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Fall Symposium Day Oct. 6, 2021

Environments: Our Cultural, Social and Natural Surroundings

Symposium Days include invited speakers, alumni, advising sessions and opportunities to practice the liberal arts and be involved with our community.

Fall Symposium Day has a rotating theme connected to Augie Reads. This year's theme is "Environments: Our Cultural, Social and Natural Surroundings."

Join us throughout the day to participate in plenary and breakout sessions that address themes related to our multi-faceted environments.


9:15-10:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions I

10:30-11:30 a.m. Presidential Center for Faith and Learning featured presenter: Brenna Cussen-Anglada
Concurrent Sessions II

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Featured alumni presenter: Kelly Schumacher Fuller
Concurrent Sessions III

1-2 p.m. Augie Reads featured presenter: Jamie Ford.  Concurrent Sessions IV

2:15-3:15 p.m. Time reserved for advising; students, please look for communications from your advisor for more information.


Augie Reads Featured Presentation RESCHEDULED for 1:00 p.m.

Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford: Adventures in a Bicultural World


Bestselling author Jamie Ford was born between two cultures, that of his father, a Chinese American whose family settled in the west in 1865, and his mother, a Mayflower descendant born and raised in rural Arkansas. He will share a unique perspective on race, borders and the future of diversity, and discuss whitewashing in Hollywood and the types of systemic racism that affected his family.

Ford's debut, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His second book, "Songs of Willow Frost," also was a national bestseller. His work has been translated into 35 languages.

His latest novel is "Love and Other Consolations Prizes." See him on Twitter @jamieford and on Instagram @jamiefordofficial.

Concurrent Sessions I 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Transforming Education: Augustana Prison Education Project
Dr. Sharon Varallo, Professor and Executive Director, Augustana Prison Education Program

Katreena Alder, FYI/Communication Studies

Dr. Jason Mahn, Religion

Dr. Penny O’Conner, Communication Studies

Dr. Jacob Romaniello, Reading/Writing Center

Wilson Center

Where does higher education belong?  This panel gives a brief overview of the newly launched Augustana Prison Education Program, a BA-degree granting program at East Moline Correctional Center. We’ll discuss the development of the program via early years of volunteering, the process of winning the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation grant that funds APEP, the student admissions process, the teacher training/development process, and what it is like teaching incarcerated students in a prison classroom.  The panel will end with Q&A.

Supportive Friendships in College: A Longitudinal Study at Augustana
J Austin Williamson

Olin 202

Why do some students feel better supported by their friends than others? And what makes particular friendships especially supportive? This talk will present findings from a two-year study on friendships within athletic organizations and Greek groups at Augustana. Study results will be complemented with a discussion of what students and organizations can do to make college a more supportive environment.

Drawing Narratives: How Graphic Novels Help Tell Life-Changing Experiences
Isabela Oliveira

Hanson 127

Consistently underrated due to its heavy use of images, graphic novels are commonly regarded as an informal form of literature suitable only for recreation. Within the last decade, graphic novels have been shown to be an effective way to relay and analyze personal narratives, but are still rarely incorporated in academic environments. Focusing on stories that capture the immigrant experience, we will explore how graphic novels help blend cultural, social and political environments, and how they may be used as nontraditional resources in academic environments.

Session II 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Presidential Center for Faith and Learning Featured Presentation

Brenna Cussen-Anglada

Brenna Cussen-Anglada: The Cry of the Earth: A Christian Response


In contrast to the dominant Christian story of superiority over Nature, Christian scripture and tradition in fact contain beautiful stories of humanity living in right relationship with Creation, and working for justice for the oppressed. Brenna Cussen Anglada will speak about how reclaiming these stories led her to take action in support of the Indigenous-led movement to protect the Ojibwe Treaty Territory in northern Minnesota. 

A member of the Four Necessity Valve Turners, she will describe how the nonviolent resistance of her team of Catholic Workers, who shut down two tar sands oil pipelines in order to mitigate climate change, was rooted in her Catholic faith and in her community life on the land.

Cussen-Anglada is a founding member of St. Isidore Catholic Worker Farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, the ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk, Sauk, and Meskwaki. 

