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 University-related programs, events, and more.

Associate History Professor Michael Lansing featured in two TV documentaries

 Michael Lansing
Michael Lansing on “Flour Power”.

Augsburg Department of History Chair Michael Lansing was interviewed for Minnesota Experience’s first-ever episode of “Flour Power,” a new weekly history series from TPT – Twin Cities PBS.

The episode, which premiered September 17, explored the impact that Minnesota’s milling history had on the carbohydrates we consume every day worldwide.

Stream the full episode at the TPT – Twin Cities PBS website.

Earlier in September, Lansing was featured in “The Rise and Fall of the Nonpartisan League,” a documentary series from Prairie Public Television (North Dakota). In 2015, Lansing published his book Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics, then served as an advisor for the series.

Watch part 1 at Prairie Public’s YouTube channel.

AUGSBURG UNIVERSITY REVIEWING CLASSROOM INCIDENT, PROGRAM INCLUSION

(Updated Jan. 14. This post will be updated as new information is available.)

On October 31, Augsburg leadership received bias claim reports related to a classroom incident and to the inclusiveness of specific program areas at the university. In response, Augsburg leadership immediately set in motion the university’s process for investigating such situations.

The first step was to initiate the informal resolution process, as provided by the Faculty Handbook. Through that process, individuals who submitted non-anonymous reports were invited to have further conversations. Dozens of interviews were conducted. Under Augsburg policy, any personnel discussions or actions related to this process will remain confidential.

Augsburg’s chief academic officer also charged a team of faculty, students, and multicultural student services staff to review specific program areas relative to Augsburg’s equity commitment. That commitment, approved by the Augsburg Board of Regents in April 2018, states that “Augsburg must fully embrace the challenge of being the institution its students need today, creating culturally relevant learning spaces and opportunities that build students’ agency to lead change at Augsburg and in their communities.”

In early January, it was concluded that the informal resolution process failed to achieve an appropriate resolution. As a result, Augsburg’s chief academic officer initiated the Formal Resolution process, also outlined in the Faculty Handbook. Unlike the Informal process, the formal process involves faculty, requiring consultation with the university’s committee on tenure and promotion for advice and recommendation. That committee, which is elected by the faculty, may also recommend formation of a faculty hearing committee to review concerns and make recommendations. Any personnel discussions or actions will remain confidential under Augsburg policy.

Throughout this process, Augsburg is committed to supporting students’ academic success. Augsburg leadership recognizes that these recent issues have raised important questions about inclusiveness at Augsburg more generally. These questions will not be ignored.

A variety of other institution-wide efforts are underway—including student-led initiatives, faculty-led discussions, and more. A student survey is in development as part of a curricular inclusivity study. A faculty and staff work group has been formed to review a proposed general education requirement to support intercultural learning. And plans are in development for dedicating time on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January for workshops and intercultural competence development.

“We know that the work of fostering an inclusive learning environment is ongoing, and we are fully committed to it,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “We are grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who have spoken courageously to raise campus awareness, who have engaged in actively listening to the issues being expressed, and who have called for changes that advance our equity work. Augsburg will address this important topic like it has many other critical issues in our 150-year history: We will acknowledge and engage the topic, not shrink from it, and work together to make the university better.”

WCCO-TV features Professor of Sociology Diane Pike’s “tech-free” classroom

Diane PikeTechnology has become a powerful tool for many educators. Many agree it makes learning more fun and engaging, while other educators such as Augsburg University Professor of Sociology and Department Chair Diane Pike opt for a “tech free” classroom. Pike has restricted technology use in her classroom for 10 years now.

My goal is to have you not look at your phone for 70 minutes,” Pike told WCCO-TV. “The research is really clear that being on your phone in class is distracting.” Since implementing her tech-free zone, Pike has not had significant issues. She says her small class sizes, around 25 students, make it easier to manage.

English prof Robert Cowgill remains hopeful about the future of Liberal Arts

 

English major Connor Doebbert shaking hands with Prof. George Dierberger at Augsburg's 2017 spring commencement.
English major Connor Doebbert shaking hands with Prof. George Dierberger at Augsburg’s 2017 spring commencement.

The notable preference for STEM programs has negatively affected the number of English majors in the United States. Retired English professor Madelon Sprengnether from the University of Minnesota paid close attention to the numbers. Sprengnether reached out to her former student, professor Robert Cowgill, chair of the Department of English at Augsburg University to discuss why English (and other humanities disciplines) still hold appeal. “As I age, I see us all as a circle of writers and teachers in this city who have kept a certain flame of sensibility alive in our students,” Cowgill said. “I think we matter. What we keep alive matters.”

See full article at the Star Tribune website.

30th Annual Forum at Augsburg Spurs Media Coverage

The Star Tribune previewed the 30th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum, interviewing guest speaker and Nobel laureate Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Read the editorial: Abolish nuclear weapons? Idealistic. Worthy.

The September 14-15 forum at Augsburg University featured Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have navigated the paradoxes between conflict and reconciliation, between justice and forgiveness, between hope and fear. The event drew other media coverage as well:

Star Tribune — Project brings together Minneapolis police, black men in quest for understanding.

Star Tribune Business Columnist Neal St. Anthony — Business warming to greener economy that combats climate change

MPR Presents — Peter Gleick on ‘The World’s Freshwater: From Conflict to Peace’

Psychology prof Bridget Robinson-Riegler explains nostalgia and the return of “Murphy Brown”

Bridget Robinson-Riegler
Bridget Robinson-Riegler on WCCO

The recent comeback of the hit TV show “Murphy Brown” stirred up some warm memories among fans after 20 years of being off the air.

