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Augsburg Central Health Commons Director Blogs About Racial Inequities and Public Health

Kathleen ClarkKathleen Clark, an assistant professor in Augsburg University’s Department of Nursing, was a recent guest contributor to the blogs on NurseManifest and Nursology.

Clark’s post on NurseManifest, “The aftermath of George Floyd’s death: How 8 minutes + 46 seconds affected the health of a community,” reflects on how Minneapolis communities came together following Floyd’s killing. She calls on nurses to use their power “to support and create change in the communities where we are called to care.” In her Nursology post, “Struggling to Find Air: Emancipatory Nursing Response to COVID-19,” she shares stories of nurses pursuing social justice as they respond to the needs of marginalized communities affected by COVID-19 and the aftermath of Floyd’s death.

NurseManifest was established 20 years ago to raise awareness, inspire action, and open discussion of issues that are vital to nursing and health care around the globe. Nursology.net provides access to “nursing knowledge development in order to facilitate advancement of nursing science and humanistic initiatives.”  

Augsburg’s EAST Program Director Audrey Lensmire interviewed by Sahan Journal about the program’s work to increase East African educators

EAST scholarsAs Minnesota gains its first Somali public school principals, an Augsburg University program is actively helping to increase East African educators here.

Located in Minneapolis’ largely Somali Cedar–Riverside neighborhood, Augsburg’s East African Student to Teacher (EAST) program is committed to recruiting, retaining, and licensing highly qualified East African students who wish to become K-12 teachers. EAST covers tuition costs towards initial licensure.

“In a relatively short time, we’ve been able to multiply the number of educators of East African descent in the state of Minnesota from a handful to a bit of a larger handful,” EAST Program Director Audrey Lensmire told the Sahan Journal. Lensmire is an associate professor in the education department.

 

Read the full article at the Sahan Journal website.

Learn more about Augsburg’s EAST program.

 

Professor Michael J. Lansing Provides Media with Historical Perspective on Racial Injustice in Minneapolis

Michael Lansing
Michael Lansing

Michael J. Lansing, associate professor and chair of Augsburg University’s Department of History, has been featured in news sources from around the United States since his May 26, 2020, Twitter thread, offering a historical perspective on racial injustices in Minneapolis, went viral.

Among the places where he has shared his expertise to explain the history leading up to the killing of George Floyd are The Washington Post, where his perspective piece, “Will Minneapolis learn from the failed handling of its last uprising?” was published on May 30; MinnPost, for which he co wrote the June 1 piece, “Is Minneapolis prepared to dismantle—not just acknowledge—structural racism?”; the Minnesota Reformer, where he was featured in the article “Twin Cities historian Michael Lansing on why this is happening,” published on June 1; and U.S. News & World Report, which quoted him in a June 4 story “The ‘Minnesota paradox’: A state grapples with stark racial disparities.”

Lansing and Augsburg also were given a brief nod in the editor’s note by Scott Carlson for a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the note, Carlson writes, “I am heartened by seeing my old friend Michael J. Lansing, a history professor at Augsburg University, take to Twitter and to local and national newspapers to bring context to the legacy of race and policing in the Twin Cities. We need colleges that support work like this.”

Augsburg University Launches Justice for George Floyd Initiatives

A new Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies department and a requirement that all faculty and staff complete diversity, Augsburg University logoequity, and inclusion training are among efforts at Augsburg University to combat systemic racism after the police killing of George Floyd near our Minneapolis campus. 

“We acknowledge the pain, fear, and trauma faced by the Augsburg community, especially our students, faculty, and staff of color, that was amplified in recent weeks but remains a lived reality every day,” said Paul Pribbenow, the university’s president.

The Justice for George Floyd Initiatives being planned are an important continuation of our ongoing work to build and maintain an equitable and inclusive campus. This work by Augsburg will be persistent, resolute, courageous, and integrated into everything the university does. The Justice for George Floyd Initiatives focus on working to heal our community, creating leadership and structures that make tangible change, and ensuring accountability for the work of undoing racist systems. These initiatives include:  

  • Funding an emerging proposal from faculty, staff, and students for a Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies department.
  • Completion by all faculty and staff of our robust diversity and inclusion certificate program within the next two years—and anti-racist training by the end of the fall semester.
  • Creating a scholarship at Augsburg in memory of George Floyd.
  • Establishing a fund to match donations from students, faculty, and staff to organizations doing important work, especially for Black-owned businesses and nonprofit organizations.
  • Expecting new accountability for inclusive, anti-racist leadership across the institution. 
  • Reviewing Augsburg’s major academic and administrative policies and practices with a special focus on undoing bias and discrimination and enhancing student success.
  • Creating a new blog-format daily calendar on the Equity and Inclusion Initiatives Department webpage that lists community events and volunteer opportunities connected to the memory of George Floyd. The calendar will also have a Google form available for Augsburg community members to submit information about their own events, or events they wish to have added.

