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Auggies do Internships: Securian Financial

Photo of Vincent Banks wearing a hat
Vincent Banks

Securian Financial has recently hired Augsburg students for Summer 2023 internships.

Vincent Banks, pictured here, will join Securian as an Engineering Analyst intern. Vincent is a junior Computer Science major and is excited to gain valuable experience working with Securian this summer. He sees it as an opportunity to apply the work he has done in his courses. When asked what advice he has for students about looking for an internship, Vincent said, “GO TO YOUR CAREER FAIRS!”

Kate Errickson, Talent Acquisition Campus Recruitment at Securian said, “We are excited to have Augsburg students intern at Securian Financial this summer. Through the interview process, we found them to be well-prepared, articulate, and enthusiastic. I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish!”

Support Augsburg’s Campus Cupboard to address food insecurity

The Sabo Center’s Campus Kitchen program invites you to support our 2022 Give to the Max fundraiser. This year, we are raising funds for two important initiatives: The Augsburg Campus Cupboard and food access programming in Cedar-Riverside.

photo of fresh vegetables

First, the Campus Cupboard provides free groceries to Augsburg students. Campus Cupboard use has rapidly expanded in the last three years, in response to increased food insecurity among Augsburg’s diverse student population. In 2019, an average of 50 students visited the Campus Cupboard to pick up free groceries each week. By September 2022, that average increased to 220 students per week. We regularly receive feedback from our students that the groceries we provide make a huge difference in their ability to access high-quality, healthy foods. Many students and their families now see this service as a critical piece of meeting their basic food needs.

 

In order to expand this work, we are raising funds to purchase culturally appropriate food items for our diverse student population. With your support we will be able to offer a wider variety of foods, providing our students with the specific staple foods they request regularly.

 

Second, we are seeking support for our food access and education work in our surrounding community of Cedar-Riverside. The Campus Kitchen program provides free meals, fresh produce, and cooking programming for our neighbors in Cedar-Riverside. A $60 donation covers supplies needed for one cooking class for neighborhood youth. Your donation will make a significant difference in our ability to meet the growing and diverse food needs of Augsburg’s student body and our neighbors in Cedar-Riverside.

 

Please support this work with a donation here.

Thank you for your generosity.

 

Auggies Vote!

Vote November 8

Tuesday November 8, 2022 is election day and the Sabo Center is here to help you get registered and make a plan to vote. There are no classes at Augsburg on election day so you’ll have time to do your civic duty and have your voice heard.

Need help?

Need help getting registered or learning about what’s on your ballot, finding information about candidates, or making a plan to vote? Sabo staff and student election volunteers will be available in the lobby of Christensen Center during the following times.

  • Tuesday, October 25, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 1, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm.
  • Wednesday, November 2, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, November 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Keith Ellison on Campus November 1

Want an opportunity to hear directly from Minnesota’s Attorney General? Keith Ellison will be visiting Augsburg on Tuesday, November 1 at 11:30 in the Christensen Center’s East Commons. Come hear from Keith, get your election questions answered, and grab a cookie.

 

Statement about the state grant program

Write a note to legislators to support education funding

The Minnesota State Grant program provides financial support to nearly half of all undergraduate
Minnesota residents attending college in our state — including Augsburg students. To make sure the State Grant program continues, your legislators need to hear from YOU!

Augsburg and the Minnesota Private College Council invite you to write a short note to
your legislator to help ensure you and future generations of students continue to receive this
crucial support. We’ll provide everything you need.

Christensen Center Lobby on November 1, 10:30 am. – 1:00 p.m.

September 17th is Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day!

235 years ago the Constitution of the United States of America was signed on September 17, 1787, and nine months later it was ratified and became the official framework of the US government. When the Constitution was signed, the United States population was 4 million. It is now more than 332 million. The Constitution was signed in Philadelphia which was the nation’s largest city at the time, with 40,000 inhabitants.

