MPR previews Maryan Mursal’s Midnimo residency finale concert

MPRLogoMinnesota Public Radio News recently published an article covering Somali singer Maryan Mursal’s concert series at the Cedar Cultural Center, an event co-sponsored by Augsburg College as part of the Midnimo program that seeks to build knowledge and understanding of Somali Muslim culture through music. Mursal rose to early fame as a teenager in Mogadishu, but was forced out of Somalia by war. She eventually found asylum–and a renewed musical career–in Denmark.

In addition to the concert performances, Mursal participated in public discussions, workshops, and community events, as well as a live radio performance on The Current that featured an Augsburg alumni jazz band and Somali musicians from around the world.

Read: Superstar, refugee, legend: Singer Maryan Mursal’s voice endures on the MPR News 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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Twin Cities media report on lawmakers’ Cuba trip organized by Augsburg College center

A bipartisan group of five state legislators, staff, and some family members traveled to Cuba as part of new interest in strengthening ties between the two countries and preparing for potential trade opportunities. Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education and Experience helped to organize the trip, which was mentioned in Twin Cities-based print and broadcast media.

KSTP aired a story covering the trip, which will be unofficial and self-funded by the participants. According to the television news organization, the trip will focus on increasing the lawmakers’ understanding of Cuba and its economic climate.

The Star Tribune also published trip information prior to the departure of participants.

Read: Five Minnesota legislators, staff head to Cuba on the newspaper website.

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.

River Semester media attention grows as class travels down-river

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.35.52 PM[Updated November 13] — The Augsburg College River Semester, created and led by Joe Underhill, associate professor of political science, departed from St. Paul’s Harriet Island on September 1. As part of the kickoff, the River Semester class was joined by a group of nearly 100 students, parents, high school students and members of the Augsburg College community who paddled in a flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from St. Paul to South St. Paul. Students participating in the semester-long program will earn as many as 16 credits in the arts, humanities, and sciences as they travel nearly 2,000 miles of the 2,350-mile Mississippi River.

The River Semester kickoff garnered a range of attention. Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed September 1 “Augsburg College River Semester Day” and many media outlets covered the launch of the class.

Since the students and faculty departed on their voyage, print and broadcast media have been sharing the story of this hands-on, interdisciplinary program. In fact, multiple stories have been picked up by the Associated Press and shared through the AP’s member media throughout the nation.

A snapshot of the ongoing media coverage is below. As additional coverage occurs, it will be added to this post.

November 9

October 16

October 15

October 8

September 29

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LeVar Burton speaks at Augsburg College on Feb. 13

Auggies, public invited to presentation on education, innovation, and imagination

LeVar Burton(MINNEAPOLIS) –Actor, director, writer, producer and educator LeVar Burton, best known for his roles in Roots, Star Trek and Reading Rainbow, will share with the Augsburg community the importance of turning STEM into STE(A)M – integrating science, technology, engineering and math with the arts and design

Burton will present on Feb. 13 for Scholarship Weekend, “You Can be Anything: The Importance of Education, Innovation, and Imagination.”

The Scholarship Weekend event is built upon the successful model used during 2015, in which Bill Nye “The Science Guy” spoke to a packed house of more than 2,000 prospective students, their families, members of the Augsburg community, and the public.

During the 2015 Scholarship Weekend, more than 175 students had the opportunity to be challenged by deep questions of planetary science, climate change, evolution, environmental awareness, and more.


All tickets are general admission with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. A presale will be held for Augsburg College students, faculty, and staff.

Tickets for Augsburg College Students:

  • Presale Begins: 10 a.m., Monday, November 16, 2015
  • Presale Ends: 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 30, 2015
  • Price: $12.00/ticket. (An Augsburg College Augnet login will be required to gain access to the presale.)

Tickets for Augsburg College Faculty/Staff:

  • Presale Begins: 10 a.m., Monday, November 16, 2015
  • Presale Ends: 11:59 p.m., Monday, November 30, 2015
  • Price: $28.00/ticket (An Augsburg College Augnet login will be required to gain access to the presale.)

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ELCA scholarship recipient Sarah Abendanon is interviewed by
The Lutheran

The LutheranAugsburg College student and Suriname citizen Sarah Abendanon was interviewed for an article in The Lutheran, the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The story detailed a scholarship program for women leaders from the “global south,” which is comprised of Africa, Central and Latin America, and most of Asia.

Noticing a lack educational access for women in these areas, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted in 2013 to raise $4 million over a five-year period in order to provide scholarships for 200 women.

“My religion professor asks what we think about our readings and encourages different points of view. In Suriname schools, what the teacher says goes,” Abendanon explained.

As far as the outdoor climate, Abendanon has prepared for winter by purchasing a large winter coat. “Bring it on!” she said in the article.

Read: Women of purpose – ELCA scholarships prepare emerging leaders from the ‘global south’ on The Lutheran site.

Dave Conrad writes on leadership and respect

PostBulletinIn his latest column for the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Dave Conrad, associate professor of business, counsels a reader who feels overwhelmed with conflicting advice by summarizing great leadership into one directive: treat employees with respect.

Conrad argues that, “Showing respect enhances a leader’s influence and performance,” but warns against insincerity. “I think employees are sensitive to phony displays of praise and recognition from their managers and perceive these acts as a form of manipulation,” he writes.

Read: Dave Conrad: Good leaders show employees respect on the Post-Bulletin 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.

Twin Cities businesses, nonprofits sought as partners for Augsburg internship program

$447k grant eases financial cost for organizations to offer internships

greatlakeslogo(MINNEAPOLIS) — Twin Cities businesses and nonprofits are invited to partner with Augsburg College as part of the institution’s three-year, Career Ready Internship Grant made possible by a grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. The partnership seeks to create more than 220 new, paid student internships during the 2015-18 academic years.

The College’s Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work will collaborate with organizations to offer the internships beginning in January 2016. The more-than $447,000 in grant funding will be used for student internship wages, transportation and administrative support.

“We’re excited to build new partnerships with Minnesota businesses and nonprofits to provide the kind of internships organizations want and that students need,” said Keith Munson, director of the Strommen Center. “We know that Auggies are ready to apply and practice what they are learning in the classroom. These are juniors and seniors who know how to work across disciplines and with persons of varied backgrounds and faiths. And, with a student body that is more than 35 percent students of color, we can help businesses continue the important work of diversifying their workforce.”

Munson credits the success of the first grant to the formation of a cross-campus implementation team. The Strommen Center worked with staff and faculty from Business Administration, STEM Programs, Sabo Center for Citizenship and Democracy, Masters in Business Administration, Graduate Admissions, Alumni Relations, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and the Office of Institutional Advancement to identify prospective employers.

Augsburg was one of 33 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin that garnered a combined $12 million in 2015-18 Career Ready Internship Grants from Great Lakes to make internships more equitable for students with financial need. The College previously received a $150,000 grant that created nearly 60 paid internships for students with financial need in 2014-15.

To learn how a business or nonprofit can partner with Augsburg, please visit the Strommen Center website.

About Augsburg College

Augsburg College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to nearly 3,600 students of diverse backgrounds at its campuses located in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and in Rochester. Augsburg College educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. The Augsburg experience is supported by an engaged community 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.