Longtime KARE 11 news anchor Diana Pierce ’16 MAL recently announced her retirement from broadcasting in the Twin Cities market after more than 30 years on air. In a story on the KARE 11 website, Pierce said, “The timing is excellent,” for the change because she will graduate from Augsburg College’s Master of Arts in Leadership program this spring and will pursue new opportunities with her master’s degree. To learn more about Pierce’s award-winning journalism career, read the following stories:
Three Augsburg College students and a recent alumnus sat down with KARE 11 reporter Adrienne Broaddus to discuss “bathroom bills” that are popping up across the U.S. concerning transgender rights. In Minnesota, proposed legislation would define which restrooms transgender people could legally use.
Jens Pinther ’15 and Duina Hernandez ’16 expressed the importance of gender-neutral bathrooms, and the story described Augsburg’s intentionality in offering these facilities on campus.
Members of the Augsburg Choir sang backup for Barry Manilow during the Grammy-award winning performer’s farewell tour. The choir sang three encore songs with Manilow including “I Write the Songs,” “Miracle,” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).”
The Augsburg Choir was selected to perform by Barry Manilow’s choir director, Doug Hollenback. The ensemble is recognized for its high level of musicianship and performs a diverse repertoire under the direction of Peter Hendrickson ’76.
The performance by the students drew media attention from Twin Cities media outlets including:
Minnesota Public Radio included an interview with Augsburg College student Mohamud Mohamed ’19 in a recent article about a federal anti-terror program aimed at Somali youth and designed to counter terrorist efforts to radicalize young American Muslims.
While Mohamed respects the stated goals of the program, he disagrees with the approach the government has taken. “For sure, let’s have community programs, let’s have after-school programs, let’s have arts and all of these things, let’s promote these things,” he said. “But the way they’ve gone about it has been inherently disingenuous. … They never once approached Somali youth as a whole, they never called a meeting, or town hall.”
Other community members interviewed in the article oppose the program for its links with the Department of Justice and concerns over potential surveillance abuses the program may allow. Mohamud Nur, of the the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, disagrees. “It is to help the community find better opportunities. I’m confident that the people who are going to be seeking help will get the help that they are seeking,” he said.
Mohamed also has concerns about the alienating effect such a program can have on him and his peers. “I’m being pushed into the margin, as inherently violent, inherently extreme, someone that needs to be saved from their own devices. And that’s deeply troubling. And I can’t ever sign onto that,” he said.
The Star Tribune recently published an overview of the forthcoming Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion. Augsburg College will break ground on this new academic building featuring classrooms, offices, and laboratories in April.
The article said, “The inclusion of scientific and religious disciplines within the same building is meant to express ‘a firm belief in the intersections and fluidity of boundaries’ on Augsburg’s campus.”
KSTP television recently reported on the Augsburg College men’s hockey team’s win in a tense, triple overtime match against St. John’s University on March 5 to clinch the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. The game was the third longest in NCAA Division III history, lasting 102:53.
Senior Mack Ohnsted ’16 scored the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the match’s third overtime period; he was assisted by Eli May ’18. The Auggies twice rallied from two-goal deficits to bring the game into overtime.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reported on the growing number of Muslim college students and the ways that schools, including those with Christian affiliations, are adapting to the increasing religious diversity of their student bodies. One way that colleges are improving the experiences of their Muslim students is by hiring advisers like Fardosa Hassan ’12, Muslim student program associate at Augsburg College.
The article reports that since she accepted the position last summer, Hassan has organized weekly prayer meetings for Augsburg’s Muslim students, recruited the help of a therapist and imam to undercut the idea that seeking treatment for depression is un-Islamic, and has taken Religion 100 students to visit local mosques. “Islam has called me to serve my community,” Hassan said, and her work has not gone unnoticed.
When asked about Hassan, first-year student Mohamud Mohamed ’19 said that “Fardosa is our guide. She is our connection to the outside world.”
College pastor Sonja Hagander said that given the growing number of Muslim students, “it was really key to have a Muslim student adviser.”
The article notes that nationwide more than 50 colleges, including Ivy League schools such as Yale and Princeton, have hired advisers for their Muslim students.
The Augsburg College women’s and men’s hockey teams are enjoying strong seasons, and several news organizations have covered their accomplishments.
National hockey newspaper Let’s Play Hockey recently published an article by Don Stoner, Augsburg’s sports information director, on the teams’ successes. Stoner reports that despite a slow start, the men’s team went on to win their first regular-season Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title since the 1997 – 98 season. He also notes that the women’s team has been playing a winning season, attributed in part to goalie Erika Allen ’16.
U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) also covered Augsburg’s teams in two recent articles. The first article focuses on men’s goalie Jordyn Kaufer ’18. Declaring that Kaufer is “clearly one of the best goaltenders in college hockey,” the article shares an unexpected detail of the sophomore’s career — he was cut from his high school’s hockey team as a junior.
“I played junior gold hockey my final two years of high school,” Kaufer said. “It gives guys a chance who don’t make their high school team to still play the game.”
USCHO also published an article about the Augsburg women’s team and the significance of their strong showing this season. Augsburg’s program was the first women’s hockey program in the Midwest, and the College recently marked the program’s 20th anniversary.
“Celebrating 20 years of Augsburg women’s hockey was incredibly special,” said coach Michelle McAteer.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article covering World Hijab Day events at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The article featured photos of Augsburg College students who hosted the Hijab Fashion Show at Augsburg. Students at Normandale and Augsburg hosted events in support of Muslim students and were joined by non-Muslim students in a show of solidarity.
Photos of Augsburg College students featured in the paper included Aisha Barre, Anisa Ahmed, Nahili Abdulahi and Juweria Hassan, who participated in the fashion show. Similar events have been taking place across the country in reaction to divisive rhetoric and anti-Muslim sentiment, the article notes.
The Jerusalem Post website recently published an article by Julian Kritz ’16, Interfaith Scholar and vice president of Students Supporting Israel at Augsburg College. In the piece, Kritz discussed his experience traveling to Israel with a diverse delegation of Minnesota legislators and community leaders.
He remembered the diversity of the group — which was bipartisan, interfaith and intergenerational — as being particularly impactful as they toured sites of importance to Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
“As a Jew, seeing Israel through the eyes of the Christian members of our delegation was a moving experience which greatly added to my understanding of why so many people care about this small piece of land,” he explained.
Kritz was selected for the trip due to his work as an intern with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) and his travel was sponsored by a grant from the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. The JCRC was asked to plan the trip, which included meetings with key figures in Israeli and Palestinian politics and tours of religious sites, centers of business, and locations of political importance.