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Pedagogy at a Crossroads

A Student Perspective of the NCA Convention

Written by Peter Sands

Having attended the National Communication Association’s annual convention for my first year as a student, I was intrigued by the variety of topics covered in different calls. Being that I had primarily signed up for areas specific to what instructors at Augsburg were involved in, I spent the majority of my time sitting in for synchronous/asynchronous Zoom sessions focused on teaching.

Now, from the perspective of a student, you might not think that listening to a bunch of academics discussing their differences in pedagogical approaches to teaching during a pandemic would be all that interesting, but I was enamored with the amount of thought that goes into crafting our learning experience here at Augsburg and in other universities across the country. 

The theory that is poured into behavioral reinforcement of our learning practices as students is astonishing. From listening to Professor Groven distinguish our departments Senior Keystone course(s) from the likes of other institutions, to hearing Professor McNallie discuss different concerns/approaches of teaching public speaking courses online; there is definitely a divide amongst teachers as to what the most effective tactics are when mediating online learning in the midst of a pandemic and beyond. 

When making further distinctions concerning adaptations to online pedagogy, it was riveting to hear Professor Hanson discuss the idea of how these mediums, “perpetuate inequitable learning experiences,” especially amongst more privileged demographics. That is to say that many teachers might have to consider a students technological access and literacy when assessing their educational needs.

Seeing as how I have been adapting to remote learning practice since the beginning of the pandemic last March, I too was intrigued by the leadership and innovation necessary to persevere in the midst of these unforeseen circumstances. Moreover, as a student participating in these events, I thought about the importance of providing effective feedback when asked to review a course or teaching practices. We share just as much of a responsibility in shaping pedagogy as students, especially in the face of extreme technological change. So, be sure to fill out your Student Evaluations during the end of the semester!

I would highly recommend this event to future students as we continue to navigate an ever changing academic landscape. Having adapted to such immense change over the past year really gave meaning to the convention’s title, Communication at the Crossroads.

During one of the sessions, Professor Pat J. Gehrke of the University of South Carolina described the need to place more emphasis on teaching to these technological mediums as they continue to evolve. With no clear end in sight, these digital mediums will become an integral part of how many of us continue to communicate within our professional spheres. 



Film Program extends support to Walker’s “Women with Vision” Series

Written by Jenny L. Hanson

March is Women’s History Month.  The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is hosting some pretty awesome women and featuring their film, media, and artworks all month long.  After closing out February with an event series on acclaimed filmmaker Julia Reichert, March brings the work of an early queer film influence of mine, filmmaker Cheryl Dunye to the screen.  The Walker will also take a look back at the Women with Vision series, and continue the Indigenesis series focusing on indigenous film that opens with what reasons to be a fun new media adventure curated by Missy Whiteman.

A key component of this year’s programming is “Women with Vision: Then and Now.” The event series features the cinematic work of some of the women who participated in the Women With Vision showcase (also known in its early years as Women in the Director’s Chair).  It also celebrates the curatorial work of Walker Senior Curator of Moving Image Sheryl Mousley.  Minnesota’s own Film Fatales Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe, who curated many of the events in the series, will also be hosting a candid conversation with filmmakers about their journey.  I might also note that among the filmmakers is Augsburg instructor Jila Nikpay!

Computers encoding media
Hanson is utilizing the program’s media lab to encode media for Walker Event.

Curating the work of filmmakers who identify as female, who are persisting as directors, cinematographers, and storytellers and creating space for people to see the films is important work.  The film industry has notoriously discounted the work of women and persons of color.  Movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite have sought to bring about change.  Events like those at the Walker this month are part of what is needed if a systematic change is going to occur.  I know this first hand, as the Walker gave me one of my first film screenings as part of the Women in the Director’s Chair and the Jr. Home Girls Series many, many, years ago. It gave me hope as a young queer filmmaker that I could make a living creating films.

So, when we were asked to help transfer work for the event series, we were happy to offer our support.  This kind of equity is exactly the kind of thing our program embraces and seeks to live out.

Please show your support at these events, many of which are free. Visit: for more details.

