(MINNEAPOLIS) – Augsburg College is honored to announce that it has received a $10 million philanthropic gift to name a new, signature building on campus. This is the second gift of this size in the College’s history.
The donor’s generous cash contribution – which also is a naming-level gift – will support a new academic building that will house a number of the College’s academic programs including biology, business, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, psychology, and religion.
“Succeeding in today’s world requires an ability to thrive in a world that no longer has fixed boundaries,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “That is why Augsburg College is building the Center for Science, Business, and Religion – a place that will support every student in their journey of vocational discernment and pursuit of careers in teaching, civic leadership, service to the church, scientific research, law, medicine, privately owned startup companies, and large corporations.”
Harry Boyte, senior fellow of the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College, in his latest Huffington Post article spoke about a national live-streamed conversation titled, “The Changing World of Work – What Should We Ask of Higher Education?”
The conversation, which was organized by Augsburg College and drew support from the American Library Association’s Center for Civic Life, the Service Employees International Union, and other organizations, was focused on how to increase and improve citizenship among college students.
Augsburg was featured on a WCCO-TV newscast in the Twin Cities market because the College is the location for the Minneapolis Wrestling Club, a group serving area youth.
Organizer Justin Benjamin said he wanted to establish a worthwhile club that less-fortunate kids could easily join without the worry of fees. Augsburg offered to the group its wrestling venue, which features motivational icons for young wrestlers, including plaques and awards.
Institutions are recognized based on evidence of their collaboration with the larger community, which:
enriches scholarship, research, and creative activity;
enhances curriculum, teaching, and learning;
prepares educated, engaged citizens;
strengthens democratic values and civic responsibility;
addresses critical societal issues; and
contributes to the public good.
The Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification. Institutions participate voluntarily by submitting required material as part of an extensive application process. Those materials include but are not limited to a description of the nature and extent of the university’s engagement with the community — local or beyond — plus institutional commitment, its impact on students, staff, and faculty, and an assessment of initiatives geared toward community engagement.
About 8 percent of U.S. degree-granting institutions have earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification to date, and Augsburg was one of only eight Minnesota colleges or universities recognized in 2015. Augsburg previously received the Community Engagement Classification in 2008.
The New England Resource Center for Higher Education serves as Carnegie’s administrative partner, and additional information regarding the classification process is available on the NERCHE website.
Top 21 news stories featuring Augsburg faculty, staff, students, alumni
Members of the Augsburg College community were featured in more than 220 international, national, and statewide media stories in 2014. Faculty, students, alumni, friends, and staff shared expertise on scholarship and pedagogy, experience as Auggies, and insight on current and special events. Here we take a look at a very small fraction of the many times Auggies made the news during the year. Thanks to all those who shared their time and stories and helped put Augsburg at the table on so many topics.
John Zobitz talks to International Business Times: Associate Professor of Mathematics and environmental science researcher John Zobitz helped to answer the question posed by many in the wake of a recent record-setting snowfall in the Buffalo, N.Y. area — Why is it so cold and snowy in November? The reason is global warming, according to Zobitz and other scientists studying the Earth’s climate. Read more about how changes in the Earth’s temperature influence weather patterns on the International Business Times website.
Auggies in the Augsburger Allegmeine: Three Auggies were featured in a story in the Augsburger Allegmeine’s series, “We are all Augsburger.” Natalya Brown’14, Kayla Feuchtmann’14, and Jens Pinther’14 shared photos of themselves on campus, their areas of study, and comments about Augsburg College’s namesake with the German newspaper’s Nicole Prestle. See the story on the Augsburger Allegmeine website. Click on the photo in the story to go to a gallery of photos of the three students.
Katie Clark in Girls’ Life magazine: Nursing instructor and the director of the Health Commons, Katie Clark, spoke in July with Girls’ Life magazine to answer questions posed by the magazine’s readers. The publication, which has a readership of more than 2 million girls ages 10-15, is sold at many major bookstores throughout the nation. Clark answered a range of questions for the August/September issue of the magazine.
Stephan Eirik Clark all over the place: Augsburg Assistant Professor Stephan Eirik Clark was featured in media across the nation after his debut novel, Sweetness #9, received the “Colbert Bump” on The Colbert Report. In many instances, Augsburg College was mentioned. See a range of the coverage on the News and Media blog under the tag “Stephan Eirik Clark.”
Yemi Melka’15 featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Yemissrach “Yemi” Melka ’15, a chemistry and international relations student, recently spoke with Beckie Supiano of The Chronicle of Higher Educationabout Melka’s participation in the Model United Nations. Melka, a Peace Scholar, is interested in exploring how scientists can use their expertise to promote international peacemaking. Listen to “A Science Student Talks Her Way onto the Model UN Team.”
