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COVID-19: Fall 2020 plans and student resources ›

Video Playback: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way with Rachel Engebretson ’98 and Alex Gonzalez ’90

Simple advice from Auggies. Make a will and make a difference.

If you missed our “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” series this summer, you now have the opportunity to watch a replay the virtual conversation with host alumna Rachel Engebretson ‘98 and alumnus Alex Gonzalez ’90. As a financial consultant at Stonebridge Group of Thrivent, Alex shared his expertise in financial and estate planning and answered questions about wills, why everyone needs one, where to start, and how you can create your own will for free.

We get it…times are uncertain right now. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us, and raising questions about what if? These discussions can be overwhelming, but making end-of-life plans now will give you more control and ease the burden on family if the worst should happen.

Your Gift will be Matched for the Student-Driven Scholarship Campaign

student led scholarship video, linked

Exciting news, Auggies! A dollar for dollar matching donation has been made by an anonymous donor for the student-led fundraiser for the Pan-Afrikan Center and future scholarships for the newly announced Critical Race and Ethnic Studies department. Make a difference for Auggies right now with double your donation.

About the Student Driven Scholarship Campaign

“What side of history do you want to be on?” 

Dear friends:

Our names are Zakariya Abdullahi and Mallory Ferguson – seniors at Minnesota’s first university where the majority of students are people of color. Augsburg University serves our community and we are proud to be a part of this student-led fundraising effort.

Why are we excited to do this?

Like many of you, we’ve experienced firsthand the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our administration, faculty, and staff are working to offer some semblance of normalcy, but campus life is peculiar right now.

Like many of you, we’ve experienced the social unrest following the death of George Floyd. Our campus is minutes away from the destruction the world witnessed during the unrest in Minneapolis. Many of our fellow students, their families, and their friends call the Twin Cities home and are facing difficulties due to violence, lost jobs, and disrupted communities.

Like many of you, we believe that it’s vital right now to do our part in creating immediate and systemic change.

Building upon the critical work of Augsburg alumni involved with “One Day in May” following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we invite you to join our efforts to raise funding for scholarships for students involved with the Pan-Afrikan Center and future scholarships for the newly announced Critical Race and Ethnic Studies department.

Your support will have an impact on students to help shape a diverse university that honors, respects, and advocates for the lives, histories, and traditions of all.

In solidarity,

Zakariya Abdullahi ’21 & Mallory Ferguson ’21

Help Welcome the Class of 2024 by Sharing Your Community Service

Augsburg’s commitment to community service and engagement is long-standing and deeply held. Since 1992, day undergraduate students have participated in service projects on City Engagement Day, even before they’ve had their first class.

The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to press pause on City Engagement Day this year, but our commitment to community building is unwavering. Instead of sending hundreds of incoming students out to serve Minneapolis neighborhoods and organizations, we are encouraging students, faculty, and staff to engage with their local communities in ways that are meaningful to them personally.

You can help by sharing with Augsburg your community service work. Where to do you volunteer? What do you want today’s students to know about the place where you do your service?  Fill out this short online form where you can upload a photo to encourage others to build community through service. This form requires that you are logged into a google account so you can easily upload a photo. You can also email your community service information to Vice President for Alumni Relations and Advancement Heather Riddle (riddle@augsburg.edu).

For those looking for volunteer opportunities, the Sabo Center has compiled this list of local opportunities for community service. This list will be updated as we learn of new opportunities. The University has not vetted every one, so take care in considering COVID-19 safety practices, the organization’s capacity to host groups, and other key questions.

Making an Impact Through Problem Solving

Brynn Watson ’89 is Lockheed Martin’s Vice President in the Digital Transformation Program. As COVID-19 moved most of Lockheed Martin’s work online, Brynn’s work became more important than ever, helping her teams pivot to a digital platform. She has been pleasantly surprised that productivity and efficiency have continued and says her teams have adapted positively to online programs to stay connected. While this has been a big change for most of the company, it’s a change Brynn embraces, especially in her leadership role.

