The magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran, recently featured an article covering Augsburg College’s River Semester. The River Semester program found a dozen students, two professors, and two wilderness guides using the Mississippi River as a classroom as they traveled its length by canoe and bus. The article includes statements from a number of students about their experience and from Joe Underhill, the political science professor who worked for 15 years to make the trip a reality.
The article quotes student Noah Cameron ’17 as saying of the trip’s appeal, “We could be learning about these places and things in a classroom, but out here makes it much more memorable.”
Ricky Taylor ’17, who documented the trip through photography and video, spoke about the difficulty of balancing his coursework with canoeing and filming the trip. “It wasn’t easy, but through it came some of my most exciting moments from the trip,” he said. “In those split seconds, I got to capture something beautiful, amazing or just down-right fun.”
In addition to studying the ecology, history, and political importance of the river, the experience brought the group together and offered lessons in self-awareness. Hannah Arvold ’18 explains in the article, “We had such a variety of people — students with majors from political science, to film, to biology. We had a blast learning about each other, which in turn helped us learn a lot about ourselves.”
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead recently recommended “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics” by Michael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, as a holiday gift with regional ties.
The book details the history of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active in North Dakota, neighboring states, and some Canadian provinces in the early 1900s.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press included Phillip Adamo, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, in its coverage of recent education news. Adamo was named the 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. More information about Adamo and the award is available on Augsburg’s News and Media blog.
Pioneer Public Television and the Chippewa County Historical Society have announced that they will co-sponsor a reading, book signing, and discussion with Michael J. Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College. Lansing will read from his new book “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics.”
According to the announcement, Lansing’s book gives a historical account of the Nonpartisan League, a political movement active from 1915 to 1920 as a means of limiting corporate influence in politics in favor of an empowered citizenship. Lansing argues that the League’s success and collapse offer valuable lessons that are applicable to popular movements in modern politics.
The event will take place on November 19 at the Montevideo Chippewa County Public Library. For more information, see the announcement on the Pioneer Public Television site.
MinnPost recently included an interview with Lars Christiansen, associate professor of sociology at Augsburg College, in an article examining the importance of civic engagement in city planning. The article cites ongoing controversies such as the proposed soccer stadium in St. Paul as indicative of a problematic lack of both transparency and residential participation in public processes. Earlier this year, Christiansen published an article in the Journal of Education Planning and Research detailing his study of the St. Paul Friendly Streets Initiative and its public process for a bike lane project.
Moving beyond public processes that merely pay lip service to community inclusion takes time, according to Christiansen. The MinnPost article quotes him as saying, “The community organizing approach to public engagement [that I prefer] takes a lot longer. Like any other community organizing, it involves trust building, relationship building, and lengthy listening. It’s really aiming for co-creation.”
In the article, Christiansen stresses that one important aspect of processes that successfully engage the public in city planning projects is timing. The earlier that planners can involve the public and establish communication with them about a project, the more likely it is that their involvement and communication will see a project through to completion. “The holy grail is the notion of inclusion. How do you do it for the whole duration of the project?” Christiansen says in the article.
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. Thanks to all those who shared their time and stories and helped put Augsburg at the table on so many topics.
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 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 Educationabout 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 Monitorabout 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 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 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
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.”
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.”
The Rev. John Matthews, an adjunct professor of religion in the Rochester undergraduate program, spoke May 8 in Muskegon, Mich., about the life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a fervent resister during World War II of the Nazi movement. Matthews, past president of the International Bonhoeffer Society, delivered the 33rd Annual Charles H. Hackley Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities and that was sponsored by the Friends of the Hackley Library. Matthews is a pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley. Read “Teachings of Nazi Resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer subject of Hackley Distinguished Lecture.”
Michael Wentzel, assistant professor of chemistry at Augsburg College, spoke with KSTP TV about a new study that shows 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.”
Augsburg College’s Christopher Smith, assistant professor of education, recently spoke with the Pioneer Press and Star Tribuneabout legislative efforts to repeal basic-skills exams for teachers. Smith, who co-chaired the Minnesota Teacher Licensure Advisory Task Force, told media that although the majority of the task force members supported repeal of the exams, the group was not recommending repeal of teacher accountability. The Pioneer Press article was titled “Minnesota House Panel considers plan to eliminate teacher skills test,” and the Star Tribune piece was titled “Basic-skills exam for teachers remains despite efforts to scrap it.”
Augsburg’s David E. Venne, assistant professor of physics, recently was featured in Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Outdoors” where he spoke about astronomy and his hobby, astrophotography. To see some of his photography of the cosmos, visit his Astrobin page.