The National Constitution Center is hosting a Constitution Day Celebration on SeConstitution Day 17 September graphic with flag and capitol building image.ptember 16 and 17th. Some of the events include:

  • A live-streamed reading of the Preamble
  • A Congressional conversation on Common Ground and Compromise
  • A virtual walking tour of historic Philadelphia
  • and much more.

Make a plan to vote on November 8.

Midterm elections are coming up and Augsburg has made election day a holiday during which classes are canceled so that all eligible voters have time to vote. The office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has sample ballots and information about voting. If you have questions feel free to reach out to the Sabo Center staff, we’d love to help.

Augsburg LEAD Fellows Explore Equity and Justice through a Virtual Lens

Augsburg students and staff posing in front of the REM5 studio backdrop.

This year the Leaders for Equity, Action, and Democracy (LEAD) Fellows have been reflecting critically on social issues of justice and equity, and discovering how they can use their own agency to organize and influence change. In the fall of 2021, the students engaged in organizing to raise voter participation and civic education on campus, and connected with Minneapolis City Council members to grow their understanding of community issues and policy. 

This Spring the LEAD Fellows ventured off campus to REM5 Virtual Reality Labs to experience the ways that REM5 and partners at RFTP (Rooftop) are using storytelling through technology in order to create learning experiences and build awareness.

Upon first sight REM5 is a large, warehouse-looking building. As you enter the space you are drawn in by an array of different technology- from big screens to small QR codes that transport you into augmented reality through your phone’s camera- which makes it a very creative space. The group started out by participating in a VR experience using REM5’s headset technology, the experience is titled “Traveling While Black,” and transports participants to different places to better explain what it is like to travel as a Black person in the Jim Crow-era (and beyond) in the US. The experience references the Green book: The Black Traveler’s Guide to Jim Crow America, a publication that referenced safe establishments for Black travelers.

Traveling While Black is an immersive experience that takes participants into well known establishments like the historically popular Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington DC, sitting them right across the table from people giving accounts of their own travels across the US. Students were able to reflect on what it means to be able to walk into restaurants and shops without fear of discrimination and physical violence, and the fact that the spirit of such discrimination and violence is still very much alive today in many spaces and systems.

A group of students sitting in a circle of chairs, each student is wearing a virtual reality headset.

The VR experience was paired with a live storytelling session with RFTP, a consulting group that creates space for deep reflection through storytelling, active listening and group dialogue. RFTP facilitated discussion about how we view safety in different areas in our lives, and how we all have a responsibility to not only proclaim the spaces we hold and create to be safe, but to intentionally change our environments so that when people enter spaces they actually feel safety, belonging and protection, physically and psychologically. 

“The more you are able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes the more you are able to understand and connect with others. This makes other people feel welcomed and understood, makes them feel heard and that makes them feel safe. That is why it is always important to hear what others have to say and listen with an open heart.” – Barbara Sabino Pina (’23)

 

Students were invited to explore other VR games and activities offered inside the REM5 studio. Below are some of the responses students gave when asked about future topics they would like to see addressed through this platform:

“Success while dealing with trauma, healing from the sociological trauma within BIPOC community, how to cultivate generational wealth with real estate, stocks/bonds, ntfs, etc.” -LEAD Fellow, class of 2023

Hope Kannare (’23) sitting, wearing a virtual reality headset, is engaged in a VR experience.

 

“Mental health and mental disorders. Understand better the perspective of a person who is differently abled.” -LEAD Fellow, class of 2023

The LEAD Fellows look forward to continued learning and integration of technology to leverage social justice.

Happy Constitution Day ~ September 17

Happy Constitution Day!

Every September we celebrate Constitution Day to learn more about the Constitution of the United States of America and understand its importance in history and our lives today.

“The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interSeptember 17th Celebrate the Birthday of Our Government Constitution Dayests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.”

Did you know that 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the national voting age to 18 and banned age discrimination in voting?

