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Faculty Newsletter January 7, 2019

This Week's Message

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TOPIC: Semester Transition

Speaker: Umme Al-wazedi


Wilson Center

This will be an open session in which we would like to hear what faculty are most concerned about with the transition process. What kind of information do you need and how can Faculty Council help. Please come share your concerns and questions.


Faculty News

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Over the break, Lendol Calder had a busy week at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in Chicago. At the pre-conference workshop on teaching and learning, he led three sessions on "Balancing Breadth & Depth in History Courses." The next day, he delivered a paper titled "Sourcing is Damn Hard to Learn" which was profiled in an article that appeared in Inside Higher Education (read the article here: On the last day of the conference, Lendol and senior History Education major Rob Williams presented a paper reporting results from their research on whether long-form essay writing helps or hinders the development of historical thinking. This session was one of over 280 sessions listed in the program for the AHA meeting, and the only one in which an undergraduate student was a presenter. That student wasn't from Harvard, Princeton, or Stanford, but from Augustana. Finally, Lendol participated in a post-conference planning meeting for an AHA initiative to re-design the college level introductory history course. With $1.6 million in funding from the Mellon Foundation, Lendol is one of six history teaching and learning specialists who will advice faculty at eleven institutions over the next four years as they invent new purposes and pedagogies for introductory courses in history.

Last year Kelly Daniels was invited to co-edit a special issue of the literary magazine, Isthmus. Recently, he and his co-editors were honored  in the Best American Essays anthology for their work on the issue, one of the  "Notable Special Issues" of 2018. Additionally, "Peons," a story by Jose Skinner originally solicited by Kelly Daniels, has been listed as a "Notable Story" in 2018's Best American Short Stories. 

Kirsten Day (Classics) recently published her essay "'All That Glitters...': Problematizing Golden-Age Narratives in Vergil's Aeneid and the Western Film Genre" in a volume edited by Meredith Safran entitled Screening the Golden Ages of the Classical Tradition (Edinburgh University Press 2019).




RWC Workshop for Students: "Active Reading Techniques"

Presented by RWC Peer Tutors Thea Gonzales, Mikaylo Kelly, and Phong Doan
Sunday, January 13 from 7:00-7:45pm in Westerlin Lounge
Free food provided

Reading/Writing Center tutors are available to visit your classes for 7-10 minutes to introduce the RWC and its services. We often schedule these short visits during library instruction sessions, but we are happy to visit your classroom as well.

If you're interested in a class visit, please email Lucas Street the following information:
your course code(s) and meeting times
2 or 3 dates that would work well for a visit, in order of preference
the classroom or part of the library in which you'll be meeting


Drill Announcement

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 will be our next campus-wide emergency drill. More information will be communicated as the date approaches.


Campus Cupboard

We are currently looking for donations of oatmeal, toothbrushes, toothpaste, rice and soup for next Thursday. Donation drop-off bins can be found on the first floor of Old Main (faculty lounge), Founders (dean's office), Denkmann (near the language secretary's office), Evald (Sociology office), and Olin (across from room 105), as well as the second floor of the Tredway library and in Sorensen's Business Office. Thank you all for your continued support!

Center for Faculty Enrichment (CFE)

CFE and Semester Transition Team's Table topics continues on Tuesday, January 8, 11:30 - 1:00 in Wilson Center. Focus: J-term and Faculty well being. Drop by for the grilled mediterranean vegetables and chat about the January Term fair, J-term course possibilities and how we are going to keep it all together. 


Faculty colleagues, do you wish to attend a conference dedicated to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning that will help you or your department with the semester transition? 

CFE will support (up to $500 each) at least three tenure-line faculty members who commit to attending such a conference (or pre-conference) for the express purpose of enrichment for teaching in the semester transition. 

Some conference venues are extra helpful for new course preps.  For example, consider the Reacting to the Past Winter conference to be held in Athens, Georgia at the University of Georgia on January 18-19, 2019.  Attending provides you a way to learn this teaching method as a participant.  You leave with experience and all the materials you would need to incorporate into a class.  These "game kits" could be excellent for Jan-term courses in many disciplines.

The games at the University of Georgia 2019 winter conference include:
The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 BCE
Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776
Rousseau, Burke and Revolution in France: 1791
Greenwich Village, 1913: Suffrage, Labor and the New Woman
Monuments and Memory Making: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1981-1982
The Collapse of Apartheid and the Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993
Full descriptions are linked here.   Registration for "Reacting to the Past" is discounted by Dec 1 and required by Dec 15.

Our disciplines have pedagogy conferences.  
If you can make the link to semester transition courses that are already on the books, please be in touch with CFE.  Your application for funding should include:

1.  The course description you hope to develop and whether it is on the books for 2019-20 or later. 

2.  A link to the pedagogy conference or specific workshop that would help you prepare it.

3.  A simple budget, including all predicted costs of the conference and all projected fu


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

Augustana College has been selected to receive a NetVUE Program Development Grant in the amount of $50,000! The grant enables us to "broadly and deeply infuse vocational reflection into the academic curriculum and integrate vocational classroom learning with co-curricular activities." It will fund three sets of Education for Vocation Seminars (EVS) for Augustana educators. Each cohort will  introduce and discuss the value and methods of educating our students for purposeful lives of faithfulness and responsibility in a diverse world. While some of this may change, the plan is as follows (beginning May of 2019):

         A first cohort (of faculty teaching the sophomore-level required course, “Reasoned Examination of Faith”) will design, implement, and assess shared assignments that introduce all sophomores to the important concept of education for vocation.

