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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.

Advisory: Augsburg Celebrates Classes of 2022, 2021, and 2020 at In-Person Commencement

Augsburg UniversityAugsburg University will celebrate the classes of 2022, 2021, and 2020 at an in-person commencement ceremony at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m.

Augsburg’s commencement ceremony reflects the diversity of its community, as graduates traditionally wear stoles and cords of different colors that represent affiliation with various communities and programs. Flags displayed at commencement represent sovereign nations of American Indian students and countries of the international students graduating in the ceremony.

Tickets are required to attend in person, but the ceremony will also be live streamed via YouTube. Follow the celebration through the hashtag #AuggieGrad on all social media platforms, where students will be sharing images of the celebration.

For more information, including accessibility information, visit the commencement website.

Augsburg Student Justin Holewa ’23 Wins Boren Scholarship

Justin Holewa ’23Augsburg University biology major Justin Holewa ’23 has received a $25,000 Boren Scholarship to study Korean in South Korea for a full year.

Boren Scholars study a wide range of critical languages, come from diverse fields of study, and immerse themselves in the language and cultures of selected world regions through study abroad. Scholarship recipients make a commitment to work in the U.S. federal government for a minimum of one year. Having recently completed a summer of research under the mentorship of Dr. Leon van Eck, Holewa envisions working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including on a plant disease called citrus greening.

An initiative of the U.S. Defense Language and National Security Education Office, the Boren awards focus on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study critical to U.S. national security that are not emphasized in other U.S. study abroad programs. Applicants are selected through a national merit-based competition that emphasizes both academic achievement and a strong commitment to public service.

Andy Aoki Named Augsburg University’s Hawthorne Professor

Headshot photo of Andrew Aoki, who is an Asian man wearing a gray pullover over a collared shirt. In the background is a tree with bright pink flowers.Andy Aoki, professor of political science, has been named to the M. Anita Gay Hawthorne professorship of critical race and ethnicity studies, effective June 1, 2022. He succeeds Professor William Green, the inaugural holder of the professorship, who retires at the end of the current academic year. Recently elected to chair Augsburg’s Department of Critical Race and Ethnicity Studies, Aoki’s work as Hawthorne Professor will focus on building a strong foundation for the new department and strong connections with aligned disciplines.

A prolific writer and speaker on Asian American identities and racial politics, Professor Aoki joined the Augsburg faculty in 1988. He holds a BA in political science from the University of Oregon and an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Augsburg, he teaches courses on American politics, political theory, and racial and ethnic politics. He has served as department chair of Augsburg’s political science department for a combined total of 18 years and as a senior fellow in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship since 2014. He is currently serving as Faculty Senate President, a member of the faculty’s Budget Working Group, and chair of the workgroup charged with reviewing implications of the proposed “two college” structure for faculty governance. He co-founded the Asian Pacific American Caucus, bringing together scholars and community leaders, and has twice been president of the American Political Science Association’s organized section on Race, Ethnicity, and Politics.

The M. Anita Gay Hawthorne professorship of critical race and ethnicity studies was created in 2020 on the recommendation of a working group of students, faculty, and staff who advanced, simultaneously, a vision for the creation of a new academic department in critical race and ethnicity studies at Augsburg. The professorship honors senior faculty with extensive records of achievement as well as demonstrated commitments to critical race and ethnicity studies. It seeks to embody the student and community orientation embedded in this interdisciplinary field of study, and it expresses Augsburg’s commitment to culturally-responsive pedagogy in the undergraduate and graduate curricula. It honors the legacy of Margaret Anita Gay Hawthorne (“Anita”) who drew upon the concept of Pan-Afrikanism to create a program at Augsburg unique to any college in the country.

President Paul Pribbenow offers these comments: “It is a great privilege to appoint Professor Aoki to the Hawthorne Professorship. His appointment, following Professor Bill Green’s inaugural tenure in the position, illustrates that Augsburg’s commitment to critical race and ethnic studies—now ensconced in a new department—has deep and abiding roots across the entire span of our academic mission. I am delighted to witness the many ways in which our focus on research and teaching that engages the lived experience of all our students is being taken up by faculty and students across the entire university.”

Augsburg Sociology Students Visit Holocaust Museum

Fourteen Augsburg sociology students recently joined the Jewish Community Relations Council’s annual trip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Tim Pippert, the Joel Torstenson endowed professor of sociology, led the Augsburg group, who were also joined by a group from Minnesota Hillel.

“For us, it provided the opportunity to show how sociology is applicable in lots of different ways,” Pippert said in an interview with TC Jewfolk about the group’s experience. “So I asked [the students] to think about this trip and the experience in the museum, as how does their sociological training inform what they witnessed? How did the theories that they’ve read about, how does that play out in the symbolic representation of a horrific tragedy? How do you choose to tell that story? And what are the symbols that are used to tell that story?”

Jeremy Myers Appointed to the Bernhard M. Christensen Chair in Religion and Vocation at Augsburg University

Headshot of Jeremy Myers wearing a gray button-down shirt over a black t-shirt against a background of windowsAugsburg University announced today that Jeremy Myers, associate professor of religion and executive director of the institution’s Christensen Center for Vocation, has been appointed to serve as the next Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation, effective on July 1, 2022. Myers will succeed Martha Stortz, PhD, who retired and was granted emerita status in 2020.

“It is a remarkable testament to Augsburg’s leadership at the intersection of faith, learning, and service that we have in our own faculty ranks a scholar so well prepared to continue the work begun by Marty and her predecessor, David Tiede,” said Augsburg President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Jeremy is an innovative problem-solver, a collaborative colleague, and a creatively critical theologian.”

