VOL. 72, NO. 3
of Augsburg College
StepUP program Environmental literature
10 reasons to come back Coach Mark Matzek
2010 Exploring Our Gifts
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VOL. 72, NO. 3
of Augsburg College
StepUP program Environmental literature
10 reasons to come back Coach Mark Matzek
2010 Exploring Our Gifts
from President Pribbenow
Kathy Rumpza ’05 MAL
Wendi Wheeler ’06
A new mission statement and Commission Augsburg
Jen Nagorski ’08
ver the past two years, the Augsburg community has been engaged in a lively and rich conversation about our character and identity.
Augsburg last modified its mission statement nearly
20 years ago, and although much that defines
Augsburg’s distinctive identity as a college of the
church in the city has remained constant, there also
have been some remarkable changes. The expansion
of nontraditional undergraduate programs, several
new graduate programs, campus sites in Rochester
and Bloomington, significant work around the world,
and continuing initiatives to meet the needs of diverse students have combined to make Augsburg a
more complex and, I would argue in addition, a more
innovative and faithful college.
Given the reality of Augsburg’s current missionbased work, the College community explored together
how we might state our mission in such a way as to
affirm our abiding values and commitments, while
also to articulate how the College’s circle of influence
and impact has expanded. The result of those explorations is a wonderfully nuanced and meaningful new
mission statement, enthusiastically adopted by the
Board of Regents at its spring 2010 meeting.
Augsburg College educates students to be informed
citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. The new mission statement begins
with a bold claim of our aspirations for our students
as we send them out to live their callings in the
world. As citizens, stewards, thinkers, and leaders,
Augsburg graduates bring their education and experience to bear in all aspects of their lives and work.
The Augsburg experience is supported by an engaged community, committed to intentional diversity in
its life and work. This important statement of our selfunderstanding is an explicit reference to our values as
a participatory community—very much in line with our
Lutheran Free Church heritage—dedicated to the
common work of educating all of our students. At the
same time, we reaffirm our abiding sense of the im-
portance of intentional diversity—diversity of experience, background, and thought—that is supported by
our theological, academic, and civic legacies.
An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in
the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the
faith and values of the Lutheran Church, and shaped by
our urban and global settings. This closing sentence
lifts up our core values: excellence across all academic programs, the particular gifts of our Lutheran
faith, and the central role that our place in the world
plays in the education we offer.
The circle has been widened to reflect how
Augsburg embraces its distinctive role in higher education. I could not be more pleased with the participation of the entire community in crafting this new
As we move into the next academic year, I am excited to announce an opportunity for all Augsburg
alumni and friends to learn more about how our mission sets in place a clear map for our future. Beginning this fall, we will launch Commission Augsburg, a
series of conversations that bring together those
across the country who care about Augsburg to explore three strategic pathways for Augsburg’s work in
the years ahead:
(1) We will create and sustain a culture of
innovation and excellence.
Opinions expressed in Augsburg Now
do not necessarily reflect official
(2) We will help all of our students to succeed.
Director of News and
Sports Information Director
Assistant Vice President of
Marketing and Communication
Director of Alumni and
Augsburg Now is published by
2211 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(3) We will tell Augsburg’s story in word and deed.
Please watch for opportunities to gather and to
learn more about the key initiatives the Augsburg
community intends to pursue in order to live out its
mission and to honor its distinctive saga as a college of the Lutheran Church. Your perspectives will
help shape Augsburg’s future.
Send address corrections to:
2211 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
PAUL C. PRIBBENOW, PRESIDENT
A step in the right direction
by Wendi Wheeler ’06
10 reasons to come back to campus
by Jeff Shelman
Learning from the environment
by Wendi Wheeler ’06
Nine years on the mats
by Jeff Shelman
by Wendi Wheeler ’06
On the cover
Tessa Flynn ’05, community engagement manager and teaching artist with the
Children’s Theatre Company, is one of the theatre alums who talks about making
connections and the importance of those connections to their life after Augsburg.
All photos by Stephen Geffre unless otherwise indicated.
Notes from President Pribbenow
Around the Quad
It takes an Auggie
My Auggie experience
A project of steel
Not many senior projects require countless hours spent shaping steel with a hammer
and finishing it with sandpaper and steel brushes. But Josh Davis’ project wasn’t
like most. For more than two years, Davis spent the vast majority of his free time
working to construct a full suit of armor. The project, which was on display during
Zyzzogeton—Augsburg’s celebration of student research and creative activity—was
featured both in the Star Tribune and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The suit is made out of sheet steel of varying thickness and includes 20 individual pieces, many of which are smaller pieces riveted together, that fit like a puzzle to
form the complete armor. Each leg, for example, is 13 separate pieces of steel,
some of which were placed on top of each other to increase strength.
Building the suit required Davis to
shape the steel with a hammer—pounding heated steel over or into a form to
produce the required curves—while
using a pattern specially developed to fit
him. Davis also made each of the buckles and straps on the suit.
To call it a labor-intensive process
would be an understatement. After originally keeping track of the time on the
project, Davis stopped when he reached
1,000 hours, the equivalent of 25 weeks
of eight-hour workdays.
“The hardest part is finishing it,”
Davis said. “I can rough out a form in an
hour or two, but fine-tuning it, sanding
out the hammer marks, and making the
Josh Davis’ suit of armor took two years and
hinges and buckles took a long time.”
painstaking work to construct.
Dal Liddle receives NEH
summer research stipend
Dal Liddle, associate
professor of English,
received a National
Endowment for the
stipend for travel to
London to test a hypothesis he’s been
Liddle, whose research focuses on Victorian
literature, is spending three weeks in England poring over the private archives of the London Times
and the early Victorian holdings of the British Library. Using Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, editorial articles from British papers, and Brontë’s Jane
Eyre, he will try to test whether current theories
about the historical development of technology
will also fit the way British literature developed
between 1800 and 1850. What if literary history
turns out to change in some of the same ways that
technological history changes? Could the history
of novels and poems show some of the same patterns as the history of steam engines, microchips,
and jet airplanes?
“I'm taking a big chance,” he says about his
research question. “There’s a big disprovability
factor here, but if I’m wrong I want to prove it.”
The Nursing Department launched a three-year
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Augsburg’s first
doctoral degree, that prepares nurses for advanced
practice and leadership in transcultural and community/public health nursing. The DNP is a cohort program that begins in the fall.
David Tiede, retiring after five years as the Bernhard
Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation, has
accepted the interim presidency of Wartburg
Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.
Two new summer camps are bringing young people
to campus. Two week-long film camps in July bring
high school students together to work with 16mm
film, teaching them techniques for scripting, directing, and editing.
The Minnesota Debate and Advocacy Workshop
brings middle and high school students together
with the state’s top coaches in a two- or three-week
The deaths of two retired faculty are noted.
Robert Herforth, professor emeritus of biology, died on
June 18. He is remembered as an extraordinary zoologist who remained very much engaged in current research throughout his life.
Rosalie Clark, who taught in the Social Work Department from 1979 for more than a dozen years, died in
January 2009. She brought perspectives on American
Indian issues to faculty and students and encouraged
social work graduates.
AUGSBURG NEWS SERVICE
Three faculty members retire from the classroom
Julie Bolton—Theatre’s “artist-educator”
Curt Paulsen—Social work professor, mentor
Paul Grauer—Coach, mentor, teacher
Bolton, a professional actor, was
hired part time
to teach acting.
She soon became full time,
hired faculty, and began to build a theatre
arts program, which she then chaired for
12 years, plus four more years when it became a new department.
Building on her connections in Twin
Cities theatre, Bolton both pushed students to get internships in the theatre
community and helped them explore vocations in theatre. And, she brought theatre
artists to campus to work with students.
She hired faculty whose varied expertise
helped create a comprehensive, professional theatre arts program within a liberal
Bolton reflects with pride and gratitude
on the collaboration in the mid-1980s
that helped bring about Augsburg’s black
box theater in Foss Center, with the support of President Charles Anderson, Dean
Ryan LaHurd, and donors Barbara
(Tjornhom) ’54 and Richard Nelson.
Bolton considers herself an “artist-educator” and has used her theatre knowledge in the docent tours she gives at the
Minneapolis Institute of Arts. “If we are
looking at Rembrandt’s Lucretia,” she
says, “I introduce similar themes in
Shakespeare’s epic poem Lucretia or
In addition to expanding her role as a
docent, Bolton also looks forward to
spending time as grandmother to her five
Social work professor Curt
sang to himself
on the way to his
one indication of
the joy he received every day
in teaching. “Just as I have pushed my
students,” he explains, “they have also
pushed me, and I’m grateful for it.” He
found continuing satisfaction in the “joint
enterprise of reaching great understanding.”
Paulsen taught both undergraduate and
graduate students in the Social Work Department and, together with his wife,
Cathy, taught a personality theory course
to graduate students in the leadership
program. He has also taught in the Religion Department and Honors program.
Paulsen enjoyed most working with students who weren’t functioning to their
ability. With respect, and in an atmosphere of intellectual rigor, he pushed
them to their point of real reaction, with
high expectations, helping them not only
to learn, but to grow as people. It meant
facilitating a process where students
moved from answers to questions.
Paulsen always considered liberal arts
and crossing disciplines as “just the beginning of lifelong learning.” For him, “To
gain a real understanding of human beings, one must go to the poets and to
Paulsen now anticipates more time for
photography, reading, gardening, and for
his family—Cathy, their two daughters and
husbands, and four grandchildren.
Paul Grauer says
that even after
Augsburg has always been “exactly where I
wanted to be.”
He served long
stints as coach,
athletic director, and instructor, and he lists
a whole series of strong relationships, high
points, and changes that kept it interesting.
A big change is the continual improvement of athletic facilities that has made it
more likely that recruits will choose
Augsburg—early in his tenure he recalls
one hockey recruit who told him that
Augsburg “had no curb appeal.”
In addition, the continual development
of the Health and Physical Education Department that now includes exercise science can prepare students for varied
careers in teaching, fitness, and training.
Grauer recalls 1997–98 as “a special,
magical year,” when four Auggie teams—
football, men’s basketball, men’s hockey,
and wrestling—won conference championships and went to national playoffs, resulting in a wrestling championship and a
hockey Frozen Four appearance.
Among the high points was the celebration in 2007 of the 35th anniversary of
Auggie varsity women’s sports, some of
which pre-date the Title IX era. Grauer prepared and submitted early reports for Title
IX that “showed we had to pay attention to
equality,” and which spurred further expansion of women’s sports.
Grauer will always remember the friendships, the colleagues, and the continual
growth he’s seen both with the coaches and
student-athletes in their training, resiliency,
and good sportsmanship in a very competitive athletic conference.
Grauer now looks forward to having more
time to play his trumpet—especially at
Augsburg in the brass ensemble.
For Auggie sports news and schedules,
go to www.augsburg.edu/athletics.
Exploring Our Gifts—
looking back over 8 years
In 2002 Augsburg received a $2 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to integrate a theological understanding of vocation into
the life of the College over a five-year period. In 2007 the grant
was renewed for $1 million to cover an additional three years. As
of summer 2010, the funding from the Lilly Endowment has
ended. The College has now established the Augsburg Center for
Faith and Learning in order to sustain a number of the programs of
the Lilly Endowment grants and to support new initiatives on
Mark Tranvik, associate professor of religion and chair of the Religion Department, was director of Exploring Our Gifts. He reflects
about the impact of Exploring Our Gifts on Augsburg’s curriculum
Q: Why did Augsburg apply for the Lilly Endowment grant?
A: We should be clear that the Lilly Endowment grant didn’t introduce vocation to Augsburg College. Augsburg began as a seminary,
and it had a sense of calling embedded into its DNA. Throughout
much of its history, students, faculty, and staff came to the College
out of a deep sense of calling. They saw their work here as an expression of what God wanted them to do with their gifts and talents. I think some of that sensibility was lost at a lot of our church
colleges during the 1970s and ’80s, Augsburg included. But the
idea of vocation never went away, and the Lilly Endowment money
provided the school with an opportunity to bring new energy and
imagination to the concept. In other words, it was natural for
Augsburg to apply for the grant, given our heritage.
Q: Why do you think the Lilly Endowment grant has been successful?
A: The group who worked on the original application, led by Carol
Forbes, Academic Affairs, and Bruce Reichenbach, Philosophy Department, did a wonderful job in making sure the proposal “fit”
with the culture at Augsburg. Instead of “top-down” planning, they
made sure to solicit proposals from a wide variety of groups on
campus. They received more than 30 proposals for projects and
were able to whittle that down to 16. When the money actually arrived to fund the projects, a campus-wide conversation had already
been going on for some time. In my mind, the genius here is the
way this is consistent with the ethos of the school. Augsburg is a
college deeply rooted in the traditions of the Lutheran Free
Church, and the egalitarian spirit of that church still pervades this
Professor Mark Tranvik directed Exploring Our Gifts, Augsburg’s Lilly Endowment program
to explore vocation.
Q. Didn’t a lot of schools receive Lilly Endowment grants? What’s
distinctive about Augsburg’s?
A: The Lilly Endowment’s initiative on vocation was incredibly
generous. More than 80 colleges and universities, many of them
church-related, received grants. And to no one’s surprise, the
grants seemed to work especially well at Lutheran schools. This is
because the theology of vocation was developed in new ways by
Martin Luther and the other reformers in the 16th century. Those
places that trace their heritage back to the Reformation found it
easier, in general, to talk about vocation on their campuses.
One of the distinctive things about Augsburg is the way the College has been willing to integrate a theological understanding of
vocation into its core curriculum. This has been one of the fruits of
our discussion about vocation on campus. All Augsburg students
are required to take two religion classes that have vocation at the
center—Religion 100 and 200, Christian Vocation and the Search
for Meaning I and II, respectively. Furthermore, all students are
asked to think about vocation again in their senior seminars. So,
you could say that vocation serves as the “bookends” for the
Augsburg educational experience. And we also hope that students
will be asked in other classes to think about their sense of calling.
Of course this will happen, but it’s more dependent on the inclination of individual instructors.
Q: What about the specific vocation of ministry? How has the grant helped students
who are thinking about working in the church?
A: One program of the grant that has worked well in this area is the Lilly
Scholars. Every year, 10 juniors or seniors were chosen to take part in a fullcredit seminar dedicated to thinking theologically about vocation and receive
a scholarship from the grant. The main prerequisite for the course is to be interested in studying about vocation in-depth. And some of these students do
not sense a calling in the institutional church, which is fine. But over half of
the participants (about 50 over the eight years) have decided to study theology after receiving their degrees at Augsburg. This is one important way the
College continues its long tradition of developing leaders for the church.
Q: It is especially important for colleges to document their successes. Is there
evidence that the programs of the Lilly Endowment grant have actually made a
Purpose: To integrate a theological understanding of vocation
into the life of Augsburg College
Student vocation assessments
Church leader development
Youth Theology Institute
Orientation, Augsburg Seminar
Till & Keep journal (copies)
A: Augsburg has been fortunate in that it was selected, along with Luther
College and Augustana College of Rock Island (both of whom also had received Lilly Endowment grants), to participate in a study by the Wilder Foundation that assessed how effectively vocation had been integrated into these
schools. The results were gratifying. They showed significant progress made in
helping students view their lives through the lens of vocation. For example,
students who had exposure to Lilly Endowment programs were more likely
(50% to 23%) to see their life as a “calling,” with a sense of purpose, than
those who were not exposed to the grant. Furthermore, 91%
of the class of 2007 reported that their understanding of vocation deepened while at college. Go to
www.augsburg.edu/cfl to read the full study.
Exploring Our Gifts—Augsburg’s
Lilly Endowment grant program
Q: The Lilly Endowment grant on vocation seems to be strongly
rooted in the Christian tradition. Yet Augsburg also stresses the
importance of diversity and the acceptance of people from a
wide variety of faiths and backgrounds. How do you answer
those who suggest that this stress on vocation is done at the expense of diversity?
A: That’s a great question and one that many of us have
struggled with during the time of the grant. I think I would
answer it on two different levels. First, the emphasis on vocation is a way in which we are trying to be faithful to our
mission statement and its claim that Augsburg will be
“guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran Church.”
We are a college of the church, and that is nothing about
which we should be ashamed.
As one of the Lilly vocation seminars, students in the Religion and the Christian Faith course in 2005
Second—and this is the point that is often misundertraveled to El Salvador to study the legacy of Archbishop Oscar Romero and to explore the depth of
stood—I would argue that our Christian faith and emphasis
Christian vocation in daily life there.
on vocation do not lead to exclusivity and the formation of a
community of the like-minded. Jesus spent a good deal of his ministry breaking down walls and crossing so-called “forbidden” boundaries.
In a similar vein, I would argue that an emphasis on diversity naturally flows from our Christian faith. We are not diverse in spite of being
Christian. Rather, we are diverse because we are Christian. Now this can make life messy, especially for those who insist on nice boxes with
neat straight lines. But as Christians we gladly welcome the “world” to our campus and the plurality of faiths and beliefs that come with it.
We promise we won’t “coerce” anyone to be Christian (as if that would work!), but we do ask that a respectful and public discussion on faith
occur. And we also insist that both sides be open to be challenged and changed.
it takes an
StepUP® parents are grateful for support to students and families
When Maureen and Harold Thompson realized their daughter Anne
was not going to graduate from high school with her friends, they
were devastated but not surprised. They knew that something was
wrong and that their daughter needed help.
Anne went into treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and
then began attending daily recovery meetings. During this second
phase of her recovery, she worked hard to complete her high school
graduation requirements. Anne impressed her teachers and others
with her hard work, and her parents thought the situation was
under control. This sense of security and relief quickly faded when
they discovered that Anne had relapsed.
Anne returned to treatment, this time at the Hazelden Center for
Youth and Families, where she learned about Augsburg College and
the College’s StepUP program for students in recovery. Anne entered StepUP in 2004 and graduated from Augsburg in 2008. She
is now a graduate student in higher education and student affairs
at the University of Connecticut.
“We feel that StepUP has allowed our daughter to attend college, continue with her recovery, and experience college life. Anne
has learned to deal with the stresses of projects, schedules, papers, and exams while developing a safe and solid support network. She worked hard in class, and she has worked hard on her
recovery. We don’t think this could have happened anywhere else.”
Maureen and Harold remain thankful for all that Augsburg did
for their daughter and continues to do for other students. That’s
one of the reasons they consistently support the StepUP program,
The Augsburg Fund, and more. “The StepUP program reinforces
the belief that each program participant is accountable. They are
accountable to themselves, to their peers, and to the StepUP staff.
We believe that the program provided an environment that allowed
Anne to blossom and grow, and allowed our family to heal.”
“We believe that the program provided an
environment that allowed Anne to blossom
and grow, and allowed our family to heal.”
“StepUP allowed me to go to college,” Anne says. “College is
hard for students in general, but students in recovery have all the
same challenges that others have and more. This program allowed
me to have a ‘traditional’ college experience, which would otherwise be unavailable.”
Maureen also noted, “It has been often said that someone with
an addiction impacts at least four other people. We believe that
StepUP not only helps the student, but it also helps the family,
and for that we are eternally grateful.”
WENDI WHEELER ’06
Maureen and Harold Thompson are
proud parents as their daughter, Anne,
graduated from Augsburg and the
StepUP program in 2008.
Anne speaks to a campus group about
her experiences at Augsburg and in the
There is no official color for bachelor’s degree tassels. Thus, Augsburg
chose maroon and gray, and all undergraduate students wear this tassel.
Tassels for graduate students are different. In 1895, the Intercollegiate Commission was established to standardize academic dress and to prescribe specific colors to represent different fields of
study. This was the last time academic dress has been updated.