        A second cohort (of faculty and other campus educators leading upper-level, high-impact student experiences) will deepen vocational reflection among self-selecting students who are studying away/abroad or involved in service-learning or internships.

       The final cohort (of directors of co-curricular programs such as advising, residential life, athletics, and multicultural and international student programming) will design, implement, and assess co-curricular events and opportunities that reinforce and extend classroom learning about vocation

These seminars will inform and empower educators (both faculty and co-curricular directors) to incorporate understandings of and reflections on vocation in signature academic courses and co-curricular programs. Each cohort of EVS participants will study and discuss:

(1) How education-for-vocation has become a leading theme within Lutheran higher education;

(2) How vocation and the scholarship on vocation are reshaping the landscape of independent colleges and universities in overlapping and distinctive ways; and

(3) Best practices in the teaching of vocation and in vocational discernment within college courses and co-curricular programs, along with possible texts, experiences and assignments to use with students

Augustana was among a group of NetVUE members selected to receive one of the awards, the purpose of which is to deepen the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students. NetVUE Program Development Grants are made possible thanks to generous financial support to CIC by Lilly Endowment Inc.  

Please look for more information to come about how YOU might participate in this exciting initiative!


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 are weekly themes and suggested chapters for each week:

       January 8          Outside Perspectives on Lutheran Education

                                  Chapter 8, by Eboo Patel (Interfaith Youth Core)

                                  Chapter 9, by Mary Henold (Roanoke College)

(Those of you who like a debate might also read the more critical remarks in Chapter 11 by Bob Benne—Roanoke College.

        January 22        Trajectories on the Horizon

                                   Chapter 12, by Jason Mahn (Augustana College)

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


You may find the following two essays (from NetVUE's blog, "Vocation Matters") to be helpful  as you face challenging periods in your life and continue to reflect on your own sense of calling, meaning and purpose. 

The first is a realistic look at the burnout that faces so many of us:

The second is an honest and hopeful look at vocational reflection during a time of crisis:

Weekly Events

Monday, January 7, 4:00-5:00 p.m. - New Faculty Mentoring Circle, Wilson, Brunner

Tuesday, January 8, 11:30 a.m. - Augie Reflections, Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall 2nd floor

Tuesday, January 8, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - Ekklesia, Old Main 135


Faculty Research Fund

The Faculty Research Committee solicits proposals for the Faculty Research Fund

Nature of this research fund:

  • The fund exists to support the creative and scholarly activity of the faculty.
  • Fundable items include, but are not limited to, special equipment (which would be considered college property), supplies, journal page costs, work in major archives, and additional study.
  • Projects aimed at bolstering academic coursework or assisting with dissertation research and writing are not eligible.
  • Proposals are reviewed by the Faculty Research Committee and funded as part of the college’s annual administrative budget.
  • The total annual funds to be drawn upon for this year total approximately $10,000. 
  • Past awards have ranged from $200 to $2,500.
  • Continuing projects are eligible for repeated funding but must include an annual timeline and annual budget.  Proposals that build upon previously funded projects must demonstrate progress and have expended the previous year’s funding.
  • Any faculty member with academic rank, including full-time, joint-appointment, adjunct or part-time faculty, is eligible to apply.  This includes librarians, coaches, or appointees to concurrent administrative positions with rank.

Guidelines and selection criteria for the research fund (see Faculty Handbook for details):

  1. Five page maximum proposal including itemized budget
  2. Proposal must include:
    • Identification of research problem or description of creative project
    • Explanation of materials and methods, including itemized budget, required to tackle problem
    • Relation of proposed work to work of applicant’s peers
    • Nature of result or product anticipated, i.e. publications, art exhibits, baseline information for future work, etc.
    • Timeline for significant milestones or project completion
    • Summary of research grants received from Augustana sources during the past five years, along with results of projects funded
    • Current curriculum vitae (includes applicant’s general qualifications and relevant previous work; this is in addition to the five page limit for the proposal; please limit CV to five pages)
  3. Criteria used by the committee to evaluate proposals: eligibility, clarity of presentation, appropriate budget prediction, prospects for publication and public attention, applicant’s qualifications, inclusion of student researchers (student researchers are not required, but are often favorably reviewed)
  4. Expectation for funded work:
  • A brief (1-2 page) report detailing the results of the research, including where the work was presented, performed, and/or published. This should be submitted to the Dean of the College and the Chair of the Faculty Research Committee no later than 1 year after notification of the grant. 
  • Funds not expended by 1 year after the award notification will revert back to the general Faculty Research account.  Any exceptions must be approved by the Chair of the Faculty Research Committee and the Dean of the College prior to the end of the grant year.
  • Faculty who are funded by these grants are expected to give a lecture or public presentation of the project’s results within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Acknowledgement of Augustana financial assistance in products created from funded work.

Please send your proposal by email to Michelle Heinrichs  by 5 pm on Friday, January 18. 2019 Awards will be announced by February 15.   Direct questions to Dan Corts (Chair), or other committee members: Jeff Renaud, Ann Perreau, Trang Phan, Andrew Sward, or Lauren Hammond.