This is just one of many issues that are covered in this country’s founding document. Voter discrimination and voting rights are critically important issues in our democracy today, just as they were 50 years ago. To learn more about the 26th Amendment, join the Students Learn Students Vote coalition on Constitution Day — Friday, September 17 — with a virtual celebration of the 26th Amendment hosted by the Center for Youth Political Participation at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Constitution Day 2021: Fulfilling the Promise of the 26th Amendment

Friday, September 17, 2021    12:30 PM CT     Register here

Lastly, if you live in Minneapolis, make a plan to vote on November 2.

The League of Women Voters hosted a Mayor Candidate forum on September 13, you can watch a recording of it here. If you need help with registration or figuring out where to vote, contact us at the Sabo Center. You can find out more about what’s on the ballot here.

Bill Ogren Donates to Augsburg Campus Kitchen

Bill loved donating any money he had to SABO and helping with dishwashing, singing and sharing his joy for living. 

He was quite the interesting character so I wanted to share some background on him, especially for any interested students and to expand people’s understanding and appreciation of mental illness. 

 

Bill, William Kenneth Ogren, was born April 6, 1950 in Washington D.C. to proud parents Marjorie and Ken Ogren. Bill, and his two younger siblings James and Jan grew up in Northern Virginia. His father worked as an agricultural diplomat and the family moved to Paris, France in 1967. Bill graduated from the American School of Paris in 1969. While in France he explored The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and worked a summer at Heathrow airport in London, England. He loved art and became friends with artists and enjoyed showing people around museums. 

 

Both of Bill’s parents grew up on farms in Minnesota and so he chose Augsburg College to be near his beloved grandmother Emma Ogren. He went to Augsburg College in MPLS from 1969 to 1973. He was so well-spoken and well-liked that family and friends thought he might become a diplomat, like his father, or maybe a curator of a museum or art gallery. 

 

But in 1972 his life radically changed. It became apparent that he had some kind of illness that changed his brain function. He couldn’t communicate or process information they way he used to. He was homeless for a while and lost contact with family. Nevertheless, Bill managed to come through this time with a focus on being kind, generous, and helpful. He rarely used a phone, no longer drove a car, and never used a computer in his life. But he could wash dishes, set up tables for banquets, and make people happy. He worked at restaurants and hotels, often receiving recognition as Employee of the Month and in 1977, Employee of the Year for the Registry Hotel in MPLS. 

He reconnected with Augsburg College and was active in the campus ministry and the campus kitchen. He delivered meals with a song and enthusiasm. He loved getting to know visiting students and could remember everyone’s name and something significant about them. 

When his mind no longer functioned as it used to, he opened his heart.  


He died peacefully in his sleep on March 10, 2021 just shy of his 71rst birthday.

Campus Kitchen Alumni Highlight

Nell Gerke

Graduated in 2019 – environmental studies major with an urban studies minor

 

Nell Gerke (2019) holding and speaking into microphone at outdoor food event.

What sparked your interest in Campus Kitchen?

  • I joined Campus Kitchen through the LEAD Fellows Program; I talked with a woman who worked with Campus Kitchen at the time, and she talked about how much she got to work in the community, and I think that’s what really got me interested in it in the first place. I was already pretty interested in food systems, but the whole community aspect really sold me on CK.

What were the biggest challenges you faced working with Campus Kitchen?

  • Finding students to do shifts with me! When there wasn’t a social work class where students needed to fulfill hours or something like that, I didn’t see a lot of people signing up for Campus Kitchen volunteering.

  What were some of the highlights of your time with CK?

  • I can say that usually if I went into a meal shift feeling funky, I usually felt out of the funk after the meal shift, so it was always very healing. I love working in the community garden– that was always a highlight. It felt really good to have that connection with the community, and I had never gardened before. So I learned so much from everyone around me all the time, which was very cool. I loved the garden. I loved hosting the Garden Party food storytelling event too.

Skills you gained?

  • I learned how to build community and relationships.
  • I learned to be pretty scrappy with making food, just because we would always wind up with random stuff, and that would be my dinner. Making something out of what you have around is a great skill- that’s how I still cook my meals.

What are you currently up to and does it connect to CK?

  • I work at a food Coop in Northfield, but I am also running for the Board of Directors, because I want to be more involved in my community and have a larger presence. 

