Andy Aoki helps answer WCCO’s “Good Question”

WCCO - logoWCCO recently sought counsel from Andy Aoki, professor and department chair of political science at Augsburg College, to answer a viewer’s question about the timing of the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus.

“Why do Iowa and New Hampshire vote first?” was the focus of the recent Good Question segment.

Aoki provided a straightforward answer.

“Today, they’re first because they want to be,” he said before explaining the history of the events in more detail. The segment goes on to explain how the advent of television turned the previously ignored New Hampshire primary into a nation-wide media spectacle. This prompted the state to pass a law requiring that they remain the first to select a candidate.

How did Iowa end up voting earlier? “Technically, New Hampshire is the first primary and Iowa is the first caucus, so they’ve worked out a little agreement,” Aoki explained.

Read and watch: Good Question: Why Do Iowa & New Hampshire Vote First? on the WCCO site.

Des Moines Register covers Meghan Peyton’s Olympic marathon bid

Des Moines Register - logoThe Des Moines Register has published a profile of Meghan Peyton, head coach of women’s and men’s cross country at Augsburg College and University of Iowa graduate. The article is part of a series focusing on 11 Iowans who are competing in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

The article details Peyton’s running career and her training routine for the event, which takes place in Los Angeles on February 13. It also tells of the careful balance she maintains between her coaching duties and her running career.

“Coaching is my way of giving back to the sport. I didn’t want to neglect that,” she said.

Read: Mile posts: Former Hawkeye Meghan Peyton eager for marathon best on the Des Moines Register site.

Michael Lansing interview appears on South Dakota Public Broadcasting

SDPBRadio - logoMichael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, was interviewed by South Dakota Public Broadcasting for the Dakota Midday radio program. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which presents the history of the Nonpartisan League as a model for future political movements.

Lansing describes the League as a grassroots organization started by Midwestern farmers in 1915 who were getting “ripped-off” by the large grain milling and transportation corporations in the region.

“I know that’s pretty strong language,” he said. “But if you look at the evidence in retrospect, it’s rather true.”

Listen to: Dakota Midday: Insurgent Democracy (13 minutes) on the SDPB Radio site.

KARE 11 airs interview with Olivia Maccoux ’18

Kare 11 - logoNBC affiliate KARE 11 recently aired an interview with Augsburg College student Olivia Maccoux ’18, who will undergo brain surgery this week — her 121st procedure. Maccoux suffers from a condition called hydrocephalus, which causes excess fluid to pool around her brain.

“I trust my neurosurgeon, obviously with my life,” she said. Maccoux went on to explain that the upcoming procedure will replace an infected shunt. Maccoux has made the Dean’s List every semester that she has attended Augsburg, an accomplishment she intends to repeat this semester despite the surgery.

“I am going to try to do classes from the hospital when I can Skype into classes,” she said.

Read and watch: Augsburg student prepares for her 121st brain surgery on the KARE 11 site.

Doug Green lends expertise to Star Tribune article on “Pericles”

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoThe Star Tribune recently sought input from Doug Green, professor of English at Augsburg College, on the disputed authorship of the stage drama “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” which is being performed at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Many believe that the first two acts of the play were written by an unknown playwright, but that the final three acts were written by William Shakespeare. Others believe that Shakespeare started the work early in his career and finished it after he had gained more experience. One piece of evidence in support of dual authorship is the play’s absence from the “first folio,” the first collection of plays Shakespeare published.

“If it’s not in the First Folio, people are skeptical,” said Green. “Almost from the get-go, the first two acts don’t look like Shakespeare. We know it was played by the King’s Men and it sounds like Shakespeare but it is pretty clear that Shakespeare had a major hand in the last three acts.”

Read: Act One for Joe Haj: ‘Pericles’ gives Guthrie audiences a look at his work on the Star Tribune site.

MPR News interviews political volunteer Natalie Shaw ’16

mprNEWS - logoMinnesota Public Radio News recently published an article and audio interview with Natalie Shaw ’16, a student at Augsburg College who has been volunteering for Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Shaw recently went door-to-door in Des Moines, Iowa, encouraging voters to turn out in support of Clinton at the state’s Democratic caucus slated for February 1.

Despite the cold weather, Shaw says she receives a warm welcome from nearly everyone who opens their door. “Iowans are just such amazing people,” she said. “You call them up… and they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, come over, have dinner.'”

