Auggie Pass Provides Augsburg Undergraduate Students Unlimited Rides on Buses and Light Rail

Augsburg’s student government approved paying for the pass by student fee so no undergraduates pays out of pocket to commute to campus, internships, jobs 

(Minneapolis) — Augsburg University now offers the Auggie Pass, a universal transit pass that gives undergraduate students unlimited rides on buses and light rail in a first of its kind partnership between Metro Transit and a Twin Cities college.

Skye Ryge was an Augsburg student government environmental officer last year when she advocated for student government to approve a $5 green fee increase to $20 per semester to pay for the Auggie Pass. She believes it will help reduce students’ financial strain and improve their chances of accepting jobs and internships involving a commute.

“As someone who uses the bus everyday, it’s great not to have that financial burden,” said Ryge ‘20, who will be a fourth-year student this fall and used to pay more than $100 monthly to ride the bus. “It’s really economically advantageous to students who pay for school like me to not have to choose between textbooks and bus fare.”

“Efficiently connecting people to schools, work and other destinations is at the heart of what a quality system does,” said Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra. “We are excited about this partnership, connecting Augsburg University students to our system and our region, and hope this develops into a model that can be duplicated with other schools.”

The Auggie Pass is valid throughout the school year and is paid for by the student Green Fee and University operating funds. All undergraduate day students who pay the semester Green Fee are eligible. Students can now pick up their Auggie Pass in the Lindell Library at the circulation desk on the ground level. Visit Augsburg transportation webpage for more details.

The push for the Auggie Pass was an effort to support Augsburg’s Transportation Plan goals:

  • Enhance Augsburg’s commitment to the city, its urban location, and environmental stewardship;
  • Maximize the use of other transportation options, including light rail, bus, biking, and ride-sharing;
  • Ensure students access classes, campus services, and educational opportunities;
  • Support employees at the Minneapolis campus in getting to work.

View the announcement at Metro Transit’s site.

For details, contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of PR and Internal Communications. sitarami@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1476.

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 10 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Media Advisory: Augsburg University’s Largest, Most Diverse First-Year Class Serves Community on First Day of School

(Minneapolis) — Gardening. Moving. Painting. River and neighborhood cleanup. Augsburg University’s record first-year class of more than 600 students will be working in the community for their first day of college on September 3.

During Augsburg’s annual City Engagement Day, first-year students traditionally work in the community to launch their Augsburg education. The Class of 2023 is the largest ever as Augsburg celebrates its 150-year anniversary, with more than 650 students expected.. Augsburg is one of the most diverse private colleges in the Midwest — and this first-year class is the third in a row in which students of color are expected to make up the majority. Official numbers will be finalized mid-September.

This year, the first day of school will include (times approximate):

  • City Engagement Day lunch outdoors in the Augsburg “Quad.”  More than 650 students in Augsburg T-shirts geared up to volunteer, along with faculty and Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Working in a Cedar-Riverside community garden at Augsburg on 20th Avenue South: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
  • River cleanup with the National Park Service along the Mississippi River near 34th Street in Minneapolis. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Cedar-Riverside cleanup. Meet at Wienery restaurant, 414 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, at 1 p.m. 1 to 4 p.m.

Media are invited to photograph/film students at work.

For more information, contact: Gita Sitaramiah, director of public relations and internal communications. 612-330-1476. 651-353-0061-cell.

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 10 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Media Advisory: INSIDE OUT Portraits of 1,229 Augsburg University People Installed along Riverside Avenue in August

(Minneapolis) — Augsburg University is installing in August Each, Together, a Group Action of the INSIDE OUT Project, started by French street artist JR, that will include over 1,200 portraits. This installation in honor of Augsbug’s upcoming sesquicentennial will cover 10 campus building facades along Riverside Avenue.

INSIDE OUT Preview

Members of the media are invited to Augsburg on August 6 to photograph the installation as well as for interviews with the project’s lead organizer Associate Professor Christopher Houltberg. 

Expected to be the largest such project in the Twin Cities area, these portraits will create a tapestry of faces that celebrate, recognize and honor the people of Augsburg University over the past 150 years. Each of the 1,229 students, faculty, alumni, and staff will ultimately be present together.

Installation will take four weeks to complete along Riverside, beginning at Foss Center on 22nd and moving toward 25th Avenue South. These buildings will include the Flower Shop, Maintenance Facilities, Ice Arena, Anderson Music Hall, and Foss Center. 

Founded in 1869, Augsburg’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration launches in September 2019.

On August 6, media members are invited to interview Associate Professor Christopher Houltberg and photograph or videotape installation as it begins.

For details, contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of PR and Internal Communications. sitarami@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1476.

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 10 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

River Semester to be joined by leading German scholars, artists

Augsburg University’s third River Semester starting in August will be part of a prestigious German initiative to explore the Mississippi River.