Concurrent Sessions II 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Tapestry Farms and NEST Cafe: Building Companionship in the Quad Cities
Eric Stewart, Religion

Ann McGlynn, Executive Director of Tapestry Farms

Laura Mahn, Executive Director of NEST Cafe

Hanson 102

Tapestry Farms and NEST café are nonprofits working to build companionship (which literally means, “eating together”) in the Quad Cities. Tapestry Farms supports refugees who have resettled in the QCA; it reclaims underutilized land in neighborhoods experiencing food insecurity, putting the skills and talents of refugees to work so that all in our community are abundantly fed. NEST Café (Nourish Everyone Sustainably Together) is a “pay what you can” restaurant committed “to nourishing bodies and community by providing delicious, sustainably sourced food to all who enter regardless of their means.” Hosted by Eric Stewart (Religion) this session will include presentations by Ann McGlyn and Laura Mahn, executive directors of the two nonprofits, followed by conversation with them and some of the community companions and Augie interns working with them. 

How do socioeconomic environments shape the developing brain? And what can we do about it?
Dr. Megan Lorenz and Dr. Rupa Gordon, Psychology & Neuroscience
Lindberg 201

Socioeconomic status is a multifaceted construct that can shape the environment and developing brain.  In this session, we will focus on how differences in socioeconomic status are related to the development of language and executive function and the associated neural differences.  Furthermore, we’ll brainstorm interventions and consider whether these “disparities” might be characterized as adaptations to the environment.

Digging Up Augustana's Past: a pop-up exhibit and demo
Dr. Kelsey Arkle, Audrianna Schneider, Cheyenne Bartelt, Claudia Vallejo, and Morgan Litwiler, Geology

Slough Path (near the bridge to the Dahl President's Home)

Learn about our collective environment from a campus history, human impact and scientific perspective. Join us along the Slough path (at the bridge to the President's home), for a live demonstration of Augustana's Livingstone Corer, as Augie geologists core 1-meter of mud from the slough to explore environmental changes on campus through time using the science of paleoecology. Come play in the mud! Microscopes will be ready for you to examine the dredged up sediments and help us discover organic and inorganic materials (from pollen to plastic to ancient glacial loess) and evidence of the year the slough catastrophically drained! 

Session III 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Featured Alumni Presentation

Kelly Schumacher Fuller '07

Kelly Schumacher Fuller '07: Empanadas and Freedom: What Really Matters When We Talk About Afghanistan


What's the connection between empanadas and Kabul? This session will explore the ways Afghan young women changed their communities through mountain summits and community service, what has been happening since the Taliban takeover, and Fuller's path from Augustana to Afghanistan.

Fuller spent three years in Afghanistan working with Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics, an NGO that develops Afghan women into leaders through community service and the sport of mountain climbing. Since the Taliban takeover in August, she has focused most of her time on evacuation and resettlement efforts.

Fuller is the director for programming at the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement in Minneapolis. She earned a master of public ddministration from Old Dominion University. 

Concurrent Sessions III 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Modeling Our Environment from Above: Use of Drones for Mapping
Dr. Reuben Heine, Professor of geography and geographic information science and technology 

Logan Pierard, Biology and GIST minor

Natalia Perez, Environmental Studies and GIST minor

Benjamin Ford, Business Management

John Vohasek, History Education

Hanson 102

Drones are revolutionizing how we view, map, and model our world. During this session, students from the drone mapping class (GIST-375) will discuss their campus 3D modeling project and participants will learn about a new collaboration that uses crowdsourcing and drones to map plastic pollution in the Mississippi River. Participants of this session will learn how to get involved in these projects and they will get a chance to see an autonomous drone-mapping flight. 

Campus Health Promotion Focus Groups
Dr. Lena Hann and the students of PUBH 350: Health Behavior and Promotion
Hanson 304, 305, 334, 337; Lindberg 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 220

Student teams will lead focus groups about a variety of health issues currently impacting the Augustana community. Join one of the focus groups to provide your perspective on health promotion ideas! Your feedback will be used to guide health promotion program proposals that will be presented to Augustana community stakeholders. Focus groups are IRB-approved, confidential, and participation is voluntary. Below are the team topics and rooms where you will find each team.

