Najeeba Syeed, El-Hibri chair and executive director of Interfaith at Augsburg, recently joined “State of Belief,” Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, to speak about her background and what the broader interfaith and American community can learn from the teachings of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“I think the most beautiful thing about [Ramadan] really is the emphasis on building our social fabric with one another, gathering and thinking about, “what is the power of self-regulation and self-control?” Self-control over food and also our capacity to not express anger,” she said.
“While it is a deeply spiritual practice for Muslim, it’s also one where we spend a lot of time in community … It is a time where we want to be open to other communities. This is often our interfaith season. It is meant for doors to be open.”
Listen to the whole conversation with Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: “Najeeba Syeed: A Peacemaker at Ramadan”
Robert Gould, vice president for strategic enrollment management, and Stephanie Ruckel, director of admissions operations, joined host Jay Fedje as featured guests on a recent episode of the Enrollment Edge podcast by enrollmentFUEL.
The episode focused on the power of direct admissions—a simplified approach in which students are admitted based on high school GPA, in some cases before they have even applied—to break down college access barriers.
“Essentially, what we’re trying to do is remove as many barriers as we can for students, and give them the most options to enroll in whatever institution is a good place for them,” said Ruckel. “When you start thinking about the student’s perspective, you can start questioning the [admissions] process a little bit differently. Why are we requiring these things? How are we using this data? Are we using this information?
“The challenge in doing this is really stripping down the application—making sure we are collecting what we need to collect, but keeping it as simple as possible.”
Augsburg’s participation in pilot programs with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Common App, as well as significant changes to the Augsburg application itself, puts the university at the leading edge of this new policy movement.
“I want to credit the whole team,” said Gould. “We’ve literally taken the admissions process and the system and changed it in one cycle. We had some good thoughts about how it fulfilled our mission as an enrollment division, but I think more importantly, people had the appetite for it—wanting to build deeper relationships and wanting to eliminate barriers for all students.”
Listen to the episode here: Direct Admission: Unpacking College Access