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Faculty Newsletter January 21, 2019

This Week's Message


TOPIC: Helping Students Develop Empathy

Speaker: Tim Muir, chair of the Assessment for Improvement Committee


Wilson Center

Each year the Assessment for Improvement Committee (AIC) spearheads a campus-wide conversation on one of the nine Augustana Student Learning Outcomes. This year the focus is on ethical citizenship. The goal of this year-long focus is to learn more about the ways that our students develop ethical citizenship, identify experiences or circumstances that are particularly supportive of (or particularly detrimental to) that development, and commit as an institution to specific steps to improve how we do what we do.

In the fall, we presented a first layer of results from a longitudinal assessment of our students’ dispositional empathy (using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index). Among those findings was the good news that our students grew in the right direction over their four years at Augustana, but that our male students generally grew less. This week, we will share results from a more in-depth analysis of the data that incorporates data from the senior survey and tells us what experiences positively correlated with growth in empathy and sheds light on the gender difference. We will then solicit your ideas for how we can further interrogate the data to better understand how to help our students develop empathy.

So come down to the Wilson Center on Friday, have a drink and a bite to eat, and help us think through this data set as we strive to improve the way our students develop ethical citizenship. We need your ideas!


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Longfellow School Book Drive Update

The Reading/Writing Center tutors wish to thank all who donated books to the holiday book drive we sponsored in December. This year, we again collected 327 children's books--enough for each child at Longfellow to choose one to keep, with some left over for school use.

Thank you for your generosity in providing our neighbor children the gift of reading.


Augustana Theatre Announcement

Jeff Coussens is directing The Three Musketeers by Ken Ludwig: January 25 - February 3


Campus Cupboard

The cupboard is always looking for donations! Popular items the Cupboard could use include instant rice, soup, pasta, and canned goods! The campus Cupboard is open Thursday from 10:30 to 12:20 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.


ACES Grocery Runs

Augustana's transportation services, ACES in collaboration with Campus Cupboard, is offering grocery runs to students! ACES will transport you to and from Aldi, a neighborhood supermarket, between 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. (last call for pick-up is 3:30 p.m.) For more details contact the Community Service Office.

Center for Faculty Enrichment (CFE)

CFE and Semester Transition Team's Table topics continues on Tuesday of week 9, January 29, 11:30 - 1:00 in Wilson Center.  Hold that date for more and better snacks -- drop by for the grilled mediterranean vegetables and stay for the excellent conversation.


Got PMA?  Remember to consider excellent teaching conferences such as The Teaching Professor Conference, June 2019 in New Orleans and also another excellent conference to attend is on Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts at Bryn Mawr. (with proposals due on February 25) 


Gender Revolution film enrichment — watch to win $25 at Cool Beanz or Hy-Vee

Incentive: For all faculty and staff members who watch on their own and email CFE by February 1,your names will be included in drawings for two $25 gift cards. Our students need for us to understand and model not only acceptance but also deeper understanding of science and the law. This engaging social documentary is a good start.

This award-winning documentary explains gender identities of all kinds, with a special focus on understanding transgender identities.  It was screened on campus in week 1 to a small audience. For Diversity enrichment, please consider watching the National Geographic Documentary Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric. The DVD is currently on reserve at Tredway Library for a 3-day checkout and is available to watch free online. Music faculty member Sarah Burns reported finding a free way to watch the documentary on Katie Couric's Facebook page.

CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration)


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.

Presidential Center for Faith and Learning


YOU are invited to any part of a four-part book discussion on The Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education. We will make this as much like a book club as we can—informal conversation about the themes in the book, peppered by sharing experiences, questions, concerns, and joys related to our own vocations in educating for vocation. If you did not sign up for the whole series, not to worry, Jason can get you a copy of individual chapters and you can join us for a week or two or more (please contact him at  We will gather in the Wilson Center each of the designated Tuesdays for food and beverages beginning at 3:30, and then begin discussing select portions of the book at 4PM. If you find them helpful, please look over the discussion questions that conclude each chapter; they may spark or sustain our conversation.

Here is the weekly theme and suggested chapters for the week:


        January 22        Trajectories on the Horizon

                                   Chapter 12, by Jason Mahn (Augustana College)

                                   Chapter 14, by Kit Kleinhans (formerly of Wartburg College) 


ACC&U is pleased to share news stories on liberal education and inclusive excellence each week, which are archived on our website.  Please share with colleagues and all who care about liberal education and inclusive excellence.

Weekly Events

Monday, January 21, 6:30 p.m.High School Band Festival Concert, Centennial Hall

Tuesday, January 22, 10:45 a.m. General Student Recital, Centennial Hall

Tuesday, January 22, 11:30 a.m. - Augie Reflections, Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall 2nd floor

Tuesday, January 22, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - Ekklesia, Old Main 135

Tuesday, January 22, 7:30 p.m. Faculty Recital - Janet Stodd, flute, Wallenberg Hall

Saturday, January 26, 4:00 p.m. Clarinets for Conservation Benefit Concert, Wallenbeg Hall

Sunday, January 27, 2:00 p.m. Senior Recital - Rebecca Hobson, oboe, Wallenberg Hall

Sunday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. Augustana Percussion Ensemble Concert, Tony Oliver, director, Ensemble room, Bergendoff Building