Augsburg has six fields of post-baccalaureate study, each with a different color: business—drab;
nursing—apricot; social work—citron; leadership—white; physician assistant studies—green; and education—light blue. Augsburg graduate program students and faculty all wear the colors of their fields.
The academic dress worn today
has its roots in the 12th and 13th centuries when most
scholars were clerics in monastic orders. Today’s doctoral
robe is based on monastic robes; the hood, originally a
cowl, was used to keep the head warm before indoor heating. Robes were formerly all black, but now institutions
choose their own colors, and all official doctoral robes
have three velvet stripes along the bell-shaped sleeves.
Today, professors wear either an Oxford cap (the square
mortarboard) or a Cambridge cap (the decorative, beretlike caps).
This robe belongs to Nathan J. Hallanger, special assistant to the vice president of academic affairs. The four-foot
doctoral hood is scarlet with blue trim, signifying a PhD
from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
DRUM In 1991, music professor Robert Stacke ’71, a professional drummer,
began to lead the procession of graduates through Murphy Square to Melby
Hall. In this now-beloved tradition, faculty line the street and congratulate their
students as they walk by. In 19 years, Stacke has never missed Commencement
and has only once dropped the drum.
HONOR CORDS Though a variety of colored cords and stoles show up on students’
shoulders at Commencement, two cords are officially given by Augsburg to undergraduate
students. Students who have earned a grade point average of 3.6 or higher are candidates
for Latin honors, shown by their maroon and gray cords. All students who have completed
the requirements of the Augsburg College Honors program wear gold cords. Other cords indicate that the student has completed a departmental honors project.
In 1988, Professor Emeritus Norman Holen created the cross used in Chapel and carried in Augsburg ceremonies.
MACE The mace, like academic regalia, also originated in the Middle
Ages. First used by medieval European
bishops who were not allowed to carry
swords into battle, the mace was useful as an armor-splitting weapon. By
the 16th century, the mace was converted into a symbol of authority and
was embraced by colleges and universities as a ceremonial icon. At Augsburg,
the mace is carried into all official
College ceremonies by the president of
the Faculty Senate.
Professor Emeritus Norman Holen
created Augsburg’s mace in 1970,
which, until 1988, was laid on a table
during events. Holen was then commissioned to create a stand for it.
Like tassels, the hoods given to
master’s degree students have specific meaning. The
main color of the 3.5-foot hoods is black, and they are
lined with the colors of the college conferring the degree. The hood’s trimmings are three inches wide and
correspond to the field of study. For example, the master’s hood shown here is given by Augsburg College
(maroon and gray) in the field of nursing (apricot).
MAY 1, 2010
PRESIDENTIAL CHAIN OF OFFICE
College’s Chain of Office represents the president’s authority to head the university, and is worn by President
Pribbenow at ceremonial functions such as Commencement. The chain is in fact not a chain but a maroon ribbon
that suspends a medal imprinted with the College seal.
The colorful stoles worn by African
American students are made from a material called Kente
cloth, which originates in Ghana, West Africa. The cloth was
woven by the Asante people of Ghana and was exclusively
made for Asante kings and queens.
Now the stoles are given to members of the Pan-Afrikan
Student Union (PASU) as a way to denote their fraternity and
to connect them with their past.
TEXT AND PHOTOS
BY STEPHEN GEFFRE
JUNE 27, 2010
GRADUATES, FAMILIES, FACULTY, AND
GUESTS CELEBRATE 2010 COMMENCEMENT
MAY 1 COMMENCEMENT
416 undergraduate day students and physician assistant
Speaker—Governor Tim Pawlenty
Honorary degree—Father Fernando Cardenal, SJ, educator and activist, Nicaragua
Marina Christensen Justice Award—Jessica Spanswick
Jessica Spanswick graduated with a major in international relations
and a minor in peace and global studies. She has been a Sabo
Scholar in civic engagement, a Hoversten Peace Scholar, a Peace
Prize Forum Peace Scholar, and a Lilly Scholar. Locally, she has
worked with grass-roots organizations on environmental issues and
has tutored Kenyan and Somali immigrants in a neighborhood program. Spanswick studied abroad in Namibia, and while there she
worked on HIV/AIDS events and water rights issues. The Marina
Christensen Justice Award honors a student who has demonstrated a
dedication to community involvement as characterized by the personal and professional life of Marina Christensen Justice, who
reached out to disadvantaged people and communities.
JUNE 27 COMMENCEMENT
492 weekend/evening and Rochester undergraduate students, and
graduate students in business, education, leadership, nursing,
and social work
Speaker—Congressman Keith Ellison
Honorary degree—Peter Heegaard, founder of Urban Adventure
Richard J. Thoni Award—Michele Roulet
Michele Roulet graduated with a major in studio art and a minor in
religion. In immersing herself in student life at Augsburg, Michele
provided leadership, community spirit, hospitality, and innovation
within the adult programs. She served as Weekend College Student
Senate vice president and president and as a student commissioner
in Campus Ministry. Her leadership created the First Word gatherings, an on-campus faith community for adult students. In the wider
community, she has worked with programs to combat hunger. The
Richard J. Thoni Award is given to a weekend student who exemplifies the spirit of community involvement demonstrated by Rick
Thoni’s career at Augsburg.
To view slide shows and a video of Governor Pawlenty’s commencement address, go to www.augsburg.edu and click on the YouTube icon.
IT’S ALL ABOUT FAMILY AT AUGSBURG
Jeff and Suzi Burt and their daugher, Crystal Studer,
graduated together, all receiving nursing degrees.
Studer is a nurse at the hospital in
Austin. “Augsburg’s been great,” she says.
“It’s made me a more well-rounded nurse,
and the faculty is phenomenal.”
A little more than a year after Suzi and
Crystal began, Jeff returned to the program.
“Mayo is in the process of going bachelor’sonly for RNs,” Jeff says. “If you have an
[associate’s degree in nursing], you'll be required to go back. I just thought it was the
best thing to do.”
All three say there are benefits to having family members in the program at the
same time. Suzi and Crystal were frequently in the same class, and since they
also live across the street from each other
in Blooming Prairie, Minn., they were able
to share textbooks. They have also encouraged and motivated each other as they
worked to balance work, school, and family.
“As a married couple, it’s nice to be in
the same thing because you know what
each other is going through,” Suzi says.
While excited to finish, all three found
the program both rewarding and beneficial.
“It’s been better than I thought,” Crystal
says. “In your first two years, you learn a lot
of skills. In these two years [at Augsburg],
you learn why we do what we do. The content has all been really useful, and it has
JEFF AND SUZI BURT AND
CAROL DEMULLING, SARAH
DEMULLING, AND HEATHER DEKOK
Jeff Burt was the first member of his family
to enroll in Augsburg’s nursing completion
program. He was working at the Mayo
Clinic when he began taking classes at
Augsburg in 2000. He stopped about
three-quarters of the way through the program to allow his wife, Suzi, to enroll in a
two-year nursing program at Riverland
Community College in Austin, Minn.
In fall 2008, Suzi Burt and Crystal
Studer, one of the couple’s daughters, enrolled at Augsburg, largely because of Jeff’s
Carol Demulling and her daughters Sarah
Demulling and Heather Dekok all ended up
in Augsburg’s business administration program for the same reason—they all knew
the education they had wasn’t going to be
While all three have positions at Mayo
Clinic and the two daughters have two-year
degrees, they wanted more opportunities for
“When I started work in the ’70s, you
could have a high school education and work
your way up,” Carol says. “To make moves
Families have always been a big part of
Augsburg—second- and third-generation
Auggies, Auggies following the paths blazed
by older siblings, and couples who met at
Augsburg and inspired their children to
The June 27 Commencement, however,
featured a new twist: two families of parents and children from Augsburg’s
Rochester campus graduating together. The
first is a mother, father, and daughter, all
earning bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The
second featured a mother and two daughters who studied business administration
Carol Demulling (center) and her daughters Sarah
Demulling (left) and Heather Dekok (right) graduated
with business administration degrees.
now, you need education.”
Her daughter Heather was a little more
blunt. “I graduated with a two-year degree in
business in 2005,” she says. “And I realized
that a two-year degree doesn’t do anything.”
They all say their Augsburg education
has been practical from the beginning.
Dekok works in the international office at
Mayo Clinic, and what she has learned
about different cultures has been immediately applicable.
“I work in an office full of women,” she
says. “Some of the countries we deal with,
they frown upon women in the workplace.
You realize why you get some of the attitudes that you do at times.”
Carol developed a complicated spreadsheet for a class project that is still being
used by members of her office in the evaluation of grant proposals.
As they finish at Augsburg, they’re
happy to have experienced college together
and appreciate the people they met through
“I didn’t really realize until the last two
trimesters how many relationships we’ve
built here,” Carol says. “People in the
Mayo system, people at IBM. I’ve really enjoyed that and getting to know these people. We all have something in common.”
in the right direction
BY WENDI WHEELER ’06
Editor’s note—In order to be respectful of the students in
the StepUP program, their last names are not used.
StepUP students wear purple cords when
they graduate from Augsburg.
GOING TO COLLEGE
was never a part of Emily A.’s future plans.
She dropped out of high school and eventually
got her GED. When she first heard about
StepUP®, she was in her late twenties and living in a sober house in St. Paul.
“I thought my time had passed,” Emily
said. “College was one of the mountains I just
wasn’t going to climb.”
But she called Augsburg and made an appointment with Patrice Salmeri, StepUP program director. “All the time she was talking to
me, I was saying, ‘Yeah, yeah. Sounds great,’
but I had no intention of applying.”
Then she met Chris Belbeck ’06, an admissions counselor and a StepUP alumnus. “He
asked me, ‘What are you waiting for?’ and he
wasn’t taking no for an answer.” So before she
left campus that day, she had started filling
out an application.
Four years later, Emily graduated with honors from Augsburg this spring. “I didn’t have
any goals when I was using,” she says. “But
StepUP has taught me that I have amazing
drive and potential.” Without StepUP, Emily
says she doubts she would have even tried
going to college.
Since 1997, the StepUP program has
helped students in recovery from addiction to
alcohol and other drugs learn similar lessons
about themselves. To date, more than 400
students from across the nation have participated and have maintained an 85% abstinence rate while in the program. They are
successful in sobriety and in the classroom,
earning a collective 3.2 GPA at Augsburg.
For many StepUP graduates, the thought of
going to college was at one time unimaginable—never mind staying sober in school and
getting good grades. But the StepUP community has given many students in recovery the
opportunity to contribute to society in ways
they never thought they would.
(Photo at left) Emily A. ’10 and Tyler P. ’11
The community is the program
Several colleges and universities sponsor 12-step meetings and
provide academic support or counseling services for students in
recovery. But StepUP goes further by offering chemical-free housing for students in what they refer to as a collegiate recovery
“The community is a safe place where you feel supported,”
says Scott Washburn, the program’s assistant director. The students guard and protect the safety of the community by holding each other accountable.
While they are involved in StepUP, students meet individually with a StepUP counselor each week. They are required to
attend two 12-step meetings per week and to maintain an active working relationship with a sponsor. Students also attend
a weekly StepUP community meeting where they hear from
outside speakers, discuss program business, share service opportunities, and celebrate even the smallest of victories.
“Getting an A on a math test or just making it to the first day
of class, those are chances for us to celebrate,” says Salmeri.
“The little things really make a difference.”
Achieving success—in sobriety, academically, and in the community—is part of the StepUP culture. “We build positive community norms that are geared toward succeeding, growing, and
doing well,” Washburn says. “That’s why it’s different. That’s why
The other component of StepUP that makes it stand out from
traditional recovery programs is that the program is constantly
shaped by student input. In particular, students serve on the leadership team, which meets regularly with staff to share what is
happening in the community and to keep the program moving in
the right direction.
“The students really take initiative to make changes
for the better in the community,” Salmeri says. This
mature partnership, where staff and students work
together, gives students the confidence to develop
into leaders. Salmeri adds, “I can see the potential
in them, and it is our role to help them realize it
A perfect fit
The idea for StepUP began when two students at Augsburg
approached Don Warren, the former director of Augsburg’s
Center for Learning and Adaptive Student
Services (CLASS), to ask for his help. The
students shared with Warren how being in
college was difficult for them. They struggled not only with the usual day-to-day challenges of college life but also with staying
clean and sober.
Warren turned to Dave Hadden, then
the educational and vocational liaison at
Hazelden, for his help. Washburn, who
worked with Hadden at that time, said
Hadden had developed an educational and
vocational packet for patients coming out
of treatment “to get them thinking about
their direction in life,” Washburn says, but
they didn’t have a college to recommend.
In fact, Washburn says, “We would discourage young people from going to college straight out of treatment. We told
them they needed a year of sobriety first
and a really solid foundation.”
Warren and Hadden’s idea for a residential program that would offer counseling and support proved to be just the
foundation students needed to transition
from treatment to college. In the fall of
1997, 23 students moved into Anderson
Hall to begin college and the StepUP program. Thirteen years later, the program
serves 72 students who live in Oren Gateway Center, a chemical-free facility that is
also home to the StepUP staff offices.
Washburn believes the StepUP program
and its students have flourished at Augsburg
due in part to the values shared by the program and the College. “Augsburg’s culture
is about providing access and helping all
kinds of students get the support they need
to be successful,” he says. “That’s perfect
for students like ours.”
Also, as a private liberal arts college of
the ELCA, Washburn says the Augsburg
community is open to conversations about
spirituality. In 12-step programs, students
learn to rely on a higher power or a God of
their understanding. “We work really hard
with students to help them define their
meaning and purpose …” Washburn adds.
Students receive a medallion when they
complete the StepUP program.
Part of that purpose is being of service
to others, another value in line with
Augsburg’s mission. “We help students
find a vision and see that no matter what
they do, they can make a difference in the
world,” Washburn says. Making a difference means being of service to the community—not just the StepUP community
or the recovery community but at
Augsburg, in the city, and throughout
Success through service
Being a part of the StepUP community
helps students maintain sobriety because
it gives them a chance to help others.
Being “of service” is an essential component of any 12-step recovery program,
whether it is by sponsoring others, sharing
in meetings, or even making coffee.
Tyler P. has learned that success in college can come through helping others, not
just from studying. After he faced serious
consequences from his drug use, Tyler entered treatment at Hazelden. One of his
friends from treatment, the only one he
knew who had stayed sober, was in
StepUP. Tyler saw that the young man was
a good student and that he wasn’t getting
high or drunk. For Tyler, that kind of life
was hard to imagine.
He enrolled at Augsburg in 2008 and
now participates in the StepUP community, sharing his experience with other
men as a sponsor. “I’ve earned more As
through being of service to others than
when I white-knuckled it for eight hours
cramming for a test,” he says.
In recovery, Tyler has seen students
transform their lives. “I’ve seen guys go
from not being able to sweep the floor
when they first get sober to being able to
run meetings, get on the dean’s list, and
participate in life.”
And Tyler’s life has also been transformed. “I was not an all-star student in
high school, but I’ve found a lot of success here.” He’s been on the dean’s list
for three semesters and has developed a
network of sober friends. Most importantly, Tyler says being a part of the community has given him the chance to
practice the principles he’s learned in his
A new way of living
Salmeri says StepUP also helps students
learn that they are leaders and role models, not only for other students in recovery
but for all members of the Augsburg community. Students can serve in formal leadership positions in StepUP, in student
government, as a member of residence
life, or by participating in athletics. But
many also become role models to their
peers simply by becoming the people they
were meant to be.
When Julia G. first learned about the
StepUP program, she had only been sober
for a few weeks. As time passed and she
neared the six-month mark of her sobriety,
the minimum requirement for acceptance
into StepUP, Julia realized that going back
to college was possible for her.
While in the program, students in
StepUP are required to live on campus.
This meant that Julia, who had been living
in a sober house where she was the
youngest resident, would now be the oldest
woman in her residence hall.
For the first month, Julia says she felt
out of place because of the age difference.
“I thought I was unique because I had more
life experience,” she says. “I judged the
Eventually Julia began to realize she was
more like the other students than she had
thought. “We all had different experiences,
but we also had something very important in
common.” That sense of belonging helped
Julia form “intense, involved relationships”
with the other students. “For the first time
in my life, I was a trustworthy person. It
meant a lot to me that the other women
looked up to me.”
Today Julia has a degree, a career she
calls “fantastic,” and a relationship with her
nine-year-old son. And she’s stayed sober
for seven years. “I really turned into myself
at Augsburg,” Julia says. “StepUP showed
me that anything is possible.”
Moving in the right direction
Over the years, StepUP has provided a safe,
supportive community for hundreds of students. The program has allowed them to
achieve the goal of college graduation while
also staying clean and sober—a goal that
was at one time overshadowed by their addiction. And the confidence students gain in
StepUP keeps them going in the right direction after they move on from Augsburg.
Witnessing this achievement is a great
joy for Salmeri and the other StepUP staff.
“The privilege of my position as director is
to witness the growth of each student as
they experience the transition into mature
adults,” she says.
For 10 years, Salmeri says her dream job
was to work for Augsburg in the StepUP program. “After eight years of working here, I
can still say it is my dream job. I feel honored and humbled to work with the students
and their families.”
“I am your biggest fan”
Every year the StepUP program celebrates the accomplishments of its graduates—
those who have completed their studies at Augsburg as well as those who have
completed their residency with StepUP and will move off campus. The StepUP graduation ceremony is a special time set aside to recognize the outstanding achievements of the StepUP students and for the Augsburg community to hear their
The theme, chosen by the students on the StepUP leadership council, was “I am
your biggest fan.”
These are sentiments shared by Patrice Salmeri, StepUP program director, at this
“… let this statement sink deep into your soul. Write it on a rock. Etch it
on a tree. I am your biggest fan. I am rooting for you all the way. And it has
been this way since your first contact with the StepUP program. Through
the ups and downs, the difficulties and celebrations, life’s twists and
turns—I am your biggest fan!
Your legacy here at Augsburg and the StepUP program has already been
left, and it is more than enough! Whether it was a kind word you said or
being a consistent friend in another’s life, you may never know. But each
of you has left their mark on this place and it is forever changed because
of your presence.”
A tradition at the StepUP graduation is for a student to read from “The Awakening,”
an anonymous poem about recovery. This is an excerpt from the poem:
You learn that, for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve …
and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything
worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is
different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that
in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance. You
also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.
So try to jog your memory bank and answer this question:
Just when was the last time you were on the Augsburg campus? And we’re
talking about really being on campus. You know, park the car, get out, walk
around, go into a building. Because giving a little wave when you see the
sign atop Mort as you cruise down Interstate 94 doesn’t count.
Has it been a year? Two? Five? That’s all right. We’re not going to judge.
Everybody is busy, you don’t always get to Cedar-Riverside, we get that.
But we also know that sometimes you just need a little inspiration. And
that’s why you need to keep reading. Because while you only need one
reason to come back to campus and remember the role that Augsburg
played in shaping your life, we’re going to give you 10. So stop by, check
the place out, see how much it has changed.
And be an Auggie.
10 reasons to come back to campus
BY JEFF SHELMAN
OREN GATEWAY CENTER
If it has truly been a while since you’ve been on campus, well, this
is Augsburg’s new front door. Located on Riverside Avenue, the
Oren Gateway Center is the newest building on campus. The multipurpose building has classrooms, residences, offices, meeting
rooms, and common spaces. And if you want to learn about alumni
programming, our Alumni and Constituent Relations folks are
located on the third floor.
Yes, we know the Augsburg campus has a new look
to it. But it isn’t a finished product either. In the
lobby of Oren Gateway Center is a model that depicts what Augsburg’s campus master plan looks
like. You can see where the planned Center for Science, Business, and Religion will go. Once that is
built, Augsburg’s urban campus will have green
space from 20th Avenue to Kennedy Center.