“We’re more empathetic about work-life balance. Parents are teaching their kids. We’ve become more accepting about dogs barking in the background of a phone call. I like that change. It’s a good thing.”

Brynn has an award-winning record for her leadership abilities: Lockheed Martin Space NOVA Full Spectrum Leadership Award; Tribute to Women Honor by the YWCA of Silicon Valley; and Lockheed Martin Space Ed Taft Diversity Leadership Award.

In 2018, Brynn was recognized with Augsburg’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her commitment to helping young women in STEM.

Brynn’s dedication to helping others through community building started long before her work at Lockheed Martin. It started in middle school with the influence of another Auggie: Ertwin “Ert” Jones-Hermerding.

Ert graduated from Augsburg in 1969 with a degree in Speech, then moved to Robbinsdale to teach speech and theater at the middle school. This is where Brynn first met Ert and first learned about Augsburg.

“What he had our theater groups focus on was not only our craft, but our community. I got into the focus on service really young.”

Brynn thought Augsburg sounded like the best college from Ert’s depiction. In fact, when applying for college, she only applied to Augsburg.

“I followed in the footsteps of my favorite teacher,” says Brynn. “I was really motivated to go to a place where I could learn and also make an impact on my community.”

At Augsburg, Brynn was involved in campus life as a resident advisor, a cheerleader, and as part of ODK, a national organization that recognized students with responsible leadership and service in campus life skills. And it was in her math class that she developed a love for problem solving. Dr. Lawrence Copes, Chair of Math Computer Science, challenged Brynn and her classmates to think differently about math.

“He opened our minds to what math is, he called it a beautiful language and problem solving language.”

Brynn credits Dr. Copes’ coaching and mentorship for steering her into the aerospace industry. When she thought about what to do with her mathematics degree, she thought about solving hard problems. And the industry growing at the time of her graduation—the industry that presented all the hard problems—was the aerospace industry.

Leadership Through Mentorship

Brynn graduated from Augsburg, then went on to earn her master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of California at Riverside. After a few years at Aerojet Electronic Systems, she attended a job fair where she met a female executive, Amy Flanagan, who was focused on recruiting women to Lockheed Martin. Brynn was so impressed with Amy that she decided she wanted to work for her.

“I honed my focus on service at Augsburg, but when I met Amy, I was introduced to her passion and I wanted to work for her and work for the place she was committed to.”

At Lockheed Martin, Brynn has held a variety of positions, including vice president of Navigation Systems Operations and deputy for the Global Positioning System (GPS) III program for Lockheed Martin Space.

“I have a lot of great memories and experiences of

developing products, launching satellites, those are awesome and amazing things that are doing wonderful things for our country and our world.”

When asked what she is most proud of in the time since graduating from Augsburg, Brynn says raising her daughter to be an amazing young woman. Brynn is also proud of her work mentoring others, especially women.

Augsburg prepared her to go out into the world and make an impact, and Brynn sees this impact in her daughter, in her daughter’s friends, and in others she’s mentored over the years.

“It’s visiting classrooms, it’s one kid that got a spark from that visit. That’s amazing to be able to create those sparks that can solve the next big challenge for the world.”

Brynn has mentored several women in her career, including college students who now work at Lockheed Martin. She is also on the Executive Steering Council for Lockheed Martin’s Women’s Impact Network, and is co-chairing this year’s virtual women’s leadership forum.

“As much as I believe we are making a lot of progress in our quest to improve the diversity metrics—particularly the female to male ratios—there’s a lot of work to do. I always make sure that people surround themselves with mentors and sponsors and champions. You are creating a network of support so as you need to make difficult decisions—whether it’s technical decisions within your day job or it is advice on how to find that next opportunity—you’ve got that support network.”

Brynn’s daily work doesn’t include typing code or doing math problems on the white board like she used to, but she believes her work is still about solving problems and making sure the barriers her teams might be facing are addressed.

“Sometimes you think you have to do it all on your own and that’s never the case. I got to where I am because of mentors and teachers and my parents, all those people are the shoulders that I stood on to get to where I’m at.”

