Ann Ashton-Piper is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has worked extensively in the information technology field and currently is the director for network information sharing strategy at United HealthCare. She is active in her church, Peace Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minn. She and her husband, Ken, who is an architect, are also active in their community, supporting local nonprofit and charitable organizations such as Lake Country School, Groves Academy, and the Children’s Theatre Company. Ashton-Piper was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2009 and serves as chair of the Student Affairs Committee.
Sylvia Bartley, PhD earned her Bachelors of Science in pharmacology from the University of London and her PhD in neurophysiology from St. Barts and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is the senior global director of the Medtronic Foundation where she oversees employee volunteer engagement for 89,000 employees as well as Disaster Relief and Patient Empowerment strategies. She has made an impact as a board member and leader for prominent non-profit organizations including the Association of Black Foundation Executives and The Black Women’s Health Imperative. Locally, Bartley has served on many boards including the African American Leadership Forum, Mastery Charter Schools, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Harvest Network of Schools, AchieveMpls, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. She also hosts a show on KMOJ-FM; “African American Community Forum.” Her commitment to inspiring change and strengthening communities is exemplified through numerous awards including the Top 100 Most Influential and Powerful Black Briton in 2019, the Women in Business Award and Diversity in Business Awards from Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and has a recipient of a 2014 Bush Fellow and AARP/Pollen’s 50 under 50 award. In April 2017, she published her first book “Turning the Tide: Neuroscience, Spirituality and My Path Toward Emotional Health”. Bartley served as a panel moderator at the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and facilitated the sponsorship of Augsburg’s new community garden as part of the Hagfors Center.
Karen (Miller) Durant ’81 is an accomplished senior finance executive with more than 30 years of experience with complex multinational, publicly traded companies. She most recently served as vice president and controller of Tennant Company, a manufacturer of equipment and coatings in Golden Valley, Minn. and continues to serves on the Tennant Foundation Board, which supports non-profits primarily in the areas of social services and education. Prior to Tennant, Durant’s career included 18 years with Pentair, where she ultimately served as senior vice president of finance and analysis, and also eight years with Honeywell in a variety of finance and accounting positions. In addition to her bachelor’s degree from Augsburg, Durant holds a master’s in business administration in finance from the University of St. Thomas. Over the years, she has been an active volunteer and donor to a variety of organizations including Operation Bootstrap Africa, Courage Center, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and Junior Achievement. Durant was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2011 and serves as secretary of the Board, chair of the Audit Committee, and vice chair of the Finance Committee.
Matthew K. Entenza, J.D. is a graduate of Worthington Senior High School in Worthington, Minnesota. He attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S. Dak., and graduated cum laude from Macalester College. He received a Diploma in Legal Studies from Oxford University (U.K.) and received a juris doctorate cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. Entenza has served as an Assistant Minnesota Attorney General (prosecuting charitable fraud) and an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney (prosecuting felony white collar crime). He served for six terms in the Minnesota House and for four years was the House Democratic Leader. He was a DFL candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 2010. Entenza is the founder and senior fellow of Minnesota 2020, a state public policy think-tank. He also served as a Senior Advisor on Energy and the Economy to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. He is active in the Lutheran Church and has served on numerous local and national boards. Entenza was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2011, for which he now serves as chair.
Ellen Ewald is co-owner and executive advisor at Tysvar LLC and MobileAxept. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree from the University of Bergen, Norway and a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). Her background includes business development, management and VC/private equity in science and technology sectors for Norwegian and US businesses, universities and government organizations. She served as Director of Higher Education and Research at the Honorary Norwegian Consulate in Minneapolis. Additionally, Ewald is a mental health advocate and is passionate about supporting brain research and fighting the stigma associated with mental illness. She has served on the University of Minnesota Neuroscience Advisory Committee and is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor for the National Council of Behavioral Health. She has also served on the board of the Ella and Kaare Nygaard Foundation, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum Executive Committee, and is also currently on the board of People Incorporated. Ewald helped establish the new University of Minnesota Alumni Chapter in Oslo and served as president. Ewald is a recipient of M.I.T.’s Harold E. Lobdell ’17 Distinguished Service Award and Norway’s 10 Topmost Successful International Women award.