3 GET SOME GEAR
Let’s be honest, that Augsburg sweatshirt in your
closet is looking pretty grungy, isn’t it? We can fix
that. The Augsburg bookstore in Oren Gateway Center
has many ways for you to show off some Auggie pride.
A hat for the golf course? Check. A sweatshirt for fall
weekends? Yep. Cool workout gear for the gym? We’ve
got that too.
The food available on campus is no longer how
you remember it. It isn’t mass produced and boring. It actually has, you know, flavor. The folks at
Nabo, in Oren, will make a fresh sandwich or salad
right before your eyes. There’s also homemade
soup and even sushi. At the A-Club Grille in the
lower level of Christensen Center, the options
range from burgers to chicken sandwiches to
wings, and fresh fries are an option. Our choice?
We love Nabo’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (left).
You’ll just need a few extra napkins.
On the topic of eating, who doesn’t need some
sweets as you head into Advent? Stop by campus on
Friday, Dec. 3, and take part in the Augsburg tradition that honors our Scandinavian heritage. And if
anybody can make treats the way your mother and
grandmother did, it is the Augsburg Associates, a
group of volunteers who support the College.
6 Athletic events
For each of the past two years, Augsburg has
been the most improved athletic program in the
MIAC, and teams are making the playoffs with
much greater frequency than ever before. Why
not load up the family and watch some of our
student-athletes show their Auggie pride? Our defending national champion wrestling team takes
on rival Wartburg in the Battle of the ’Burgs on
January 18, 2011. There’s a home football game
each Saturday in September. Other schedules
can be found at www.augsburg.edu/athletics.
7 Christensen Center
We know how you work. You have a
meeting somewhere in Minneapolis, it
ends, and you proceed directly to Starbucks or Caribou. Right? If you’re near
campus, why don’t you stop by Christensen Center? It’s a little different
than last time you were here. Cooper’s
will brew you up some good java and
you can get a wi-fi password at the
info desk. And you might meet some
There’s the Gage Family Art Gallery in Oren Gateway
Center. There’s the Christensen Center Art Gallery.
And there’s also a student gallery on the main level of
Christensen. Stop by, see some of the cool stuff from
local and Augsburg artists in the galleries and across
campus. Exhibit information can be found at
9 DAILY CHAPEL
There are days when you just need a little reflection,
a reminder of what is really important. At Augsburg,
there is time set aside to do just that. On Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10:20 a.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:20 a.m., a 20-minute
chapel service is held during the academic year.
While daily chapel is considered a given by Auggies,
it is very much a rarity for liberal arts colleges. Stop
by and take a break from your busy day.
If you are only going to make one
trip to Augsburg in the next year,
make it for Homecoming weekend,
Oct. 15-16. Among the highlights is
the expanded Taste of Augsburg
prior to the football game against
Concordia Moorhead. After the
game with the Cobbers, stick
around for the Auggie Block Party
and see old friends and classmates.
BY WENDI WHEELER ’06
College students who take a literature course expect to do a lot of reading. But few who
register for a course titled “Environmental Literature” would imagine being asked to go
camping, wear the same clothing for a week, or borrow someone’s book and not return it.
A student wouldn’t expect this—unless he or she had taken a course from Colin
Irvine, associate professor of English and environmental studies. In order to encourage
his students to experience the literal and literary landscape more deeply, students in
Irvine’s spring semester course found themselves taking on some creative challenges.
In addition to reading books and taking exams, students were asked to observe a spot
in nature and note its changes over time, learn to identify Minnesota’s birds, wear the
same outfit for one week, spend 24 hours in the great outdoors, and go “off the grid” for
an entire weekend.
The point of these unusual assignments was to challenge students to move outside of
their comfort zones. “I wanted, as Thoreau suggested at the outset of Walden, to wake
them up to help them see their world—not the distant world connected with wilderness
but the one they inhabit daily—as being connected to a dynamic, ultimately dangerous
living, evolving world. I wanted them, in short, to feel challenged, unsettled, unsafe,”
“It’s a risk when you put these kind of things in the syllabus, but I got away
On the following pages, students share some of their blog and journal entries about Irvine’s challenges.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only
the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to
teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
HENRY DAVID THOREAU, WALDEN
BECOME A BUDDING
Select a plot of land and visit two
to three times a week. Spend time
in your place observing, recording, and reflecting on what you
find, hear, note, and think.
SPRING IN THE CITY
It seems as if my professor was right in his recommendation to visit our sites
twice a week. If I had followed his advice, perhaps I would be able to better appreciate my hillside. Where I stand right now, I am unsure as to how much has
changed and how drastically so. The snow is slowly receding into an indistinguishable brown mass of diamond dirt. Wildlife can be heard through the dripping trees
as well; the chattering squirrels, the squawking crows, the cooing mourning doves.
Something that strikes me as I stand here is the indescribable sense of movement
I feel from my site. The water from the once frozen crack in the concrete dam is
now a dull trickle on the hill. In the right moment, a flash of sun bounces off of
the stream and hits my eye.
This sharp glint always jars me awake from my hypnotized state; I feel a bit
silly admitting this, but I often lose myself in the sight of the hillside. It’s as if all
of the attempts of description are fruitless as my words hold no candle to the majestic power of nature. The subtle movement of the water almost gives the land a
pulse. With each trickle of the stream, the surrounding leaves shift and rearrange.
The grass sways above the mud’s restless state and the flow of the dirty water
draws me in; it’s almost as if the pulse of the hillside is acting as a siren. The
movement in the grounds suggests a voice; a voice that beckons me to join with
the land. To see my plot of land move, so see it breathe, this is an experience I
have never had before.
DAVE MADSEN ’11
Learn to identify the birds of Minnesota by their physical
characteristics and by their calls.
MARCH 1, 2010
I’m so pleased that now I know what a cardinal
sounds like—a great mystery of my life, solved!
There are three of them—two males and a huge
female—that frequent my mulberry bushes and
the neighbor’s tree, but somehow I’ve never made
the connection before that they’re the ones whose
song I wake up early to on work days. I’ve been late
more than once on my way to the coffee shop; I can’t
help but pause and watch them hop and flutter from
branch to branch, circling each other in some birdish
dance that I suspect is carefully organized, though I
can’t tell what they’re doing.
The downside of my new bird watching discovery is
that I can’t whistle. When my dad would take me hiking
as a little kid, I was constantly fascinated by his ability
not only to identify birds by their calls but also to repeat
them, and I’ve tried my whole life but never learned how
to do the same. When I was five, I remember writing a
list of things I had to learn how to do: zip zippers, cartwheel, snap my fingers, raise one eyebrow, tie my own
shoes, and whistle. The cartwheel and the whistle have
never been checked off.
DALEY KONCHAR FARR ’13
Go off the grid for three days—a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Though there are
many reasons tied to this course that I am presenting you with this challenge,
here are four of the most important: first, when we are plugged in, we are often
tuned out to the natural sights and sounds specific and central to this course’s
focus on landscape; second, when we are off the grid, we are more inclined to
sync with those around us, an important consideration given the emphasis in this
course on communities; third, unplugging means consuming less and thus preserving/conserving more; fourth (though not finally), much of today’s communications-based technology reinforces the idea that having instant access to
information in small bits represents progress.
Jessica was determined to go off the grid one weekend, but she was waiting
for important news from her family. She received the call and then checked
her e-mail to find a message from her graduate school program, which required her to log on and register for classes. She didn’t make it entirely off
the grid—she didn’t call anyone and checked e-mail only twice a day. She
wrote, “But I know, deep down, that this doesn’t count.”
GOING OFF THE GRID: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (EXCERPT)
I have become entirely trapped in our mechanized society. The demands
placed on me are not the be-all and end-all of the world, but it is easy to define them as such. This being said, I do not completely resent the technology I have allowed to enter my life.
My family has always been very close, and even now, as a senior in college, my parents call me at least three times a week to check in. I do not resent their phone calls, but I relish the contact I have with my family, it
helps me feel connected to them. In the same way, some close friends that
do not go to school here talk to me via various types of communication. It
helps to keep us together when we cannot be physically together. I think
there is a danger in setting aside the people we are physically present with
for those who are distances away, but there is also a danger in shunning
people we could be communicating with for those that are closer. I don’t
think technology is evil; it, like everything else, can be used poorly and
abused. The key is to use it wisely.
I would like to try to go off-grid some other time, because there is no way
to understand how to truly utilize technology if we don’t know what life is
like without it.
JESSICA FANASELLE ’10
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the
mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are
useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
By the end of spring break, spend 24
uninterrupted hours in Minnesota’s
3/21 IT’S FREEZING!!
We didn’t anticipate these temperatures. The night dragged on, freezing temperatures resulted
in tossing and turning and shivering all night. I think we all learned a valuable lesson—it’s impossible to share a mummy bag. 24 hours later and the land seems unchanged except for the
layer of frost that confirmed the freeze. It seemed like time froze along with the water in the
bottle outside of the tent (note: always take the time to tuck the water bottle UNDER the tarp
INSIDE the tent). It was hard to fully appreciate the hours without sun. No sleep, the shivers,
numb toes, sounds like initiation criteria. It’s amazing how a few hours of pain and uncomfortable conditions can change how you feel about the outdoors, I’d been winter camping twice before but this was definitely more of a challenge. We may have underestimated the amount of
preparation and anticipation that was needed but by morning it didn’t matter.
MATIE MINASIE ’11
CAN I BORROW
Borrow Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit from someone—perhaps a
stranger—and then convince that person to let you give the book away to someone else.
I USED TO BELIEVE
I used to believe, before coming to Augsburg, that ‘try’ was a useless word. I used to believe that if something couldn’t be accomplished fully, successfully, it wasn’t worth much. I used to believe
that everything I did meant only what value could be found in final
I think my journey away from this belief has taken place slowly
over the last four years but it seems perfect and fitting to me that
this Environmental Literature class, with its challenges, has come
at the end of my Augsburg education. The challenges of this curriculum represent everything I was wrong about before coming
here. Education, growth, things of beauty and worth are rarely born
from end products. Trying to spend 24 hours outside, trying to
spend a week not planning outfits each morning, trying to memorize Minnesota birds, trying to find a copy of Ishmael that someone
would let me borrow then give away, trying to spend hours writing
outdoors in the bitterness of February, these attempts taught me
more about myself and the world around me than easily succeeding ever could have.
Some of the challenges I completed, some I completed creatively, and some I failed but I don’t feel that any taught me less
Find all the Environmental Literature
challenges at www.augsburg.edu/now
One of the best examples of all this, I think, was the challenge
to find a copy of Ishmael to borrow and give away. In my search, I
learned who around me had read the book and wanted to talk
about it when I’d finished (though none from that group still had
the copy they’d read), who wanted to borrow it from me when I was
done, and what it would mean for me to give up a book that had no
intention of coming back to me in physical form. Now I understand, in a way I didn’t before, that a conversation with my father
(who will receive Ishmael from me) about the book is worth more
that the book’s long life on my shelf.
When I couldn’t find a copy of Ishmael from anyone I knew, I
ended up making a trade for the book at a used bookstore in St. Paul.
“Ishmael?” the girl behind the counter said as she handed it
over, “this book will change your life.”
Having finished reading it, I know she was right but that she
may not have understood entirely what she was saying. The book
has changed my life, to be sure, but the journey to find it and the
conversations that will come are life-changing things as well. We
do not grow through successes, final products, and exams but
through journeys, challenges, and trying things once, twice, or fifty
times without fear of the result.
MOLLY BUDKE ’10
It was spring 2007 and Mark Matzek ’05 couldn’t sleep. He was 25
years old, had just finished his first full year of teaching mathematics at Apple Valley High School, and suddenly was faced with a significant life decision.
Ever since deciding to become a high school teacher, Matzek’s
goal was to return to his hometown of Ellsworth, Wis., coach his
nephews on the wrestling mat, and teach math to his nieces. With
only two coaches over the past 60 years, Ellsworth had become a
wrestling power in Wisconsin, and continuing that interested Matzek.
But Matzek was also an Auggie. The three-time All-American and
two-time national champion had spent two years as a part-time assistant coach at his alma mater.
So, three years ago Matzek had to make a choice. A math position
opened in Ellsworth and plans would be made to make him the
coach-in-waiting. At the same time, Jeff Swenson retired as
Augsburg’s wrestling coach, the assistant coach was promoted, and
Matzek was offered the full-time assistant coach position.
“I kept waking up thinking Augsburg was the right choice,”
Turns out it was.
BACK ON TOP AT NO. 1
Fast forward three years and Matzek doesn’t have some of the worries
that many 28-year-olds have. He doesn’t worry about whether that promotion is really going to happen. He doesn’t fret about that next job.
And he isn’t in that wondering-what-is-next mode that seems to go
along with that time of one’s life.
Nine years on the mats
BY JEFF SHELMAN
Fresh off a Colorado vacation filled with mountain climbing,
Matzek couldn’t be more comfortable with where he is. And for good
reason. Sitting in his Kennedy Center office, Matzek has two pieces of
serious hardware within arm’s reach. The first is for the NCAA Division III wrestling national championship that Augsburg won in March.
The second is for Matzek being named Division III Coach of the Year.
“There is no ‘what’s next’,” says Matzek, the youngest coach to
ever win a Division III title. “This is where I want to be. It’s Augsburg. This is the premier small wrestling school in America. This is
a dream job.”
And this winter, the Augsburg wrestling program truly became
Matzek’s program. With former coach/program architect/athletic director Jeff Swenson ’79 simply a spectator, Matzek led the Auggies
to one of its most successful seasons in school history.
The Auggies simply didn’t lose. A team with great balance,
Augsburg was perfect in dual meets; it won every tournament it entered and the Auggies closed the season by winning their 11th national championship in the past 20 years. It was a season that
included dual meet victories over the teams that finished both first
and second in the Division II championship and a drama-free Division III national championship in which Augsburg clinched the
title before the championship matches began.
While there were certainly questions about whether Matzek
would be able to keep the Augsburg wrestling program at the same
level—the fact that he looks both younger than his age and
younger than some of his wrestlers didn’t help—there is little
“I couldn’t be happier for Mark; they got the monkey off their
back,” Swenson says. “You win one and then you don’t have to answer the question any longer. And I couldn’t be happier that I had
nothing to do with it.”
Matzek says he didn’t feel pressure to win that first title, but he
also knows that there were people nationally who expected a misstep.
“If Augsburg was ever going to falter, it was going to be the last
two years,” he says. “And we finished second and first.”
BUMPS ALONG THE WAY
It was a little more than two years ago when Swenson walked into
Matzek’s office and asked him to serve as the program’s interim
coach. It was the end of July, the school year was less than six weeks
from starting and Matzek was handed the keys.
“Was I prepared as well as others in the nation? No,” Matzek says.
“But I didn’t want it to go outside the Augsburg family. I didn’t really
know what I had agreed to until I went home and told my wife.”
The next eight months were a blur for Matzek, who at times was
just trying to stay a step ahead of his wrestlers and make it to the
Because in addition to leading the Auggies, he was also part of the
way through a graduate program at Concordia-St. Paul, a program
that was much more manageable when he was an assistant coach.
“I had three full-time jobs,” he joked. “I had Augsburg, I had my
master’s program, and I had my wife. Our guys would study and I’d
be there working on my homework at the same time.”
MARK MATZEK AT AUGSBURG
Two individual national championships
The team won two national titles and
had two runner-up finishes.
2005-2008: Assistant coach
Augsburg won the 2007 national
championship and finished third in
both 2006 and 2008.
2008-09: Interim head coach
Team rose to No. 1 in the national
rankings and won the National Duals.
2009-10: Permanent head coach
The Auggies completed a perfect season,
winning every dual meet and tournament.
Augsburg won its 11th Division III national championship in the past 20 years.
Matzek was named Division III Coach of
The Auggies finished second at the
While athletics may not be as cutthroat
at the Division III level as it is, say, in the
Big Ten, contests are still scored and it isn’t
“I didn’t want to just hold on and be a
bridge from one coach to another,” Matzek
says. “I wanted to win the title for those
guys. It was a year of extreme highs and extreme lows for me. I was learning to manage
all of the different guys, manage personalities and figure out that not all athletes were
like me when I was in college.”
Matzek was certainly more than just the
guy to get Augsburg by. The Auggies defeated rival Wartburg, won the Division III
National Duals, and entered the NCAA
Championships ranked No. 1 in the country.
“I knew we didn’t have as good of a tournament team as we did a dual meet team,”
Matzek says. “We had a couple of injuries,
and we had a couple of matches that didn’t
go our way. After the first day I knew it was
going to be tough.”
The Auggies finished second, but
Matzek did enough to ensure his future as
Augsburg’s head coach. While the search
committee did bring in two outside candidates to interview for the position, Matzek
“Given the circumstances, he did a
great job,” Swenson says. “We were a
lowly-ranked team and he took us to the
No. 1 ranking and a second-place finish.
There was a real strong assumption with
the committee that he had done a good
IN THE RIGHT PLACE NOW
While Matzek has been a head coach for
only two seasons—and only one season in
which he knew the job was really his—he
has impressed the guy who is both his boss
and the architect of the Augsburg program.
“I think Mark has become a quick expert at preparing his teams for competition,” Swenson says. “I think he gets it. I
believe he has taken the Augsburg system
and tweaked it to have Mark Matzek’s
name on it. He’s done it by having a keen
sense of what athletes need.
“He’s a lot closer in age to his
wrestlers. He knows how it feels to go
through this. He’s really in tune to when
the guys need to be pushed, need a day
off, need rest.”
Like anyone in a new job, the second
year was easier for Matzek than the first.
He had a better understanding of what the
job entailed, there were fewer surprises,
and he could learn from both high points
and challenges of his first year.
And when the Auggies reached the
NCAA Championships, Matzek knew the
work had been done.
“I don’t want to sound cocky or arrogant, but we expected [the national championship], we expected to win it,” he says.
“It wasn’t a real surprise.”
While Swenson was happy for Matzek,
Matzek was happy for his boss.
“It was big for Augsburg wrestling to
win it without Jeff in the wrestling room, it
was a big relief for him and the search
committee,” Matzek says. “They took a
chance and it worked out.”
And, as a result, Matzek is exactly
where he wants to be.
In theatre, as in life, finding success is often about who
you know. But knowing the right people isn’t enough. In order
to build the foundation for a thriving career in theatre, students
need to form and maintain connections with the people and
the places that make up the “theatre scene.”
Perhaps this is one of the most important lessons that Augsburg
theatre students learn. Through participation in AugSem, the
Artist Series, internships, and by attending some of the hundreds
of productions staged throughout the Twin Cities every year, stu-
dents are challenged to go away from Augsburg, and sometimes
outside of their comfort zones, in order to make connections in the
BY WENDI WHEELER ’06
TO THE CITY
From the beginning of her Augsburg education, Tessa Flynn ’05 says she was encouraged to get involved in the city. A theatre
arts and mass communication major, she
was particularly interested in the role of
theatre in the public school system. She
was fortunate to land an internship with the
Children’s Theatre Company following her
sophomore year, an opportunity that served
as her introduction to critical literacy in the
The Children’s Theatre’s Neighborhood
Bridges program was started in 1997 by
Jack Zipes, fairy tale scholar, and the Children’s Theatre Company artistic director,
Peter Brosius. Using a variety of mediums such as theatre arts, storytelling, and creative writing, students work through issues in their
lives and develop critical thinking and communication skills. “It’s like
a little poison, this whole critical literacy thing,” Flynn says. “It gets
in your system, and your teaching is forever changed.”
Before Flynn’s last year of school, sociology professor Garry Hesser
encouraged her to get involved with the Project for Pride in Living college house in the Phillips neighborhood. She lived there with other
college students and tutored middle school students from the community. “I saw that my students needed to break a cycle of violence and
poverty, and I became even more convinced that theatre could be an
important part of that process,” Flynn says.
