The 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.
Legendary Minnesota athlete and coach Stan Nelson ’43 will add another honor to his career, having earned the Bud Grant Distinguished Minnesotan Award from the National Football Foundation. The award, named after the former Minnesota Vikings coach, will be given at the ninth Minnesota Football Honors event April 17.
Nelson had a successful athletic career at Augsburg College, having earned letters in football, golf, baseball, and basketball. In 1942, he served as the football team captain and was named all-MIAC. After graduating from Augsburg, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and began a career as a coach. He held coaching positions in Zumbrota, Farmington, and Anoka, where he coached for 26 years.
Read Award in honor of Bud Grant to go to Anoka legendary coach on the ABC Newspapers site.
Lillie News recently reported that Koua Yang ’99, a human geography and Asian American studies teacher at Harding Senior High School in St. Paul, is one of 114 candidates for Education Minnesota’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Award. The award is one of the most prestigious given to educators in Minnesota and will be awarded May 15.
“I am very, very much humbled by the candidacy,” said Yang. “There are so many great teachers.”
The full list of nominees was published by the Star Tribune. Fellow Auggies Julie Swanson ’85 and Aaron Olson ’11 also have been nominated for the award.
Read Two East Side teachers are candidates for Teacher of the Year on the Lillie News site.
Bob Lockwood ’56 was a star athlete during his time at Augsburg College; he lettered 11 times and was inducted into the Augsburg Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994, but his history with athletic greatness did not end with the conclusion of his career as a player. A recent article by Arizona newspaper Your West Valley tells of the many friendships and interactions Lockwood has had with famous professional athletes.
In the article, Lockwood, a former coach in the Golden Valley and Hopkins school districts, tells of meeting legendary baseball player Rod Carew through one of his players. “My player used to cut Rod Carew’s grass when Rod lived in Golden Valley,” he said. “So I went over to the house and introduced myself. Pretty soon, Rod would come out to our practices and give the kids tips.”
The article also includes the stories of Lockwood’s run-ins with Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway and baseball great Sammy Sosa.
Read: Sun City Grand resident lives life among stars on the Your West Valley site.
Fox Sports North interviewed former Augsburg College basketball player Devean George prior to a recent game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers. George played his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Lakers and was asked about his experience with Kobe Bryant, who is retiring after this season.
In the segment, he is introduced as having drawn “national attention at Augsburg.” When asked about Bryant’s impact on his career, George states, “It was huge. I learned from him everyday.”
Minnesota 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.
The Star Tribune recently published an article highlighting ice skating coach Diane Ness and her son, former Augsburg hockey player Andy Ness ’01, for their involvement with the Minnesota Wild. The article states that Diane and her company ProEdge Power were recently hired by the Wild as consultants, though some of the players have been training privately with the Nesses for years. The article quotes the Wild’s Chris Porter as saying, “They’re both incredible.”
The article states that Andy grew up surrounded by skating and hockey. “My babysitter growing up was the rink,” he said in the article. That background has paid off. Porter is quoted saying that Diane often tells the players to “‘Watch Andy,’ because he’s such a phenomenal skater.” Now, Andy spends the NHL season working with injured Wild players until they regain enough strength to practice and play with the team.
Read “Skating coaches Diane, Andy Ness push Wild, NHL stars to improve” on the Star Tribune website.
A retail and affordable housing development founded by Augsburg College alumnus and former NBA player Devean George ’99 was featured on a recent WCCO-TV broadcast.
The segment included several statements by George about his desire to help revitalize the area near Penn Avenue and Golden Valley Road in Minneapolis, which is often cited as an impoverished neighborhood with high crime rates. George also discussed his childhood connection with the neighborhood and the importance of affordable housing.
Watch “Former NBA Star Developing Affordable Housing Complex In North Minneapolis” on the WCCO website.
Five days a week, Minneapolis community members convene at Bethany Lutheran Church to dine on gourmet fare prepared as part of the Soup for You Cafe — a program recognized by the Star Tribune for its ability to “redefine the soup kitchen.”
Augsburg College alumnus, Chaplain to Student Athletes, and linebacker coach Rev. Mike Matson ’06 is the pastor at Bethany Lutheran and the driver behind this community meal. Supported by volunteers and one talented chef, Soup for You is a chance for people of varying backgrounds to come together in an environment that focuses on dignity. In the article “Church program offers hot soup, warm welcome,” Matson underscored that the program focuses on bringing people together.
“Our model is mutuality, and what better way is there to show mutuality than to gather at the same table together?” he said.
Top 21 news stories featuring Augsburg faculty, staff, students, alumni
Members of the Augsburg College community were featured in more than 220 international, national, and statewide media stories in 2014. Faculty, students, alumni, friends, and staff shared expertise on scholarship and pedagogy, experience as Auggies, and insight on current and special events. Here we take a look at a very small fraction of the many times Auggies made the news during the year. To see more of the coverage earned by Auggies, visit the News and Media blog on a regular basis and read the “Other Information” section of the Augsburg Weekly archives. Thanks to all those who shared their time and stories and helped put Augsburg at the table on so many topics.
