This section of the News and Media Services department site tracks stories in print and broadcast media that feature Auggie faculty, students, and staff. The area also is home to material developed for media about College-related programs, events, and more.

Tara Sweeney’s Swedish picture book project highlighted at Twin Cities PBS

Tara Sweeney painting.
Tara Sweeney on TPT.

Twin Cities PBS featured retired Augsburg art professor Tara Sweeney’s collaborative “A to Zåäo” picture book project at the American Swedish Institute.

“A to Zåäö,” is a Swedish alphabet book that features paintings of objects and stories from the historic Swedish-American immigrant experience.

“The objects are the things that immigrants brought to Minnesota and I have to believe they were traveling pretty light. So they brought things that meant something to them and/or they were useful, so they’re loaded with stories.” Sweeney told TPT’s Minnesota Original art series.

Sweeney credits her 25 years of service at Augsburg and its institutional mission for influencing her interest in developing a picture book that speaks to historic and contemporary immigrant experiences.

View the segment at Twin Cities PBS

Jeanne Boeh discusses the value of a college degree with WCCO

 

Jeanne Boeh on WCCO
Jeanne Boeh on WCCO

Jeanne Boeh, professor of economics and business department chair at Augsburg University, recently spoke with WCCO about the rising cost of a college education.

Boeh noted that a college degree is still worth it.

“It is a different experience than it was 20 years ago. All the amenities have improved. There is more support for students. The dorms are better. The food is better. The kind of help students need is more available. All of that costs money,” Boeh told reporter Angela Davis.

Read and watch the full report at the WCCO site.

Support for Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama

(Updated 9/5/2018)

Augsburg University is sharing this background about the immigration case involving Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama to keep our campus and the public informed.

Status with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The Board of Immigration Appeals has granted a stay of removal. As a result, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can’t deport Mzenga Wanyama and Mary Mzenga until the Board issues a decision on the merits of the motion to reopen his asylum case.

ICE had previously informed Dr. Wanyama and his wife Mary Mzenga that they were required to depart the United States on September 9. That had been extended another 30 days, before the stay of removal was granted late August 31.

“We are saddened that Dr. Wanyama continues to face this difficult situation,” said Paul Pribbenow, president of Augsburg University. “We value his scholarship and skill set and are exploring options for him to continue working in Augsburg’s global operations if he can’t stay in the U.S.”

Background
On April 5, Dr. Wanyama and his wife were informed in a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ICE would allow them 90 days to depart the United States. During a June 29 meeting ICE confirmed that it had extended their departure date from July 4 to August 3. The ICE office had asked them to return to the office on July 25 for a check-in.

On July 25, ICE then informed Dr. Wanyama and his wife Mary Mzenga that they would have to depart the United States on September 9. He was required to bring his plane tickets with a September 9 departure data to a check-in appointment with ICE on September 4. His September 9 departure was later extended 30 days.

Meanwhile, a motion to reopen Dr. Wanyama’s asylum application based on changed country conditions and a stay of removal was filed earlier this summer with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Once ICE was unwilling to use its discretionary authority any longer, his attorney requested the emergency review of the stay of removal that was granted August 31. If the stay had not granted, he and his wife would most likely have had to leave the U.S. in October.

Dr. Wanyama is teaching fall semester 2018 classes in the English department.

Augsburg University statements
Augsburg issued a statement from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow following the Wanaymas’ April 5 ICE meeting, as well as statements before and following the previous ICE meeting, on March 9. These statements are posted below:

Augsburg University Faculty Senate statement
The Faculty Senate of Augsburg University wishes to express our unanimous and unconditional support for our friend and colleague, Professor Mzenga Wanyama. We urge all those who care about Professor Wanyama to consider signing the petition on his behalf at https://www.change.org/p/augsburg-university-support-augsburg-professor-mzenga-wanyama.

Augsburg University faculty statement
The Augsburg University faculty calls on the U.S. government to halt plans for the unjust deportation of our colleague Professor Mzenga Wanyama and his spouse and Augsburg nursing student Mary Mzenga and to permit their continued work and residence in the US. We stand against the anti-immigrant sentiment that is prompting the current wave of deportations and proudly affirm our status as an institution that supports the many immigrant and refugee members of our academic community.

Website
A website, www.mzenga.com, has been created by friends and supporters of Mzenga and Mary Wanyama. The site includes a statement from the Wanyamas, information about the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting, and information about getting involved and providing support.

Work authorization and sponsorship
Augsburg University complies with federal law that requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Dr. Wanyama has authorization to work in the United States, issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sponsorship for permanent resident status is not an option at this time due to a restriction related to a J-1 two-year home residency requirement. The two-year home residency requirement means that those who come to the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status, or get work or family-based visa status until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively. A request to waive the two-year home residency requirement was filed several years ago, but the waiver was denied. Augsburg is working with legal counsel to pursue all options available to us under the current scenario.