“Being in the city, you get to have the Guthrie and so
many other theatres as an extension of the classroom.”
KATIE KOCH ’01/’05
Now Flynn is the community engagement manager and a teaching
artist with the Bridges program at Children’s Theatre. She works with
students in grades 3–8 and has 22 classrooms where she spends two
hours a week. Flynn says the Bridges program engages multiple learning styles and allows students to recognize their individual skills.
“When I see students shine in Bridges, who in other areas of the
school day are thought of as low-achieving or who hide in the shadows, I am convinced that this is important work.”
Flynn says she is grateful for the opportunities she had at Augsburg. “I don’t know if I would be where I am now if not for the encouragement of faculty to get involved in the city.”
Katie Koch ’01/’05 also made many
connections in the city that led her on
a circuitous path—from campus to
downtown Minneapolis to New York and
back to Augsburg with a few more stops
Koch started out as a music major,
but when her high school drama
teacher took a position as stage manager at Hey City Theatre, longtime
home of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, Koch
was given an opportunity to assist him.
She worked as the assistant stage
Katie Koch ’01/’05
manager and as an actor in Tony n’
Tina’s Wedding at Hey City for three
years while she was in school. “I would be in Augsburg Choir
with my hair in pin curls,” Koch said, “because I literally had
to go straight from rehearsal to the theater.”
She says it was the advice of Sonja Thompson, a piano instructor and vocal coach at Augsburg, that finally convinced
her she could leave the music department. “She said, ‘You’re
doing all this work in theatre … you don’t have to be a music
major,’” Koch says.
Instead of declaring a new major, Koch left school to stage
manage the next show at Hey City, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. She
then became an assistant stage manager for the Minnesota
Opera, went on to work with Glimmerglass Opera in
Cooperstown, N.Y., and freelanced as a stage manager from
Milwaukee to Miami. Eventually she came back to Augsburg
and completed a degree in theatre.
Koch, who was by then a theatre veteran, found herself in
the classroom with younger students. “It was interesting to be
tossed in with a group of young, eager students,” she says. But
she formed relationships with students and even became a
mentor to some. “It was exciting to watch such a talented
group of artists learn and get ready to begin their careers.”
After school, Koch worked at the Ordway Center for the
Performing Arts until a friend encouraged her to respond to a
posting for the assistant to the director of the Guthrie. She
went through several interviews including a very brief interview
with Joe Dowling who, she says, asked her mostly about the
professionals she’d worked with in her career. “I guess he’d already made the decision to hire me,” she says. She’s worked
with Dowling now for three years.
Koch maintains connections to Augsburg, sometimes serv-
“I knew my experience at Augsburg
wouldn’t end after graduation.”
LEE FISHER ’06
Justin Hooper ’07 (left) and Michael Kelley ’05
ing as a guest lecturer and hosting Augsburg student groups who
visit the Guthrie.
“A huge advantage for Augsburg and the theatre department
is the city,” Koch says. “Being in the city, you get to have the
Guthrie and so many other theaters as an extension of the classroom.” She adds that anytime she gets a chance to talk to
Augsburg students, she tells them to take advantage of the opportunities to see high-quality performances in the city. “I say
you need to sit in the seats and watch … this is your
Each year many aspiring actors come to Augsburg hoping to
make a name for themselves onstage. And while many do just
that, they also sometimes discover and develop their calling to
work behind the scenes by getting involved backstage.
This was the case for Lee Fisher ’06, Michael Kelley ’05,
and Justin Hooper ’07. All three were very talented actors who
performed in a variety of roles while at Augsburg, but each one
also learned a lot about his craft while working on the technical
side of shows.
Fisher, who has taught English and directed the theatre program for five years at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in
Plymouth, says that being a stage manager was an important
part of his education. “When I was behind the scenes, it wasn’t
about me. As an educator that has been very helpful,” he says.
“Success happens when the focus is on what the students need
and how I can help them.”
Today he directs two major productions a year and frequently
draws on his connections with Augsburg theatre faculty for advice
about organizing shows. He’s sought out professors Michael Burden ’85, Martha Johnson, and Darcey Engen ’88 for help on developing a curriculum and organizing a show, and he says he wouldn’t
be able to do what he’s done without their help.
Fisher also stays in touch with education and English faculty
who were instrumental in his education because he values the professional connections. “I knew my experience at Augsburg wouldn’t
end after graduation,” Fisher says. He adds that his Augsburg professors continue to be sources of guidance and friendship.
“That commitment to bringing in outside artists puts
Augsburg one step higher than other college programs.”
JUSTIN HOOPER ’07
Kelley and Hooper also had eye-opening experiences working
backstage at Augsburg. Kelley says he came to college wanting
to be a professional actor but became interested in other career
possibilities after working in Augsburg’s scene shop for four
years. And Hooper says his experience was all-encompassing because he worked on- and offstage. “There was always a lot of
good discussion,” he adds, noting that theatre majors tended to
spend a lot of time together and to continue their classroom
discussions outside of class. “You see that everything in theatre is so connected.”
Hooper is grateful for the opportunities he had to work with
and get to know guest artists while he was a student. “In theatre, it’s all about who you know,” Hooper says. In addition to
meeting professionals through faculty connections, he and all
theatre students work with actors, directors, and designers from
the community on Augsburg productions. “That commitment to
bringing in outside artists puts Augsburg one step higher than
other college programs.”
The connections they made while studying theatre at
Augsburg have contributed to their busy and sometimes complicated professional careers. Since graduation, they have
acted in and directed shows, painted and designed sets, and
written original and adapted works. They’ve been from
Winona, Minn., to Acadia, Maine, and back. And now, in addition to maintaining their day jobs, the two are putting their
blood, sweat, and tears into managing 3AM Productions, a
small local theatre company.
At 3AM, Kelley says they draw on their connections with
other artists in the community to create unique and multidimensional productions. “We want every show to be something people aren’t used to seeing,” he says. He adds that
they strive to provide a well-rounded “big theatre” experience
to the patrons who are supporting their small theatre. “I
think it’s what we do well.”
During and after college, Steen worked in the box office at the
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. An actor friend there suggested she become a dramaturg, and eventually she went to Columbia to pursue an MFA.
“When students see other actors on the great stages of
this city, they can read their bios and see their training,
and that helps them see how to get from Augsburg’s
stage to another.” CARLA STEEN ’91
Because she had very little experience in the “creative side” of
theatre, Steen says her MFA was an immersion experience. “I said,
‘Oh, so this is how all this works.’”
Today Steen says it is interesting to come back to Augsburg because as a student she wasn’t really involved with the theatre department. She has taught and been a guest lecturer at the College,
and she tries to see at least one production a year.
Steen says theatre students in the Twin Cities are fortunate because of the opportunities to meet and see high-quality actors, directors, and artists. “When students see other actors on the great
FINDING YOUR STAGE
It takes more than theatre majors and faculty and staff to
stage a production. Often many non-majors get involved in
theatre in college but don’t end up in “the business” until
later in life.
Carla Steen ’91 is one student whose path to professional
theatre went through the English and history departments at
As a first-year student, she ran the light board for Julie
Bolton’s production of Macbeth—with a set designed by Burden (then a graduate student at the University of Minnesota)
and starring Engen as Lady Macbeth. But that was the end of
her participation in theatre at Augsburg as a student.
Instead, Steen, who has worked at the Guthrie for 12
years as a dramaturg and publications manager, studied literary criticism with English professor Doug Green and worked
on a senior honors project under his direction. She also researched Shakespearean history and sources for her history
senior seminar taught by Richard Nelson, now professor
“In many ways, that was the beginning of me thinking
that research for theatre was an interesting thing I could do,”
Carla Steen ’91
“We hire people because they are active
and are creating their own work, not waiting for someone … And they also have
some other passions that aren’t about
theatre.” JENNI LILLEDAHL ’87
Jenni Lilledahl ’87
stages of this city, they can read their bios and see their training, and that
helps them see how to get from Augsburg’s stage to another.”
Another student who played a minor role at Augsburg and went on to a thriving
career in theatre is Jenni Lilledahl ’87. As a student, Lilledahl took courses with
Ailene Cole, now professor emerita. “She seemed like she lived and breathed theatre and was completely consumed with passion for the forum,” Lilledahl says.
“She influenced me as an artist, and I always admired her from a distance.”
Though Lilledahl took courses to obtain a minor in theatre, she felt the need to
study in a more lucrative field. “I remember hearing voices saying, ‘You have to
pay the bills and have a reliable income.’” Lilledahl majored in communication
and public relations.
After graduating and working in corporate public relations, she decided to try
the “comedy thing,” so she started taking improvisation classes and met her future
husband, John Sweeney. Eventually she jumped off the corporate ladder so that
she and Sweeney could pursue their dreams, and the couple moved to Chicago
and worked at The Second City.
Then in 1997, along with Mark Bergren, the couple bought the Brave New Workshop from its founder,
Dudley Riggs. “John and I had three or so years of experience in theatre but had a lot more business experience,” Lilledahl says. “I guess we were sort of the
oddballs of the theatre community, but Dudley appreciated that we could manage the business as well as the
As the current co-owner of Brave New Workshop
and executive director of the Brave New Institute,
Lilledahl oversees the theatre’s school, which reaches
more than 150 students a week, and she conducts improvisation workshops around the country. She is also
on the board for Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, an organization that provides emotional and social support for
families impacted by cancer.
Lilledahl returns to Augsburg at least once a year to
speak in chapel. Often her advice to students, which
she says is based on years of seeing who gets work and
who doesn’t, is to get as much stage time as they
can—wherever, whenever, and however—and to have a
life outside of the theatre.
“We hire people because they are active and are
creating their own work, not waiting for someone,” she
says. “And they also have some other passions that
aren’t about theatre.” Lilledahl adds that an actor’s experiences outside of theatre help them bring life to a
script and creativity to the stage.
And perhaps that is what makes all these alumni
At Augsburg students are trained as actors, directors, and technicians, but they also learn how to become involved in their community as artists and as
informed citizens. They understand that making connections is important to their careers and to their
personal lives as well. They’re encouraged to explore
many aspects of theatre, to develop their craft, and
to work and learn at Augsburg and in the city.
More than blocking and movement or scene study
and character analysis, these are the lessons that
will stick with them as they make their mark on the
From the Alumni Board president …
Dear fellow alumni,
ummer is in full swing, and that means one thing—
lots of activities to enjoy with our families. Nobody
celebrates summer quite as well as Minnesotans, and
at Augsburg we are no exception. The Alumni Board has a
number of family-friendly events planned for 2010 and
2011, and we hope you’ll join us!
The annual Auggie Day at the Races, held at Canterbury
Park on August 5, usually attracts more than 700 Augsburg
alumni. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to enjoy an evening together. If you didn’t get to it this year, we hope to see you at Canterbury next year.
Another summer favorite is the Minnesota State Fair. When you attend the “Great
Minnesota Get-Together” this year, be sure to visit the Augsburg booth in the Education Building and tell us what you’re up to these days.
Believe it or not, Homecoming is just around the corner—October 10–16. This
year’s events feature something for everyone, including continuing education classes,
Auggie Author Book Signing, alumni concerts, 5K fun run, football game against the
Concordia-Moorhead Cobbers, and much more. Don’t forget to stop by the Alumni
Board booth at the Taste of Augsburg to learn how to get involved. This fun event has
been expanded with more carnival-style booths for a great time for the whole family.
The mission of the Alumni Board is to connect alumni with the College to enjoy
the events, friendships, and company of fellow Auggies. Each year the board has a
planning session to ensure that we support our mission to provide great, compelling
programs that renew and sustain your interest in Augsburg. Some ideas for this year
include an expansion of the Uniquely Augsburg series, similar to June’s Dead Sea
Scrolls event at the Science Museum that featured Professor Phil Quanbeck II; networking events; volunteer opportunities; lectures featuring Augsburg’s beloved faculty; and more.
Augsburg was a gateway to the future for us as students. Now, as alumni, we put
the lessons we learned from Augsburg’s unequaled education into action every day.
Thanks to the life-altering experiences we share because of our alma mater, those of
us on the Alumni Board work hard to unite the alumni of Augsburg College.
Enjoy the rest of the summer! I look forward to seeing you at the many alumni
Welcome, new Alumni Board
At its June meeting, the Augsburg College Alumni
Board welcomed four new members who will
serve three-year terms.
Tracy Anderson is a third generation Auggie. She
graduated in 1995 with a major in communication
and a minor in business administration. Tracy attended Augsburg as a post-secondary student,
studied as a day student, and completed her degree in Weekend College. She is a realtor with
Edina Realty in Edina, and looks forward to networking with alumni and becoming involved in the
Christopher Ascher, a 1981 graduate with a major
in finance and minor in psychology, played on
Augsburg’s soccer team and is an A-Club member.
He is senior vice president and a branch manager
for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Bloomington.
He enjoyed meeting more than 80 alumni as host of
the January alumni winetasting event.
Sarah Grans is a youth and family ministry graduate from 2001, also with a minor in psychology.
She is director of outreach and faith formation at
St. Peder’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Minneapolis. As a student she was active in Campus Ministry and was co-commissioner during her
senior year. She wants to give back to Augsburg
and reconnect alumni in meaningful ways.
Sharon Mercill graduated with a bachelor’s degree
in nursing in 2009 in Rochester and is currently a
student in the Master of Arts in Nursing program.
When she attended an Alumni Board meeting for a
study project and enjoyed connecting with other
alumni, she decided to become more involved and
join the board. She is the RN study coordinator of
breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
JOHN STADLER ’07 MAL
PRESIDENT OF THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
and Speaker Series
Are you looking for an opportunity to hear from Twin
Cities business leaders? Are you interested in a chance to
network with fellow Augsburg alums? Well, Augsburg—
through a pair of programs—has opportunities for you.
The Eye-Opener Breakfast Series is for Augsburg
alumni who want to network and learn from either a business leader or an Augsburg professor. The Strommen Executive Leader Speaker Series provides opportunities for
students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to hear from
high-level business executives.
Here’s a look at the first speakers of the next academic
year for both programs with dates to mark on your calendar.
President Pribbenow and members of the Alumni Board celebrated with graduating day program
seniors at their reception in May. (L to R) Rob Wagner ’02, John Stadler ’07 MAL, Holly (Ebnet)
Knutson ’03, ’07 MBA, President Pribbenow, Dale Hanka ’60, Dan Hickle ’95, and Jennifer Carlson ’91.
Eye-Opener Breakfast Series:
The first event of the 2010-11 academic year
will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30. In addition to
breakfast and networking, attendees will hear
from Nate Garvis, former vice president of government affairs and senior public relations officer
for Target Corporation. Garvis will present his
thoughts on innovative ways to share the work of
building prosperous communities. Other EyeOpener Breakfasts will be held in 2011 on January 25 and May 10.
The Eye-Opener Breakfasts are held at Town
and Country Club in St. Paul, from 7–9 a.m. The
cost is $5 person, which includes breakfast.
RSVP by September 27 at
Strommen Executive Leader Speaker Series:
Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bank, will be the featured speaker for the first event of the academic
year on November 18, at 5 p.m., in Sateren Auditorium. Additional events will be held on February 3 and April 7, 2011. The speaker series is
free and held on campus.
2010 Augsburg graduates were excited to join the Alumni Association as they celebrated their
achievements at the Senior Reception. (L to R) Lisa Yankauskas, Rosine Johnson, Brenna McHugh,
and Barbara Simmons.
Ruth A. Schmidt ’52—Distinguished alumna and educator
Ruth Schmidt, the first female
president of Agnes Scott College, benefactor to Augsburg’s
Women’s Resource Center, and
Distinguished Alumna, died on
May 24 in Decatur, Ga.
Schmidt graduated summa
cum laude in 1952 with a
major in English and minors in
Spanish and library science.
She continued to study Spanish, earning master’s and doctoral degrees, and taught Spanish at the high school and college
levels, including at Wheaton College and the State University of
New York at Albany. After her appointment as dean of humanities
at SUNY Albany, she went on to become president of Agnes Scott
College in Decatur, Ga., until her retirement in 1994. She remained active in retirement through travel, international development work, women’s social justice issues, and peace initiatives.
Her legacy at Agnes Scott includes establishment of study
abroad programs, and increased diversity among faculty and
Professor Emerita Ruth Aaskov ’52 was a classmate of
Schmidt’s, and they became lifelong friends. As students, both
were close to Anne Pederson, their English professor and mentor.
When Augsburg established the Women’s Resource Center in
2000, it was named in memory of Pederson and funded by a generous gift from Schmidt.
Block off your calendar for the weekend of October
15–16 and return to campus for Homecoming 2010’s
The Homecoming Convocation kicks off the weekend on Friday, Oct. 15, when First Decade, Spirit of
Augsburg, and Distinguished Alumni Award winners will
be recognized. Professor Emeritus Philip Quanbeck Sr.
’50 will provide the keynote remarks at the Homecoming Convocation Luncheon.
A number of Augsburg Experience lifelong-learning
sessions are scheduled for Friday afternoon. In addition, the Auggie Author Book Signing and reading will
take place prior to the Welcome Back Banquet.
If you come to Saturday’s football game against the
Concordia Cobbers, plan to get to campus long before
the 1 p.m. kickoff. The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with the
Come back for Homecoming
family-friendly Anderson Hall Homecoming 5K Fun Run,
and campus tours are available from 10 a.m. until
noon. Three hours prior to kickoff, the Taste of
Augsburg in Murphy Square will feature carnival-style
booths operated by student groups, alumni, and local
restaurants. In addition to carnival-style food, there
will be games, inflatable bounce houses, and fun for
the whole family.
Back by popular demand is the Auggie Block Party
(in Parking Lot K, between Melby Hall and Riverside
Ave.) following the football game. Join alumni, students,
and friends for food, entertainment, and camaraderie.
Join fellow Auggies and music lovers after the Block
Party for a celebration concert in Hoversten Chapel
honoring Professor Stephen “Gabe” Gabrielsen ’63.
Go to www.augsburg.edu/homecoming for information.
alumni class notes
Stan Nelson, Andover, Minn.,
Jerilyn (Bjugstad) Wibbens,
43was selected as one of the
67Mukilteo, Wash., founded the
World War II veterans whose service
would be honored by flying them to
Washington, D.C., at no cost, to visit
the World War II memorial. Stan is
the last survivor of four Navy officers
from a landing craft that participated
in the D-Day invasion in June 1944;
he still attends annual reunions.
Northwest Nordic Ladies Chorus,
based in Everett, Wash., to keep
singing the Norwegian songs she
learned in her family and to learn
songs from the other Nordic countries. They regularly perform at
Scandinavian events and senior
Vera (Peterson) Rachuy, West-
Peter Agre was honored in
52brook, Minn., a retired
70June, along with four other
teacher, discovered a love and talent
for painting that began during a prolonged and severe winter when she
started to sketch her and her daughter’s dogs.
graduates of Norwegian Lutheran
colleges, with the “Going Viking”
Award by Norway House in Minneapolis. The award recognizes the
contributions of Norwegian Americans to the region.
