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COVID-19: Updates and Plans ›

Using History to Better Understand Public Safety

An event sponsored by Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE)

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Virtual Event
7:30 – 8:45 pm
Free of charge 


Headshot of Dr. William Green and Dr. Michael Lansing against a maroon backdrop. The Augsburg Women Engaged logo appears at under their photos.

Join AWE for a free online presentation and discussion with Augsburg faculty Dr. William Green and Dr. Michael Lansing. Dr. Green will speak about his article, “An Ever-Present Impulse: The Legacy of Anti-Black Violence and the Paradox of Minnesota Exceptionalism” and Dr. Lansing will present his article “Policing Politics: Labor, Race and the Police Officers Federation in Minneapolis, 1945-1972”. Professors Green and Lansing are planning for generous time to field questions from attendees about their essays and related issues. Engaging the history of race and community-police relations in Minneapolis provides context and perspective to consider as citizens weigh options for moving forward.



Babette ChatmanREV. Babette Chatman ’06 is an Augsburg University graduate and serves as one of our University Pastors. Prior to joining the campus ministry team full time in 2019, Pastor Babette served as a community collaborative partner with Campus Ministry and was the Associate Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. She also co-chaired the Mission Table on the Minneapolis Area Synod Council.


Wrestling Reunion

Bill Schmidt ‘76 and his wife Jill were more than thrilled to welcome fellow Auggie Alumni to their cabin for a wrestling reunion that took place on Saturday, August 14.  This annual event provides a fun way for Auggie wrestlers to stay connected.


Attendees (in alphabetical order): Thomas Barringer, M.D. ’78, Mike Benson ’78, Charles E. Blixt ’77, Jeffery A. Blixt ’77, Scott J. Brown ’73, Michael R. Good ’71, Roger L. Gorham ’73, Murray L. Herstein ’78, William C. Hickman ’71, Thomas L. Howe ’72, Ronald R. Johnson ’72, Dean R. Kennedy ’75, Jeff Lamphere, Patrick J. Marcy ’72, James V. Mastro ’73, John R. Nace ’75, James J. Pappas ’78, Mary H. Pappas, Jilaine S. Schmidt, William A. Schmidt ’76, Michael R. Scott ’71, Larry A. Stewart ’72, Jeff F. Swenson ’79, Stephen M. Varichak ’84, David W. Wygant ’77

Front row left to right: Daryl Miller ’69, Larry A. Stewart ’72, William C. Hickman ’71,Michael R. Good ’71, Scott J. Brown ’73 Back row left to right: Roger L. Gorham ’73, Charles E. Blixt ’77, Jeff F. Swenson ’79, Murray L. Herstein ’78, William A. Schmidt ’76, Mike Benson ’78, James J. Pappas ’78, Jeffery A. Blixt ’77, Stephen M. Varichak ’84, Ronald R. Johnson ’72, Patrick J. Marcy ’72, Dean R. Kennedy ’75


Check out more fun photos from the reunion:

Bill Hickman and Ron Johnson.
Bill Hickman and Ron Johnson
Mary & Jim Pappas, Bill Schmidt, Melissa & Jeff Swenson
Mary & Jim Pappas, Bill Schmidt, and Melissa & Jeff Swenson
Daryl Miller, Ron Johnson, Mike Good
Daryl Miller, Ron Johnson, Mike Good
Pat Marcy, Ron Johnson, Bill Hickman, Mike Good, Daryl Miller, and Larry Stewart.
Pat Marcy, Ron Johnson, Bill Hickman, Mike Good, Daryl Miller, and Larry Stewart
Mike Good, Larry Stewart, and Bill Hickman
Mike Good, Larry Stewart, and Bill Hickman


Online Event: Augsburg Alumni and Heath Care Leaders on “Elevating Advanced Practice Providers: COVID & Beyond”

covid imageJoin us virtually on Tuesday, December 15 at 7 p.m. for an online panel discussion on “Elevating Advanced Practice Providers: COVID & Beyond” hosted by Capsule Pharmacy.

