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Jamil Stamschror-Lott ’16 MSW Alumnus Featured in The New York Times

Jamil speaking with students
Mr. Stamschror-Lott leading a community healing session. Photo credit: The New York Times

In the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year, mental health experts across the country say they have seen African-Americans, whose skepticism of therapy has been documented by research, seeking it in growing numbers.

Jamil and Sara Stamschror-Lott, the founders of Creative Kuponya, a mental health practice in Minneapolis, said the demand for therapy had “gone through the roof” over the past year. The couple said 31 percent of their practice’s clients are Black.

“We’ve seen everything that the nation has seen from afar, from folks in civil unrest and devastation, despair,” said Mr. Stamschror-Lott. The couple said that some residents were overwhelmed and exhausted by the events of the past year, and that there remained a “great deal of pain and trauma.”

View the full story.

The Man in the Pines – one Auggie’s quest to find a story

The Man in the Pines-NashPer Minnesota tradition, David Nash ’06 first met the giant, talking Paul Bunyan in Brainerd, Minnesota when he was really young, and it left a lasting impression. So a few years ago when picking an American folklore to read to his son, it was obvious to David he should read the story of Paul Bunyan. Unfortunately, his son wasn’t that interested in tales of Paul and Babe the Blue Ox.

David has always enjoyed writing music, so he wrote a song about Paul to sing to his son, imagining if Paul was a real person. He wondered what if Paul’s story was a bit sadder, and perhaps we were taking advantage of his story and turning it into something else to get the happy folklore that it is now.After writing the song, David played it at an open mic and people really enjoyed it. Later, he heard an interview of a musician he listens to who mentioned they wrote a book based off a song.

“It occurred to me: why does my song have to be the end of the story?”

After his kids went to bed one summer night in 2018, David sat down and started writing. Then it was every night when the kids went to bed. He’d sit down in a chair and write and write and write.

“It all came on suddenly, almost to the point that it felt kind of like a sickness. It was like I couldn’t get better until the story was all written down.”

By researching the history of logging in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the great Hinckley fire, David aimed to write a historically accurate novel with American folklore, historical ecology, Native American spirituality, and love.

When a draft was complete, the next step was publication. David’s wife, alumna Sara (Holman) Nash ’06, suggested he reach out to Augsburg’s English Department. Sara is an English major graduate from Augsburg and connected David with Professor Emerita Kathryn Swanson.

“Kathy Swanson and the English Department helped me look for publishers and things to consider in terms of what makes the project marketable, and writing resources.”

Two publishers accepted David’s book: one was from Oregon and the other, Orange Hat Publishing, is located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

“I went with the Waukesha publisher. Being more local, I felt a good connection with their owner, who went to the same high school as me.”

After rounds of formal editing and book designs, The Man in the Pines was ready to be released. A book launch party was planned for April 2020 at a local brewery in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The party and book tour was going to be accompanied by David’s The Man in the Pines music.

However, the current pandemic prevented the party from happening and canceled the book tour.

“With COVID, self-promotion is hard right now. As a musician, I thrive more off immediate interaction with people, in-person.”

David isn’t giving up, though. He still released the book in March and did an online reading with a few other authors. He also hosted an online concert with one other musician, during which David explained a few stories from book and played songs. When it’s safe to do so, he will tour with his book and accompanying songs, and have a proper launch party in La Crosse.

One surprising thing David learned about himself while writing The Man in the Pines is that he really likes writing.

“If someone would have told me I would enjoy writing a book, it would have been hard to comprehend. I like that you can start with an idea and you may not know your destination. I like writing myself out of problems. It can be frustrating, but also gratifying to discover the journey of your characters as you write.”

Photo from alumna Lauren (Falk) McVean ‘06. Photo credit Lauren B Photography (laurenbfalk.com).

David had an early connection to Augsburg. His mom, Susan Nash, Ed.D., has been a nursing professor at Augsburg’s Rochester campus since 1998, and his older brother, Collin, played hockey at Augsburg. David was a biology major and also played hockey. He met his wife, Sara, their senior year in college, at a mutual friend’s birthday party.

Today, David is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Strabismologist at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and two children, where they spend most of their time outdoors, kayaking, jogging, fly and trout fishing, hiking, painting, and practicing photography.

“I have more interests and hobbies than I have time for!”

Meet First Decade Award Winner Dr. Brian Krohn ‘08

Register now for Homecoming!


Dr. Brian Krohn
Dr. Brian Krohn

Brian Krohn ‘08, Ph.D., is a passionate innovator, entrepreneur, and Augsburg’s first Rhodes Scholar. Switching from an Augsburg degree in film to one in chemistry was only one component of a rapidly expanding career that includes experience in renewable technology, mobile app development, local food, and medical devices.

In a joint letter nominating Brian for this award, the Chemistry Department at Augsburg says, “Brian is an alumnus who typifies the best of Augsburg’s liberal arts education; he weaves together his care of creation and humanity with his technical prowess and creative insight to make the world a better place.”

While at Augsburg, Brian was named a Goldwater Scholar, founded the Honors Review journal for student scholarship, and created an Honors course on home brewing. He researched the production of cleaner biodiesel fuel in collaboration with Augsburg’s Professor Emeritus Arlin Gyberg, Ph.D., and alumnus Clayton McNeff ’91, which spurred a new patented catalyzation process and physical plant, Evercat Fuels, that produces more than 8 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Some of Brian’s research has been featured on “Good Morning America” and the National Council on Undergraduate Research Session.

