MPR features Midnimo program’s Aar Maanta residency


The Cedar Cultural Center and several other Minneapolis organizations hosted popular London-based Somali singer Aar Maanta in early April as part of the Midnimo series, a two-year partnership with Augsburg College to build cross-cultural awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Somali culture through music.

The Minneasota Public Radio story “Aar Maanta is the voice of a new Somali generation” discussed the ways in which Aar Maanta’s music resonates with Minnesotans and rejuvenates the Somali music scene.

Mike Matson ’06 launches community meal initiative

Minneapolis Star TribuneFive days a week, Minneapolis community members convene at Bethany Lutheran Church to dine on gourmet fare prepared as part of the The Soup for You Cafe — a program recognized by the Star Tribune for its ability to “redefine the soup kitchen.”

Augsburg College alumnus, Chaplain to Student Athletes, and linebacker coach Rev. Mike Matson ’06 is the pastor at Bethany Lutheran and the driver behind this community meal. Supported by volunteers and one talented chef, Soup for You is a chance for people of varying backgrounds to come together in an environment that focuses on dignity. In the article “Church program offers hot soup, warm welcome,” Matson underscored that the program focuses on bringing people together.

“Our model is mutuality, and what better way is there to show mutuality than to gather at the same table together?” he said.

Harry Boyte contends that universities should renew the democratic purpose of higher education

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 1.26.22 PMThe question, “What are universities for?” elicited a number of responses in a recent article compiled by Zocalo Public Square and published by TIME. Harry Boyte, Augsburg’s Sabo Senior Fellow, argued that colleges and universities should renew their democratic purpose, thereby highlighting the important role these institutions play as public spaces for diverse interests and views to find common ground in a sharply divided society.

Visit the TIME website to learn more about Boyte’s perspective and those put forth by other leading scholars.

Kristin Anderson discusses new St. Paul ballpark in Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star TribuneKristin Anderson – a sports architecture expert, Augsburg College archivist, and art history professor — was quoted in a Star Tribune article on the architecture of the new CHS Field set to open in the Lowertown district of downtown St. Paul this spring. CHS Field is the future home of the St. Paul Saints minor league team, and its architecture features a sleek low-slung design comprised of black concrete and steel. The article presented a number of individuals’ opinions of the design, noting that the structure is a standout amongst its adjacent buildings.

“The immediate expectation was that it had to match the things around it — ye old ballpark — and I don’t think that’s necessary … The subtlety of the exterior allows the action of the place to shine,” Anderson said.

Read, “St. Paul Saints: Not your grandfather’s ballpark” on the Star Tribune website to learn more.

Harry Boyte lends expertise to Forbes

forbesHarry Boyte, senior scholar in Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, was named in a Forbes article about the changing tides and criticisms of public higher education. Boyte was mentioned in the article due to his role as a long-time commentator on democracy and its relation to higher learning.

Read, “Troubling Attacks On Public Higher Education” on the Forbes website.

Music therapist Sandi Holten ’82 tells MPR how music helps Parkinson’s patients

MPRLogoAugsburg College alumna and music therapist Sandi Holten ’82 was featured on MPR News in a special piece for Minnesota Sounds & Voices. As a kid, Holten dropped out of piano lessons believing that music wasn’t going to play a large part in her life, but today she uses music to strengthen muscles and spirits for many people living with Parkinson’s in the Twin Cities.

Visit the MPR News website to learn more about Holten’s work in the story, “Music helps keep Parkinson’s patients going.”

Max Meyer, Minnetonka Middle School, wins Spelling Bee

Winner advances to Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

2015 Spelling Bee: Max Meyer

Max Meyer

(MINNEAPOLIS) – Max Meyer, 12, of Minnetonka Middle School East, was named champion of the 7-County Metro Area Regional Spelling Bee held March 21 at Hoversten Chapel at Augsburg College. He won in the 14th round when he correctly spelled “electrolyte” and “transenna.” He is the son of Carey and Dave Meyer of Shorewood.

Meyer will be sent by Augsburg College with a parent or guardian to the Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled May 24-29 in Washington, D.C. Other top spellers included:

  • Second place: Mark Kivimaki, 13, of Valley View Middle School, was eliminated during round 13 for misspelling “badigeon.” Kivimaki, who was the 2014 champion, is the son of Mary and Bruce Kivimaki of Edina.
  • Third place: Elise Weier, 13, Shakopee West Junior High School, was eliminated during round 11 for misspelling “zircon.” She is the daughter of Cara Weier of Shakopee.
  • Fourth place: Josephine Spanier, 12, of Anthony Middle School, was eliminated during round 10 for misspelling “neritic.” She is the daughter of Kristine Spanier of Minneapolis.
Max Meyer will advance to the National Spelling Bee.

Max Meyer will advance to the National Spelling Bee.

A total of 47 students from 47 schools competed in the spelling bee. Spellers were from elementary, middle and junior high schools, community and magnet schools, private and home schools.

The head judge of the competition was Dennis Bluhm. He has served for 46 years as an elementary school principal and teacher, and 12 years as head judge of the State Spelling Bee. The pronouncer was David Talarico.

Augsburg College is set in a vibrant neighborhood at the heart of the Twin Cities, and offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to more than 4,000 students of diverse backgrounds. Augsburg College educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. The Augsburg experience is supported by an engaged community that is committed to intentional diversity in its life and work. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings.

Nobel Peace Prize Forum garners range of media attention

2015 NPPFThe Nobel Peace Prize Forum garnered a range of media coverage before and after the event. Some of the coverage is documented below.

March 14

March 7

U.S. President Jimmy Carter, an honored Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, spoke at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum on March 6.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter, an honored Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, spoke at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum on March 6.

March 6

March 5

Bring Me the News: Former President Jimmy Carter to speak at Nobel Prize event in Minneapolis

March 2

JennaFebruary 27

February 25

  • MinnPost: Pamela Espeland’s Artscape round up includes briefs about the Nobel Peace Prize Forum as well as Nobel Creations at the American Swedish Institute

February 19

Matt Beckman adviser to award-winning high-school researcher at Breck School

AmInEngSocAssistant Professor of  Biology Matt Beckman spoke with the Star Tribune about the work he is doing as an adviser to a Breck School senior doing research on 200-year-old pollen samples.

Grant Two Bulls, a member of the Oglala-Lakota tribe, won the American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s competition through his work and which is providing a look at the lives of his ancestors when they lived near Lake Calhoun.

“Here’s a high school senior doing pretty high-level research and then taking that data and speaking to national audiences about it in a really impressive way,” Beckman said to Kim McGuire, a reporter at the Star Tribune.

Read about the partnership between Beckman and Breck School in “Breck student’s science project is an award-winning mix of American Indian history and science.”

Learn about another Breck School student, Taylor McCanna, who was coached by David Murr, physics professor. McCanna took second place in one of the most prestigious international science fairs for her work with Murr.