Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester

Class paddled more than 250 miles since leaving St. Paul on Sept. 1

River semester canoes filled with trip gear(MINNEAPOLIS) – The Mississippi River and four, 24-foot voyageur canoes are home and classroom for a group of Augsburg College students who will be in Dubuque from Sept. 28-30 as part of the nation’s first-ever River Semester.

The students, who have paddled more than 250 miles of river since departing St. Paul on Sept. 1 as part of their nearly 2,350-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico, will earn as many as 16 credits in biology, environmental studies, health and physical education, and political science.

“The canoes are a floating classroom where students translate into action what they learn on shore during lectures and from their reading and homework,” said Professor Joe Underhill, creator of this hands-on learning program.

“Each student also is responsible for personal research project, some in partnership with state and national agencies. Some of these projects contribute to the common good, and every project is a chance for teamwork and collaborative excellence.”

The dozen students participating in this hands-on learning program, created by Underhill, is offered in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit and inclusive travel provider that specializes in experiential programming and outdoor travel for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

“We know that what happens in the boats transfers to the classroom and life,” said Chad Dayton, director of programs and partner relations for Wilderness Inquiry. “Students develop increased confidence, better relationships with faculty, and throughout their college careers, they have a shared experience to refer back to that can help with problem solving.” Continue reading “Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester”

Matthew Beckman contributes to Star Tribune commentary

Minneapolis Star TribuneMatthew Beckman, assistant professor of biology, joined his research collaborators Grant Two Bulls and Amy Myrbo in writing a commentary for the Star Tribune that voiced support for renaming Minneapolis’ Lake Calhoun. As the commentary noted, recent events have initiated a debate regarding whether the lake should return to its original name in the Dakota language: Mde Maka Ska.

Beckman, Two Bulls, and Myrbo conducted research during summer 2014 that involved taking a core sample of lake sediment and studying its pollen content as a way to examine the ecological record of an early-19th-century Dakota agricultural village on its shore. This geological study of the lake showed a long history of Native American natural resource stewardship that extended centuries before the arrival of surveyors backed by John C. Calhoun, the lake’s namesake.

Visit the Star Tribune website to read, “Mde Maka Ska: A Minnesota name for a Minnesota lake.”

$10 million gift to Augsburg College will launch new academic building

Gift from 1965 Augsburg College alumnus is largest in College’s history

BOR 05_06_11.inddAugsburg College is honored to announce that it has received an unrestricted $10 million philanthropic gift from a 1965 alumnus.

The donor’s generous contribution will support a new academic building that will house a number of the College’s academic programs including biology, business, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, psychology, and religion.

“This tremendous gift will make possible our continued commitment to academic excellence, to the hands-on learning that is one of the hallmarks of the College, and to the continued best-use of our 23-acre campus,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Augsburg is a 143-year-old anchor institution in the heart of Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. This gift puts Augsburg on the path of being a college for the 21st century, and one that continues to deliver academic excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies.” Continue reading “$10 million gift to Augsburg College will launch new academic building”

Katie Edelen: Triple majors, triple major awards

edelenThe last six weeks have been an amazing ride for Katie Edelen. Not only is it unusual to graduate with three majors, but it’s extremely remarkable to receive both a Fulbright Grant and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, as well as one of Augsburg’s major awards.

Edelen was awarded both BA and BS degrees on Saturday with majors in environmental studies, chemistry, and biology. She was also called to the podium to accept the Marina Christensen Justice Award, presented to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Augsburg’s motto, “Education for Service,” and has demonstrated a dedication to community involvement. The award honors 1965 graduate Marina Christensen Justice, who lived in Chicago and reached out to serve disadvantaged people and communities. Continue reading “Katie Edelen: Triple majors, triple major awards”