The Augsburg Education Department East African Student to Teacher program partnered with The Minnesota Education Equity Partnership to research and publish the report Somali Student Achievement in Minnesota about the state’s largest East African diaspora community.
This report, which was released and discussed at a launch event in May at Augsburg, invites readers to consider and recommend innovative practices to strengthen academic achievement for Somali students and to guide educators across Minnesota to better support Somali students and their families.
The Society for Human Resource Management, the nation’s leading human resources organization, highlighted Augsburg’s strong commitment to transit and environmental stewardship.
Following a 2015 survey in which 78 percent of Augsburg employees said they drove alone to work, the university aimed to reduce those solo trips by 28 percent, which it eventually did, the article noted.
Last December’s federal tax legislation made changes to employers regarding commuting benefits, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
“I don’t see it changing what Augsburg University does for our faculty and staff or our students, mainly because we have a strong commitment to both environmental stewardship and our community,” said Nicole Peterlin, Augsburg’s human resources specialist.
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt reported about how Augsburg’s StepUp program has successfully helped students in recovery to graduate.
NBC’S Catie Beck talked with Neil King ’18 about the support StepUP provided him while he was a full-time student at Augsburg.
According to NBC, King began using drugs at age 14, and discovered Augsburg’s StepUp program four months into his recovery. “I really learned to believe in myself, and my skills and capabilities,” said King, who is now heading to graduate school.
StepUp Program Director Tamarah Gehlen also was interviewed by NBC. “We always say that no one should have to choose between recovery and a college education.”
According to WCCO, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Netflix, Amazon, John Deere and more have all recently announced they are raising prices. So why are things getting more expensive?
To answer this question, WCCO’S Heather Brown spoke with Augsburg’s Business Department Chair Jeanne Boeh. “Prices are going up partly because people have more income,” Boeh said.
There are two main ways for inflation to occur, Boeh explained to WCCO. The first is called “demand pull,” and that is when people have more money, they demand more and, in turn, businesses charge more. The second way is “cost push” inflation, when the inputs — like gas or wages — that go into a making a good or service rise.
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.”
Cory 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.”
KSTP 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.
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.
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.