This special discussion with the Augsburg community features alumni and other health care leaders working on the front line of the pandemic. Hear about today’s most innovative strategies for managing COVID-19. Get first hand reports of how healthcare systems are responding and adapting to the challenges of the pandemic.


  • Natalie Ikeman ’12, PA: Physician Assistant in the Family Medicine Department at Hennepin Healthcare. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota and her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Augsburg University. She is the Lead Advanced Practice provider in Family Medicine, the program director of The Great Slim Down weight management program, and most recently the program director of the COVID 19 Home Monitoring Program.

  • Sonia Patel, PharmD: Chief Pharmacist at Capsule Pharmacy. She is one of the founders and helped launch Capsule in 2015 in New York

  • Ashley LaFontaine ’14, PA: Augsburg Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

  • Travis Reddinger, APRN-CNP, CEN: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Practitioner, and Certified Emergency Nurse in the Hospitalist group at Allina Health and Emergency Department at Regions. In his Hospitalist role with Allina, he has oversight at United Hospital and works as a Trauma/Charge Nurse for Regions Emergency Department.


  • Nick Swanson ’09, ’12 (MBA), Partnerships Manager for Capsule Pharmacy in the Twin Cities.

We will send the zoom link to all registrants prior to the start of the event.

Facebook Live Events: Taking the Alumni Office Online

Screenshot of Scott Cooper ’13 and Mel Lee ’04 during their Facebook Live event

Question – How do you engage a community when you can’t be together, as a community?

Answer – You, take it online!

Like many of you, I have been consuming digital content in a way I haven’t before. I am a lover of arts,  sports, and food, but how do you pursue those passions from your own house?

In this time, we are seeing the world around us reach out and become closer in a way that I never would have expected. How lucky do I feel to watch Sir Patrick Stewart read a Shakespear sonnet each day? I’m following along with my favorite Bon Appetite chefs and have tried two new recipes (mushroom carbonara and slow-roasted gochujang chicken). In our house, my husband and I are trying to calm our worries and stir-crazy selves with these outlets.

Now, the Alumni Office is joining in on the fun. Last week (March 23), Melissa Lee ‘04, head softball coach and assistant athletic director, invited you into her home to spend some time on warming up your body and your mind. On Friday, March 20, Scott and I visited with you from our homes to let you know we were working on some ideas. Well, I am excited to share that our ideas are turning into realities and here is how you can connect:

  1. Like and follow the Augsburg University Alumni Associate page on Facebook. Then, when content is added you will get an alert.
  2. Even if you can’t join us for the live stream you can go back and watch the videos that will live on the page.

So far we have the following content confirmed (all times are in listed central standard time)

Tuesday, March 31

1 p.m. – Alumni, Friends & Donors Town Hall outlining Augsburg’s response to COVID-19

Join the webinar via this zoom meeting link:

Wednesday, April 1

12:15 p.m. – Storytime with Darcey Engen ‘88, chair of the Augsburg Theater Department

Friday, April 3

Noon – Renee Most ‘01, director of the StepUP Program

Monday, April 6

3 p.m. – Leon Van Eck, assistant professor of biology, takes us on a tour of the Hagfors Center Greenhouse

Other Confirmed Guests with Details TBD:

Hans Wiersma, associate professor of religion, Dr. Paul Mueller ‘84, chair of the Board of Regents, Curt Rice ‘84, Rector of Oslo Metropolitan University, Doug Green, professor of English, Destyn Land ‘19, and a panel of alumni speakers geared toward preparing the class of 2020 for post-graduation life.

We hope you will tune in and will consider engaging with us virtually. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Scott directly at

-Katie (Koch) Code ’01

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion: 32 Years of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training

President Pribbenow speaking at The Forum conferenceOn March 11, Augsburg’s President Paul Pribbenow spoke at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion’s 32nd annual conference, “Facing Forward.” The session was called Hospitality is Not Enough: An Institutional Journey from Diversity to Inclusion to Equity.

