Dennis Donovan discusses cookbook created by Public Achievement students in KARE 11 segment

kare 11 - logoKARE 11 television recently interviewed a group of 5th graders who created a multicultural cookbook as a way to promote diversity and tolerance. The students are part Public Achievement, an Augsburg College program designed to teach democracy and citizenship through service projects.

The segment also featured program director Dennis Donovan. “There are a lot of issues in the world, and we need people to come together and solve these problems,” he said. “Having young people participate in public achievement gives them a skill-set and process that normally they would not have.”

Watch and read Students create cookbook to promote diversity on the KARE 11 site.

Twin Cities media cover retirement of news anchor Diana Pierce ’16 MAL

Augsburg Professor Phil Adamo on set with Diana Pierce at KARE 11.

Augsburg College History Professor Phil Adamo appears on set with Diana Pierce at KARE 11.

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:

Students, alumnus talk with KARE 11 about need for accessible bathrooms

Kare 11 - logoThree 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.

Watch Students at Augsburg College talk gender neutral bathrooms on the Kare 11 site.

Harry Boyte writes for Education Week

Education Week - logoHarry Boyte, senior fellow at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, recently published an article for Education Week about democracy in education. The article is part of a conversational series between Boyte and Deborah Meier, senior scholar at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.

Boyte argues that we should view democracy as “an empowering way of life,” and not merely a decision-making process. “We need to combine the ‘head,’ which makes decisions, the ‘heart,’ moral imagination and emotion, and the ‘hand,’ civic muscles that power action in the world,” he writes.

In regards to education, Boyte offers an antidote to a culture that separates the hard sciences, the arts and the professional or vocational fields, parallels to the “head”, “heart” and “hand” metaphor. He argues in favor of Cooperative Education, “a method that combines academic study and classroom learning with practical work experience for which students can receive academic credit.”

Read A New Cooperative Education on the Education Weekly site. This article was also published on the Huffington Post Education site.

Devean George ’99 offers his take on Kobe Bryant’s retirement in Star Tribune article

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoThe Minneapolis Star Tribune recently interviewed former Augsburg College basketball player and retired NBA star Devean George ’99 about the upcoming retirement of legendary Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. George, who retired in 2011, played his first seven seasons in the NBA alongside Bryant.

George said that he knows Bryant is ready to retire from professional sports because he has seen familiar signs from his own retirement. “What I’ve seen him go through this year, you can see the flame is not there and he knows it’s time,” he said. “It’s the old cliché: Father Time, no one can beat it. There comes a time where no one wins. Basketball is a young man’s sport. It’s that simple.”

Read George: When it’s time, it’s time on the Star Tribune site.

Basketball program founded by Jennifer Weber ’11 gets specially designed uniforms, MN Daily reports

MN Daily - logoThe Minnesota Daily recently covered the Cedar Riverside Community Traveling Basketball program, which provides coaching, practice, and competition for six teams of local boys and girls ranging from sixth to 10th grade.

The program was founded by Augsburg College alumna Jennifer Weber ’11, who recognized a need for such programs. “The kids here in the neighborhood need more quality programming,” she said. “The kids want it. They go to open gym all the time.”

Another need Weber recognized dealt with a lack of functional athletic attire that was culturally acceptable for the many Muslim girls in the program.

Luckily, design students from the University of Minnesota had already been working to solve that problem. Working with the players and other partners, the students designed uniforms with adjustable hijabs, knee-length skirts and breathable leggings. A grant from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station provided funding to donate the completed uniforms to the program.

The article concludes with a statement from coach and co-founder Muna Mohamed ’16, an exercise science senior at Augsburg who grew up in the neighborhood.

“These girls are getting an opportunity to have culturally appropriate clothing, at the same time … [as] enjoying sports,” she said. “They don’t have to worry about fixing their scarves. They don’t have to worry about ‘How can I play basketball and also respect my culture?'”

Read For girls, new uniform opens gym on the Minnesota Daily site.

Auggies perform with Barry Manilow at Xcel Energy Center

Auggies sing with Barry Manilow on his well known hit, “Copacabana (At the Copa).”

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:

Watch a YouTube video of Auggies performing Copacabana at the show.

Pioneer Press profiles Ted Bigos ’74

Pioneer Press - logoThe St. Paul Pioneer Press recently published an article about real estate leader Ted Bigos ’74 and the current climate of urban living in downtown St. Paul. Bigos owns five buildings in the area and many others across the state.

“I put a lot of my back into those buildings,” Bigos said. With the help of his father, Bigos began purchasing, renovating, and reselling apartment buildings at age 19 while he was a student at Augsburg College. Eventually, he retained some of the renewed properties and began renting them to tenants himself.

About the current state of the downtown area, which has seen many development projects in recent years, he said, “In all the years I’ve been in St. Paul, it’s never felt as good as it feels today.”

Read: Ted Bigos: ‘I think the city has really come into its own’ on the Pioneer Press site.

St. Paul’s Sprockets program names Erik Skold as director

Pioneer Press - logoThe Pioneer Press reports that St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has appointed Erik Skold, leader of the North Star Worker Fellowship at the Minnesota Department of Education and the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College, as director of Sprockets, the city’s network of after-school programs.

Skold has been serving as the program’s interim director since the departure of previous director. Skold holds a master’s degree in youth development leadership from the University of Minnesota.

Read St. Paul’s Sprockets program gets new director on the Pioneer Press site.

Scott Washburn discusses public figures’ privacy with MinnPost

Scott Washburn, assistant director of Augsburg College’s StepUP® program, was one the experts interviewed by MinnPost for an article examining public figures’ right to privacy as well as the rights of the public figures’ significant others. The article examined an overarching theme that probed, “How much of a candidate’s own personal life should be made available for public debate?”

In responding to a question on whether it is appropriate for the mental health or addiction history of a political spouse or other family member to be made public, Washburn argued that sort of political playmaking goes over the line.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate at all,” Washburn said. “The candidate is running, not the family member. The electorate is voting for the candidate, not the family member. The family of a presidential candidate is going to be dragged into the public eye, but I think it’s important to respect some boundaries here. It’s an issue of respect and privacy. The candidate would be fair game from my perspective, but I don’t think family members should be. It just reflects how low things have gone in this political race.

All that being said, if the family member chooses to publically disclose his or her personal history, then that is a different conversation.”

Read additional responses from Washburn in “When is a public figure’s mental health or addiction status off limits?” on the MinnPost site.