The New York Times features interfaith work at Augsburg College

Fardosa Hassan
Fardosa Hassan ’12

Award-winning author, columnist, and professor Samuel Freedman featured five Augsburg College community members in a commentary for The New York Times’ On Religion section. The piece, “Muslim College Chaplains Extend a Hand Across Religious Divides,” highlighted the work of Muslim Student Program Associate and Chaplain Fardosa Hassan ’12. 

As Freedman reported, Hassan is among dozens of chaplains on college and university campuses across the U.S. to “play a vital dual role: helping Muslim students feel welcome, and introducing Islam to non-Muslims.”

This work, according to Hassan, has the potential to assist students during their college days and positively influence individuals’ lives long after graduation.

“My role is to help students negotiate this multifaith, diverse environment,” Hassan explained to Freedman. “I’m going to give them a tool for when they go out of this institution, so they know how to be respectful of others. A lot of times, people are afraid even to ask the questions of people who are different. So I say, begin with friendship. Start by saying hello.”

In his column, Freedman acknowledges that interfaith conversations are meaningful and necessary not only on Augsburg’s campus but also just beyond its borders in Minneapolis.

Augsburg “is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has traditionally attracted the vast majority of its students from white Protestant denominations,” he writes. “Yet its campus directly abuts the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood that is the epicenter of Minnesota’s population of 31,500 Somali Muslims. Perhaps nowhere else in the United States does a hockey rink sit so close to a halal meat market.”

While Augsburg has been a collaborative neighborhood partner for many years, President Paul Pribbenow has deepened that commitment in an effort to help the College fulfill its calling to foster conversations between the diverse residents of its vibrant community.

The story touches on interactions between Hassan and Augsburg College students whom Hassan has helped reflect on their spirituality to consider how it shapes their interpretations of the world. In this role, Hassan partners with College Pastor and Director of Ministries Sonja Hagander in individually supporting students as they navigate highs and lows, challenges and opportunities, faith and even their final exams.

Person-to-person efforts, according to Hassan, are at the heart of her work.

 

$1 million grant prepares students for graduate school, meaningful work

AugSTEM students at Zyzzogeton
The AugSTEM Scholars Program, funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, supports students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The scholars participated in Zyzzogeton, a celebration of student research.

The National Science Foundation awarded Augsburg College a highly competitive $1 million grant for continued support of the AugSTEM Scholars Program. Under the direction of Professor Rebekah Dupont, the program will provide scholarships to as many as 80 academically talented students with financial need who are pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The four-year grant is part of NSF’s work to address the need for a high-quality, diverse workforce. With a traditional undergraduate student body that is more than 35 percent persons of color, Augsburg is well positioned to support this goal. The program provides direct financial support, delivers hands-on learning, offers research opportunities, and pairs each student with a faculty mentor. Research shows this combination of hands-on learning and close mentorship is highly effective in helping students leave college ready for graduate school and the workplace.

Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 1565060 and 1154096. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Congratulations to Auggies named to the Summer Semester Dean’s List

More than 100 Augsburg College undergraduate students were named to the 2016 Summer Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg College Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2016 Summer Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion. View the hometown news announcement.

Auggie Shannon Schuler ’17 earns scholarship from holistic nurses association

Augsburg College student and registered nurse Shannon Schuler ’17 was awarded the 2016 Charlotte McGuire Scholarship at the annual conference of the American Holistic Nurses Association held May 31-June 5. The Charlotte McGuire Scholarship Program was named in honor of the AHNA founder and is intended to recognize and celebrate individuals who are dedicated to practicing holistic nursing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Schuler is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing and is focusing on caring science, transcultural nursing and holistic approaches to nursing. She also is studying to become a master in reiki and a graduate from the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute in how to apply yoga philosophies and practices in the professional medical environment.

Augsburg’s campus is a fit for incoming student Mark Lukitsch

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Links and tunnels help make Augsburg’s campus more accessible.

A recent South Washington County Bulletin article featured incoming Augsburg College student Mark Lukitsch‘s accomplishments and high school experience. The story describes Lukitsch as one of Park High School’s most well-known students. He has congenital muscular dystrophy, which the article said “limits his fine-motor skills but not his ambition.”

