This section of the News and Media Services department site tracks stories in print and broadcast media that feature Auggie faculty, students, and staff. The area also is home to material developed for University-related programs, events, and more.
Professor Tim Pippert and Madelyne Yang ’26 were recently interviewed by The Imprint about Augsburg Family Scholars, a program to narrow the opportunity gap for students with foster care backgrounds.
Augsburg Family Scholars builds on Minnesota’s Fostering Independence Higher Education Grant. This “last dollar” program provides state funding to cover tuition, fees, room and board and other expenses related to the cost of attending college. Pippert told The Imprint that the state grants are “a game changer,” but aren’t enough on their own.
To bridge the gap, Augsburg Family Scholars supplements the state grant with comprehensive academic and community support. Last year, a dozen Augsburg students participated in the program, which provides help moving to campus, laptops, access to year-round housing, a dedicated lounge space on campus, community outings, and more. Pippert, the Joel Torstenson endowed professor of sociology, directs the program and serves as an advisor to the participants, helping them strategize how to navigate the demands of higher education.
“If you’ve made it to college, you’ve overcome so many hurdles already,” he said. “If you’ve made it this far, it’s our responsibility to help students finish the job and get a degree.”
Interfaith America has appointed Najeeba Syeed, El-Hibri chair and executive director of Interfaith at Augsburg, to the inaugural Interfaith Leaders in Higher Education Council. This council serves as a point of connection for educators dedicated to interfaith work both in their respective institutions and throughout the higher education field. The council will meet quarterly with the Interfaith Leadership Institute team to offer their expertise on undergraduate programming and expand their own interfaith leadership skills. “I’m profoundly thankful to Interfaith America,” Syeed says. “What an incredible group of leaders to serve and serve with, and a wonderful organization to be a part of.”
The traveling “We Are Water MN” exhibit has moved into Augsburg’s Oren Gateway Center lobby with interactive displays designed to strengthen Minnesotans’ relationship with water. This exhibit is a collaboration between six state partners and is hosted by the Somali Museum of Minnesota. WCCO came to campus to hear about how water issues impact local communities by interviewing Osman Ali, founder and executive director of the Somali Museum of Minnesota, and Britt Gangeness with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Both individuals shared their perspectives on how water connects people, communities, and countries across the world.
“We Are Water MN” will be running at Augsburg’s Oren Gateway Center until August 14. The building will be open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Augsburg community is committed to intentional diversity in our life and work. This commitment aligns with our use of holistic application review and our direct admissions approach, launched in fall 2022. Because direct admissions does not consider race as a factor, Augsburg’s current admissions processes are unlikely to be affected by the SFFA v. Harvard/UNC ruling—despite potentially far-reaching impacts for higher education.
Augsburg’s experience with direct admissions may serve as a useful case study on alternative strategies to lower barriers for historically underrepresented and marginalized student populations following this decision.
Shayna Sheinfeld, assistant professor of religion and philosophy, received the 2023 Frank W. Beare Award from the Canadian Society for Biblical Studies for her book, “Jewish and Christian Women in the Ancient Mediterranean.”
Co-authored with Sara Parks and Meredith J. C. Warren, “Jewish and Christian Women in the Ancient Mediterranean” is the first undergraduate textbook dedicated to introducing women’s religious roles in Judaism and Christianity in a way that is accessible to students from all disciplines. In addition to contextualizing overviews, it includes explorations of specific topics in women’s religion, including leadership, domestic ritual, women as readers and writers of scripture, and women as innovators in their traditions.
The Frank W. Beare award recognizes an outstanding book in the areas of Christian origins, post-biblical Judaism, and/or Graeco-Roman religions.
Minnesota Public Radio and the Sahan Journal recently featured Cameron PajYeeb Yang ’18 as part of a series celebrating transgender and nonbinary Minnesotans throughout LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
A self-described “lifelong storyteller,” Yang spoke with MPR about growing up in St. Paul, organizing for police accountability, and cultivating relationships within the Hmong queer trans community. They are currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Minnesota with a focus on education equity for marginalized students and families.
