Faculty-student research duo
Auggie brews up a business
The changing face of Auggies
SUMMER 2015 | VOL. 77, NO. 3
Vice President of Marketing
Rebecca John ’13 MBA
Director of News an... Show more
Faculty-student research duo
Auggie brews up a business
The changing face of Auggies
SUMMER 2015 | VOL. 77, NO. 3
Vice President of Marketing
Rebecca John ’13 MBA
Director of News and
NOTES FROM PRESIDENT PRIBBENOW
A college that is student ready
The 2014-15 academic year—the 146th in
Augsburg’s history—was a very good year for the
College. National honors for students. Awards
for faculty teaching, research, and advising. The
successful completion of the $50 million campaign
for the Center for Science, Business, and Religion,
and the early preparation work on the construction
site. Important conversations on and off campus
about interfaith living, race relations, demographic
trends, and diversity. Remarkable outreach
programs like the Minnesota Urban Debate League
and Campus Kitchen receiving major support
for their important work. A national wrestling
championship! And so much, much more.
Reflecting on these accomplishments, I am
so grateful for all our faculty and staff do for this
special college and its students.
But I also realize that these achievements
are made possible by an increasingly clear vision
of our future that says we will be “a new kind of
student-centered urban university, small to our
students and big for the world.” And the fruit of
our labors is made possible by our common efforts
to live into this vision and our shared commitment
to an Augsburg education that equips our students
for lives of meaning, purpose, and significance
in and for the world. That is what truly excites
me about Augsburg’s future—a persuasive vision
that proclaims our desire to be a college that is
What do I mean by student-ready? I mean that
we are turning 21st century higher education on
its head by not focusing on whether students are
“college-ready.” You’ve probably read and heard
that phrase many times. Demanding that students
are college-ready allows lots of smart people to
claim that the responsibility belongs elsewhere
when it comes to ensuring that students show up
on our campuses prepared by someone else for
what we think a higher education should look like.
If students aren’t able to read or speak English
as well as we would like, if their math skills are
lacking, if they don’t participate in class like we
once did, if they demand more of us because of
difficult personal circumstances or diverse learning
and leading styles, then they are not ready for
college. In other words, if they don’t learn and
behave like us, they are not college-ready.
So here comes Augsburg offering a different—
even countercultural—vision of what higher
education is all about today. And it is a vision
grounded in our faith and academic heritage. It is
a vision that claims we are called to be ready for
students with the diverse gifts and experiences they
bring to our campus, gifts and experiences that
demand changes in how we engage them, teach
them, and learn from them. It doesn’t mean that
we lower our standards—that is the too-easy retort
to our vision. It means that we define and claim
even higher standards of academic excellence
and achievement, of teaching and learning, of
civic engagement and community life—standards
shaped not by measures imposed from without, but
by a collaborative and democratic measure borne
of our shared experience and engagement.
And, come to find out, when you take the path
of being student-ready, when you quit measuring
by someone else’s standards, you begin to witness
to a way of being in the world as educated people
that others want to embrace. And students and
faculty win major recognition, your campaigns are
successful, and you are positioned to lead in the
Wow, that is exciting and inspiring. I give
thanks every day for a community that embraces
this vision of a college that is student-ready and
student-centered. A college that is faithful and
relevant. Our college—Augsburg College!
PAUL C. PRIBBENOW, PRESIDENT
Director of Marketing
and Editorial Coordinator
Laura Swanson ’15 MBA
Denielle Johnson ’11
Production Manager/Now Online
Jen Lowman Day
Augsburg Now is published by
2211 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Opinions expressed in Augsburg Now
do not necessarily reflect official
Send address corrections to:
2211 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Ahead of the curve
BY REBECCA JOHN ’13 MBA
BY LAURA SWANSON ’15 MBA
Making their mark
BY STEPHANIE WEISS
Notes from President Pribbenow
02 Around the Quad
08 Celebrating student success
14 Auggie voices
20 It takes an Auggie
26 My Auggie experience
28 Alumni news
34 Alumni class notes
38 In memoriam
On the cover
A photo illustration depicts what the future Center for Science, Business, and Religion
will look like from Urness Tower; see pages 20-21. Photo illustration by Mark Chamberlain.
All photos by Stephen Geffre unless otherwise indicated.
Correction: In the Spring 2015 issue
of Augsburg Now, the names of donors
Richard Bonlender ’78 and Mary Ahern
were listed incorrectly in the article
“Torstenson legacy lives on through gifts,”
which described an initiative to name a
gathering space for Faculty Emeritus of
Sociology Joel Torstenson in the new Center
for Science, Business, and Religion.
AROUND THE QUAD
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
This spring, hundreds of prospective Augsburg College students and their
families visited campus as part of “Destination: Augsburg,” an event
designed to offer a glimpse into on-campus life. The event also included
guided excursions to well-known attractions in the heart of Minneapolis
including Target Field, Nicollet Mall, and the State Theatre [above].
adds first-ever Somali Debate Initiative
The Minnesota Urban Debate League—a program of Augsburg College—sponsored
the first debate in the state among Somali youth. The Somali Debate Initiative serves
middle- and high-school students from Minneapolis and St. Paul. A community forum
featuring U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison followed the debate. MNUDL also hosted four Spanish
tournaments throughout the Twin Cities, which helps make debate more accessible to
In May, MNUDL hosted its third Mayor’s Challenge fundraiser. St. Paul Mayor
Chris Coleman; Donald Lewis, co-founder and shareholder of Nilan Johnson Lewis in
Minneapolis; and Barb Schmitt, senior director at Microsoft, served as judges. The
event raised $18,500 plus $3,000 in matching grants from the Pohlad Foundation.
Keynote speaker and debate judge Ilhan Omar
encourages Somali Debate Initiative guests to
pursue college degrees.
AROUND THE QUAD
A TEACHER’S INFLUENCE
Each year, the Augsburg College faculty
recognizes select colleagues with Distinguished
Contributions to Teaching and Learning
awards—acknowledging those who have
demonstrated outstanding support for students
through teaching, advising, and mentoring.
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING
Joan Kunz, professor of chemistry
Soup for You! Café Chef Judah Nataf seasons one of his signature recipes.
SOUP FOR THE HEART
and soul of Augsburg’s neighbors
Alumnus launches community meal program
Kunz is recognized for her commitment to
Augsburg’s students, embodying the College’s
mission to educate students to be informed
citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers,
and responsible leaders. Since 1987, Kunz has
worked toward creating and sustaining a vibrant
learning community in the sciences.
EXCELLENCE IN ADVISING AND MENTORING
Susan O’Connor and Donna Patterson, assistant
Five days a week, Minneapolis community members convene at Bethany
professors of education
Lutheran Church to dine on gourmet fare prepared as part of the Soup
for You! Café—a program the Star Tribune
O’Connor and Patterson are recognized
recognized for its ability to redefine
for their work to incorporate Public
“Our model is mutuality, and
Achievement into the special education
what better way is there to
Augsburg College alumnus, Chaplain
teacher training program in the College’s
show mutuality than to gather Department of Education. The Public
to Student Athletes, and Linebacker Coach
the Rev. Mike Matson ’06 is the pastor at
at the same table together?”
Achievement model changes lives for
Bethany Lutheran and the driver behind this
students in special education by giving
—The Rev. Mike Matson ’06
community meal. Supported by volunteers
Star Tribune, April 5
them a voice to act as citizens in a
and one talented chef, Soup for You! Café is
a chance for people of all backgrounds to come together in an environment
that focuses on dignity. In the Star Tribune article “Church program
offers hot soup, warm welcome,” Matson underscored that the program is
designed to bring together people from the many faiths
and cultures of the Seward neighborhood.
Augsburg College students, faculty, and staff find varied—and
valuable—ways to lend their time and talents to support the Soup
for You! Café. Auggie Jens Pinther ’15 contributed an article about
the program to the June edition of The Lutheran magazine. The
story, available at thelutheran.org, included photos by Augsburg
photographer Stephen Geffre.
The 2015 Distinguished Contributions recipients [L to R]:
Donna Patterson, Susan O’Connor, and Joan Kunz.
(RE)NAME THE MAGAZINE?
to the community table
Unique program expands its reach
The Campus Kitchen program at Augsburg College works
to make healthy food accessible to all people living in and
near the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis. The
program also provides opportunities for service learning,
leadership development, and genuine engagement between
the College and the community.
Based in the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship,
Campus Kitchen is a student-driven organization that
addresses hunger locally and globally. Corporate partners
support Campus Kitchen’s efforts, providing a solid
foundation for Auggies’ stellar work.
2014-15 academic year highlights:
Augsburg student leaders took home a “Going Beyond The
Meal” award from the 2015 Food Waste and Hunger Summit
in Athens, Georgia. The honor recognized Campus Kitchen’s
exceptional education and outreach efforts.
What do you think?
Last summer, Augsburg College participated in a national
higher education magazine survey developed by the Council for
Advancement and Support of Education. This survey allowed
more than 600 people to share feedback on the ways Augsburg’s
magazine helps them stay connected with the College.
Based on the survey results, we worked to develop a clearer
picture of the roles the magazine plays and found that the
Augsburg College magazine serves to:
• Foster inspiration and pride.
• Provide intellectual stimulation and ongoing education.
• Bridge the Augsburg of today with people’s past experiences.
• Define and illustrate what it means to be an “Auggie.”
• Help the Augsburg community learn how to talk about itself
and equip individuals to advocate for the College.
Given the importance of these commitments, there was a desire to
have the magazine name align with and support the publication’s
purpose. After an exploration of dozens of name options, Augsburg
Spirit and Augsburg Experience stood out. It also was evident that
the name Augsburg Now remains appropriate.
To determine which of these three names is best, you’re invited
to share your opinion on the name of the magazine by voting online
for Augsburg Now, Augsburg Experience, or Augsburg Spirit.
Go to augsburg.edu/now to share your input
to help guide our naming decision.
student volunteers engaged in Campus
Kitchen activities per month on average.
pounds of unserved, edible food were recovered from
A’viands campus dining and the Mill City Farmers Market
and thereby diverted from the waste stream.
total meals prepared using recovered, gleaned, and
homemade food served to youths, adults, and seniors in need
in the Cedar-Riverside, Seward, and Phillips neighborhoods.
KEY CORPORATE PARTNERS’
YEARS OF GRANT SUPPORT
Plus, a new grant from The Campus Kitchens Project and AARP has
enabled Augsburg’s Campus Kitchen program to provide a weekly
lunch for more than a dozen additional seniors living near campus.
General Mills has invested more than $125,000 in
the Augsburg College Campus Kitchen program.
Renovations are underway on a number of spaces
on the Augsburg campus in Minneapolis, including
the Sateren Auditorium in the Anderson Music Hall.
The space will return to service this fall.
ACCLAIMED ARTIST CREATES
painting for Hoversten Chapel
This spring, Augsburg’s Campus Ministry welcomed the Rev. Paul
Oman—a professional watercolorist whose artistic work draws
inspiration from his experiences, travels, and Lutheran faith—to
take part in a three-day worship event on campus. Oman created
a large-scale painting of Jesus during Daily Chapel services as
on-campus worshipers took part in music, prayer, spoken word,
Oman’s visual ministry, known as “Drawn to the Word,”
offered the Augsburg community the opportunity to engage
in conversation and reflection on race, radical hospitality,
reformation, faith, and the Lutheran tradition that continues to
shape the College’s identity. The painting is on display in the
Hoversten Chapel in Foss Center.
The Rev. Paul Oman paints “Jesus Withdraws to Pray” during Daily Chapel time.
Photo by Mark Chamberlain
AROUND THE QUAD
AROUND THE QUAD
While traveling to or from campus, some Auggies have near-perfect views of the construction underway on the new Minnesota
Vikings football stadium. This vantage point is near the intersection of Cedar and Riverside avenues in Minneapolis.
ON THE SPOT
In the discipline of art history it’s common to discuss the visual
representation of saints and sinners, kings and queens, and maybe even
a Viking or two. At Augsburg College, Kristin Anderson teaches courses on
the history of art and architecture, and she’s prepared to talk about works
ranging from the Mona Lisa to the Metrodome—may it rest in peace.
Anderson’s current writing and research are focused on sports
architecture, and she is co-authoring a book on the history of athletic
facilities in the Twin Cities. As the St. Paul Saints baseball club settles into
its new CHS Field in Lowertown and the Minnesota Vikings football team
awaits the completion of a new stadium in Augsburg’s own backyard, here
is Anderson’s take on the region’s shifting sports scene.
During the past decade new sports
venues including TCF Bank Stadium,
Target Field, and CHS Field have opened
their doors in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
What factors have spurred so much
change in such a brief period of time?
Quite simply, we have moved out
of an era of multipurpose stadiums.
They were popular in the 1960s and
1970s, and we got one of the last ones—
the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome—
in 1982. Sport-specific facilities like
baseball parks and football stadiums have
become the standard, and that drives
all kinds of new construction. And, of
course, when one team gets a new space,
everyone else gets in line. ...
AROUND THE QUAD
NEW ACADEMIC BUILDING
On May 1, the campaign for the Center for Science,
Business, and Religion surpassed its $50 million
fundraising goal. To make room for the construction of
this new academic building, the College razed two existing
houses on campus. One of the structures was occupied
by the Admissions Office from 1970-2003 before
that department moved to a more student-accessible
location in Christensen Center. The house also was home for a time to the Center
for Counseling and Health Promotion (now called the Center for Wellness and
Counseling), which has relocated to the first floor of Anderson Residence Hall. A
second house, formerly called Delta House, was first used for student housing. It
was later home to various Admissions staff, then the Sabo Center for Democracy
and Citizenship, which has moved to the Oren Gateway Center. Before these two
buildings were removed, an event was held to honor the work and experiences
of staff and residents who once occupied the spaces. There were 30 people in
attendance, some even traveling from as far as North Dakota and New York.
A house on 21st Avenue South is razed.
Former and current staff members reminisce over a collage
of names written within one of Augsburg’s former houses.
Learn more about the next steps for the CSBR on page 20.
Today’s sports venues offer
amenities that extend far beyond
a wooden bleacher seat and a bag of
popcorn sold at the concession stand.
What does this mean for stadium
architecture and game attendees?
Every new sports facility offers more
than its predecessor, and fans seem
to expect this improvement. The rising
expectations are not new: fan amenities
have been part of the discussion since
the 1860s. Like us, people from that
time period talked about food selection,
legroom, and comfort at the games.
Attending to the fan experience can add
cost to a project, but it is an investment
worth making. Just think about the
many amazing differences between the
Metrodome experience and the Target
What effect does an indoor stadium
(like the new Vikings stadium) versus
an outdoor stadium (like TCF) have on
attendance, especially in Minnesota’s
We have an amazing range of weather,
from glorious to horrible—and we
don’t always agree on which is which.
This raises the stakes on decisions about
stadium design. Rather than choosing
“indoor” or “outdoor,” many contemporary
facilities combine aspects of each. The new
Vikings stadium will have a glass roof and
enormous windows, bridging the indoors
and outdoors in space, light, air, and views.
Target Field is an outdoor ballpark, but it is
designed with sheltered areas, heat lamps,
and other climate-mitigating features.
Baseball is said to be America’s
pastime. How does new stadium
architecture show that the sport can remain
relevant—and sustainable—into the future?
While most contemporary ballparks pay
homage to the history and tradition of
baseball, they also employ an amazing array
of cutting-edge technologies. One of the
most exciting recent developments is the
emphasis on environmental sustainability.
Target Field has two LEED Silver
certifications, and other sports facilities like
the Xcel Energy Center and CHS Field have
also engaged in significant sustainability
efforts, including rainwater recycling
systems and sophisticated trash-sorting and
Kristin Anderson is a professor of art
history and the Augsburg College archivist.
CELEBRATING STUDENT SUCCESS
Fikre Beyene ’16 and Lyle Nyberg ’16
15 STEM researchers
Auggies presented at Zyzzogeton
Research Festival on campus
Taylor Kuramoto ’15
ASSISTANT in South Korea
One of 104 to present at
Fikre Beyene ’16, Andris Bibelnieks ’16*,
and Cain Valtierrez ’16
*Also Goldwater Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention, Alex Sorum ’13
Aisha Mohamed ’16
Awale Osman ’15
Mitchell Ross ’18 and Rebecca Schroeder ’18
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN
David Gersten ’16 and Amal Warsame ’16
EDDIE PHILLIPS SCHOLARSHIP
FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN
Malick Ceesay ’17
For more information about
these awards and recipients,
go to augsburg.edu/now.
I love the accessibility Augsburg students have to faculty and staff,
especially when we meet students in passing in the quad or elsewhere
when conversations become more candid, genuine, and authentic.”
— Gregory Krueger, Assistant Professor of Education
Assistant Professor and Director of BSN
Program, Nursing, Rochester
Joined the College — 2005
Professor of Business Administration
Joined the College — 1991
Faculty Emerita, Professor of Languages
and Cross-Cultural Studies
Joined the College — 1990
Professor of Theater Arts
Joined the College — 1997
Professor of Religion
Joined the College — 1986
Associate Professor of Business
Joined the College — 1974
Associate Professor of Education
Joined the College — 2008
Assistant Professor of Education
Joined the College — 2000
Professor of Psychology
Joined the College — 1962
Professor of Business Administration
Joined the College — 1991
Assistant Professor of Physics
Joined the College — 1990
Medical Director Instructor of Physician
Assistant Studies Program
Joined the College — 2005
To read about what these faculty members
love about Augsburg and teaching, go to
Augsburg leads in shaping higher education for
Minnesota’s increasingly diverse population
BY REBECCA JOHN ’13 MBA
or more than five years, Augsburg College has undertaken
“Employers are going to have a much greater interest
important efforts to intentionally diversify the traditional
in bringing populations who previously may have been
undergraduate student profile. This work is not only a
marginalized into productive work,” Brower said. “We don’t
prudent move in terms of growing enrollment, but it is also
have the capacity, going forward, to leave anyone behind.”
proving to be an important factor in sustaining the region’s
For Augsburg, this demographic reality is significant
because about 25 percent of college-bound Minnesota high
This spring, more than 200 Augsburg College faculty
school graduates express interest in Augsburg by applying,
and staff met with Minnesota State
inquiring, or visiting campus. In order
Demographer Susan Brower to
to successfully enroll and retain these
“We don’t have the
discuss the “shape and scale” of the
students, Augsburg needs to be intentional
demographic trends in the state that
about meeting the educational needs of
will influence its vitality in the coming
this diversifying population.
to leave anyone behind.”
decades. Two significant trends detailed
Augsburg already has an important
by Brower were the increasing diversity
advantage in this area because, with
Minnesota State Demographer
and aging of the state’s population –
nearly 33 percent students of color in
trends that heighten the importance of
the traditional undergraduate program,
education now and into the future.
the College is one of the most diverse higher education
Education will grow in importance because the relative
institutions in the state. This is attractive to students of both
size of our workforce affects economic production and the
minority and majority populations because it offers them the
strength of our region. As older adults retire in the next 20
opportunity to learn and work with many different types of
years and the workforce shrinks in proportion to the overall
people, which is increasingly important given that the pace of
population, Minnesota will need the skills and talents of the
demographic change will accelerate dramatically in the next
entire working-age population.
Demographic Trend #1: Growing diversity.
If you went to college or lived in the Twin Cities before
the 1990s, your experience with the diversity of the area’s
population was different from today’s scenario.
Total Twin Cities population
The Twin Cities experienced accelerated growth
among populations of color from 1990 to 2010.
During that time, people of color represented more
than 80 percent of the overall population growth.
Before 1980, fewer than 6 percent of the
Twin Cities population were people of color,
numbering only 25,000 to 115,000 people in
the total population of 1.5 million to 2 million.
What’s driving the growth in diversity?
• Younger populations are more diverse.
Approximately 25 percent of Minnesota residents
younger than age 35 are people of color, whereas
populations older than 65 years are predominantly
white. So, as the entire population ages, overall
diversity grows. **Sources: 2, 3
• The number of foreign-born residents in
Minnesota is growing. Minnesota, today, is home to
nearly 400,000 foreign-born residents—a level not
seen since the 1930s. By contrast, from 1960 through
the 1990s, just more than 100,000 foreign-born
people lived in the state. **Source: 4
Demographic Trend #2: Our aging population.
• Minnesota’s foreign-born population is
increasingly diverse. In 1950, 80 percent of the
foreign-born population in Minnesota was from
Europe. Today, most foreign-born residents are from
Mexico, Somalia, India, and Laos. **Source: 4
Minnesota—and other regions of the United States—are
experiencing an unprecedented aging of our populations.
How dramatic is the change?
Change in Minnesota population
age 65+ (in thousands)
Minnesota will add more than 620,000 older adults (age
65+) between 2010 and 2030. By contrast, during the
60 years from 1950 to 2010, the population of older
adults grew by just 416,000. **Source: 1
A commitment to diversity and inclusion
Today, the Twin Cities population is estimated at
3 million residents, with nearly 800,000—about
26 percent—people of color. This number is
expected to reach 30 percent in the next 10 years.*
*Other areas of the United States are experiencing similar diversity growth.
The U.S. population in 2010 was 36 percent people of color. **Sources: 2, 3
The size of the labor force is expected to stagnate in the coming
decades while the 65+ population will double. As a result, the
ratio of adults ages 18 to 64 relative to adults 65 and older will
go from nearly 5 to 1 in 2010 to less than 2.5 to 1 in the next 25
years. That means there will be fewer working-age people in
the population as a whole. That’s an important consideration
because payroll taxes are critical for funding programs like Social
Security and Medicare that the growing population of retired and
elderly adults will increasingly draw upon. **Sources: 2, 3
To learn more about the range of programs Augsburg offers
to support diversity and inclusion, go to augsburg.edu/now.
One million adults age 65+
In 2015, Augsburg graduated its most diverse traditional
undergraduate class in history, with more than 30 percent
of graduates from underrepresented populations. In fact,
every incoming first-year class since 2009 has included 30
to 40 percent students of color.
Augsburg also has identified faculty and staff diversity
as a priority initiative in its Augsburg2019 strategic plan.
As a first step, the College highlighted its commitment to
intercultural competence, diversity, and inclusion in all job
postings this past spring. An early result is that six of the
College’s 10 new tenure-track faculty are from non-majority
Augsburg also has named Joanne Reeck, director
of Campus Activities and Orientation, as chief diversity
officer. Reeck launched an intercultural competence
program that involved more than 100 members of the
campus community this spring and will expand to include a
certificate program in the fall. These programs complement
the diversity and inclusion workshops offered each May by
the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning.
Augsburg’s work in intentional diversity has garnered
attention from corporations and community organizations
alike. For example, Wells Fargo recently donated $100,000
to Augsburg’s Center for Science, Business, and Religion
specifically because of Augsburg’s proven work in educating
underrepresented populations. Augsburg also recognizes
that diversity extends well beyond ethnicity and provides
award-winning programs for students who represent a
diversity of ages, national origins, faith traditions, gender
identities, and learning and physical differences.
“Of course, there is still much more we need to
do,” Reeck said. “But we are committed to diversity
and inclusion because it creates a richer educational
environment and prepares our students to lead, innovate,
and serve in a diverse and globally connected world.”
This work not only supports future graduates’ individual
success, it creates a diverse and well-educated generation
that’s critical to our collective future prosperity.
One million adults age 18-64
**Sources: 1. Minnesota State Demographic Center and U.S. Census
Bureau. 2. Minnesota State Demographic Center and U.S. Census
Bureau, Decennial Census and Population. 3. Estimates as presented
by Minnesota Compass, mncompass.org. 4. IPUMS version of U.S.
Census Bureau’s 2010-2012 American Community Survey. Tabulated
by the Minnesota State Demographic Center.
Auggie Matt McGinn ’13
finds innovative ways to
serve an old favorite
BY CHRISTINA HALLER
Matt McGinn ’13 has accomplished more
in his 27 years than most. He overcame
alcohol dependence to graduate from
Augsburg College and its StepUP ® program
and then went on to become a successful
entrepreneur in the coffee industry.
