Through the dedication of our generous donors and the good work of many members of the Augsburg community over the past year, the College is beginning a new phase in the development of the Centers of Commitment that have been established to lift up Augsburg’s core values and live out our institutional vocation. It is with gratitude and great anticipation that we announce the creation of the Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and the expansion of the Martin Olav Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning. The Strommen Center is the newest of the four Centers of Commitment that include the Augsburg Center for Faith and Learning, Center for Global Education, and Sabo Center.
Augsburg is grateful to the Strommen family for establishing the Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work that will recognize Mr. and Mrs. Strommen’s personal commitment to creating meaning and purpose in work and life. The career services/internship programs currently provided through the Center for Service, Work, and Learning will be moved to the Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work. This change will provide greater visibility for these programs and enhanced services to undergraduate and graduate students.
The Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work will initially have three components:
1) The Clair and Gladys Strommen Internship and Career Center directed by Lois Olson. Heidi Lender, Sandy Tilton, and Erin Koolen will join Lois in this work. This Center will engage students in connecting academic learning with the exploration of vocation and career development.
2) The Clair and Gladys Strommen Faculty Fellow will build curricular offerings in the marketing area, and will collaborate with the Internship and Career Center and other College Centers to maximize synergies, effectiveness, and public outreach. David Schwain, assistant professor of business administration/marketing has accepted an appointment from the Dean of the College to serve in this role.
3) The Clair and Gladys Strommen Executive Leader Speakers Series will strengthen affiliations between the College and Twin Cities business community
The service-learning and community engagement programs provided through the Center for Service, Work, and Learning will be moved to the Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning under the direction of Mary Laurel True. Kristin Farrell and Brian Noy will report to Mary in their respective roles with the Bonner Leaders Program and the Campus Kitchen program and community garden.
Other programs that have been named under the expanded umbrella of the Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning are:
— The Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Nan Skelton and Harry Boyte, co-directors and Elaine Eschenbacher, associate director
— Minnesota Urban Debate League, Amy Cram Helwich, executive director
— Minnesota High School Mathematics League, Tracy Bibelnieks, director
— Community Relations (Institutional Advancement), Steve Peacock, director
Garry Hesser, the Sabo Chair for Citizenship and Learning, will continue to focus particular attention on matters of political process, public service, and public policy. He will be joined in guiding the development of the academic vision for the Sabo Center’s broad range of interests by Sabo Senior Fellows who have accepted appointments from the Dean of the College. These Senior Fellows are:
— Lars Christiansen, associate professor of sociology – Senior Fellow for Academic Civic Engagement
— Harry Boyte and Nan Skelton – Senior Fellows for Civic Agency
— Bill Green, associate professor of history and current superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools has accepted an appointment to begin when he returns from leave in Fall, 2010 – Senior Fellow for Leadership and Change
The College’s deep and abiding commitments to civic engagement and the theological exploration of vocation have brought international recognition to Augsburg College. Students, staff, faculty, and alumni demonstrate each day how central both commitments are to the College’s identity. These changes are effective November 1. We will be working over the next several months to integrate The Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and the expanded Martin Olav Sabo Center for Citizenship and Learning more fully within the Augsburg College community.
Augsburg thanks Martin and Sylvia Sabo and the Strommen family for their important contributions to the College through the creation of these Centers. The lives of students, faculty, and staff will be enriched through their great generosity.