Nicholas C. Gangestad ’86 recently retired from his role as senior vice president and chief financial officer at 3M. Gangestad began at 3M in 1987 and worked in a variety of 3M businesses and regions including the Asia Pacific, Canada, Latin America, and United States. In 2011, Gangestad was appointed corporate controller and chief accounting officer. In 2014, he was named senior vice president and CFO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on accounting from Augsburg, as well as an MBA from the University of Minnesota. Gangestad serves on the board of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. He was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2016.
Rev. Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo is an ordained Lutheran pastor serving All Nations Indian Church of the United Church of Christ in Minneapolis. She also serves as the executive director of the Council for American Indian Ministry of the UCC. She is a member of the HoChunk Tribe in Wisconsin. Helgemo serves on the HoChunk Ethics Review Board and on the American Indian Business Development Corporation Review Board. She is vice president of the Native American Community Development Institute, and she is a past president of the Minneapolis Council of Churches. An engaged community leader, Helgemo has been a key fundraiser for service and education events, has served on the board of the Hennepin County Sexual Violence Center, and has provided counseling, stress management, and spiritual direction assistance for people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Helgemo was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2016.
James Hereford is President and CEO of Fairview. Hereford joined Fairview in 2016 bringing extensive experience in strategically guiding organizations, strengthening core operations and bringing teams together to drive cultural change. Prior to joining Fairview, James served as chief operations officer at Stanford Health Care. Previous roles included chief operations officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and a series of leadership roles with the Group Health Care Delivery System. James holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Montana State University. He has taught courses with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, University of Washington’s Master of Health Administration program and The Ohio State University’s Masters of Business Operations Excellence program. He is a frequent writer and presenter on the topic of lean management systems and transformation. Hereford was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2020.
Veena Iyer, J.D. is the Executive Director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. From 2015 to 2019, Veena served as a Shareholder in the Labor & Employment group at Nilan Johnson, and Lewis. From 2018 to 2019, she was chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group. Veena is a passionate leader who understands, energizes and activates organizations and their stakeholders. She is also a skilled and creative problem solver who excels at leveraging teams to analyze and resolve complex employment and organizational issues. Veena is a past president of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association, a past board member of Minnesota Women Lawyers, and the recipient of MNAPABA’s Leadership Award, MWL’s Service to MWL Award, and Minnesota Lawyer’s Diversity & Inclusion Award. Iyer was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2020.
Diane L. Jacobson, Ph.D. retired as director of the Book of Faith Initiative for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is professor emeritus of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, where she taught from 1982-2010. Jacobson is a frequent speaker throughout the Church at synodical assemblies, rostered leaders gatherings, and churchwide consultations. Jacobson’s main areas of teaching and scholarship have been in Wisdom and Psalms. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including the Book of Faith Lenten Devotional, “Water Marks,” adult study on “Ruth“ and “Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study.” Jacobson holds a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a doctorate from Union Theological Seminary. She was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2014 and serves as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
Mark S. Johnson ’75 led Sonju Motors in Two Harbors, Minnesota, until 1999 when he transitioned to a new role as Two Harbors city planner, where he served until his retirement. Today, Johnson remains active in philanthropic development projects both locally and internationally. In Two Harbors, he leads a community fund that he established 20 years ago to support new projects in response to emerging and changing needs. He also is active on the South Pacific island of Tanna in Vanuatu with various development initiatives, including a solar project to bring electricity to the homes of 20,000 residents on the island. Johnson also funds undergraduate research opportunities for Augsburg students through the Torstenson Scholars Program. He earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and metro-urban studies at Augsburg and participated in golf as a student-athlete. Johnson was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2018.
Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D. is president and chief executive officer of Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, where he continues his lifelong work to educate, elevate, and give voice to people in his communities. The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation matches donors’ charitable resources with community-led solutions. Jolly began leading the Foundation in August 2015 and is forging meaningful, lasting partnerships with donors and members of the community to create a stronger, healthier, and more equitable Minnesota. Before joining the Foundation, Jolly was president of the Science Museum of Minnesota for a decade. Jolly came to Saint Paul after serving as vice president and senior scientist at the Education Development Center in Massachusetts. Before that, he worked as a professor and administrative leader in successive academic roles. He serves on a number of local and national boards, including the Bush Foundation, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and Greater MSP. He is a member of honor societies, including Sigma Xi, Phi Eta Sigma, Mortarboard, and Golden Key. He is also a life member of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. Jolly earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oklahoma and previously served on the Augsburg Board of Regents from 2008 to 2015. He was elected to a new term in 2017 and serves as vice-chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
Cynthia G. Jones, Ph.D. ’81 is the senior level advisor for nuclear safety and analysis at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), providing expertise for major policy, program, and operational issues associated with nuclear safety and security. From 2012-2016, Jones was the Nuclear Safety Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, providing programmatic and policy oversight for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) and United Nations nuclear safety programs. In 2011, she became the first female NRC expert appointed to the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, and more recently served on the Georgia Institute of Technology Advisory Board for Nuclear Engineering and Medical Physics graduate programs. Jones also formerly served as a physicist in the Center for Radiation Research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and in the Radiation Safety department at UCLA. Prior to that, she held positions teaching health physics at Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Tennessee. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in physics from Augsburg, Jones earned a master’s degree in health physics at Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a master’s and a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Maryland. Jones served on the Augsburg Board of Regents from 2010 to 2012 and was elected to a new term in 2017.
Wayne Jorgenson ’71 recently retired after 42 years in the financial services industry. He began his career at Piper Jaffray, Inc., in 1975 and most recently served as a senior vice president of Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services in Bloomington, Minnesota. He is a Civil War historian and in 2012 published the book, “Every Man Did His Duty: Pictures and Stories of the Men of the First Minnesota.” Jorgenson has a passion for Augsburg and has been among the University’s most active alumni—serving on the Alumni Board, the MBA Advisory Board, and more recently as the leader of the Alumni Class Challenge Campaign for the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion. Jorgenson and his wife, Carol ’72, are members of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2013.
Dean Kennedy ’75 serves as chief strategy officer of Texakoma Oil & Gas Corporation, working with the company’s geological and engineering staff in identifying exploration and production opportunities. As a co-founder of the company, Kennedy previously served as president and chief executive officer, leading the corporation to become a major producer of coal bed methane gas in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. Kennedy successfully led the company’s divestiture of its San Juan Basin asset in 2004. During his time at Augsburg, Kennedy was a four-year varsity wrestler and was named an All-American his senior year. He was also a two-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion and a two-time MIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. In 1996, Kennedy was inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame. Kennedy previously served on the Augsburg Board of Regents from 2005 to 2013 and was elected to a new term in 2017.
Toby Piper LaBelle ’96 is senior vice president of Northland Securities, a securities brokerage firm in Minneapolis, where he built and leads the corporate-client services group that supports companies from the entrepreneurial stage through their eventual liquidity events. Previously, LaBelle served as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley and held several positions, including institutional equity trader, at Piper Jaffray & Co. LaBelle has been an active volunteer for the StepUP® Program at Augsburg, providing important leadership to the program’s advisory board, which, since 2002 has given its annual service award in his name. Alongside his service to Augsburg, LaBelle is also on the Board of Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners and several foundations. LaBell was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2010 and serves as chair of the Investment Subcommittee.
LaJune Thomas Lange, J.D. ’75 is known for her international expertise in law and human rights and served a distinguished career as judge in the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota. She is a former co-vice chair of the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Racial Bias in the Courts, and of the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Courts. Lange currently serves as president of the International Leadership Institute, which provides technical assistance, civic education, election monitoring, conflict reduction, and rule of law programs to people and nations in transition. She is a senior fellow with the Humphrey Institute and an Honorary Consul for the Republic of South Africa in Minnesota. Lange obtained her juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School. Lange was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2010.
