November 2017 Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to the Center for Wellness and Counseling for receiving the November Auggie Pride Award. Their passion to help our students, faculty, and staff is felt by the entire community. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them both with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Center for Wellness and Couseling gathers for a photo
Congratulations CWC for receiving the November Auggie Pride Award.

Nomination: The Center for Wellness and Counseling goes above and beyond to provide support, advocacy, and wellness to the greater student body here at Augsburg. They are incredibly collaborative, consistently reaching out to various departments to find out how they can be helpful in others’ work, seeking out educational opportunities to better their knowledge and skills as practitioners, and support others’ programming despite having an incredibly heavy workload. They are dedicated to their students, and work to help students seek out balance and health within their personal, social, academic, and family lives.  

October Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to Eric Graham, Groundskeeper and Mel Lee, Assistant Athletic Director, Head Softball Coach, and Instructor for receiving the October Auggie Pride Award. Their hard work in their new roles here at Augsburg made a huge impact across campus. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them both with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.


The facilities department gathers with Eric Graham to celebrate his Auggie Pride Award
Congratulations Eric for receiving the October Auggie Pride Award.

Nomination: It’s better to just go out and walk around campus on a sunny day to get a full appreciation of how one man—a new addition to the Facilities Management Team—can make a significant change to the Augsburg environment. And he did things the right way. Going from one end of campus to the other in a calculated manner, pulling weeds, adding plants where needed, edging beds, and addressing every detail. For example, his work in the quad involved moving the inappropriately placed shade-loving hosta and adding turf. To do so required removing the large roots and leveling the ground. The quad now looks like a quad should, and Eric mows it to add pattern, which gives a lovely look from ground level and particularly higher. Today I parked for the first time in months in Lot L and noticed the plantings around benches in front of Si Melby. If I were a parent dropping my child off for college today, I would believe that Augsburg was a beautiful campus where care is taken. And that is solely the doing of Eric and his team.


Mel receives the Auggie Pride award at the Athletics department meeting
Congratulations Mel for receiving the October Auggie Pride Award.

Nomination: Melissa has been working tirelessly this year thus far averaging 14 hour work days 7 days per week. She has been doing her class load, helping students with class advising not to mention her Head Softball coaching duties and Game Management duties. She even took time out of her busy schedule to help the Excel Energy employee find the gas meter at the Kennedy Center and covered a shift for a colleague who needed to be gone due to a family funeral. Melissa has the desire to give and help others in any way possible. She exemplifies what it means to be an Auggie!!

Staff Senate Open Lunch

Get out of the office and join Staff Senate in the Commons for lunch and discussion. Take some time to engage with fellow staff in casual conversation.

Wednesday, December 13
12-1 p.m.  |  Christensen Center, Commons

You can use this opportunity to speak specifically with Staff Senate members or just enjoy new company for lunch. Bring your own lunch and we’ll see you in the Commons!

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September Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to Caren Custer, MAE Coordinator and Matt Bakan-Fischer, Senior Admissions Counselor for receiving the September Auggie Pride Award. Their hard work and positive attitudes as they go above and beyond their expected duties are an inspiration to the community. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them both with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Caren Custer

The Augsburg Education Department joins Caren in a group photo to celebrate her Auggie Pride Award
Congratulations Caren for receiving the September Auggie Pride Award.

Nomination: Caren Custer is an integral player on the Education Department team. She is always willing to lend a hand, and her extensive expertise, to any project. She is a true professional, who knows her work well. She stepped up to the plate to cover both Minneapolis AND Rochester MAE enrollment this summer, and provided new students with excellent service. Caren is a great mentor and co-worker, and I appreciate all she contributes to the education programs both in Minneapolis and in Rochester.

Matt Bakan-Fischer

Admission's Staff joins Matt in a group photo to celebrate his Auggie Pride Award
Congratulations Matt for receiving the September Auggie Pride Award.

Nomination: Matt has many strengths on display every day. I’m hoping we can recognize him for his ongoing efforts in graduate admissions. Not only does Matt have mastery of the grad programs he represents and their chief competitors, his cultures competency benefits his colleagues and prospective students. We lean on him for advice when working with applicants who originated from outside the U.S. or domestic students who earned degrees or credits outside the U.S.

Matt’s pursuing training so that he can provide cultural competency training for others as a credentialed facilitator/trainer. Given the diversity we find at Augsburg, Matt’s growing skill set becomes more relevant every term. Hats off to him to pursuing more training not available at Augsburg but that benefits Augsburg.

To nominate an Augsburg staff for this monthly award, email the name of the staff person and reason for your nomination to

Staff Senate and UC-Subcommittee Forum


The Staff Senate and University Council (UC)—Subcommittee Forum was well received by those in attendance. To start the forum Staff Senate members, Green Bouzard and Pa Dao Yang gave a brief overview of what Staff Senate is, the mission, the members, the 2016-17 goals, and announcements of upcoming opportunities. This information can be found at

Following the introduction of Staff Senate each University Council subcommittee had a representative explain what their roll is, give updates on the work they have done, and what current goals they are working on. Below is a recap of what we learned.

