Justin Grammens ’96 is a mathematics major who grew up in Minneapolis. His mother was a teacher for Minneapolis public schools, and his father worked as a doctor at Fairview Riverside, located across the street from Augsburg.
Grammens said he was familiar with the area and Augsburg, and one aspect that drew him to the school were the small class sizes which gave him a better connection to his classmates and instructors.
“My original plan was to start at a liberal arts school [Augsburg], then transfer to an engineering school,” Grammens said. “But when I transferred from Augsburg, I was sitting in a classroom with hundreds of other students and being taught by a TA, and I felt like why am I here?”
He ended up transferring back to Augsburg and completing his degree. But Grammens said it wasn’t just the small class sizes that inspired him to return to Augsburg, it was also the urban environment and the abundance of diversity that Augsburg offers.
At Augsburg, Grammens was able to build relationships with many different people that he maintained after graduation. He has even come back to campus on multiple occasions and spoken with students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields about his career.
Grammens is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, teaching a class for their masters of software engineering program. He said that he is proud to bring the skills that he learned at Augsburg and share them with his students.
“A lot of the classes at Augsburg were exploratory and non-traditional,” Grammens said. “It was really about thought process, application, collaboration, and problem solving.”
Around 2006, he started a company that was one of the first in the Twin Cities to develop mobile apps for major companies, and that’s when he said he felt like he had the income to give back.
“It breaks my heart if somebody is kicking butt in math, chemistry, or physics, and they know they want to be an engineer, but the barrier is just that they don’t have the money,” Grammens said. “I’m passionate about giving to STEM programs because those students are working with technologies that are changing our lives, and I want to support that.”
Grammens continues to make a positive impact on the lives of Augsburg students with annual donations to STEM programs, and you can too.
Donate to STEM programs and support Augsburg students as they conduct research with faculty, attend and present at national conferences, and hear from leading researchers.
Any gift made to any program will automatically count towards your class’ total for the Alumni Class Challenge!