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Hasselmo winner has heart and mind in the right place

Fueled by a heart defect and an interest in research, junior Brandon Wills earned the 2015 Hasselmo Prize for Academic Pursuit and its $5,000 award. The biology major will conduct genetics research at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill., this summer.

Mortenson '78 named dean of music at Baylor

Gary Mortenson '78 has been named dean of the School of Music at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Dr. Mortenson currently serves as director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Kansas State University, where he is professor of trumpet and has taught since 1989. He earned a bachelor’s in music education from Augustana, a master’s of music in trumpet performance from Ithaca (N.Y.) College, and doctorate of musical arts in trumpet performance from The University of Texas at Austin.

Alumni, friends honor longtime English professor

Professor Emerita of English Dr. Dorothy Parkander ’46 was the last one to know — just as planned. She walked into the Quad City Arts Center in Rock Island to find 25 former students and friends gathered in honor of her 90th birthday March 14. Surprise!

Billups '87 to enter U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame

Tom Billups '87, one of the Augustana football players on the team that was unbeaten with four NCAA titles, will be inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame. A former U.S. international rugby player and head coach of the U.S. National Team, Billups is in his 16th season as a rugby coach at California. “Although Tom is a proud Augustana College man, we have very much adopted him at Cal, so there is pride for our university and team,” said Cal head coach Jack Clark.

Ackermann '12 directs vegan wolf in 'Little Red'

Kailey Ackermann '12 directs a new version of "Little Red Riding Hood" (in which the wolf is secretly a vegan) for Davenport Junior Theatre. “I am inspired by the dedication of the kids,” she said. “I can tell that they really want to be there and really want to work. Seeing young people with that kind of motivation is really inspiring."