Jim Trelstad-Porter—University Council Chair Updates

Jim spoke about the interplay between the University Council (UC) and its various subcommittees. The UC is a non-governing body that provides consultation to the President. Jim (elected by staff ) and Jeff Swenson (appointed by Staff Senate) represent all staff and work to protect staff interests in this group.

The UC convenes to consider specific ideas proposed by subcommittees (e.g. Smoking policy; NCAA transgender policy), engaging in broad deliberation on key issues still taking shape in order to reach consensus. The group is working to create a baseline of content/input to be more effective.

Joanne Reeck—Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee

This subcommittee is comprised mostly of staff and uses the student inclusion assessment to guide work and planning. The committee’s strategic plan and minutes can be found on its Moodle site.

In general, this group is working to continue to enhance a campus-wide conversation on what intentional diversity and inclusion mean on our campus. Conversations are underway to address student concerns regarding diversity across the curriculum and to increase representation on faculty by people from historically marginalized. Augsburg’s faculty hiring process is scheduled to be externally reviewed in December. The reviewer will present back in a Focused Conversation in early 2018. The committee is also working with student government to review concerns of accessibility across campus.

Supporting this committee is the Campus Climate Advisory Team, which convenes when necessary to respond to local, regional, and national issues that affect our students.

Leif Anderson—Leadership Forum

Leif shared that Leadership Forum is a “community of practice” for leaders on campus to gather to improve their practice as leaders. The Forum advances Augsburg’s mission through careful deliberation with peers and improving leadership skills by building relationships across campus. Group consists of VPs, their direct reports, and directors of administrative units. The group convenes twice monthly to consider topics from Focus Conversations, asking “What are the leadership questions we need to be asking?” in order to support a variety of stated strategic initiatives.

Beth Reissenweber & Karen Kaivola—Resources Committee

The Resources subcommittee provides guidance to the President and UC on how best to allocate our available resources in order to meet the goals of our strategic plan and mission.

The committee asks “How can space foster collaborations and intersections” and uses stakeholder feedback to influence priority-making during budget season.

Current projects and priorities include:

  • Ice Arena and Solar Array
  • Residence Halls
  • Academic Costs / Academic Plan
  • Health Insurance
  • Five-year modeling (including debt management)

Look for a Focused Conversation on Financial Management on December 12, 2 p.m. in OGC 100 and December 13, 12:30 p.m. in OGC 100

Look for Focused Conversation on Academic Planning on February 13, 2 p.m., OGC 100 and February 14, 12:30 p.m., OGC 100

Allyson Green & Christina Erickson—Environmental Stewardship Committee

The Environmental Stewardship Committee is working on implementing the Climate Action Plan, a presidential commitment first established in 2009 and is beginning to implement a sustainability work plan with $475,000 in support from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Current projects and priorities include:

  • Campus Operations – lighting, compost, solar array
  • Scholarship & Curriculum – Institutional Learning Outcomes that  highlight student learning around the theme of sustainability, including health and wellness.
  • Campus Culture – Through MACP grant, interns will be working on implementing best practices across campus and within departments; focus on reducing bottled water / “loving local water”;

Nate Gorr—Enrollment Committee

Spring Transfers – Positive outlook (up in inquiries, applications, and admits)

Spring New – Positive outlook (up in inquiries, applications, and admits)

Fall – inquiries down compared to last year, but completed applications are up; goal is 460

Recap on Fall 2017-18 – Grad admissions were very strong, exceeded goal in all but one graduate program. Undergrad took a slight dip below our goal after 10-day. However, the cohort had higher ACT and GPA scores. Nate predicts this will result stronger retention and 4-year grad.

Other key decisions are being held until the appointment of a new VP for Enrollment.

Katie Bishop – Student Success Committee

Committee considers the following data and routinely reports to other bodies:

  • 4-year grad rate (46%)
  • 1st to 2nd year retention (76.5% – due in part to outside political and economic pressures)
  • % of students earning the appropriate # of credits (70%)

Subcommittee is also looking at the following:

  • Changes in advising model
  • Changes in policy around registration
  • Change in adding credit to curriculum / eliminating no-credit offerings
  • Academic feedback / Alert system

Jodi Collen & Seth Leinard—Campus Design Committee and Space Sub-Committee

These subcommittees are focused on how students, faculty, staff, and visitors/guests experience our campus, asking the question “How does our campus tell the Augsburg story?” and working to identify a broad range of stakeholders to assess the various uses/functions of our spaces

The group has recently toured campus to identify areas that need require attention. Findings were shared with Resource Committee and University Council. The group is considering opportunities created by the opening of the Hagfors Center

Look for a Focused Conversation on Strategic Facilities Management on March 6, 2 p.m., OGC 100 and March 7, 12:30 p.m., OGC 100.