About Augsburg
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 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.

Professor Bill Green Shares Expertise in KARE 11 Story on the 1920 Duluth Lynchings

Following the death of George Floyd, KARE 11 reporter Boyd Huppert put the event in perspective for those who were shocked that such a thing could happen in Minnesota, noting that on June 15, 1920, a mob in Duluth lynched three young black circus workers. One of Huppert’s sources was Bill Green, professor of history at Augsburg University.

Speaking about a graphic photo of the lynching, Green encouraged Minnesotans to look at the picture. He commented on how the smiles on the faces of the white men who participated in the lynching impacted him. “It’s almost like they were sportsmen who’d gone off and fished; this is their catch,” he said. He believes that the current moment “is an opportunity for us to prove ourselves.”

Green is author of two books on race and civil rights in Minnesota, “A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota” and “Degrees of Freedom: The Origins of Civil Rights in Minnesota, 1865-1912.” 

Videos: Faculty, staff cheer Auggies as academic year comes to an end

Spring semester 2020 has brought us significant challenges that continue to reshape so many aspects of life.

As our academic year comes to an end this week, several departments have been sharing words of encouragement to Augsburg students. We are proud of our faculty and staff who’ve worked so hard to move their classes online in such a short amount of time and the students who’ve shown patience and flexibility during this transition.

See the videos to Auggies below created by Augsburg’s Communication Studies, Film, and New Media Communications department and by Augsburg’s Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science department.

Posted by Augsburg University on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

 

“Tienda” — A New Chamber Opera on February 21 and 22 by Augsburg’s Reinaldo Moya and Caitlin Vincent

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (January 20, 2020) — The Augsburg University Music Department presents “Tienda,”  a new chamber opera by Augsburg faculty member Reinaldo Moya and Caitlin Vincent on Friday, February 21 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, February 22 at 7 p.m.

This unique performance presented as a part of Augsburg’s Sesquicentennial Celebration will feature a partially-staged opera by Reinaldo Moya with words by Caitlin Vincent. The cast of singers includes mezzo soprano Jill Morgan, as well as Dominic Aragon (-baritone), Matthew Valverde (tenor), Mario Ángel Pérez (tenor), and Bergen Baker (soprano). The production will also feature The Augsburg Choir and the Augsburg Orchestra. The stage director is Doug Scholz-Carlson.

The opera tells the story of Luis Garzón, a Mexican musician who immigrated to Minneapolis in 1886 and opened a small Mexican grocery store, or tienda, in St. Paul in the 1920s. While Luis had married an American woman and was fully integrated into Minnesotan society, his store served as a community hub for the newest arrivals from Mexico, many of whom had fled the Mexican Revolution and now toiled on the sugar beet farms of rural Minnesota. “Tienda” explores the immigrant experience: what must be left behind—and what cannot be forgotten—on the journey to a new home. This world premiere performance of “Tienda” is one of the highlights of Moya’s two-year residency with the Schubert Club.

For Moya, Luis’s story has personal meaning. “I had wanted to write an immigration opera for some time,” said Moya. “When my librettist, Caitlin Vincent, and I started doing research for this project, we came across a human interest story of an immigrant’s journey to and life in the United States. Luis’s story resonated with me because we both came to the U.S. as young men and remained here for a long time. We are both musicians, and we both feel a strong pull towards our home culture while simultaneously seeing the promise of the American dream, even when it fails so many.”  

Moya also sees the strong connection between the issues immigrants faced in the early 20th century, and the struggles they still face today. “Luis’s story is also one that is still very relevant in today’s political climate. We might think of these immigration issues as relatively new, but “Tienda” shows that we as a country have had a long history of reckoning with our heritage as an immigrant country.”  

Tickets for “Tienda” include two options: An Immersive Seating* option for $20, and Balcony Seating for free. Tickets are required and available for purchase online at augsburg.edu/tickets. All Seating is general admission. 

* Immersive theater seating includes samples of Mexican food and beverage to accompany the opera 

About Reinaldo Moya
Reinaldo Moya is a graduate of Venezuela’s El Sistema music education system. Through El Sistema, he had access to musical training from an early age and was a founding member of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra touring throughout Europe, North and South America. A graduate of The Juilliard School and a participant in the prestigious John Duffy Composers Institute and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Conce Composers Institute, Moya now lives in Northfield, and is Associate Professor of Composition at Augsburg University. Moya is the recipient of the 2015 McKnight Composers Fellowship, the Van Lier Fellowship from Meet the Composer and the Aaron Copland Award from the Copland House.

