Audrey Lensmire and Salah Ali contribute to MinnPost article on Somali-Americans choosing careers in education

MinnPostAudrey 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.

Star Tribune touts Augsburg’s Give to the Max Day success, quotes Heather Riddle

Minneapolis Star TribuneThe 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.

Augsburg College project named recipient of Alice Smith Prize

(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 ( and 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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Scott Washburn is interviewed by MinnPost

MinnPostScott 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 quoted on event planning

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.

Star Tribune reports on Augsburg College’s participation in
Ripken Foundation field day

Minneapolis Star TribuneThe 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.

Rachel Kruzel discusses how technology helps students with disabilities at Augsburg

Rachel Kruzel, head of the Augsburg College CLASS Office’s Groves Technology Lab, recently wrote an article for HigherEd Tech Decisions that discusses how Augsburg is embracing technologies that help students with learning disabilities. In the article, Kruzel states that Augsburg has begun offering a software package that helps students record and organize audio of their lectures in lieu of traditional written notes, which can be difficult for students with dyslexia or ADHD.

Kruzel shares that about 5 percent of students at Augsburg have some type of learning disability. She hopes that this technology will help students perform at a level that more accurately reflects their capacity.

“These students’ level of intelligence may be above average, but because they struggle with the traditional college notetaking format, they may fail to reach their potential,” she writes.

Read: How Augsburg College Helps Students Disabilities Take Better Notes with Technology.

Augsburg College global education program touted for excellence in serving students of diverse backgrounds

An article published by the Association of American Colleges & Universities commented on the successes Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education and Experience has had in serving students of diverse backgrounds as they travel to locations around the globe. The article, titled “Global Learning: Key to Making Excellence Inclusive,” described why global experiences are recognized as an essential dimension of a liberal education and how a variety of institutions support increased student participation.

In particular, the article noted that Augsburg maintains permanent centers for global learning in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Namibia. The centers have deep-rooted connections to local communities, and staff members understand the diverse needs of the Augsburg students.

“For example, Augsburg has arranged culturally appropriate homestay placements for single parents who needed assistance with childcare, safe home environments for LGBTQ students, sober homestays for students in recovery (in addition to connecting students in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous programs with sponsors), and access to mosques for Muslim students. This commitment to creating environments for student success is a hallmark of Augsburg’s study abroad programs,” the article said.

Visit the AAC&U website to read the story in its entirety.