And when it comes to coffee, he does
McGinn roasts his own beans. He uses
recovery working to earn his bachelor’s
degree in social work.
“Augsburg helped me to become a
leader,” McGinn said. “I showed people
you can go from not being capable of
holding a job and passing out in class,
to working two internships, being a
resident assistant, and succeeding in
Though he later decided not to pursue
a career in social work, he practices skills
gained while at Augsburg to help himself
succeed every day—including business savvy,
budgeting, dedication, confidence, detail
orientation, leadership, and follow-through.
them to cold brew coffee. He bottles it.
Tapping an underserved market
Distributes it. And, he co-owns and runs a
McGinn has been working in the
coffee industry since he was a barista in
high school. Once he got to Augsburg,
he climbed his way up to manager at a
struggling coffee shop and was able to revive
it by crafting new drink recipes, learning a
range of brewing techniques, improving food
and drink menus, training staff, and creating
more efficient labor schedules.
coffee shop where he serves his cold brewed
coffee on tap—an innovation that very few
shops offer, especially in the Twin Cities.
A transfer student from the University
of Massachusetts, McGinn applied to
Augsburg and StepUP early on in his
sobriety. He went from drinking hard liquor
every day for six years, to a student in
“People were complimenting my work,
and the owner gave me free reign to do
what I wanted,” McGinn said. “I thought—
I’m really good at this. What are my ideas?
What do I want to do? Well, I make really
good cold brew. People love my cold brew.
And I was like, ‘Why am I not doing this for
So he did.
McGinn now co-owns and runs artisan
coffee shop Quixotic Coffee in St. Paul.
His branded coffee, Blackeye Roasting
Co., comes in three varieties on tap—a
signature blend called “Blackeye Brew;”
a nitro blend called “Left Hook;” and
currently under production, a nitro
Guinness, which is similar in texture and
flavor to a creamy stout.
Currently, you can find Blackeye Brew
bottled and sold at select local retailers, but
soon it’ll be distributed nationally. Blackeye
Brew coffee is also kegged and served in
many area restaurants, on college campuses,
and even in Twin Cities workplaces.
Watch McGinn discover
his passion for coffee at
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Q: You serve a nitro blend at Quixotic. What is that?
A: Nitro cold brew is coffee infused with pure nitrogen. It’s stored in a keg
and served on draft for a cascading, foamy, and velvety ice-cold drink.
Q: What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brewed?
A: Iced coffee is just hot coffee that’s been brewed with twice as much
ground coffee, then poured over ice. Cold brewed coffee is ground coffee
that’s been steeped in cold water overnight.
Q: So does cold brew have a different taste?
A: Yes. When you brew coffee hot you get a lot of acidity due to the chemical
reaction. When you brew it cold, you don’t get the acidity. In fact, there’s
67-93 percent less acidity in cold brewed coffee—and two times the caffeine.
Q: So you roast your own beans. Is the origin of coffee beans important?
A: Absolutely. Most of our coffee beans are from Africa and Central America.
The coffees we select from Africa are bright and floral and have more
character. The coffees we get from Central America have chocolaty notes.
We blend the two for a perfect balance, so they’re not too tangy or fruity.
StepUP® at a glance
StepUP at Augsburg College is a
residential collegiate recovery program
focusing on helping students sustain
their recovery, achieve academic
success, and thrive in a community of
accountability and support.
• More than 700 students
served since 1997
• 93 percent average
• 100 students served annually
• 3.2 average GPA
Learn more at
Augsburg College held back-to-back Commencement ceremonies
May 2-3. The College welcomed nearly 4,000 people to campus who celebrated the
achievements of the Class of 2015, gathered as family and friends, and participated
in Augsburg’s unique approach to the centuries-old tradition of graduation.
BY LAURA SWANSON ’15 MBA
s one of life’s “big days” alongside events like
a wedding or the birth of a child, it’s
common for a commencement to be a
memorable experience that people can recall for
years—and even decades—afterward. Yet, of the
thousands of attendees at this year’s ceremonies,
it is unlikely that any two people will retain
exactly the same event details in the same way.
Why is that? Naturally, it’s due to the fact
that each person’s process of making and
recalling memories is complex. Augsburg College
professor and cognitive psychologist Bridget
Robinson-Riegler helped illuminate how and why
people remember the standout days in their lives
in accurate—and inaccurate—ways.
Augsburg professor and
What makes a commencement day memorable?
Cognitive psychologists have found
that the most distinctive life events also
are the most likely to be remembered.
For many people, participating in a
commencement ceremony is the type
of occasion that only happens a few
times over the course of their lives, such
as when they complete high school,
college, a graduate program, or attend
a graduation event for a child or loved
one. The event as a whole is unique and
so are particular elements of the day.
For instance, contemporary Augsburg
graduates process to the commencement
ceremonies by walking down 7 ½ Street,
which is lined with faculty members
applauding the graduates’ achievements.
This type of event is so unique that the
experience likely will form a memory
that persists over time, according to
Just as distinctive events are more
likely to be remembered, occasions that
are laden with emotion also make their
mark. The two parts of the brain that serve
in memory-making include the amygdala,
which is responsible for the emotion of
a memory, and the hippocampus, which
is responsible for creating the coherent
story of a memory. People are likely to
remember many of the feelings they
experienced on a commencement day
because it’s a time of high emotion and
maybe even some stress.
While graduation is not stressful
in a traumatic sense, there’s a lot of
excitement associated with the event,
which accentuates the activation of the
amygdala. Then, because the amygdala
is functioning at a relatively high level, a
person remembers much of the emotion
of a commencement.
“Ten or 20 years into the future, you
remember some of the day’s details—
some of the big things about it—but
it may be easier to remember how you
felt,” Robinson-Riegler said.
When an event occurs also affects a
person’s ability to remember it. For many
traditional undergraduates, graduation
falls at a time in life known as the
“reminiscence bump,” the period that
spans approximately from age 10 to age
30 when things are most remembered.
“As we age, things become more
routine, so what stands out are things
that are distinctive in your life,”
Robinson-Riegler said. “The things that
you talked about, that you spent a lot of
time rehearsing or explaining—the events
like graduations and weddings—those are
things that are better remembered.”
What affects the
accuracy of memory?
Despite the memorability of unique
and emotional moments, the accuracy of
our memories is not always reliable. One
of the reasons memories change over
time is that people come into contact
with new situations that shape their
recollection of the past.
“None of us really should trust our
memories as much as most of us do; the
gist of our memories is often accurate, but
the details of exactly what happened are
often inaccurate,” Robinson-Riegler said.
Graduation is an interesting event
to recall because there’s not a lot of
“cross-contamination” of memory
from the event happening repeatedly,
but there are disturbances in memory
caused by outside influences.
For instance, people have what’s
known as “schematic knowledge” about
what graduations entail. Due to popular
culture, a person who has never attended
a graduation may be able to explain
what happens at the celebration because
the event typically follows a formulaic
structure that includes listening to
speeches, watching graduates walk
across a stage, and so on. In addition,
people’s memories about past events can
become skewed by the individuals they
interact with later and the discussions
that follow. Graduations might spur
conversations with friends and family
that help a person “fill in the gaps”
where their own memories have faded,
according to Robinson-Riegler.
“Think about how easy it would
be for someone to infuse a memory
from what someone else said about
graduation, and suddenly it becomes
your memory so you have no idea what
the reality is,” she said.
In addition to pulling outside
comments into your memory pool,
commencement recollections can be
influenced by the photos and other
artifacts from the day that a person
comes across later.
“If you see pictures of the
graduation ceremony, those things
get into your head, so to speak, as
you reconstruct your memory based
on several different components,”
Ultimately, when Auggies of all ages
think back on their commencement
experiences, those memories are shaped
by myriad factors, but it’s the outcome
of the education that persists over
time and can be counted upon for the
remainder of their lives.
And, while college memories may
fade and change over time, they still
serve several purposes—one of the best
being to make us smile.
Augsburg College hits $50 million campaign goal
for new, signature academic building
Augsburg College has successfully surpassed the $50 million
mark in its capital campaign for a unique, interdisciplinary
academic building that brings together science, business, and
religion. The campaign—the largest in the College’s history—
met its goal a year in advance of the original schedule.
With the campaign fundraising milestone achieved,
the Augsburg College Board of Regents approved
moving forward with the next stage of architectural
and construction design for what will be the College’s
state-of-the-art, signature academic building. Once that
design work is completed, the Board will set a timeline for
groundbreaking and construction.
The College already has begun the planning and
preparation necessary to make the new building a reality.
Examples of this collaborative effort include the following:
A Board-designated project leadership team is selecting
an architect who will work with the College to verify that
the building meets the needs of academic programs in
order to create detailed interior and exterior drawings.
Augsburg readied the future site of the building by
razing two existing houses on 21st Avenue South.
(See page 7.)
Faculty members are using grant funds to design new,
interdisciplinary courses and to revise existing classes
to better integrate the science, business, and religion
Find campaign news and building
updates at augsburg.edu/CSBR.
IT TAKES AN AUGGIE
“Individuals matter in stopping the spread of disease
because disease has no boundaries ... I have made
it a personal goal to advocate for the development
of generic medications for infectious diseases that
unfairly affect the developing world.”
—Anika Clark ’14
Unique research experience draws
faculty-student duo to East Africa
and Capitol Hill
BY STEPHANIE WEISS
ho gets pooped on by chimpanzees, zig-zags through a
mountainous forest to elude elephants, and has been
recognized by members of the U.S. Congress for her
The first undergraduate student from the United States ever invited
to study the world’s largest known community of chimpanzees and
to gather research data to build a foundation for understanding how
human diseases—including Ebola—can be transmitted to and move
through the animals.
By gathering data to model how disease spreads through the nearly
200 chimps in the Ngogo community in Kibale National Park in Uganda,
Anika Clark ’14 may be able to help identify and develop vaccination
plans to protect this and other groups of chimpanzees from being
devastated by transmissible human diseases for which the chimps have
Clark, a biology major, spent four weeks in Africa doing field research
under the direction of Kevin Potts, a biology instructor at Augsburg
and one of the nation’s leading primatology experts. His studies on
chimpanzee conservation, food, habitat, and foraging behaviors are
featured in some of the world’s most prestigious primatology journals.
Potts earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University
and studied under the Yale faculty who founded the Ngogo Chimpanzee
Project in Kibale National Park. It’s through his decades-long study
of chimpanzees, in which he’s watched some members of the animal
group go from juveniles to adult leaders, and his deep professional and
personal relationships with the project’s founders that he was able to
invite Clark to conduct research on this unique group of chimpanzees.
Undergraduate research—an opportunity for hands-on practice of skills helpful to
science majors and necessary to succeed in graduate school—is an important part of
an Augsburg College education and is evidence of how the College lives out its vision
of educating for lives of purpose. Clark was among nearly 100 Augsburg students who
conducted summer research in 2014, spending many hours in the lab and in the field to solve
Fieldwork is grueling.
“You have to be physically and mentally alert at all times,” Clark said of the work she
did in Uganda. “Elephants can be in the forest. You have to move away from them quickly
… once I zig-zagged down a mountain ravine to get away.”
The work also can be very, very dirty. Even gross.
“Once, a chimpanzee in the canopy pooped on me and my field notebook,” Clark said.
But she wasn’t deterred.
Potts acknowledged the physical demands of fieldwork. He said it’s not uncommon
for researchers—including graduate-level researchers—to burn out after a few weeks,
especially in places as rugged as Ngogo. Clark was up and in the field by 7 a.m., walking
for miles and as many as 10 hours per day in the forest to find where chimps were feeding
so she could gather her data.
Clark’s research is unique because she is creating a baseline for understanding how
infectious diseases spread in the largest group of chimpanzees on Earth. While some other
researchers are trying to understand dispersal of illness among chimpanzee troupes of
about 65 individual animals, nobody else is seeking to explain how disease moves through
Ngogo’s population of nearly 200 individuals.
“Chimpanzees are strange among mammal species,” Potts said. “Unlike most other
mammals, chimps that make up one social group rarely are together all at the same time.
Instead, on a day-to-day basis, small foraging parties go out to look for food, and members
of groups can change daily.”
This means that unlocking how an infectious disease spreads is complex because
chimps don’t interact consistently with the same community members day after day.
Unraveling this mystery may allow people to protect chimps from transmissible human
diseases for which the animals have no immunity. An Ebola vaccine for chimpanzees is in
development and could feasibly be used on wild chimps in the near future. But vaccinating
all the chimps would be prohibitively expensive and logistically impossible.
“If we can identify a few individuals who are disproportionately gregarious and,
therefore, more likely to spread a disease to others, we can target them for vaccines and
stop an outbreak,” Potts said.
Uganda’s forests may depend upon this understanding, too, since chimps are prolific
distributors of seeds from the tree fruits that they eat and thereby ensure reforestation
and new growth.
Clark’s grit in the field and outstanding achievements in the classroom have garnered
attention in the nation’s capital. Last spring, she was selected to present at Posters on
the Hill in Washington, D.C.
This annual event highlights outstanding undergraduate research and was a chance
for 60 selected students from more than 800 applicants to meet with policymakers and
lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.
“Anika’s work stood up exceptionally well against top-tier student researchers
from across the nation, and I hope she sees how talented she is,” Potts said. “This
was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present scientific results directly to those who
implement policy based upon science.”
Clark is applying her resolve to working as a medical scribe at three different hospitals. At
one of the hospitals, Clark serves as lead scribe, a leadership role that includes responsibility
for recruiting other top pre-health students to work as scribes. Clark’s determination to excel
is further readying her for the challenge of applying to medical schools, her next step toward
fulfilling her goal of one day working for Doctors Without Borders.
Through Doctors Without Borders, an internationally renowned humanitarian
organization that provides assistance to countries overwhelmed by armed conflict,
epidemics, natural disasters, and malnutrition, Clark will have the opportunity to use
her talents and gifts to alleviate some of the world’s greatest global health problems.
The organization also is recognized for its dedication to serving people who experience
neglect and discrimination from local health systems.
“Individuals matter in stopping the spread of disease because disease has no
boundaries. The world is connected through trade, aviation, and immigration,” Clark
said. “I have made it a personal goal to advocate for the development of generic
medications for infectious diseases that unfairly affect the developing world. An
infectious disease in one part of the world must be considered a global threat.”
As Clark turns her sights toward medical school and a future serving as an
international doctor of medicine, other Auggies will head into the lab and field with
faculty to unravel problems and seek solutions to better our shared world.
While Auggies have worked to protect chimpanzees from infectious diseases in Uganda’s Kibale National Park,
these animals also face constant threats from poaching. Visit augsburg.edu/now to learn more about chimps
and how you can help in their conservation.
The field journal of Anika Clark ’14 carries
the mark of a chimpanzee encounter.
Clark trekked many miles through
sometimes muddy forests in these shoes.
A solar sun shower was the closest to a
hot shower Clark got while in Uganda.
Biology instructor Kevin Potts uses
his own codes and shorthand to track
information on chimpanzees.
BY CHRISTINA HALLER
Augsburg student travels 900 miles in
search of answers
The last thing studio arts major Indra Ramassamy ’17
thought she’d get out of her course, Women and Art,
was a life-changing trip and lasting friendship with an
established artist. But it just so happened that Augsburg’s
commitment to experiential education fostered a
memorable experience for Ramassamy and cultivated
skills that will prove useful throughout her life.
Ramassamy, an international student from Paris,
was assigned to choose an object from Augsburg’s permanent collection of art and complete a research project
resulting in a final paper, a speech, an installation, and
a curatorial file.
Ramassamy was drawn
“Augsburg expects us to discover
to a print by Nilda Getty
things. We are encouraged to make
called “Psychic,” one work
deep connections with people, to find
in a five-piece series titled,
new ways to problem-solve, to make a
“What drew me to this
—Indra Ramassamy ’17
print was a sort of ‘motion’
around a white circular
shape—to me, it represented the moon,” Ramassamy
said. “We can see six female figures around the shape,
but there is a possibility that these female figures
might actually be one person at different moments.”
A little persistence goes a long way
In researching the piece, Ramassamy found that
biographical information about the artist was limited.
She was, however, able to locate and contact an art
gallery where Getty had once exhibited. The art gallery
contacted Getty about Ramassamy’s inquiry, and within
a week, they were speaking regularly on the phone for
Ramassamy’s project. A few weeks later, Getty and her
son, Leslie, contacted Ramassamy and invited her to
Colorado, offering to fly her out so she could complete
Ramassamy gladly accepted. “It was about a
lot more than the paper,” she said. “Through phone
conversations and an exchange of emails, I had already
made a connection with Nilda and was beyond excited
to meet her.”
Leaving a lasting legacy
A few weeks later, Ramassamy was on a flight from
Minneapolis to Fort Collins, Colorado, for a 48-hour
stay. While there, Ramassamy toured Getty’s studio,
met Getty’s family, learned how to use metalsmithing
tools, and studied Getty’s artwork—from silk prints
to photographs, metalwork to jewelry. She also
visited Colorado State University where Getty taught
metalsmithing in the Art Department.
When Ramassamy asked Getty about “Psychic,”
Getty said the white circle represented both the world
and the universe. But the artist also explained that it
doesn’t matter what she thinks of the piece. What is
important to Getty is the viewer’s experience with the
art and the relationship formed with it.
Ramassamy was inspired by Getty’s work, by her
outlook on art and life, and by her warmth and spirit.
“One of the sweetest things was when Nilda told me
her ‘greatest works of art are her children’—and she
also asked me a lot about my own mom,” Ramassamy
said. “I believe Nilda’s legacy will be what her children
go out into the world and achieve.”
An Augsburg education is shaped by its
Ramassamy is grateful to Augsburg for the whole
experience. “There’s a culture at Augsburg to go
the full extent—do as much as you can,” she said.
“Augsburg expects us to discover things. We are
encouraged to make deep connections with people, to
find new ways to problem-solve, to make a difference.”
And that’s exactly what Ramassamy did.
MY AUGGIE EXPERIENCE
FUN FACTS ABOUT
COLLECTION OF ART
Andy Warhol’s “Liz”
Henry Lande’s minimalist
sculpture, 24 Elements, stands
outside between Urness Tower and
Christensen Center at 33 feet tall.
A photograph of Gerda Mortensen
vanished from Mortensen Hall
(more than once) and reappeared at
St. Olaf College.
MOST GENEROUS DONORS?
Don and Dagny Padilla, avid art
collectors, who gave dozens of
pieces to Augsburg’s permanent
collection of art, including Nilda
AVAILABLE IN TWO SIZES?
Jakob Fjelde’s life-size marble bust
of Augsburg’s third president, Sven
Oftedal, and Fjelde’s small-scale
plaster copy, a recent gift from
Melinda and Jim Kohrt.
NEW ALUMNI BOARD MEMBERS
Six Auggies―successful in business, mentorship, leadership,
and advocacy for the College recently were elected to threeyear terms on the Augsburg College Alumni Board.
Cyrus Batheja ’08, ’10 MBA
Mary Prevost ’12 MBA
National corporate director,
Owner, MJP Strategic
Hannah Dietrich ’05
Howie Smith ’80
Principal planning analyst, Hennepin
County Department of Community
Corrections and Rehabilitation
Manager, talent development,
Ameriprise Financial Services
Jay Howard ’03
Take a moment to read a
few of the reasons why these
new representatives are excited
to be part of the Alumni Board.
Go to augsburg.edu/now for more
Director of global sales, Innovative
Chau “Tina” Nguyen ’08
Project analyst, U.S. Bank
Back Row [L to R]: Adrienne (Kuchler)
Eldridge ’02, Sarah Grans ’01, Howie
Smith ’80, Jay Howard ’03, Rick Bonlender ’78,
Greg Schnagl ’91, Nick Swanson ’09, Patricia
Front Row [L to R]: Marie (Eddy) Odenbrett ’01,
Hannah Dietrich ’05, Jill Watson ’10 MBA,
Meg (Schmidt) Sawyer ’00, Melissa (Daudt)
Hoepner ’92, Chris Hallin ’88, Adriana
Matzke ’13, Rachel (Olson) Engebretson ’98,
Chau “Tina” Nguyen ’08, Mary Prevost ’12 MBA
Not Pictured: Cyrus Batheja ’08, ’10 MBA;
Sharon Mercill ’09; Jordan Moore ’12 MBA;
Brent Peroutka ’02; Nick Rathmann ’03;
Tracy (Anderson) Severson ’95
If you have ideas for alumni
involvement, email the Alumni Board
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8
ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
RECEPTION AND CEREMONY
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Honor the 2015 Athletic
Hall of Fame inductees.
Silver Auggies and
For Homecoming this year, let’s come together and revel in our
Augsburg connections with great events all weekend long. Alumni,
families, and friends are all invited to this celebration of our shared
Registering for Homecoming is easier than ever with an allaccess pass. One $40 pass admits you to all events. Register to
guarantee your spot. The price increases to $50 after September 8.
Go to augsburg.edu/homecoming to register.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9
HOMECOMING CONVOCATION AND
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARDS
10 to 11:30 a.m.
Recognize the First Decade, Spirit
of Augsburg, and Distinguished
Alumni award recipients.
HOMECOMING AND REUNION
Celebrate this year’s distinguished
award recipients and the newest
inductees into the 50-Year Club
from the class of 1965.
6 to 8:15 p.m.
Join the all-class Auggie happy hour.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10
Join Homecoming co-chairs Jacquie Berglund ’87
and Devean George ’99 for Augsburg alumni’s
favorite weekend of the year.
“Connecting with folks you
haven’t seen in such a
long time is just
Jacquie Berglund ’87,
2014 Spirit of Augsburg
HOMECOMING AND REUNION
8 to 9:20 a.m.
TASTE OF AUGSBURG
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family fun takes over Murphy Square
park with carnival-style booths, great
food, student groups, and games.
HOMECOMING FOOTBALL GAME VS.
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
AUGGIE BLOCK PARTY
3:30 to 6 p.m.
Enjoy live music, s’mores, and a
post-game social hour.
The mission of the Young Alumni Council is to provide opportunities to
engage young alumni through planning and hosting networking, fundraising,
and volunteering events and programs.
In May, Auggies joined the Rev. Mike Matson ’06 and his congregation
during an annual rummage sale at Bethany Lutheran Church in the Seward
neighborhood of Minneapolis. This summer the Young Alumni Council hosted
a sold-out gathering at a St. Paul Saints game in June and an evening at
Canterbury Park in July, bringing more than 600 Auggies together.
If you’ve graduated within the past 10 years and are interested in joining
this growing group of active alumni, contact Katie Radford ’12, volunteer and
alumni engagement manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FINAL EVENT OF THE SEASON
Summer Series: On Tap
Monday, August 10
5:30 to 8 p.m. | Surly Brewery
Build your Auggie network and learn how fellow
alumni are fulfilling their vocations today.
Appetizers and two drink tickets provided.
To register, call 612-330-1085 or visit
To learn more about the Young Alumni
Council members, go to augsburg.edu/now.
Buy a brick. Honor a friendship.
“We came together to buy a brick in honor of the strong
friendships we formed at Augsburg and the memories we
continue to make among our families.” –Brittany Jakubiec ’96
There is still time to participate in the campaign for the Center
for Science, Business, and Religion! Buy a brick as a tribute to
the bonds that helped to create your Augsburg story.
Augsburg will inscribe a brick with your name, the name
of someone you’d like to honor, or a special message.
Each brick will be displayed in the CSBR, creating a
lasting legacy for the future of
Augsburg alumnae from the class of 1996 support the
Center for Science, Business, and Religion.
You will receive official
recognition of your
participation in this program.
Front Row [L to R]: Brittany (Lynch) Jakubiec, Jennifer (Cummings)
Ackland, Wendy Laine, Brooke (Manisto) Reseland.
Back Row [L to R]: Connie (Arndt) Clausen, Stephanie Harms,
Jodi Monson, Natasha (Solberg) Sheeley.
The first 500 to buy a brick will
receive a VIP invitation to the CSBR dedication.