About Caitlin Vincent
Caitlin Vincent is an American librettist and lyricist whose writing has been praised as “nuanced and honest” (DC Theatre Scene), “intriguing” (The Baltimore Sun), and “luminous” (The Huffington Post).  Her opera “Better Gods,” with composer Luna Pearl Woolf, premiered in January 2016 at the Kennedy Center as part of Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative. In 2017, Vincent and composer Douglas Buchanan won the prestigious Sackler Music Composition Prize to fund a new opera about Bessie Coleman, the first African-American female aviator, and Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas, for a premiere in 2019.  Other recent commissions include “Nullipara” with composer D. J. Sparr for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and “Little Black Book” with composer Susan LaBarr for Carnegie Hall.  A classically-trained soprano, Vincent graduated cum laude from Harvard University and holds a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory and a PhD from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. 

About Augsburg University
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 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.

New York Times Interviews Graphic Design Instructor Daniel Ibarra about Award-Winning Chef Ann Kim

The New York Times featured award-winning chef Ann Kim’s journey from actress to chef-owner of Minneapolis restaurants Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza, and Young Joni. The Korean-born Kim was named this year the James Beard Best Chef Midwest. In this same article, Augsburg University Graphic Design Instructor Daniel Ibarra is interviewed about his work advising Kim about the branding of her restaurants, including the upcoming Sooki & Mimi. “It’s purely aesthetic and tactile and sensory,” said Ibarra, about her creative process. “It’s more like an artist working with media.”

 

Read full article at the The New Times.

Augsburg University Names Inaugural Sundquist Endowed Professor of Business Administration

(Minneapolis) –  Business Department Chair Jeanne Boeh has been named the Sundquist Endowed Professor of Business Administration, beginning September 2019.

The Sundquist Professorship supports Business Administration, Augsburg’s largest academic department with the most undergraduate majors on campus. Boeh, a professor of economics, has been teaching at Augsburg since 1990 and often appears in media interviews and on business panels given her talent for bringing complex business concepts to life. 

“Jeanne Boeh will lead Augsburg’s efforts to attract top business faculty, thanks to this generous endowment,” said Augsburg University President Paul C. Pribbenow. “She is known as a faculty leader on campus and for her strong commitment to students as they prepare for careers in business.”

This endowed professorship is named for alumnus Dean Sundquist ’81, an Augsburg Board of Regents member and chairman and CEO of Anoka, Minnesota-based Mate Precision Tooling.  Sundquist and his wife, Amy, have made several major investments in Augsburg, and this most recent commitment will add to the Augsburg endowment as a leadership gift to Great Returns: Augsburg’s Sesquicentennial Campaign.

“Augsburg’s competitive edge is rooted in being a small school in a city that is good for business,” Sundquist said. “Being so close to downtown offers students access to opportunities with many employers along with a close community feeling on campus.”

Boeh holds a bachelor of arts degree, a master of arts degree, and a doctorate, all from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has worked as an economist for the American Hospital Association, the Illinois Hospital Association and the investment research firm of Duff and Phelps. Her research and teaching interests are applied microeconomics focusing on the fields of urban and health economics. Boeh has taught at Loyola University, the University of Illinois in Chicago, and at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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 FACULTY TEAM CHOSEN FOR COMPETITIVE ACTIVE LEARNING IN SCIENCE SEMINAR

Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright

(Minneapolis) – An Augsburg University faculty team was selected as one of 10 from a competitive, national pool of applicants to participate in a new program designed to prepare faculty members to adopt active learning methods proven to be successful in teaching science.

Associate Professor of Biology Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright  was the lead applicant and, along with Biology Lecturer Teresa Krause and Physics Department Chair Benjamin Stottrup, learned to implement new methods based on the research findings of Stanford University professor of physics and Nobel laureate Carl E. Wieman. These methods are designed to improve teaching effectiveness and student learning in biology, chemistry, and physics courses.

The summer 2019 seminar was offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and supported by a $300,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation.

“The ability to think like a scientist is critical for all students, not just those who will major in STEM or plan to pursue an advanced degree,” said Richard Ekman, the CIC president. “Systematic change is needed to create the science-literate population needed to understand research-based science policy, which affects all aspects of today’s society.”

Although small colleges have long been recognized for the high percentages of their science majors who complete undergraduate degrees, earn advanced degrees, and enter STEM careers, this seminar marks the first systematic attempt to promote this powerful pedagogy among faculty members at smaller independent colleges and universities. Wieman provided the inspiration for and has been the guiding force in developing the seminars, recommending the facilitators, providing the syllabus, and shaping the process.

Despite numerous studies that have demonstrated improved effectiveness if instruction were changed from traditional lectures to more effective, active learning methods—in the sciences as in other fields—research indicates that the lecture is still the default method for many faculty members.

Each institution supported a team of four faculty members from no more than two disciplines (biology, chemistry, or physics), including at least one department or division chair or dean. The team received intensive training to prepare them to implement and assess research-based active learning methods in introductory courses in their departments when they return to campus.

The first seminar took place July 15–19, 2019, at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. After the seminar, college faculty members will participate in webinars, as well as conference calls and a site visit for each institution.

Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, director of PR and internal communications, 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.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 770 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.cic.edu.