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Faculty Newsletter August 27, 2018

This Week's Message

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"Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center:  What is it and how can it help you?"

AUGUST 31, 2018

3:30 - 5:00 PM


The Swenson Center (located in Denkmann Hall) is a national library and archives for the study of Swedish immigration to North America and the Swedish-American experience. So what? What opportunities can the Swenson Center offer you and your students? Come find out! We will discuss archival orientation activities (especially useful for FYI classes), independent study opportunities for students, and services available to any Augustana community member. Come and learn how you can use the Swenson Center to provide a unique experience for your students, no Swedish-language skills required. 

Note: This presentation will start in the Wilson Center and then move to the Swenson Center in Denkmann for a behind-the-scenes tour. If you're running late, please meet us at the Swenson Center around 4:15.

Presented by Lisa Huntsha, Swenson Center Archivist/Librarian

Faculty News

Lena Hann (Public Health) and Augustana student research assistants Jessica Lechtenberg (PUBH, SOC) and Hannah Norris (PUBH, POLS) presented a half-day workshop to international abortion providers at the Abortion & Reproductive Justice conference at Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa in July 2018. Lena is currently on pre-tenure leave in Texas where she is finalizing and piloting her Best Practices Guide for Abortion Providers.

Brian Leech received the John Townley Award for the Best Article Published in the Mining History Journal in 2017. That article is “Competition, Community, and Entertainment: The Anaconda Company’s Promotion of Mine Safety in Butte, Montana, 1915-1942,” The Mining History Journal 24, no. 1 (2017): 19-39. In June, Leechalso presented a paper titled “From King Solomon’s Mines to Jungle Gold: The Popular Culture of Mining Adventures” at the Mining History Association's Annual Conference in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Brian Lovato has been named as a recipient of the American Political Science Association Fund for Latino Scholarship Award.

Rafael Medina (Biology) was awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) aimed to improve the understanding on how new species of plants evolve via the duplication of their genomes. This research project will be done in collaboration with the University of Connecticut and Texas Tech University. At Augustana, the students involved in the project will take active part in the experiments and laboratory work.

Sharon Varallo (Communication Studies) and Rebecca Wee (English) were on the 2018 summer teaching staff at Holden Village in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.  Both were interviewed for the Holden Village podcast:  Sharon engaged villagers and visitors on how we are socialized to understand time, linked here (titled Cultures of Time).  Rebecca gave popular workshops and describes her love for Poetry at Holden further down the same link.

This summer, Keri Bass (CORE)  Kristin Douglas (Associate Dean), Jason Mahn (Religion), Monica Smith (VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and Sharon Varallo(Communication Studies) made up Augustana's delegation to the 24th annual Vocation of a Lutheran College Conference at Augsburg University (Minneapolis), July 16-18. The theme of this summer's conference was "Civil Discourse in a Fragmented and Multi-Religious Society."  Next summer's gathering will take place July 15-17, 2019 in Minneapolis under the theme: "Beyond Privilege: Engaging Diversity, Inclusion and Equity." Monica Smith has accepted the invitation to be one of the keynote speakers. If you are interested in attending, please contact Jason Mahn. 





Children’s Show (TYA) – The Frog and The Princess by Brandon Roberts: September 15 & 16

Special School Showing: September 14, Brunner Theatre

Our annual children’s theatre offering!  Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Stonewell, there lived a beautiful princess named Alvinia. Once a beautiful and magical Kingdom, admired by everyone, Stonewell has fallen into despair since the King, Princess Alvinia father, became ill and the Step Queen Corvidae started to rule. Enter Prince Gerwyn, the handsome suitor from the Kingdom of Hopspond, who meets and instantly falls in love with the beautiful and kind Princess Alvinia. Asking for her hand in marriage, she tells him he will have to ask the Step Queen, but it’s not going to be easy! To ensure her “rightful” place on the throne, the Step Queen Corvidae, has transformed all of the suitors for Alvinia’s hand into animals! And Prince Gerwyn is no exception. With her magical golden ball, the Step Queen casts a spell that turns Gerwyn into a slimy frog forever...unless he can get a kiss from his true love, Princess Alvinia. With her scheming servant, it’s not going to be an easy task. Will Gerwyn and his Princess live happily every after?

