The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder recently included comments from Jennifer Jacobs, assistant athletic director at Augsburg College, and student athlete Rob Harper ’16 in an article on the struggle to increase the diversity of coaching and administrative staff at NCAA schools. The article is a response to pro-diversity resolutions passed at the league’s annual conference last month.
In the article, Jacobs acknowledged that the drive for inclusion and diversity must start at the top. “Athletic directors and assistant athletic directors can’t feel empowered unless it comes from the presidents,” she said.
Jacobs added that “…people in general will hire people that look like them. The only way to counteract that is [that] you have to be intentional in your hiring practice.”
Harper, a sociology major and member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, discussed his experience attending the conference and interest in observing the league’s voting process.
Read Moving from talk to action on diversity and inclusion on the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder site.
Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow was one of the high-profile Minnesotans recently included on a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper that denounced anti-Muslim bigotry as “un-Minnesotan.”
Others who added their support to the campaign include Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and the CEOs of prominent Minnesota businesses such as Best Buy, General Mills, and Cargill.
The ad was a joint effort between Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management. It states that although Minnesotans, “may be a soft-spoken bunch, we know better than to be silent or still in the face of bigotry shown to Muslims. Our fellow Minnesotans.”
Several media outlets have reported on the ad, including:
Augsburg College staff members Lori York, associate registrar, and Leah Spinosa de Vega, director of global initiatives and off-campus study, were quoted in an article for International Educator — a bi-monthly magazine published by NAFSA: the Association of International Educators.
The article focuses on the specific challenges faced by veterans who wish to study abroad and how schools can better facilitate global education opportunities this group of students.
To help navigate the nuances of veterans’ benefits, “I would encourage the study abroad office to tap into the expertise of the School Certifying Official on their campus,” York said in the article.
Read: Helping Military Veterans Study Abroad (pdf) from the International Educator.
As part of an ongoing conversation about democracy in education, Harry Boyte, senior scholar in public work philosophy for Augsburg’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently contributed an article to Education Week in which he argued in favor of free spaces–“places where people find it easy and enjoyable to swap stories, plan adventures, and discuss and argue politics.”
In the article, Boyte draws on his experiences with Sabo Center colleague Dennis Donovan, national organizer for Public Achievement, to articulate the importance of providing places for challenging yet compassionate dialog.
Read: Free Spaces in Democracy Schools on the Education Weekly site.
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.
The Des Moines Register has published a profile of Meghan Peyton, head coach of women’s and men’s cross country at Augsburg College and University of Iowa graduate. The article is part of a series focusing on 11 Iowans who are competing in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
The article details Peyton’s running career and her training routine for the event, which takes place in Los Angeles on February 13. It also tells of the careful balance she maintains between her coaching duties and her running career.
“Coaching is my way of giving back to the sport. I didn’t want to neglect that,” she said.
Read: Mile posts: Former Hawkeye Meghan Peyton eager for marathon best on the Des Moines Register site.
Minneapolis-St. Paul ABC affiliate KSTP recently aired a story on its Eyewitness News program about the ways in which Augsburg College’s Women’s Basketball team is mourning and honoring beloved coach Bill McKee, who passed away in August. The segment shares that the team has been remembering Coach McKee with patches on their jerseys, bracelets, and moments of silence before each game.
The segment features statements from Ted Riverso, the team’s new head coach and friend of McKee, and Allison McKee ’16, who is one of the team’s captains and the late coach’s daughter.
“It’s important to me because I want to keep him as much a part of this season as I can,” she said. “He was the most important person in my life.”
Watch Augsburg Women’s Hoops Honoring Former Coach McKee on the KSTP site.
The Star Tribune recently published an editorial column that featured an interview with Minneapolis DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein, a senior fellow in Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. The column discusses the widespread use of Hitler and Nazi references in U.S. political rhetoric. The topic has both personal and professional significance for Hornstein; his grandparents were killed by the Nazis and he intends to author a book about the Holocaust’s impact on modern political discourse.
In regard to frequent comparisons between political opponents and Hitler, the article quotes Hornstein as saying, ““If everyone is Hitler, who is Hitler really? When you go right to a Hitler analogy, you’ve already lost the argument. You’ve cheapened the debate.”
Read: Forget Nazi comparisons — find other ways to reject hateful speech on the Star Tribune site.
The Minnesota Women’s Press recently featured a profile of Maria Christina “Tina” Tavera, director of the McNair Scholars Program at Augsburg College, and her daughter Paloma Giossi. Tavera is an artist and activist whose work often focuses on the relationships between womanhood and culture. “My artistic mission is to create pieces that inspire conversations about topics, about how gender and cultural issues are viewed. I want to create access to arts for women,” Tavera said in the article.
The article also examines how Tavera’s own cultural heritage has impacted her work; she has dual-citizenship with the U.S. and Mexico. “Art has the capacity to teach non-Latinos about our Latino culture,” Tavera said. “To create a sense of community for Latinos, and to create places for conversation.”
Tavera’s work will be featured in “Reconfiguring Casta,” an exhibit in Augsburg College’s Christensen Center art gallery from February 29 to March 31. A reception will be held at the gallery on March 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. Additionally, Tavera has curated a collection titled, “Sus Voces: Female Printmakers from Mexico” that will be displayed at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking from February 5 to March 27 with a reception on March 4 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Read: Visualizing women’s stories on the Minnesota Women’s Press site for further exhibition and event details.
The Huffington Post recently published an article by Harry Boyte, senior fellow in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, in which Boyte argues that the current political climate in the U.S. has undervalued the community-building and participatory aspects of democracy. The essay centers around conflicting accounts of the “American Dream;” one version focusing on American superiority and the other on the value of “cooperative endeavor” and social justice.
Seeing democracy as more than just a way of electing leaders, Boyte examines the Civilian Conservation Corps as a model for infusing Americans’ work lives with a purpose greater than materialism. He states that, “as work has come to be seen only as a means to the good life and not of value in itself, the public dimensions of work and recognition of the importance of workers have sharply declined.”
Read: The Fight for America’s Soul on the Huffington Post site.