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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.

MLK Convocation Featured University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus of African American and African Studies

Augsburg University honored the calling of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 20 by hosting the 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation.

The presentation “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” was presented by this year’s speaker, John S. Wright, Professor Emeritus of English and African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota. Wright helped lead the student movement that founded the University of Minnesota’s Department of African American and African Studies, which he chaired for three terms, and its Martin Luther King, Jr. Program, which he administered from 1970-1973. He also built a major in Afro-American and African Studies at Carleton College, where he taught from 1973-1983. The convocation, open to the public, included student performances.


“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 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

Congratulations to Auggies named to the Fall Semester Dean’s List

University SealMore than 900 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2019 Fall Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2019 Fall Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.

Augsburg’s Women’s New Wrestling Team Featured in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Augsburg's Women's WrestlingAugsburg’s brand new women’s wrestling team is already getting noticed.

Star Tribune Features Augsburg’s Successful Efforts to Attract Students

Augsburg’s first-year class entering fall 2019 is the largest and most diverse.

Augsburg University President Paul Pribbenow was interviewed by the Star Tribune’s Evan Ramstad about how Augsburg is working to attract the diverse students who will be the workforce of the future as population growth is to slow.

“For us, it was about getting a larger share of the market from the communities where there was growth happening,” Pribbenow said.

Augsburg recently added new majors, a women’s wrestling team, and the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion to attract students.

Read the full article in the Star Tribune.


WCCO Radio: Student Danny Reinan and English Professor John Schmit Discuss Pronouns

student Danny Reinan and Prof John Schmit on REAL Talk with Roshini.The Real Talk with Roshini radio show featured Augsburg University student Danny Reinan and English Professor John Schmit.

Reinan is a second-year student who has identified as non-binary transgender since 12. “I use pronouns they, them, theirs,” Reinan told host Roshini Rajkumar, during the November 17 live program. “When I use those pronouns, I need to be patient with people in my life; I try to educate them and understand that this is a process that’s still ongoing.”

Reinan told the WCCO audience that it’s best practice to just ask someone what pronouns they prefer to avoid making any assumptions.

The professor said that student pronouns are now in professors’ official rosters at Augsburg. “We have to think about how people want to be referred to. It’s a simple matter of respect,” Schmit said. “We make assumptions sometimes. You can’t tell just by looking at somebody what their pronouns or gender is.”

Listen to the WCCO segment here.


Twin Cities Business Covers Urban Investors at Augsburg University

Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow (left), Urban Investors founder Peter Heegaard, and Mike Christenson celebrated the Urban Investors program Thursday at a reception at Augsburg. (Photo: Courtney Perry)
Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow (left), Urban Investors founder Peter Heegaard, and Mike Christenson celebrated the Urban Investors program last month at a reception at Augsburg. Twin Cities Business.

The new program director of Urban Investors at Augsburg University, Mike Christenson, was previously a key member of former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s administration, Twin Cities Business reported.

Urban Investors, which recently moved to Augsburg, creates experiential learning opportunities for bankers and finance professionals who spend a year learning about urban issues to catalyze investment and community development that moves families out of poverty, revitalizes neighborhoods, improves schools, and builds economic opportunity. More information about the program can be found at this blog post published by Augsburg’s Sabo Center. 

Christenson told Twin Cities Business that he plans to work with students interested in banking careers and connect them to bankers in Urban Investors as well as other bankers he knows. “Business is one of the top majors at Augsburg,” Christenson said in the article. “Many Twin Cities-based banks “are getting white male candidates” for open positions, and they want to diversify their workforces. It’s very exciting for me to be involved in something that develops the next generation of leadership.”

Read the full article at the Twin Cities Business website.


Augsburg’s River Semester program gains German media attention

Frankfurter Allgemeine

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine recently published the article “Mississippi in the Anthropocene: Whispering Waters.” The article explains the purpose of the trip and highlights some of the projects being executed throughout this journey.

“The aim of this expedition is to start a conversation,” the article says. “And it is for this reason that artists, authors, political activists, and scientists with very different interests will be present alongside the most numerous group: students of the River Semester at Minnesota’s Augsburg University. Their first mission: learning how to canoe.”


Read the full article here.


Related articles:

Media Advisory: River Semester students to canoe for 100 days with German scholars, artists


Media Advisory: Human Rights Forum Features Global Change Makers and Social Justice Activists October 28-29

Augsburg University’s Human Rights Forum will bring students, thought leaders, global change makers, and local activists together to explore innovative ways to take action in our ongoing pursuit of human rights issues both globally and domestically.

On Monday, the focus will be on global issues and is developed in partnership with the Human Rights Foundation. The nonprofit sponsors the Oslo Freedom Forum each year. Both are founded by Thor Halvorssen, a Venezuelan human rights activist. The Human Rights Foundation has an impressive roster of young and diverse human rights activists, and promotes and protects human rights globally within authoritarian regimes.

Tuesday’s speakers and sessions will explore domestic and national issues on racial justice, indigenous rights and environmental sustainability. Tickets are still available.

List of Speakers

Media are invited to attend.
Please contact: Gita Sitaramiah
Director of PR and Internal Communications