Augsburg Alumna Tanya Schwartz becomes Burnsville’s first female police chief

Courtesy of the Burnsville Police Department
Tanya Schwartz | Courtesy of the Burnsville Police Department

Burnsville Police Captain Tanya Schwartz was promoted to police chief this month. She will be the city’s first female chief.

She will lead the department’s 75 sworn officers and 19 civilian employees in the city of 61,000, the Pioneer Press reported.

“I am so grateful for the city’s investment in me throughout my career, and am excited to give back and continue our strong culture of service and excellence in policing,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Augsburg University.

See the full report at the Pioneer Press website.

The New York Times features Crescent Cove, a hospice home by alumna Katie Lindenfelser

Parker Graf with his family at Crescent Cove the day before he passed away. Jim Bovin, New York Times.
Parker Graf with his family at Crescent Cove the day before he passed away. Jim Bovin, New York Times.

The New York Times recently featured Crescent Cove, Minnesota’s first children’s hospice home that specializes in end-of-life care for families with dying children. Crescent Cove was founded by Augsburg alumna Katie Lindenfelser, who majored in music therapy.

The hospice is a peaceful place for kids and parents to spend their last days together, with a 24-hour watch of specialized nurses, aides, and volunteers. This idea came about when Lindenfelser was a music therapist working with terminally-ill children in an intensive-care unit. Many parents expressed interest in a hospice home for their own sick children so that they wouldn’t have to die at home or at a hospital.

The article provides insight into the lives of the families who have used Cresent Cove and how the hospice came to be.

Read the full article at The New York Times website.

 

Kare 11 features Olivia Maccoux ’19 and her graduation journey after 140 brain surgeries

Olivia Maccoux - Kare 11
Olivia Maccoux – Kare 11

Olivia Maccoux ’19 spoke with Kare 11 about her journey to graduation after 140 brain surgeries. Maccoux lives with a rare condition called hydrocephalus, which causes fluid to build on the brain. “College graduation to me is a big deal,” she told Kare 11. “The doctors didn’t believe I’d make it past birth.”

On May 10, Maccoux graduated with honors from Augsburg, a day she thought would never happen. During her freshman year in college, she had a seizure in her dorm room and had to drop out of school for a time. Aside from her family and friends, her neurosurgeon was also present at the U.S. Bank Stadium commencement ceremony. She credits him for why she was able to graduate and now wants to build a career sharing her story with the world. Her experiences have given her a purpose to advocate and be a voice for those with invisible illness and disabilities. Recently, Maccoux spoke at a fundraising event in Hollywood, California, with comedian Conan O’Brien, where she helped raise $300,000 by sharing her story. “Just because you have not so great circumstances doesn’t mean your life is over” she told Kare 11.

 

See the full story at Kare 11’s website.

 

Devean George ’99 honored by NCAA during Final Four week in Minneapolis

Augsburg University basketball star Devean George, who went on to three NBA championship titles, was honored by the NCAA during men’s Final Four week as one of its 2019 Living Legends.

George grew up in North Minneapolis, played at NCAA Division III Augsburg and went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA, winning three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Off the court, George devoted his time and energy to numerous Minneapolis charitable organizations focused on families, education and children.

View the NCAA press release for more details.

Star Tribune features Augsburg’s Traditional Powwow

Shari L. Gross – Star Tribune

Images from Augsburg University’s 11th Traditional Powwow were featured in a photo essay by the Star Tribune. The photos show various aspects of the powwow, ranging from dances and drumming to fellowship and friendship. The event, cohosted by Augsburg’s American Indian Student Services and Indigenous Student Association, includes food concessions, arts and crafts vendors, and informational tabling about Augsburg’s educational opportunities and services for native students of all ages. Graduating Augsburg American Indian students are also recognized.

 

Visit the Star Tribune’s website to view the photos.

MPR News highlights artwork at the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion

Art at Hagfors CenterAugsburg University President Paul Pribbenow spoke with Marianne Combs of MPR News about the artwork in the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion.

Forecast Public Art connected Augsburg with a network of diverse artists, then helped create a selection process that would knit together the different disciplines taught at Augsburg.

“That was important to us because, at this point, Augsburg’s undergraduate population is almost 50 percent students of color, and so we want to reflect the communities they come from,” Pribbenow said.

During the interview with Combs, Pribbenow also pointed to the art across the glass windows, depicting Martin Luther’s handwritten version of ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God.’