Alex Peterson ’16 talks with The Scientist: Augsburg College StepUP student Alex Peterson ’16 was interviewed for the cover story in the February edition of The Scientist magazine for an article titled “Pain and Progress: Is it possible to make a nonaddictive opioid painkiller.” Peterson, a student in Augsburg’s successful StepUP program for students in addiction recovery, shared his story and perspective on opioids. Read the article here.
Hans Wiersma in Christian Science Monitor: Hans Wiersma, associate professor of religion, spoke with the Christian Science Monitorabout whether a Baptist church in Kansas could continue after the passing of its charismatic founder. Read Wiersma’s comments in the article “Could Westboro Baptist survive without founder Fred Phelps.”
Janice Gladden ’14 talks with WCCO: WCCO profiled the graduation from Augsburg College of Janice Gladden ’14, who left college 35 years earlier. Gladden put on hold the education her father urged her to pursue while her husband developed his baseball-playing career, going from an amateur free agent to major league star. Her husband would become a champion left- and center-fielder for the Minnesota Twins and go on to play in two World Series. She shares the story of returning to pursue her college education, of finishing what she started at the urging of her daughter (also an Auggie), and of her early years working to support her husband. Dan Gladden shares his pride in seeing his wife graduate. Watch the WCCO story, “35 years later, woman who put school on hold for former Twins player graduates.”
Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ’16 talks with media: Auggie Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ’16 spoke at length with media in the days before the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Forum about meeting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at several junctures throughout Paichang’s life. Read “Dalai Lama’s visit will be third juncture for Augsburg student,” by Maja Beckstrom, Pioneer Press. Paichang also shared his story with WCCO. Watch “Dalai Lama visits Minneapolis for NPPF and Tibetan New Year,” by Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield, WCCO. Additional coverage of the NPPF — totaling more than 40 stories — is on the News and Media blog by searching for “NPPF.”
President Paul Pribbenow talks to MPR: Minnesota Public Radio’s higher education reporter, Alex Friedrich, visited Augsburg College’s campus to experience a day in the life of an Auggie. Friedrich blogged throughout the day about his experiences and found that Augsburg College has a wide variety of traditions and experiences to offer to its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and also to its neighboring communities, as well. During the visit, he met with Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow to discuss Pribbenow’s vision for the College, his commitment to Augsburg students, and his passion for bow ties. Read “The man leading a changing Augsburg.” More stories from the MPR visit are featured in “MPR offers readers a glimpse into Augsburg College life.”
Jennifer Simon talks with KSTP 5: Jennifer Simon, director of Augsburg College’s American Indian Student Services, talked to KSTP TV about the College’s 6th Traditional Powwow. Simon shared highlights of the powwow, including recognition of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for a gift of $250,000 for endowed scholarships to support American Indian students. Watch “Traditional Powwow at Augsburg College Thanks Local Sioux Tribe.”
Stories Featuring Faculty
Phil Adamo on KARE 11: Associate professor of history and director of Medieval Studies at Augsburg College, Phil Adamo, was a guest on KARE 11 on Halloween to talk about the origins of the holiday. Adamo shared with Diana Pierce and viewers how Halloween started as a Celtic festival that celebrated the final harvest and eventually was incorporated into Christian traditions to lure non-Christians into the Church. He also discussed the origins of the bonfire, jack-o-lanterns, and Halloween candy. Watch the segment “Halloween History 101” on KARE.
Andy Aoki on KARE 11: Political Science Prof. Andy Aoki spoke with KARE 11 about the importance of creating diverse police departments in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The story, which took a look at local police departments, was being explored in light of recent clashes between the public and police in Ferguson, Missouri. Watch the interview on “Ferguson fallout: Looking at local police diversity.”
Joseph Erickson in the Pioneer Press: Professor of education and former member of the Minneapolis school board Joseph Erickson spoke with the paper for perspective on contract talks between the St. Paul Public Schools and the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. Erickson told reporter Mila Koumpilova that the agreement, which averted a strike, represents a “creative mix of contract changes, addendums to the contract and board resolutions.” Read the full story on the Pioneer Press website.
Jenny Kluznik ’13 in Mpls. St. Paul Magazine: Assistant Professor Jenny Kluznik ’13 MPA, who teaches in the physician’s assistant program, spoke with Mpls. St. Paul Magazine about her decision to return to college so she could join the fast-growing PA field. Kluznik shared her decision to become a PA, why she picked Augsburg College, and shared advice for those considering going back to school. The profile of Kluznik was part of a longer story that explored education needs behind some of Minnesota’s fastest-growing careers. Read “Jenny Kluznik, 33.”