Foundation Brick (40 characters, 3 lines) = $250
Legacy Brick (80 characters, 6 lines) = $500
augsburg.edu/csbr | 612-330-1085
A mix of current students, alumni, and former
faculty serve as the backup band for one of the
Midnimo artists. Somali-British musician Aar
Maanta (far right) practices with musicians
[L to R]: Kyle Burbey ’15, Steve Herzog ’06,
Andy Peterson ’05, and Ben Somers.
BEHIND THE MUSIC
Auggie backup band’s role helps bridge cultures and generations
Augsburg College students, alumni, and
faculty have helped bring a cuttingedge musical partnership to life by
performing alongside the rising voices of
the Somali music scene and even some
Midnimo was awarded one of six $200,000
grants from the highly competitive Building
Bridges: Campus Community Engagement
program by the Association of Performing
Arts Presenters funded by the Doris Duke
Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke
Foundation for Islamic Art.
Midnimo, the Somali word for
“unity,” is a two-year partnership
between Augsburg and the Cedar
Cultural Center to bring Somali artists to
Minnesota for educational residencies
and concerts. This unique opportunity
is supported by a prestigious
$200,000 grant award and a number
of Auggies—including Faculty
Emeritus Bob Stacke ’71—whose crosscultural relationship building and love
for performance set the stage for a truly
intergenerational, intercultural musical
At concerts held through Midnimo,
artists ranging from the pop collective
North American Super Stars to SomaliBritish singer-songwriter Aar Maanta
played alongside backup ensembles
comprised of a mix of Auggie students,
alumni, and former faculty whose own
musical gifts and talents helped make
Midnimo a critically acclaimed program.
For many of the Auggies, participating
in Midnimo has offered the opportunity
to join a partnership that’s the first of its
kind in the nation and to do what they
love best: play.
Bob Stacke ’71, retired associate professor
of music, is known and respected for his crosscultural percussion performances. Stacke’s deep
musical connections were critical in forging
the partnership between the College, the Cedar
Cultural Center, and visiting artists.
Steve Herzog ’06 [pictured, right] was
selected by Bob Stacke ’71 to write and arrange
the music for Midnimo visiting artists. Herzog
often has needed to transcribe and arrange
music in less than a week. Through this work,
Herzog has been inspired to develop a program
for engaging Somali youth in the advancement
of Somali music. He’s also pursuing a master’s
degree in education at Augsburg.
See a clip of the band performing with
Aar Maanta at augsburg.edu/now.
AUGGIES FIND LEADERSHIP IN
inneapolis shoppers can
find a little Auggie Pride in
an unexpected location—a
secondhand clothing store that is an
active illustration of Augsburg College’s
mission, which includes collaborating
with others to serve the Cedar-Riverside
neighborhood and providing students
with hands-on learning opportunities.
Sisterhood Boutique (2200
Riverside Ave., Minneapolis) has been
a training ground for young, Cedar-
the idea of opening a clothing store.
Richardson, who in high school
founded a secondhand clothing store
through Youth Express, an after-school
program in St. Paul, used her retail
experience and business management
training to help the women get started.
First, she collaborated with a youth social
entrepreneur coordinator, a store founder,
and other interested young women to
develop a paid internship program for the
boutique. The program provides young
Augsburg College alumnae Yasameen Sajady ’11 and Stella Richardson ’15 serve the Sisterhood Boutique.
Riverside neighborhood women in
entrepreneurship, business, community
partnerships, and sustainable fashion
since its opening in February 2014.
Since then, 60 women ages 14 to 23
have participated as staff and interns,
and two Auggies—Stella Richardson ’15
and Yasameen Sajady ’11—have played
roles on the store’s leadership team.
Two years ago, East African women
in the Youth Social Entrepreneur
Program at the Brian Coyle Center, a
neighborhood resource and community
center, began envisioning a way to
empower young women in the area. The
women worked with Richardson, then an
intern at Brian Coyle Center, to explore
East African women with professional
development, peer-to-peer mentoring,
and classroom training, followed by three
months of employment in the store.
The founders of the boutique also
collaborated with Augsburg’s Director
of Community Engagement Mary Laurel
True, who has been integral to the
Community engagement for Auggies
happens both on and off campus—and
when True learned about the vision for
a women’s entrepreneurial project in
the neighborhood, she ensured that
Augsburg joined with other community
groups to make the innovative business
venture a reality. True serves as the
Augsburg liaison to the program, is a
mentor for the staff and interns, and
has been on the Sisterhood’s Advisory
Committee since the beginning.
Seizing the opportunity for realworld training, classes on campus got
into the act. A group of Augsburg MBA
students created a business plan for the
store through a management consulting
class project. Christopher Houltberg,
assistant professor of art, led Sisterhood
interns in a branding exercise and
assisted with the design of a boutique
logo; classes taught by Marc Isaacson,
assistant professor of business, provided
website recommendations; and, through
clothing drives, Residence Life collected
thousands of pounds of clothing to
donate to the startup.
Today, Augsburg alumna Sajady
manages the Sisterhood Boutique.
Sajady, a business marketing major, was
hired last November through Pillsbury
United Communities to lead Brian
Coyle’s Youth Entrepreneur Program.
Under her leadership as the operations
coordinator, the Sisterhood Boutique
has exceeded its social media and
community engagement goals.
The program is supported by
Fairview Health Services, an institution
that, like Augsburg, is committed
to its role as a community partner.
Fairview donated a vacant retail
space to the Brian Coyle Center for
workforce development. Additional
donors and community partners
include the Foundation of Minnesota,
Sundance Family Foundation, Marbrook
Foundation, and Women Investing in the
Next Generation (WINGs) Fund of the
Greater Twin Cities United Way.
ugsburg organizes international tours for the College’s alumni, parents,
families, and friends. Each customized trip is led by Augsburg faculty members
whose distinction and expertise adds to a uniquely Augsburg experience.
Celebrating Lutheran heritage in Germany and the Czech Republic
Mark Tranvik and Hans Wiersma, Religion Department faculty members, host this
journey through Germany and the city of Prague October 27-November 6, 2016,
celebrating Lutheran heritage in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Cultural immersion in Thailand and Cambodia
English Professor Kathy Swanson, who is fluent in Thai, will lead this exploration
through Thailand and Cambodia January 3-15, 2017. This voyage takes travelers to the
Grand Palace, Wat Pho (the Reclining Buddha), and floating markets. It continues
to Chiang Mai for elephant rides, an authentic cooking class, and volunteer work at
a local orphanage. The journey concludes in Siem Reap at Angkor Wat, the largest
religious monument in the world.
If you are interested in traveling with fellow alumni, contact Sally Daniels Herron ’79
at email@example.com or 612-330-1525.
To learn about Augsburg cultural travel
opportunities, go to augsburg.edu/alumni/travel.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
After serving as pastor of Faith
Lutheran Church in Vista,
California, since 1969, the Rev. Beryl
Droegemueller retired in April. Over the
course of his 45 years of shepherding the
congregation, membership grew from 125 to
more than 1,000. During those four decades,
the church opened preschool, elementary
school, middle school, and extended daycare
programs. Droegemueller trained 37 pastoral
interns through the church’s vicarage program
and, in the early 1970s, worked with church
members to develop a new mission church,
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran in Oceanside,
California. He led Faith Lutheran through
the construction of the sanctuary, a parish
hall, an early childhood center, and offices.
Together with members of the congregation,
Droegemueller was instrumental in building
a multi-level care retirement facility, now
Rancho Vista retirement community, which
was dedicated in 1981. When he talks about
the projects and productivity, he points to
his “very dedicated, creative, and hardworking members” and his staff. Along with
his doctor of ministry degree, he earned a
law degree, which he said was helpful in the
many building projects. He assisted area
churches with numerous legal challenges and
served as circuit counselor and chairman of
the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran
Church Missouri Synod board of directors. The
Minnesota native entered Concordia Lutheran
Seminary after a year of working for a bank
and following graduation from Augsburg with a
double major in history and English.
Jean (Bagley) Humphrey married her husband,
Roger, one week after graduation. Nancy
(Bloomfield) Bottemiller and Ruth (Sather)
Sorenson were her bridesmaids. The
Humphreys moved to the Boston/Cambridge
area where they lived in married student
housing at the Massachusetts Institute of
As a public relations expert, Kari (Eklund) Logan ’82 assists
clients in raising awareness about topics that range from
education to urban forestry and from financial services to the
arts. At CEL Public Relations, Logan leads a media relations
team and couples her talents in writing and networking to
serve her clients.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
Technology and had their two children. After
five years, they moved to California where
Roger’s first job was with Chevron Oil. They
lived in California for 38 years. Nine Bagley
children attended Augsburg including Robert
Bagley ’58, who went on to Luther Seminary,
and Yvonne (Bagley) Olson ’52, who lived with
Gerda Mortensen and married Orville Olson ’52.
Jerilyn (Bjugstad) Wibbens is the
choral director of the NW Nordic
Ladies Chorus of Everett, Washington. The
group recently performed with other Nordic
choruses in a Seattle-area celebration of
Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. They sang
“Finlandia” with the Seattle Symphony.
In May, Robert and Sandra (Syverts) ’68 Benson
were grand marshals for Trout Days in Preston,
Minnesota. The Bensons remain active in this
community where Bob served as a county
judge. Bob (now retired) is a certified firearms
instructor and a retired fireman. Sandra is the
founder of the Preston Farmers Market.
Ray Hanson is working for
Goldbelt Raven as an assistant
program manager for chemical forensics
at the Department of Homeland Security’s
Homeland Security Advanced Research
Projects Agency. His role supports the
Chemical and Biological Defense Directorate
in Washington, D.C., which is developing
forensic methods for detecting signatures for
chemical threat agents.
Kachel is now a clinical
research manager for Metro
Urology, the largest urology private
practice network in Minnesota. In
this newly created position within
the organization’s management
team, she is responsible for
managing all aspects of the
research program in addition
to developing new research
opportunities and scalable research
infrastructure across multiple
clinical sites and patient conditions.
Jay Matchett ’08, ’13 MAL was
named director of Our Neighbors’
Place, a social service agency, in River
Falls, Wisconsin. The social service agency
includes a day center, shelter for families,
community closet, classes, and a successful
backpack program. He cites Tim Pippert,
associate professor of sociology, and Andy
Aoki, professor of political science, as strong
influences during his time at Augsburg.
Matchett believes he truly has found his path
to vocation. He would like to establish a partnership with Augsburg’s social
work program so that Our Neighbors’ Place may serve as an internship
site for current students.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
After more than 40 years of regional
sales management and marketing
for two Fortune 500 companies, James
Piepenburg has retired and lives in the Phoenix
metro area with his wife, Lucy. He has two
great daughters, Krista and Jaime, along with
son-in-law, Chris, and 12-year-old grandson,
Nicolas. Currently, Piepenburg is doing parttime art consultation with Thomas Kinkade Art
Gallery of Arizona.
music therapy and has done additional study
at Colorado’s Center for Biomedical Research
Kiel Christianson is associate chair
of the Department of Educational
Psychology at the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign. He is an associate professor
of educational psychology, psychology, and
linguistics, and he directs the EdPsych
Curt Rice ’84 has been chosen to lead Norway’s largest
university college, taking charge of Oslo and Akershus University
College of Applied Sciences as rector on August 1. Rice received
his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Augsburg. His
wife, Tove Dahl ’84, is a professor at the University of Tromsø,
Norway, and is the dean of Concordia Language Villages’
Norwegian camp, Skogfjorden.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
John Sherman, sports editor of Sun
Newspapers, has been inducted into the
Minnesota State Football Coaches Hall of
Fame. Sherman said he was truly honored to
join the ranks of Stan Nelson ’43, Dave Nelson,
Sid Hartman, Bronko Nagurski, and Ray
Christensen in the Hall of Fame.
Psycholinguistics Lab at the Beckman Institute
of Advanced Science and Technology. In his
spare time, he is a senior writer for the Golf
Channel websites, where he writes about golf,
golf travel, golf courses, and golf equipment.
He lives in Mahomet, Illinois, with his wife, Jen,
and their two children.
Steve Hoffmeyer is interim general
counsel and executive director
of the new Minnesota Public Employment
Relations Board. He also teaches business law
classes at the University of Phoenix campus in
Minnesota and arbitrates labor cases outside
of the state.
Phil Madsen and wife, Diane, moved
into the fitness business, opening
their first Anytime Fitness franchise gym in July
2014 in Port Orange, Florida. A second gym will
follow in nearby New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Phil says, “This is a wonderful opportunity.
The franchise business model is sound, we
interact with members in truly personal and lifechanging ways, and we get to improve our own
health and fitness like never before.”
Sandra (Walter) Holten, a music
therapist who specializes in caring
for people with Parkinson’s, was featured on
Minnesota Public Radio in March for her work
with Struthers Parkinson’s Center in Golden
Valley, Minnesota. She has a bachelor’s in
Leah (Parker) Maves graduated
from Luther Seminary in May
2014 with a master’s in children, youth, and
family ministry. She received her first call on
December 22 to the Tomorrow River Lutheran
Parish in Amherst and Nelsonville, Wisconsin.
She was commissioned and installed on
February 11 by Bishop Gerald Mansholt.
Stephanie (Grochow) Trump has
been elected to serve as the
choral vice president of the Minnesota Music
Todd Lange was honored with
the Albert Lea (Minnesota) Area
Schools’ 2015 Teacher of the Year award. He
teaches high school English.
Sharol (Dascher) Tyra is a professional certified
coach and mentor for leadership development
at Life Illumination Coaching. Tyra has been a
mentor to Augsburg students since 2011. She
will serve as president of the Minnesota charter
chapter of the International Coach Federation,
and she represented ICF Minnesota at four
global leadership forums.
Raylene Dale (Navara) Streed
has been appointed executive
director of the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank at the
University of Minnesota. Streed has served in
other leadership positions, including as interim
executive director and technical director. Streed
graduated from Augsburg with a bachelor’s
degree in biology.
Scott Hvistendahl manages the
event department at the University
of Northwestern-St. Paul, where he is a member
of the football coaching staff. He enjoys being
involved with football and having a chance to
work with fellow coaches in developing players in
a Christian environment as well as helping them
to grow as men on and off the field. Hvistendahl
and his wife, Alisha, have two children: Macey
and Jordan. The couple met through an
Augsburg staff member who knew Scott from
football and Alisha through athletic training.
Jenna (Bracken) Held ’05 is following in the footsteps of
her mother, Jane (Catlin) Bracken ’71, by serving as a
teacher and pursuing her love of working with children.
Last year, after having taught fourth and fifth grade for
eight years, Jenna switched to first grade at Lincoln
Center in South St. Paul, Minnesota. She enjoys working
in the community where she lives. She met her husband,
Andrew Held ’05, at Augsburg and started to date him
after doing homework together for Calculus II. They
welcomed their third child in June.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
Josh Krob ’08, ’15 MBA was granted a prestigious “Twin Cities
Finest” award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in recognition
of his extensive community volunteer efforts and professional
growth. A believer in the value of lifelong learning, Krob earned
his MBA at Augsburg seeking to expand his understanding of
how to be an effective leader.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
Maggie Tatton was among those
named “40 Under 40” honorees
by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
This honor includes young business and
community leaders from throughout the
Twin Cities. Tatton is partner at Lindquist &
Brent Peroutka was featured in
the Faribault (Minnesota) Daily
News as a “40 Under 40” honoree for his
community achievements and career in
finance. A financial advisor at Comprehensive
Wealth Solutions. Peroutka holds a business
administration/finance degree from Augsburg.
The best part of his day is helping his clients
achieve their goals, he says. “We can make a
difference each and every day, whether it’s at
home, at work, or in the community.”
with the Minnesota Department of Human
Services to help improve the lives of those
Lauren Grafelman is the 2015
Business Administration Scholar
Award recipient at Hamline University. This
award is given to the university’s top MBA
student based on academic performance and
leadership within the program. Grafelman was
honored with this award at a graduation and
recognition reception in May.
Mike Lanski is in a long-term
position with U.S. Bank. He
also has started his second season with the
Minnesota Twins, working as an usher, and he
is in his 10th year with the Minnesota Wild in
the same capacity.
Madalyn Johnson is employed as a promotions
assistant at 1500 ESPN Radio at Hubbard
Matt McGinn ’13 talks coffee on page 14.
Janelle Holte was accepted into the
U.S. Peace Corps and departed for
Jamaica in March to serve as an agriculture
extension volunteer. During the first three
months of her service, Holte lived with a host
family in Jamaica to learn the local language
and integrate into the local culture. Holte will
work with her community to identify resources
and agriculture projects that can be developed
and implemented to generate income. She
also will facilitate training in farm management
and work with schools to enhance and expand
Anika Clark ’14 discussed the research
she conducted in Africa with lawmakers on
Capitol Hill. See page 22.
Ben Menzies graduated in May
and is about to begin a master’s
program at the University of Minnesota in
integrated behavioral health. He and Shira
Bilinkoff are looking forward to their wedding
in fall 2016.
Justin Reese has been named
head football coach for Fridley
(Minnesota) High School. A native of Houston,
Texas, Reese earned a bachelor’s degree in
physical education at Augsburg and went on to
earn a master’s degree in sports management
from the University of Minnesota. His vision
for the Fridley football program is to inspire
academic and athletic excellence in students
by challenging them to achieve the highest
level of personal development.
Michael Polis was nominated for
the “32 Under 32” awards. This
honor was created in partnership with the
Advertising Federation to recognize the top
young Minnesota marketing and advertising
Samantha Drost was appointed to
the State Quality Council for a twoyear term. The council works in partnership
Meghan (Armstrong) Peyton ’14 MAL is the head men’s
and women’s cross country coach and assistant track
coach at Augsburg College. Augsburg, she says, has
opened her eyes in many ways. Her time at the College
has shown her the joy of serving others and becoming
a more thoughtful steward and responsible leader. She
wants to continue to make a difference in the lives
of future Auggie alumni. Peyton and her high school
sweetheart, Cole, were married in 2010 and live in
Richfield, Minnesota, with their pets. In 2008, she joined
Team USA Minnesota, a post-collegiate distance training
center that encourages holistic development. In 2013,
she won the U.S. 20K Championship. You can “track”
her successes and find her personal best records at meghanpeyton.com.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
Kathy Rumpza ’05 MAL has taken a position with the
University of Minnesota as lead of the Creative Services
team in University Relations, the central marketing
office. She works closely with the university’s brand.
Anna Coskran ’09 MBA has been named a principal of
NTH, a Twin Cities real estate and project management
firm where she has worked since 1998. With more than
15 years of real estate experience, she has worked with
a diverse array of clients including The Minneapolis
Foundation, the Star Tribune, and Xcel Energy.
Crook and her
husband, Jacob Seljan,
welcomed Lovisa Emily
Seljan on March 30. Both
Lovisa and big brother,
Britton, are sporting their
Chris Wolf ’09 MAN was named chief nursing officer of a
medical element of the Minnesota Air National Guard.
Jordan Moore ’12 MBA and his wife, Jen, became
parents on March 27 with the birth of their daughter,
Jim Miles ’14 MBA
“Hero,” a middle grade
novel. In addition to
writing as a lifelong
passion, “Hero” is the
result of Miles’ MBA
program. He came to
Augsburg to learn how
to give artistic projects
the business legs they
needed to walk and
thrive. He named one
of his supporting
characters after Magda
associate professor of
business. Magda Corbett originally was conceived as a
minor character, but she quickly became a rather
significant part of the story, which Miles considers the
result of the influence of the name. For more information
on “Hero,” go to coltonsilver.com.
Submit a Class Note
Please tell us about the news in your
life—your new job, move, marriage, and
births. Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/connect
to submit your announcements.
her husband, Ryan,
welcomed Oscar Leo Clay
on March 19.
Solberg celebrated their
marriage on August 8,
2014. Auggies in the
wedding party included
maid of honor Hannah
Thiry ’17, Emily Wiles,
and Dan Thewis.
J.P. Perpich were married
on August 15, 2014.
Ingeborg C. Garborg ’38, Grand
Marais, Minnesota, age 94,
on January 20.
Euna G. Nelson ’50,
Evansville, Minnesota, age 86,
on March 18.
James S. Carlson ’55,
Richfield, Minnesota, age 88,
on October 12.
Darwin G. Thorbeck ’60,
Charleston, South Carolina,
age 76, on January 26.
Bernice A. (Westman) Giguere ’39,
Columbia Heights, Minnesota,
age 97, on April 26.
Kerman J. Benson ’51, Victoria,
Minnesota, age 85, on
Lyle I. Hunter ’55, Cathedral
City, California, age 85, on
James F. Redeske ’61, Golden
Valley, Minnesota, age 75,
on February 16.
Karl I. Krohn ’41, Memphis,
Tennessee, age 95, on
John “Al” A. Johnson ’51,
Maplewood, Minnesota, age
88, on January 7.
Eileen M. (Wirkkunen)
Thompson ’55, Astoria, Oregon,
age 81, on January 23.
Kay L. (Hanenburg) Madson ’62,
Minneapolis, age 74,
on January 21.
Thelma (Sydnes) Monson ’41,
San Diego, age 95, on April 27.
Raymond V. Trochmann ’51,
Ulen, Minnesota, age 93,
on March 29.
Laurayne R. (Helgerson)
Solberg ’56, Stoughton,
Wisconsin, age 91, on
Paul R. Engwall ’64, Lakeville,
Minnesota, age 75, on May 14.
Philip “Phil” W. Rowberg, Sr. ’41,
Chico, California, age 95, on
Marion M. (Myrvik) Buska ’46,
St. Louis Park, Minnesota, age
90, on January 18.
Willard “Bud” W. Glade ’49,
Dows, Iowa, age 94, on
Georgette F. (Lanes) Ario ’50,
Minneapolis, age 86, on
Irving R. Burling ’50, Sioux
Falls, South Dakota, age 87,
on April 16.
Bernice A. (Larson) Howell ’50,
Beltsville, Maryland, age 89,
on January 30.
Elmer H. Hanson ’52, Elk
Mound, Wisconsin, age 90,
on February 24.
Karl D. Puterbaugh ’52,
Eagan, Minnesota, age 86,
on March 22.
Dennis H. Erickson ’58,
Rochester, Minnesota, age 85,
on March 10.
Lorents J. Flak ’58, Santa Rosa,
California, age 83, on March 8.
Berton R. Hushagen ’53, Fergus
Falls, Minnesota, age 87, on
Jon W. Matala ’58, Carver,
Minnesota, age 78, on
Harold E. Peterson ’53, Bella
Vista, Arkansas, age 89, on
Ronald “Ron” J. Stave ’58,
Minneapolis, age 83, on
Gloria M. (Parizek) Thorpe ’53,
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, age 84,
on May 5.
Nancy Bauman ’59, Rochester,
Minnesota, age 78, on April 10.
Lloyd A. Nelson ’54, Willmar,
Minnesota, age 91, on
James “Jim” A. Noble ’60, Grand
Blanc, Michigan, age 76, on
Wayne E. Myrvik ’64, Fergus
Falls, Minnesota, age 72,
on February 7.
Gary E. Utoft ’64, Owatonna,
Minnesota, age 72, on
Kathryn “Kathy” A. (Lundby)
Young ’64, Williamsburg,
Virginia, age 72, on March 9.
Lowell H. Asplund ’65,
Butterfield, Minnesota, age 73,
on February 6.
Anita M. (Gransee)
Christopherson ’65, Belle
Plaine, Minnesota, age 71,
on April 28.
Neil C. Sideen ’65, Howard
Lake, Minnesota, age 71,
on March 6.
Send us your news and photos
Please tell us about the news in your life, your new job, move, marriage, and
births. Don’t forget to send photos! (Digital photos must be at least 300 ppi
or a 1 MB file.)
For news of a death, printed notice is required, e.g., an obituary, funeral
notice, or program from a memorial service.
Send your news items, photos, or change of address by mail to:
Augsburg Now Class Notes, Augsburg College, CB 146, 2211 Riverside Ave.,
Minneapolis, MN 55454, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also
submit news at augsburg.edu/alumni/connect.
