The Minnesota chapter of Campus Compact, an organization that supports civic engagement and democratic renewal across college campuses, recently published an article about Augsburg College’s proactive approach to supporting Muslim students and the local Muslim community.
Following inflammatory statements made by high-profile politicians and presidential candidates about the Muslim community, the Augsburg College faculty passed a resolution declaring their “deep support, love and friendship for the Muslim members of our campus, community and world.” The Campus Compact article states that, “Faculty and staff at the college make this commitment real through myriad practices and partnerships.”
Included in those partnerships is the work that the College has done with Sisterhood Boutique, a “second-hand clothing store and youth social entrepreneurship program developed by young women, a majority East African and Muslim, living in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.” Augsburg faculty members — such as Assistant Professor of Business Marc Isaacson — have engaged their students in projects to support the boutique.
Read: In Word and Deed: Augsburg College in Support of Muslim Students, Colleagues, Neighbors on the Campus Compact site.
WCCO recently sought counsel from Andy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College, to answer a viewer’s question about the timing of the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus.
“Why do Iowa and New Hampshire vote first?” was the focus of the recent Good Question segment.
Aoki provided a straightforward answer.
“Today, they’re first because they want to be,” he said before explaining the history of the events in more detail. The segment goes on to explain how the advent of television turned the previously ignored New Hampshire primary into a nation-wide media spectacle. This prompted the state to pass a law requiring that they remain the first to select a candidate.
How did Iowa end up voting earlier? “Technically, New Hampshire is the first primary and Iowa is the first caucus, so they’ve worked out a little agreement,” Aoki explained.
Read and watch: Good Question: Why Do Iowa & New Hampshire Vote First? on the WCCO site.
Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, was interviewed by South Dakota Public Broadcasting for the Dakota Midday radio program. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which presents the history of the Nonpartisan League as a model for future political movements.
Lansing describes the League as a grassroots organization started by Midwestern farmers in 1915 who were getting “ripped-off” by the large grain milling and transportation corporations in the region.
“I know that’s pretty strong language,” he said. “But if you look at the evidence in retrospect, it’s rather true.”
Listen to: Dakota Midday: Insurgent Democracy (13 minutes) on the SDPB Radio site.
The Star Tribune recently sought input from Doug Green, professor of English at Augsburg College, on the disputed authorship of the stage drama “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” which is being performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
Many believe that the first two acts of the play were written by an unknown playwright, but that the final three acts were written by William Shakespeare. Others believe that Shakespeare started the work early in his career and finished it after he had gained more experience. One piece of evidence in support of dual authorship is the play’s absence from the “first folio,” the first collection of plays Shakespeare published.
“If it’s not in the First Folio, people are skeptical,” said Green. “Almost from the get-go, the first two acts don’t look like Shakespeare. We know it was played by the King’s Men and it sounds like Shakespeare but it is pretty clear that Shakespeare had a major hand in the last three acts.”
Read: Act One for Joe Haj: ‘Pericles’ gives Guthrie audiences a look at his work on the Star Tribune site.
ABC affiliate KSTP recently aired an interview with Joseph Erickson, professor of education at Augsburg College, about the Minneapolis School Board decision to replace Sergio Paez, their first choice for Minneapolis Public School’s vacant superintendent position. Erickson served on the board from 2002 to 2006 and was its chair for two of those years. During this period, the school board hired two superintendents.
“This is their job. Hiring the superintendent and setting policy is their job,” Erickson said. “They should take it very seriously.”
He also pointed out that the current board is in a rare situation: interim superintendent Michael Goar is still available should the board decide to offer him the position. Usually, a district’s second and third choices have moved on to other positions at this point in the process.
Video and text versions of the interview are available on the KSTP website, “Minneapolis Public Schools Still Searching for Permanent Superintendent.”
This month, Minnesota Public Radio and WCCO Radio sought input from Jeanne Boeh, professor of economics at Augsburg College, on the economic outlook for 2016. First she appeared on the “John Hines Show” to discuss the impact of a recent drop in the Chinese stock market on the U.S. economy.
Earlier this week, she joined Louis Johnston, a professor of economics at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, on MPR’s “News with Kerri Miller and Tom Weber” for a conversation about U.S. and Minnesota economics in the new year. The professors discussed the apparent discrepancies between stock market losses coinciding with higher employment rates. Boeh points out that while the overall employment rates are rising, some groups, such as African-American Minnesotans, have seen employment rates drop.
Listen to the MPR interview here (.mp3) and the “John Hines Show” interview on the WCCO News audio site.
David Lapakko, associate professor of communication studies, was interviewed on AM 950 radio on January 9. He discussed his competitive success at the Great American Think-Off, an annual exhibition of civil disagreement and argumentation.
Lapakko was crowned “America’s Greatest Thinker” at the 23rd Great American Think-Off held in New York Mills, Minnesota, in June 2015. The debate question was, “Does Technology Free Us or Trap Us?” and Lapakko argued for the liberating qualities of technology as he took home the prize.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article covering “Exploring Forgiveness,” a 26-minute program produced for Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) by Dean Seal, instructor of religion at Augsburg College and pastor at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, Minn. The article reflects on the many sources of conflict and injustice that sprang up in the past year and states that Seal’s focus on the power of forgiveness is a “welcome reminder that we can look forward to 2016, where, perhaps, we’ll find our better selves.”
The program aired twice on TPT and features an interview with Augsburg College alumna Amineh Safi ’14 who provides insights into the Islamic view of forgiveness.
Read: A Minnesotan’s ode to forgiveness at the end of a difficult year on the Star Tribune site. Watch: “Exploring Forgiveness” on the TPT site.
This month, Andy Aoki, department chair of political science and Sabo fellow at Augsburg College, appeared on Political Insider, a weekly news segment on KSTP. Aoki joined Joe Pescek, a Hamline Univeristy faculty member, and provided input on a variety of local and national political stories including Gov. Mark Dayton’s request for a special legislative session.
Watch: Political Insider: US Presidential Campaign, Infrastructure and Economy in Minn. on the KSTP site.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead recently recommended “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics” by Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, as a holiday gift with regional ties.
The book details the history of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active in North Dakota, neighboring states, and some Canadian provinces in the early 1900s.
Read: Consider these new books with regional ties for Christmas gift-giving on the Forum site.