John Zobitz spoke with the International Business Times.
John Zobitz talks to International Business Times: Associate Professor of Mathematics and environmental science researcher John Zobitz helped to answer the question posed by many in the wake of a recent record-setting snowfall in the Buffalo, N.Y. area — Why is it so cold and snowy in November? The reason is global warming, according to Zobitz and other scientists studying the Earth’s climate. Read more about how changes in the Earth’s temperature influence weather patterns on the International Business Times website.
- Auggies in the Augsburger Allegmeine: Three Auggies were featured in a story in the Augsburger Allegmeine’s series, “We are all Augsburger.” Natalya Brown ’14, Kayla Feuchtmann ’14, and Jens Pinther ’14 shared photos of themselves on campus, their areas of study, and comments about Augsburg College’s namesake with the German newspaper’s Nicole Prestle. See the story on the Augsburger Allegmeine website. Click on the photo in the story to go to a gallery of photos of the three students.
Katie Clark, nursing faculty, talked with Girls Life for the August/September issue of the magazine which is read by 2 million girls.
- Katie Clark in Girls’ Life magazine: Nursing instructor and the director of the Health Commons, Katie Clark, spoke in July with Girls’ Life magazine to answer questions posed by the magazine’s readers. The publication, which has a readership of more than 2 million girls ages 10-15, is sold at many major bookstores throughout the nation. Clark answered a range of questions for the August/September issue of the magazine.
- Stephan Eirik Clark all over the place: Augsburg Assistant Professor Stephan Eirik Clark was featured in media across the nation after his debut novel, Sweetness #9, received the “Colbert Bump” on The Colbert Report. In many instances, Augsburg College was mentioned. See a range of the coverage on the News and Media blog under the tag “Stephan Eirik Clark.”
- Yemi Melka ’15 featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Yemissrach “Yemi” Melka ’15, a chemistry and international relations student, recently spoke with Beckie Supiano of The Chronicle of Higher Education about Melka’s participation in the Model United Nations. Melka, a Peace Scholar, is interested in exploring how scientists can use their expertise to promote international peacemaking. Listen to “A Science Student Talks Her Way onto the Model UN Team.”
- Alex Peterson ’16 talks with The Scientist: Augsburg College StepUP student Alex Peterson ’16 was interviewed for the cover story in the February edition of The Scientist magazine for an article titled “Pain and Progress: Is it possible to make a nonaddictive opioid painkiller.” Peterson, a student in Augsburg’s successful StepUP program for students in addiction recovery, shared his story and perspective on opioids. Read the article here.
- Hans Wiersma in Christian Science Monitor: Hans Wiersma, associate professor of religion, spoke with the Christian Science Monitor about whether a Baptist church in Kansas could continue after the passing of its charismatic founder. Read Wiersma’s comments in the article “Could Westboro Baptist survive without founder Fred Phelps.”
Janice Gladden ’14, left, graduated with honors in communications.
- Janice Gladden ’14 talks with WCCO: WCCO profiled the graduation from Augsburg College of Janice Gladden ’14, who left college 35 years earlier. Gladden put on hold the education her father urged her to pursue while her husband developed his baseball-playing career, going from an amateur free agent to major league star. Her husband would become a champion left- and center-fielder for the Minnesota Twins and go on to play in two World Series. She shares the story of returning to pursue her college education, of finishing what she started at the urging of her daughter (also an Auggie), and of her early years working to support her husband. Dan Gladden shares his pride in seeing his wife graduate. Watch the WCCO story, “35 years later, woman who put school on hold for former Twins player graduates.”
- Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ’16 talks with media: Auggie Tenzin Yeshi Paichang ’16 spoke at length with media in the days before the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Forum about meeting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at several junctures throughout Paichang’s life. Read “Dalai Lama’s visit will be third juncture for Augsburg student,” by Maja Beckstrom, Pioneer Press. Paichang also shared his story with WCCO. Watch “Dalai Lama visits Minneapolis for NPPF and Tibetan New Year,” by Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield, WCCO. Additional coverage of the NPPF — totaling more than 40 stories — is on the News and Media blog by searching for “NPPF.”
- President Paul Pribbenow talks to MPR: Minnesota Public Radio’s higher education reporter, Alex Friedrich, visited Augsburg College’s campus to experience a day in the life of an Auggie. Friedrich blogged throughout the day about his experiences and found that Augsburg College has a wide variety of traditions and experiences to offer to its students, faculty, staff and alumni, and also to its neighboring communities, as well. During the visit, he met with Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow to discuss Pribbenow’s vision for the College, his commitment to Augsburg students, and his passion for bow ties. Read “The man leading a changing Augsburg.” More stories from the MPR visit are featured in “MPR offers readers a glimpse into Augsburg College life.”
- Jennifer Simon talks with KSTP 5: Jennifer Simon, director of Augsburg College’s American Indian Student Services, talked to KSTP TV about the College’s 6th Traditional Powwow. Simon shared highlights of the powwow, including recognition of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for a gift of $250,000 for endowed scholarships to support American Indian students. Watch “Traditional Powwow at Augsburg College Thanks Local Sioux Tribe.”
