Auggies perform with Barry Manilow at Xcel Energy Center

Auggies sing with Barry Manilow on his well known hit, “Copacabana (At the Copa).”

Members of the Augsburg Choir sang backup for Barry Manilow during the Grammy-award winning performer’s farewell tour. The choir sang three encore songs with Manilow including “I Write the Songs,” “Miracle,” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).”

The Augsburg Choir was selected to perform by Barry Manilow’s choir director, Doug Hollenback. The ensemble is recognized for its high level of musicianship and performs a diverse repertoire under the direction of Peter Hendrickson ’76.

The performance by the students drew media attention from Twin Cities media outlets including:

Watch a YouTube video of Auggies performing Copacabana at the show.

Michael Lansing interview appears on Minnesota Public Radio

mprNEWS - logoMichael Lansing, associate professor of history at Augsburg College, was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio for a segment that compared political movements from the early 1900s with the contemporary political landscape. Lansing is the author of “Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics,” which presents the history of The Nonpartisan League and describes its continued influence in the upper Midwest.

Lansing describes the League as a grassroots organization started by farmers who were discontent with large grain milling and transportation corporations in the region. He told MPR News host Tom Weber that The Nonpartisan League is the reason for the large number of co-operatives in North Dakota today, and the party was comprised of farmers who sought candidates that supported their platforms, regardless of party.

Listen to: ‘Insurgent Democracy’ the demise of The Nonpartisan League (14 minutes) on the MPR site.

Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, and Minnesota leaders announce “Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense” at Augsburg-hosted press conference

On February 25, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and retired astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, co-founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, joined Minnesota leaders at Augsburg College to announce a new bipartisan organization, the “Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense.” The coalition’s members – which include leaders from across sectors and parties – will urge their elected officials to advance policies that help keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Giffords was wounded severely during a 2011 shooting that resulted in six deaths. She and husband, Kelly, have announced similar coalitions in New Hampshire and Oregon during the past several months.

Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow welcomed the event’s guests to campus and offered opening remarks at the press conference.

Media coverage of the event includes:

River Semester media attention grows as class travels down-river

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.35.52 PM[Updated November 13] — The Augsburg College River Semester, created and led by Joe Underhill, associate professor of political science, departed from St. Paul’s Harriet Island on September 1. As part of the kickoff, the River Semester class was joined by a group of nearly 100 students, parents, high school students and members of the Augsburg College community who paddled in a flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from St. Paul to South St. Paul. Students participating in the semester-long program will earn as many as 16 credits in the arts, humanities, and sciences as they travel nearly 2,000 miles of the 2,350-mile Mississippi River.

The River Semester kickoff garnered a range of attention. Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed September 1 “Augsburg College River Semester Day” and many media outlets covered the launch of the class.

Since the students and faculty departed on their voyage, print and broadcast media have been sharing the story of this hands-on, interdisciplinary program. In fact, multiple stories have been picked up by the Associated Press and shared through the AP’s member media throughout the nation.

A snapshot of the ongoing media coverage is below. As additional coverage occurs, it will be added to this post.

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Minnesota Public Radio previews River Semester program

MPRLogoAugsburg College’s new River Semester program was featured on Minnesota Public Radio’s On Campus blog. Sixteen Augsburg students, two faculty members, and two river commercial expedition personnel will travel from St. Paul to New Orleans during the fall semester, oftentimes camping on the banks of the Mississippi River and engaging with people who live and work along its path. Students will carry out river-related projects and study subject areas in the arts and sciences.

Read “How Augsburg is going all Mark Twain” on the MPR website.

Visit the River Semester site to find additional program details and event announcements.

MPR talks with Dean Gort about Auggie Plan

MPRLogoIn late May, officials from Augsburg College and Minneapolis Community and Technical College launched the Auggie Plan, a guaranteed pathway to a four-year degree for MCTC students who earn a certain GPA and who follow a particular path at MCTC. Students in the program can take a range of liberal arts courses with the knowledge the courses will be accepted by Augsburg. Listen to Minnesota Public Radio’s story, “MCTC students receive clear ticket to Augsburg College,” which included an interview with Amy Strohmeier Gort, dean of arts and sciences.

MPR features Midnimo program’s Aar Maanta residency

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The Cedar Cultural Center and several other Minneapolis organizations hosted popular London-based Somali singer Aar Maanta in early April as part of the Midnimo series, a two-year partnership with Augsburg College to build cross-cultural awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Somali culture through music.

The Minneasota Public Radio story “Aar Maanta is the voice of a new Somali generation” discussed the ways in which Aar Maanta’s music resonates with Minnesotans and rejuvenates the Somali music scene.

Music therapist Sandi Holten ’82 tells MPR how music helps Parkinson’s patients

MPRLogoAugsburg College alumna and music therapist Sandi Holten ’82 was featured on MPR News in a special piece for Minnesota Sounds & Voices. As a kid, Holten dropped out of piano lessons believing that music wasn’t going to play a large part in her life, but today she uses music to strengthen muscles and spirits for many people living with Parkinson’s in the Twin Cities.

Visit the MPR News website to learn more about Holten’s work in the story, “Music helps keep Parkinson’s patients going.”

MPR airs Nobel Peace Prize Forum conversation on refugee crises

MPR's Tom Weber, left, talks with Daniel Wordsworth of the American Refugee Committee.

MPR’s Tom Weber, left, talks with Daniel Wordsworth of the American Refugee Committee.

Minnesota Public Radio aired a presentation from the Nobel Peace Prize Forum by Daniel Wordsworth, director of the American Refugee Committee, about the ARC’s humanitarian programs in 11 countries. After Wordsworth’s presentation, he participated in a question and answer session moderated by MPR’s Tom Weber. Listen to “American Refugee Committee director on the future of refugees” on the MPR website.

EAST program scholars talk with Minnesota Public Radio

MPRLogoMinnesota Public Radio’s Tim Post profiled Augsburg College’s East African Student to Teacher (EAST) program, which works to recruit and train teachers of East African descent in an effort to help close the K-12 achievement gap.

The program, directed by Audrey Lensmire, assistant professor of education, told Post that by “having more teachers of color in our K-12 system, their professional voice will be shared by their colleagues.”

Post spoke with two current EAST scholars, Abdiasis Hirsi and Asma Ibrahim. Hirsi, who teaches at Wellstone International High School, was born in Somalia and raised in Kenya. He shared with Post that when he was only 19, Hirsi helped start a school in Nairobi to teach English to Somali refugees. Ibrahim, who shared with Post that she was born in Pakistan to Somali refugees, said she had a difficult time as a student in connecting with her teachers in Owatonna. She hopes to become a teacher to help students who are like her become comfortable enough to learn.

EAST is funded by the Collaborative Urban Educator Program and received $390,000 for two school years including 2013-14 to 2014-15. Additional funding is now being sought from the Minnesota State Legislature. State Sen. Kari Dziedzic has introduced a bill to nearly double funding over the next two years.

Listen or read “East African teachers connect with younger versions of themselves” on the website of MPR News. Learn more about the EAST program.