So, why does nostalgia feel so good? WCCO’s Heather Brown talked with Bridget Robinson-Riegler, professor of psychology at Augsburg University, about the psychology behind the feeling of nostalgia that certain past memories make us feel.

“When we are depressed, feeling alone, feeling angst-ridden, we turn to nostalgia because that makes us feel better,” Robinson-Riegler told WCCO. “When we think back to our past, the neural substrates, the things responsible for how people construct memories of the past, are the same mechanisms by which people project about the future.

Watch the full report at the WCCO website

The Pioneer Press reported earlier this year about the trend of the ’00s back in television.

Given the high demand for reboots, relaunches and remakes, Ross Raihala, of the Pioneer Press, interviewed Robinson-Riegler about what she describes as a “reminiscence bump.”

“Most memories come from age 10 to age 30 or so,” said Robinson-Riegler, in the article. Many network executives are of an age where some of their most potent memories formed around the turn of the century, thus the oncoming tide of ’00s throwbacks, she told the Pioneer Press.

Recent hit television revivals include “Trading Spaces,” “Will and Grace,” and “Queer Eye” and movie sequels such as “Super Troopers 2,” and “Incredibles 2.”

“One of the main things nostalgia does is help people find meaning in life and to connect with other people,” Robinson-Riegler said. “When you’re connected to other people, life has meaning. Nostalgia makes people feel protected, loved and happy. People even feel physically warmer.”

Read the full article at the Pioneer Press

 

ADVISORY: World Leaders Meet September 14-15 for Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis

The Paradox of Peace is focus of leaders, activists

(MINNEAPOLIS) — The 30th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum will explore the tensions between conflict and reconciliation, between justice and forgiveness, between hope and fear.  Join us September 14-15 in Minneapolis to honor Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have navigated these paradoxes.

Guest speakers include:

  • Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the 2017 Nobel laureate.
  • Environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
  • Maya Soetoro-Ng, President of the Matsunaga Institute and President Barack Obama’s sister
  • Nobel laureate Peter Agre, an Augsburg alumnus
  • Members of EcoPeace, including Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian activists, who are using water as a peacemaking tool
  • Bill Dougherty of the University of Minnesota and his Police and Black Men Project participants
  • Ecolab CEO Doug Baker

Friday’s program will kick off with discussion of the peace process in Colombia and the ongoing challenges of implementing the peace accord. In 2016 Colombia’s President Santos received the Nobel Peace Prize “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end.”

Saturday’s program will focus on the challenges of ridding the world of the nuclear weapons that threaten the very existence of life on earth and feature Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

For more details about the program and speakers, go to http://peace.augsburg.edu/

 

LOCATION

The 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum will be held at the Augsburg University campus, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Information and tickets are available at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum website.

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Gita Sitaramiah at sitarami@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1476.

 

ABOUT THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM

The Nobel Peace Prize Forum, hosted and presented by Augsburg University, brings together students and community members with Nobel Peace Prize laureates, world leaders and accomplished peacemakers to work on building a world in which people can live full, rich, meaningful lives. Under the auspices of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum inspires peacemaking by focusing on the work of laureates and international peacemakers and peacebuilders. More at Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

 

ABOUT AUGSBURG UNIVERSITY

Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to nearly 3,600 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and the Rochester site. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. 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.

Congratulations to Auggies named to the Summer semester Dean’s List

More than 100 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2018 Summer 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 Summer 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.

KSTP documents River Semester

Joe Underhill, the River Semester program director
Joe Underhill, River Semester program director.

Fifteen Auggies are paddling down the Mississippi River for 100 days while learning about history, politics, and the environment for 16 credits.

An experiential education is a trademark of an Augsburg education. “We do this because we think this is the best way to learn both about the Mississippi River and to learn in general about what’s going on out in the world,” said River Semester program director Joe Underhill, who will be teaching along the way.

For many students, this is their first time camping. “I’ve never camped, never canoed in my life. I’m nervous because it’s out of my comfort zone but I’m very excited to see what it’s going to be like”, student Kristy Ornelas told KSTP.

This is Augsburg’s second River Semester. The first was in 2015.

Watch full report on KSTP’s website.

Media Advisory: River Semester students hike Mississippi on Thursday, launch Friday to canoe for 100 days

Media invited to interview students at Thursday sendoff from Augsburg and Friday’s launch ceremony at Fort Snelling

(MINNEAPOLIS) — Augsburg University River Semester students will paddle the Mississippi for 100 days starting Friday.

The 15 students will learn about history, politics, the environment and more as they canoe the Mississippi. They will paddle from Fort Snelling to Memphis in this unique semester-long experience. In addition, they will be joined by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian activists from EcoPeace Middle East following Augsburg’s Nobel Peace Prize Forum on Sept. 14-15. View the full River Semester itinerary at this link: http://www.augsburg.edu/river/river-semester-itinerary/. For more details about River Semester, go to http://www.augsburg.edu/river. This is the second-ever River Semester. The first was in 2015.

Media Opportunities:

Thursday, August 23: The group will gather at 9:00 a.m. on the front steps of the Christensen Center at Augsburg University, and hike about 9:30 a.m. the nine miles to Fort Snelling State Park. The group of 15 students, two faculty, two staff, and family and friends who will hike with them, will walk along the river gorge, stopping at Minnehaha Falls park for lunch before continuing on to Fort Snelling and their first camp site at Picnic Island.

Friday, August. 24: The group will have a short ceremony, send-off and “blessing of the fleet” at 7:30 a.m. at the boat ramp adjacent to Picnic Island at Fort Snelling. The gate to the park opens at 7:00 a.m., and there is a $7 entrance fee (unless you have a Minnesota State Park annual pass). Once in the park, follow signs to Picnic Island. There is ample parking there and the group will be easily visible once you are in the parking lot.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications, sitarami@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1476.