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 Cristina “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.
Harry Boyte, senior fellow in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently wrote an online column for political newspaper The Hill in which he argues that educators should seek to develop students’ abilities to handle conflict by engaging them in self-guided civic involvement. Recent conversations about free speech and identity politics have primarily focused on either criticizing or applauding students’ approaches to effecting change, a trend which Boyte feels too readily discounts a student’s agency.
“Young people are hungry for opportunities to learn the skills and concepts to handle conflicts and make constructive change,” he writes. Providing timely guidance and these opportunities is important because, “Young people are citizens today, not citizens in preparation.”
Boyte outlines the Public Achievement model of “citizen politics” as everyday problem-solving and public work. Public Achievement sees students work together on real-world projects (such as building a playground for local children) that require a broad set of skills vital to a democratic way of life. In one example, the students “got the parish council on their side, negotiated zoning changes with city officials, and raised $60,000 from local businesses. To accomplish these feats, they learned how to interview people, write letters, give speeches, call people they didn’t know. They deliberated, created alliances, raised money, mapped power, did research.”
Read: Teaching democratic values on The Hill’s site.
Audrey Lensmire, director of Augsburg College’s East African Student to Teacher (EAST) program, and program participant Salah Ali ’17 were interviewed by MinnPost for a report on Minnesota’s growing number of Somali-Americans working toward careers in education. The article notes that the number of Somalis resettling in the state has more than tripled in recent years, which has caused an influx of Somali students and created a need for teachers, counselors, and socials workers with a deep understanding of Somali culture.
The EAST program is funded by the state’s Collaborative Urban Educator program and seeks to graduate and license K-12 teachers of East African origin. In the article, Lensmire is quoted as saying, “Typically, becoming a professional teacher has been available only to people who have money and the means to get the license.” The EAST program offers financial assistance by providing students with full tuition scholarships as they seek licensure.
Augsburg’s program is one of several made possible by the CUE program. In the article, Ali notes that he knows many Somali students in similar programs at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota. “A lot of us are in the education field right now. Many are doing social studies and ESL programs and counseling licenses,” he said.
Read: More young Somali-Americans are choosing careers in education on the MinnPost site.
The Star Tribune included Augsburg College in its recent coverage of top Give to the Max Day recipients. For the third year in a row, the College was the highest donation recipient among colleges and universities and it also placed third overall. The article offers a look at the festivities and work that surround what has become an important annual fundraising event for Minnesota organizations and businesses.
Quoted in the article, Heather Riddle, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Augsburg, has come notice the ebb and flow of Minnesotans’ giving habits throughout the 24-hour event. “People give before they go to work, then lunch hour, then after work, then there’s a burst right before it ends [at midnight],” she said.
Read: Give to the Max Day wraps up, tops $18 million on the Star Tribune site.
(SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA) — Augsburg College History Department faculty members Kirsten Delegard and Michael Lansing were presented the Alice Smith Prize for best public history project completed in the previous calendar year by the Midwestern History Association.
The Historyapolis Project (historyapolis.com and facebook.com/TheHistoryapolisProject) was created when Delegard, a current scholar-in-residence at Augsburg College, realized that her hometown of Minneapolis was blind to its own tumultuous history, more comfortable planning for the future than confronting the past. Augsburg students are deeply involved with the project, which aims to make the city’s history accessible and helps catalyze community dialogue around challenging aspects of local history.
Delegard holds a doctorate in history from Duke University and is the author of “Battling Miss Bolsheviki: The Origins of Female Conservatism in the United States” (Penn, 2012). Delegard was also the co-editor, with Nancy A. Hewitt, for the two-volume textbook “Women, Families and Communities: Readings in American History“ (Longman Publishing, 2008). As part of the Historyapolis Project, Delegard is at work on a new history of Minneapolis, which is tentatively titled “City of Light and Darkness: The Making of a Progressive Metropolis in Minneapolis.”
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