Augsburg Women Engaged Sponsors a Campus Cupboard Drive

With no safe housing alternatives for many Augsburg students during COVID-19, they remain on campus this summer. It’s also anticipated that many students will have similar issues in the fall as they return to school. Currently, many nearby stores are temporarily closed and transportation outside of the area isn’t always reliable. As a result, Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) is sponsoring a drive for the Campus Cupboard and ShareShop to support these students now as well as in the future.

Items can be dropped off June 25 from 3 to 6 p.m., in Lot D at Augsburg. You can also make an online donation which Augsburg will use to purchase small appliances, household items, tools, food in bulk, and gift cards to local businesses such as Seward Coop so our students can be supported with the goods and services they need. Please use the designation: Other and in the “Other” field, enter Campus Cupboard.

A recommended list of items to donate is below.

Campus Cupboard Donation List:

Non-perishable food such as

  • Mac & cheese
  • Ramen
  • Canned tuna/chicken
  • Canned soup (Preferred: more complex soups, i.e., not ‘cream of’ or tomato )
  • Rice
  • Protein supplements (chia, flax, veg protein, whey)
  • High quality granola bars
  • Canned beans

Hygiene and cleaning supplies such as

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Menstrual products
  • Shampoo/ Conditioner
  • Band-Aids
  • Laundry Detergent (Preferred brands: Seventh Generation, Meyers, Method, Biokleen)
  • Dish Soap (Preferred brands: Seventh Generation, Ecover, Method, Dr Bronner’s)

ShareShop Donation List:

  • Empty spray bottles for homemade non-toxic cleaning solutions
  • Tea Kettles/water heaters
  • Sewing machine – Fully functional, up to 2 machines total – we will turn away donations if necessary
  • Power strips
  • School supplies (bulk packages are welcome):
    • Notebooks (look for recycled paper and companies with sustainability/ethical/fair trade commitments if possible)
    • Folders
    • Pens
    • Pencils
    • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Baking sheets
    • Multiple sizes, including smaller sizes
    • Prefer naturally non-stick like Nordic Ware® brand rather than Teflon™-coated
  • New Twin XL bedding
  • Reusable water bottles – durable and clean (can be used)
  • Thermos (portable coffee containers) – durable and clean (can be used)
  • Small fans for dorm rooms

Thank you for considering a donation!

AWE

Auggies Take Action: Urge Congress to continue support for college students and higher ed institutions

In March, more than 200 Auggies spoke up with their members of Congress on behalf of college students and institutions across the nation. Congress made an important first step at that time, passing the CARES Act legislation that provided critical funding for college students and their institutions, but more federal support for higher education is needed.

The national associations that represent higher education, including the National Association for Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), have a new request for Congress as the body considers further action to support those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAICU and the Minnesota Private College Council have asked us to encourage individuals who are concerned about our students and institutions to reach out to your elected officials. Please consider making your voice heard with your representatives. Many of our faculty and staff have already written on behalf of our institution, as it’s especially powerful for members to also hear from their constituents individually.

You can find out more and take action here:

https://secure.everyaction.com/rJ227g0BL0CxxE212Sk2Gw2

A Sweetheart of a Sale – February 11 and 12

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join the Augsburg Associates for a “Sweetheart of a Sale” on February 11th and 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Christensen Center. With vintage jewelry, Valentine-themed gifts, and more it will be a great opportunity to pick out unique and special treats for Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air… see you there!

Auggies, Together We can Give to the Max

link to give to the max day videoGive to the Max Day is set for November 14, but this year there will be 14 days of giving starting on November 1.

In 2019, Augsburg marks 150 years since its founding. Our sesquicentennial is a year-long opportunity to reflect on our past and present – to honor our leaders and legacies, and also to discover our roots. This Give to the Max Day (November 1 – November 14), we have a special goal, engaging 1,869 donors throughout all of our projects, to celebrate Augsburg’s founding in 1869.

Give to the Max!

See all 38 campus fundraising projects for Give to the Max Day below. From athletics to academics to campus and community programs, there’s an Augsburg University Give to the Max Day project for you!

