Star Tribune Explores Diversity at Augsburg University

Star Tribune photo

The Star Tribune showcased Augsburg’s work to build an inclusive learning community as the student body has become increasingly diverse.

There is much challenging work underway, and we are grateful for the many student voices and perspectives helping shape Augsburg’s response to the very real issues of discrimination in our world.

View the article.

 

History Professor Bill Green talks with Prairie Public about his new book

Bill Gree's book coverAugsburg History Professor Bill Green was interviewed by Prairie Public about his new book “The Children of Lincoln: White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860-1876.”

Green has published articles, op-ed pieces, and book chapters on history, law, and education, and he has previously published books on race and civil rights in Minnesota history. He also has served as a past president of the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Listen to his interview here.

 

MPR News highlights artwork at the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion

Art at Hagfors CenterAugsburg University President Paul Pribbenow spoke with Marianne Combs of MPR News about the artwork in the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

Forecast Public Art connected Augsburg with a network of diverse artists, then helped create a selection process that would knit together the different disciplines taught at Augsburg.

“That was important to us because, at this point, Augsburg’s undergraduate population is almost 50 percent students of color, and so we want to reflect the communities they come from,” Pribbenow said.

During the interview with Combs, Pribbenow also pointed to the art across the glass windows, depicting Martin Luther’s handwritten version of ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God.’

See full article and a link to the audio at the MPR News website.

Learn about the artists.

Star Tribune: Composition Assistant Professor Reinaldo Moya Narrates Migrant Journey

Reinaldo Moya’s “The Way North” tells the story of a Central American migrant making a journey to the United States through Mexico, leaving everything behind. Moya is a Composition Assistant Professor at Augsburg University and was recently featured in a Star Tribune article about “The Way North,” the main work on Minneapolis pianist Matthew McCright’s new album.

“I got a grant from the State Arts Board. Reinaldo and I had been talking about what we might do for the project.” McCright said. “We came up with the idea of immigration — a very rough idea in the beginning, of a migrant journey to the United States.”

Read the complete Star Tribune story.

 

Associate History Professor Michael Lansing featured in two TV documentaries

 Michael Lansing
Michael Lansing on “Flour Power”.

Augsburg Department of History Chair Michael Lansing was interviewed for Minnesota Experience’s first-ever episode of “Flour Power,” a new weekly history series from TPT – Twin Cities PBS.

The episode, which premiered September 17, explored the impact that Minnesota’s milling history had on the carbohydrates we consume every day worldwide.

Stream the full episode at the TPT – Twin Cities PBS website.

Earlier in September, Lansing was featured in “The Rise and Fall of the Nonpartisan League,” a documentary series from Prairie Public Television (North Dakota). In 2015, Lansing published his book Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics, then served as an advisor for the series.

Watch part 1 at Prairie Public’s YouTube channel.

WCCO-TV features Professor of Sociology Diane Pike’s “tech-free” classroom

Diane PikeTechnology has become a powerful tool for many educators. Many agree it makes learning more fun and engaging, while other educators such as Augsburg University Professor of Sociology and Department Chair Diane Pike opt for a “tech free” classroom. Pike has restricted technology use in her classroom for 10 years now.

My goal is to have you not look at your phone for 70 minutes,” Pike told WCCO-TV. “The research is really clear that being on your phone in class is distracting.” Since implementing her tech-free zone, Pike has not had significant issues. She says her small class sizes, around 25 students, make it easier to manage.

English prof Robert Cowgill remains hopeful about the future of Liberal Arts

 

English major Connor Doebbert shaking hands with Prof. George Dierberger at Augsburg's 2017 spring commencement.
English major Connor Doebbert shaking hands with Prof. George Dierberger at Augsburg’s 2017 spring commencement.

The notable preference for STEM programs has negatively affected the number of English majors in the United States. Retired English professor Madelon Sprengnether from the University of Minnesota paid close attention to the numbers. Sprengnether reached out to her former student, professor Robert Cowgill, chair of the Department of English at Augsburg University to discuss why English (and other humanities disciplines) still hold appeal. “As I age, I see us all as a circle of writers and teachers in this city who have kept a certain flame of sensibility alive in our students,” Cowgill said. “I think we matter. What we keep alive matters.”

See full article at the Star Tribune website.

Psychology prof Bridget Robinson-Riegler explains nostalgia and the return of “Murphy Brown”

Bridget Robinson-Riegler
Bridget Robinson-Riegler on WCCO

The recent comeback of the hit TV show “Murphy Brown” stirred up some warm memories among fans after 20 years of being off the air.

So, why does nostalgia feel so good? WCCO’s Heather Brown talked with Bridget Robinson-Riegler, professor of psychology at Augsburg University, about the psychology behind the feeling of nostalgia that certain past memories make us feel.

“When we are depressed, feeling alone, feeling angst-ridden, we turn to nostalgia because that makes us feel better,” Robinson-Riegler told WCCO. “When we think back to our past, the neural substrates, the things responsible for how people construct memories of the past, are the same mechanisms by which people project about the future.

Watch the full report at the WCCO website

The Pioneer Press reported earlier this year about the trend of the ’00s back in television.

Given the high demand for reboots, relaunches and remakes, Ross Raihala, of the Pioneer Press, interviewed 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

 

Tara Sweeney’s Swedish picture book project highlighted at Twin Cities PBS

Tara Sweeney painting.
Tara Sweeney on TPT.

Twin Cities PBS featured retired Augsburg art professor Tara Sweeney’s collaborative “A to Zåäo” picture book project at the American Swedish Institute.

“A to Zåäö,” is a Swedish alphabet book that features paintings of objects and stories from the historic Swedish-American immigrant experience.

“The objects are the things that immigrants brought to Minnesota and I have to believe they were traveling pretty light. So they brought things that meant something to them and/or they were useful, so they’re loaded with stories.” Sweeney told TPT’s Minnesota Original art series.

Sweeney credits her 25 years of service at Augsburg and its institutional mission for influencing her interest in developing a picture book that speaks to historic and contemporary immigrant experiences.

View the segment at Twin Cities PBS

Jeanne Boeh discusses the value of a college degree with WCCO

 

Jeanne Boeh on WCCO
Jeanne Boeh on WCCO

Jeanne Boeh, professor of economics and business department chair at Augsburg University, recently spoke with WCCO about the rising cost of a college education.

Boeh noted that a college degree is still worth it.

“It is a different experience than it was 20 years ago. All the amenities have improved. There is more support for students. The dorms are better. The food is better. The kind of help students need is more available. All of that costs money,” Boeh told reporter Angela Davis.

Read and watch the full report at the WCCO site.