Mississippi. An Anthropocene River is a German research project involving many communities and initiatives along the river with a focus on climate change. Joining Augsburg students will be German travelers: Max Planck Institute and Goethe Institute scholars; field station members; journalists; authors, and artists.

This year’s River Semester voyagers will depart from Lake Itasca on Aug. 30 and, for 100 days, paddle portions of the Mississippi River ending in New Orleans. Students will earn 16-19 credits.

View the 2019 River Semester schedule.

See the Anthropocene River Journey description.

 

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 10 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

 

 

Augsburg Hosts Place-Based Justice Network Summer Institute 2019

(Minneapolis) –  Faculty and staff from universities nationwide will gather at The Place-Based Justice Network Summer Institute at Augsburg University from July 10 to 12 to analyze community engagement issues.

Augsburg is one of 25 higher education institutions that make up the The Place-Based Justice Network, committed to transforming higher education and our communities by deconstructing systems of oppression through place-based community engagement.

As part of the conference, participants will tour Augsburg neighbors, including Sisterhood Boutique; Health Commons; Trinity Lutheran/DaralHijrah; Cedar Cultural Center, Cedar Commons; Brian Coyle Center, and Augsburg Community Gardens. A reception with live music will be held at the McKnight Foundation.

Since the initial convening in 2014, teams from 25 universities have participated in the institute organized by Seattle University and supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

View the schedule.

 

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Augsburg Plans New Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications
Office: 612.330.1476  

(Minneapolis)  Augsburg University plans to introduce a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology degree in fall 2019, pending approval and accreditation by external agencies.

Once the program is accredited, Augsburg will be the only university offering a Psy.D. program in clinical psychology in Minnesota. The first class will be a teach out option for students previously enrolled in the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, which closed in March. 

“Our mission is to serve students, and this Psy.D. program is a way to help former Argosy University students while also meeting the growing demand for mental health services statewide,” said Monica Devers, Augsburg University dean of professional studies.

Augsburg has received authorization from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and has filed applications with the Higher Learning Commission and the American Psychological Association. The Higher Learning Commission has approved a site visit.

Meanwhile, Augsburg is working with former Argosy faculty, staff, and students to introduce a program that provides continuity for Argosy students. The Argosy program had educated a significant share of the state’s licensed psychologists, and the workforce demand is expected to be high in this field. Employment in psychology-related occupations in the U.S. is projected to grow 13.7 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to Hanover Research.

“Augsburg would be filling a gap in the region in planning to offer this doctoral program,” said Margit Berman, interim co-director of Augsburg’s Psy.D. program and former associate professor of clinical psychology at Argosy. “Argosy students would have the opportunity to complete their doctoral program without relocating to another region.” 

The Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology degree would be the second doctorate offered at Augsburg. In 2010, Augsburg began offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

For more information, potential students may email Monica Devers at devers@augsburg.edu

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

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FIRST ROCHESTER FACULTY MEMBER AWARDED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO TEACHING

(Rochester, Minn.) –  Kaycee Rogers, director of education — Rochester, was awarded Augsburg University’s Outstanding Contributions to Teaching honor. She is the first full-time Rochester recipient of Augsburg’s outstanding teaching award.

The outstanding teaching award is given to one Augsburg faculty member annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the university that go beyond the expectations of their position.

Rogers received this award because of her active engagement with students, creative approaches to instruction, ability to challenge students, and her overall passion for teaching.

“Kaycee Rogers is a gifted teacher. As the director of education in Rochester, Kaycee has improved the programs extensively by updating course materials, designing engaging classroom activities, and providing educational workshops,” said Margaret Finders, professor of education. “What she does exceptionally well is advise and mentor students.”

Many would agree with student Jennifer Barnett: “I was terrified to return to school because it had been 13 years since I had been in a college class. Through a counseling session, Kaycee gave me the confidence that I belonged, and assisted me in every step of my academic planning,” Barnett said. “I instantly felt at home at Augsburg because of her.”

Rogers said she’s humbled to receive the award so early in her career and makes it a priority to truly know her students, their backgrounds, their lives, and their future aspirations.

“For me, great teaching has always been student-centered,” Rogers said. “It doesn’t matter if your students are third-graders or pursuing their master’s degrees, a good teacher plans and facilitates learning with the student in mind.”

About Augsburg. Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Augsburg has offered degrees at its Rochester location for 20 years. Today, the site offers degrees in nursing, business, and education. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Advisory: Augsburg’s first Commencement at U.S. Bank Stadium on May 10

For the first time, the Augsburg University commencement will be held off campus at U.S. Bank Stadium at 6 p.m. Friday, May 10.

In making this location change, Augsburg is responding to consistent concerns raised by graduating students regarding the limited number of tickets available for their guests to attend on-campus ceremonies, which were held most recently in Si Melby Hall’s gymnasium.