Rev. Darry Show less
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:29 AM Page 1
VOL. 71, NO. 3
out of the
The Magazine of Augsburg College
contest winners Peace Prize Forum 2010
Lutefisk and a legacy In the neighborhood
Learning t... Show more
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:29 AM Page 1
VOL. 71, NO. 3
out of the
The Magazine of Augsburg College
contest winners Peace Prize Forum 2010
Lutefisk and a legacy In the neighborhood
Learning to learn Pursuing an ideal education
the dots for good IGNITE program
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:29 AM Page 2
from President Pribbenow
Kathy Rumpza ’05 MAL
Wendi Wheeler ’06
Jen Nagorski ’08
Multiply your mind by giving it away
s this issue of Augsburg Now illustrates, the
Augsburg community is engaged in many efforts and initiatives that are best characterized as innovative—or “out-of-the-box,” as they’re
called here. In fact, I believe deeply that there is
something about Augsburg and its mission that
lends itself to this sort of entrepreneurial spirit,
this willingness to try new ways of doing things in
service to our students and neighbors. Just think of
the last 30 years of new programs at Augsburg—
the Weekend College; the expansion to seven graduate programs; the Augsburg campus at Bethel
Lutheran Church in Rochester and at St. Stephen
Lutheran Church in Bloomington; the Augsburg
Core Curriculum ––(AugCore), with its expansive
framework for educating students in the liberal arts
and in the world; the CLASS office, providing support for students with learning differences; the
StepUP program, meeting the needs of students recovering from addictions; and the list goes on and
on. All examples of how Augsburg is on the leading
edge of providing an excellent education in new
and innovative ways.
I’ve recently been reading literature on helping
organizations to embrace and sustain a culture of
innovation—that is, to create organizational cultures that are constantly looking for new and different ways to do things, to make products, to deliver
services; to save souls, educate students, heal the
sick. Recently, I happened upon the writing of
Mark Federman, a Canadian scholar whose writings on innovation include this provocative suggestion: “Multiply your mind by giving it away.” And
Federman means exactly what he says—be generous, be charitable, give instead of always taking.
Because when you are generous with your mind,
with your knowledge and education, you help to
create organizations and neighborhoods and agencies and churches and schools that are marked not
by the scarcity of the world but by the abundance
of what’s possible when generosity of mind and
heart and spirit is our guiding principle.
How will you give away your mind in the communities and organizations you serve? I constantly find
examples of such generosity of mind right here in
the Augsburg community, and you’ll see them in
the stories featured here. For example, I’m struck
by the ways in which staff member Brian Noy and
his many colleagues who run our Campus Kitchen
program are illustrating this generosity of mind and
spirit. In addition to the ongoing preparation and
delivery of 2,000 meals a month they serve to our
neighbors in Phillips and Cedar-Riverside, they
have focused our attention on the important role
that food plays in our lives—as sustenance for our
bodies, as fellowship for our community, as politics
and economics in our neighborhood and world.
They have multiplied their minds by giving them
away to all of us. And the results are staggering—
a community garden on the edge of campus that
brings together neighbors and students and children, a Farmers Market that brings organic farmers
from across the region to campus, composting of
leftover everything in the cafeteria, and so much
more—abundance through generosity.
The gift of an education, an Augsburg education, calls all of us to this generous undertaking of
multiplying your mind and knowledge and experience by giving it away so that it serves God’s abundant intentions for God’s people and world. That is
the sort of innovation that is at the heart of
Augsburg’s mission and vision. I’m proud to share
in this significant work.
PAUL C. PRIBBENOW, PRESIDENT
Director of News and
Sports Information Director
Assistant Vice President of
Marketing and Communication
Director of Alumni and
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:
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Minneapolis, MN 55454
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:30 AM Page 3
10th annual International Programs Photo Contest
2010 Nobel Peace Prize Forum
Lutefisk, a log cabin, and a 50-year legacy
by Betsey Norgard
out of the box
20 Pursuing an ideal education
by Wendi Wheeler ’06
23 In the neighborhood
by Jeff Shelman
Around the Quad
Auggies on the ice
It takes an Auggie
My Auggie experience
25 Learning to learn—without any A, B, Cs
by Jeff Shelman
28 Connecting the dots for good
by Bryan Barnes
31 IGNITE-ing Auggie spirit
by Betsey Norgard
34 The Bod Pod
by Betsey Norgard
36 Out of the box partnerships
by Rebecca John
On the cover
It’s impossible to arrange many of the programs, people, and
partnerships at Augsburg neatly into a box. With their creative
perspectives and unique features, the stories here show how
Augsburg often looks and acts “out-of-the-box.”
All photos by Stephen Geffre unless otherwise indicated.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:31 AM Page 4
Auggies win 11th national wrestling title
With eight All-Americans and three national runner-up individuals, the Augsburg College wrestling team claimed its 11th
NCAA Division III national title in the last 20 seasons in March
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Augsburg finished with 110.5 points, 10 points better than
second-place Wisconsin-La Crosse’s 100.5. Defending national
champion Wartburg (Iowa) was third with 83.5 points, Coe
(Iowa) was fourth with 76.0 points, and Delaware Valley (Pa.)
was fifth with 50.5 points.
In his second year as Augsburg’s head wrestling coach, Mark
Matzek ’05 was named Division III National Coach of the Year
by the National Wrestling Coaches Association—and at age 27,
is the youngest head coach to ever win a Division III wrestling
national title. Augsburg assistant head coach Jared Evans ’07
was named National Assistant Coach of the Year by the NWCA.
“It was nine individual efforts that created this team national
championship,” Matzek said. “I’m proud of each and every one
of the guys who wrestled, and I’m proud of each and every one
of the guys in this program.”
The final session of the tournament completed a unique first
for the Auggies—the first time Augsburg has won a national
title without an individual national titlist. The feat has occurred
just twice before in the 37-year history of the Division III championships.
Have you seen the new signs?
The new LED “Augsburg” atop Mortensen Hall now serves as a
beacon to commuters who pass by on Interstate 94 and as a marker
of Augsburg’s location. To read more and see a video of the
construction, go to the “Auggie Sign” page on Facebook.
Photo by Caleb Williams
Auggie wrestlers, students, families, and friends
celebrated Augsburg’s 11th national championship.
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Augsburg receives five Fulbright awards
In the past weeks, three Augsburg students, one faculty member, and the
Center for Global Education have all been notified that they have received
Fulbright awards for next year.
May graduates Jens Olsen and Heidi Le will both teach English in
Vietnam during the 2010-11 academic year. Bethany Hellerich, a 2009
graduate who is spending this year as a member of the Lutheran Volunteer
Corps, will teach English in Indonesia. All three have plans to further their
education after their year abroad, as Olsen will apply to medical school, Le
has deferred admission to pharmacy school, and Hellerich is interested in
a public health graduate program.
Seven Augsburg students have been awarded Fulbrights over the past
three years and the College has been recognized as a top producer of winners. Hellerich said Augsburg’s Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity office (URGO) deserves credit for working with students and
pushing them to believe that they can have success.
“I’m just fortunate that [URGO director] Dixie Shafer exists and magical
things happen when she works with you on your application,” Hellerich
said. “She’s very helpful with giving good and detailed feedback.”
English professor Colin Irvine will spend the next academic year traveling the length of Norway as a Fulbright Roving Scholar in American Studies.
College mourns the death of faculty
Professor Don Steinmetz, who
taught in the Languages and
Cross-Cultural Studies Department for 41 years, died of an
apparent heart attack on Dec.
28. He was 71. His son, Erik
Steinmetz, is a member of
Augsburg’s Computer Science
Don Steinmetz served as chair of the department and taught
courses in German and Spanish. He also taught Chinese and linguistics within the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities consortium.
Professor Emeritus Myles Stenshoel died on March 26 following
a short illness. He taught at Augsburg for 28 years and continued
to teach part time in retirement. In 1965 he came to Augsburg and
established the Political Science Department the following year. His
interests were in politics and religion, and he was deeply committed to social action.
Also mourned is Neal Thorpe ’60, former faculty member and a
Distinguished Alumnus, who died in Vancouver, Wash., on March 3.
Jens Olsen and Heidi Le
In this role, Irvine will prepare presentations on American studies topics and visit schools across Norway to provide opportunities for Norwegian
teenagers to learn about the United States. Based in Oslo, he will likely give
between 250 and 300 presentations across the country.
“I’ve always been interested in the possibility of working or teaching
overseas,” Irvine said. “This roving scholar program was perfect.”
In addition, the Center for Global Education also received its fifth
Fulbright-Hays Group Project award and will host a four-week curriculum
development program for teachers during July and August in Namibia.
The last issue of the Now had a story, “Augsburg’s first
travel to Egypt.” Alas, we have received a note from social work Professor Emerita Edwina (Eddie) Hertzberg,
who tells us it isn’t so.
“In 1979, for the January Interim, the College sponsored a course, Social Services and Public Policy in a Developing Country: Egypt, 1979,” she writes. “I was the
faculty instructor, assisted by former adjunct professor
Nagwa Farag and two of her colleagues from Helwan
University in Cairo. My request to Professor Farag
had been that we get as close to Egyptian people
as possible so that our experience include the
depth that only such engagement can provide.
Eleven students, Augsburg and St. Olaf,
from a variety of disciplines, participated in
the month-long program. … [I]t was a remarkable educational and life-impacting
experience for us all, students and faculty alike.”
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Yi started out the semester in the back of the room, about as far
away from me as possible. He showed relatively little interest; his
homework and test grades were poor. Yet when I called on him he
responded with reasonable answers. Like others hiding in the
back row, Yi had potential; he just needed some personal attention and prodding. I took to writing notes on his homework encouraging him to move forward and talk to me. One afternoon he
appeared in my office, and we talked for an hour about many
things—about the class, how he came to United International
College (UIC), and his goals. Eventually he closed the office door
and wanted to talk about the injuries his uncle experienced in
Tiananmen Square in 1989. But the fear was still too great and
he left. Yi did move forward, began to interact with me, and soon
his work, tests, and comments improved remarkably. He began to
enjoy thinking philosophically.
Through a special arrangement, Augsburg made it possible for
me to teach philosophy during the fall semester at UIC in Zhuhai,
China. In three classes I was privileged to work with 120 bright
Chinese students. A new, English-medium liberal arts college on
the mainland, UIC is an experiment to provide a more Western
style of education to the Chinese. China is dramatically changing
as it attempts to educate its population, and UIC is one of eight
brand-new universities built in Zhuhai in the last 10 years.
“I told my students that part of my mission was to
corrupt them, to move them from the passive state
of being excellent note-takers and regurgitators of
teachers’ PowerPoints to being able to think and
question for themselves.”
In Introduction to Philosophy we read Plato’s Apology, where
Socrates is accused of corrupting the youth by getting them to
question those in authority who claimed that they knew when they
really didn’t. I told my students that part of my mission was to corrupt them, to move them from the passive state of being excellent
note-takers and regurgitators of teachers’ PowerPoints to being
able to think and question for themselves. By the end of the term
over half of the students were engaging me in the classroom discussion, raising questions and objections and making the class
Philosophy, religion, and Chinese food
Professor Bruce Reichenbach with students (from left) Daisy, Serena, and Charlene enjoy
noodles and discussion after class in Zhuhai, China.
My Philosophy of Religion students and I would walk down to
the student canteen on Friday for lunch and conversation. Jiang
sat next to me and between bites of noodles asked, “Do you really
believe in God?” Teaching Philosophy of Religion provided both a
challenge and opportunity, as both the students and I looked for a
common ground of understanding between our two cultures and
worldviews. Once the initial barriers of passive learning were put to
rest, the classroom boiled with discussion, questions, challenges,
and good humor. Here, too, the students would linger. Tony periodically stayed around for an hour, his phenomenology book in hand,
to inquire how Heidegger would view these ideas. Self taught in
philosophy, he was eager to connect the course ideas with his own
Three Augsburg students and four recent graduates, serving as
teaching assistants, also joined the UIC community, providing
cross-cultural connections that will continue to develop as students and faculty visit each other’s campuses in the years ahead.
At the end of the term two of my classes took my wife and me to
Chinese restaurants to show their appreciation. We toasted friendship and a wonderful semester as we affirmed that we all liked philosophy and Chinese food.
Professor of philosophy
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:31 AM Page 7
Auggies on the ice
Chris Johnson—A third-generation hockey star
Chris Johnson certainly has an impressive hockey pedigree.
Chris is the son of Mark Johnson, a member of the fabled “Miracle on Ice” 1980 U.S. Olympic team, a pro hockey star, and coach
of the 2010 U.S. Olympic women’s silver-medal hockey squad.
He’s the grandson of “Badger” Bob Johnson, one of the greatest
coaches in American hockey history—who also happened to attend
Augsburg for a year before transferring to the University of
Wisconsin. And his siblings all played hockey on various teams.
But Chris Johnson has also made a name for himself as a leader
of the Auggie men’s hockey team. A native of Verona, Wis.,
Johnson had a terrific career as an Auggie, scoring 41 goals with
74 assists for 115 points in his 104-game career. He had a goal or
assist in 15 of Augsburg’s 27 games this season, including seven
Johnson’s squads reached the MIAC postseason
playoffs in three of his four seasons, including two
with him as team captain. He earned All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
honors all four seasons and All-American
honors last year.
Off the ice, Johnson will also be remembered as a top hockey
player. He’s a member of Augsburg’s Student-Athlete Advisory
Committee and has helped lead hockey ministry and Bible-study
groups of student-athletes. He’s also worked with the Herb Brooks
Foundation’s “Rink Rats” program, teaching hockey skills to students from the Seward Montessori School. Johnson is a finance
major with a 3.4 GPA.
“Hockey was everywhere when we were growing up, in a good
way, not in a pressure way,” Johnson told columnist Rachel Blount
of the Star Tribune in a January feature. “We all got to play at the
same high school as my dad. He taught us that even though we
might have a last name that helps, it doesn’t matter if you don’t
work hard. But he also told us that at the end of the day, it’s all
about having fun.”
This season was a special one for the Johnson family.
Since the U.S. women’s hockey team was based at the
Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., prior to the
Olympics, Mark—who took a leave of absence from his
job as coach of the University of Wisconsin women’s
hockey team to lead the Olympic squad—had ample opportunities to be with his son in the Twin Cities. Mark
attended several of his son’s games at Augsburg, and
the two met weekly for dinner and father-son bonding.
In a “Profiles of Excellence” feature on the
CollegeSportingNews.com website by Rich Mies in
January, Chris Johnson said that his experience at
Augsburg has been a positive one. “I’ve received a great education here,” he said, “and
I cherish the relationships I’ve made here
with teammates, coaches, teachers, and
friends. I’ve grown up a lot while I’ve
He also said he may consider
following in his father’s and
grandfather’s footsteps and
coach hockey someday.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:31 AM Page 8
1st place: Matt Anderson
“Soccer at Le Sacré Coeur”
2nd place: Sandra Meyer
3rd place: Dan Thewis
“Friday at Al-Azhar Mosque”
1st place: Norah Thompson
“Villa Joyosa, España”
2nd place: Malena Thoson
3rd place: Elizabeth Robinson
“Work Will Set You Free”
1st place: Dan Thewis
“Cairo at Midnight”
2nd place: Norah Thompson
“El niño en Madrid”
3rd place: Sandra Meyer
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:31 AM Page 9
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:32 AM Page 10
How girlfriends do theology
“Doing Theology with Girlfriends,” or DTwG as it is known, is
not your typical Bible study.
Sonja Hagander, associate pastor at Augsburg, started DTwG
because students told her they wanted a Bible study on campus.
“But you can’t always call it a ‘Bible study,’” Hagander says,
“because that means it’s difficult or boring or only for people
who already understand the Bible.”
So DTwG gives women at Augsburg a chance to connect, to
support each other, and to relate their own life experiences to
scripture. This group of girlfriends gathers once a month to share
stories of their lives and to “do” theology.
The idea for DTwG came as Hagander reflected on how she
loved spending time with her own girlfriends and on the importance of relating to other women. When the group gathers each
month, one woman shares a story from her life. The others then
share their own feelings and memories related to the story.
Hagander chooses a reading or two from the Bible, which the
women use to dig deeper into their experiences. Finally, they ask
how what they’ve learned might change their daily lives or the
way they practice their faith.
On the last Monday in January, one student talked about what
it means to “truly experience” nature as she related the story of
her family’s vacation in Denali National Park. “I sat there for
hours, looking out for miles, reflecting and praying and trying to
figure out my place within God’s beautiful creation,” she said.
Hagander passed out copies of Psalm 23, and the girlfriends
identified their own green pastures and still waters. For one, a
late-night jog around the lakes in Minneapolis was a way for
her to connect to nature. Another experienced the majesty of
creation while watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon.
Then Hagander asked the group to examine the dark and destructive side of nature using Job’s account of a fire-breathing,
stone-hearted leviathan. This led to a discussion about the
massive loss of life caused by the earthquakes in Haiti. One
woman marveled at the faith that kept some people alive as
they waited for days to be pulled from the rubble of destroyed
homes, churches, and schools.
“Today is a gift that we get to use in the best way possible,”
Hagander said, asking how the women could take this discussion into their lives.
This hour wasn’t a gab session or group therapy. But it
wasn’t an ordinary Bible study either. There were no right answers or theologically sound interpretations. Just coffee and
tea, comfortable chairs, a pink candle, and a chance to share.
That is how girlfriends do theology.
WENDI WHEELER ’06
Back row (L to R): Amy Wenzel, Whitney Pratt, Pastor Sonja Hagander, Ally Streed,
Sara Thiry, Emily Wiles; Front row (L to R): Lonna Field, Carly Facchini, Dixie Scruggs,
Marrta Wyatt, Angelica Erickson, Sylvia Bull
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:32 AM Page 11
it takes an
A young woman meets her many grandmothers
Last year, Krystal Mattison ’10 studied in Korea. Many students
who study abroad are profoundly affected by the experience. For
Mattison, a history and American Indian studies major from St.
Paul, spending the year abroad was a life-changing opportunity to
bond with her new grandmothers.
Mattison is the granddaughter of a “comfort woman.” During
World War II, thousands of Korean women were forced into sexual
slavery by the Japanese military. Some of these women did not survive their ordeal, and many were unable to have children as a result of their treatment. Furthermore, the women were unable to
talk about their experiences until many years later.
Her grandmother died when Mattison was five years old, but she
heard the story from her father. While in Korea, Mattison spent
time at the House of Sharing, an organization in Seoul that houses
and cares for the surviving comfort women. She says that after she
told them about her grandmother, the women became her adopted
grandmothers (halmonis), even giving her the Korean name
Soo-Jeong. “They spoiled me, holding my hands and feeding me,”
She learned from the women, who now think of themselves not
as victims but as survivors and activists, that speaking out against
violence is an important part of the healing process. “This experience brought me so much completion that I had to do something.”
That “something” was to connect with Jessica Nathanson, assistant professor of women’s studies and director of Augsburg’s
Women’s Resource Center. After Mattison shared her grandmother’s story and her own experience in Korea, the center agreed
to donate the proceeds from its annual benefit performance of The
Vagina Monologues to the House of Sharing.
Eve Ensler’s episodic play began off-Broadway in 1996. Each
year The Vagina Monologues and other theatrical productions are
presented across the country by women on college campuses on
V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls.
“Since the purpose of performing this show is to fight violence
against women by raising awareness about the issue and funds for
organizations who do this work, we feel like it was a tremendously
successful event,” says Nathanson. “The performances were excellent,” she adds, “beautifully and powerfully delivered.”
This year’s production raised more than $800 through ticket
sales and donations, which amounts to 940,000 Korean won.
“This is such a personal issue for me, and I think it’s amazing that
the women of Augsburg took it on,” Mattison says. At the end of
each Augsburg performance, Mattison gave a speech about her
grandmother. “I felt like she was there with me.”
The Vagina Monologues was directed by Julia Sewell, a senior
psychology major from Minneapolis. The cast included Irene Abdullah, Veronica Berg, Kia Burton, Amber Davis, Rebecca
Dickinson, Sarah Gillund, Annika Gunderson, Lucreshia Grant,
Elizabeth Hanson, Brandy Hyatt, Valencia McMurray, Lily Morris,
Kris Ness, Magdalen Ng, Shannon O’Brien, Yasameen Sajady,
Leann Vice-Reshel, Rochelle Weidner, and Courtney Wiley.
