Skip to main content

Faculty Newsletter November 19, 2018

This Week's Message

If you’ve wandered into Academic Affairs between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. any Monday through Friday, you’ve likely found the staff gathered around for our standing morning meet (yes, we literally stand).  I end each of these meetings by reading a “gratitude quote” to remind us all to find things to be grateful for in the craziness of our daily work (Mostly, I’m grateful everyone in Academic Affairs keeps coming to work each morning).

With Thanksgiving just days away, it seems a perfect time to reflect on those things we should remember to be grateful for here at Augustana.  Let me start you thinking:

  • The detours to the Wilson Center get you that much closer to your 10,000 steps.
  • After this term, you’ll never again have a pedagogically perfect class interrupted by a three-week break just as things are getting into a groove.
  • You’re not teaching at Minnesota State University – Moorhead, rated by College Prowler website as the college or university with the coldest winters in the country.

Feel free to brainstorm additions to the list as you enjoy a long weekend and time to rejuvenate with family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wendy Hilton-Morrow

p.s.  You didn’t think you’d got off without a gratitude quote did you?  From G.K. Chesterton, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”


Faculty News

Paul Croll (Sociology) was a panelist for an Author-Meets-Critics panel at the 2018 Association for Humanist Sociology’s Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan (November 8th-11th). The book was Poison in the Ivy, by W. Carson Byrd.  Byrd’s book examines 28 elite U.S. institutions to determine whether interracial and interethnic interactions on campus influence students’ beliefs and understandings about race.

Tim Muir (Biology) recently presented "Modeling energy use of overwintering hatchling turtles using over a decade of nest temperatures" at the Comparative Physiology meeting of the American Physiological Society in New Orleans, LA. This meeting, held every four years, attracts an international audience of today's leading comparative physiologists. Co-authors on the project include Dat Tran ('18), Maggie Bednarek ('18), Lawrence Catalan ('18) and Andrew Sward (Math and Computer Science).

Lucas Street (Reading/Writing Center) is the featured poet this week in Leveler, an online poetry journal.

Margaret Morse's chapter, "Domestic Portraiture in Early Modern Venice: Devotion to Family and Faith," appears in the volume Domestic Devotions in Early Modern Italy, recently published by Brill. Her chapter considers the spiritual dimensions of portraiture, typically considered a secular art form, in the context of the robust devotional environment of the sixteenth-century Venetian home.

Congratulations to Kiki Kosnick who has been selected to participate in the 2019 seminar on Teaching Vocational Exploration offered by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) through its Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). We were told that the degree of competition for participation was keen! The 2019 seminar will be held at Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center just north of Chicago, Illinois, June 17­–21, 2019. Kiki's housing, seminar materials, meals, and a travel stipend will be covered by CIC thanks to the generous support of Lilly Endowment Inc.




Longfellow School Holiday Book Drive

For many years, the Reading/Writing Center has collected books for Longfellow School children. From Monday, November 26th to Friday, December 14th, we will again be accepting donations of new or like-new (undamaged, unmarked) children's books for ages 4 to 12.  

Donated books may be sent to the Reading/Writing Center through campus mail or dropped off during open hours (10-4 MTWTh, 10-2:30 F, or 7-9pm SMTWTh).  Alternatively, if you email Lucas Street, he will send someone to your office to pick up your books.

The books find their ways into classroom collections as well as incentives and gifts for the children during the rest of the school year. The Longfellow teachers and staff are always grateful to receive them. Last year we collected 327 books--enough to allow each child at Longfellow to choose one to keep.


RWC Class Visits Available

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


RWC Workshop for Students: "Effective Oral Presentations"

Presented by RWC Peer Tutors Nadia Ayensah, Thao-Nhi Huynh, and Hannah Vercellotti

Sunday, December 2nd from 7:00-7:45pm in Westerlin Lounge

Free food provided


Drill Announcement

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


Center for Faculty Enrichment (CFE)

Improving educational outcomes with the use of free or low-cost materials:  In a Tredway Library-CFE partnership, the Friday Conversation on 11/30/18 will be discussing why and how to consider using free and low-cost high-quality materials at Augie. After a brief introduction of research on learning and textbook access, several faculty members will show how they have used materials (both digitally and by making coursepacks).  Most of the session will be discussion, and is geared toward everyone, with or without experience in using Open Educational Resources (OER).  Contact Connie Ghinazzi for more details.

Please keep these two ongoing for each week of winter term:


Save the (odd weeks) Tuesdays!  CFE and Semester Transition Team pair up for Wilson Center lunch hour Table Topics this winter!  On Tuesdays of weeks 3, 6, and 9 from noon-1:30, CFE and your semester transition coordinators will host discussions in a very informal setting in the Wilson Center, with light munchies and coffee provided.  Relax and converse over coffee -- come to hear others' ideas or to offer your own.  

Week 3 (11/27/18) - Ways Faculty can Promote the Calendar Transition to Students

Week 6  (1/8/19) -  Getting Ready for the First-Ever Jan-Term Fair 

Week 9 (1/29/19)  - Finding Harmony in our Busy Schedules


Gender Revolution film enrichment

This award-winning documentary that explains gender identities of all kinds, with a special focus on understanding transgender identities, was screened on campus in week 1.  To model understanding for ALL our students, 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.  

Incentive:  For all faculty and staff members who watch on their own and email CFE by February 1st, 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 social documentary is a start. (Several people have graciously indicated that they will watch the film but don't want the $25.  If that describes you, could you still please email CFE if you have watched it so that we know for our records if this effort worked?  Thank you!)


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 are weekly themes and suggested chapters for each week:

November 20:   The History of Educating “Lutheranly” for Vocation

                                    Preface and Introduction

                                    Chapter 1, by Samuel Torvend (Pacific Lutheran)

                                    Chapter 4, by Mark Wilhelm (NECU)


December 4:     The Marks (or charisms or characteristics) of Lutheran Higher Ed

                                    Chapter 6, by Darrell Jodock (Gustavus Adolphus)

                                    Chapter 7, by Marty Stortz (Augsburg)


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, November 19, 4:00-5:00 p.m. - New Faculty Mentoring Circle, Wilson, Brunner

Tuesday, November 20, 11:30 a.m. - Augie Reflections, Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall 2nd floor

Tuesday, November 20, 4:30-5:30 p.m. - Ekklesia, Old Main 135

Tuesday, November 20, 7:30 p.m. Faculty Recital - Robert Elfline, piano, Wallenberg Hall