Class year or last year attended
City, State, ZIP code
Karen L. (Torkelson) Leverentz ’66,
age 70, on February 7.
Magdalen A. (Ardolf) Miller ’75,
Silver Lake, Minnesota, age 91,
on January 20.
Richard “Rick” A. Niles ’67,
age 69, on March 6.
Robert “Bob” A. Roberge ’77,
Rochester, Minnesota, age 60,
on March 7.
Mary M. (Dolan) Peterson ’67,
Parkers Prairie, Minnesota,
age 69, on March 25.
Eunice C. (Holmes) Johnson ’80,
White Bear Lake, Minnesota,
age 84, on February 28.
Russell E. Ilstrup ’68, Buffalo,
Minnesota, age 70, on March 21.
Lori L. (Johnson) Rosenkvist ’81,
St. Paul, age 55, on March 25.
Ronald A. Nilsson ’68, Wheaton,
Illinois, age 69, on January 9.
Timothy J. Beck ’83, St. Paul,
age 53, on March 30.
Nancy E. Stevens ’68, Plymouth,
Minnesota, age 68, on
Jeffrey T. Miller ’94, Plymouth,
Minnesota, age 52, on
Ronald L. Danckwart ’72, Lake
City, Minnesota, age 64, on
Alfred “Al” A. Drears ’11, St.
Paul, age 51, on March 24.
James E. Ericksen ’72, Edina,
Minnesota, age 68, on
Max D. Bassinson ’17,
Minneapolis, age 23, on
Alan C. Kelsey ’73, St. Paul,
age 63, on January 19.
Professor Emeritus Jerry
Wisconsin, age 84, on April 4.
Ronald “Ron” A. Hart ’75, Coon
Rapids, Minnesota, age 62,
on March 9.
Longtime staff member
Irene Steenson, Eden Prairie,
Minnesota, age 102, on April 18.
Is this a new address? q Yes q No
Okay to publish your email address? q Yes q No
Is spouse also a graduate of Augsburg College? q Yes q No
If yes, class year___________________________________________
Spouse’s name (include maiden name, if applicable)
q I know a student who is interested in attending Augsburg.
The “In memoriam” listings in this
publication include notifications
received before May 20.
JAMES E. ERICKSEN ’72
James E. Ericksen ’72, whose life was marked by his commitment to
faith and passion for the arts, passed away in January at age 68, leaving
Augsburg an unexpected and extraordinary bequest of more than $5 million.
To honor his legacy, the majority of Ericksen’s gift will be designated to
the Center for Science, Business, and Religion. Part of this gift will honor
Ericksen’s faith and be directed to Christ Auditorium, the 80-seat classroom
at the heart of the new building. In tribute to his love of music, a renovation
to Sateren Auditorium and its lobby also will be named for Ericksen.
His gift was one of the largest estate gifts in
“We wish so much that we could have thanked him
during his lifetime,” said Heather Riddle, vice president
of Institutional Advancement.
Ericksen graduated from Minnehaha Academy in
Minneapolis in 1964 and enrolled at Augsburg College
that fall. While still a student, he enlisted in the
U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. Ericksen
returned to Augsburg College after his service, finished
his business administration degree with an emphasis in
accounting, and graduated with the 139-member class
A history minor, Ericksen later told Augsburg staff that Carl Chrislock,
remembered as one of Minnesota’s preeminent U.S. historians and
a professor emeritus of history at the College, was one of Ericksen’s
favorites. He returned to Augsburg College several times over the years to
attend concerts, particularly those for which his piano instructors served
A loyal public servant
to the Sateren
After starting his career at Polaris, Ericksen worked as an auditor for the
State of Minnesota Department of Revenue for 31 years before retiring in
2009. Along the way, he invested wisely and lived carefully.
“Nobody knew much about him, including his family,” said his
cousin, Robert Quick. But they knew he loved history, travel, and classical
In mid-life, Ericksen began piano lessons at MacPhail Center for Music,
where he studied with Victoria and Dan Sabo for many years. Friend and
piano instructor Janet Holdorf described Ericksen as “so sincere and ardent
in his appreciation of music making.” He didn’t consider himself much of
a musician, but he enjoyed learning and playing. His home was equipped
with a large sound system and filled with carefully cared-for albums, many
of them the symphonies he loved so much.
Ericksen traveled often, venturing to France, Italy, Norway, Sweden,
the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. He took long driving trips, eventually
visiting nearly all 50 of the United States and taking time to explore each
destination’s history. When he was at home in the Twin Cities, he attended
Bible study at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
In his will, Ericksen remembered many family members, friends, and
organizations dear to him.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Master of Arts in Nursing
Master of Arts in Education
Master of Arts in Leadership
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Master of Music Therapy
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Master of Social Work
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW ALUMNI
AND FAMILY DISCOUNTS
FOR GRADUATE DEGREES
GRADUATE PROGRAM TUITION
DISCOUNT FOR ALUMNI
Many of Augsburg’s current graduate students are alumni
who earned their first degree at Augsburg and returned
to pursue further education. Become a part of this
growing group and take advantage of our Alumni Tuition
Discount—a savings of $80 per credit! Auggie graduates
who’ve earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree
from Augsburg qualify for this alumni discount.
Additionally, parents or spouses of alumni and current
students are eligible to receive the Family Grant
of $80 per credit on graduate programs.
email@example.com | 612-330-1101
* This alumni discount also applies to Augsburg graduates who are currently
enrolled in a graduate program at Augsburg
Photo illustration by Stephen Geffre. Photos courtesy of D3sports.com and NCAA.
2211 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Twin Cities, MN
Permit No. 2031
Auggies win 12th national wrestling title
The Augsburg College wrestling team claimed its record 12th NCAA Division III national championship, winning two individual national
crowns and earning six All-Americans in the finals of the national tournament. Heavyweight Donny Longendyke ’17 [pictured, left] joined
125-pound back-to-back national champion Mike Fuenffinger ’15 [pictured, right] in earning top individual honors. Augsburg also swept
the awards presented by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Visit augsburg.edu/now to learn more about
the College’s national tournament win.
Beyond fjords and freeways
Boom or bust
FALL 2015 | VOL. 78, NO. 1
Vice President of Marketing
Rebecca John ’13 MBA
Director of News and
weis... Show more
Beyond fjords and freeways
Boom or bust
FALL 2015 | VOL. 78, NO. 1
Vice President of Marketing
Rebecca John ’13 MBA
Director of News and
NOTES FROM PRESIDENT PRIBBENOW
On being faculty-guided
In recent issues of Augsburg Now (apparently still
the name of this fine publication—see page 7!),
I’ve written about our Augsburg2019 vision to be
“a new kind of student-centered urban university,
small to our students and big for the world.”
I’ve also turned cultural myths on their heads,
arguing that colleges should be student-ready
and not the other way around.
As compelling as our vision is, the studentcentered and student-ready Augsburg still has at
its heart a distinguished and dedicated faculty
whose commitment to our students and their
education is as it always has been—unparalleled,
hard-working, and full of imagination and resolve.
In other words, as we aspire to be studentcentered, we will always be faculty-guided.
In all of my travels to visit alumni on behalf
of Augsburg, the conversation inevitably turns
to the faculty member who asked the right
question, introduced a new way of thinking,
became a mentor, stayed in touch, changed my
life. The values and commitments of the legends
of Augsburg’s faculty—Christensen, Chrislock,
Torstenson, Quanbeck, Peterson, Nelson, Colacci,
Sateren, Mitchell, Hesser, Shackelford, Gus,
Gabe—are now alive in the Augsburg faculty of
the 21st century.
And some of their stories are in the pages
Stories of creative and groundbreaking
teaching, such as the work of Associate Professor
of Political Science Joe Underhill, whose 15-year
dream to spend a semester with students on the
Mississippi River is now a reality with this fall’s
“River Semester.” Imagine a dozen students,
two faculty members, and a river guide or two
traveling almost 1,800 miles from St. Paul to
New Orleans in canoes, engaging the biology and
politics of the Mississippi River over three and
a half months. Makes you want to go back to
Stories of relevant and timely research, such
as the project undertaken by Associate Professor
of Sociology Tim Pippert to explore the impact
of the oil boom in North Dakota, seeking to
understand the various social implications for
the communities at the center of the dramatic
change. It’s the Gold Rush all over again, but
with 21st century challenges to the well-being of
individuals and communities.
Stories of faithful service, which has been
recognized by President Obama in naming
Augsburg one of five finalists (for the second year
in a row) for the President’s Award for Interfaith
Dialogue and Service. Our robust interfaith work
with students and our neighbors is led by faculty
members Martha Stortz and Matt Maruggi from
the Religion Department, along with College
Pastor Sonja Hagander and Distinguished Fellow
Mark Hanson ’68. And don’t miss the fun
interview with Nancy Fischer, associate professor
of sociology and urban studies, who ties her
research about secondhand clothes to serving the
needs of our neighbors.
For almost 150 years, it has been Augsburg’s
faculty who have guided our work as a college
and whose wisdom and experience have
equipped our students to change the world. May
it always be so.
Director of Marketing
and Editorial Coordinator
Laura Swanson ’15 MBA
Denielle Johnson ’11
Jen Lowman Day
Kate H. Elliott
Augsburg Now is published by
2211 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Opinions expressed in Augsburg
Now do not necessarily reflect
official College policy.
PAUL C. PRIBBENOW, PRESIDENT
Send address corrections to:
02 Around the quad
Annual report to donors
Uncorking the mysteries of wine
Beyond fjords and freeways
Boom or bust
Andrew Held ’05 celebrates his 10-year class reunion and totes his daughter, Mabel, through the
Taste of Augsburg at Homecoming 2015. Learn more about Homecoming events and honorees on
pages 26 and 32.
On the cover: A pump jack extracts oil from the Bakken
shale formation that lies miles below a field of grain outside
Williston, North Dakota. Learn about the state’s new oil
landscape: pages 20-25.
Correction: In the Summer 2015 issue of Augsburg Now,
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota mistakenly was
identified as a U.S. senator in the article “Making their
mark,” which described a research experience that drew a
student-faculty duo to East Africa and Capitol Hill.
All photos by Stephen Geffre unless otherwise
A scene from the River Semester
launch event held September 1.
AUGGIES MAKE A SPLASH
WITH HANDS-ON LEARNING
The first-ever Augsburg College River Semester—a three-and-a-half month
program in which a dozen students as well as faculty members will travel
almost 2,000 miles of the 2,350-mile Mississippi River from St. Paul to
New Orleans while studying the arts, humanities, and sciences—departed
from St. Paul’s Harriet Island on September 1. As part of the kickoff, the
River Semester class, created and led by Associate Professor of Political
Science Joe Underhill, was
joined by a group of nearly
“This is my ideal form of higher education.
100 community members
It’s experiential, engaged with the community,
who paddled in canoes
interdisciplinary, physical, and mental.”
from St. Paul to South St.
—Joe Underhill, lead River Semester professor
Paul. Many media outlets
Winona Daily News, September 15
covered the launch, and
Minnesota Gov. Mark
Dayton proclaimed September 1
Follow the crew on their journey at
“Augsburg College River Semester Day.”
to four-year degree
This past spring, officials from
Augsburg College and Minneapolis
Community and Technical College
launched the Auggie Plan, an efficient
and affordable track to a four-year
degree for students whose academic
achievement at MCTC prepares them
for upper-level coursework at Augsburg.
This partnership was a natural fit for
the colleges as both are located in the
heart of Minneapolis, provide student
support services, value intentional
diversity, and are committed to
developing future leaders.
COLLEGE AWARDS 2015
Augsburg College is nationally recognized for its
commitment to intentional diversity in its life and
work. This year’s accolades include:
• The 2015 Higher Education Excellence in
Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity
magazine for the College’s commitment to
intentional diversity and student engagement
Augsburg College physician assistant students gather outside their new
classrooms in Northwestern Hall at Luther Seminary.
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAM
relocates to Luther Seminary campus
Augsburg College’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
program recently relocated to a leased space on the Luther Seminary
campus in St. Paul. The new location provides improved educational and
office space for the program and makes room on Augsburg’s main campus
for other groups whose current space doesn’t fully support their needs.
The agreement with Luther Seminary models the type of collaborative
partnership that Augsburg, as a new kind of urban university, seeks.
Augsburg’s signature PA program will have effective space to remain
competitive, and Luther Seminary will be able to better optimize the use
of its own facilities. In addition, since Luther Seminary primarily serves
graduate-level students, the Augsburg PA program aligns with the campus’s
commitment to graduate academic achievement and contributes to its
vibrant higher education experience.
• Placing No. 6 on the UCLA Higher Education
Research Institute’s 2015 Rankings of the Best
Christian Colleges and Universities published
based on academic reputation, financial aid
offerings, overall cost, and success of graduates
in the job market.
• The American Indian Science and Engineering
Society’s Winds of Change magazine’s Top 200
Schools for Native Americans—the second time
since 2013 Augsburg earned this recognition
for its American Indian support community and
• Ranking No. 5 on College Magazine’s Most
Transgender-Friendly College list for working
to make campus welcoming for transgender
students and offering comfort, safety, and
freedom to all students.
• Recognition as one of five U.S. finalists for the
2015 President’s Higher Education Community
Service Honor Roll with Distinction in interfaith
and community service—the only institution
named a finalist in both 2014 and 2015.
• Being named a 2016 Military Friendly® School
for extraordinary work in providing transitioning
veterans the best possible experience in higher
GRANT OF NEARLY $450,000 FUNDS INTERNSHIPS FOR 200 AUGGIES
An Augsburg College education plays an
integral role in preparing our world’s future
leaders to make meaningful contributions
to their communities, businesses,
governments, and families. At the same
time, Augsburg offers opportunities for
students to gain on-the-job and internship
experience so that they can focus on
their vocational exploration. The College’s
efforts in these areas garnered a boost
when the nonprofit Great Lakes Higher
Education Guaranty Corporation extended
for an additional three years the Career
Ready Internship grant first awarded to
Augsburg in 2014-15. In all, the College
will receive nearly $450,000 through the
new grant, which will be used to create
200 paid internships for low-income and
first-generation students interested in
the opportunities available at for-profit
corporations and nonprofit organizations.
Moreover, this grant supports the College’s
Clair and Gladys Strommen Center for
Meaningful Work—a highly visible anchor
of the College’s commitment to students’
experiential education and vocational
BOARD OF REGENTS
At its annual meeting in
September, the Augsburg
Corporation elected a new
member to the Board of
Regents and reelected
several board members.
Vicki Turnquist [pictured]
was elected to her first,
four-year term. She has
more than 30 years of banking experience and
serves on the Board of Directors of Citizens
Independent Bank in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Turnquist was the founder and CEO of Private
Bank Minnesota, which sold in June 2014.
Unhealthy trees are safely removed from campus.
EMBRACING GREEN HORIZONS
In late summer, two of the three remaining elm trees in Augsburg’s quad—
an alumni gift from more than 50 years ago—were removed because of
Dutch Elm disease. While it was sad to lose the trees, the College reserved
some of the wood to be transformed into pieces of art, partnering with Tom
Peter, a local certified arborist and woodturning artist.
The elms created wonderful character of space in the quad for decades
and have helped inspire a longer-term vision of the central campus as a
larger green space that, over time, will become an even more significant
component of campus life. The design for an expanded quad is one of the
principal ideas resulting from work done in 2011 to develop a campus
master plan and has inspired new thinking around a special campaign
effort to support the creation of an “urban arboretum”—a multi-functional
green space that deepens the student, faculty, staff, and community
experience through hands-on education, research, and recreation.
welcomes new member
Regents elected to a second, four-year term
• Karen (Miller) Durant ’81, vice president
and controller of Tennant Company;
• Matthew Entenza, an attorney in private
practice at the Entenza Law Firm; and
• Jeffrey Nodland ’77, president and CEO of
KIK Custom Products.
Those elected to third, four-year terms include:
• Andra Adolfson, business development
director for Adolfson & Peterson
• Rolf Jacobson, pastor, writer, speaker,
and professor of Old Testament at Luther
LEADING FOUNDATIONS AND CORPORATIONS SUPPORT CAPITAL CAMPAIGN
A recent $1 million grant from the
Margaret A. Cargill Foundation has helped
the campaign to build the Norman and
Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science,
Business, and Religion to surpass its goal.
During the fundraising campaign,
several large philanthropic foundations
and corporations joined forces in support
of the Hagfors Center, including the Bush
Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, and the Eli Lilly and Company
Foundation. The campaign also received
support from 3M, Ameriprise Financial,
General Mills, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
“We are honored that the College’s
work to promote interdisciplinary studies
through the Hagfors Center received
generous funding from the Margaret
A. Cargill Foundation,” said Heather
Riddle, vice president for Institutional
Advancement. “The Hagfors Center will
support Augsburg in expanding research
opportunities and will help shape student
learning for 21st century realities.”
AROUND THE QUAD
This fall, the Student Lounge in the Christensen Center reopened
following a renovation designed to offer improved spaces
for student organization meetings, community events, study
sessions, and—of course—fun.
CONVOCATION SERIES 2015-16
Now in its 25th year, the Convocation Series offers the Augsburg
community an opportunity to share in enlightening conversation
with outstanding leaders and visionaries.
In September, the series kicked off with the joint Bernhard M.
Christensen Symposium and Fine Arts and Humanities Convocation
featuring renowned author, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and PBS
NewsHour contributor Richard Rodriguez and his presentation
“Living Religion.” Rodriguez is recognized for writing about
provocative topics such as education, race, politics, the AIDS
epidemic, and religious violence.
In November, the Center for Wellness and Counseling Convocation
welcomed Antony Stately, director of the Behavioral Health
Program for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and his
presentation, “Running into the Storm: Renewal of the Spirit.”
SAVE THE DATE
Join us on Monday, January 18, for
the annual Martin Luther King Jr.
Convocation, and on Tuesday, February 16,
for the Batalden Seminar in Applied Ethics
featuring Donald Warne, a member of the
Oglala Lakota Tribe and director of the
Master of Public Health Program at North
Dakota State University.
All events are free, public, and held in the
Foss Center. For detailed information, go
ON THE SPOT
Nancy Fischer discusses
“The Social Life of Secondhand Clothes”
Photos taken at Succotash
781 Raymond Ave., St. Paul
REDUCE. REUSE. RECYCLE.
For decades this adage has prescribed an
approach for improving individuals’ personal
impact on the environment, and today the once
underrated middle “R” is among the chicest ways
to go green.
Augsburg College Associate Professor
Nancy Fischer teaches courses in sociology;
environmental studies; urban studies; and
gender, sexuality, and women’s studies. Her
current project, “The Social Life of Secondhand
Clothes,” is a sociological analysis of the
secondhand and vintage clothing industry.
Fischer is exploring the emergence of secondhand
clothing as a trend in pop culture, the places and
urban spaces that sell these clothes, and the
many reasons people buy them. Here is a glimpse
into an area of the fashion world where some
looks are truly timeless.
What factors have contributed to the
emergence of vintage clothing as a
popular fashion trend?
Wearing old, out-of-style clothing was
first a subcultural fashion statement—
think beatniks, hippies, and punks. It was
a rebellion against post-war consumerism,
an appreciation of craftsmanship, and ecoconsciousness (as a political statement
against a wasteful society). In the late
1960s—first in London, then in New York
City—fashionable youth started visiting thrift
stores, purchasing Edwardian coats and
Victorian petticoats, and vintage dressing
began to move into the mainstream.
The emergence of the vintage trend
accompanied a global expansion and
standardization of the international garment
industry. People who buy vintage usually buy
new clothing as well, but vintage shopping
provides a different experience; you never
know what you might find.
How is purchasing secondhand
clothing advantageous for society?
Buying secondhand clothing generally
is a form of reuse and keeps clothing
out of landfills. Ideally, clothing should
never go into landfills. Torn and dirty
clothing can be reused as insulation and
as paper. But that doesn’t mean we should
buy clothes with abandon and then donate
them. Most secondhand clothing winds
up being shipped to developing countries
where in some cases it has undermined
traditional garment-making industries.
Vintage clothing—as a subset of
secondhand—is advantageous because it
tends to retain its value. Vintage clothes
also reveal our own industrial history.
We see those “Made in the USA” labels,
and sometimes more specifically “Made
in Minneapolis.” There’s value in that
historical glimpse at the past.
What’s your favorite vintage piece
I have a favorite for every season. For
winter in Minnesota, my favorite is
a 1950s plaid swing coat. It was made in
Dallas(!) from boiled wool, which is thick
and super warm. It’s custom-made, and I
always picture the Texan coat-maker taking
on this garment as a rare challenge.
Go to augsburg.edu/now to learn more about the
social life of secondhand clothing.
Nancy Fischer is collaborating with other
secondhand clothing lovers on a new book.
If you wear vintage and are interested in
discussing your role as a consumer as part
of her research, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AROUND THE QUAD
AUGSBURG HOSTS FIRST-EVER
CAREER EXPLORATION SERIES
More than 25 companies and organizations
participated in an on-campus career and
Augsburg College this autumn hosted an on-campus
career and internship fair along with its first five-week
career exploration series. The students who attended
the fair met with organizations seeking individuals
trained in disciplines including accounting, biology,
chemistry, communications, computer science,
marketing, religion, and more.
The major and career exploration series,
organized by staff of the Clair and Gladys
Strommen Center for Meaningful Work and
Institutional Advancement, provided nearly
175 students opportunities to explore
majors and careers by disciplines.
The series included programming
on professional studies, fine arts
and humanities, natural and social
sciences, pre-health sciences, and the
needs of students still exploring several degree
programs. This series was made successful in part
due to nearly two dozen Augsburg College alumni
who served as panelists and who shared details about
their career paths since graduation.
SIGNS OF CHANGE
Excitement for the future Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science, Business,
and Religion grew on campus after its construction site was marked. This multidisciplinary
building will house, among other departments, many of the programs currently residing in
Science Hall—a building that had its own site marker as pictured [below on right] during the
1947-48 academic year.
to remain name of
This summer, members of the
Augsburg College community
were invited to consider whether
the College’s magazine name,
Augsburg Now, aligned with and
supported the publication’s
purpose and key roles. A
survey allowed people
to share feedback
on the magazine’s
existing name and
to consider whether
two options, Augsburg
Experience and Augsburg
Spirit, would be better.
The results from the
survey point us toward
retaining the name
Augsburg Now. There
clearly is an established resonance
with the current name, which
uplifts the publication’s ability to:
Foster inspiration and pride.
Bridge the Augsburg of today
with people’s past experiences.
Define and illustrate what it
means to be an “Auggie.”
Help the Augsburg community
learn how to talk about itself
and equip individuals to
advocate for the College.
Provide intellectual stimulation
and ongoing education.
We appreciate the opportunity
for conversation on the magazine
name and are grateful to all those
who took time to participate in
enerous donors have come together to make this the
most successful fundraising year in Augsburg College
history. Driven largely by contributions to the campaign
for the Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science,
Business, and Religion, alumni and friends gave $35,404,222
during fiscal year 2014-15.
This is the fourth year in a row in which donors have
contributed more than $10 million to the College and more
than doubled last year’s total of $14.6 million. In addition
Aybike Bakan ’11, ’15 MPA
Dahlberg and Peterson Family Scholarship
Studying: Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Favorite thing about Augsburg: “I appreciate its focus on community service
and social justice. It also allowed me to grow as an open-minded individual and
encouraged me to seek meaning in the work that I want to do in the future.”
Joseph David “J.D.” Mechelke ’16
David Huglen Strommen Endowment, the Glen and Marilyn Person
Scholarship, and the Joel and Mary Ann Elftmann Scholarship
Hometown: Stillwater, Minnesota
Studying: Youth and Family Ministry
Augsburg College’s influence: “I have become vocation-centered, concerned
with social justice, and I am learning to connect faith to social issues.”
to providing crucial funding for the transformative Hagfors
Center, the philanthropy of more than 5,600 donors this year
helps Augsburg attract talented students and the dedicated
faculty and staff who teach and guide them. The gifts
provide financial aid, building maintenance and support,
and instructional and other resources that allow Augsburg
to educate informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical
thinkers, and responsible leaders.