Lukitsch was influential in creating positive changes to a local stadium’s wheelchair-accessible seating options, and he chose to continue his education at Augsburg College, in part, because of the urban campus features tunnels, above-ground links, and a wheelchair-friendly layout that make it more accessible. He plans to pursue a communication studies degree and will continue to study alongside Avery, his service dog who can open classroom doors and perform other tasks that allow him to live more independently.

Read “Park High School graduate profile: Mark Lukitsch ready to move forward” on the Bulletin website.

KARE 11 story showcases Augsburg College’s diverse graduating class

kare 11 - logoA recent report airing on KARE 11 television noted that, “Augsburg College is located in the heart of Minneapolis in one of the most diverse zip codes in the city.” And, the College’s graduating class reflects that diversity.

As the story explained, “Under President Paul C. Pribbenow‘s leadership, the college has more than tripled the percentage of minorities in the full undergraduate body. In 2006, there were 11 percent compared to 33 percent in 2016.” The traditional undergraduate graduating class of 2016 is comprised of more than 42 percent students of color — a record achievement for the institution.

Pribbenow said Augsburg has been committed to attracting and supporting students from minority populations for more than a decade and has partnered with college readiness programs to achieve its success.

The broadcast report also included an interview with Robert Harper ’16, an alumnus who described why he values his college experience and the diverse makeup of his graduating class.

Read and watch: Augsburg graduates most diverse class in history on the KARE 11 website.

Hastings Star Gazette interviews Abby Schultz ’17 on Barry Manilow performance

hastings star gazette - logoThe Hastings Star Gazette newspaper recently interviewed Abby Schultz ’17, a member of the Augsburg Choir who performed with singer Barry Manilow at the Xcel Energy Center last month. In addition to singing in the choir, Schultz also serves as its manager.

“It’s an experience I will always remember, not only because I got to perform with Barry Manilow, but as the choir manager I got to be interviewed by KARE 11 and FOX 9,” Schultz said. “I’m glad it happened when I was in the choir, for sure.”

The article also notes that Schultz will be performing with a mixed choir in Italy this summer. “I don’t know when I’ll get another opportunity to do this,” she said of the trip.

Read Hastings’ Abby Schultz performed with Barry Manilow, Augsburg College Choir on the Hastings Star Gazette site.

Sun Current reports on Augsburg’s involvement in Barry Manilow concert

sun current - logoThe Sun Current newspaper recently covered Augsburg Choir’s performance with Barry Manilow at the singer’s Xcel Energy Center concert on April 7. The article notes that Eden Prairie High School graduate Kaia Markovich ’17 was one of 30 choir members who joined Manilow on stage for his encore. Markovich is a chemistry major who sings alto in the choir.

Read Eden Prairie graduate performs with Barry Manilow on the Sun Current site. For more information about the performance, visit the News and Media blog.

Hudson Star-Observer interviews McKenna Selissen ’18 on performing with Barry Manilow

Hudson Star Observer - logoThe Hudson Star-Observer, a newspaper in Hudson, Wis., recently interviewed Augsburg College student and choir member McKenna Selissen ’18 about her experience performing with the Augsburg Choir as they joined Barry Manilow at the Xcel Energy Center.

“It was unbelievable to share the stage with someone so well respected and well known in the music world,” Selissen said. “I am amazed how many hit songs he’s had and with all the commercial jingles he’s wrote; he is extremely talented.”

The students who performed with Manilow were each given a pair of complimentary tickets to the concert. Selissen, a music therapy major, happily gifted her tickets to two of her clients. One of the clients uses Manilow’s music extensively in his therapy sessions.

“He knows every song and all the words so it was such a coincidence when we were asked to do this. This client was beyond excited to not only go to his first concert, but to see his very favorite singer,” Selissen said.

Read HHS alum performs with Barry Manilow on the Hudson Star-Observer site.

Star Tribune examines history and future of broadcaster
Diana Pierce ’16 MAL

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoA reporter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently was on campus to interview Diana Pierce ’16 MAL, a longtime Twin Cities news anchor whose retirement from KARE 11 News was announced Wednesday. Pierce completed her Master of Art in Leadership at Augsburg College in December, and she will participate in Augsburg’s 2016 Commencement ceremonies.

Although she will be retiring from KARE 11, Pierce has not finished her work of “helping shape stories that provide a voice for the underserved.” She will use her degree to move behind the camera and produce documentaries. “It’s a weird, wonderful transition,” she said.

Read ‘Pure class’: KARE’s Diana Pierce bows out the same way she rose to the top on the Star Tribune site.