Joyce P. Miller in OR Today: Joyce Miller, an assistant professor of nursing, was profiled in OR Today about her nearly 40-year career as a nurse, transition to the classroom, and work in diverse communities through the Health Commons projects. Miller, DNP, RN, shares in the story her perspective on transcultural nursing, actively listening to the needs of patients, the complexity of healthcare, and the importance of establishing rapport and trust with patients. Read “Spotlight On: Joyce P. Miller, DNP, RN” in the online edition of OR Today.
Michael Wentzel on KSTP 5: Mike Wentzel, assistant professor of chemistry at Augsburg College, spoke with KSTP TV about a new study that found marinating meat in dark beer reduces the cancer-causing carcinogens that form when grilling. Wentzel said that a chemical in beer is shown to lessen the formation of harmful molecules during the grilling process and, therefore, can help lower the harm to people who eat grilled meats. Watch the KSTP story “Augsburg chemist: Marinating meat in beer reduces cancer-causing chemicals.”
For more faculty featured in the news, search the Faculty category on the News and Media blog.
Stories Featuring Alumni and Friends
StepUP supporters speak with MinnPost: Kevin and Polly Hart, mentors for Augsburg’s StepUP Program, were honored at the annual StepUP Gala for their avid support of the program. The Harts, who have volunteered with StepUP for several years and are in recovery from addiction, were presented the Toby Piper LaBelle Award for their dedication to serving students in recovery. Kevin Hart spoke about the honor and his work with the recovery community in “Sobriety champion Kevin Hart offers financial and emotional support to people in recovery.”
Edor Nelson ’38 earns statewide attention: Legendary Auggie coach, athlete and instructor Edor Nelson ’38 died August 27 at the age of 100. Nelson, who led the Auggie football and baseball teams for nearly four decades, died only nine days after a centennial birthday celebration at Augsburg where hundreds of friends and Auggies turned out to honor him. Nelson’s birthday celebration and his death garnered an outpouring of attention thanks to the hard work of staff in the Athletics Departments. See the coverage in “Coach Edor Nelson’38 honored by community, media.”
Amineh Safi’14 in Star Tribune: Star Tribune columnist Gail Rosenblum featured Augsburg College student Amineh Safi’14 in a recent story examining news coverage of Muslims. In the column, Safi described findings from her research on the portrayal of Muslims in the media and her experiences with diversity in college. Safi’s research opportunity was offered through the McNair Scholars program at Augsburg and conducted under the mentorship of Diane Pike, sociology professor, who also was quoted in the column. Read “Time to look at news coverage of Muslims” on the Star Tribune website.
Kuoth Wiel ’13 in national media: Social psychology major Kuoth Wiel ’13, a star in the feature film “The Good Lie,” has garnered a plethora of media coverage. The film, which was released in Minnesota Oct. 17, has been well received and is generating Oscar buzz. Augsburg has received several media mentions thanks to Wiel, both prior to her graduation when the College sought to place her story with media, and since the film’s release. Check out the most recent coverage in “Kuoth Wiel ’13 gains wealth of media coverage.”
Augsburg was the only Minnesota college or university named a finalist on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s 2014 Interfaith Community Service Honor Roll as well as on the Corporation’s General Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.
Augsburg is one of only four colleges nationwide to be named a finalist in the interfaith category, an honor that recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.
There are four categories for the honor roll: general community service, interfaith community service, economic opportunity, and education. Only four higher education institutions are named recipients of the general President’s Award — a distinction Augsburg held in 2010 — and 16 other schools are named finalists, four in each category.
The Honor Roll recognizes more than 750 colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative, and effective community service programs. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
The interfaith community service category recognized Augsburg for its institution-wide shift toward greater interfaith cooperation and interfaith service. Three project examples connected with this effort include the College’s collaboration with the Interfaith Youth Corps, a group devoted to building the interfaith movement on college campuses; the work of the Augsburg College Interfaith Scholars, of group of Augsburg students who are interested in exploring the religious diversity of the College’s student body, the wider Twin Cities community, and the United States through interreligious dialogue; and an Inclusiveness Reading Circle, a group that supported interfaith intergroup dialogue.
Alex Friedrich, Minnesota Public Radio’s higher education reporter, visited Augsburg College’s campus to experience a day in the life of an Auggie. Friedrich spent Dec. 5 blogging about his experiences and found that Augsburg College has a wide variety of traditions and experiences to offer to its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and also to its neighboring communities, as well.
Read and watch his posts on the “On Campus” blog here:
Herb Chilstrom ’54 was highlighted in Arizona’s Green Valley News thanks to his newest book, “My friend Jonah and other dogs I’ve loved.”
Chilstrom, who was the first Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, captured the heart of a Green Valley News editor – Dan Sheare – after he reviewed the book for the news site. The book, Sheare said, “…relates stories that provide plenty of evidence that dogs can be great teachers — if you’re paying attention.”