REVENUE BY SOURCE
11% Room and board
11% Private gifts and grants
4% Government grants
7% Other sources
EXPENSES BY CATEGORY
43% Salary and benefits
28% Financial aid
19% Operating expenses*
3% Debt service
3% Utilities and insurance
2% Capital improvements
2% Student salaries
*Expenses in this category include: facility repairs and maintenance, information
technology expenditures, marketing expenditures, membership dues and fees, outside
consultants, supplies, and travel and business meetings.
ENDOWMENT MARKET VALUE
May 31, 2015—$40,463,556
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Aisha Mohamed ’16
General Memorial Scholarship
Proudest academic achievement: “Being able to say
I’m a biology major and feeling at home in a lab.”
As of May 31, 2015, Augsburg had annual realized and
unrealized gains of 10.7 percent on the Augsburg College
endowment. The five-year average annual return on the
endowment is 7.12 percent, and the 10-year average
annual return is 4.47 percent. The College is committed to
maintaining the value of the principal in order to provide
support to the College in perpetuity.
BY CHRISTINA HALLER
Jennifer Chou ’99 has never been afraid to ask deep and
probing questions—a quality that helped her to make
the most of her time at Augsburg, where students are
encouraged to explore their talents and learn through
hands-on experiences in order to find their callings. Her
thirst for inquiry, as well as her ambition, helped get her to
where she is today—a successful entrepreneur who made a
career out of her great interest in and passion for vino.
Chou’s curiosity sparked her fascination with wine. During
her childhood, she noticed her grandmother would always
serve wine at holidays. What does wine taste like? Why is
wine only for grownups? Why is wine enjoyed on special
Chou’s enthusiasm grew into a passion. While an
Augsburg College student, she further explored her
interest by joining a monthly wine club where she
attended tasting events to learn more—from how to
identify main flavor and scent components to the basic
characteristics of all the varietal grapes to the histories of
the world’s best wine-producing regions.
Seizing key opportunities
As a communication studies major and business minor,
Chou found work as a financial advisor shortly after
graduation. While attending job-training courses in
Dallas, she made friends with a man in the hotel gym who
recommended a very specific wine to her. She bluntly told
him that she’d never heard of it, and asked if he was a
“sales guy” for the company.
Once again her inquisitiveness pulled through for her.
It just so happened that he, in fact, was the winemaker and
CEO of Napa Wine Company. Their friendship blossomed,
and his knowledge helped hers to grow. “So I always joke
that I got into the wine business by working out,” said Chou.
Soon after that serendipitous encounter, Children’s
Home Society, for whom Chou volunteered, asked if she
would request wine donations from distributors for their
annual winemakers dinner.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I’m fearless, I’m not afraid to ask!’”
Chou recalled. “So I went and asked four different
distributors for wine donations, and they said, ‘Wow, you
really know quite a bit about wine and seem to enjoy it.
Have you ever thought about selling it?’”
So Chou took a job selling wines for a distributor,
traveling to California, Oregon, France, Italy, and South
Africa to gain a deeper understanding of each supplier’s
wine so she could better sell it.
Learning over a glass of wine
Because of her extensive wine savvy, friends started asking
her for wine etiquette advice.
“I would get asked questions like, ‘How am I
supposed to hold a glass of wine, under the bowl or the
stem? Are you supposed to swirl the glass? In a restaurant,
why does the server present the bottle?’’’ said Chou. “This
was stuff my friends realized they needed to know in order
to stay relevant in the business world—hosting clients at a
restaurant or thanking someone with a bottle of wine.”
As a way to share her knowledge and enlighten others,
she founded The Savvy Grape, a business dedicated
to educating people about wine through fun, hands-on
experiences. To be an authority on the subject, Chou
became a Certified Wine Specialist. This certification
required rigorous examinations by the Society of Wine
Educators, testing Chou’s expertise and mastery of
viticulture and wine production.
Chou quickly found a niche with professional
organizations and was able to start out by connecting with
fellow Auggies who were also business owners. “Being an
Augsburg alumna helped because one thing I always find
is that Auggies like to help other Auggies!” said Chou.
For employers, such as finance and law firms, Chou
educates people about wine etiquette while providing a
fun and entertaining wine-tasting activity at events such
as member drives, holiday parties, employee development
conferences, and client appreciation events.
At these events, Chou teaches people “how to taste
wine like a professional,” offers tips on food and wine
pairings, and answers attendees’ questions about wine.
Fighting for what you believe in
In order for Chou to legally pour wine in a corporate
event space, she had to work hard lobbying to change
the law, making it legal for a licensed wine educator
like herself to hold wine education events in
With determination and grit, Chou hit the
pavement, reaching out to her local senators and
representatives to see who would be willing to
assist. She found Minnesota Sen. Dan Hall ’74
who helped her to navigate the system at the
Capitol and get the Wine Educator License
signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2012.
Making a living out of wine
Chou’s unquenchable curiosity for the
world, unstoppable work ethic, liberal arts
education, and strong Auggie connections
helped to make her dream of making a
living out of wine a reality.
Chou has authored Wine Savvy, a chapter in
the book, “Socially Smart & Savvy.” Below are
some of her favorite tips featured in the book.
Tips for the wine lover
Put red wines in the refrigerator 10-15
minutes before serving, and take white
wines out of the refrigerator 10-15 minutes
before serving. This will help your red wines
be less acidic and allow you to taste more
flavor in your whites.
Don’t know what to give as a hostess
gift? When in doubt, choose a
sparkling wine, or “bubbly,” as Chou likes
to call it. You can spend as little or as
much as your budget allows, and it’s festive
for most occasions.
Not sure which wine to order in
a restaurant? Ask the server for a
sample to see if you like it. A restaurant
would prefer that you like a wine and order
more rather than not like it and order water.
This works especially well if you are trying
to order a bottle for the table.
Student Sports Medicine Assistant
Kayla Fuechtmann ’16
Augsburg athletic trainers
collaborate across campus
and within the community to
achieve a holistic approach
to the safety and wellness of
student-athletes BY KATE H. ELLIOTT
he score was tied at 2-2 in the
fourth inning as a University of
Wisconsin-Stout slugger knocked a
foul ball down the right field line.
Auggie outfielder Brian Bambenek ’07
sailed through the air—glove extended.
The ball landed in the pocket, then
popped out as his body slammed into an
unprotected portion of fence at the Hubert
H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.
After minutes of darkness, the
then-senior’s eyes blinked opened to see
Augsburg College’s Head Athletic Trainer
Missy Strauch hovering over him. She
monitored numbness in his fingers and
toes, held his hand in the ambulance,
and called his parents, Nancy and Mike,
to report that their son had injured three
disks in his neck.
During the days and weeks that
followed, Strauch went well beyond her
job description to get Bambenek back in
“I am forever in debt to Missy for
all she did for me,” said Bambenek,
who today is co-owner of the Great
Lakes Baseball Academy in Woodbury,
Minnesota. “She is an incredible trainer
who truly loves Augsburg College, and we
still find time to catch up a few times a
year. And her cutting-edge research in arm
care continues to influence my work with
These types of bonds with athletic
training staff are the norm at Augsburg.
During her 18-year tenure, Strauch
has built an expert, dynamic team
of professional trainers and student
assistants who collaborate across campus
and within the community to achieve
a holistic approach to the safety and
wellness of Augsburg’s more than 500
It’s fast-paced, passionate work.
Strauch and her staff know players’
names. They generate daily injury reports
Student Sports Medicine Assistants Jack Duffy ’16 (left) and Alison Ranum ’17 (right) aid Auggie
running back Michael Busch ’16.
and conduct pre- and post-season
screenings, and a member of the
medical staff travels with every team to
most away contests. Strauch demands
best practices and has championed
increased data collection and the
adoption of many advancements,
including the computerized concussion
evaluation system, IMPACT. She and
her staff connect with professors to
formulate accommodations for injured
“At its core, our role is about
relationships—building trust with
coaches and student-athletes and
developing supportive partnerships
throughout campus and with
professionals in the community. We work
to become part of the team. Assistant
Mitch Deets, for instance, camped for a
week in northern Minnesota for a cross
country team training trip. Assistant
Athletic Trainer Kassi Nordmeyer will
be traveling to Boston with volleyball
this fall and then wrestling and softball
throughout the year,” said Strauch, who
works specifically with football, men’s
and women’s hockey, and baseball.
“We don’t have all the bells and
whistles of Division I schools, but I
would stack our program’s continuity
of care against any of them. And you
won’t find stronger bonds. I should show
you our stack of Christmas cards and
wedding invitations from former studentathletes. Those personal connections
make all the difference.”
Baseball head coach Keith Bateman
“First-year and transfer studentathletes are often a little hesitant to
disclose an injury because they are
afraid of not playing. And coaches like
being in charge, so I would say many
athletic trainers run into walls with team
leadership. But not here, not with Missy.
She won’t let them or us get away with
that,” said Bateman, who is in his 13th
year at Augsburg. “She and her staff
become such a part of our teams that they
know when players are having a bad day
by the way they carry themselves. They
want student-athletes to play, to be tough,
but not to be stupid.”
A thoughtful evolution
Former head football coach Jack
Osberg ’62 worked closely with Strauch
for more than 10 years, watching the
sports medicine program grow from a
part-time enterprise to a comprehensive
team that features four certified athletic
trainers, one athletic training intern,
one physician assistant fellow, 11
student sports medicine assistants, two
physicians, one chiropractor, and two
“As students at Augsburg in the
late ’50s and early ’60s, we didn’t have
athletic trainers. Coaches took care of
taping, injury rehab, and other training
situations. The technology, knowledge,
equipment, facilities, communication,
and pre-season conditioning available
to coaches and student-athletes now is
remarkable,” said Osberg, who served
as head coach for 14 years and as an
assistant coach from 2007-10. “I respect
Missy and her staff having observed their
mentoring of student assistants, poise
when handling serious injuries, and focus
on the latest training techniques.”
Women’s hockey player Claire
Cripps ’16 is one such student who
can testify to the program’s expert
attention and nurturing approach. Days
before midterms last year, the forward
sustained a concussion on the ice,
leaving her with headaches, dizziness,
sensitivity to light, and an inability to
focus for almost two weeks.
“Missy sent an email to the dean and
each of my professors explaining what
happened, which led to postponing my
exams until I had the ability to study and
focus again,” said the exercise science
major who plans to pursue a doctorate
of physical therapy. “There were no
issues with any of my professors, and
they all wished me well, which made me
really feel that sense of community that
convinced me to come to Augsburg after
my first visit to campus.”
Advancements in prevention
Although the most common injuries are
routine sprains and bruises, concussions
and other serious traumas are a growing
area of concern as student-athletes’
speed, size, and strength has increased.
But, Strauch says, the diagnosis,
treatment, and rehabilitation also
have improved. In collaboration with
Twin Cities Orthopedics, Augsburg’s
implementation of IMPACT (Immediate
Post-Concussion Assessment and
Cognitive Testing) establishes a baseline
for each student-athlete so that health
care professionals can quickly and
accurately measure changes and
potential damage in the aftermath
of a concussion. The team’s cuttingedge equipment and data collection,
paired with the College’s longstanding
relationships with area doctors, ensure
that concussions are addressed promptly
Dr. B.J. Anderson, who serves as
Augsburg’s director of general medicine,
said the College’s sports medicine
program offers a “gold standard” of
care, particularly when it comes to
addressing serious injuries.
“I’ve worked with athletic trainers
across the globe, and Augsburg’s team
is second to none,” said Anderson,
who is a primary care provider for the
University of Minnesota Boynton Health
Service. “The College’s neurocognitive
testing is state of the art, and the staff’s
relationship with me and other doctors
results in continuity of care. We get
them in early, address the problem, and
get them back in action.”
It’s collaboration and conversation
among Augsburg faculty and staff that
make all the difference in ensuring
student-athletes perform their best in
competition and in the classroom.
When Carol Enke, instructor for
Health, Physical Education and Exercise
Science, noticed that a typically
advanced student turned in puzzlingly
poor work, she reached out to her
“Earlier in the semester, I had used
the student-athlete’s work as an example
of excellence in class, so when she turned
in a below-average lab assignment, I
called Missy right away,” said Enke, who
served as Augsburg’s head softball coach
for 21 seasons. “I knew the student
had experienced a concussion weeks
prior because Missy called me after the
incident. [When] we realized that the
injury affected the student-athlete’s
ability to analyze ... the entire campus
community came together in support.
That’s what we do at Augsburg.”
And, while Augsburg Athletics
employs progressive protocols to safely
assess and treat injuries, the College
is equally focused on prevention. In
June, Ryan Rasmussen came on board as
Augsburg’s head strength and conditioning
coach and has since worked closely with
athletic trainers to keep student-athletes
in optimum condition. He is the first
collegiate strength and conditioning coach
certified in a novel restorative movement
approach called RESET. Rasmussen
says the system pinpoints and eliminates
compensation patterns, empowering
Augsburg student-athletes to return to
play faster and achieve better performance
through optimal movement.
“To reap the full benefits of physical
activity, we need flawless posture and
movement, and this restorative approach
helps us achieve just that,” Rasmussen
said. “Having a team of people who
are concerned with the health of our
athletes is hugely important. We recently
collaborated on rehab for a hockey player
with a torn ACL. She is returning to play
this year and was the top performing
woman among the five teams reviewed
during our conditioning test.”
Inspiring mindful studentathletes
Mental health and nutrition also are
pillars of wellness that the Athletics
staff is committed to addressing in a
collective, proactive manner. Sports
medicine professionals advise studentathletes about the latest in nutrition and
collaborate regularly with Augsburg’s
Center for Wellness and Counseling to
ensure student-athletes are aware of
the center’s resources and community
support. Center Director Nancy Guilbeault
said anxiety and stress are increasingly
present in student-athletes lives, but
Augsburg is committed to helping all
students have healthy, happy college days.
Head Athletic Trainer Missy Strauch assists offensive lineman Andrew Konieczny ’15 during Augsburg’s
Homecoming football game.
“This fall, we worked with Athletics to develop
four sessions for incoming student-athletes to address
alcohol consumption, mindfulness, body image, and
healthy relationships. Athletics, more than many, knows
the importance of working as a team to confront the
challenges our students face, so they are wonderful
partners,” said Guilbeault, who has worked at Augsburg
for 36 years. “Coaches and athletic training staff are
often the first to notice when a student-athlete might
need to talk with us, and they stick with them throughout
the process—often walking them over to the Center or
attending a session with them.”
Guilbeault says mental health is often tied with
injuries, as student-athletes feel stress associated with
“letting the team down” or experience mental health
issues because of certain physical traumas. Her team
of counselors and the Center’s collaboration with a
psychiatrist and community resources ensure students
receive optimum care.
“Our students receive up to 10 counseling sessions
each academic year, and if they need additional support
beyond that, we refer them to one of our community
partners and keep up with their care,” Guilbeault said.
“Mindfulness meditation techniques are particularly
important for student-athletes because the approach
encourages student-athletes to be aware of their bodies
and present moments, becoming more resilient to stress.”
Building on a strong foundation
Like any strong foundation, the sports medicine team’s
roster of professionals and holistic, collaborative
approach took years to build; but behind the staff hires,
the new technology, and personal bonds is Strauch—
driving herself and her staff to become more than just
“trainers who wrap ankles.” They are a passionate team
of professionals who will do whatever it takes—from
stirring the Crock-Pot at potlucks to calling professors—
to ensure student-athletes have the tools and support
they need to succeed and achieve their life goals.
“Our profession has changed dramatically in the past
decade. Many of my mentors were focused solely on the
injury, and we now take a much broader view, a much
more involved role,” Strauch said. “And the best part
about it is that we will continue to grow and continue to
adapt to the demands of the future.
“Augsburg is a community dedicated to finding new
and better ways to support our students in every aspect of
their lives. And Athletics is a family of student-athletes,
parents, coaches, and trainers—all striving to do better,
work harder, and represent the best of Augsburg. I love
this school. Go Auggies!”
BUSTLES WITH ENERGY
In this photo illustration, the Augsburg College training center is a
hive of activity. Student-athletes buzz in and out to get care before
and after practices and games while athletic training staff assess
injuries. After professional staff determine the appropriate care for
a student-athlete, the College’s student sports medicine assistants
implement treatment and get hands-on practice in their field of
study. The training center always is humming with action and
support meant to help Auggies do their best in competition and in
Assistant Athletic Director and
Assistant Softball Coach Melissa
Lee ’04 and Assistant Athletic Trainer
Mitchell Deets work at the electronic
record check-in station.
Assistant Athletic Trainer Kassi
Nordmeyer administers a
pre-practice ultrasound on Jessica
Lillquist ’16, a member of the volleyball
and basketball teams.
Courtney Lemke ’17, volleyball,
is treated with hot packs and
Head Athletic Trainer Missy Strauch
completes a knee evaluation on
soccer player Mohamed Sankoh ’16.
Jerrome Martin ’17 is treated
5 with a cold compress before
Carter Denison ’17, Marta Anderson ’17,
and Ashley Waalen ’17.
Jorden Gannon ’18 gets postfootball practice hydrotherapy.
R.J. Cervenka ’16, a football player,
ices his shoulder after practice.
Kayla Fuechtmann ’16, a sports
medicine assistant and hockey
player, hauls a hydration cooler back
Sports Medicine Assistant Beth
Zook ’17 tapes the ankle of
soccer player Ngochinyan Ollor ’15.
Soccer players receive
hydrotherapy. The players are,
from left, sports medicine assistant
Student Medicine Assistant Aden
Lehman ’17 tapes the ankle of
football player Mac Kittelson ’16.
Logan Hortop ’17, a sports
medicine assistant, tapes the
ankle of Sean Adams ’17, a member of
the cross country and track teams.
Sports Medicine Assistant
Kristopher Woods ’17 delivers
wound care to football player Tyler Sis ’16.
Silvia Cha ’19, member of the
cross country team, does ankle
Caitlin Crowley ’16, left, and Associate Professor Phil Adamo
peruse documents in the archive area of Lindell Library.
Professors team with
students to research and
share College history
BY STEPHEN JENDRASZAK
f you’re interested in the history of
Augsburg College, you’re probably
familiar with “From Fjord to Freeway,”
a book published by long-time professor
of history Carl Chrislock ’37 in 1969.
The publication, which tells the story
of the first 100 years of the College, is
receiving renewed interest and attention
as we approach the institution’s
sesquicentennial in 2019.
But no history is complete.
Phil Adamo, associate professor of
history and director of the honors program,
is authoring a new book with students to
bring further aspects of the impact and
personality of the College to life.
The new book, to be published
during 2019, will include previously
untold stories from the early years of
the College. For example, the story
of Augsburg’s first president, August
Weenaas, and the sacrifices he made to
found Augsburg is told in “From Fjord
to Freeway.” But largely unremarked
upon is the story of Valborg Weenaas,
his wife, who followed him from Norway
to Marshall, Wisconsin. She eventually
housed 10-20 students in their home,
moved to Minneapolis when Augsburg
did the same, and passed away in the
Twin Cities at only 37.
Of course, the book also will
address the events of the 50 years
that have elapsed since the earlier
work’s publication, such as Augsburg’s
response to the 2007 collapse of the
Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis
and its aftermath. The College offered
its campus facilities to and worked
closely with the Red Cross, Minneapolis’
Emergency Preparedness Team, and the
Minneapolis Police Department to set
up the Family Assistance Center, a place
where family members of missing victims
gathered to receive news updates, talk
with grief counselors, and more.
Perhaps most importantly, this
new look at Augsburg’s past will strive
to address the history of ideas that
have shaped and been shaped by the
“What I’m interested in, which
is not done very often, is a history of
ideas,” Adamo said. “Those ideas are
wide-ranging—from theological issues
early on to evolution, which was a
controversial subject in religious circles.
This was new stuff when the College was
The book is a deeply collaborative
effort, giving students opportunities to
hone their skills in research and writing
while producing a work for publication
and being credited as contributors.
Students this past summer worked
in the College archives with Adamo
every weekday morning, and donated
a portion of their hours to cataloging
documents for the College archives.
Caitlin Crowley ’16, a transfer student
and history major, documented letters
from Augsburg’s fifth president,
Bernhard Christensen ’22, to Auggies
serving in World War II.
“He was the president of the
College; he must’ve had a million things
to do,” Crowley said. “And yet, there
are just folders and folders of personal
letters he wrote. [Soldiers] would
respond; he would write back. He would
tell them what was happening at the
College. It made me really like the guy.”
Crowley’s own family history, in
fact, is entwined with Augsburg’s.
Her mother, Deborah (Frederickson)
Crowley ’76, married her father on
campus in the building that bears
Christensen’s name. And her maternal
grandfather, Jerrol Frederickson ’43,
attended the College for two years
before joining the air force just before
Pearl Harbor. However, Crowley has yet
to find a letter from Christensen to her
This is the third summer Adamo
has worked with a group of student
researchers on the project. Students
in the first two summers each wrote
a single, extensive chapter, but this
summer’s group focused on a series of
shorter vignettes. Students explored
leaders including former College
presidents George Sverdrup, class of
1898, and Oscar Anderson ’38; Dean of
Women Gerda Mortensen; coaches and
athletes like Edor Nelson ’38 and Devean
George ’99; and events such as the
admission of women in the 1920s.
“It almost felt like being a
journalist,” Crowley said. “We were given
two topics a week. We also had to write
about what was happening outside the
College during the same time. It was
a great way to learn about this variety
of topics that I previously didn’t know
Each Friday, the students and
Adamo met to read their sections aloud
and critique one another’s work. “Phil
could be kind of brutal, which was
good,” Crowley said. “Even after just a
few weeks, all of us were getting to be
much better writers.”
In addition to Adamo and the
students working on the book, another
group of historians is making use
of tools Chrislock could only have
imagined in 1969—smartphone apps
and the Internet—to share the broader
history of Augsburg’s Cedar-Riverside
neighborhood. Jacqui deVries, professor
of history and director of general
education, and Kirsten Delegard, scholar
in residence in the history department
and creator of the Historyapolis Project
to share the first narrative history of
Minneapolis in more than 40 years—are
working with Anduin Wilhide, a doctoral
student at the University of Minnesota,
to develop a digital history tour of the
area. The project will provide both
a website and apps for iPhones and
The team is now seeking funding
to complete the digital upload
process and to engage students in the
researching and writing of additional
tours. The project initially was intended
to introduce new students to the
neighborhood and its rich history,
though, as it grew, it became clear that
it will now serve a broader audience.
The goal is to have the app available
as the incoming class arrives in fall
2016, offering a window into the past
just as new students join the Augsburg
community, ready to shape its future.
President Christensen writes to WWII soldiers
BY CAITLIN CROWLEY ’16
During World War II, Augsburg College
President Bernhard Christensen ’22
diligently wrote to students and
faculty stationed around the world to
keep them up-to-date on happenings
at home and on campus. Today in the
College library’s basement, hundreds
of letters between Christensen
and these Auggies are archived in
boxes. The correspondence tells
the story of the school during the
war. There are Christmas cards from
Army bases and training camps,
tales of life during war and life back
home, well wishes and letters of
recommendation for military positions
and promotions, and sympathy notes
to families grieving the loss of their
loved ones. Christensen was deeply
invested in corresponding with all
the men involved in the war, a job
that must have taken countless
hours of dictation and typing. He
included his personal thoughts in
most all of these letters. In a letter
to Arthur Molvik ’40, a student who
later died in the war, Christensen
wrote, “We can only hope that the
clouds of war will not hang over us
too long and that when peace does
return it will be built upon a more
secure basis than formerly. Only in
a faith of this kind, I believe, can
we have courage to carry on.”
