Líderes Latina/os: Hector Matascastillo is one of "25 on the Rise"

matascastilloArticle by Juventino Meza Rodriguez

I met Hector R. Matascastillo, a MSW student at Augsburg, over the summer. We had no idea either of us existed. I had been told I should meet with him, so I emailed him and asked to go for coffee, a random offer I thought. He responded saying randomness had been part of his life for some time now, so sure, we would have coffee some time.

After our first meeting, I understood to some degree what he meant by the “randomness” comment. He then told me about his experiences with the military, genocide, and not long ago with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), the police, and the judicial system. Continue reading “Líderes Latina/os: Hector Matascastillo is one of "25 on the Rise"”

Knowing and serving our neighbors

juventinoThis summer Juventino Meza-Rodriguez has been getting to know Augsburg’s neighbors, and the neighborhood, on a much deeper level than some students usually do.

For his URGO research project, titled Augsburg College Maps and Papers, Meza-Rodriguez is exploring the relationship of the College to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, examining the history, growth, and present relationships. His goal is to identify best practices for colleges and universities that seek to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with their surrounding communities.

Meza-Rodriguez initially sought to determine whether Augsburg really was serving its neighbors, particularly the immigrant communities in the Cedar-Riverside area. “I have been a critic of Augsburg in this area,” he said. Continue reading “Knowing and serving our neighbors”

Meeting our neighbors to the south

chicagoWhile some of their friends and classmates learn about homelessness and hunger in Minneapolis, build homes in New Orleans, another group of Auggies is taking an “alternative” spring break and getting to know more about the people and the city of Chicago.

Students from ALAS (Allied Latina/o – Augsburg Students) organized their trip to explore Chicago’s Latina/o neighborhoods such as Pilsen on the west side. This neighborhood has long welcomed immigrant families and now houses the largest Latino/a population in the city. There, students are visiting cultural centers, meeting residents, and learning about community activism. Continue reading “Meeting our neighbors to the south”

Four Auggies recognized for peace and justice work

hawkinsonThree current Augsburg students and a recent graduate have received 2008 Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation scholarships in recognition of their involvement in peace and justice activities.

Selected annually by the Minneapolis-based Foundation, the scholarships are aimed at furthering the commitment to peace and justice of the late Rev. Vincent L. Hawkinson, who served as pastor of Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for 30 years. The scholarship program has awarded more than $100,000 to 87 students since 1988, and 20 students are receiving the 2008 scholarship awards.

The Augsburg scholarship recipients are (l to r) Ulises Ayala-Beltran, Maria Alvillar Hinojosa, Ryan Treptow, and Juventino Meza-Rodriguez. Continue reading “Four Auggies recognized for peace and justice work”