WENDI WHEELER ’06
During Krystal Mattison’s year in Korea, she became friends with women, like her own
grandmother, called “comfort women,” who were abused by the Japanese military
during World War II. These survivors became grandmothers to her, and this year she
found a way to help support them.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:33 AM Page 12
THE 22ND ANNUAL NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:34 AM Page 13
THE 22ND ANNUAL NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM
Striving for Peace
A Question of Will
March 5–6, 2010
In cooperation with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, five Midwestern colleges of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) sponsor the
annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum. The colleges,
all founded by Norwegian immigrants, sponsor
the forum to give recognition to Norway’s international peace efforts and to offer opportunities
for Nobel Peace laureates, diplomats, scholars,
students, and the general public to engage in dialogue on the dynamics of peacemaking and the
underlying causes of conflict and war.
The Peace Prize Forum is the Nobel Institute’s only such program or academic affiliation
St. Olaf College
This year’s Peace Prize Forum was held March 5
and 6 on the Augsburg College campus, and honored the work of 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner
Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland.
The other plenary speakers were Kjell Magne
Bondevik, president of the Oslo Center for Peace
and Human Rights, and Leymah Gbowee, executive director of Women Peace and Security
Prior to the forum, the 15th annual Peace Prize
Festival brought together approximately 800
school children and youth to learn about the importance and influence of the Nobel Peace Prize
and to honor President Ahtisaari.
For more photos of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and
Peace Prize Festival, go to www.augsburg.edu/now
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:34 AM Page 14
THE 22ND ANNUAL NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FORUM
The Peace Prize Forum is grateful for the support of our sponsors:
this year’s host, Augsburg College, for providing the platform and for staging this
important event. Together, with all of you
in the audience, I look forward to learning
from a leader this evening, a man who’s
been inspiring in his steadfast belief in
peace and transformative in his approach.
May we all leave this conference energized
by the power of one voice and committed
to engaging collaboratively with each other
to further the process of achieving peace.
Alex Gonzalez ’90 (right), Thrivent Financial for Lutherans,
and Pribbenow meet Ahtisaari.
Ann Parriott, vice president for human resources at H.B. Fuller, extended greetings at
the forum’s opening ceremony.
“Good evening. It’s a pleasure to be here
with you tonight to help introduce this year’s
conference. H.B. Fuller Company is honored
to serve as the lead sponsor for the 2010
Nobel Peace Prize Forum. We’re delighted
to help welcome our very special guest
speaker, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti
Ahtisaari, and pleased to help and encourage ongoing dialogue and discussion on the
topic of peace and conflict resolution.
“As a company operating in more than
100 countries for many of our 120-plus
years, H.B. Fuller has long embraced the
value of diverse global perspectives to solve
problems, address challenges, and maximize opportunities in the business sector.
We are truly excited to help bring this year’s
program to you and by so doing help provide a platform for dialogue, discussion,
and diverse perspectives on an issue that
affects all of us as global citizens.
“We salute the Norwegian Nobel Institute and our academic sponsors, including
Alex Gonzalez ’90 represented Thrivent
Financial for Lutherans™ at the forum.
Parriott poses with President Martti Ahtisaari (center)
and President Pribbenow.
Ann and Todd Parriott converse with Augsburg’s MBA
director, Steve Zitnick (left).
“As a faith-based membership organization,
Thrivent Financial seeks to help enable its
members to demonstrate their care and concern for others. While organizationally it
does not have a global focus, Thrivent Financial does help its members have a global
impact through programs such as Thrivent
Builds Worldwide and through various
Lutheran relief organizations that have a
Alex Gonzalez, FIC, CLTC, is a partner
with the Stonebridge Group. He is a 1990
Augsburg graduate and a member of the
Augsburg College Board of Regents.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:34 AM Page 15
Tim McGough (center) greets Ahtisaari and Pribbenow.
McGough Construction and “Bright Green”
As a result of their extensive experience
with “green” construction and knowledge
of sustainable building practices and products, McGough has created the Bright
Green sustainable program. A guiding
principle of the program is to find creative
ways to apply sustainable practices to construction projects in a cost-effective manner. This would include exploring
techniques for reducing waste and applying eco-friendly operating practices.
McGough has adopted green strategies
throughout their company to test cleaning
products and utilize advanced recycling
strategies. This focus on energy conservation and minimizing waste enables it to
export these practices to the construction
site and provide useful advice to clients.
The centerpiece of Bright Green is the
Center of Excellence. The Center of
Excellence consists of several sustainability
specialists who can provide information and
advice to organizations who are considering
the implementation of criteria developed by
the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
or adopting proven practices to reduce the
negative environmental impacts of building
design and construction.
The center draws upon outside research
and industry data, as well as lessons
learned “on the ground” from McGough
Construction projects. Indeed, McGough is
a long-standing member of the USGBC
and is a founding sponsor of the local
Mississippi Headwaters Chapter in Minnesota. The sustainability specialists in
the Center of Excellence maintain active
roles in local chapter committees, enabling them to stay well-informed about
the most recent developments in sustainable design and construction.
McGough, in collaboration with
Augsburg, will apply these practices
to the Center for Science, Business, and
Kjell Magne Bondevik, president of the Oslo
Center for Peace and Human Rights, spoke in
dialogue with President Ahtisaari at the forum.
“In the long term, we can never win the
fight [against terrorism] by military means.
We need to find out why people are willing
to give their lives and we need to address
the root causes of terrorism.”
Nordic Home Interiors
Tim McGough (left) and Mike Hangge, with McGough Construction, speak with Barbara Farley, Augsburg’s vice
president for academic affairs and dean of the College.
Jeanne M. Voigt Foundation
Mary T., Inc.
Winds of Peace Foundation
The Omari rug/wall hangings donated to the
forum were woven by Nordic Home Interior’s
partner, Everest Handicraft Industries, in
Katmandu, Nepal. They were hand-knotted
in the primitive Nepalese/Tibetan art form of
Tibetan wool with 100 knots per square
inch. The dove design is Indian silk.
Faegre & Benson
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:37 AM Page 16
“ I T ’ S A B O U T F R I E N D S H I P, L E G A C Y, G O O D F O O D ,
H E R I T A G E , A G I N G — A L L O F T H O S E . ” JIM PEDERSON ’56
On a cold, crisp February morning, photographer Stephen Geffre and I follow Jim
Pederson ’56 through ankle-deep snow up a
slope to a small log cabin that overlooks
This log cabin, near Star Prairie, Wis.,
sits on the farm that was homesteaded by
Pederson’s great-grandparents in 1872 and
that he and his brother, Dwight ’60, now
own. They grew up on the farm, moved away
to begin their own lives, and now return
often with their families and friends.
Our reason for being there is to visit the
site of an annual celebration that has occurred on the second Saturday of November
for the past 50 years. It’s an afternoon each
year when Jim and Elaine Pederson host
friends and family in the small log cabin for
mulled cider and treats before heading to
nearby West Immanuel Lutheran Church for
lutefisk dinner. This church dinner is a
75-year tradition that now attracts more
than 1,200 people for lutefisk, lefse, meatballs, and more.
THE BEGINNING OF
Jim Pederson says it’s difficult to put a
label on this annual gathering. It’s about
friendship, legacy, good food, heritage,
aging—all of those. Star Tribune columnist
Original furniture, art, and history provide the setting for the pre-lutefisk dinner gathering that fills the cabin in November each year.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:37 AM Page 17
BY BETSEY NORGARD
a log cabin, and a 50-year legacy
Jon Tevlin, who attended last November’s
half-century celebration, described it as
“an iconic Midwestern living postcard that
turned 50 years old Saturday.”
At first it was just an annual trek to the
lutefisk dinner, but as years went by and
friends began to gather beforehand at the
farm, the camaraderie there became as
important as the meal that followed. While
to the Pedersons the gathering marks the
final event of the farm’s social season,
many of the attendees consider it the beginning of their holiday festivities.
Pederson really can’t put his finger on
just what glue has held so many of them
together for so long. The short answer, he
says, is that it was a group of Augsburg
friends who started coming out to the
country for a church dinner.
“The better answer,” he adds, “is that
some of us developed friendships that included faculty members who were our
mentors and with whom we greatly enjoyed
informal times outside the classroom.”
Faculty from the 1950s who became
regular attendees include Phil Quanbeck
Sr., Paul Sonnack, Joel Torstenson, Ralph
and Grace Sulerud, and others. For nearly
20 years, retired history professor Carl and
Val Chrislock spent many of their summers
at the farm, where Carl did a great deal of
writing and where Val tended her flower
and vegetable gardens. When there were
deaths, spouses and families often continued to participate.
“Many of us were deeply interested in
public service of some kind, whether
teaching, the ministry, public policy, or
politics,” says Pederson. In the 1950s,
when academic freedom was restricted
and McCarthyism caused colleges to shy
away from controversy, he credits Augsburg
and the leadership of President Bernhard
Christensen for encouraging political expression and organization.
“Augsburg practiced academic freedom
while in some institutions it was only
preached,” Pederson says. “Political organizations were encouraged on campus.
Faculty encouraged students to become involved in political campaigns, and Political
Emphasis Week brought speakers from the
whole political spectrum.
“It was in this cauldron that lasting
friendships developed and continued beyond graduation. While politics was a strong
interest of a few, the friendships persisted
regardless of the chosen vocation,”
It all started with the five Auggie
Norwegian bachelors who, as students, lived
together above Larson’s grocery store—
Martin Sabo ’59, Jim ’56 and Dwight ’60
Pederson, Harlan Christianson ’57, and
Erwin Christenson ’58. In 1959, Jim and
Elaine Pederson (who were not yet married)
and Harlan and Lori Christianson decided to
drive out to Star Prairie for the lutefisk
dinner. Elaine was a student nurse at
Deaconess Hospital and Augsburg, and this
trip became her introduction to the farm, to
lutefisk, and to her future Pederson in-laws.
Each year thereafter has brought additional invited friends and families. On
November 14, 2009—the 50th anniversary—the count was 67. The group now includes the families and friends of Jim and
Elaine and their children, Michelle and
Kirk, a 1987 grad; his fiancée Molly; grandchildren Madeline, Emma, and Ginny; and
Dwight and his wife, Marion, also a
Lutheran Deaconess nurse; daughter
Denise; and grandchildren Laura, Thomas,
AUGSBURG STORIES PLAY OUT
OVER THE YEARS
Pederson says he’d like to tie the story of
the 50-year gatherings to what they
learned at Augsburg. “‘Education for
Service’ we thought of as just a phrase,
but it really did mean a lot to us—whether
in ministry, nursing, government, or politics. It played out, and that’s an important
part of the story for me.”
The Augsburg-connected stories include
the political career of Martin Sabo, which
dates back to the days of the five
Norwegian bachelors. Pederson, who
served as student body president and was
active in student political groups, became
manager in 1960 for Sabo’s state house
endorsement campaign. “And he never lost
an election after that,” Pederson comments, about Sabo’s long and distinguished legislative career, marked by his
retirement in 2007.
In another Augsburg story, Chrislock,
who was a regular at the November gatherings, stayed on the farm while he wrote his
1991 book, Watchdog of Loyalty: The
Minnesota Commission of Public Safety
during World War I.
Emeriti professors Ralph and Grace
Sulerud, close friends of the Chrislocks,
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“WE HOPE THIS CARRIES ON FOR ANOTHER 50 YEARS—
S O , Y O U N G E R G E N E R AT I O N , W E ’ R E C O U N T I N G O N Y O U . ”
enjoyed the old farmstead and lake so
much that they now have a house there,
just down the hill from the log house. And
so, the Augsburg connections continue.
THE MEANING OF PLACE
THE LOG HOUSE AND LEGACY
Pederson’s log house, the current gathering
place, wasn’t part of the original farm. The
original log house disappeared long ago,
and Pederson had always wanted something
like his great-grandfather built in the
1870s. In 1972, he found neighbors wanting to get rid of an old log house on their
farm, and he jumped at the opportunity.
The Pederson ties date back more than
130 years in the community—to that farm
now in its sixth generation and to the
church originally chartered by his grandparents and their neighbors. The log house to
which people come each November is for
him an icon of family and heritage.
In the invitation letter for last November’s gathering, Pederson mentioned a recent book that weaves together themes of
story, place, calling, and purpose. Claiming Your Place at the Fire, by Richard
Lieder and David Shapiro, challenges
those entering “the second half of their
life” to consider these themes in finding
purpose in what they choose to do during
their elder years.
Pederson sees the old farm as the locale where at this annual event these
themes of aging and legacy play out. “This
is a time where family and friends share
life experiences, the happenings of the
last year, perhaps recalling mentors from
college or elsewhere, many of whom are no
longer with us; reminiscing about the good
times; the not-so-good times; commiserating over losses or illnesses; sometimes engaging in a bit of gossip. Sometimes it’s
small groups huddling to solve the world’s
problems.” Collectively, they recall stories,
redefine place, renew callings, and reclaim purpose.
“Oh yes, and there’s the country
church dinner, the ostensible reason for
the gathering,” adds Pederson. “Each
year, however, we hear some say they really come for the hour or two they spend
together before the big meal, sipping cider
Norwegian traditional goodies, and sharing
treats they bring.”
Auggies in the group of 67 at the 50th gathering last November included: (Front row, L to R):, Winnie (Nordlund)
Anderson ’61, Elaine Pederson, Vicki (Skor) Pearson ’59, retired art professor Phil Thompson. (Back L to R) Kiel
Christianson ’88, Jim Pederson ’56 (not visible) holding granddaughter Ginny, Kirk Pederson ’87 (turned away),
Pearl Almquist, Paul Almquist ’59, Eunice Helgeson ’69, professor Garry Hesser, retired librarian Grace Sulerud.
The “five Norweg
ian bachelors” re
united in 2002 wi
Erickson ’56 (cen
from left): Marti
’59, Harlan Chris
tianson ’57, Dwigh
t Pederson ’60, Er
and Jim Pederson
An eclectic mix of history and heritage, the one main room of the cabin is
barely able to contain the crowd that gathers. Hanging on the walls are the farm’s
homestead documents and old photos;
some of the furniture is original. Rosemaling and other memorabilia fill the area. A
loft offers sleeping space, and an enclosed porch was added for additional
In addition to Jim and Dwight, the old
farmstead has incorporated the Pedersons’
younger generations. Jim and Elaine’s
son, Kirk, has his place on the farm where
he and his family enjoy the summer. Their
daughter, Michelle, enjoys the solitude
and serenity of the farm both in summer
So, as years go by, and the annual lutefisk group continues, children and grandchildren play greater roles. “In 1959,”
Pederson says, “none of us could have
predicted that 50 years later we would
speak of a remarkable tradition that we
hope will continue far into the future.”
Last November 14, after some traditional
Norwegian folk music and hymns, Elaine
Pederson announced, “We hope this carries
on for another 50 years—so, younger generation, we’re counting on you.”
To read more and see photos from earlier
gatherings, go to www.augsburg.edu/now
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, Augsburg College looks a lot like most other liberal arts colleges. We have similar courses, departments, and programs. We teach students to think critically and to lead responsibly in
the world, which is what other schools also aim to do. And our students,
staff, and faculty don’t look much different than those at the big school
across the street or the small campuses across the river.
But in person we look and act differently. At Augsburg, we try to put
our own creative spin on things and to look at issues from different
For example, this year some of our first-year students and a group
of faculty spent an entire semester working together on a big problem
in our first “I-Term.” In another example, students in the Honors program create their very own courses, write and edit their own scholarly
journal, and together shape their own learning environment. And, one
of our alums has found a very creative way to do community service
while also running a thriving business.
The stories in this issue represent just a few of the “out-of-the-box”
programs, people, and partnerships that make us uniquely Augsburg.
50 students, 5 professors, 1 big
problem. Last fall’s I-Term students
discussed three big challenges in the
non-graded Fate of the Earth course.
I-Term students focused on food, fuel, and media in the course.
What’s a great way to engage alumni?
Introduce them to current students
who have similar majors or interests
and let them swap stories. In the end,
Yearbooks are keepsakes that link alumni to their college days.
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102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:37 AM Page 21
houses in the Honors program.
Items such as an olive-leaf crown are emblems for specific
I-Term students focused on food, fuel, and media in the course.
OUT OF THE BOX
The Honors program consists
of a combination of classes,
students, structure, and a
whole lot of creativity.
As a student, Jacquie Berglund ’87
dreamed of helping the working
poor. Today her sense of vocation
drives her to take leaps of faith that
make life better for others.
Working closely with Cedar-Riverside and
Seward residents is just one of the ways we
live out our vocation to serve our neighbors.
Somali students help their classmates learn more about the symbols and dress in Muslim culture.
100% of the profit from every bottle sold provides help at the grassroots level.
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Imagine your ideal college education. What classes
would you take? Who would teach them? What kind
of students would you study with? What activities
would you take part in? Where would you travel?
When Robert Groven set out to restructure the
Augsburg College Honors program, he asked faculty
and students these sorts of questions. At first, he
said, they were silent.
“They had just accepted that college is the way it
is,” Groven said. But then, they flooded him with ideas.
Students wanted more academic challenge and to
be pushed by faculty. They wanted courses to include
more content and classroom experiences to be more
active and engaging than in high school. They
wanted to learn outside the classroom and to have
opportunities for unconventional learning experiences—the exact sort of education that a small college in the city can provide.
BY WENDI WHEELER ’06
The current Honors program house presidents are (clockwise, from front): Adam Spanier, Katie Radford,
Becki Iverson, Andrew Fox, David Ishida, Jonathan Chrastek, Kathleen Watson, and Charlie Olson.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:37 AM Page 23
Three aspects of Augsburg’s Honors courses
distinguish them from courses in other college honors programs. First, each class is
specifically created for the Honors program.
In other words, it’s not a matter of adding
an assignment or text to an existing course
or simply creating a new title, Groven says.
The content of Honors courses is enriched
and the pace is accelerated as well.
Second, Honors courses are intentionally
interdisciplinary—multiple faculty from different departments teach in each class.
This spring, for example, the senior keystone course was taught by faculty whose
disciplines include sociology, social work,
metro-urban studies, art, English, and theatre. Augsburg’s
Honors students in the Liberating Letters class stepped back into ancient Greek times to put Poseidon on trial for the
murder of Odysseus’ men and fleet. (L to R): Eric Dooley, Nikki Johnson, Becca Dickinson, and Patrick DuSchane.
president, Paul Pribbenow, is one of the lead
instructors, focusing on his study of Jane Addams, founder of the settlement house movement.
The course, Legacies of Chicago: Ideas
and Action in Place, was conceived by Lars
Christiansen of the sociology and metrourban studies departments. The course examines how particular places are incubators
for unique ideas and actions. In addition to
studying about the traditions and concepts
that originated in Chicago, the class traveled
to the Windy City to experience the “place”
Finally, each course has a “signature” experience—an unconventional way of learning
that involves a high level of effort and also includes a public display of what the students
have learned. Students are usually enthusiastic about these experiences, Groven says, because the tasks are generally open-ended and
students have more freedom to make decisions about what they learn
and how they learn it.
In Liberating Letters, a
put texts, authors,
or fictional characters on trial, serving as judge, jury,
prosecution, and defense. But before this
class begins, students have to pass a test. In
fact, in order to gain admission into the first
session, they are required to recite the first
stanza of Homer’s Odyssey from memory,
solve a riddle about Greek mythology, and
present the “prophecies” of three different
people who know them well concerning where
that student will be in 10 years.
A second type of course, which is likely
more-than-ideal for many students, is the
Student Created Learning Experience, or
SCLE. Aptly named, these are classes created
by students based on their interests. SCLEs
can essentially become an independent study
course for one student or 20 students and
can be open to all Augsburg students.