AUGSBURG COLLEGE SOCIOLOGIST
EXAMINES NORTH DAKOTA’S
NEW OIL LANDSCAPE
BY LAURA SWANSON ’15 MBA
n the summer of 2012, Tim Pippert
lifted a couple of duffel bags into the
back of his car and headed northwest
on Interstate 94, beginning an almost
700-mile journey that drew him out of
Minneapolis—beyond the steel and glass
towers, the hectic grid of side streets
and signs, and the flurry of Fortune 500
companies and all those who inhabit their
cubicles and corner offices.
Soon, the fields of western Minnesota
and eastern North Dakota lined Pippert’s
roadside. He rolled past patches of flax
and sunflowers, wheat, alfalfa, and canola
to a place where tilled acreage melted
into an even more expansive landscape
of ranches and natural prairie grasses.
For decades—make that centuries—any
description of western North Dakota
seemed amiss without mentioning this
place’s sheer vastness of space, the way
gently rolling hills and rugged badlands
disappear into broad horizons hugging big,
BUT NOW THE STORY WAS DIFFERENT.
THIS AREA WAS IN THE MIDST OF A
Pippert was headed to Williston—
the North Dakota city viewed as the
epicenter of the latest North American
oil boom. This isolated community was
among a handful of towns and small
cities dotting the map in four counties
that together emitted a nearly magnetic
pull for job seekers of all kinds.
It’s likely that the route Pippert
followed to Williston began in a
similar fashion as the path truck
drivers, frack hands, pipe fitters,
hair stylists, and people working
within numerous other industries
took to North Dakota. That’s because
Pippert’s curiosity with Williston was
piqued by news stories describing
the remarkable growth happening
in this once stagnant community.
What was unique about Pippert’s
desire to work in the Roughrider State,
though, was that he didn’t plan to
fill a position in the oil industry or to
hold a job supporting its employees
at all. Instead, he sought to study the
societal change underway in Williston
and its surrounding areas along with
individuals’ perceptions of it. Thus,
he became one of the first scholars to
explore what local residents perceive to
be the costs and benefits of the boom.
A NEW RESEARCH PHASE
As an associate professor in the
Augsburg College Department of
Sociology, Pippert blends teaching,
scholarship, and mentorship into his
work each year, with an emphasis on
each aspect varying in accordance
with the academic calendar cycle.
His interest in North Dakota’s
changing cultural and physical
landscape stemmed from in-class
discussions with his students. Pippert
asked his Introduction to Sociology
class to bring in newspaper clippings
related to current events as an
assignment so that, together, the
students could practice analyzing
information using a sociological
perspective. One article on North
Dakota oil came in, then another.
“That’s when things were in the
very early stages of the boom, and
there were sensational stories about
folks making money hand over fist
and people moving out there with
nowhere to live,” Pippert said. “I’m
from Nebraska, and there was only
one stoplight in my entire county. I’m
used to seeing all of these tiny towns
decline in population or be relatively
stable, certainly not growing. As a
sociologist, I was just fascinated by
what happens when a small town
explodes in population overnight.”
For years, North Dakotans
were concerned about their state’s
population decline, but the oil boom
in the late 2000s dramatically
changed the socioeconomic
landscape in the region.
In 2013, journalist Chip Brown
wrote a New York Times Magazine
article that said, “It’s hard to think
of what oil hasn’t done to life in
small communities of western North
Dakota, good and bad. It has minted
millionaires, paid off mortgages, created
businesses; it has raised rents, stressed
roads, vexed planners and overwhelmed
schools; it has polluted streams,
spoiled fields and boosted crime.”
This article is among thousands
penned since the start of the boom,
but Pippert’s research takes an
approach that’s different than the one
most popular news media follow.
Using a combination of quantitative
and qualitative research methods
over the course of his career, Pippert
has examined subject areas such
as the family ties of homelessness,
the transition to parenthood, and
the accuracy of photographic
representation of diversity within
university recruitment materials. As
the next phase of his research, Pippert
recognized that there’s certainly a story
related to the development in North
Dakota, but it’s not one that can—or
necessarily should—be summarized
in a 500-word, front-page exposé or
in a 2-minute piece on the 6 o’clock
news. Pippert is working to construct
a longer narrative that is grounded in
a sociological understanding of rapid
population growth, allowing for an
analysis of how the perceptions of local
residents change over time. Of course
history shows that people’s opinions
shift as the state of the oil industry
fluctuates, which it typically does.
NORTH DAKOTA HAS
“North Dakota has had oil booms
before but never one so big, never one
that rivaled the land rush precipitated
more than a century ago by the
transcontinental railroads, never one
that so radically changed the subtext of
the Dakota frontier from the Bitter Past
That Was to the Better Future That May
Yet Be,” Brown wrote.
Since the beginning, the American
oil industry’s history in north central
states has followed a cyclical narrative
of starts and stops, booms and busts.
The subterranean shale that contains
the much talked-about oil covers
western North Dakota and northeastern
Montana, and stretches into two
Canadian provinces: Saskatchewan
and Manitoba. The Bakken shale was
discovered in the early 1950s and
named after Henry Bakken, a farmer
who leased his land in North Dakota
for an early well. At 14,700 square
miles, it is the largest continuous crude
oil accumulation in the United States.
The shale has been in development
since 1953 with periods of significant
growth punctuating its more than 50year timeline. For instance, in the late
1970s and early 1980s, activity picked
up in the upper Bakken when improved
extraction technology married political
and economic conditions that left the
U.S. thirsty for domestic production.
THE LATEST BOOM
In the late 2000s, innovative
engineering and technological
refinements also played key roles
in bringing about a new boom. The
key to unlocking more of the oftensegregated oil deposits in the Bakken
shale is horizontal drilling and hydraulic
fracturing, often called “fracking.”
North Dakota has been described as a
laboratory for coaxing oil from stingy
rocks. While petroleum geologists
have known for decades that layers of
the Bakken contain light, sulfur-free
oil, it has been much more puzzling
how to extract it economically.
Today, the Bakken contains some
of the longest horizontal wells in the
world. Drillers bore vertical shafts and
then lateral shafts that extend out as
far as three miles in order to harvest
otherwise unreachable oil. However,
horizontal drilling alone is often not
enough to lure Bakken oil from the
tightly clenched grasp that holds it
roughly two miles below the earth’s
surface. The majority of the shale
won’t yield its oil unless pressurized
water containing sand and various
chemicals is pumped down the well
to crack open hairline channels
within thin layers of oil-and gasbearing rock. This procedure has been
environmentally controversial given
that the chemicals used in fracking
have been known to be or suspected
of being carcinogenic or otherwise
poisonous. Geologists and engineers
continually fine-tune the assortment
of frack fluid recipes required in
varying geological conditions, and they
fracture wells in stages, sometimes
repeating the process dozens of
times at a single location. Waste
from this process must be carefully
handled and monitored to avoid
contaminating groundwater, polluting
surface areas, or injuring workers.
Since petroleum engineers began
combining fracking with directional
drilling, thousands of new wells have
been constructed—primarily in four
North Dakota counties bordering the
Missouri River: Dunn, McKenzie,
Mountrail, and Williams. And, from
2006 to 2013, production from the
Bakken formation increased roughly
150-fold, moving North Dakota
into second place among domestic
suppliers of oil, behind Texas and
ahead of Alaska. This substantial
growth in industry spurred a need for
more of nearly everything—laborers,
housing units, highways, railroads,
power lines, and even patience.
“I’ve never seen a more
hardworking place,” Pippert said.
“There are always things going on. I’m
not sure how exactly to articulate it,
but it’s like there’s always construction;
there’s always truck traffic;
there’s always activity on Sunday
afternoons. It just doesn’t stop.”
The change in Williston and
other boomtowns may not stop, but
it does slow. This year, slumping
crude oil prices have led to a decline
among communities affected by the
oil industry. Williston was the fastestgrowing small city in the U.S. from
2011 to 2013, according to the U.S.
Census Bureau. Yet, news outlets
recently have described harder times.
Bakken oil has always been expensive
to produce and ship to refineries. So,
when oil prices started to decrease
in autumn 2014, oil producers
tamped down their spending. This
meant fewer rigs actively drilling for
crude and less work for those who
service new wells. In extreme cases,
layoffs, reduced hours, and smaller
paychecks have led workers into
hard times and even out of town.
“Lots of things have changed since
2012,” admits Pippert. “Now I have
to write a potentially different story.”
It’s said that North Dakota’s last oil
boom, which occurred roughly 30 years
ago, collapsed so quickly when oil prices
crashed that people declared, “If you’re
the last person in Williston, make sure
you turn off the lights.” But what did this
flight mean for the people who continued
ANALYZING AND WRITING
Pippert mets with Deanette Piesik, CEO of TrainND
living in that community? For Pippert, it’s
important for sociologists to analyze how
population shifts and the industrialization
of rural areas strain community ties
and impact the daily lives of long-term
residents. This summer, he took his fifth
and likely final trip to North Dakota to see
how the recent slowdown has influenced
life in Williston, to conduct follow-up
interviews, and to hear from additional
residents for the first time.
Pippert met with Deanette
Piesik, CEO of workforce development
organization TrainND, to discuss whether
she had witnessed any signs of an oil
industry downturn. TrainND serves as
a link between private industry and
Williston State College by facilitating
safety trainings and offering worker
certification programs. After the
conversation, Piesik said she appreciated
the way Pippert used open-ended
questions such as, “How’d that impact
you?” and “What do you see?” rather
than asking questions that would induce
a negative response.
“I guess I worry about how some of
the things I say will get cut short or be
portrayed the wrong way,” said Piesik,
whose concern applies to news coverage
ranging from national broadcasts to the
local press. “Now, I could have been the
type of person who was totally negative
and that’s what you would have gotten …
but I have faith that [Pippert is] writing a
good piece about this oil boom and how
it has changed this community. I think
that’s a positive piece to do.”
Over the course of three years, Pippert
conducted 87 interviews to gather data,
and he is entering the writing phase of his
research—a time when he will synthesize
all of this information. Naturally, analyzing
more than seven-dozen conversations will
be a challenging endeavor.
“There comes a point, probably
before that 87 number, where you
don’t learn anything new,” he said with
a laugh, “but it’s so interesting I just
wanted to keep going.”
Augsburg College sociology
students helped to spur Pippert’s
interest in the North Dakota oil boom,
and they continue to play a role as
this project develops. Students serve
as research assistants by transcribing
interviews and coding the information
they contain so that Pippert can
examine themes from year to year
and from discussion to discussion. He
plans to work with a research assistant
supported by the 2015 Torstenson
Community Scholars program, and he
has supervised Ashley Johnson ’16 as
she worked on an independent project
on sex trafficking in North Dakota as
part of her participation in the McNair
Overall, Pippert is positioned to
assess the dramatic and immediate
strain on infrastructure that North
Dakota communities endured during the
period of rapid growth occurring during
the boom’s first few years. He also will
look at longtime residents’ perceptions
of oil workers and of crime.
“There are certainly more crimes
taking place, but whether they are
proportional to the population increase
is difficult to tell,” Pippert said.
It is also complex to articulate how
residents felt about an influx of new
people in their communities.
“As a sociologist, I’m interested
in ‘insider’ versus ‘outsider’ framing,”
Pippert added. “There seems to be a
pretty strong sentiment among locals
that they were frustrated with oil field
workers. The saying was, ‘Go back
home—unless you plan on staying.’”
This phrase, Pippert noticed,
articulates that longtime residents
grew tired of people simply entering
their communities for work and then
leaving or sending their income to
families and homes in other areas of the
country. The locals would have preferred
for the newcomers to contribute to and
make a life in their communities well
into the future.
THE YEARS AHEAD
As time unfolds, the challenges and
opportunities presented in Williston may
begin to surface in other communities
that are in the midst of their own
dramatic population growth, and
Pippert’s research could serve as a study
for navigating complex situations.
The oil extraction technology
pioneered in North Dakota is expected
to have implications around the world,
but it’s not only communities near
oil deposits that may benefit from
this scholar’s perspective. Ultimately,
Pippert said, his story is about how
the identity of a small town changes
when significant industrial development
causes a population shift. It’s about
massive industry suddenly entering an
area—any area—to utilize its resources.
And when other communities follow
down a similar path as Williston, it’s
important for them to learn from the
road that North Dakota already has
“It really is about a boom,” Pippert
said. “But the source of its spark doesn’t
s one of the first sociologists to
study the effects of the most
recent oil boom in North Dakota,
Tim Pippert has been sought out by
organizations looking to add context
to their coverage of the changes
occurring in the city of Williston and
its surrounding communities. Pippert
contributed to the Forum News
Service’s reporting series on human
trafficking and female exploitation,
and he appeared in the documentary
“BOOM,” which depicted human and sex
trafficking issues haunting communities.
The film tells the story of a recent
college graduate who moves to North
Dakota to get a job in the oil fields as
a trucker and who becomes aware of
criminal activity present in his new
surroundings. The nonprofit iEmpathize
created the documentary to raise
awareness about child exploitation
and to help industries ranging from
oil and gas to trucking and hospitality
better train employees to recognize and
respond to trafficking.
The film was screened in November
2014 at North Dakota’s first statewide
summit on human trafficking, which
Pippert attended as a featured panelist.
He discussed his research in front of
the U.S. attorney for North Dakota,
the state’s attorney general, local and
federal law enforcement agencies,
victims’ advocates, social service
providers, tribal officials, and others
who—he said—came together to ask,
“How big of a problem is this?” and
“What are we going to do about it?”
For Pippert, seeing his scholarship
have a life outside of an academic
setting has been personally rewarding
and publically valuable.
Brad Riley, founder and president
of iEmpathize, visited Augsburg College
in March with Anthony Baldassari, the
film’s protagonist and an engagement
ambassador for the organization’s Boom
Campaign, which assists communities
across the United States. The two men
joined Pippert in screening the film and
leading an on-campus discussion on the
issues it portrayed. Baldassari, Pippert,
and Riley also served as presenters at
Visit iEmpathize.org to learn
how this organization works to
educate boom communities
to recognize and respond to
human trafficking issues.
the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum,
of which Augsburg College is a host
Pippert’s role in the film helped
to “give a real, authentic, and clear
unpacking of what’s happening, why it’s
happening, and where it’s happening,”
The film was designed to be a
catalyst for conversation in communities
where human trafficking already had a
foothold or within groups that have an
ability to help curtail the offense. In
addition, “BOOM” is a teaching tool for
the curricula iEmpathize distributes to
law enforcement, schools, health care
institutions, and other organizations
located in areas that are at risk of
encountering their own human trafficking
“If we can predict where boom
towns might be in the future, we can
come in and help set up a little bit
of infrastructure on the front end,”
Baldassari said, which helps to give
people the opportunity to intervene in a
safe and practical way.
WITH AUGGIE PRIDE
A fireworks display over Murphy Square lights up the night during
Nearly 600 Auggies representing more than six decades and from as far away as Norway attended
the 2015 Augsburg College Homecoming celebration. The class with the most attendees? Alumni
from 1965, marking their 50th reunion! If you’ve never had the chance to see the campus canopied in
fireworks, you should plan to attend Homecoming in 2016.
The 2015 Homecoming Alumni Award recipients and Athletic Hall of
Fame inductees are featured in Class Notes: pages 32-39. To view
videos recognizing the award recipients, go to augsburg.edu/now.
FROM THE ALUMNI BOARD PRESIDENT
Dear alumni and friends,
elcome to the 2015-16
academic year! Thank you to
Chris Hallin ’88 for serving as
alumni board president last year. I’m
excited to become board president at
a time when our group continues to
evolve and increase its engagement
with alumni in the life of the College.
As the campus community looks forward to the
sesquicentennial of Augsburg in 2019, we all have the
opportunity to participate in the strategic vision set forth
by the Augsburg Board of Regents, which states: “In 2019,
Augsburg College will be a new kind of student-centered,
urban university, small to our students and big for the world.”
There is much work that we as alumni have done and can do
to support this vision.
Mark your calendars for the next Student and Alumni
Networking Event on February 9, which gives students
access to one-on-one discussions with alumni professionals
on campus. Alumni can also partner with the Clair and
Gladys Strommen Center for Meaningful Work, as we did this
September for the first-ever Fall Career and Internship Fair, to
provide alumni and students with meaningful connections.
We also work to make annual traditions, such as
Homecoming and Advent Vespers, special for alumni of all
Throughout the coming year, your alumni board will hear
from Augsburg guest speakers about internships, research,
study abroad, and service work and learning that shape an
Augsburg education. As we listen, we will consider how alumni
can support the important work of the College. There are three
dimensions in the Augsburg2019 strategic plan (found at
augsburg.edu/augsburg2019) that are relevant to our work:
Dimension 1: Educating for lives of purpose—across the
disciplines, beyond the classroom, and around the world.
As alumni, we can help students outside the classroom
and in a manner that equips them to succeed through
mentoring, internships, and more.
Dimension 2: At the table with our neighbors and institutional
partners, shaping education to address the world’s needs. As
alumni, our workplaces and Auggie-owned businesses can
work with Augsburg to expand internship opportunities
that allow students to build their skills, discern their
vocations, and open doors to careers.
Dimension 3: Built for the future—a vital and sustainable
institution. Alumni can strengthen collaboration and
financial sustainability through our consistent financial
support and by sharing the good news about the College
among our professional and faith communities, and with
our friends and families.
As alumni, we have a direct impact on our College in small
and large ways. Our participation is key to the future viability
and sustainability of our college and of Auggies. I hope you
will join us.
JILL WATSON ’10 MBA
ALUMNI BOARD PRESIDENT
UNIQUELY AUGSBURG TRAVEL
Augsburg College alumni, parents, families, and friends are invited to
join international tours led by faculty members whose distinction and
expertise add to one-of-a-kind
travel experiences. If you are
interested in participating in
Germany and the Czech Republic
travel opportunities or attending
Thailand and Cambodia
an information session, contact
Sally Daniels Herron ’79 at
To learn more, go to
NOVEMBER 12, 2015
Thanks for Giving to the Max!
Thank you to all those who supported
Augsburg College on Give to the Max Day.
Your gifts enable great opportunities for
students in academics, athletics, and
campus programs. See the wide variety of
projects supported by this annual day of
philanthropy at augsburg.edu/now.
FROM RIVERSIDE AVE.
TO RIVERSIDE, CA
A demand for Auggies
Augsburg is closing the distance between Riverside Avenue in
Minneapolis and Riverside, California, through the successful
partnership of Augsburg faculty, alumni, college programs—and,
of course—talented students.
The collaboration is proving so effective that faculty
mentors at the University of California-Riverside are calling for
more Auggies. When Dixie Shafer, director of Undergraduate
Research and Graduate Opportunity (URGO), visited
doctoral candidate Tom Lopez ’11, she heard in no uncertain
terms from Lopez’s mentor and department of mechanical
engineering faculty member Lorenzo Mangolini:
“I want more of your students. I want more Augsburg
students. Your students know what they’re doing in the lab
from day one.”
Over the past six years, several Augsburg graduates have
landed at UC-Riverside with full funding to attend doctoral
programs. The students have a team of Auggie advocates
supporting them all the way. The team includes staff from
TRIO/McNair Scholars; URGO; STEM (science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics) Programs; and alumni who
have walked a similar path.
The Riverside pipeline
Augsburg sociology alumni Matthew Dunn ’08, Jenna Mead ’09,
and Zach Sommer ’10 were among the first Auggies to blaze a trail
to UC-Riverside. They were later joined by Lopez and doctoral
candidate Justin Gyllen ’11, a computer scientist and physicist
working on an educational technology project to help first-year
engineering students improve their note-taking.
Now those Auggies have been joined by two more alumni
from the physics and math departments: Gottlieb Uahengo ’13
and Amir Rose ’14.
Rose, one of five Augsburg McNair Scholars to attend
UC-Riverside, credits that program’s role in his success. The
McNair program is a two-year opportunity that helps prepare
low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students
for graduate school. Rose, whose current research is focused
on breeding sterile mosquitoes to eradicate populations of
disease-spreading mosquitoes, also credits Augsburg physics
professor David Murr ’92 for teaching him research skills and
Even current Augsburg students gain research experience at
UC-Riverside. Last summer, chemistry student Oscar Martinez ’16
worked with Lopez and also traveled to Scripps Research
Institute in Florida.
Circle of Support
Now that these Auggies are studying and
researching in Riverside, Dr. Steve Larson ’72
says it’s his turn to help. Larson, a member of
the Augsburg Board of Regents, has been in
California since 1980.
Three years ago, Larson, chief executive officer
and board chair for Riverside Medical Clinic
and a generous supporter of the Norman
and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science,
Business, and Religion, found out that there
was not just one, but a group of Auggies in
Riverside, and he invited them to dinner at his
home. He has had them back every year, and
has been joined by Augsburg College President
Paul Pribbenow and Shafer.
“We all have something in common,”
Larson said of his dinners with the Augsburg
alumni and students. “Everyone appreciates
what happens at Augsburg College.”
There’s a circle of involvement with the
College, Larson explained, that begins as a
student, continues as alumni go out into the
world, and finally turns back to support student
success and the future of the College. “This is
my turn,” he said.
He is excited for how the Hagfors Center
will continue to inspire high-caliber students
and faculty to take their work to the next level.
“Keep those Auggies coming,” Larson said.
[Top to bottom]:
Regent Steve Larson ’72
supports students like
Gottlieb Uahengo ’13 and
Oscar Martinez ’16—two
of the Auggies whose
academic pursuits have
led to the University of
Less effort. More impact.
“Mr. Augsburg” has spent 44 years of his
life—so far—inspiring Auggies to invest
in the life of the College. Whether in his
role as a student, parent, grandparent,
or as alumni director and fundraiser for
Augsburg, Jeroy Carlson ’48 has inspired
Auggies through the decades to remain
connected to their alma mater.
The work, connections, and
inspiration fostered and forged by
Carlson led an anonymous donor to make
a generous $165,000 lead gift to name
a gathering space in the Norman and
Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science,
Business, and Religion in honor of
Carlson and his wife, Lorraine. Augsburg
College Regent Dennis Meyer ’78 and
Beverly (Ranum) Meyer ’78 also were
inspired by Carlson’s leadership and
dedication to the College and decided to
make a second gift. The couple’s most
recent contribution of $25,000 will go
to support the space named in honor of
During his long tenure with
Augsburg, Carlson helped countless
students get their careers off the ground.
“He never hesitated to pick up the phone
to make a connection,” said Dennis.
One of Carlson’s introductions
helped Bev make an important
professional connection to launch her
teaching career. “There were many
faculty and staff members at Augsburg
who provided career guidance and
direction, but Jeroy stands out for us,”
“I admire the connections Jeroy
developed with alumni and his ability
to make things happen,” Dennis said,
noting that Carlson raised millions for
the College. “When he called and asked
for something, people gave because
they had great respect for Jeroy, his
love of Augsburg, and the people who
contributed to its success.”
Donors are invited to make a gift
to the Jeroy and Lorraine Carlson
Atrium Lounge—a designated space
in the Hagfors Center where the
Augsburg community will gather, foster
relationships, and build community.
Great progress already has been
made for this $250,000 initiative, which
will end on December 31. There is just
$60,000 left to raise to name the space.
Please join fellow Auggies touched by
the Carlsons’ spirit of generosity and
belief in Augsburg. Send your gift,
marked “Jeroy Carlson Initiative,” to:
Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside
Avenue, CB 142, Minneapolis, MN
55454. For more information, contact
Kim Stone at email@example.com or
Make a difference at Augsburg—this and
every month—with Thoughtful Giving.
A Thoughtful Gift is a monthly
sustaining contribution, paid automatically
with a deduction from your checking
account, credit card, or debit card.
Your monthly gifts help provide a
steady, reliable income stream, allowing
Augsburg to focus more resources on
financial aid and student services.
Think about it—monthly donations
make it easy to budget—and it feels great
to know you are making a difference every
month of the year.
Visit augsburg.edu/giving to start your
monthly giving today.
If you have questions or want to
become a Thoughtful Giver through the
mail or by telephone, contact Margo
Abramson at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Thank you for keeping Augsburg strong
and thriving with your financial support.
I believe in Thoughtful Giving.
Sue and Larry Turner ’69 have made an
automatic monthly gift since 2013.
