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Honoring our retired faculty

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Marilyn Pearson Florian ’76, assistant professor of health, physical education, and exercise science, joined the College in 1980. She received a master’s from St. Cloud State University. Along with her classroom teaching, she served as chair of her department, head women’s volleyball coach, and, most recently, women’s athletic director. She has been a strong advocate for gender equity in athletics throughout her career.

Garry W. Hesser, professor of sociology and metro-urban studies and Martin Olav Sabo Professor of Citizenship and Learning, started his career at Augsburg in 1977. He received a bachelor’s from Phillips University, a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, and a master’s and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. Hesser played a key role in the development of the College’s metro-urban studies program and the intensive curriculum for the hybrid Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL) program. He is recognized nationally as a leader in the field of experiential education and urban education. His scholarship and accomplishments in these areas reflect the College’s mission as a “College of the city.”

Kenneth S. Kaminsky, professor of mathematics, began his work at Augsburg in 1987. He received a bachelor’s in mathematics, a master’s in statistics, and a PhD in statistics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Along with his classroom teaching, Kaminsky is an active scholar, having published books and articles in the areas of statistics and financial mathematics. Through a bi-weekly newsletter and by inviting alumni, industrial mathematicians, and local academics to speak in the mathematics colloquium series, Kaminsky keeps mathematics alumni and current students connected.

Ned D. Kantar, assistant professor of music, joined the College in 1999. He received his bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Minnesota. Before joining Augsburg, Kantar taught music to students from elementary school age through college. Drawing upon his wide ranging professional experiences that included performance (jazz and classical), booking, and production, Kantar brought to Augsburg the music business degree, which has grown significantly in both numbers and innovation, and in which Kantar taught classes in improvisation, aural skills, and music business.

Anne M. Kaufman, associate professor of education, began working at Augsburg in 1987. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD from the University of Minnesota. Kaufman has been a leader in secondary social studies teacher preparation at Augsburg College and for the State of Minnesota. She is the director of the Paideia Institute at Augsburg and has led teacher professional development workshops in this area for the past 20 years. Kaufman has been active in statewide efforts to set social studies standards and has been a member of the Minnesota Board of Teaching.

Laura K. Lazar, assistant professor of business administration, has worked at the College since 2005. She received her bachelor’s from Valparaiso University, and her MBA and PhD from Indiana University. Lazar teaches all levels of accounting in both the undergraduate and graduate program. She is uniquely gifted to make this information accessible to students of all abilities. Along with her teaching responsibilities, Lazar has served as the coordinator for the accounting program and its faculty.

Susan K. Nash, associate professor of nursing, began teaching at Augsburg in 1977, and in her full-time role in 1998. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and EdD from the University of Minnesota. Nash received the Augsburg College Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning award for Mentoring in 2009. She has been instrumental in developing a partnership and agreement with Rochester Community and Technical College that has introduced hundreds of students to Augsburg. Nash was one of the initial architects for the adult learner programs in nursing on the Minneapolis campus. Her scholarship has focused on complexity science in family nursing.

Ronald W. Petrich, assistant professor of education, began his career at Augsburg in 1980. He received his bachelor’s from Augsburg College and his master’s from United Theological Seminary. Petrich returned to Augsburg as a member of the faculty following an extensive career in the Minneapolis Public School system, giving him a rich history of hands-on experience from which to teach his students. Petrich integrated these experiences in the undergraduate education program and also in the MAL program, where he examined the role of the school in modern society as well as the significance of mentoring relationships, models of leadership, and professional development.

David G. Schwain, assistant professor of business administration, began teaching at Augsburg in 1995 and five years later started in his full-time role. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Cincinnati and his MBA from Harvard University. Prior to joining Augsburg, Schwain had a distinguished career in general management with more than 15 years in positions at the executive level. Schwain brought this extensive experience to bear as one of the architects of Augsburg’s MBA program. For the past several years, he has coordinated the Clair and Gladys Strommen Executive Speaker Series, while teaching marketing classes in the undergraduate and graduate business programs at Augsburg.


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