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.”
Continue reading “Augsburg College project named recipient of Alice Smith Prize”
Scott Washburn, assistant director of Augsburg College’s StepUP® program and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, was one of three experts interviewed by MinnPost in an article examining the impact of Minnesota’s legalization of medical marijuana on teens’ views of the drug. Citing multiple studies, the article explains that there is growing concern that recent legalization of the drug will result in a lower perceived risk, which could result in increased teen use.
In the article, Washburn agrees that there is a correlation between the perceived risks associated with using a substance and actual use of it. He references an ongoing University of Michigan study that tracks high school students’ views and habits regarding a variety of substances. In looking at their data on tobacco and marijuana use, he says, “What’s noteworthy is that in 2010, those two lines crossed. Tobacco use started to decline in 1998 continuing up to 2014. But marijuana use continued to go up and eventually was higher than tobacco use.” Washburn attributes this reversal to our culture’s “significant shift in attitude about marijuana use.”
Washburn then outlines his approach to unraveling what teens and students sometimes see as mixed messages, that the drug is medically beneficial while being potentially addictive and harmful. “I tell my students that just because a drug can harm you doesn’t also mean that it can’t help you,” he says in the article. He adds that, “Vicodin and Oxycodone are legal drugs, but just because they are prescribed by physicians for valid reasons doesn’t mean that they can’t be harmful and dangerous when used incorrectly.”
Read: ‘It’s just pot’: Does legalization of medical marijuana change teens’ attitudes about it? on the MinnPost site.
Jodi Collen, director of event and conference planning at Augsburg College, recently was quoted by the Associated Press in an article that also was published by ABC News and the Boston Herald. Collen’s input and expertise was sought due to her role as the president of the International Special Events Society, a professional organization for event planners. The article discusses the trend of using live animals at holiday events, an initiative that makes sense from an event planning perspective, according to Collen.
The Star Tribune recently published an article covering a field day held in north Minneapolis by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in partnership with Minneapolis Jeep Dealers. The event paired roughly 50 young athletes with coaches and players from Augsburg College’s baseball team as well as athletes from the University of Minnesota. Minnesota Twins mascot TC Bear also participated, at one point serving as a soccer goalie.
According to the article, the Maryland-based Ripken Foundation develops youth programs and partners with cities to create parks in distressed communities. Augsburg baseball head coach Keith Bateman is quoted as saying of the young participants in the multi-sport event, “They might not remember some of the stuff we say, but hopefully they remember when they think back [and say] man, I really had a good time. I want to do that when I get older.”
Read: Ripken Foundation brings together college athletes, local kids for field day on the Star Tribune site.