Goal Five: student life
Enhance the full array of student life, extra-curricular, co-curricular and campus ministries programs to provide a complete education for our students that extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom.
Because some of the most valuable student experiences beyond the classroom are tied to Augustana's role as a good institutional citizen, recounting evidence of growth within this strategic goal may well continue in that vein.
This year, some of the best stories of Augustana's work in the community were written by students. Even better, they were documented through the Kemper Internship Program, funded by the James S. Kemper Foundation, developed and administered by staff in the Center for Vocational Reflection, and directed by Dr. Ellen Hay, director of the Institute for Leadership and Service and faculty member in communication studies. Demonstrating the ways in which civic engagement can become meaningful Senior Inquiry, the Kemper program provided students with 40-hour-per-week summer internships including stipends. Each student accomplished rewarding and sometimes difficult work with a measurable social impact, and then developed a final public presentation and report.
One example is Elizabeth Hesse '09, a communication studies and sociology major with a minor in anthropology. Liz was a research associate intern with Opportunity International, a non-profit micro-finance institution that provides emerging entrepreneurs, especially those from economically underdeveloped nations, with loans and training to start their businesses. She worked with client interviews and included their stories in her donor reports; she wrote proposals to individuals, churches and even large corporations; she researched philanthropic policies and found connections to potential donors. Within this fast-paced, demanding work environment, Liz finessed her communication and organization skills and learned the power of resourcefulness. Starting out, she hadn't realized to what extent governments are not set up in favor of the poor. Now she has greater knowledge of globalization and how it affects impoverished nations, and is proud to have played a role-small but discernable-in helping to end global poverty.
Students throughout campus have a wide variety of ways to expand their knowledge, discover new interests, explore their spirituality, stay active, compete, inform and express their beliefs. A conversation begun by the Interfaith Understandings Group, an effort led by Chaplain Richard Priggie, contributed to the addition of Jewish and Muslim student advisors-respectively, Margi Rogal of the Thomas Tredway Library and Dr. Cyrus Zargar, an assistant professor of religion.
All told, Augustana offers more than 150 student departmental organizations, special interest groups, publications and clubs. The number of club sports is now the largest and most competitive in the history of the college, with teams ranging from crew to equestrian to lacrosse. Any group of students that wishes to start a new college-recognized organization is welcome to present a case, and every year such groups' voices are heard by Dr. Evelyn Campbell, our vice president of student services.
In 2008, Dr. Campbell's office worked with the Office of Student Activities to develop a statement of philosophy for Greek organizations. This document acknowledges the important role of the Greek system at Augustana, while at the same time recognizing the obligations of Greek organizations to the college community.
Much of the success of individual students and their campus groups is due to the support and professional leadership development offered by the Office of Student Activities under director Ken Brill. Having built a program that has received broad recognition, Mr. Brill himself was honored at the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Mid-America Conference when he was presented with the 2008 NACA Hall of Fame Award. This award honors those who "have given outstanding service to the organization, have upheld professional standards showing integrity, and hold the esteem and appreciation of colleagues, students and peers."