Buy a brick. Honor a legacy.
What started out as a group of first-year Auggies from
Washburn High School in Minneapolis commuting
to campus for classes led to friendships that have
transcended job relocations, marriages, losses of parents,
and births of grandchildren. Now those Auggies—dear
friends for nearly a half-century—are celebrating their
life-long relationships and Augsburg’s role in bringing
them together by buying a brick to support the College’s
new Norman and Evangeline Hagfors Center for Science,
Business, and Religion.
In the late 1960s, after spending a year commuting
to college, the friends decided to live on campus.
Although they put their names in the housing lottery,
they came up empty. The group learned from facilities
staff that there was a house on campus that needed
some fixing up and that, if the group was willing to do
the work, they could move in.
The group cleaned, painted, and got the house ready
to live in. John Hjelmeland ’70 and Paul Mikelson ’70
moved into the house in the fall of 1967.
By winter break, more Auggies moved into the house:
John Harden ’69 and Phil Walen ’70 from Washburn High
and Terry Nygaard ’70 from Columbia Heights.
The five roommates spent the remainder of their
time at Augsburg in the house located where the Charles
S. Anderson Music Hall now stands. While the friends
all pursued different fields of study, their friendship
remained as strong then as it does now.
After graduation, Mikelson married and left for a
U.S. Army position in Germany, and Hjelmeland and
Walen moved out of state. During that time, the group
started to circulate a handwritten chain letter as a way to
stay in touch. Each of the friends lived in a different city,
and the group kept the letter in circulation for 10 years.
Eventually, all five Auggies returned to the Twin
Cities and began to meet for monthly lunches. This past
September, Walen passed away, but the remaining four
friends continue to meet regularly.
“Augsburg was the place where we cemented our
friendship and kept it going all these years,” Mikelson said.
While Walen was still alive, the five former
roommates together bought a brick to commemorate
their camaraderie and Augsburg’s place in it. The brick,
which will be displayed as part of the new Hagfors
Center, will be inscribed, simply, “2207 S. 7th St.”
45 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP INSPIRES A BRICK
Top: Augsburg College alumni on their graduation day [L to R]: Phil Walen ’70, Paul
Mikelson ’70, John Hjelmeland ’70, John Harden ’69, and Terry Nygaard ’70.
Bottom: Four of the men continue to meet monthly for lunch.
THERE IS STILL TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN THE
CAMPAIGN FOR THE HAGFORS CENTER!
Buy a brick to honor a family member,
a teacher, a friendship, or a relationship
that defines Augsburg for you. Augsburg
will inscribe a brick with your name or the
name of someone you’d like to honor. Each
brick will be incorporated into the building of the Hagfors
Center, creating a lasting legacy for the future of Augsburg.
Foundation Brick (40 characters, 3 lines) = $250
Legacy Brick (80 characters, 6 lines) = $500
augsburg.edu/csbr | 612-330-1085
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
Einar Unseth ’51 marked his
90th birthday on June 29. After
farming with his father, Unseth served in the
occupation army in Japan. He then attended
Augsburg College and Luther Seminary. He
served as a missionary to Japan with the
American Lutheran Church (now ELCA), and
later pastored Lutheran churches in Iowa,
Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South
Dakota. Unseth and his wife, Luella, recently
moved to Lester Prairie, Minnesota. They
have six sons, 22 grandchildren, and seven
Dave Christensen ’52 and his
brother Duane Christensen ’53 meet
every morning to grab some coffee, buy copies
of the Bemidji Pioneer and the Minneapolis
Star Tribune, and catch up on the latest news.
This tradition began in 1990 when Dave moved
to Bemidji to retire. Dave taught school in
Atwater, Minnesota, for four years and served
in the U.S. Army before enrolling in Luther
Seminary in St. Paul. Before retirement, he was
a Lutheran minister at Adams, North Dakota;
Warren, Minnesota; and Pelican Rapids,
After Duane graduated from Augsburg,
he served in the U.S. Army and then began
a career in education as a band and choir
teacher in Danube, Minnesota. He earned
his master’s and specialist degrees at the
University of Minnesota, and then worked as a
school principal in several Minnesota districts.
Duane moved to Bemidji, Minnesota, in 1969
and started the Bemidji Regional Interdistrict
Council, an agency that provided special
education services to 18 area school districts.
He headed the council for 18 years before
retiring. In 1990, the brothers built Maple
Ridge Golf Course south of Bemidji.
Harvey Peterson ’52,
a former member of
the Augsburg College
Board of Regents and a
member of the Athletics
Hall of Fame, received
a Distinguished Alumni
Award at Homecoming
2015. He was recognized
for his distinct level of dedication, leadership,
and achievement over the span of his career.
He and his wife, Joanne (Varner) Peterson ’52,
are longtime, faithful supporters of the College.
He was the CEO of CATCO, a truck parts
supply company founded in 1949 by his father,
Art Peterson. He has given unselfishly to his
business and industry peers and associates,
mentoring and advising many along the way.
was recognized with a
Award at Augsburg’s
Homecoming in October,
which also hosted a
reunion for majors
in home economics.
Her award cited her entrepreneurial spirit,
great generosity in establishing numerous
scholarships, and longstanding commitment to
Habitat for Humanity and the Guadalupe Center
in Florida, where she lives with her husband,
Doug. This past spring, the couple received the
Spirit of Marco Island Award from a Rotary Club,
which honored them for embodying the spirit of
community through service.
Karen (Erickson) McCullough ’61
walked Hadrian’s Wall Path, a nearly
80-mile trek, across northern England from
Wallsend to Bowness-on-Solway.
recognized with a Spirit
of Augsburg Award at
Homecoming in October.
He has been manager of
the Augsburg Centennial
Singers since 2001. With
his wife, Carla (Quanbeck)
Walgren ’64, he lives out his vocation of being
called to service. In his work with the Centennial
Singers, professionally, and with his church,
he puts his gifts and talents in service of the
greater good—doing the difficult work with
full engagement and without hesitation. He
was recognized in 2001 with an Outstanding
Professional Fundraiser of the Year award
by the Minnesota chapter of the Association
of Fundraising Professionals. He is an active
member of Westwood Lutheran Church in
St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where he sings
in the choir.
Regent Emeritus Dan
Anderson ’65 was
recognized with a
Award at Augsburg’s
Homecoming in October,
which also honored the
1965 men’s basketball championship team
on which he played. Anderson in 1977 was
inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of
Fame for his accomplishments on the court,
including leading the basketball team to three
conference championships, setting records for
career points (2,052 points), and being named
conference player of the year three times.
Anderson is chairman of AdvisorNet Financial
in Minneapolis. He has served on the board
Glenn Thorpe ’60 hosted a celebration for his brother Gordon Thorpe ’52, ’55
to honor the 60th anniversary of Gordon’s graduation from Augsburg
Seminary and ordination at Trinity Lutheran Church, which was on June 12, 1955.
Gordon served in parishes for 41 years. At the celebration, Gordon was joined by his
classmates David Rokke ’52, Carl Vaagenes ’50, ’55, and Bill Halverson ’51. Also joining
them to celebrate were Augsburg seminarians Philip Quanbeck ’50, Allan Sortland ’53,
Morris Vaagenes ’54, Jim Almquist ’61, Paul Almquist ’62, and Thomas Moen ’62.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
of directors for charitable organizations, has
worked locally for Habitat for Humanity, and is
active in his church community.
Marilyn (Nielsen) Anderson ’65 treasures her
memories of Augsburg band trips to the West
Coast and the Augsburg Cantorians’ trips. She
taught K-12 choir, band, music, and orchestra
for 17 years and has written and published 25
children’s books. She taught writing courses
for the Institute of Children’s Literature for 20
years. Anderson also has trained and showed
dressage horses at international levels. If she
could thank anyone at Augsburg, it would be
James Johnson, her piano teacher, and Anne
Pederson, who taught English.
MaryAnn (Holland) Berg ’65 has had a life
filled with music. She taught elementary
music and piano for 20 years, and directed a
championship barbershop chorus in Fargo,
North Dakota, that took her to international
competitions in London, Minneapolis,
Philadelphia, Seattle, and St. Louis. She
currently sings with the Fargo Moorhead Choral
Artists, a group she’s been with for 28 years.
Her fondest memories of Augsburg include
choir tours (especially the Norway tour in 1965)
and serving as a student secretary for Leland
Sateren ’35. She and husband, Arvid Berg ’65,
cherish the memory of the Augsburg Choir
singing at their wedding on November 21, 1964.
Arvid has no doubt that Sateren inspired
him to become a choral director and to strive
for the highest performance standards he could
achieve. Arvid’s fondest Augsburg memories
are of Augsburg band and choir tours, including
a five-week tour with the choir to Norway,
Denmark, and Germany. Arvid spent 30 years
as head of the music department at Oak Grove
Lutheran High School in Fargo. He also had a
25-year military career, the last 19 years with the
188th Army Band of Fargo. His current interests
include fishing, hunting, traveling, music, and
If she could, Adrienne (Strand) Buboltz ’65
would thank the Rev. Waldemar Anderson ’37 for
encouraging her and three of her classmates
from North Dakota’s Portland High School
to attend Augsburg. She fondly remembers
serving on the freshman social committee,
decorating Christmas trees, watching high
school classmate Dan Anderson ’65 play
basketball, and meeting her future husband,
Larry Buboltz ’65, at Augsburg. She especially
enjoyed being instructed by Chemistry
Professor Courtland Agre and Leif Hansen,
her German teacher. Adrienne graduated
from Moorhead State University in 1974 and
became a Certified Public Accountant. She
worked in public accounting, was a corporate
controller, and taught at a vocational school.
She opened an insurance brokerage in 1991
after receiving her insurance and brokerage
licenses, and she retired in 2005. Larry keeps
busy as chair of Detroit Lakes Community
and Cultural Center in Minnesota. He serves
on a committee to bring a bike trail to the
community. He became a city councilman
in 1976, and served until he was elected
mayor from 1988 to 2008. He likes to
Sharon (Kunze) Erickson ’65 says she took an
interest in a certain physics lab assistant and
eventually married him—Ken Erickson ’62, now
retired from the Augsburg physics department.
The couple lives in Cambridge, Minnesota,
where Sharon taught first grade for 29 years.
Sharon volunteers at their church and at the
Cambridge Hospital when she isn’t spending
time with family and friends.
Helen (Friederichs) Griller ’65 has lived in
and enjoyed Arizona for the past 28 years,
but she has so many special memories of
George Johnson ’65 spent more than three
years in Pakistan teaching science students
who ranged from the undergraduate to the
doctoral levels. He and his wife, Leslye, both
hold doctorate degrees in biochemistry,
and, with support from the Bradley Hills
Presbyterian congregation in Bethesda,
Maryland, worked with Forman Christian
College University in Lahore, Pakistan. The
Johnsons view this school as an oasis of
tolerance, and they served people who are
Muslim and Christian, rich and poor, male and female. The Johnsons’ time in Pakistan
convinced them how valuable it is for students and alumni to visit other countries to
experience life and cultures. Before this teaching opportunity, George had a robust career
in research science, often working in drug discovery and development.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
exercise, travel, play bridge, attend school
sporting activities, and is active in Kiwanis.
At Augsburg, Larry participated in the debate
team and later coached debate at Detroit
Lakes High School. He also taught history
there until 1968. He joined Rural Minnesota
Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. and
became chairman in 2005. His high school
band instructor, David Skaar ’55, initially
encouraged him to attend Augsburg.
One of the fondest memories Keith Dyrud ’65,
holds from his time at Augsburg is his work
publishing the campus newspaper, The Voice.
Faculty who most influenced Keith were Carl
Chrislock ’37 and Khin Khin Jensen, faculty in
the history and political science department,
and William Halverson ’51 and Paul Sonnack ’42,
faculty in the religion department. Today, Keith
enjoys writing history, construction, Norwegian
studies, and outdoor activities. He lives with
wife, Grace, in Lauderdale, Minnesota. They
have six children and nine grandchildren.
growing up in Minnesota that she still thinks
of it as home. Treasured memories from her
Augsburg experience include good friends,
the International Associated Women Students
trip to Oklahoma, sporting activities, Sno Days,
and Freshman Days. Her current interests
and activities include four grandchildren, book
clubs, reading, traveling, the Scottsdale Garden
Club, and activities at her church.
Carmen Herrick ’65 passed the Certified Public
Accountant exam in 1989 and then worked
in public accounting. In addition to obtaining
a bachelor’s from Western State College of
Colorado, she attended the University of
Oslo and Elverum Folkehøgskule in Norway,
which afforded her the opportunity to travel
throughout Scandinavia. Among her favorite
Augsburg memories are living with 11 other
girls in Kappa House, and her wonderful
business education teacher. Current interests
include learning Norwegian, playing bridge,
lap swimming, and Silver Sneakers exercise
classes. She has six grandchildren.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
Don Hoseth ’65 returned to
Augsburg in 1971 to earn his
elementary teaching degree and taught for
32 years in the Robbinsdale, Minnesota,
School District. He has been retired for the
past 12 years and keeps busy with his 12
grandchildren. He is grateful for the influence
of numerous professors as well as longtime
coaches Edor Nelson ’38 and Ed Saugestad ’59.
Jan (Mattson) Johnson ’65 and husband,
Tom, live in Alexandria, Minnesota, and enjoy
seeing their five grandchildren when they
visit the Twin Cities. The Johnsons lived in
the Philippines for one year and in Maine for
another while Tom was in the U.S. Air Force.
As a student, Jan worked in Augsburg’s
Admissions office for Donovan Lundeen, who
had visited her home prior to her decision to
attend Augsburg. She relishes memories of
singing under the direction of Leland Sateren ’35
in the Augsburg Choir, and feels privileged
to have traveled to Norway, Denmark, and
Germany with the choir for five weeks after
graduating. Jan’s current interests include
choir, golfing, quilting, reading, and travel.
For Charles McCaughan ’65, Professor
Emeritus of History Donald Gustafson was the
faculty member who most influenced him
as a student. McCaughan lives in Bagley,
Dennis Morreim ’65 transferred to Augsburg
after three years at the University of Minnesota.
He remembers his advisor working to have all
of his credits accepted, and he went from being
a sophomore to a junior in one day. Morreim
met his wife, Jeanne (Wanner) Morreim ’66,
during orientation week. She was working in
The Grill. The couple has been married 50
years. Dennis earned his master’s degree in
divinity and a doctorate of ministry degree. He
served churches in Manitoba and Minnesota
for 38 years. During his time serving in Cloquet,
Minnesota, he went to Honduras 17 times and
helped to build eight schools in the Central
American country. He spends his time now
as a part-time chaplain at a local hospital and
nursing home in Cloquet. He also is chaplain of
the Minnesota State Senate.
Dwight Olson ’65 can still make a mean grilled
Spam sandwich and great Swedish pancakes,
but can’t lower his golf handicap. Olson lives
in San Diego with his wife of 50 years, Lois
(Monson) Olson ’68. He founded Data Securities
International and is listed in Wikipedia as the
“father of technology escrow.” He started
Gamma Phi Omega at Augsburg and says
that Phil Quanbeck, Sr. ’50, professor emeritus
of religion, was his most influential faculty
member. Dwight and Lois have two sons and
four grandchildren. He says that Lois agreed to
marry him the day before graduation so that his
family could afford to attend both events.
The Rev. Gary Olson ’65 and wife, Jean (Pfeifer)
Olson ’64, reside in Maplewood, Minnesota.
Gary spends his time in creative writing. He and
Jean attend many school events for their three
grandchildren. On occasion, he still preaches.
Gary’s memories from his time at Augsburg
include the day when he was walking to class
and walked past a sleeping male student
whose dorm mates put his bed, dresser, lamp,
and chair on the Quad lawn. Gary says that
Esther Olson, a theater and speech professor,
influenced him most as a student.
Pat (Steenson) Roback ’65 and her husband,
Jim Roback ’62, feel blessed to have chosen
Augsburg to get their teaching degrees and to
have been surrounded by students and staff
who got to know them and helped shape them
as they chose their future paths. The faculty
member who most influenced Pat was Martha
Mattson, an elementary education faculty
member. Pat recalls that, “She was an icon!
What a wealth of information she was, and
[she] knew so much about the world because
she traveled and lived in many faraway
places. She even had a few of us over to her
apartment once to teach us tatting. She was
very good at it, and we were not.” Pat thanks
all of the 1965 reunion committee members
for their dedication, ideas, time, and hard work
to make plans for Homecoming.
Larry Scholla ’65 and Muriel (Berg) Scholla ’67
live in Willmar, Minnesota, and winter in Naples,
Florida, where they enjoy the beaches of Marco
and Naples, as well as several biking trails.
They have five grandchildren. Larry volunteers
at Kandiyohi County Historical Society in
Willmar, and enjoys doing carpentry and general
maintenance. He treasures the memory of being
part of the football and baseball teams, and is
grateful for the influence of Ed Saugestad ’59,
who taught a kinesiology class.
Augsburg College alumni and a current student
jumped aboard “The Hoopla Train with Yard Master
Yip and his Polkastra” at multiple stops of the show’s
Minnesota-based summer tour, which included
performances in communities ranging from St. Cloud
to New Ulm. The Auggies sang, danced, and acted in
a Vaudeville-style production, using techniques honed
on the stages of Augsburg College.
Described as “Lawrence Welk meets Hee
Haw,” the production was produced by Sod House
Theater and spearheaded by actor and director
Darcey Engen ’88, chair of Augsburg’s Theater
Arts Department, and Luverne Seifert ’83, actor
and senior teaching specialist at the University of
The original show featured “acts performed by
a touring cast with appearances by several Augsburg
alumni friends along the way,” according to Engen.
“We were thrilled to be performing with Auggies in
historic ballrooms and other venues across Minnesota
where live music and dancing originated and many of
our parents fell in love.”
Engen and Seifert secured four Augsburg theater
alumni and one current student to perform, including
Lisa (Pestka) Anderson ’86, David Deblieck ’88, Kari
(Eklund) Logan ’82, Deb Pearson ’83, and Riley
Parham ’18. Another Augsburg alumnus, Justin
Caron ’13, assisted with costumes.
For the alumni, participating in “The Hoopla
Train” offered an opportunity to reconnect with
longtime friends and to recall past Augsburg theater
“Some of my happiest memories were made on
the stage at Augsburg,” said Logan. “It was wonderful
to be back together with some of the people who
played a role in making them.”
Photo credit: John Grones
Augsburg alumni collaborate on touring theater production
Darcey Engen ’88 and Luverne Seifert ’83
perform as Aunt Woo and Uncle Yahoo.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
The Rev. Clayton Skurdahl ’65 spent 40 years in
ministry, primarily in Colorado and Nebraska.
His current interests include jogging/walking,
gardening, traveling, and serving as a visitation
pastor. He treasures his memories of Augsburg
chapel times and says he was most influenced
by Mario Colacci, a faculty member in the
Department of New Testament Greek and
Latin. Skurdahl also would like to thank Joel
Torstenson, professor emeritus of sociology.
After David Swenson ’65 completed a
master’s degree in physics at the University
of Minnesota, he was hired by Honeywell
Aerospace where he went on to meet his
wife, Bonny. He spent seven years building
and operating a space simulation chamber
for testing radiometers that flew on satellites.
In 1974, he left engineering and moved to
Colorado where he partnered with Bonny’s
father to run a bicycle store, which they owned
for decades. Among his favorite memories at
Augsburg are influential professors, Concert
Band, the Basin Streeters Dixieland band,
basketball, tennis, physics experiments, and
times spent with good friends. He and Bonny
live in Longmont, Colorado, and David still
works part time in the bicycle shop he once
owned. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling,
hiking, travel, and music.
Loren Wiger ’65 is in his fifth decade of
teaching science. Most of his years were
at Marshall Middle School in Marshall,
Minnesota. He currently teaches at Southwest
Minnesota State University, where he works
with teacher candidates and teaches science
methods courses. He has many treasured
memories from his time at Augsburg including
dorm life, where Dan “Big Dan” Anderson ’65
was the model student-athlete. Wiger says
he used the phone quite often to visit with
his future wife, Ruth, who was becoming a
registered nurse at Deaconess Hospital.
The Rev. Mark Hanson ’68 this
fall served as Augsburg College’s
Special Assistant to the President for Mission
and Identity, helping facilitate on-campus
conversations regarding the ways in which
the College’s Lutheran Christian heritage
and identity remain relevant to its academic
mission and activities. This spring, Hanson will
become the executive director of the College’s
Bernhard Christensen Center for Vocation,
working to ensure that the center fully
embraces its commitment to the theological
concept of vocation.
was inducted into the
Hall of Fame for his
accomplishments as a
thrower on the men’s
track and field team. His
50’ 9” outdoor shot put
throw from 1972 remains a school record.
Bakken also played football while at Augsburg.
wrestling coach Scot
Davis ’74 was inducted
into the Augsburg
Athletic Hall of Fame
this year in recognition
of his collegiate wrestling
career. He earned AllAmerican honors in 1973 for his sixth-place
finish at the NAIA National Championships,
among other accolades.
Family ties to Augsburg’s history abound for
Deborah (Fredrickson) Crawley ’76. See page 18.
of Fame inductee Paul
Meissner ’78 is one of
the top players in the
history of Augsburg men’s
basketball. He is one of
only 18 players to score
more than 1,000 career
points and remains a top 5 rebounder with
more than 725 career rebounds. He also holds
the school record for games played, with 114.
Bonnie (Lamon) Moren ’78, wife of Jonathan
Moren ’78, retired in June after 37 years of
teaching developmental adapted physical
education to students with special needs in
Bloomington, Minnesota, Public Schools.
David Raether ’78 recently gave a TED Talk at
TEDxAmherst on the campus of the University
of Massachusetts Amherst. Raether’s talk was
based on his experience of homelessness after a
successful career as an award-winning television
comedy writer. The talk was derived from a
widely praised essay he wrote called “What It’s
Like to Fail” that was awarded Best Nonfiction
of 2013 by Longform.org and cited as one of the
best pieces of journalism in 2013 by The Atlantic
magazine. The essay also was featured in the
Times of London Sunday magazine. Raether lives
and works in Berkeley, California.
As of July 1, Scott Ludford ’82 is
the senior pastor of Zion Lutheran
Church in Shawano, Wisconsin.
basketball star Barb
Blomberg ’87 was
inducted into the
Augsburg Athletic Hall
of Fame. She holds the
fifth-highest career points
total in program history
with 1,023 points. Blomberg served as team
captain in both basketball and volleyball.
Paul Rensted ’87 was appointed Charles
County, Maryland’s director of human
resources in August. Rensted has experience
in all aspects of human resources management
and conflict resolution and previously served
as the director of human resources for the
city of Annapolis. Rensted is certified with
the International Personnel Management
Association for Human Resources. His other
professional affiliations include the U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights State Advisory
Committee; County Conflict Resolution Center
Board of Directors; Baltimore Community Center
Board of Directors; Public Interest Organization
Governing Board; and Advocates for Herring
Bay. He received his undergraduate degree in
international relations and East Asian studies,
and a master’s degree in political science from
the University of British Columbia.
Excellence in Coaching
Award in recognition of
his impressive career as
a high school football
coach. He won three
Minnesota State 5A
Championships and has been selected as class
5A “Coach of the Year” multiple times. He has
coached several players who have gone on to
After serving for four years as the assistant
principal of Robbinsdale Armstrong High
School in Plymouth, Minnesota, Brenda
(Bauerly) Damiani ’88 joined Cambridge-Isanti
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
High School in Cambridge, Minnesota, as
its new principal. She obtained a special
education emotional behavioral disability
license from the University of Minnesota
in Minneapolis and a master’s degree in
curriculum and instruction and multicultural
education from the University of St. Thomas
in St. Paul. Damiani continued her education,
earning a K-12 administrative license from
Hamline University in St. Paul. She is pursuing
a doctorate in educational leadership from
Bethel University in St. Paul.
After 24 years in the Pacific Northwest, Dan
Wright ’88 has moved back to Minneapolis with
his wife, Kristen Haglund, and their sons Johan
and Bjorn. Wright works from home as senior
applications engineer at Nike.
