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Michael Wentzel in a science lab

Grant-funded projects benefit Augsburg and the environment

Grants help shape Augsburg’s teaching and learning community

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In late 2020, the Council of Independent Colleges’ NetVUE program awarded a two-year, $40,000 grant to Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow. The grant will help the university explore whether and how the academic, faith, and moral commitments that have shaped its identity inform and reflect its aspiration to be anti-racist and inclusive. The project will engage 12 members of the community—students, faculty, and staff—who will write a collection of essays that will be a blueprint for moving forward in these efforts.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Toxicity Reduction program awarded Michael Wentzel, associate professor of chemistry, a grant of nearly $15,000. The grant will be used in a two-year project to develop green chemistry as a unifying theme throughout Augsburg’s chemistry curriculum. While a number of green chemistry principles are woven into the curriculum, this work will coalesce these principles into a clear message across multiple courses, including courses taken by non-majors. Chemistry majors will end their studies with a new capstone course on green chemistry and toxicology.

In addition, David Hanson, assistant professor of chemistry, is now in his third year of a four-year project funded by a $384,080 grant from the National Science Foundation (Award Number 1761638). Hanson is studying the formation and growth of new particles in the atmosphere. The results of his experiments are expected to lead to improved accuracy in predicting the influence of new particle formation on climate, health, and visibility.

Top image: Associate Professor Michael Wentzel in a science lab in the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion in 2018. (Photo by Courtney Perry)

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