Steven E. Larson, M.D. ’71 practiced at the Riverside Medical Clinic from 1980 until his retirement in 2018. He was CEO and chairman of the clinic board From 1988 to 2018. He also previously served as president of the California Medical Association, In addition to membership in the Riverside County Medical Association, the California Medical Association and American Medical Association, Larson is a member of the American Medical Group Association, the Infectious Disease Society of America, Southern California Infectious Disease Society, and the American College of Physicians. After graduating from Augsburg in 1971, Larson earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1975. He completed a residency in internal medicine in 1978 and a fellowship in infectious diseases in 1980, both at Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals in Milwaukee. He earned a master of public health degree from Loma Linda University in 1988 and is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. He was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2014.
Karolynn Lestrud ’68 is a retired photography and publishing industry professional; a former board member in historic preservation and performing arts organizations; and an active volunteer in arts, education, and theater. She is a founding member of both the Steamboat Springs and the Routt County Historic Preservation Advisory Boards in Colorado. Lestrud also has served as president and as a board member for the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp and continues as a volunteer tour guide and archivist. Lestrud also works with children’s education programs as a storyteller in the Steamboat Springs Chapter of the Spellbinders organization. After earning a bachelor’s in English and French education at Augsburg, Lestrud completed a master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Oregon. She was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2017.
Terry Lindstrom, Ph.D. ’73 is a retired distinguished research fellow at Eli Lilly and Company, where he served for more than 31 years. He holds numerous patents supporting life-changing drugs, including Evista, for osteoporosis, and Cymbalta, an antidepressant also used to treat anxiety and musculoskeletal pain. His research has resulted in more than 115 abstract and peer reviewed papers with several national and international lectures. He also is a past chair and served on the Indiana Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board for 18 years creating drug formularies and instituting and maintaining best practices in drug utilization in Indiana. Today, Lindstrom continues to serve as a drug discovery consultant, participates in research for treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis, and volunteers with the Augsburg Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunities program giving lectures, meeting with students about their research, and collaborating with Augsburg science faculty. Lindstrom earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from Augsburg and completed a Ph.D. in pharmacology at the University of Minnesota followed by a biochemistry postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University. He was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2018.
Dennis Meyer ’78 is an accomplished marketing professional and strategist whose disciplined approach to marketing and business development has transformed organization across industries. Meyer most recently served as the first-ever chief marketing and business development officer at the national trial law firm of Robins Kaplan LLP. Prior to that, Meyer served in executive marketing leadership roles in multiple industries including architecture, building engineering, and publishing. Whether overseeing global business development teams or successfully revamping the marketing structure of Fortune 500 companies, Meyer has become known for his ability to develop and execute successful marketing programs focused on market segmentation and stakeholder cross-selling. He was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2013 and serves as the chair of the Enrollment Management and Marketing Committee.
Pamela Moksnes ’79 and her husband, Mark Moksnes ’79, have been among Augsburg’s most engaged alumni, with generous gifts to support athletics, campus ministry, the Lindell Library, Oren Gateway Center, and as lead annual fund donors in the Maroon & Silver Society. Prior to her retirement, Moksnes served as vice president for gift planning services, LCMS, through the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Moksnes is passionate about financial literacy and leadership for women and was instrumental in several Women’s Connections events at Augsburg. Currently, she is involved with the Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) initiative. Moksnes has served on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes state board; she was elected and served four terms on the National Board of Directors of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. She attends Cross View Lutheran Church in Edina, Minnesota. Moksnes was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2012.
Nancy (Mackey) Mueller ’85 teaches physics and chemistry at Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota. She has taught in the Rochester Public School system for 18 years and has served on boards and in churches in the Rochester community. Previously, Mueller was a structural engineer specializing in composite materials at the U.S. Navy’s Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Maryland. Mueller earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Augsburg and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. She also again enrolled at Augsburg after moving to Rochester to complete coursework in order to obtain her teaching certificate. Mueller was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2018.
