department at Augsburg, argues that the study isn’t exactly accurate. “It doesn’t really reflect the average experience of the people who are living here right now,” Boeh tells Kare 11. “If I go to San Francisco, which technically we’re supposed to be more expensive than, the average cost of a house is well over half a million dollars. So, it doesn’t really make sense that Minneapolis would cost more to live in.”

While the study’s measures may be more applicable for high-end executives who travel internationally, Boeh says it’s not an accurate representation when it comes to the average Minnesotan.

See full story on the Kare 11 website.

Related articles: WCCO, Fox 9

See full report from The Economist on The Economist website.

Augsburg’s Board of Regents honored for leadership

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges logo

Augsburg’s Board of Regents was awarded the 2017 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership for efforts including initiating an inclusive, five-year strategic planning effort and leading the institution’s largest-ever capital campaign. The formal recognition is to come in April at the Association of Governing Board of Universities and Colleges National Conference on Trusteeship held in San Francisco. This year’s honorees were chosen from about 40 nominations nationwide.

“Traditionally, governing boards have stayed out of the public eye except when something goes wrong,” said Richard Legon, president of the association’s board of directors. “But it is important that we honor the best of us, and inspire good governance practices in others. These boards’ stories represent some of the sharpest and most innovative thinking in the sector.”

Now in its third year, the award is named for higher education leader John W. Nason, recognizing his work as chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council in helping more than 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the U.S. during World War II.

Learn more about the award on the Association of Governing Board of Universities and Colleges website.

President Paul C. Pribbenow appointed to Governor’s Workforce Development Board

Minnesota Governor’s Workforce Development Board logoMinnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed Augsburg University President Paul C. Pribbenow to a three-year term on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. The board represents key leaders from business, education, labor, community-based organizations, and government to advise the governor on Minnesota’s workforce system.

“I’m proud to represent the state’s private higher education sector as a member of this board,” said Pribbenow, “and to have Augsburg engaged in an integrated effort linking government, employers, education, workforce centers, and employees to sustain a vibrant and equitable Minnesota economy.”

The board, which meets quarterly, analyzes and recommends workforce development policies to the governor and the Minnesota legislature to ensure a globally competitive labor pool for the state.

Learn more about the Governor’s Workforce Development Board on their website.

 

Star Tribune interviews finance professor Marc McIntosh about new Hagfors Center

Marc McIntosh, Finance professor

In a recent Star Tribune article, reporter Neal St. Anthony spoke with Marc McIntosh, professor of Finance at Augsburg University, about the new home for the business department at the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

“It brings alive the course materials,” McIntosh said about the building’s state-of-the art technology. “This building is not just about studying stock-and-bond markets. … We’re active, including working with small business owners from Somalia and Ethiopia. We also work in the area of financial literacy. And also what really separates us is our diversity.”

The article also highlighted other attributes of Augsburg. “The university is best known for its inner-city location, solid academics and presidential recognition for community service; to say nothing of its MIAC-championship basketball team playing in the NCAA Division III tournament this weekend,” St. Anthony wrote.

 

Read full article on the Star Tribune website.