  1. A-Club – Athletic Facilities led by Jeff Swenson ’79
  2. Augsburg Associates Endowed Scholarship led by Jessica Wahto ’98
  3. Augsburg Historic Film Digitization led by Bruce Nelson ’71
  4. Augsburg Women Engaged Endowed Scholarship led by Lisa Zeller ’81 (and ’89)
  5. Baseball led by Nick Rathmann ’03
  6. Biology Student Scholarship led by Lisa Raetz
  7. Campus Kitchen Program led by Natalie Jacobson
  8. Center for Global Education and Experience led by LaJune Lange ’75
  9. Chemistry Student Scholarship led by Michael Wentzel
  10. Cross Country led by Meghan Peyton
  11. Echo led by Chris Dykstra ’85
  12. English Speaker and Event Fund led by Doug Green
  13. Golf led by Eric Rolland
  14. Health Commons led by Katie Clark
  15. Lacrosse led by Delaney Everett ’18
  16. Latinx Student Services led by Ruby Murillo
  17. Mary Wilson Flute Scholarship led by Merilee Klemp
  18. Masters of Arts in Leadership led by Alan Tuchtenhagen
  19. Men’s Basketball led by Aaron Griess
  20. Men’s Hockey led by Mario Mjelleli
  21. Men’s Soccer led by Darcy Debbing ’77
  22. MFA – Howling Bird Press led by Amanda Symes ’09 (and ’16)
  23. Music Therapy led by Annie Heiderscheit
  24. Pan-Asian Spring Trip led by Mai Xee Vang
  25. Physics led by Ben Stottrup
  26. Religion Department led by Mike Matson ’06
  27. Sesquicentennial Endowed Scholarship led by Brandon Williams ’19
  28. Softball led by Melissa Lee ’04
  29. StepUP Program led by Toby Piper LaBelle ’96
  30. Strommen Center led by Lee George
  31. Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunities (URGO) Program led by Dean Sundquist ’81
  32. Undocumented Student Support led by Paul ’63 and LaVonne ’63 Batalden
  33. Urban Debate League Program led by Meg Luger-Nikolai
  34. Volleyball led by Jane Becker
  35. Women’s Basketball led by Aaron Griess
  36. Women’s Hockey led by Ashley Holmes
  37. Women’s Soccer led by Ashley Waalen ’17
  38. Wrestling led by Nick Slack ’02

Celebrate 2019 Augsburg Graduates with the Tassel Challenge

tassel challenge videoAs we celebrate the completion of this academic year and honor the newest class of Auggie graduates, Augsburg is promoting the Tassel Challenge fundraising campaign.

This online giving event supports future Auggies with all proceeds benefiting the Sesquicentennial Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship fund at Augsburg.

A donation today in any amount is an investment for Auggie generations to come. Over 200 donors have already contributed more than $110,000 to the Sesquicentennial Scholarship.

The Tassel Challenge is a great way to recognize your favorite graduating Auggie, give back to Augsburg, and help ensure an Augsburg education is accessible to all.

Honor a student special to you and we will make sure they know they were recognized, and send you and the student an Augsburg tassel keychain as a token of our gratitude.

More information can be found and donations made on the Tassel Challenge Donation page. The Tassel Challenge will run from today through May 19. If you have any questions please contact bogen@augsburg.edu.

Augsburg Hosts Auction of Presidential Dinnerware to Benefit the Sesquicentennial Scholarship

Augsburg A dinnerware setEnjoy a piece of Augsburg history in your home! Institutional Advancement is hosting an auction for classic Augsburg A presidential dinnerware sets on eBay. All proceeds from this charity auction will go to the Sesquicentennial Scholarship. This scholarship will help eliminate financial barriers and launch the next generation of leaders at Augsburg.

This elegant china was once used for dinner parties and events hosted by the president at the Augsburg House – it has since been retired due to our name-change and rebranding, which changed the look of the “A” icon that appears on most of the dinnerware. Each item has been professionally packaged and can be shipped or picked up from campus once the auction ends at midnight on March 1.

Please contact Hannah Walsh if you have any questions at walsh@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1098.