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Augsburg names Amy Alkire as Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Augsburg University is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Alkire as vice president of Institutional Advancement, effective September 8.

Amy will lead the university into the public phase of Augsburg’s Great Returns Campaign, our largest campaign in history, as well as continue to grow our culture of philanthropy and engage our alumni, friends, faculty, and staff.

Amy started at Augsburg eight years ago as a gift officer and director of leadership gifts. In 2015, she was promoted to assistant vice president, a role she held until this past August when President Pribbenow asked her to move into the interim vice president role after Heather Riddle’s departure.

“The opportunity to promote Amy to serve as Augsburg’s vice president for institutional advancement was very meaningful to me,” says President Paul Pribbenow. “She has been a part of the advancement staff for several years and has illustrated through her outstanding work a passion for Augsburg’s mission and strong professional skills. I look forward to working with Amy and her colleagues as we continue to strengthen Augsburg’s philanthropic culture.”

When asked about her new role, Amy says she is excited for the challenge of it. She loves working with Augsburg’s alumni, donors, faculty, and staff and is passionate about Augsburg’s mission.

“Amy has provided amazing leadership working with our board and the Augsburg community over the years,” says Matt Entenza, Augsburg University’s Board of Regents chair. “I’m very excited to get to work with her because she embodies what it means to be an Auggie!”

Prior to her work at Augsburg, Amy was a development officer for two years at Children’s Hospital Minnesota and a major gift officer at Concordia University—St. Paul for three years. Amy was also a teacher for eight years, teaching English and literature, before she moved into a career in development.

“I’m laser focused on the strategies that will engage the Augsburg community and foster philanthropy to solidify Augsburg’s long-term financial stability,” says Amy. “We have a strong team and I am eager to continue to build upon their strengths. I am grateful to Kristen and Sarah for their partnership in leading Advancement efforts and look forward to great successes in the future.” 

Along with Amy’s promotion to vice president, Institutional Advancement has two other promotions. Sarah Erkkinen, assistant vice president for special projects, will be promoted to associate vice president, Institutional Advancement leading principal and major gifts and the campaign. Kristen Cooper, senior director of advancement, will be promoted to assistant vice president, Institutional Advancement Operations and Alumni/ae Engagement.

Outside of work, Amy serves on the Lake City Education Board of Directors and is a member of the City Council for Lake City.

Amy currently lives in Lake City, her hometown, with her husband, their two kids, and their three dogs.

Measured Impact

Grazzini-June16
Frank Grazzini ’96.

Growing up with an entrepreneurial father planted the seed in his mind that running his own business could make a lot of sense—and was doable. But the idea really took root in his adult life, when Frank Grazzini ’96 realized, after 12 years of working for larger corporations, that this work wasn’t a very good fit for him. He’d much rather create something new than fine-tune an existing structure. So he switched gears. In fact, starting a new business seems to have become a way of life for him, and he sees himself as a serial entrepreneur of sorts. He is now involved in his fourth early-stage business (his third technology start-up), with the potential to scale into a much larger business. The down side? He’d much rather start a new remodeling project than mow the grass!

At Prevent Biometrics, his latest venture, Grazzini is working with two other co-founders and the Cleveland Clinic to commercialize a groundbreaking technology to monitor and measure the force of head impacts to athletes (both male and female) in sports such as football, lacrosse, hockey, and soccer. He says that if a concussion is treated early, it usually results in a full recovery; if not, there is a much greater risk the athlete will suffer permanent neurological damage, even CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) or Second Impact Syndrome, which can cause death.

In spite of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate that over half of all sports-related concussions in the U.S. (approximately 3.8 million each year) are never identified, response has been slow. But now, there finally seems to be a growing awareness that the problem must be taken seriously, as indicated by laws in all 50 states, as well as recent statements by professional sports league representatives. Though some would make the case for ending football altogether (most notably, Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose exposure of the widespread consequences of NFL injuries was dramatized in the recent film, Concussion), Grazzini believes that better monitoring of injuries, plus a few changes to the rules, would likely be sufficient to keep football a healthy sport for kids.

PreventBio graphicPrevent’s head-impact monitor, currently being tested by athletes, has been in development for six years and is expected to be officially released for sale in December 2016, though various inquiries to the company have already been made by researchers in the military and the NCAA for earlier sales. Continue reading “Measured Impact”

Young Alumni Council Elect Leadership

The Young Alumni Council is proud to announce the first elected President, Rosine Johnson ’10, and Vice-President, Evan Decker ’12. These positions have been added in preparation for anticipated council growth in engagement opportunities for young alumni. We are currently looking for additional young alumni who are seeking advanced leadership and professional board development experience, while expanding the opportunities for alumni connections to Augsburg College and other alumni. For more information or to apply, please visit our site.

To qualify, you must be within the last ten years of graduation.

President: Rosine Johnson ’10
Rosine
Rosine Mina Johnsongraduated in 2010 with a BA in Political Science with a Public Policy Concentration and minored in International Relations. After graduation, she chose to attend Minnesota State University Mankato to receive a Master’s in Public Administration degree, and graduated with high honors in December of 2012. She currently holds a few public sector administrative positions with Hennepin County and local city governments such as the City of Edina and Richfield. Rosine gives back to her community by working with youth ministries at Christ the King Lutheran Church and serves on the church council as well. She also volunteers at local charities and organizations. She loves to be with people, laugh, travel, be silly, cook, garden, ski, read, keep up with current events and politics, and attend Zumba and dance classes.

Vice-President: Evan Decker


EvanDecker
​Evan Deckergraduated in 2012 with a double major in MIS and Management. While at Augsburg he participated in several activities on campus, including football, the Augsburg Business Organization, and working in the IT department. After graduation, he pursued a career in information systems because it combined two of his passions: business and technology. He currently works as an IT project manager and does consulting projects on the side. Evan joined the council in 2015 because he wants to give back to the college and further develop his leadership skills. Outside of work he enjoys anything away from screens—lifting weights, reading, DIY home improvement projects, hanging out with his cats, and riding his motorcycle.