The Christensen Chair was established in 2005 to honor the legacy of Bernhard M. Christensen, who served as president of what was then known as Augsburg College and Seminary from 1938 to 1962. The chair provides public leadership in interpreting and advancing Augsburg’s educational mission, pursues scholarship and teaches in the religion department, and serves as counsel to the president and Board of Regents.

“Jeremy has thought deeply about President Christensen’s legacy at this university and the lessons his leadership continues to have for Lutheran higher education in the current age,” Pribbenow said.

“Dr. Myers’ vision for the Christensen Chair is grounded and shaped by the five lessons of Bernhard Christensen, the Augsburg University mission statement, and the realities and challenges of the 21st century, especially the 21st century church,” said the members of a faculty and staff discernment committee that met with Myers about the role. “This vision aligns with his innovative work guiding churches in ‘place-based vocational discernment’ and will help guide our Augsburg community in new and rich reflection on our own—individual and communal—vocational discernment. In candid conversation with Dr. Myers, we explored the expectations and opportunities of this position and his ability to meet those expectations and expand the opportunities. We think he is the right person for the job.”

Myers, who earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota and his master’s and PhD from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a distinguished scholar in vocation and congregational ministry. In addition to many articles and chapters, he is the author of Liberating Youth from Adolescence published by Fortress Press and a sought-after speaker at conferences and in congregations. He has secured millions of dollars in grants to support the work of the Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg and has served on the steering committee of the Association of Teaching Theologians and on the board of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network.

Myers said the concept of vocation is a critical lens for thinking about transformational solutions to the problems we face in today’s world. “The key ingredients of vocation—the neighbor, the self, the common good, and God (or something larger than us all)—give rise to a method of discernment and discovery that is different from any other method currently being used to address society’s biggest issues. These ingredients produce a creative tension that leads to innovation, accountability, mutuality, and hope, and this approach to public life cannot be reserved for those who claim to live a religious life. The tables where vocation is being discussed and discerned need to become long and wide.”

Myers will offer his inaugural address as the Christensen Professor at a symposium at Augsburg in September.

Augsburg University Recognized as a Transfer-Friendly College

Transfer Honor Roll badge 2022Augsburg University is one of 171 colleges and universities nationwide that have been named to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2022 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.

“This award is so important because it is based on what students tell us they need from their transfer experience,” says Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “We are honored to recognize the colleges and universities working exceptionally hard to create stronger pathways to bachelor’s degree completion for all students.”

Steve Humerickhouse Featured in Forbes

Steve HumerickhouseSteve Humerickhouse, executive director of The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, was one of two experts featured in the article “White Men Are Feeling Left Out of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Why Should We Care and What Should We Do?” In it, Humerickhouse spoke about his experience as a white man who is involved in DEI work. “We are really all in this, but the white folks don’t always know that they are,” he said. “That was the learning experience for me…that I am a part of this.”

Based at Augsburg University, The Forum on Workplace Inclusion will hold its 34th annual conference, “Solving for X: Tackling Inequities in a World of Unknowns,” as a virtual event April 5–7.

MPR Highlights Jarabe Mexicano Residency at Augsburg Music Department

Jarabe Mexicano, a “bordeño-soul-folk” band with a passion for teaching and storytelling, will be in residency with the Augsburg Music Department from March 31–April 2. MPR recently explored the group’s roots in the U.S.-Mexico border region and their diverse musical influences, which range from Ritchie Valens to Los Lobos and Chicano rock. David Myers, Augsburg’s department head for music programs, was quoted in the article about the department’s goal to expand students’ appreciation of diverse music beyond western European classical music.

In addition to working with music department students and local high school students, Jarabe Mexicano will perform free public concert at Hoversten Chapel on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m.

Listen to the MPR story, “Jarabe Mexicano: Troubadours and teachers come to Minnesota” or view a full schedule of activities.

CGEE Instructor Antonio Ortega Featured on Public Television in Morelos, Mexico

Student groupAntonio Ortega, a longtime Center for Global Education and Experience global faculty member, was recently interviewed on “Noticias de la Tarde” (Evening News) on Channel 3, the public radio and TV station in Morelos, Mexico.

Ortega discusses CGEE’s work in Mexico and the importance of the relationship between the US and Mexico, particularly for students that will go on to work with the Latinx population in the U.S. in fields like social work, nursing, and teaching.

Watch the segment on YouTube. To view English subtitles, select Subtitles/Closed Caption and then, in the settings, choose Auto Translate > English.

Professor William Green Speaks About Minneapolis Teachers Strike on WCCO and MPR

William GreenWilliam Green, M. Anita Gay Hawthorne professor of critical race and ethnic studies at Augsburg University, shared his expertise as a historian and former superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools in a WCCO news story on the Minneapolis teachers strike.

Green took part in two contract negotiations during his time as superintendent between 2006 and 2010. “The trickiest moment is to persuade constituents the compromise they may have to negotiate may not be satisfying,” he told WCCO. Green’s most recent book, “Strike!,” covers the 1970 Minneapolis teachers strike and will be released this fall.

Green also was interviewed by MPR for their March 17 story, “Mpls. teachers strike of 1970 changed education across the state.” Speaking about the teachers who were involved in that strike, Green said, “They are the pillars of middle-class society, yet they went out on the street, many of them had never done anything demonstrative like this before. Many of them had never participated in radical politics, so this was a culture shock.”