If you haven’t heard of the Christensen Center for Vocation before, we are a center that equips and accompanies students, staff, faculty, and ministry leaders as they engage in vocational discernment around how we are called to show up as neighbor in the world.
We are a team that is passionate about our work and strive to create an environment where everyone can show up as their full beloved selves. We love visitors that come by to say hi! We are located in Memorial Hall 233 and are always prepared with coffee/tea and snacks! Get to know our awesome staff below!
Jeremy Myers, PhD (he/him)
Executive Director, Christensen Center for Vocation
Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation
Describe your remote from home set up: When I need to be presentable, I set my laptop on our piano which looks out a large window with good light and have lovely bookshelves behind me. But then I constantly have to resist the urge to tickle the ivories during Zoom meetings. Other times I’m on my front or back porch. Either way the dog is sleeping somewhere nearby.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do? I place my right hand on my chest over my heart, close my eyes, and take a long deep breath.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy? Each morning I will have a cup of coffee either outside or near a window. This is my time to practice awareness and presence. I force myself to not check email or social media. I allow myself to just notice the cup of coffee.
What is something you have learned from a pet? We have a flat-coated retriever named Shadow. He is beautiful and goofy. They are known as the Peter Pan of the dog world, eternal puppies. Everytime he sees us come into the house – even if we were gone for 10 minutes – he will act like he hasn’t seen us in years. I would like to greet all my friends and family with that much joy.
What are your favorite things about fall? My favorite things about fall – noticing the leaves change as I cross the Mississippi River each day, fires in the backyard, cooler weather, and everything seems to slow down.
Kristina Frugé (she/her)
Managing Director, Christensen Center for Vocation
Program Manager, Riverside Innovation Hub
Describe your remote from home set up: My remote home set-up changes with the weather between sitting on the porch with the windows open in warmer months to sitting at my bedroom/office desk surrounded with all the books I wish I was reading more. In either case, my dog Smidge is very close by.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do? Deep, slow breaths. Then I check my senses and work to become aware of the present. Or just procrastinate.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy? This shifts each season, but one I’m looking forward to now is being in my tiny South Minneapolis kitchen on a Saturday afternoon, taking my time to cut up veggies for a big pot of chili with good music playing in the background. The window is open to catch the breeze, the crisp smells of fall and the sounds of my kids playing with the neighbors outside. Nobody’s rushing through the day as our evening meal simmers in the crockpot waiting to fill our bellies when the sun goes down.
What is something you have learned from a pet? After losing our dog Roxy, I watched my kids experience their first significant loss. I learned that grief is evidence of love and even though it hurts to lose those we love, it’s still worth it to love hard. I think my kids learned that important lesson too.
What are your favorite things about fall? Sweaters, stocking hats, walks outside, cooking hearty meals, cheering on my kids in their fall sports, celebrating my wedding anniversary!
Adrienne Kuchler Eldridge ’02 (she/her)
Program Associate, Theology and Public Leadership
Program Director, Augsburg Youth Theology Institute
Describe your remote from home set up: My dining room has windows on four sides and in the corner is a little L-shaped desk that I call my remote work space. My cat regularly lays down on the papers beside me, my dog is constantly wanting to go in and out of the sliding door next to me, and the birds are making so much noise outside all the windows that the dreaming, creating, planning part of my work often means staring longingly out the window and wondering how nature and living beings might hold the answer to the problems of the day.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do? I often feel like I’m starting to float away out of my body when I’m afraid, and rather than feeling stuck in my throat I can’t seem to catch my breath. And so, I must ground myself and remind myself to breathe, to hear it and feel it. And then I come back down (oftentimes physically grounding my body down) and imagine tree roots moving down through my legs and feet into the ground and holding me steady.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy? The moments just before sitting down to a meal together brings me great joy. We are committed to eating meals together as many nights a week as we can and sometimes those moments just before sitting down are rushed as someone arrives home, the veggies are sauteing, the mail is being opened, the dishwasher is being filled, the pets are being fed, and more. It can feel kind of chaotic getting everything ready or finished or out of the way. But the anticipation of this time means that when it is done we will be ready to sit down, share a meal together, laugh and talk, and create memories and moments that only we know. And that anticipation of what’s next (the meal together) brings me great joy almost as much as the meal itself.
