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Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE)

Augsburg Women Engaged. Connecting. Learning. Giving.



Auggie Women are AWEsome

The secret to changing the world is hidden in plain sight. In fact, it’s half the population. Women vote more, women volunteer more, and women give more to charities than men do. Did you know that women control more than half of the total wealth in America?

Ask us—why are we in AWE?

We’re in AWE because 57% of Augsburg alumni are women. We’re in AWE because 59% of Augsburg students are women. Within the Augsburg community, women are more than half the population and that means we have a powerful force to make a difference at our University.

AWE-inspiring History

In late 2009, a group of Auggie women gathered to respond to a challenge. How can we effectively engage more women in the life of the college?

Together we articulated what we believe: women have knowledge, experience, and wisdom to bring to the University. A relationship with Augsburg enriches our lives as alumnae. We created an initiative—beneficial to both alumnae and the University—that would be a catalyst for tapping women’s potential to connect, learn, and give. We were encouraged and excited to launch an initiative to lift up women as important members of the Augsburg community in new ways.


Board Members

Shelby Andress headshotShelby (Gimse) Andress ’56

Shelby was an English major and Speech minor at Augsburg. She served on the staff of Search Institute, a national youth development research organization from 1964-2000. Shelby developed the Institute’s consulting services and worked in more than 450 sites in 45 states and Canada as a consultant, facilitator, speaker, trainer, and evaluator. She authored or co-authored 16 research-based publications and directed numerous research and evaluation projects for Search Institute. She also founded I. Shelby Andress, Inc, a national consulting firm specializing in social sector planning, evaluation, and community-based youth development.  

As a graduate of the 1950s, and founding member of AWE, Shelby is privileged to serve now, when a majority of Augsburg’s students are students of color.  She is an eager learner as we expand membership and bring a new reality to our purpose of “connecting, learning, and giving.”


Deborah Crowley headshotDebby Fredrickson Crowley ’76

Debby graduated from Augsburg with a major in History, and 1982 graduated from William Mitchell College of Law. She has been with the McCollum Crowley law firm since 1989. The firm currently has 26 attorneys with offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado. Debby’s father Jerry Fredrickson went to Augsburg, as did her daughter Caitlin Crowley. Debby valued the education she received at Augsburg with the small classes and outstanding professors. Her daughter Caitlin had a similar experience with internships and other opportunities that would not have been available elsewhere. For Debby and her family, Augsburg’s motto “small to our students and big for the world” could not be more true. Through her work with AWE she hopes to contribute to the success of future Augsburg students.


Rachel Engebretson ’98


Joni Marti headshotJoni Marti ’05 MAL

Joni Marti retired from Tennant Company after working 48+ years in a variety of management roles and departments. The North American team awarded Joni the Legacy Award for her lifelong service and focus on making Tennant and her coworkers as successful as possible. Joni was nominated for and received several awards during her long career at Tennant. She continues to serve as President of the Tennant Foundation.

After obtaining her Augsburg MAL degree she earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development and an Adult Education Graduate Certificate from the University of Minnesota, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of South Dakota. 

Joni plans to continue using her business knowledge and education to serve nonprofits through leadership roles and volunteering. In addition to the Tennant Foundation, AWE, PRISM, Second Harvest Heartland, the City of Plymouth, and her church are current organizations experiencing her involvement.  Joni and her husband, Steve, focus their time on family, staying physically active, and volunteering in the community.  Joni tries to live by the motto, “Leave everything a little bit better than you found it.”


Lori Moline ’82

Lori has enjoyed being involved in various alumni volunteer opportunities since just after graduating with a major in Metro-Urban Studies. She first volunteered as a class agent. From 1986-1992, Lori served on the Alumni Board, two of these years as co-chair. She hosted one of the focus groups of alumnae which led to the creation of Augsburg Women Engaged.

Lori has been traveling the world since a two-month European travel experience during a break in her senior year at Augsburg ignited a vocation in creating international faith-based and educational travel programs, primarily for older adults. This calling has taken her to over 50 countries and developed a specialty in biblical study tours. She has led workshops, lectured and written articles on spiritual and pilgrimage travel and estimates she has assisted over 5,000 make a journey of faith to the Holy Land. Her work now spans 37 years, 18 of these years as co-founder of award-winning CrossingBorders, Inc.


Kristine Pearson headshotKristine Pearson ’78

Kris attended Augsburg carrying on a family tradition majoring in Psychology. Her parents Jim E. Peterson ’50 and Gladys M. Dahlberg ’52 met at Augsburg, fell in love, and were married after Jim completed seminary at Luther Seminary. 

Kris has continued to stay involved with Augsburg, serving on the Board and AWE. In the last few years, she established a new scholarship – the Kristine Pearson Endowed Scholarship – to support women becoming ordained ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, again following a family tradition. Her parents established a scholarship for Physician Assistants – the Dahlberg and Peterson Family Scholarship

Kris pursued a career with the airline industry for over 30 years. In 2009, she left to pursue a career in real estate with faith-based company Keller Williams. Faith has always been important to Kris, growing up surrounded by the Lutheran faith, with her grandfather, uncle, and great-uncle also being Lutheran ministers. 

As a member of Diamond Lake Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Kris has been privileged to serve on the church council for the past 6 years, one of those years as Vice President and represents her congregation as the Minneapolis Area ELCA Synod Representative.


Lisa Zeller headshotLisa Zeller, ’81, ’89 MAL

Lisa Zeller is a founding partner of The Phaedrus Group. She consults in the areas of instructional design and development, change management and performance improvement. Lisa has extensive expertise in new product launch, large-scale curriculum design and change initiatives in the healthcare, financial and retail arenas.

Lisa has worked with a variety of clients including AbbVie, Ameriprise, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Medtronic, Morgan Stanley, Novartis, Roche, US Bank, and United Healthcare.

Lisa earned her Master of Arts in Leadership from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, and has a B.A. in Communication. She was also selected as one of 100 women nation-wide to participate in the Leadership America program. Lisa has served on the Advisory Board for The Minnesota Women’s Press and the alumni board at Augsburg University.


Check out our alumni events page for upcoming events hosted by AWE.

On October 12, 2021, AWE sponsored the virtual event Using History to Better Understand Public Safety. Engaging the history of race and community-police relations in Minneapolis provides context and perspective to consider as citizens weigh options for moving forward. The discussion was led by two Augsburg University Professors. Dr. William Green ( presented his article, “An Ever-Present Impulse: The Legacy of Anti-Black Violence and the Paradox of Minnesota Exceptionalism” and Dr. Michael Lansing (…) spoke about his article, “Policing Politics: Labor, Race and the Police Officers Federation in Minneapolis, 1945-1972”. The event was moderated by Augsburg University Pastor Rev. Babette Chatman.

A recording of the event is available:

Want to learn more about AWE?

Formed in 2009, the Augsburg Women Engaged (AWE) Philanthropy Council strengthens a culture of philanthropy and engagement through connecting, learning, and giving opportunities for Augsburg women and friends, in order to make a difference in the lives of Augsburg students. AWE provides a platform to engage and connect women with their passion of supporting Augsburg, and particularly women’s education and development. AWE fully supports Augsburg’s commitment to equity and inclusion and seeks to expand alumnae representation on the council, as well as support current and future Auggies from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

History of Awe Want to learn more about AWE?