Jeffrey Nodland ’77 recently retired in his role as president and chief executive officer of KIK Custom Products (KCP), one of North America’s largest manufacturers of national-brand consumer products—including Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Henkel, and L’Oreal—and in-house brand products for retailers including Dollar General, Kroger, Target, Wal-Mart, and Sysco. Previously, Nodland had a 30-year career in specialty chemical and coatings manufacturing, serving in executive leadership positions for companies such as Hexion Specialty Chemicals; Resolution Performance Products; and McWhorter Technologies, a specialty chemical company spun off by Valspar in 1994. He spent the first 17 years of his career with the Valspar Corporation in various management and leadership roles. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Augsburg, Nodland holds a master of business administration from the University of St. Thomas. Nodland was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2011.
John O’Brien holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Augustana University, a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature from the University of Dublin (Trinity College), and a doctorate in English from the University of Minnesota. He serves as the president and CEO of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through technology innovation. EDUCAUSE serves over 2,300 member colleges, universities, and organizations from 45 countries who themselves collectively serve over 16 million students. In his role as CEO, he speaks and writes on a variety of topics related to higher education, technology, and the crucial intersection where the two meet. Throughout his career in higher education, O’Brien has served as a leader in technology, academics, and institutional leadership. He was a faculty leader in instructional technology, a statewide IT project leader, and associate vice chancellor/deputy CIO at the system level. He has been a college provost and president in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, the fourth largest higher education system in the United States with over 375,000 students. Prior to his appointment at EDUCAUSE, he served as the system’s senior vice chancellor of academic and student affairs.
Paul C. Pribbenow, Ph.D. is the tenth president of Augsburg University. Before coming to Augsburg in 2006, Pribbenow served as president of Rockford College in Rockford, Ill. He also has served as research fellow for the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College (Indiana); dean for College Advancement and secretary of the Board of Trustees at Wabash College; vice president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and associate dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Pribbenow holds a bachelor’s degree from Luther College, and a master’s degree and doctorate in social ethics from the University of Chicago.
John Schwartz ‘67 received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Augsburg University in 1967 and a master’s degree in Hospital Administration from the University of Minnesota in 1969. While at Augsburg, Schwartz participated in the Augsburg Choir and has also participated in the Masterworks Chorale. He began his career with St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, now part of Aurora Health Care. Schwartz held several administrative positions with Aurora, including executive vice president of the system. He then served as general manager with SmithKline Beecham Clinical Labs before joining Advocate Health Care, the largest health system in metropolitan Chicago. Most recently Schwartz has been engaged as an interim hospital CEO for Providence Health & Service in Oregon and Montana. He has been on the Board of Directors at the Chicago YMCA, South Chicago Health Care Foundation, Southeast Chicago Development Commission, Apollo Chorus, and East Side Bancorporation. In 2010, he retired as a healthcare executive after 40 years. He now enjoys being an auditioned member of The Apollo Chorus of Chicago, a 120-member choral organization which provides him an outlet for his long-time passion for performing great choral music which began when he was a member of the Augsburg Choir.
Rev. Dr. Laurie Skow-Anderson was elected bishop of the Northwest Synod Wisconsin in June 2018. At the time of her election, Laurie was serving as the Director for Evangelical Mission in the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin. Prior to that, she was the lead pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids, MN. Laurie grew up on a farm and graduated from Jackson High School, Jackson, MN, in 1976. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN, in 1980. She earned a Master’s of Divinity degree from Luther Northwestern Seminary in 1986 and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Seminary in 2010. Following her ordination in 1986, Laurie served as parish pastor at American Lutheran in Windom, MN; Christ Lutheran in Slayton, MN; and Atonement Lutheran in St. Cloud, MN. She is currently a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Menomonie, WI where she is involved in the Wednesday’s Table food ministry and Menomonie Community Garden. She is currently a member of the Conference of Bishops, the Synod and Churchwide Relations Committee and Palestine/Israel Ready Bench. Bishop Skow-Anderson was appointed as an ex-officio member of the Board in 2020.
