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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.

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

 

Star Tribune interview with Steve Humerickhouse, executive director of the Forum on Workplace Inclusion®

Steve Humerickhouse
Steve Humerickhouse | Star Tribune

Steve Humerickhouse, executive director of The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®, spoke with the Star Tribune’s Gail Rosenblum about how the Twin Cities is becoming one of the largest hubs for workplace diversity and inclusion.

Augsburg University became home to the Forum on Workplace Inclusion on July 1. The Forum is the nation’s largest workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion conference designed for a national and global audience.

Humerickhouse shared some of The Forum’s resources in the article: “We hold a breakfast series three times a year and offer a series of 10 webinars attended by upward of 500 diversity and inclusion experts from around the world. We also create 24 original podcasts each year and blog out articles on social media. The conference is our flagship event, bringing in global speakers from Australia to England to South Africa.

The Forum’s 32nd annual conference is March 10 –12 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. On March 11, Augsburg’s President Paul Pribbenow will share the story of Augsburg’s journey with its many concrete implications for policy and practice.

Read the full article at the Star Tribune website.

Media Advisory: New Augsburg University StepUP Program Director an Expert on Collegiate Recovery

Renee Most joined Augsburg University’s StepUP® Program for students in recovery from substance abuse as its new director in fall 2019, bringing her own experience as an alumna of StepUP and her 15 plus years of clinical Renee Most headshot work in the field of addiction related issues. 

I am honored to bring my previous experience in the field of recovery to the StepUP community and to continue to strengthen this program,” she said. “My personal experience as a student in the StepUP program made clear to me the power of collegiate recovery programs.”

Renee, who attended Augsburg in 2001-2002, is available for media interviews and has expertise in collegiate recovery and many related subjects, including the opioid crisis, youth binge drinking, and eating disorders. To arrange an interview,  contact: Gita Sitaramiah, director of public relations and internal communications, 612-330-1476. 

Renee has dedicated her career to the field of recovery, serving individuals at:

  • Kodiak Recovery, where she served as Executive Director
  • The Emily Program, as a Clinical Relations Specialist
  • Assistance in Recovery, as an Interventionist and Clinical Case Manager
  • South Washington County Schools, as a Chemical Health Prevention Specialist
  • Hazelden Betty Ford, as a Chemical Dependency Counselor

Renee holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Catherine’s University, is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) and earned a master’s degree in addiction studies from Hazelden Graduate School. 

The Augsburg University StepUP Program is one of the oldest and largest residential collegiate recovery programs in the United States. The program, unique in addressing both mental health and addiction recovery, strives to help students achieve academic success, and thrive in a community of accountability and support. StepUP students fully engage in the Augsburg experience, including study abroad, varsity athletics, student government, and research, while living on campus.

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.

A Conversation with First Lady Gwen Walz and Gay Rights Advocate Randy Florke on March 26

Gwen Walz and Randy Florke headshots Randy Florke will speak about the gay rights movement in a conversation with Gwen Walz, an
advocate in her own right for equality, public education, and prison education. Walz is the wife of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and recently began working at Augsburg. Walz and Florke met when they were both Congressional spouses. Florke is married to New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney.

When: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
6:30 p.m. Registration
7:00 p.m. Program with Q and A
8:30 p.m. Reception

Where:
Sateren Auditorium, Augsburg University
2200 7 1/2 Street S., Minneapolis

 

This event is free and open to the public

Get tickets at this link. Admission is free.

See Facebook event here.

*Video taping is prohibited to maintain a safe space for dialogue.

Augsburg unearths a 1965 promo video of Minneapolis

In the 1960s, young couples enjoyed going out to eat meals at restaurants.City Pages shared a delightful 1965 promo video for Minneapolis. It was unearthed by Augsburg Digital Archivist Stewart Van Cleve. “The Minneapolis promotional film was a complete surprise,” says Van Cleve, adding that it was discovered inside a canister mislabeled “Skip Day 1947.”

Although the origins of the video are unknown, the soundtrack was written by Dick Wilson and Ray Charles, the duo behind Minnesota Twins fight song “We’re Gonna Win Twins.”

See full report at the City Pages website.

Explore more retro videos from Augsburg’s collection.

Minnesota First Lady to support Augsburg government relations, public service

First Lady Gwen Walz greeted Randy Anderson, a board member with the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition.
Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune | First Lady Gwen Walz greeted Randy Anderson, a board member with the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition.

The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota’s first First Lady in years is aiming to be unlike any other in state history, including her new role as an independent contractor at Augsburg University.

According to the Star Tribune: Gwen Walz is the first First Lady with an office in the Capitol. From there, she’s begun to craft an ambitious policy portfolio that includes education and corrections, though she’s quick to point out that housing and health and other issues are all interrelated.

At Augsburg, she’s serving in two roles: as Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Partnerships and as a Fellow in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship.

The announcement by Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow said that Walz is a long-time friend of the university. “We specifically focused on issues of diversity and equity in the Rochester area,” Pribbenow noted. “We also joined with Mrs. Walz in promoting a program to offer college courses in Minnesota prisons.”

Read the Augsburg announcement.

View the Star Tribune story

Augsburg director of Undergrad Admissions discusses test-optional policy for international students with U.S. News

Students testing in a classroom
(Sam Edwards/Getty Images)

Augsburg University recently became one of 1,000 accredited four-year colleges and universities that have adopted the test-optional admissions policy, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. International applicants should still be aware that the policy doesn’t always apply to students who attended high school outside of the U.S. At Augsburg, international applicants must submit minimum scores for one standardized test in order to meet the English proficiency requirement for admission. “The only difference is related to English proficiency,” said Devon Ross, Augsburg Director of Undergraduate Admissions, in the article.

Read full report at the U.S News website.

Star Tribune Explores Diversity at Augsburg University

Three Students having a conversation in a classroom
Star Tribune photo

The Star Tribune showcased Augsburg’s work to build an inclusive learning community as the student body has become increasingly diverse.

There is much challenging work underway, and we are grateful for the many student voices and perspectives helping shape Augsburg’s response to the very real issues of discrimination in our world.

View the article.

 

Augsburg Names Robert Gould Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

Robert Gould began July 1 as Augsburg’s new vice president for strategic enrollment management. With a Robert Gould headshotbackground in both the liberal arts and professional studies, Robert brings a wealth of experience in strategic planning for traditional undergraduate enrollment as well as recruiting adult learners in undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs.

He is deeply committed to student access, inclusion and success. He has a strong track record in financial aid strategy, recruitment analytics, and equipping campus faculty and staff partners to effectively support the recruitment effort and serve as ambassadors of the institution.

Most recently, Robert served as vice president for enrollment management at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he held cabinet-level positions in enrollment and in finance and operations at Green Mountain College in Poultney and Killington, Vermont, and at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York, and Colchester, Vermont. Robert began his career in admissions, with progressively greater enrollment management responsibilities at several New York institutions: Iona College in New Rochelle, Ithaca College in Ithaca, and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. 

Robert holds a master of science in corporate communications from Ithaca College and a bachelor of science in business and public management from State University of New York at Utica. He has presented at national higher education enrollment conferences and has served in volunteer and leadership roles for non-profit science, pharmacy, historical society, and children’s services organizations.