Department Majors Collaborate on Music Video “Be Saved”

Written by Preston Peterson | Album Artwork provided by Kirby Gage

I had a chance to talk with Kirby Gage about a collaboration he did with other Augsburg students. The project “Be Saved” is an original song and music video by Kirby Gage featuring Zayguap. See what Gage and I talked about in my recounted interview.

Preston: What are your majors?

Gage: I am a New Media: Game Design & New Media: Promotional Communication double major, for the time being at least. My videographer Finn Elsmo is a Film Major. Isaiah (Zayguap) has taken this semester off, however, is pursuing a New Media: Promotional Communication major.

Preston: What Augsburg spaces or equipment were used to make the video?

Gage: We rented cameras from Augsburg a few times, for several different shoots. Thanks to Jenny Hanson, we were able to use the black box facility in the chapel on campus. In this room, there is an option for complete darkness and it allowed for interesting shots with different lighting.

Preston: What is “Be Saved” about?

Gage: I have a lot to talk about when it comes to the video. After I made this song, for my upcoming album Story Time I realized that I had something special to work with. The connection with Finn began when I was working with my partner Kim Lindgren. Together we run a clothing brand called Kold Heart Clothing. She suggested that Finn and I talk about making a music video together. The first time we met we did a shoot at Minnehaha Falls. It went super well and Finn and I knew we were going to have something cool here, we did some editing right away and sat on it for a while. We did this 4 more times before landing on a final edit. We then went to my home studio to record Isaiah’s section of the video. After a long process of editing and color correcting with Finn, the real challenge began. For this video, we wanted to try and do something unique. I decided to do hand-drawn animations and line edits throughout the entire video. Something I will do more of in the future. For the Animations, I would draw in my notebook whenever I had the chance, even in class sometimes. I then put those drawings into Photoshop and animated them frame by frame. I did the same thing in After Effects for the line edits going frame by frame and added the finalized edits there as well. The entire process of the video took a few hundred hours to complete. I had a lot of firsts here. I’m extremely happy with the way it turned out, and I’m super happy that people enjoy it! 

None of this would’ve been possible without Finn Elsmo, Isaiah Lindsay, Kim Lindgren or Ben Poole. Also, a special thanks to Jenny Hanson and the New Media Department let us use their equipment and space for recording.

Preston: Where can people find you and the people involved online?

Gage: I have a few links if people are interested. 

Spotify: Kirby Gage (Also on Apple Music, Sound Cloud, etc.)

Spotify: Zayguap

Instagram: Kold Heart Clothing

Instagram: Kirby Gage

Instagram: Finnr Sverre

Instagram: Zayguap

Instagram: Ben Jammin’

Films nominated for Student Production Awards from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Foundation

Crystal Pillar Award for College-Fiction
Upper Midwest Student Production Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy Foundation for “Monday Train” Photo: Sarah Van Sickle

Written by: Sarah Van Sickle

Congratulations to all of the Augsburg students that were nominated for a Student Production Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Foundation! Nominations were announced today and Augsburg has six nominations in five categories. The Upper Midwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in student filmmaking. While Augsburg has been nominated before and won twice, this is the most nominations the University has ever received. The 2019 Student Awards Ceremony takes place on April 12th.

Augsburg nominations are as follows:

Short Form: Fiction

“Cycle,” directed by Winston Heckt; editing/sound by Lukas Olson; written by Lauren Tabor; and advised by Robert Cowgill.

“Fairy of the Night,” directed by Joel Myers and advised by Jila Nikpay.

Long Form: Fiction

“Take Me Home,” written/directed by Rebecca Lynn Schroeder; editing/sound by Lukas Olson; camera/editing by Winston Heckt; produced by Francesca Chiari; assistant director Meredith Carstens; production design by Olivia Drury; and advised by Jenny Hanson.


“Lets Talk,” directed/produced by Adrianna Foreman and advised by Jenny Hanson.

Animation/Graphics/Special Effects

“Rodney and Jimmy and the Campfire,” directed by Joel Myers and advised by Jenny Hanson.


“Amusement,” edited by Joel Myers.