Pribbenow shared the story of Augsburg’s journey with our many concrete implications for policy and practice, including efforts to make higher education more accessible to diverse students, internal work to build intercultural competencies, and governance strategies that position Augsburg as a thought and practice leader in the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) space.

“Augsburg University is one of the most diverse private colleges in the Midwest and proud to partner with The Forum to help expand diversity, equity, and inclusion skills, so our students can fully participate and succeed in the workforce,” said Pribbenow. “We’re on the front edge of what education will look like in the 21st century.”

people speaking at the Augsburg booth during The ForumA record-setting 636 undergraduate first-year students started at Augsburg last fall. The Class of 2023 marks the third year in a row in which the majority are students of color. Augsburg now has 2,159 students in the traditional undergraduate program, which is also a record for our university.

“People were really impressed with Paul’s presentations at the opening general session and his Hospitality is Not Enough session. A lot of people came by Augsburg’s booth and talked about Paul’s presentations. They didn’t know about Augsburg, didn’t know about all of our impressive work,” said Lee George, Executive Director of the Strommen Center for Meaningful Work.

This year’s conference focused on equipping the workforce and workplaces with the diversity, equity, and inclusion skills needed to sustain businesses into a forward-facing future that is innovative on both local and global levels.

George, along with other Augsburg volunteers, talked with employers and Human Resource representatives about our recruitment practices over the last ten years. “Augsburg had to think through our recruitment and expand, now employers are looking at how to elaborate to reflect our global economy. Augsburg really resonated for employers,” said George.

the Augsburg booth during the forumForum participants were invited to engage with our 2023 student class picture, which had quotes from students about their hopes and fears for the future. Participants wrote responses to be shared with the students.

Hana Dinku, Augsburg’s Director for the Pan-Afrikan Center, hosted multiple sessions at The Forum. “I was pleasantly surprised at The Forum,” she said.

One session Dinku hosted stood out to her: Journey Beyond the Comfort Zone: Designing and Facilitating Transformative Learning Experiences for Leaders. “The session was about how to be aware of people’s stress levels when doing diversity training. It was interesting to look at this through an emotional lens, how to be effective and aware of people’s stress and stop them from shutting down,” said Dinku.

The conference featured more than 70 sessions, three general sessions, more than 180 presenters and speakers from around the world, along with the Marketplace of Ideas exhibitor space. The DEI Coaching Center was also available, where DEI professionals provided coaching for attendees to apply when returning to the workplace.

Steve Humerickhouse, Executive Director of the Forum on Workplace Inclusion, spoke with the Star Tribune about how the Twin Cities is becoming one of the largest hubs for workplace diversity and inclusion.

“Part of it comes from our belief in Minnesota exceptionalism. Maybe it’s in the water here. It’s something about commitment to issues of diversity and equity. This is why refugees come here, why international adoption began here. This is a place where people feel deeply about issues,” said Humerickhouse. “At the Forum, we’re about workplace inclusion, but there is nothing that happens in the workplace that isn’t affected by society at large. We talk about people who have committed felonies and what that means in terms of hiring when they get out of prison. We talk about unconscious bias. It’s easy to exclude people because we’re tribal. We are the way we are for a reason, but how do we overcome that?”

About The Forum

For 32 years, The Forum has served as a convening hub for those seeking to grow professional leadership and effectiveness skills in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion by engaging people, advancing ideas, and igniting change. The annual conference is HRCI and SHRM Continuing Education Credit (CEU) eligible.

Augsburg University became the new home of The Forum on Workplace Inclusion in July of 2019. We have been on a journey during the past decade to become an institution that embraces diversity, works at inclusion, and seeks equity. It is a journey with lessons for other higher education institutions, as well as other organizations.

Pastor Sonja Hagander Describes the Norwegian Word “Friluftsliv” While Preparing for the Pilgrimage to Nidaros

Sonja HaganderFinal few weeks to register for this trip!

Norway is known to be one of the “happiest places on earth.” Is it the people? Is it the food? Is it the over-the-top scenery? Is it the healthcare and education? I wonder if it’s “friluftsliv.” My Norwegian friends try to translate it, but that’s challenging. Come on the pilgrimage to Nidaros on August 4-13, 2020, and experience “friluftsliv” for yourself!