Kare 11’s Jana Shortal discusses civility with Minnesota Urban Debate League students

Urban Scholars
Marshall Steele and Sandy Bolton on Kare 11.

Kare 11’s Jana Shortal interviews Marshall Steele, from Central High School, and Sandy Bolton, from Roosevelt High School, about civil debate. Both students attended Augsburg’s Minnesota Urban Debate League summer camp, a program which provides resources and programming to support competitive academic debate at Twin Cities high schools and middle schools.

How can emotion and civility co-exist? Shortal asked. “Try to understand people’s points even if there’s something you fundamentally disagree with,” Bolton said. “There are backgrounds that lead to people having opinions that are insensitive but have fundamental reasoning behind them that you have to understand in order to engage with them well.”

See the full interview on Kare 11’s website.

Augsburg Names Robert Gould Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

Robert Gould began July 1 as Augsburg’s new vice president for strategic enrollment management. With a background in both the liberal arts and professional studies, Robert brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning for traditional undergraduate enrollment as well as recruiting adult learners in undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.

He is deeply committed to student access, inclusion and success. He has a strong track record in financial aid strategy, recruitment analytics, and equipping campus faculty and staff partners to effectively support the recruitment effort and serve as ambassadors of the institution.

Most recently, Robert served as vice president for enrollment management at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he held cabinet-level positions in enrollment and in finance and operations at Green Mountain College in Poultney and Killington, Vermont, and at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York, and Colchester, Vermont. Robert began his career in admissions, with progressively greater enrollment management responsibilities at several New York institutions: Iona College in New Rochelle, Ithaca College in Ithaca, and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. 

Robert holds a master of science in corporate communications from Ithaca College and a bachelor of science in business and public management from State University of New York at Utica. He has presented at national higher education enrollment conferences and has served in volunteer and leadership roles for non-profit science, pharmacy, historical society, and children’s services organizations.

Twin Cities mayors judged Augsburg’s annual Great Education Debate

Mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter at the debate discuss the finer points of civil debate.
Mayors Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter at the debate. Photo by Andy Mannix – Star Tribune.

Jacob Frey and Melvin Carter, the new mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, served as judges June 7 at the Minnesota Urban Debate League’s Great Education Debate at Augsburg.

Augsburg’s urban debate league program provides resources and programming to support competitive academic debate at Twin Cities high schools and middle schools. The goal is to empower students through competitive academic debate to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities.

At the debate, four students presented arguments on the topic of investing in career technical education as an alternative to four-year college degrees. Both Frey and Carter gave tips and feedback to the participants.

“You have mastered a skill that has largely been lost in American society, which is the ability to debate respectfully,” Frey told the students.

See full story on the Star Tribune page.

Learn more about the Minnesota Urban Debate League here.

Augsburg partnered to publish the Somali Student Achievement in Minnesota report

The Augsburg Education Department East African Student to Teacher program partnered with The Minnesota Education Equity Partnership to research and publish the report Somali Student Achievement in Minnesota about the state’s largest East African diaspora community.

This report, which was released and discussed at a launch event in May at Augsburg, invites readers to consider and recommend innovative practices to strengthen academic achievement for Somali students and to guide educators across Minnesota to better support Somali students and their families.

View the Somali Student Achievement in Minnesota report.

Read a Somali language article about the Somali Student report launch.

Watch a Somali language video about the Somali Student report launch here.

 

 

Augsburg’s strong commitment to transit highlighted

Nice Ride bike station on Riverside Ave.
Nice Ride bike station on Riverside Ave.

The Society for Human Resource Management, the nation’s leading human resources organization, highlighted Augsburg’s strong commitment to transit and environmental stewardship.

Following a 2015 survey in which 78 percent of Augsburg employees said they drove alone to work, the university aimed to reduce those solo trips by 28 percent, which it eventually did, the article noted.

Last December’s federal tax legislation made changes to employers regarding commuting benefits, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

“I don’t see it changing what Augsburg University does for our faculty and staff or our students, mainly because we have a strong commitment to both environmental stewardship and our community,” said Nicole Peterlin, Augsburg’s human resources specialist.

See the full story on the Society for Human Resource Management here.

Congratulations to Auggies named to the Spring Semester Dean’s List

Augsburg University SealMore than 800 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2018 Spring Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2018 Spring Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.

NBC Nightly News highlights Augsburg’s StepUp collegiate recovery program

Neil King walking across the stage on Commencement day
Neil King ’18 on NBC Nightly News

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt reported about how Augsburg’s StepUp program has successfully helped students in recovery to graduate.

NBC’S Catie Beck talked with Neil King ’18 about the support StepUP provided him while he was a full-time student at Augsburg.

According to NBC, King began using drugs at age 14, and discovered Augsburg’s StepUp program four months into his recovery. “I really learned to believe in myself, and my skills and capabilities,” said King, who is now heading to graduate school.

StepUp Program Director Tamarah Gehlen also was interviewed by NBC. “We always say that no one should have to choose between recovery and a college education.”

See full interview on NBC’s website.