Watch the KARE OnLIVE segment on his research below:

 

Brian earned a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Sciences and Management from the University of Minnesota as an Environmental Protection Agency Fellow, as well as master’s degrees from the University of Oxford in Environmental Change and Management and the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine as a Rhodes Scholar. He co-founded several companies including Mighty Axe Hops, which is the largest producer of Minnesota hops for local craft breweries.

He was an Innovation Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center, where he worked on projects ranging from a new tool to assist neurosurgeons to remove brain cancer to an app to improve sleep. He is currently the CEO of Soundly, an app-based therapy to reduce snoring, which is a technology funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. His company, Magic Wizard Staff, displays his technical brilliance and playful creativity. Most recently, he joined Modern Logic, an innovative digital product development company. Brian has also served as an adjunct instructor at Macalester College and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has garnered numerous academic honors and entrepreneurship awards.

Brian’s time at Augsburg was marked by exploration of not only chemistry, biology, and mathematics, but also philosophy, film, and literature. Paired with thoughtful consideration of calling and community, this cultivated his pursuit of knowledge, art, and technology in service to the world. His work demonstrates the power of Augsburg’s intersection of liberal arts education and professional studies to enable others to be more healthy, happy, and fully human. He continues to stay connected to Augsburg and is generous with his time, encouraging and offering advice to students since his return to the Twin Cities.

Practice Yoga on the Lawn Sept. 29 with Halen Bower ’08

Alumna and yoga instructor Halen Bower
Yoga instructor Halen Bower ’08

On Sept. 29, 2018, the Young Alumni Council will host Yoga on the Lawn of the beautiful new Hagfors Center for Science, Business & Religion from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Council is excited to bring alumna, and renowned yoga instructor Halen Bower back to campus to instruct a stimulating hour!

Bower graduated from Augsburg in 2008 with a BA studying international relations, and got a taste for travel when she studied abroad her junior year. As an athlete most of her life, (she played volleyball for Augsburg from 2004-2007) Halen initially came to yoga as a gentler way to stay in shape. In 2010, she was able to combine both her love for travel and her love of yoga when she completed her 200 hour training in Guatemala. She has been traveling with yoga ever since. Halen has taught yoga in Switzerland, Alaska, California, Minnesota, and Vermont. She is trained in Adapting Yoga for Disability, in Yin Yoga, and in Restorative Yoga. Bower has been a certified Children’s Yoga teacher since 2011, and is now in the process of completing her 95 hour certification with Radiant Child Yoga.

Bower epitomizes true kindness and a heart-centered zest for life. Her presence and classes will leave you both energized and relaxed. Her hope is to teach yoga in a playful, and approachable way to help promote healing, connection, and openness in mind, body, and spirit. She looks forward to bringing what she has learned over the years back to Augsburg to connect with her Augsburg community. Bring your mat and join her on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Please register for this event. Limited to 30 participants.

Auggies Win at the Twins

Auggie Night at the Twins was a rousing success on June 22. Tickets in the Auggie block above home plate sold out for the event jointly sponsored by the Augsburg Alumni Board and Young Alumni Council.

The annual night out at the ballpark began with a pre-game reception at the nearby Kieran’s, with a short program hosted by Nick Rathmann ’03 and featuring Robert Grace ’98, who operates Be Graceful Bakery, with a concession booth at TCF Bank, Target Field, and the new US Bank Stadium. Then 75 Auggies watched the Minnesota Twins take on the Phillies and WIN. Special thanks to Nik Linde ’15 for taking the photos.

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.

Young Alumni Service Saturday: May 16 at Bethany Lutheran

bethanyContinuing community engagement and volunteering are important parts of being an Auggie, even after graduation. The Augsburg Young Alumni Council invites other graduates from the last 10 years to volunteer on May 16 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Seward, where young alumnus Rev. Mike Matson ’06 serves as pastor.

soup for youYour help is needed! Augsburg volunteers are needed to serve meals in the Soup for You Cafe, and assist with the rummage sale and clean-up.

Sign up for a volunteer shift by emailing Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu. Two time slots are available, and we need Auggies for both:

  1. 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
  2. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (If you have a truck or large vehicle that can be used for deliveries, sign up for the 2-6 p.m. time slot.)
  3. Have more time to volunteer? If you’re available to help out on Friday, 5/15, please contact Sherry Reagan at 936-443-5650.
  4. Donations to the rummage sale are welcome. Bethany accepts furniture, appliances, decorations, clothing, children’s clothing, toys, backpacks, hygiene items, blanketsm bikes, and more. Please, no old TVs. Drop off items at 2511 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, M-F 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

mikePlease come together with other Auggies and family members to help further the good a fellow Auggie is doing in the community. Matson was just featured in local media for his good work at Bethany. Read the StarTribune story.

The weekend of May 16 is a busy one for this well-known Seward neighborhood church. The annual rummage sale takes place on Friday, May 15, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

For more information about this event, volunteering, or joining the Young Alumni Council, contact Volunteer and Alumni Engagement Manager Katie Radford ’12 at radford@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1329.