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Congressman Ellison and Augsburg officials travel to Norway

ellisonMinneapolis’ Fifth District U.S. Representative Keith Ellison is part of a four-person delegation leaving Jan. 6 for a 5-day visit to Norway to learn about Norwegian culture and Norwegian leadership in areas of peace negotiation, environmental policy, and healthcare issues.

Other members of the delegation include Frankie Shackelford, Augsburg professor of Norwegian and chair of the Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies Department; Jeremy Wells, Augsburg vice president of Institutional Advancement; and Lois Quam, who recently joined Piper Jaffray in the areas of environmental and healthcare investment.

In his first term representing the district in which Augsburg is located, Ellison expressed interest in learning more about the cultural history of the district and the role it has played in providing hospitality and welcome to immigrant populations. Augsburg’s historical and current partnerships in Norway provide a natural connection to learn more about Norway’s world leadership in the above areas and what has been called its “culture of peace.”

Quam, who recently left 18 years of policy leadership at UnitedHealth Group, has turned to a leadership role in seeking solutions for mitigating the effects of climate change, and consulted with Ellison concerning similar legislative issues. She proposed the Norway learning trip in partnership with Augsburg and in collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy.

Shackelford has lived in Norway, translated Norwegian literature, and taught Norwegian at Augsburg for nearly 20 years. She is past president of the Norwegian Teachers and Researchers Association of North America.

Wells, who came to Augsburg’s Institutional Advancement division 4 months ago, will explore further connections for Augsburg and meet with Augsburg’s Norwegian alumni, who are increasing in number with the International Partners program.

Their full schedule in Oslo includes meetings with special advisers and visits to a number of Norwegian agencies dealing with energy policy, the High North and the environment, multinational and development cooperation, and human rights.

Proposed visits include the Nobel Peace Center, the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, the Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

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