Dean Sundquist ’81 serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Mate Precision Tooling, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality tooling for the sheet metal fabrication industry. He also is founder and president of Modulate Capital, an early-stage investment group. Sundquist earned a bachelor’s degree from Augsburg University and a master of business administration from the University of Minnesota. He is an active member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, and the Association for Manufacturing Technology. He also is a long-time member and former board member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the World Presidents’ Organization. He and his wife, Amy, fund the Augsburg Sundquist Scholars, a summer research opportunity for students in the sciences. Sundquist was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2014.
Rev. Ann Svennungsen was re-elected to a second term as bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 2018. Svennungsen has been a leader in congregations and church-related organizations for more than 30 years. Svennungsen pastored congregations in Iowa City, Iowa, Edina, Minnesota and Moorhead, Minnesota. In 2003, Svennungsen was named president of The Fund for Theological Education, a national, ecumenical organization devoted to raising up the next generation of excellent and diverse ministers and scholars. From 2007 to 2010, Svennungsen served as president of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. Most recently, she was interim college pastor at St. Olaf College. Born and raised in Shelby, Montana, Svennungsen graduated with a degree in mathematics from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and received her Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Trinity Seminary awarded Svennungsen the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2008.Bishop Svennungsen was appointed as an ex-officio member of the Board in 2020.
Jill Nelson Thomas is a third generation, lifelong resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She studied psychology and business, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa in 1977. She returned to TU to study law and received her Juris Doctor degree in 1986. She and her husband, Robert, have been avid advocates for the Alzheimer’s Association for 20 years. Additionally, they are committed to and provide support for several Tulsa community organizations including the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, the University of Tulsa, Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, Tulsa Area United Way, and the Tulsa Ballet. She is president elect for Tulsa Town Hall and chairs the board development committee for Family & Children’s Services of Oklahoma. Since 2014, Jill and Robert have been committed to focusing on collegiate recovery through Augsburg and its StepUP® Program. She was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2016 and serves as chair of the Advancement Committee.
David Tiede, Ph.D. retired in 2005 from Luther Seminary as president and professor of New Testament. He renewed his teaching in 2005 as the Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation at Augsburg. He re-entered administration in 2010 as interim president of Wartburg Seminary and in 2013 as interim president of Luther College. His academic studies are focused on the world of the New Testament. His current vocations are as husband, father, and grandfather; student of the New Testament and Christian Origins; and friend of the institutions of the church and their leaders. He and his wife, Muffy, worship at Living Waters Lutheran Church in Lino Lakes, Minn. Tiede was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2010 and serves as vice chair of the Board.
Rev. Mark N. Wilhelm, Ph.D. is executive director for the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities and serves an ex-officio member of the Augsburg Board of Regents. In that capacity, he serves as program director for higher education in the Domestic Mission unit of the ELCA’s churchwide organization. Wilhelm staffed various educational ministries with the churchwide organization from 2001 to 2015. Before being called to churchwide ministries, he served as an associate director of the Center for the Study of Theological Education at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York. Wilhelm has served pastorates in Maryland and New York City. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary, and a Master of Philosophy and a doctoral degree in American church history from Union Theological Seminary in New York.
Noya Woodrich ’92, ’94 MSW, an Athabascan Indian and Alaska native, is the deputy commissioner of health for the City of Minneapolis. Woodrich earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Augsburg and went on to complete Augsburg’s Master of Social Work program. She was president and chief executive officer of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches from 2012 to 2016. Woodrich previously led the council’s Division of Indian Work as senior vice president and executive director, and her connection to the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches began in 1991 through an internship experience occurring as part of her social work education. Noya has taught at Augsburg and at Metropolitan State. Her involvement on committees, tasks forces, and boards is extensive and primarily focuses on inequity in health and education for American Indians. Woodrich was elected to the Augsburg Board of Regents in 2016.