The Campus Cupboard is open Thursday from 10:30 to 12:20 and 6 to 8 PM.If you are looking to donate unopened, non-perishable food items to help support the Campus Cupboard, there are donation sites in all academic buildings and in CORE.  The Campus Cupboard had 24 visits in the past week.  Students took a total of 232 pounds. 

Center for Faculty Enrichment (CFE)

CFE is partnering with the Tredway Library to encourage review of Open Educational Resource material (OER) for classroom use.  Look soon for announcements of incentives to thoughtfully review textbooks and other material for possible use in semesters; this continuation of the spring pilot is being supported by Academic Affairs.  Of special interest will be departmentally-collaborative efforts and/or efforts to find resources for multi-section courses. 

CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration)

CORE is pleased to share that Leslie Scheck, Associate Director; Rebecca Marion-Flesch, Career Coach; and Alex Washington, Career Coach have successfully completed a six-week certification course for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument.  The MBTI is administered by trained professionals all over the world and is the most widely used personality assessment of its kind. It is based on well-researched and validated personality theory with proven applications in a variety of fields, including career development.  

CORE Offers activities such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to individual students seeking self-assessment as part of the career development process as well as to classes looking for engaging activities promoting career education and professional development. 

Please congratulate Leslie, Rebecca, and Alex on their new certification.

Contact Laura Kestner-Ricketts, Executive Director, Career and Professional Development, for more information at or 7338.


The Violet M. Jaeke Family Life fund could help to support teaching, research, service or general campus initiatives of interest to you and your students. Proposals accepted year round.

Teaching: Many courses have links to family life. Jaeke Family Life funding can support teaching relevant to family study in both applied and theoretical realms. Jaeke funding has helped with field trips, invited speakers, instructional supplies, library acquisitions and even pizza incentives for focus groups, all in support of family-related issues in the classroom, with topics ranging from immigration and sexuality to public policy and marital therapy, from trans identity talks and feminist art installations to film purchases to support teaching goals.

Research: Jaeke can help cover conference registration and travel fees to conference venues such as The Work and Family Researchers Network ( ), The Council on Contemporary Families, or the Prisoner's Family Network. Most conference support has been on family-related research at venues that have broad appeal. If your work is with families, about families, or benefits families, then please know there could be funding to support that work.

Service-Learning or Internships: Jaeke Family Life funding can help support students in family-related internships in organizations such as the Texas Medical Center or in rape/domestic violence hotline training programs through Family Resources. In the past, Jaeke funds paid for background checks and supplies for students volunteering with refugee families via World Relief. Along with support from Education/Longfellow Elementary funding, Jaeke funds helped support a creative after-school program involving teaching yoga practices to Longfellow children and their families

Service/Outreach: Some service projects might qualify for outreach funding. For example, Jaeke funding recently paid for healthy snacks for Opportunity Kicks Tutoring, an after-school tutoring program run by Augie students that combines soccer with study skills.

Campus Initiatives: Jaeke funds underwrite babysitting fees for Friday Conversations, to help allow Augie parents the opportunity to attend college functions and supporting student workers. This year, Jaeke funds have been proposed to pay for all-gender restroom signs to be installed around campus.

Please contact Sharon Varallo if you, your students, or staff have or would like to brainstorm ideas about family-related research, teaching, service or campus-related initiatives.


Weekly Events

Tuesday, August 28, 11:30 a.m. - Augie Reflections, Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall 2nd floor

Tuesday, August 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - Ekklesia, Old Main 135

Tuesday, August 28, 7:30 p.m. - Guest Artist: Kim Rooney Hagelstein, (French horn) will perform with Robert Elfline, (piano) Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Memorial Building  - Free admission.

Friday, August 31, 4:00 Friday Conversation: "Week #2  Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center: What is it and how can it help you?", Wilson Center