In April 2015, Terri Burnor ’92
received her master’s degree in
divinity with a concentration in women’s studies
from United Theological Seminary of the Twin
Cities. In September, she began a 10-month
ministerial internship at First Unitarian
Universalist Church in Portland, Oregon.
Mike Pfeffer ’92 was
inducted into the
Augsburg Athletic Hall
of Fame in recognition
of his outstanding career
as a lightweight wrestler.
In 1992, he earned both
MIAC Champion and AllAmerican honors and was
selected as Augsburg’s Men’s Honor Athlete.
He also was the captain of the 1992 team.
Sharol (Dascher) Tyra ’92, a professional certified
in Life Illumination Coaching and the 2015
President of the ICF Minnesota Charter Chapter
of the International Coach Federation, was a
semi-finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year by
the TwinWest (Plymouth, Minnesota) Chamber
of Commerce 2015 Small Business Awards.
Candidates were selected on the basis of a
number of factors, including their business
vision, community service, drive, and risk-taking.
David Boie ’95 has been named athletic director at Richfield High School
in Richfield, Minnesota. Boie spent 18 years
teaching physics and chemistry at the school and
13 seasons as its head baseball coach.
Jeff Kaeppe ’95 received
recognition for his
Augsburg football career
with an induction into the
Augsburg Athletic Hall of
Fame. Kaeppe was a twotime team MVP and holds
the school record for the
longest reception, a 90yard catch against St. Olaf College in 1992.
Former men’s hockey
player Peter Rutili ’95
was inducted into the
Augsburg Athletic Hall of
Fame. Rutili earned MIAC
All-Conference honors in
1994 and 1995. He also
was selected twice as the
team MVP and received a
Rookie of the Year honor.
had an outstanding
pitching career on the
Auggie softball team, an
earned her induction into
the Augsburg Athletic
Hall of Fame. She holds
career records for both games and innings
pitched. She remains in the top 5 for career
wins, strikeouts, shutouts, and fewest walks.
Retired alumna Terry Marquardt ’98 worked
as a temp in the Alumni, Family and
Constituent Relations department leading up
to Homecoming 2015. She retired from 3M in
2008 after 34 years of service. She and her
husband, Gary Donahue, divide their time
between homes in Minnesota and Arizona.
Jennifer Chou ’99 shares her love of wine on
Christopher McLeod ’00 has joined
Connexions Loyalty Travel Solutions
in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, as a technology
The Rev. Sara Quigley Brown ’00 was ordained in 2008 and has switched denominational affiliation from the ELCA to Lutheran
Congregations in Mission for Christ, where she
is serving as ordained and open to a call. She
resides with her husband, Russell Brown, in
Anchorage, Alaska. She works as a chaplain
with the Alaska Police and Fire Ministries.
Interim Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, City Manager
Michael Sable ’00 is returning to Hennepin
County to work as the director of facility
services. Sable worked in the northern Twin
Cities suburb for six years and spent most of
his tenure as assistant city manager. In addition
to the 24-story Government Center downtown,
the facilities director oversees personnel
matters and operations at numerous facilities
countywide. Sable received an MBA from the
University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He and his
wife live in Minneapolis with their children.
“Babylon the Great has Fallen,”
a book by Franchel Patton ’04,
was published in March 2014. In the story,
President Obama and newly elected President
Hillary Clinton meet God face-to-face in this
fast-paced, present-day depiction of Revelations
and current events.
Wubitu Ayana Sima ’89, ’15 MBA is the owner of Lady Elegant’s Tea Shoppe, a British tea room and
store in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood. Raised in western Ethiopia, Ayana Sima came
to the United States to study in the mid-1980s, along with her two young sons. Since graduating,
Ayana Sima has worked with the United Nations in Congo, Malawi, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe,
and for the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa. Back in the U.S. again, something
was missing in her life without school, and she enrolled in Augsburg’s MBA program. Her
husband, Admasu Simeso, helps her manage the tea room.
From the NOW@Augsburg blog.
Visit augsburg.edu/alumni/blog to read more.
Since graduating from Augsburg, Andrea
(Ladda) Brown ’05 attended law school
at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and
graduated in 2009. She works as an assistant public
defender in Ramsey County and offices out of the
Second Judicial District. She was most influenced by
James Vela-McConnell, professor of sociology, and his
course titled Race, Class, and Gender. She says she
uses many of the basic principles from this class in
her daily arguments to the court. She would also like
to thank Garry Hesser, professor emeritus of sociology,
Diane Pike, professor of sociology, and Tim Pippert,
associate professor of sociology.
Denise Fossen ’05 remembers singing in Masterworks
Chorale and performing at Advent Vespers as two
cherished memories from her time at Augsburg. She is
most proud of receiving a master’s degree from Luther
Seminary in St. Paul and becoming a grandmother for
the first time. She would like to thank David Lapakko,
associate professor of communication studies, and
Peter Hendrickson ’76, associate professor of music,
for their influences on her during her time at Augsburg.
She’s also grateful for her classmates’ participation
in discussions before, during, and after class. Since
September 22, she has served as pastor at Christ
Lutheran in Hendricks, Minnesota.
Keme Hawkins ’05 was recognized
with a First Decade Award at
Augsburg’s Homecoming in
October. She is a freelance writer,
independent scholar, and yogi
living in Atlanta. She received her
master’s degree from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison and her
doctorate in English at Emory
University in Atlanta. Studying and practicing various
forms of divination and energy work continues to be
a lifelong mission for her. Hawkins has completed her
first screenplay, based on the lives of her parents; she is
pitching the writing to producers.
Erica Huls ’01 visited Minneapolis-St. Paul for a few days in
July and had a mini-reunion with some of her closest friends
and former classmates who live in Minnesota. Auggies included: Huls, Amy
Carlson ’02, Merry-Ellen (Krcil) Bryers ’01, Ann (Peterson) Fisher ’01, Jason
Bryan-Wegner ’01, Erica Bryan-Wegner ’01, and Katie Koch ’01.
Kristen Opalinski ’03
traveled to Turkey
this summer on behalf of the
Philadelphia-based Peace Islands
Institute, a peacebuilding think
tank founded in the Turkish Islamic
tradition of Hizmet or “service.”
Opalinski provided media support
while conducting research on Sufism
and feminism in relation to the 21st
century Muslim world. After serving
the ELCA in South Africa for 4 1/2
years, she’s now in her final year of
studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. She hopes to
return to international peacemaking or social justice work.
Ishmael Israel ’05 is focused on community development.
Israel left his position as executive director of the Northside
Residents Redevelopment Council in April, and he now
leads the Umoja Community Development Corporation.
Those who influenced Sarah Lahr ’05 most at Augsburg
were Curt Paulsen, professor emeritus of social work;
her advisor Nancy Rodenborg, associate professor of
social work; and Michael Schock, associate professor of
social work. She also fondly remembers Merilee Klemp,
associate professor of music, and Registrar’s Office
staff members Wayne Kallestad and Linda and Toshimi
Smith, who offered a positive work-study experience.
She would most like to thank Paulsen for encouraging
her to continue with a difficult internship because
she still uses that experience to push herself through
difficult tasks to promote growth. Lahr works full time at
In August, five Auggies were among a team of 12 who ran 200
miles in less than 30 hours as part of the Ragnar Relay Series from
Winona, Minnesota, to Minneapolis. Auggies included: Dan Vogel ’05, Clint
Agar ’05, Paul Sanft ’05, Riley Conway ’05, and Andrea (Carlson) Conway ’05.
ALUMNI CLASS NOTES
the Wilder Foundation Caregiver
Services Program as a care
coordinator and part time as a
social worker at United Hospital.
Lucas Olson-Patterson ’05 helped
to establish the Minneapolis
Future Academic Ballers
program in 2009 through the
Neighborhood Youth Academy, a
nonprofit organization that focuses
on fostering achievement parity for
underserved youth. The program
combines academics and athletics
through unique strategies to
arm student athletes with the
tools needed to succeed beyond
the basketball court. After an
outstanding career at Robbinsdale
Cooper High School in New Hope,
Minnesota, Olson-Patterson went
on to average 22 points per game
at Augsburg from 2003-05 and
was one of the top Division III
players in the country.
Faith (Durham) Perry ’05 says her
most treasured memories from her
Augsburg days are all the girls on
seventh floor in Urness and trips
to the bogs on Saturday mornings
with Bill Capman, associate
professor of biology. She was most
influenced by faculty members
Joan Kunz, associate professor of
chemistry, and Dale Pederson ’70,
associate professor of biology.
Perry received a master’s degree
in agricultural education and
a certificate in sustainable
community development. She
works at General Mills as a
sustainability analyst. She is
married with two boys: Henry, 5,
and Elliot, 3.
Anna (Ferguson) Rendell ’05
is most proud of having her
children, becoming a contributing
author at incourage.me, being a
mainstage speaker at the 2014
ELCA Extravaganza, and writing
her first book titled, “A moment
of Christmas: Daily devotions for
the timestrapped mom.” Her
treasured memories of Augsburg
include being a resident assistant
in Urness Hall her senior year,
late nights with housemates
in Anderson, FCA leadership
meetings, the Norway band tour,
working in the President’s Office
for several years, and performing
with the dance team at football
games held in the Metrodome.
Faculty members who influenced
Rendell most were Bob Stacke ’71,
professor emeritus of music, who
she said always had faith in her
and believed in her abilities and
gifts, and Mark Tranvik, professor
of religion, who poured himself
into his students, making sure
they were prepared for their real
Anna Warnes ’05 is a nurse
practitioner at Crete Area Medical
Center in Crete, Nebraska. Her
fondest memories from her time at
Augsburg include Advent Vespers,
working in Admissions, and—of
course—her lifelong friendships.
The faculty member who was
most influential to Warnes was
Kathy Swanson, professor of
English. She would like to thank
Bob Cowgill, associate professor
of English, for encouraging her
to be passionate in her work and
life. Warnes and husband, Nathan
Erickson, have two children:
Gustav, 5, and Knut, 2.
Laya Theberge ’06 and
her husband, Shomari
O’Connor, welcomed a daughter,
Nefertiti, in August. She joins sister
Hatshepsut, 4, at home.
The National Institute
of Health recently
published research conducted by
Amanda (Symmes) Mofsen ’11, a
former participant in Augsburg’s
McNair Scholars Program. Mofsen
joined the McNair program in
2010 and conducted research
under the mentorship of Ken
Winters, a psychiatry faculty
member at the University of
Minnesota. Mofsen’s work
examined the association between
Disorder and nicotine use among
adolescents and young adults.
Tom Wescott ’11 and his wife, Emily
(Nelson) Wescott ’12, recently
moved to Devils Lake, North
Dakota, where Tom was called
to serve Our Savior’s Lutheran
Church. Additionally, Tom and Nate
Luong ’11 wrote an article for Word
and World Theological Journal
titled, “Coaching as a Model for
A research paper by
Assistant Professor of Biology
Matt Beckman and alumni
Enrico Barrozo ’14 and David
Fowler ’14 has been accepted
for publication in Pharmacology,
Biochemistry and Behavior.
The paper is titled “Exposure
to D2-like Dopamine Receptor
Agonists Inhibits Swimming
in Daphnia Magna.” The
paper captured findings from
the research team’s work
during summer sessions and
academic year terms, which was
supported by Augsburg’s McNair
Scholars Program and Office of
Undergraduate Research and
Graduate Opportunity. This is
the first study that definitively
identified a neurotransmitter
receptor signaling pathway
involved in Daphnia swimming
and will help to establish Daphnia
as a model organism in which to
study movement disorders such
as Parkinson’s Disease. Today,
Barrozo is studying genetics
in a doctoral program at the
University of Florida, and Fowler
works as a medical scribe in the
Twin Cities while applying for
medical school admission.
Nakisha Davis ’14 has accepted
a position with UCare as a
transportation specialist. She
hopes to attend graduate school in
the next few years.
Chad Johnson ’14, a two-time
NCAA Division III national
champion wrestler during his
Augsburg career, placed second in
the 125-kilogram (275.5-pound)
weight class in the freestyle
division at the USA Wrestling 2015
ASICS UWW University Nationals,
held in June at the University of
Akron. Johnson competed for
the Minnesota Storm wrestling
club. As a collegiate wrestler
for the Auggies, Johnson was a
four-time All-American, winning
national titles in 2012 and 2013 at
heavyweight, while finishing third
in 2014 and seventh in 2011.
Johnson completed his first year
as an Augsburg assistant coach
in 2014-15, helping to guide
the Auggies to their record-12th
NCAA Division III team national
Lauren Windhorst ’14 is working
as a life enrichment assistant at
an assisted living facility in Eagan,
David Langemo ’15
would like to thank
Frankie Shackelford, professor
emerita of languages and crosscultural studies, for teaching
him to speak Norwegian and
Kevin Healy, former director
of advancement services and
prospect management, for
allowing him to take the class.
Langemo is very proud of this
accomplishment. He works as an
advancement systems specialist
in the Institutional Advancement
office at Augsburg. He and
husband, Drew Schmidt, enjoy
their pets Archie, Mali, Reggie,
Stuart, and Trudy.
Tracy Keizer ’07 MPA is a physician
assistant at an inpatient psychiatric
intensive care unit at Regions
Hospital in St. Paul. She also
teaches Augsburg PA students
as a guest lecturer during their
didactic phase and as a preceptor
during their clinical phases. Having
emerged as a leader in the PA
profession in Minnesota, she has
testified at the State Capitol on a
bill to increase access to outpatient
mental health services. She was
honored with the Presidential
Award given by the Minnesota
Academy of Physician Assistants.
In 1998, Doris Acton ’10 MAN moved
to Minnesota after completing a parish
nurse training program through Concordia
University. As a parish nurse, also known
as a faith community nurse, she works at
the 750-member Normandale Hylands
Methodist Church in Bloomington,
Minnesota. She has been a camp nurse on
mission trips, and her mission work in 2004
took her to Sierra Leone, where she later
helped start a clinic in collaboration with the
Africa Uplifted organization.
Casey Morris ’10 MPA is a board certified
physician assistant in an urgent care
center at Fairview Range Medical Center
in Hibbing, Minnesota. Growing up in Ely,
another city in Minnesota’s Iron Range,
Morris developed a lifelong passion for
the outdoors, particularly wilderness and
remote medicine. She is a wilderness first
responder and is certified by Advanced
Wilderness Life Support. She is excited to
now live closer to her hometown.
Michael Grewe ’12 MSW, Augsburg’s
director of LGBTQIA Support Services
and assistant director of Campus
Activities and Orientation, delivered
a presentation titled, “Supporting
Transgender Communities,” at a
National Association of Social Workers
Minnesota Chapter conference.
System-Northland in Barron, Wisconsin,
as a physician assistant. Homann
previously worked as a nuclear medicine
technologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
Terrence Keller ’15 MPA joined Lake
Region Healthcare in its urology
department. Keller has a bachelor’s
degree in athletic training and exercise
science from Minnesota State UniversityMoorhead. He previously worked for Lake
Region Healthcare as an athletic trainer
and held athletic trainer positions at
Augsburg College, Twin Cities Orthopedics,
and Sanford Health.
Graduate student editors Ashley
Cardona ’15 MFA; Kevin Matuseski ’16 MFA;
and Amanda Symes ’09, ’16 MFA helped
publish the first book by Augsburg College’s
Howling Bird Press. The press, housed in
Augsburg’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative
Writing program, chose Marci Vogel’s
manuscript, “At the Border of Wilshire
& Nobody,” as the winner of the 2015
Howling Bird Press poetry prize.
Dr. Amit Ghosh ’13 MBA, a Mayo Clinic
physician, submitted a research study
paper for publication with Augsburg
College co-authors and faculty members
Dave Conrad, associate professor of
business, and Marc Isaacson, assistant
professor of business. The paper,
“Employee Motivation Factors: A
Comparative Study of the Perceptions
between Physicians and Physician
Leaders,” was accepted for publication in
the International Journal of Leadership in
of Physics Mark
honored with a Spirit
of Augsburg Award
years as an active
innovative courses, pioneering research
on Earth’s space environment, and
mentorship of nearly 100 undergraduate
Meghan Peyton ’14 MAL, who served as
interim head coach for the Augsburg
College men’s and women’s cross-country
teams in 2014, has assumed head
coaching duties on a permanent basis.
Peyton has been a part of the Augsburg
cross-country and track and field
coaching staffs since 2010, and she will
continue serving as an assistant coach for
the track and field teams.
Tom Witschen was
Award at this year’s
for his nearly 20
as the “Voice of
the Auggies,” broadcasting Augsburg
baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and
volleyball over the air and online.
Karlie Homann ’15 MPA joined the family
medicine team at Mayo Clinic Health
Marradino ’05 fondly
in the Augsburg Choir,
services, being a
singing at a few
touring Seattle with the
orchestra, performing at
her voice recital and the recitals of many close friends,
and celebrating graduation day. She would like to thank
the students and professors who walked through all the
tough courses with her. “We did this together, and it was
a pleasure getting to know all of you and building four
years of personal development with you. Your talents,
passions, and spirits filled me and helped me grow as
an individual and ultimately a working professional.
Thank you!” Marradino said. “Auggies: Don’t forget
where you’ve come from. Allow your past experiences
(including your Augsburg degree) to shape your future.
God bless you all.”
Congratulations to Molly (Ehling) Conover ’10
and Ted Conover ’11 on their July wedding.
[L to R]: Hannah Ehling ’15, Becky Ehling, Ted, Molly,
Tim Ehling, and Abbey Ehling ’12.
has been selected to serve
as a Fulbright English
Teaching Assistant in South
Korea for the 2015-16
academic year. Fulbright
receives thousands of
applications each year, and
Kuramoto was selected
by both U.S. and South
Korean committees. In
her time outside of the
classroom, Kuramoto plans to create English talking
circles like those she participated in at the local Jane
Addams School for Democracy as an Augsburg College
Bonner Leader. She also hopes to use her experience as
an Auggie soccer player to connect with students and
peers who also enjoy the sport.
Alice M. (Norby) Digre ’40, St.
Paul, age 98, on July 5.
Florence L. (Borstad) Hiepler ’42,
Camarillo, California, age 94,
on August 21.
LaVonne P. (Peterson) Volz ’44,
Blue Earth, Minnesota, age 93,
on August 14.
Clara L. (Gudim) Jacobson ’45,
Fairbury, Nebraska, age 92, on
Marvin B. Johnson ’49, North
Branch, Minnesota, age 88, on
Maynard H. Kragthorpe ’49,
Quilcene, Washington, age 92,
on April 26.
Donna M. (Tjornhom) Tverberg ’49,
Ottertail, Minnesota, age 88,
on July 20.
George Capetz ’50, Minneapolis,
age 91, on May 30.
Stephen L. Engelstad ’51,
St. Ansgar, Iowa, age 95,
on July 23.
Arden G. Wahlberg ’58, Mounds
View, Minnesota, age 80, on
Ann L. (Holmberg) Wilson ’80,
Bronx, New York, age 57, on
Daniel W. Pearson ’51,
Minneapolis, age 86, on
Kermit L. Kvamme ’60, Fergus
Falls, Minnesota, age 77, on
John C. Nichols ’82,
Minneapolis, age 55,
on April 28.
Morris “Moe” M. Johnson ’52,
St. Paul, age 86, on June 2.
Larry F. Torgerson ’60, O’Fallon,
Missouri, age 76, on June 2
Joyce K. Cleland ’86, Livingston,
Montana, age 65, on July 19.
Kenneth A. Kotval ’52, Morgan,
Minnesota, age 85, on August 4.
Russell A. Dudero ’61, Oakdale,
Minnesota, age 77, on
December 24, 2014.
Tammy L. Schmitt ’92,
Minneapolis, age 45, June 2.
Roger M. Nelson ’52, Albert
Lea, Minnesota, age 84, on
LaVon F. (Moderow) Belanger ’53,
Elk River, Minnesota, age 84,
on May 22.
Donald J. Bennethum ’53,
Columbia Heights, Minnesota,
age 87, on May 22.
Robert W. Jakobitz ’53, Stewart,
Minnesota, age 83, on August 7.
Donald L. Hoplin ’50, Glenwood,
Minnesota, age 93, on August 4.
Corinne L. (Rethwill) Tiegs ’53,
Ortonville, Minnesota, age 83,
on June 6.
Roger “Bud” K. Leak ’50,
Excelsior, Minnesota, age 88,
on August 1.
Thomas “Tom” I. Benson ’56,
Bella Vista, Arkansas, age 81,
on May 16.
Gordon J. Oberg ’50, Bemidji,
Minnesota, age 89, on June 2.
J. Sherman Boraas ’56, Waconia,
Minnesota, age 86, on May 14.
Marion R. Roe ’50, Plymouth,
Minnesota, age 91, on July 13.
Joanne M. (Luttmann) Gulla ’57,
Portland, Oregon, age 79, on
Helen E. (Green) Seline ’50,
Appleton, Wisconsin, age 87,
on August 28.
L. Dwayne Thorson ’50,
Smethport, Pennsylvania, age
91, on May 17.
Sara “Sally” A. Duhrkopf ’61,
Waterloo, Iowa, age 77, on
Jeanette C. (Steiger) Nichols ’61,
Roscoe, Illinois, age 76, on
Ronald G. Moritz ’63,
Estherville, Iowa, age 78, on
Diane E. (Foshaug) Krogen ’65,
Sherwood Park, Alberta,
Canada, age 73, on May 10.
Lois M. Kalmoe ’70,
Minneapolis, age 85, on
Robert “Bob” E. Kanne ’71, Lake
Elmo, Minnesota, age 67, on
October 4, 2014.
Carla M. (Beyer) Viseth ’71,
Fargo, North Dakota, age 64,
on June 9.
John S. Ryden ’57, Hopkins,
Minnesota, age 85, on August 1.
JoAnn (Berg) Bablitch ’73,
Minneapolis, age 65, on
Janice Y. (Johnson) Joul ’58,
Jackson, Minnesota, age 79,
on June 29.
Geri (Mills) Bjork ’77, St. Paul,
age 60, on July 17.
Jennine “Jeni” O. (Hugo) Heid ’93,
Elk River, Minnesota, age 49,
on July 5.
Estellene A. (St. John) Zephier ’93,
Wagner, South Dakota, age 56,
on May 21.
Mary L. (Oliva) Asche ’95, Circle
Pines, Minnesota, age 61, on
Linda “Lin” J. Faddler ’96,
Oakdale, Minnesota, age 65,
on July 18.
Nicholas “Nick” L. White ’09,
Stillwater, Minnesota, age 33,
on June 8.
Gregory A. Chubb ’10, Hopkins,
Minnesota, age 35, on June 30.
Louis C. Branca ’15 MFA,
Minneapolis, age 81, on
Abdulkadir Farah ’16 MAE,
Minneapolis, age 58, on June 4.
The “In memoriam” listings
in this publication include
notifications received before
Connie, Michelle ’15, Lauren ’12, and
Lyle Grafelman at Commencement 2015.
One More Reason to
PASS DOWN THE
Discounted Tuition with the Augsburg Legacy Scholarship
The Augsburg Legacy Scholarship recognizes traditional undergraduate students
who are children or spouses of Augsburg graduates, siblings of current Augsburg
students, and children or spouses of current Lutheran pastors. Legacy students
enrolling for the fall 2016 term receive a minimum award of $13,000 per year
upon admission to the College.
2211 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Twin Cities, MN
Permit No. 2031
An extraordinary welcome for an unprecedented incoming class
Following tradition, the 2015-16 academic year kicked off with an Opening Convocation celebration where the Augsburg College
community greeted incoming students and introduced them to facets of their new Auggie identity. A record 478 first-year, traditional
undergraduate students arrived on campus this fall, and a talk by Associate Professor of Chemistry Joan Kunz highlighted “The five
essential elements of an Augsburg education” with both flair and flare. Kunz is the most recent recipient of the College’s Excellence
in Teaching award.