Stories Featuring Faculty
Phil Adamo on set with Diana Pierce at KARE 11.
Phil Adamo on KARE 11: Associate professor of history and director of Medieval Studies at Augsburg College, Phil Adamo, was a guest on KARE 11 on Halloween to talk about the origins of the holiday. Adamo shared with Diana Pierce and viewers how Halloween started as a Celtic festival that celebrated the final harvest and eventually was incorporated into Christian traditions to lure non-Christians into the Church. He also discussed the origins of the bonfire, jack-o-lanterns, and Halloween candy. Watch the segment “Halloween History 101” on KARE.
- Andy Aoki on KARE 11: Political Science Prof. Andy Aoki spoke with KARE 11 about the importance of creating diverse police departments in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The story, which took a look at local police departments, was being explored in light of recent clashes between the public and police in Ferguson, Missouri. Watch the interview on “Ferguson fallout: Looking at local police diversity.”
- Joseph Erickson in the Pioneer Press: Professor of education and former member of the Minneapolis school board Joseph Erickson spoke with the paper for perspective on contract talks between the St. Paul Public Schools and the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. Erickson told reporter Mila Koumpilova that the agreement, which averted a strike, represents a “creative mix of contract changes, addendums to the contract and board resolutions.” Read the full story on the Pioneer Press website.
- Jenny Kluznik ’13 in Mpls. St. Paul Magazine: Assistant Professor Jenny Kluznik ’13 MPA, who teaches in the physician’s assistant program, spoke with Mpls. St. Paul Magazine about her decision to return to college so she could join the fast-growing PA field. Kluznik shared her decision to become a PA, why she picked Augsburg College, and shared advice for those considering going back to school. The profile of Kluznik was part of a longer story that explored education needs behind some of Minnesota’s fastest-growing careers. Read “Jenny Kluznik, 33.”
- Joyce P. Miller in OR Today: Joyce Miller, an assistant professor of nursing, was profiled in OR Today about her nearly 40-year career as a nurse, transition to the classroom, and work in diverse communities through the Health Commons projects. Miller, DNP, RN, shares in the story her perspective on transcultural nursing, actively listening to the needs of patients, the complexity of healthcare, and the importance of establishing rapport and trust with patients. Read “Spotlight On: Joyce P. Miller, DNP, RN” in the online edition of OR Today.
- Michael Wentzel on KSTP 5: Mike Wentzel, assistant professor of chemistry at Augsburg College, spoke with KSTP TV about a new study that found marinating meat in dark beer reduces the cancer-causing carcinogens that form when grilling. Wentzel said that a chemical in beer is shown to lessen the formation of harmful molecules during the grilling process and, therefore, can help lower the harm to people who eat grilled meats. Watch the KSTP story “Augsburg chemist: Marinating meat in beer reduces cancer-causing chemicals.”
For more faculty featured in the news, search the Faculty category on the News and Media blog.
Stories Featuring Alumni and Friends
Edor Nelson ’38 was presented a special jersey in honor of his 100th birthday.
StepUP supporters speak with MinnPost: Kevin and Polly Hart, mentors for Augsburg’s StepUP Program, were honored at the annual StepUP Gala for their avid support of the program. The Harts, who have volunteered with StepUP for several years and are in recovery from addiction, were presented the Toby Piper LaBelle Award for their dedication to serving students in recovery. Kevin Hart spoke about the honor and his work with the recovery community in “Sobriety champion Kevin Hart offers financial and emotional support to people in recovery.”
- Edor Nelson ’38 earns statewide attention: Legendary Auggie coach, athlete and instructor Edor Nelson ’38 died August 27 at the age of 100. Nelson, who led the Auggie football and baseball teams for nearly four decades, died only nine days after a centennial birthday celebration at Augsburg where hundreds of friends and Auggies turned out to honor him. Nelson’s birthday celebration and his death garnered an outpouring of attention thanks to the hard work of staff in the Athletics Departments. See the coverage in “Coach Edor Nelson ’38 honored by community, media.”
Kuoth Wiel ’13 played a role in The Good Lie featuring Reese Witherspoon.
Amineh Safi ’14 in Star Tribune: Star Tribune columnist Gail Rosenblum featured Augsburg College student Amineh Safi ’14 in a recent story examining news coverage of Muslims. In the column, Safi described findings from her research on the portrayal of Muslims in the media and her experiences with diversity in college. Safi’s research opportunity was offered through the McNair Scholars program at Augsburg and conducted under the mentorship of Diane Pike, sociology professor, who also was quoted in the column. Read “Time to look at news coverage of Muslims” on the Star Tribune website.
- Kuoth Wiel ’13 in national media: Social psychology major Kuoth Wiel ’13, a star in the feature film “The Good Lie,” has garnered a plethora of media coverage. The film, which was released in Minnesota Oct. 17, has been well received and is generating Oscar buzz. Augsburg has received several media mentions thanks to Wiel, both prior to her graduation when the College sought to place her story with media, and since the film’s release. Check out the most recent coverage in “Kuoth Wiel ’13 gains wealth of media coverage.”