Shaw credits her father’s volunteer work during John Kerry’s 2004 campaign as the impetus for her love of politics and political organizing.

Read and listen: Iowa in January? You bet, says 21-year-old political volunteer on the MPR News site.

Advisory: LeVar Burton gives public address Feb. 13 at Augsburg

Star of Star Trek, Reading Rainbow and Roots explores innovation, creativity

LeVar Burton(MINNEAPOLIS) — LeVar Burton – an educator, director, and actor best known for his roles in Reading Rainbow, Roots and Star Trek – will share with the public and the Augsburg community the importance of turning STEM into STE(A)M when he speaks at the College on February 13, 2016, as part of Scholarship Weekend.

Burton will talk about compelling reasons for integrating science, technology, engineering and math with the arts and design in his presentation “You can be anything: The importance of education, innovation, and creativity.”

Every spring, Augsburg College welcomes the best and brightest prospective Auggies to participate in Scholarship Weekend. These students participate in a range of activities, connect with faculty and current students, compete for top scholarships, and hear from inspiring leaders. Levar Burton’s appearance follows on successful visits in previous years of his holiness the Dalai Lama and Bill Nye the “Science Guy.”


All tickets are general admission with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Price: $28.00*
  • *All tickets will be charged a $3 service fee. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges are allowed.
  • Purchase tickets at


Augsburg College’s Kennedy Center, located in Si Melby Gymnasium (715 23rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55454)


  • Doors open at 11:45 a.m., Feb. 13
  • Presentation from 1-2 p.m., Feb. 13


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 nearly 3,600 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 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.

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder recaps Augsburg College’s MLK Convocation

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder - logoThe Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder recently published an article and photo gallery covering Augsburg College’s 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, which was held January 18 and featured a speech by legendary rapper and author Chuck D.

The event began with performances by a number of local artists, much to the delight of the keynote speaker. The article states that, “His excitement was noticeable as he jumped to his feet and snapped photos of the acts smiling from ear to ear.”

The article also included interviews with Augsburg students Erickson Saye ’16, Robert Harper ’16, and Reis Francisco Romero ’16. Romero was instrumental in organizing the event; he is the president of Augsburg College’s chapter of Save the Kids, a student group that co-sponsored this year’s convocation.

“It’s going to take me a while to conceptualize everything. I’m glad we did it, I’m glad it’s over, but now the real work starts,” Romero said of the event. “We have to work together to end this miserable condition on this earth.”

Read and view: PHOTOS | Rapper Chuck D refocused MLK Day from past to present on the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder site.

KMSP covers Augsburg College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation
with Chuck D

Fox 9 - logoFox News affiliate KMSP recently aired a segment about Augsburg College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, which took place on January 18. This year’s event featured Chuck D–author, activist, and co-founder of influential rap group Public Enemy. Chuck D spoke to a full auditorium about how King’s ideas and legacy should be applied to the current struggles against racism faced by today’s young people.

The segment featured brief statements by Chuck D, spoken word artist Sha Cage, and those who attended the event.

“People that used to close their doors and say, ‘You know what, my voice doesn’t matter,’ are coming outside and they are picking up signs,” Cage said of recent protests and activism.

Watch: Public Enemy’s Chuck D. talks racial tension at Augsburg on the KMSP site.

Sabo Center sponsors rebirth of legendary drug store political conversations

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoThe Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article covering the return of pharmacist Tom SenGupta’s well-known political conversations. Once held after hours at a St. Paul Schneider Drug, a pharmacy SenGupta owned and operated from 1972 to 2015, the new public forum will be held at the Common Table and hosted by Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. SenGupta’s conversations were known for their rational tone and the makeup of their participants, which ranged from former Sen. Paul Wellstone and other local politicians, to university professors and the general public.

At a recent planning meeting, SenGupta and his partners decided upon the first topic for the talks, which will be held Thursday, January 21, with a discussion of the legacy of slavery in America. “America is a mature society now. Can we finally confront our history of slavery?” SenGupta asked.

Known for his friendly, inspirational demeanor, the former pharmacist intends to let those who show up for the talks decide what their outcomes will be and what future work they will inspire. He does hope that the new round of discussions will be more bipartisan, saying, “Oh, we had plenty of Republicans come, but not Republican candidates. I invited them, but they never came.”

Read: A welcome return of drug-store democracy on the Star Tribune site.