• Viking Wellness (all students welcome): Hanson 304

• Inclusion Includes You (specifically seeking faculty and staff participants): Hanson 305

• Vikings Get Tested (sexual health, STI testing) (all students welcome): Hanson 334

• Where's My Water (on campus)? (all students, faculty, staff welcome): Hanson 337

• FYI: Your Mental Health Matters (all students welcome): Lindberg 201

• Grow It: Expanding Augustana's Office of Disability Services (all students and faculty welcome): Lindberg 202

• Taste Not Waste (food waste initiative) (anyone who uses Dining Services welcome): Lindberg 203

• EC4AC (Emergency Contraception for Augustana College) (all students welcome): Lindberg 204

• Lindberg's Greenhouse Café Proposal (all welcome): Lindberg 205

• Class Outside the Glass (students and faculty): Lindberg 220

New literacy and intelligence in the age of digital interactions
Hyeong-Gyu Choi, Business Administration

Olin 202

Our lives are significantly intertwined with the digital arena nowadays, and our modern lives have reached the state of being symbiotic, and we are perpetually influenced by our digital environments. This session will discuss the harmful effects of online activities on our lives, which at this point we don’t necessarily exercise our survival instincts and critical thinking.

Concurrent Sessions IV 1-2 p.m.

Augie Reads Featured Speaker
Jamie Ford

Jamie Ford is the first featured speaker displayed on this webpage. Refer to the earlier description of this presentation. 


Non-Binary & Gender-Inclusive French
Kiki Kosnick, WLLC-French

Aaron Escamilla, French & Music Education

Abby Johnson, Teaching French

Taddy Kalas, WLLC-French

Carla Wallingford, WLLC-French
Wilson Center

This session provides a toolkit of gender-inclusive language strategies in French with an emphasis on non-binary options for self-expression and engaged allyship. Workshop breakouts will allow all users of the French language — from total beginners to the totally fluent — to grow our abilities to communicate in more gender-inclusive ways while deepening our understanding of grammar, poetics, and the interconnected evolutions of our linguistic and cultural environments.

Designing for linguistic justice in the classroom environment
Eric Stewart, Religion

Donna Hare, Communication Studies

Jeff Renaud, World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Cathy Webb, Speech & Language Pathology

Jake Romaniello, Reading and Writing Center

Lucas Street, Reading and Writing Center

Hanson 127

Our students come to us as speakers and writers of a diverse set of speech varieties. Without recognition of this variety, the environment of a college campus can limit student expression. Linguistic justice approaches communication in the college setting in a way that allows students to speak/write in their own varieties as a step toward aiding them in communicating authentically what they have to say. Join the members of the linguistic justice working group for a workshop on designing assignments with the goal of enabling students to find their own voice. Please bring an assignment you are using and would like to modify or ideas/notes about possible assignments you are considering so that we can consider together how to approach linguistic justice in what we do with our students. 

Environments: Without Geography You Are Nowhere
Dr. Jennifer Burnham, Geography

Dr. Chris Strunk, Geography

Dr. Jenny Arkle, Geography, Upper Mississippi Center, Geology

Dr. Kwame Adovor Tsikudo, Geography

Hanson 102

Did you know that geographers engage with our environment on a daily basis to help find important solutions to complex local and global issues? I bet you thought we just studied maps and memorized country names, didn't you? We examine complex problems with a unique perspective that acknowledges the importance of the human-environment connection. This perspective helps provide critical keys to healthier communities, a livable climate, and stronger more equitable futures. Come hear more about what we do and how you can be involved in finding solutions across a wide range of environments.

"It's hard to make out in the heavy rain"
Rebecca Wee, English/Creative Writing

Moreen Akomea-Ampeh, Chemistry

Meghan DeYoung, Sloane McIlrath, Justin Runde, Creative Writing

Rachel Gibson, Noel Huntley, English; Liam Kelly, History

Black Box Theater

Please join ENCW 301 poets for an open reading. Students from the workshop will open with poems on the symposium theme, "Environments," after which the reading welcomes anyone who'd like to share their own creative work — or work by favorite writers — on the subject.

Special Session: The Clothesline Project

Noon-4 p.m.
CORE Commons (Olin first floor)

The Clothesline Project allows members of the Augustana community to share their perspectives and express support for the effort to end gender-based violence on campus and in the community by decorating a T-shirt to be displayed on the Quad. We believe that this project represents a positive step toward building a safer and more respectful environment for the campus community. Take a few minutes — or an hour! — to create your own original message/art on a shirt. Community members are encouraged to bring a plain T-shirt (an old shirt turned inside-out works well), but some shirts, along  with information and art materials, will be available on-site.