One of the more popular SCLEs, which
generated a great deal of interest when it was
first introduced and again this year, was The
Art, Science, and History of Brewing. In addition to learning about brewing from the perspective of different disciplines, students also
brew two batches of beer and invite guest
judges to evaluate the fruits of their labors.
This year senior theatre arts major David
Ishida created an SCLE on swordplay to fulfill
An olive-leaf crown is the emblem of the Hesser
Servants House in the Honors program.
OUT OF THE BOX
The result of all that questioning was a
student-centered program where students
take responsibility for their own learning,
with the full support of the faculty and the
resources they need to achieve their goals.
“We believe that an ideal education will
be different for every student,” Groven
says. “We know no one can reach an ideal
goal, but we believe the process of exploring and pursuing ideals is essential to college education.”
By striving for the ideal, the program
has become one where students routinely
go above and beyond the requirements
outlined in their syllabi. “We set a very
high bar, and we insist that they get there.
But they set a much higher bar for themselves than we ever would.”
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:37 AM Page 24
very receptive and energized,” Crockett says, “ … not just in the classroom
but on campus.” Crockett has engaged 14 current students as research assistants who will read and critique work that he is presenting at an international conference. “I hope they really come at me,” he says. “I’m counting
on them to find fresh answers.”
EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER
Honors senior Nicholas Blixt experiments with ingredients in The Art,
Science, and History of Brewing class.
a physical education credit but also to explore his interest
in medieval history and culture.
STUDENTS WHO LOVE TO LEARN
Interesting classes and outstanding faculty certainly can
combine for a compelling honors program, but the character and quality of the students make Augsburg’s program unique. “We are trying to look beyond good grades
and test scores,” Groven comments. “We want intrinsically motivated learners—students who see ideas as living vehicles for human expression and change.”
Computer science professor Larry Crockett, who was
once the Honors program director, has taught in the program for many years. While he says Honors students are
pushed to rise above expectations and challenge each
other, he is especially enthusiastic about the extraordinary energy coming from this year’s incoming class.
“These students are willing to dig into issues and are
There’s more to Honors at Augsburg than fun classes and energetic students.
Honors also provides leadership and scholarship opportunities and fosters an
environment where students often start their own activities or groups.
“Part of our philosophy is that as much learning should happen outside the
classroom as inside,” Groven says.
Students are organized into houses, each of which focuses on a different
area: scholarship, social justice and service, stewardship, and citizenship.
Each house plans and promotes activities and also elects two house presidents who serve on the Honors Council. With faculty advisers, the council sets
the policy for the program and helps solve problems.
One officially organized non-classroom learning opportunity is the Honors
Review, a student-run, student-edited interdisciplinary journal of undergraduate scholarship. Taylor Norman, a senior English major and Honors student, is
the current editor-in-chief.
This year the Review extended its reach and received 43 submissions from
undergraduates all across the country. After articles are selected for publication, Norman and her editorial staff check citations, verify research, and then
engage the author to revise and edit. “We wanted to create a scholarly environment with lots of dialogue,” Norman says.
All Honors activities and programs serve to support students so they can
pursue their academic goals. “Honors tries to show students what amazing
talents and abilities they have,” Groven says, and they find countless ways to
apply their academic learning. For example, senior Jessica Spanswick, who
majored in international relations and minored in peace and global studies,
studied in Namibia for a semester and served as a Peace Scholar in connection with the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Her opportunities to volunteer for
World AIDS Day in Namibia and to travel as a scholar to Chiapas, Mexico,
gave her valuable hands-on global experience.
Honors program students have received many of the highest national and
international academic awards available; they have been Fulbright scholars,
Goldwater scholars, the College’s first Rhodes scholar, and students who have
won National Science Foundation grants—and that’s still just the tip of the
iceberg. Part of the program’s mission is to encourage students, many who
never thought of themselves as award-winning scholars, to apply for scholarships and publication so that their work can be recognized.
These courses, the faculty who teach them, the students who take them,
and the learning opportunities that happen outside the classroom all come
together to try to create an ideal education for Augsburg Honors program
“I never think of the Honors program as being done,” Groven says. “The
best program will always be different because we are constantly adapting
to new technologies, new students, and new problems.”
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Sophomore Madeline Roe helps a Somali student with her
work as part of Trinity Lutheran Congregation’s Safe Place
Homework Help program.
Across the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and
the nation, stories of neighbors and colleges
clashing bubble to the surface featuring
real town vs. gown tension. Augsburg’s philosophy, however, is very different.
Augsburg isn’t building walls or installing
large steel gates on campus to keep the
outside world out. Instead, Augsburg is
reaching further out into the Cedar-Riverside and Seward neighborhoods and, in the
process, the College founded by Norwegian
Lutherans is working closely with the
largest concentration of Somali immigrants
in the United States.
WORKING IN THE COMMUNITY
We believe we are called to serve our neighbor. That is Augsburg’s statement of institutional vocation.
Live the experience. Love the city. Learn
by living. Those words hang on banners along
While the first is formal and the second
much more conversational, both, however,
sum up what Auggies do.
On a near daily basis, Augsburg students
BY JEFF SHELMAN
spend part of their afternoon at Trinity
Lutheran Congregation helping young Somali
children with topics ranging from spelling and
sentence construction to subtraction and social studies. Several times a week, Auggies
serve food in the gym at the Brian Coyle Community Center as part of the Campus Kitchen
program. First-year Auggies in the Bonner
Leaders program work with nonprofit organizations, most within a mile of campus.
OUT OF THE BOX
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Let’s say one person wanted to match the
amount of community service that was
completed by Augsburg students during the
2008-09 school year. What would it take?
Since Auggies performed 67,000 hours
of community service last year, someone
would have to work for 2,791 24-hour
days—more than 7.5 years—or 8,375
eight-hour work days. That’s a staggering
total for a college with 2,000 traditional
undergraduates and 4,000 total students.
That work has led to Augsburg’s inclusion as one of the top 25 schools in the
country for service-learning by U.S.News &
World Report and the Carnegie [Foundation] Classification for Community Engagement. Earlier this spring, Augsburg became
the only Minnesota college or university and
one of only four ELCA schools to be named
to the 2009 President’s Higher Education
Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. The President’s Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition an institution can
receive for its commitment to volunteering,
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service-learning, and civic engagement.
“We are very proud and honored to be included in the President’s Honor Roll,”
Augsburg president Paul C. Pribbenow said.
“Civic work and serving our neighbor are at
the core of Augsburg’s efforts to educate
students for democracy.”
Last school year, 900 Augsburg students
participated in service-learning and 1,200
students participated in more than 20
hours of community service per semester.
Much of the community service takes place
in course-embedded service-learning, something that has been part of education at
Augsburg for years.
MORE THAN JUST SERVICE
Augsburg’s work in Cedar-Riverside and
Seward, however, is about more than simply
donating time; it is also about trying to
make the neighborhood safer, more vibrant,
and create opportunities for the state’s
newest immigrant population.
Pribbenow currently chairs the CedarRiverside Partnership, a group that includes
larger institutions in the neighborhood including Augsburg, Fairview hospitals, and
the University of Minnesota.
“There’s a level of trust
being built,” said Steve
Peacock, Augsburg’s director
of community relations.
“There are conversations
taking place that weren’t before. There’s the coordination of infrastructure and
planning among the institutions.”
Much of the work has
been around safety in the
neighborhood. Last summer, for
example, the members of the partnership provided funding to ensure security at the Brian Coyle Community
Center. There has been much more
communication among security at
Fairview and Augsburg, the
University of Minnesota, and
Minneapolis Police Departments.
Augsburg has also worked in the
neighborhood in other ways, ranging from
providing meeting space to sometimes even
trying to build bridges. Last year, more than
a dozen reporters and editors from the Minneapolis Star Tribune sat in a room in Oren
Gateway Center with a dozen or so Somali
community leaders and elders.
The Somali leaders talked of good things
going on in their community that don’t get
covered. Star Tribune editors said they
would like to tell more stories, but finding
Somalis willing to talk is challenging. The
Somali leaders—who arrived in the United
States having never experienced freedom of
the press—gained a better understanding of
how the media work. Reporters and editors
left with new contacts and resources.
CHANGE TO THE CAMPUS
Augsburg’s involvement in Cedar-Riverside
has led to a change on campus as well.
With each passing fall, the number of
Auggies of Somali descent grows. This fall,
The Somali yarn weaving hanging in President Pribbenow’s
office symbolizes the partnership between Augsburg and
the East African Women’s Center.
there are about 50 Somali students on
campus. For some of them, Augsburg was
the first college they ever knew. For others,
there is a comfort in attending Augsburg.
Halimo Adan is a first-year student who
grew up in Seward and can see the
Augsburg sign atop Mortensen Hall from
her home. She’s among the growing number
of students on campus wearing both an
Augsburg sweatshirt and a hijab, the head
covering worn by Muslim women.
“People don’t ask stupid questions,
they’re very open minded,” said Adan, who
came to the U.S. when she was 9 years old.
“Even though I’ve been here most of my
life, when you get asked questions all the
time, you feel like you don’t belong.”
But at Augsburg, neighbors are always
First-year students file into the Northern Clay Center to help with clean-up on City Service Day.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:37 AM Page 27
For Daley Konchar Farr, the lack of grades was
motivation for signing up, but the discussions
and professors’ involvement were more
rewarding aspects of I-Term.
LEARNING TO LEARN
WITHOUT ANY A, B, CS
OUT OF THE BOX
BY JEFF SHELMAN
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It isn’t quite a chicken or egg kind of question, but it is an academic conundrum along
the same line.
Just how important are grades on a college campus when it comes to actual learning? Do grades really reflect how much a
student has learned? Or do students do just
enough to get the grade they want? And
what happens if you take letter grades and
numerical marks completely out of the
That’s what 50 Augsburg first-year students, five professors, and several staff
members tried to find out this past fall. The
Integrated Term, Fate of the Earth 101:
Consumption of Food, Fuel, and Media in
Contemporary Culture, was more than just a
different way to package and deliver several
general education courses; it was a semester that challenged many of the standard
conventions about what a college education
is or should be.
There were no traditional letter grades for
this learning community nor was there a
static syllabus passed out on the first day.
This was a term that focused on doing, on
students having a say in what they would be
evaluated on, and on professors writing detailed evaluations about both what students
had accomplished and where they needed
to continue to work. Sitting lifeless in the
back row and regurgitating enough facts to
pass wasn’t an option this term.
“This was much more work than grading,” English professor Robert Cowgill said.
“But I thought it was a major success.”
Most of the students—many of whom
were drawn to the I-Term because of the environmental focus or the alternative evaluation method—agreed. Daley Konchar Farr
called the semester-long experiment empowering. Veronica Berg said she was
pushed to do things she wasn’t sure were
possible just one semester into her college
career. Katelin Grote called the whole thing
Some of that was because the I-Term,
which showed just how parts of a liberal arts
education are interconnected, was their entire load for the semester. I-Term students
who successfully completed the course received credit for English 101 or 111 (writing), Religion 100 (Christian Vocation and
the Search for Meaning I), History 101
(Western Civilization), Sociology 101 (Introduction to Human Society) and AugSem
(first-year seminar). They also completed
their Engaging Minneapolis requirement.
REASONS FOR NOT GRADING
When a group of professors returned from a
conference at The Evergreen State College
in Washington in 2007, the goal was to find
a way for Augsburg to experiment with a
learning community model of teaching as
well as non-traditional evaluation methods.
Over the next two years, the professors
worked with the dean’s office to make this a
reality. How was this term going to be structured? Were groups such as Faculty Senate
supportive? How would students receive
credit? How would the narrative evaluations
fit into the very traditional transcript?
Once hurdles were cleared, plans were
set for a three-year pilot program of the nongraded Integrated Term. The faculty designers of the I-Term hope that the students who
spend a semester focused on learning instead of simply making a grade will have
higher retention and graduation rates. The
longer-term outcomes of the experiment
won’t be clear for several years, but this
group and subsequent groups of I-Term students will be tracked by the College.
While the word “experiment” is often
tossed around rather loosely on college campuses, the I-Term is certainly unique. Sociology professor Lars Christiansen, an I-Term
faculty member who has studied alternative
evaluation methods, said that about 15 colleges and universities across the country
have experimented with non-graded
courses. Some are completely nongraded while others are partially graded
The role of media in contemporary culture was a focus for I-Term students.
or have reverted back to traditional grading. Alverno College in Milwaukee is one of
the only schools in the Midwest that is
No grades, however, doesn’t equal no
evaluation. In almost every case, I-Term students had a greater grasp of where they
stood. They worked very closely with the
two English professors on their writing,
and received regular written feedback
from the other faculty members.
“It was kind of like tough love,”
Maryam Ayir said. “You knew exactly
what you had to work on.”
Konchar Farr signed up for the ITerm both because of the subject
matter, and also because of lack of traditional grades.
“Grades are false motivation,” she said.
“In high school, I didn’t get anything out of
getting As if I didn’t learn. [Here], I really
appreciated that things were so discussionbased and how involved the professors were.
They were so dedicated to our work.”
For Christiansen, the best thing from
the semester is that Augsburg now has the
framework in place to continue experimenting with alternative evaluation methods. There is now the ability for the
narrative evaluations to accompany a
student’s transcript. And there is
also at least some appetite from
students to not have a semester of work boiled down to
simply a number.
“The majority of students said it was a good
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Kwame Collins and other students from the I-Term attended the 350.org event at the State Capitol that was
part of an international focus on the climate crisis.
LEARNING BY DOING
Unchained from the burden of grades, students could concentrate on really learning
and figuring out what truly motivates them.
And without traditional exercises like exams,
students in Fate of the Earth 101 demonstrated their advancement through semester-long projects that incorporated
something under the broad umbrella of
food, fuel, or media.
One group of students met with staff
members from Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office
about how the bodies of women are portrayed in advertisements. Pushing Best Buy
to be more environmentally friendly in its
stores was what another group sought. Others looked into the feasibility of Augsburg
capturing solar energy and purchasing more
locally grown food.
“Those are the kinds of things we were
hoping would happen,” Christiansen said.
“We were hoping through the experiences of
the I-Term that [students] were here to learn
and that they were here to understand themselves as possible change agents—and that
collaboration is an essential component.”
And while most courses end as soon as
that final exam is completed, a number of
the I-Term students are continuing with the
ongoing work of their projects. For example,
Berg was part of a group that created the
website www.mnhomelessyouth.org. Those
students met both with representatives from
Minneapolis Public Schools and a group
working on homeless issues, before and during the spring semester.
“It didn’t just end at the end of the
course,” history professor Phil Adamo said.
“They continue to be engaged.”
Because of what they were asked to do,
many of the I-Term students accomplished
more than they thought possible just months
removed from high school graduation.
“We were learning at a different level, we
were getting to project ourselves at a bigger
level,” Berg said. “To sit at the table as a
contributor with some of these agencies was
something I didn’t think I’d be able to do for
That theme was a common one.
“One thing we repeatedly heard was the
notion that they were empowered with what
they were able to accomplish by the end of
their first semester in college,” religion professor Lori Brandt Hale said. “They were surprised and excited about how they will be
able to leverage that moving forward.”
CHANGING TEACHING METHODS
Like the other I-Term professors, Colin Irvine
is back teaching more traditional courses
this semester. An English faculty member,
Irvine has a collection of writing and literature classes this spring.
But Irvine acknowledges that he is teaching differently this semester. And the I-Term
had much to do with that.
“It made me complicate my classes,” he
said. “I’m not content with the way I was
teaching before. I’m not content with the assignments I was giving. I’m making them
more fun, more relevant, and harder to assess. I can’t allow myself to teach the way
I’ve always taught.”
Irvine talked about a conversation with a
biology major who is taking his environmental literature course this season. The student
said he’s been doing the reading, working
hard, and attending writing lab sessions.
“But he said, ‘I don’t know how I’m
doing,’” Irvine said. “I told him, ‘Are you
kidding me? That’s exactly what I want you
to do, you’re figuring it out, you’re doing
Because just like the I-Term students who
have adjusted to courses with traditional
grading, almost everyone involved in the experiment has a better idea of what motivates
them and just how important learning is.
Phil Adamo, History, Medieval Studies
Lars Christiansen, Sociology, Metro-Urban Studies
Robert Cowgill, English, Film Studies
Stacy Cutinella, Lindell Library
Lori Brandt Hale, Religion
Colin Irvine, English, Environmental Studies
Nathan Lind, Information Technology
Alyson Olson, TRIO Student Services
Beverly Stratton, Religion
PROJECTS THE STUDENTS WORKED ON
• Addressing women’s body representations in advertising by creating a legislative bill requiring
advertisers to indicate the presence of airbrushing and similar touch-ups
• Website that centralizes resources for homeless
youth in the Twin Cities
• Energy-producing exercise bicycles at
Augsburg’s Kennedy Center
• Reducing water waste at Augsburg
• Increasing local food sourcing at Augsburg, particularly meat and cheese
• Assisting in developing curbside composting in
• Reducing paper waste at Augsburg bookstore
• Improving environmental practices at Best Buy
• Composting at Maple Grove High School
OUT OF THE BOX
experience to not have grades and they liked
the ongoing evaluation,” he said. “It shows
me that if you provide it, people will try it,
and many will like it. Why don’t we make it
an option generally? It’s not dissimilar to our
transportation system. Until the last few
years, many didn’t believe they had options
other than driving. The I-Term is akin to the
Hiawatha (light rail) Line: Once a viable alternative is provided, people may see it as
useful and desirable.”
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CONNECTING THE DOTS
BY BRYAN BARNES
“I read this article in Time magazine, interviewing all of these 80- and 90-year-old
people,” said Jacquie Berglund ’87. “The
overwhelming feedback from their question, ‘If you could change one thing, what
would it be?’ was that they all wish they
had taken more risks.”
That was 1983, when Berglund was in
her first year at Augsburg College. Since
then, she has faced many risks on her way
to building one of Minnesota’s most successful social enterprises—an enterprise
that uses beer sales to fund its community
One of her first risks? Backpacking
through Europe during her sophomore year
in the face of parental disapproval.
“My parents didn’t want me to do it,”
Berglund said. “[My English professor]
said, ‘Jacquie, you should absolutely do it.
Let’s come up with a way for you to get
credit for it here.’”
With that, Berglund ventured across the
Atlantic for six weeks under the banner of
an Augsburg creative-writing course. Her
experience fostered a travel bug that
would lead her back for a seven-year long
stay in France after Augsburg. “[Backpacking] helped me to think globally and
really changed my perspective,” Berglund
said. “That was a powerful turning point
Graduating from Augsburg in 1987
with a degree in communication studies
Jacquie Berglund ’87 knew that with passion
and patience she could fulfill her dream of
making a difference in her community.
and a minor in political science, Berglund
combined an interest in nonprofits with
her travel experience to pursue work in international development. By 1990, she
had taken an internship in Paris at the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD), the same group
that helped administer the Marshall Plan
after World War II. With the collapse of the
Soviet Union, Berglund found herself
working with the best entrepreneurial
minds at OECD to develop regional
economies in former Soviet bloc countries.
“We were training government officials,
and these guys were all communists—they
didn’t want to learn [about how to build
free markets],” Berglund said. “I felt like
we went in and did all of this work and
spent all of this money, and I don’t know
what impact we really had. Then I thought,
‘you know, I think the real work is done at
the grassroots level.’ I would see the people at the grassroots level in these countries and they were really making a
difference, and I thought, ‘that’s where I
have to be. I’ve got to get there.’ I just didn’t know how I was going to get there, but
that’s where I wanted to go.”