Augsburg was among three universities recently honored for making bold moves to improve access, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Encoura, an educational data science and research organization, announced the winners of the annual Innovation Awards Program at Eduventures Summit 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Augsburg was recognized for the Augsburg Applies to You enrollment management approach, implemented in Fall 2022. This multi-pronged initiative seeks to create a more equitable and sustainable college admissions system through direct admissions, student success coaching, and inclusive academic belonging.
“Augsburg Applies to You aims to lower barriers, foster a culture of belonging, and ultimately change systems to address historically rooted inequities in higher education,” said Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow. “I want to recognize the courage and commitment of our strategic enrollment management division staff, every one of whom took ownership of the project and contributed to its successful launch this year.”
Now in its seventh year, the Eduventures Innovation Awards Program honors organizations and teams that are shaping the future of higher education. Eduventures received a record number of submissions that showcased innovative and transformative projects this year. Entries are designed to identify higher education institutions that have demonstrated significant innovations when developing and deploying programs that impact enrollment, student experience, or outcomes.
“More than ever, global society relies on innovation to help evolve humanity and make our lives more productive, healthy, and equitable,” said Cara Quackenbush, Encoura’s executive vice president of research. “We are thrilled to be honoring the institutions that have created new, actionable, and innovative programs that are changing the landscape for higher education and their shared commitment of serving their student bodies and the larger community.”
Today Augsburg University announced the close of its Great Returns: We’re All In comprehensive fundraising campaign. The largest campaign in Augsburg’s history, Great Returns raised over $128.8 million, surpassing the campaign goal of $125 million.
“I have had the privilege of meeting many Auggies during my time as chair of this campaign and it’s evident how much people love Augsburg,” said Regent Emeritus and campaign chair Paul Mueller ’84, MD. “The investments made by Great Returns benefactors will yield transformational results for Augbsurg students and faculty for generations to come.”
Nearly 15,000 alumni and friends of the university made more than 55,000 gifts over the course of the campaign. Campaign priorities included endowed funds for scholarships, teaching and programs; campus improvements; athletics; and unrestricted operating support to provide flexibility in responding to students’ needs in an ever-evolving higher education landscape.
$6.1 million raised to support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
$1.6 million raised for the President’s Strategic Fund
“We are humbled and grateful for the extraordinary show of support for Augsburg’s mission and vision from the thousands of alumni and friends who participated in the campaign,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “These investments will transform the lives of our students, who go on to lead and serve in their communities and throughout the world. From all of us at Augsburg: thank you.”
Augsburg University is one of 208 colleges and universities nationwide that have been named to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society 2023 Transfer Honor Roll. Based on key metrics related to the support and success of transfer students, the Transfer Honor Roll recognizes excellence in the development and support of dynamic and innovative pathways for community college transfer students. Some of the metrics taken into consideration are cost and financial aid, campus life, admissions practices, and bachelor’s degree completion rates.
“The goal of most students attending community college is a bachelor’s degree, but few do because of financial barriers and the complexities of the transfer process,” said Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “We are proud to recognize the exceptional colleges and universities that go above and beyond to create accessible pathways to bachelor’s degree completion for community college transfer students.”
Najeeba Syeed, El-Hibri chair and executive director of Interfaith at Augsburg, has been named a senior fellow of the Oxford Interfaith Forum. Reciprocally, Director of the Oxford Interfaith Forum Thea Gomelauri will join Augsburg’s Interfaith Institute as a senior fellow this fall. This mutual fellowship is a distinct characteristic of the institutions’ partnership, which will focus on issues of peace, justice, intercultural and interfaith education, and furthering interreligious learning across the globe.
Gomelauri is a faculty member of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oxford and has extensive experience in research, teaching, and consultancy in different international, and intercultural contexts. She is a member of the Jewish-Muslim Research Network, the Bible and Religions of the Ancient Near East Collective, and the British and Irish Association of Jewish Studies.
As Augsburg’s El-Hibri chair and executive director of Interfaith Institute, Syeed serves as a national ambassador for the interfaith movement and faculty advisor for Augsburg’s Interfaith Scholars. She is a professor, expert practitioner, and public speaker in the fields of interfaith studies, mediation, conflict resolution, deliberative democracy, and social, gender, and racial equity.
“This fellowship serves as an anchor for our collaborative work of Interfaith Institute at Augsburg University and the Oxford Interfaith Forum,” Syeed says. “We look forward to collaborating in the United States, United Kingdom, and across the globe.”