-Friluftsliv: the moments standing on top of a mountain with friends looking down into an emerald green fjord.

-Friluftsliv: the indescribable warmth sipping hot coffee surrounded by mountain goats as you finish a day-long hike and prepare to dine on locally grown foods.

-Friluftsliv: God’s abundantly beautiful creation that makes one feel grateful to be alive.

-Friluftsliv: The Norwegian belief that “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.”

-Friluftsliv: The complete trust in one’s fellow hikers.

-Friluftsliv: The way that life outside creates kindred spirits.

-Friluftsliv: The gift of creation that feeds one’s soul.

I know and trust that on our upcoming pilgrimage, we will experience “friluftsliv.”  I’m filled with wonderful anticipation. And as fellow hikers, we will each have our own definition of this awesome experience—one that will be very difficult to put into words. But upon return, may we each exclaim: Friluftsliv!

—Pastor Sonja M. Hagander, Vice President for Mission & Identity

If you’re interested in this trip, please email Katie Code ’01 at or call 612-330-1178.

Want to check something off of your bucket list?

Nidaros Cathedral from the skyDo you have a few lingering questions about what it means to be a Pilgrim? Please join us on Monday, November 4 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the Marshall Room. We will learn about the exciting Sesquicentennial Heritage trip to hike the Nidarose Pilgram Path. You will hear from Rev. Sonja Hagendar, who has hiked this path twice as well as Tour Operator Lori Moline ’82 and Alumni Director Katie Koch Code ’01.

Reservations are currently being accepted for this trip and this trip is filling up fast.

To RSVP for this meeting please contact Katie Koch Code ’01 at or at 612-330-1178.

Learn more about this trip here.

Spiritual Journey to Norway: Hiking the Pilgrim’s Path to Nidaros is Now on Sale

The last signpost of St. Olavsleden.Led by Rev. Sonja Hagander August 4-13, 2020

In August 2020, the Rev. Sonja Hagander, Augsburg University Vice President for Mission and Identity, will lead a hike to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway—a pilgrimage made by travelers for more than 1,000 years. Along the way, you will learn about history and culture, and experience firsthand some of the most beautiful nature in the world. This trip is intended for experienced mountain hikers. Hagander has hiked parts of this trip twice and will be joined by a ground guide who will travel with the group. This trip will be limited to 22 participants and it is expected to sell out quickly.

This trip includes 19 meals, all entrance fees for the Peer Gynt Festival, all motorcoach transfers, gratuities, and lodging. It does not include airfare.

Over 10 days you will hike over 70 Kilometers from Dovre Church to the Trondheim Cathedral. The group will also attend the Peer Gynt Festival and will explore Lillehammer and Trondheim. 

To learn more or to register for the trip please go to the online travel brochure.

Or, to learn more about the Pilgram walk check out St. Olav Ways.

Any additional questions can be directed to Katie Code ‘01, Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations at or 612-330-1178

Stacy Freiheit: Applied Psychology, S2E14 of The Augsburg Podcast

The Augsburg Podcast features voices of Augsburg University faculty and staff. We hope this is one way you can get to know the people who educate our students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Subscribe on Itunes.

Stacy Freiheit
Stacy Freiheit, Associate Professor of Psychology, trains the next generation of mental health care providers to be inquisitive researchers, sensitive observers, and keen auditors of evidence-based practice.

Sarah Degner Riveros: Language for Life, S2E13 of The Augsburg Podcast

The Augsburg Podcast features voices of Augsburg University faculty and staff. We hope this is one way you can get to know the people who educate our students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Subscribe on Itunes.

Sarah Degner Riveros
Language is so much more than vocabulary and grammar. For Sarah Degner Riveros, Lecturer in Spanish, languages are inseparable from their history, community, and culture. In this discussion, we explore many ways the teaching and learning of Spanish opens doorways to a wider world and into the deeper self.