Augsburg will use a portion of U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. The change in venue and dramatic increase in total available seats will enable all graduates, their families, their friends, and members of the Augsburg community to celebrate together. Tickets are required.

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be the commencement speaker. He is currently The Minneapolis Foundation president and CEO.

View the Augsburg Commencement site for more details.

 

Support for Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama

(Updated May 2019)

Augsburg University is sharing this background about the immigration case involving Associate Professor Mzenga Wanyama to keep our campus and the public informed.

Status with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Board of Immigration Appeals has granted Mzenga Wanyama’s motion to reopen the asylum application for him and his wife, Mary Mzenga, for another hearing. Their case will now be transferred back to the local immigration court in the Twin Cities where they will be allowed to present new evidence in support of the asylum application and application for cancellation of removal. This decision allows them to remain in the U.S. while the immigration court reviews their case.

On August 31, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted a stay of removal. As a result, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement couldn’t deport them until the Board issued a decision on the merits of the motion to reopen the asylum case.

ICE had previously informed them that they were required to depart the United States in October 2018.

Background
On April 5, 2018, Wanyama and his wife were informed in a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ICE would allow them 90 days to depart the United States. During a June 29, 2018 meeting ICE confirmed that it had extended their departure date from July 4, 2018 to August 3, 2018. The ICE office had asked them to return to the office on July 25, 2018 for a check-in.

On July 25, 2018, ICE then informed them that they would have to depart the United States on September 9, 2018. He was required to bring the plane tickets with a September 9 departure data to a check-in appointment with ICE on September 4, 2018. The September 9, 2018 departure was later extended 30 days.

Meanwhile, a motion to reopen Dr. Wanyama’s asylum application based on changed country conditions and a stay of removal was filed earlier that summer with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Once ICE was unwilling to use its discretionary authority any longer, his attorney requested the emergency review of the stay of removal that was granted August 31, 2018. If the stay had not granted, he and his wife would most likely have had to leave the U.S. in October 2018.

Augsburg University statements
Augsburg issued a statement from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow following the Wanaymas’ April 5, 2018 ICE meeting, as well as statements before and following the previous ICE meeting, on March 9, 2018. These statements are posted below:

Augsburg University Faculty Senate statement
The Faculty Senate of Augsburg University wishes to express our unanimous and unconditional support for our friend and colleague, Professor Mzenga Wanyama. We urge all those who care about Professor Wanyama to consider signing the petition on his behalf at https://www.change.org/p/augsburg-university-support-augsburg-professor-mzenga-wanyama.

Augsburg University faculty statement
The Augsburg University faculty calls on the U.S. government to halt plans for the unjust deportation of our colleague Professor Mzenga Wanyama and his spouse and Augsburg nursing student Mary Mzenga and to permit their continued work and residence in the US. We stand against the anti-immigrant sentiment that is prompting the current wave of deportations and proudly affirm our status as an institution that supports the many immigrant and refugee members of our academic community.

Website
A website, www.mzenga.com, has been created by friends and supporters of Mzenga and Mary Wanyama. The site includes a statement from the Wanyamas, information about the next Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting, and information about getting involved and providing support.

Work authorization and sponsorship
Augsburg University complies with federal law that requires employers to verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States. Professor Wanyama has authorization to work in the United States, issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Sponsorship for permanent resident status is not an option at this time due to a restriction related to a J-1 two-year home residency requirement. The two-year home residency requirement means that those who come to the U.S. in J-1 status cannot become permanent residents in the U.S., change status, or get work or family-based visa status until they return to their country of last permanent residence for at least two years cumulatively. A request to waive the two-year home residency requirement was filed several years ago, but the waiver was denied. Augsburg is working with legal counsel to pursue all options available to us under the current scenario.

Media coverage: Augsburg launches Minnesota’s only university women’s wrestling team

Auggies Womens wrestlingAugsburg becomes Minnesota’s only university with a varsity women’s wrestling team, media outlets reported.

The Star Tribune and City Pages featured stories about the Augsburg University team that will start competing during the 2019-20 academic year.

According to City Pages: “Wrestling is one of the fastest-growing high school sports in the country among women. Since 1994, the number of participants has shot up from 800 to 16,500. So far, only 46 other colleges and universities have programs, but Augsburg is expected to be one of 14 schools to jump on the bandwagon within the next two years.”

The wrestling team continues Augsburg’s pioneering tradition in women’s athletics. Augsburg was the first college in the Midwest in 1995 to sponsor a varsity women’s ice hockey team. Then, in 2014, Augsburg became the first collegiate institution in Minnesota to sponsor a varsity women’s lacrosse team.

Article links:

City Pages story

Star Tribune article

Augsburg Athletics announcement