What is something you have learned from a pet? We have two pets now (puppy Milo and elderly cat Gunner) but the lesson I want to share comes from Calvin, our 13 year old dog who died last summer. He was such a good dog who may have had a troubled young life without a steady home, because when he came to us he had a big heart but a scared mind. Once he knew he could trust us, he was all in though. He loved us so big and we loved him, always wanting to be with each other. Calvin taught us to lean into love, spend as much time with your people as you can, and snuggle up close to feel the warmth of those you love the very most.
What are your favorite things about fall? I love the changing season from summer to fall, particularly the colors and the crunchiness of it all. The air, the leaves, the apples. The season change reminds me to welcome new rhythms, or at least go back to those that might have once worked.
Amanda Vetsch (she/her)
Lead for Special Projects, Christensen Center for Vocation
Congregational Facilitator, Riverside Innovation Hub
Project Coordinator, Young Adult Book Project
Describe your remote from home set up: I’d love to say that my WFH setup is at my desk in standing mode in the room I’ve decided to call my office, but really you’re more likely to find me working from the couch in the living room, with at least two beverages (coffee/espresso and sparkling water), wearing my comfiest clothing, and my cat, Stitch, close to, if not, on top of my laptop.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do? When I’m building up my bravery or courage, I start with a big, deep breath.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy? I get to spend time with my parents’ foster dog, Buddy. Hanging out with him brings me a lot of joy. He is loving, playful, loyal, and quirky (and available for adoption!)
What is something you have learned from a pet? My cat Stitch is continually teaching me about the importance of napping, playing when you want to play, enjoying treats, and communicating your needs, even when it’s loud meows at 3am.
What are your favorite things about fall? I love wearing sweatshirts, and watching the leaves change colors. I love spiced espresso drinks, like a dirty chai. I recently learned that pumpkin spice means the spices that one would use when baking a pumpkin pie, not necessarily pumpkin flavored. So I’m very late to the PSL trend. A perfect fall day, for me, includes a delicious hot drink, a comfy sweater, a walk in crunchy leaves, and some crisp fall air.
Geoffrey Gill ’12 (he/him)
Lead Facilitator, Riverside Innovation Hub
Describe your remote from home set up: My remote set up shifts depending what type of work I am doing. For zoom meetings I use a music stand. That way I can stand up and be more awake and attentive during meetings. Although sometimes I find myself sitting comfortably on the couch. Furthermore, I recently got a small desk that looks out the window of my living room, where a peaceful pond quietly watches me work.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do? When fear comes to meet me I usually embrace it and face it. There is a lot of calm breathing and being still.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy? An ordinary moment in my life that brings me joy is taking time to meditate and do some yoga in the morning. My morning flow is key to a joyful day.
What is something you have learned from a pet? Something I learned from a pet is unconditional love. My dog Miss Lady really got me through some hard times when I was younger. I feel like God sent her to me so I would stay connected and open to love.
What are your favorite things about fall? My favorite thing about fall is my birthday and hoodie weather. It’s the most comfortable time of the year for me.
Ellen Weber (she/her)
Operations Program Associate, Christensen Center for Vocation
Describe your remote from home set up: I am a lover of light and the ability to see outside, so often I am in the dining room or living room where there are big windows to see outside. If it is nice and not too hot I often am outside on our patio furniture. With the recent adoption of a puppy named Buzz Dublin, I often have a snoozing puppy next to me or when he is ready to play I often am throwing toys around in between emails to keep him from getting into too much trouble.
You’re called to do something brave, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What’s the first thing you do? A deep breath with a loud exhale grounding me and usually I have something to fidget with in my hands. Or I call my brother for a pep talk.
Give us a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy? I run a softball league and I love seeing people greet each other each week. I love watching friendships grow, people willing to try something new, and people cheer each other on. It’s powerful and simple to watch what the simple hello can bring and it brings me so much joy.
What is something you have learned from a pet? Our 6-month old puppy is quite the observer. He notices everything and has begun to have courage to go to the things he notices (often requires him to climb things like the piano recently…). He notices ants, butterflies, the children down the street, where the sun is to feel its warmth. He reminds me to pay attention to the little things because little things are big things.
What are your favorite things about fall? I enjoy the leaves changing and cool nights out next to a fire. I love sweaters and being all snuggled up with a warm drink in my hand. I also love going to apple orchards!