Other things involved you were involved with at Augsburg?

  • I played softball. I was a LEAD fellow. I was an RA briefly.

Campus Kitchen Alumni Spotlight

Many incredible student leaders have worked with Augbsurg’s Campus Kitchen (CK) program over the years. Current CK student leaders Alana Goodson and Chouneng Khang interviewed several CK alumni to learn more about their experiences with the program.

 

Britta Andress

Britta Andress tosses pizza dough in the food lab.

Majored in sociology, graduated 2019 

 

What sparked your interest in Campus Kitchen?

(Andress): I was in the LEAD Fellows program.

 

What were the biggest challenges you faced working with Campus Kitchen?

(Andress): Having to work within our budget was a challenge. We wanted to give the youth at the Brian Coyle Center better quality food but we were not able to afford it. 

 

 What were some of the highlights of your time with CK?

(Andress): The people, especially everyone on the Campus Kitchen student team working together and not being individualized/separated due to roles or titles.

 

Takeaways/Skills you gained?

(Andress): CK taught me that even small acts of awareness and change can have lasting impacts.

Giving back to the community is something I learned to really value.

 

What are you up to now? How does it connect to CK? 

(Andress): Meal prep is definitely something I still use and will always use to this day. So don’t underestimate its value. 

 

Other things you were involved with at Augsburg?

(Andress): I had a job outside of campus and was also a student research assistant for two of my professor independent research projects. 

Advice for current, future, past CK interns/volunteers?

(Andress): I learned to enjoy the process and not to participate just for the result. A lot of times when people volunteer, they do it to have it on their resume or for class credit. With Campus Kitchen, it’s important to stay in the present and see the impact and change happen over time because making a difference isn’t always a linear process. 

 

Campus Kitchen Alumni Spotlight: Yasmin

Many incredible student leaders have worked with Augsburg’s Campus Kitchen (CK) program over the years. Current CK student leaders Alana Goodson and Chouneng Khang interviewed several CK alumni to learn more about their experiences with the program. 

 

Yasmin ‘2015: Biology Major and Religion Minor

Student holding CK sign

What sparked your interest in Campus Kitchen?
  • I wanted to be a part of helping our neighbors in need. 
  • I love what Campus Kitchen stands for! I admire its mission to serve the community that surrounds the campus by making healthy food accessible.
What was your role with CK?
  • My role was to help build sustainability and capacity building. I recruited volunteers, organized events that educated others about food equity and provided ways people could access healthy foods.  
  • I attended food deliveries at sites like Ebenezer Towers and Brian Coyle. 
  • I hosted an event where I invited special speaker LaDonna Redmond, a food justice advocate to discuss issues surrounding food equity. 
  • I helped with fundraising through Give to the Max for Campus Kitchen. 
  • I explored different modalities for volunteers to participate in reflection so that volunteers get a chance to understand the impact of their volunteering. 
  • I worked in the community garden. I coordinated with gardeners about their plots and addressed any issues that they had.  
 What were some of the highlights of your time with CK?
  • I attended the Food Waste & Hunger Summit in Arkansas. I learned about different ways we can combat ending hunger and poverty. It was a fun road trip! At the end of my year of service, I also presented at the 2016 Nonprofit Leadership Conference about my experience with Campus Kitchen and Health Commons. The theme of the conference was courageous engagement across differences which fit perfectly with my experience!
  • I learned leadership, communication, time management, planning & organizing, teamwork, conflict resolution, empathy, adaptability & flexibility, networking, and cultural awareness.
What are you up to now? How does it connect to CK?
  • I’m attending the American University of Antigua School of Medicine. I’m currently in my 3rd year of clinical rotations in New York.  
  • Working with Campus Kitchen solidified my pursuit in working in community health and focusing on serving underrepresented communities. 
Advice for current, future, past CK interns/volunteers?
  • Get to know the community you’re serving by building relationships. Take time to listen to community members’ stories– their stories matter.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any cultural or religious differences when making food and delivering food with the community members. They love having conversations with students.