See full article and a link to the audio at the MPR News website.

Learn about the artists.

Robert Harper ’16 speaks with Kare 11 about Alan Page’s impact

Alan Page and Robert Harper.
Alan Page and Robert Harper.

Former Minnesota Supreme Court associate justice and Vikings player Alan Page was one of seven to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. Page’s charitable work through the Page Education Foundation has helped many students of color like Robert Harper ’16 succeed in their careers. Harper spoke with Kare 11 about how the work of Alan Page impacted his life.

“He has made me want to stay true to my passion and stay grounded in social justice work. When I came out of college I was applying to less meaningful jobs. I am a second-year graduate student at Humphrey School of Public Affairs studying public policy. That is a decision I did make with Alan,” Harper said. “He always says, ‘Make sure you hold the door open for the person behind you. Make sure you send the elevator back down.’ ”

 

See full report at Kare 11’s website.

 

NBC Nightly News highlights Augsburg’s StepUp collegiate recovery program

Neil King walking across the stage on Commencement day
Neil King ’18 on NBC Nightly News

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt reported about how Augsburg’s StepUp program has successfully helped students in recovery to graduate.

NBC’S Catie Beck talked with Neil King ’18 about the support StepUP provided him while he was a full-time student at Augsburg.

According to NBC, King began using drugs at age 14, and discovered Augsburg’s StepUp program four months into his recovery. “I really learned to believe in myself, and my skills and capabilities,” said King, who is now heading to graduate school.

StepUp Program Director Tamarah Gehlen also was interviewed by NBC. “We always say that no one should have to choose between recovery and a college education.”

See full interview on NBC’s website.

Kelly D. Holstine ’11 named Minnesota’s 2018 Teacher of the Year

Kelly D.Holstine
Kelly D. Holstine photgraphed by Jeff Wheeler for Star Tribune

Kelly D. Holstine ’11 is Minnesota’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. She earned her M.A.E. from Augsburg in 2011 and currently teaches at Tokata Learning Center, an alternative high school in Shakopee.

“Every kid matters” is the motto she’s carried throughout her 11-year teaching career.

“Sometimes they might need a little bit of extra love, a little patience, a little more understanding, and once they get that, they can flourish and blossom and excel and learn,” Holstine told the Star Tribune’s Pat Pheifer. 

Education Minnesota named Holstine the 2018 Teacher of the Year in May.

Read full story on the Star Tribune’s website here.

Augsburg Mourns Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold

Pastor Dave in a suitPastor Dave speaking at commencementAugsburg Campus Pastor Emeritus Dave Wold passed away on Thursday, April 12. Following is the message sent this morning, Friday, April 13, from Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share the news that Pastor Dave Wold passed away last night. Pastor Dave served Augsburg for three decades — 1983 until he retired at the end of the 2012-13 academic year — and was named Campus Pastor Emeritus by the Augsburg Board of Regents in recognition for his many contributions to our campus life and faith community.

One of Pastor Dave’s gifts was that he knew everyone’s name. He knew each of us. It’s hard to imagine how he was able to personally connect with so many people, but he did, and the breadth of his pastoral care strengthened and supported generations of Auggies. He touched thousands of lives and is beloved by alumni and Augsburg community members around the world.

Pastor Dave was also quick witted and loved to craft words and music. I’m sure everyone who knew him can recall how he loved to share jokes as a way of engaging with people. He lent those talents for words and music to the leadership of our Advent Vespers services over the years. He also wrote hundreds of light-hearted parodies, using familiar tunes as a unique means of sharing messages about faith.

Of course, we all know Pastor Dave’s passion for athletics and for working with young people. He was director of youth ministries for the American Lutheran Church (prior to the formation of the ELCA), founded the Holy Hoops congregational basketball league, and supervised many intern pastors. And, while the number of athletic games and matches he announced may not be known, our memory of his distinct announcer voice will not fade.

Our prayers and sympathies go out to Cathy Wold, Dave’s wife, and his family. Pastor Dave was a fiercely committed husband, father, and grandfather. We will share information about memorial services once those plans are confirmed. This morning, those on campus are invited to gather in Hoversten Chapel following our daily chapel service (10:55 a.m.), for a brief time of remembrance, prayer, and song.

I was honored to work with Pastor Dave for seven years, to sing with him before many an athletic contest, and to have him as my pastor on campus.  I join Dave’s many friends and colleagues in mourning his death and the loss of a good and faithful servant.

Faithfully yours,

Paul