While at OECD, Berglund earned her
master’s degree in international relations
from the American Graduate School in
Paris. However, by 1997 Berglund found
herself needing expensive back surgery, so
she returned to the Twin Cities to work as
marketing director for her old friend,
Kieran Folliard, restauranteur
and owner of Cara Irish
One of Berglund’s duties
as marketing director was
to help Folliard distribute
charitable gifts in the
Twin Cities. They
Finnegan’s Inc. created the Finnegan’s Community Fund to distribute 100% of profits to local community projects.
giving grants to any organization that
asked. Eventually, their CFO put the
brakes on their charity bonanza and told
them they needed a better strategy.
Berglund agreed: she recognized from her
OECD days that the Cara Pubs money
wasn’t making the desired impact.
Berglund had also just attended a conference in Washington, D.C., on self-sustaining nonprofits.
“That’s when I thought: we sell beer all
day,” Berglund said. “What if we create our
own beer, and we choose to give all of the
profits from this one beer to our own foundation, and then we pick one cause, and we
really make a difference? It took me a little
while to sell Kieran on the idea.”
With that, Berglund and
Folliard set about creat-
ing Finnegan’s Irish Amber, named in reference to James Joyce’s final work. They contacted James Page Brewing Company in
Minneapolis to help them create the beer,
eventually selecting one recipe from over 40
options provided by the brewmaster.
At this point, Berglund and Folliard realized that running Finnegan’s and its
community foundation would consume all
of Berglund’s time. That left one choice:
quit Cara Pubs and focus on Finnegan’s,
or let the idea die.
Berglund bought the Finnegan’s recipe
for $1 from Folliard.
“That was kind of scary, leaving that
job, from having a good salary to no
salary,” Berglund said. “It was very scary.
It was rather terrifying. I’ve had a lot of
terrifying moments—I must handle stress
well. I’m still waking and talking and not
in a straitjacket.”
Starting in 2000, Berglund created forprofit Finnegan’s Inc., which donates all of
its profits from beer sales to her nonprofit
OUT OF THE BOX
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creation, which is now called Finnegan’s
Community Fund. She taught herself the
beer trade. James Page produced
Finnegan’s on contract, but she was responsible for selling it to distributors.
“I didn’t even know what a keg fee
was,” Berglund recalls.
Finnegan’s community focus sold the
beer. Distributors, liquor stores, bars, and
restaurants in the Twin Cities were sympathetic to Berglund’s cause—and it helped
that the beer was popular during the burgeoning craft brew craze. Though she
wasn’t turning a profit yet, Berglund was
able to make a $2,000 donation in her
first year of operation.
Then, James Page Brewing Company
shut down in 2002.
“I was a mess—I was totally a mess,”
Berglund said. “I started to panic: ‘If they
go out of business, I’m going to go out of
Thinking quickly, Berglund contacted
Mark Stutrud, founder of Summit Brewing
Company in St. Paul.
“They really didn’t do contract brewing,
but I think that [Stutrud] appreciated the
community-mindedness of what I was
doing,” Berglund said. “Plus, I already had
a list of accounts, so I already had a
proven track record that I could make this
To this day, Finnegan’s is produced at
Summit. In 2003, Finnegan’s made its
first profit. By 2009, Finnegan’s was selling 4,300 barrels per year to 475 restaurants and 600 liquor stores in Minnesota
and beyond—which translated into
$30,000 for the Finnegan’s Community
Fund. That money, in addition to direct donations, is being used to fund local grassroots community organizations that are
helping the working poor.
“When I came back from France, I
Berglund often considers her own experience growing up as motivation for her drive to do good for others.
volunteered in St. Steven’s shelter in
Minneapolis,” Berglund said. “I got to see
for myself … a lot of these guys get up to
work factory jobs at 3 or 4 o’clock in the
morning. I saw how many of these guys
were working and still homeless.”
The needs of the working poor strike a
personal chord for Berglund. Growing up,
her father started working as a janitor before moving up the ranks, while her mother
was a waitress.
“I remember as a kid not being able to
participate in church activities because we
didn’t have the money,” Berglund said. “I
feel so fortunate to be able to have done
all of the things that I do. I think that,
‘Boy, it’s nice to give back a little bit.’ We
owe a bit of gratitude.”
That background helps explain
Berglund’s drive to build a self-sustaining
nonprofit that can help the working poor
regardless of government grants or philanthropic whims. But it also comes down to
faith in your vocation.
“Whenever I do speaking engagements,
that’s my whole thing: It’s about following
your passions, and then at some point, the
dots will connect. Even though it seems so
remote that they could possibly connect,”
Berglund said. “When I came back and
was working in the pub, I thought, ‘What
am I doing here? How does this connect to
this whole dream job I had of international
development projects?’ I just had faith
that it’s going to come—I’m going to find
it. It’s kind of that whole ‘calling’ thing at
Augsburg—I knew I was going to find it, it
was just going to take a minute.”
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BY BETSEY NORGARD
Senior Brittany Goff is the intern who matches students and alumni for visits and leads the student team.
OUT OF THE BOX
One student heard about a fire that broke
out in one of the houses on campus in the
1970s. Another enjoyed hearing perspectives from a studio art major about his work
at a financial organization. A third met with
an alum who fondly remembers the tasty
cinnamon rolls that students often got in
Morton Hall in the mid-1950s.
Twenty students working in the Alumni
and Constituent Relations Office recently
completed the first year of Project IGNITE.
They’ve been meeting with alumni to learn
more about the role that the College played
in the lives of the alumni and to share stories and experiences about Augsburg then
Senior Brittany Goff is the intern who directs the students’ work for Project IGNITE.
Once she hand-matches students and
alums who share similar majors and/or interests, a letter from President Pribbenow is
sent explaining the program and alerting
the alum to a future call from a student.
The student will invite the alum to a meeting preferably on campus or at a convenient
That first contact can be a little daunting
for students, but knowing they share interests makes it easier. Melissa Herrick, a
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communication studies and art sophomore, says it
tells the alum that “this is not a random call; there’s
a reason I’m calling you,” which, in her case, is to
share with them what art at Augsburg is like now and
to hear about their experience studying art at
STUDENTS CONNECT WITH ALUMNI
On a cold day last fall, Herrick met with Patti Lloyd
’83, who owns a web development and interactive
marketing company. While Lloyd was an international
business major and not an art major, the two immediately discovered common interests in web design.
Herrick was trying to plan a webpage for an arts project and was delighted to get some ideas from Lloyd.
“We had a great meeting,” says Lloyd, “and when
she left, I think she felt comfortable that all the resources were there for her project.”
One of the meetings that Goff enjoyed was with a
physician. In the conversation, Goff, a psychology
major, learned about the physician’s medical practice that has included a psychologist and a nurse,
enabling him to offer both physical and mental testing and care. “This was really a great experience for
me,” Goff says, “to help me consider my future career and the option to be in a practice like that.”
Adam Spanier, sophomore class president and an
Honors student, says he has met many interesting
people through Project IGNITE. His favorite aspect
of the program, he says, is “hearing the many different bits of advice and wisdom that alumni have
Sophomore Adam Spanier enjoys hearing the advice
alumni can give to current students.
to-face relationship with a person who is going through
Haug and his partner returned to campus in December
for the Advent Vespers dinner and enjoyed talking with
people they knew and meeting others.
ALUMNI ENJOY RECONNECTING
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES CONTINUE
Most alumni contacted in Project IGNITE are graduates who have not been active in alumni activities
or participated recently in events. Re-engaging with
their alma mater through Project IGNITE has also
been enjoyable for them, especially seeing the
College through the eyes of current students.
Christopher Haug ’79 was one of the alumni
Spanier met last fall. “What benefited me the
most,” Haug says, “is that I felt I was connected
again with my school. There’s nothing like a face-
Pat Grans, the Project IGNITE volunteer coordinator,
follows up with the interests and/or requests that students bring back from the alumni visits. She crafts individual plans recommending events and volunteer
opportunities that could include speaking in a class,
inviting a student to job shadow, or helping with registration at an event. Or, Grans can seek to create a tailored opportunity based on the alum’s interests.
Grans has now developed volunteer job descriptions
and oversees all aspects of recruiting, training, scheduling, supervising, and recognizing volunteers.
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Project IGNITE means Involving Graduates Now In
Thoughtful Engagement. A three-year project funded
by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Project IGNITE is
designed to serve as a model to help other colleges
and universities engage their alumni.
What makes Project IGNITE an out-of-the-box program and readily transferable are several components
that together offer lifelong alumni connections:
• One-to-one interaction between students and
alumni—who better to talk about the college experience and re-engage alumni than current students?
• Mutually beneficial matching of student and alumni
majors and interests
• Individualized and ongoing follow-up from a volunteer coordinator to keep
engagement and energy alive
In the project’s first six months at Augsburg, both attendance at events and
volunteering have increased. Of the alumni the IGNITE students have visited
during this time, 14% have now attended College events. Nearly 76% have
expressed interest in volunteering; and of those, 20% have begun. More
than 1,800 hours of volunteer time have been logged.
Kim Stone, director of alumni and constituent relations, is excited by the
results. She attributes success to the total package Project IGNITE makes
possible—engaging students in the alumni program before they graduate,
encouraging ongoing attendance at alumni events, and keeping alumni connected to campus through meaningful volunteering.
For more information or to arrange to meet with an IGNITE student, contact the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations at email@example.com
“WELCOME TO AUGSBURG”
Larry Menzel ’67 retired three years ago from a long career as a Kmart executive in 17 locations across the
Upper Midwest. Working with people was what his job was
all about, and in retirement he wanted to be able to continue that.
When volunteer coordinator Pat Grans sent a mailing
about Augsburg’s new volunteer program, it sparked his
interest. Despite the fact that he hadn’t been on campus
since graduation, he still felt a connection.
“Since my wife was gone from the house regularly on
Friday mornings, I thought it would be a good time for me
to do something, too,” Menzel says. He called Grans to
talk about volunteering.
Grans suggested that he staff the welcome desk in
Oren Gateway Center on Friday mornings, and he thought
that sounded good.
In addition to helping people find their way around the
building and answering questions, he also provides help to
the Institutional Advancement staff. Soon he found himself
at Homecoming and other events, which pleases his wife,
too, as she sees him doing things he enjoys.
His advice to current students he meets? “Study hard,
find a rewarding life, and follow the principles of God,
family, and work—in that order.”
Melissa Herrick, an art and communication studies major who is
working on a web project, found a natural connection with Patti
Lloyd ’83, the owner of a web development company.
OUT OF THE BOX
HAS PROJECT IGNITE MADE A DIFFERENCE?
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THE BOD POD lives upstairs in the Kennedy Center kinesiology lab. It’s
a high-tech apparatus that provides fast, safe, and accurate measurements of body composition, detailing fat and lean body mass. It
provides useful information for measuring the effectiveness of exercise and nutrition, fine-tuning top athletic performance, and tracking
the progress of obesity and disease.
Since Bod Pods are found mostly in fitness facilities and elite
training centers, Augsburg’s health, physical education, and health
fitness majors are fortunate to have this in their learning portfolio.
Used primarily in kinesiology and exercise physiology classes, students learn how to run the Bod Pod, interpret the results, and incorporate recommendations into specialized training plans.
If you are interested in being measured in the Bod Pod, contact
Professor Tony Clapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-330-1618.
THE BOD POD
1. The Bod Pod
2. Data acquisition box—interprets test data coming from the Bod
3. Computer hardware that processes all measurements, manages
data, and provides customized printouts of the test data
4. Calibration standards—Weights used to calibrate the Bod Pod before each person is measured, to assure accuracy when the person’s weight is entered
5. “Fast Eddie”—The Auggies’ own skeleton used in health and physical education classes. He arrived when the Kennedy Center
opened in 2007.
6. Anatomical charts most likely dating from the opening of Science
Hall in 1949, recently found rolled up in a storage closet. They’re
now taking on new life in the Health, Physical Education, and
Health Fitness Department.
7. Professor Tony Clapp, demonstrating the Bod Pod procedure:
• Wear spandex-type swimsuit or bike shorts and a swim cap
• Sit in the Bod Pod while measurements take about 30 seconds
• Get printouts of test results in about five minutes
OUT OF THE BOX
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BY REBECCA JOHN
The annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum (see
story on page 10) is the result of just one of
the many unique partnerships at Augsburg
College. It is the only program or academic
affiliation of the Norwegian Nobel Institute
outside of Norway.
Here are a few more examples of
Augsburg’s out-of-the-box partnerships.
The Cedar-Riverside Partnership was
founded in 2008 to foster collaboration
among existing community organizations—the African Development Center,
Pillsbury United Communities, West Bank
Community Coalition, the Cedar Riverside
Neighborhood Revitalization Program, and
the West Bank Business Association—and
local government bodies and institutions,
including the city and county, the University of Minnesota, Fairview Health Services, and Augsburg College.
“The goal of the partnership,” says
Steve Peacock, Augsburg director of community relations, “is to leverage these organizations’ collective resources to
strengthen Cedar-Riverside as a vibrant
place in which to live, learn, and work.”
The partnership is chaired by Augsburg
President Paul Pribbenow.
Augsburg plays an active role in the Mayo
Innovation Scholars Program (MISP), a
unique partnership with the Mayo Clinic
that offers an experiential learning opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate
students. Through the program, undergraduate science and business students from select Minnesota private colleges are teamed
with MBA project leaders from either Augsburg College or the University of St. Thomas
to evaluate the commercial potential for
patent ideas submitted through the Mayo
Clinic Office of Intellectual Property.
This year, Augsburg had five teams working on projects—two in Rochester and three
in Minneapolis—which presented their findings and recommendations to professionals
at the Mayo Clinic in March.
SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT
The Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities
(ACTC) was founded in 1975 by five liberal
arts institutions—Augsburg, Hamline,
Macalester, St. Catherine, and St.
Thomas—to provide cooperative programs
and services for students, faculty, and administrators.
In 2009, the consortium’s Chief Academic Officers Council, chaired by Barbara
Farley, Augsburg’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, renewed its efforts to explore common areas
of academic opportunity using a focus on
“sustainable urban development.”
“This theme truly ties us together as colleges in the Twin Cities,” Farley says.
“Broadly defined, it includes education,
health care, transportation, housing, and
environmental concerns, offering a rich platform for exploring strategies for enhancing
shared academic programs.”
PARTNERS ON CAMPUS
In recent years, two of Augsburg’s community partnerships have become integrated
into the College: Campus Kitchen and the
Minnesota Urban Debate League—both of
which operate under the Sabo Center for
Citizenship and Learning.
In 2003, Augsburg became the fourth
college campus in the U.S. to join the Campus Kitchens Project. The program provides
meal preparation and delivery to neighborhood organizations, nutrition and
food preparation classes for area youth, and
outreach to the surrounding neighborhood
through the continuously expanding community garden. Augsburg is the first college
to wholly integrate its Campus Kitchen as
part of the College.
The Minnesota Urban Debate League
has had a relationship with Augsburg
since 2004 and became part of the College in summer 2009. This move allowed
the league to focus less on administrative
operations and more on reaching urban
middle and high school students. In the
past year, the program doubled to 350
students and teaches important skills like
research, writing, thesis development, and
CONNECTING YOUTH TO CHURCHES
Now in its 19th year, the Augsburg College
Congregational Youth Basketball League
partners with dozens of metro-area
churches to involve junior high and high
school boys and girls in an annual basketball league that emphasizes fun, service,
sponsorship, participation, relationships,
and growth in one’s faith.
The program was founded by Augsburg
pastor Dave Wold to help keep youth connected to churches. The league starts in
January each year and culminates in a
March tournament on Augsburg’s campus
that involves more than 1,000 players,
coaches, officials, and volunteers from
Augsburg and area churches.
“The program is very successful at enabling our churches to connect with a
greater number of young people,” Wold
said, “providing the opportunity for them
to have some fun; get some exercise;
build relationships with teammates,
coaches, youth workers, and pastors; and
have an encounter with God.”
To learn about other out-ofthe-box partnerships, go to
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From the Alumni Board president …
Dear Alumni and friends,
s I write this article we’ve headed
into the spring season, and a couple of words appear in my mind:
renewal and growth. We can see our
world transform around us with a renewed sense of purpose—growth. Trees
are beginning to bud, early flowers are
beginning to show their bright colors,
and I think this lifts our spirits and warms our hearts to the possibility and purpose of our world.
It is this renewal and growth I want to discuss with you in this
my last article as president of the Alumni Association, as it
chooses new leadership in June.
One of my main goals this year was that of growth for the Alumni
Association—not only in size, but also in commitment and involvement in activities and events that enrich and add value to your life.
Every year, the Augsburg Alumni Association’s Board of Directors spends a great deal of time in the creation, planning, and execution of events designed to raise awareness, renew involvement,
and create a sense of community among alumni.
Looking back on the year, alumni have had opportunities to
come together in ways we have not been seen in many years. Ex-
amples of this are the more than 700 alumni who attended the
Canterbury Park event last August, the capacity turnout for events
such as the Winter Wine Tasting, the Eye-Opener Breakfast Series,
and the Young Alumni Council events, as well as alumni attendance at the Guthrie performance of Macbeth. These events and
activities are just a few that have been exceedingly well received;
and the leadership of the Alumni Association as well as the College’s dedicated staff from the Alumni and Constituent Relations
Office plan to enhance what has been a very successful year.
I am very grateful for having the opportunity to represent the
alumni this year as well as for all of the hard work and dedication
of those who helped make this year so successful. I look forward to
seeing many of you in the coming years and plan to continue contributing to this wonderful organization dedicated to the alumni of
I wish you a wonderful spring—please continue to check back
with the College, as something new will always be springing to life.
DANIEL HICKLE ’95
ALUMNI BOARD PRESIDENT
October 14-16, 2010
Recent Grad/Young Alumni
If you would like to help make your reunion a success, contact the Office of
Alumni and Constituent Relations at 612-330-1085 or email@example.com.
Go to www.augsburg.edu/homecoming for updates and reunion information.
102105_Augsburg Now:Layout 1 5/4/10 10:42 AM Page 40
preciate works I already knew—Michelangelo’s David, the ceiling
When I returned to Augsburg in fall 2004 after dropping out a year
earlier, I was eager to reform the lackluster study habits that had
of the Sistine Chapel—and discovered wonderful artists—Bernini,
plagued my academic career. At every fork in the road, I purposeCarravaggio—I previously knew nothing about.
fully chose the path I previously would never have considered. And
Between visits to churches and museums, we made time for
that’s how I, a young man who spent his entire adolescence hating
wine tasting on a Tuscan vineyard and a tour on an olive farm.
to travel, jumped at the chance to study in El Salvador.
Food and drink took on greater significance while in Italy. An exThere, we witnessed previously unimagined poverty and became
pansive dinner coupled with lively conversation regularly served as
inspired by countless acts of resilience. The little free time availan evening’s event. My roommate, a chatty substitute science
able was spent in discussions, journals, and books. There were no
teacher from Lester Prairie named Gordon, celebrated his 70th
moments wasted and no words ignored.
birthday in Orvieto during one of our four-course dinners.
That summer, I studied literature in France, and over the next
The trip to Italy allowed me to escape the stresses of home for a
two years, I went on to study in Nicaragua, Uganda, Rwanda, and
couple weeks and infused me with a new appreciation of visual art.
Tanzania and volunteered on a mission trip to Mexico.
It was a fitting continuation of the travel experiences I began while
Upon graduating in May 2007, I feared my opportunities to con- studying at Augsburg.
tinue traveling oversees had vanished. The expansive summer and
JEREMY ANDERSON ’07
holiday breaks were gone; the
immediate walls of my work cubicle provided no horizon to
look beyond. Fortunately, I
spotted a chance to break the
Anderson was leading a travel
seminar to study Italian art and
In November, I boarded a
plane alongside 25 other Show less