For more information about the University Council Subcommittees visit


Wednesday, November 15
1:30–3 p.m.  |  Marshall room

Staff Senate will be hosting a forum to help continue to improve communication and create an opportunity for the Augsburg community to come together. Join us to hear:

  • Staff Senate’s role and goals for the year
  • Updates from the University Council staff representatives Jim Trelstad-Porter and Jeff Swenson
  • University Council subcommittee updates

We look forward to seeing you there!

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April Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to Katie (Koch) Code, Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations and Nathan Lind, Academic Liaison for Computing for receiving the April Auggie Pride Award. Their hard work and positive attitudes as they go above and beyond their expected duties are an inspiration to the community. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them both with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Katie Code

Nomination: Auggie pride personified is Katie Code. You probably expect that from our Alumni Director, but what Katie brings to her role at Augsburg is an infectious spirit that rallies Alumni locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally.

Katie Code with Alumni Relations and Institutional Advancement Team
Congratulations Katie for receiving the April Auggie Pride Award.

At this moment she is planning President Pribbenow’s trip to Norway in June, where the King of Norway will host key Norwegian, Lutheran colleges. That is one of the biggest opportunities imaginable for Augsburg, but there are smaller events happening all of the time that Katie throws heart and soul into—from the Auggie Alumni travel program to Canterbury Downs to Alumni awards to the dozens of affinity programs hosted by our Alumni Relations department each year.

Katie doesn’t just execute programs and events, she makes the events and programs connect with alumni and tie them back to Augsburg. Her Auggie spirit is so strong it connects all 60,000 alumni back to the institution. She is Auggie Spirit. She is called to encapsulate the spirit of Auggies every day. She is Katie Koch and she is deserving of this honor.

Nathan Lind

Nomination: Nathan Lind does a tremendous amount of work which is often often behind the scenes. He has worked through the process of finding the better videoconferencing setups between Minneapolis and Rochester, championed Zoom software (like Skype, only much better) which allowed more flexibility for students out-of-state to remotely attend a class and in doing-so put Augsburg on the cutting edge with premier technology.

Nathan accepts his award with his IT team
Congratulations Nathan for receiving the April Auggie Pride Award.

Nathan’s awareness of the IT budget has realized significant cost savings. Zoom software is one example where we are now paying less for MORE functionality. Most recently, he discovered we were paying $7,000 annually for a video streaming service which was underutilized and devised a solution to move the videos to Google Drive so the money can now be used somewhere else. His attention towards stewardship supports the mission.

Nathan is an environmental advocate and advocates for a cleaner healthier campus environment by sharing his ideas. He actively provides feedback and looks for ways to move us forward.

Auggie Pride Awards will resume next fall with the semester. To nominate an Augsburg staff for this monthly award, email the name of the staff person and reason for your nomination to

March Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to Dianne Detloff, Administrative Assistant for the Center for Wellness and Counseling and Janet Lestock, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award. Their hard work and positive attitudes as they go above and beyond their expected duties are an inspiration to the community. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them both with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Dianne Detloff

Nomination: I want to nominate Dianne Detloff for linking the needs of the larger community for blood donations to the Augsburg community. She has expertly and selflessly taken on this responsibility by bringing the Memorial Blood Center to the Augsburg Campus and working with campus partners – like the Taylor Mattice and the Student Athlete Advisory Council to recruit blood donors on campus. From the March 29th, 2017 Blood Drive 105% of the goal for units of blood was met and many lives will be saved. Dianne is so successful doing this work over many years that the Memorial Blood Center arranged a site visit for a new MBC partner from New York to come and see “a good representation of a College Blood Drive.” This is only one reason to honor Dianne Detloff with the Auggie Pride Award.

Group shot of CWC with Diane to celebrate her award
Congratulations Dianne for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award.

Coordinated with Memorial Blood Bank the on-campus blood drive = hit 105% of our goal for the spring blood drive yon March 28. In addition, Augsburg was a site visit for a new partner to MBC from New York as they wanted to see a “good representation of a college blood drive” in operation. Collaborated with the Student Athlete Advisory Council and partnered in tabling, working at the canteen at the drive and recruiting student athletes for this drive. Not only was this an important community event, she did it in a collaborative way, engaging and involving students.

Janet Lestock

Nomination: In graduate and adult undergraduate admissions, we try to hold an information session once a term that is off campus. Besides her normal duties, Janet Lestock arranged an “In the City” event for us at Surly Brewing.

Group shot of Admissons with Janet to celebrate her award
Congratulations Janet for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award.

Surly is a hard location to get and Janet made sure that she secured the location by getting up very early one morning when the signups for the venue opened. The event was held yesterday, March 6th, and was well executed. Janet was careful to guard our event budget as she negotiated with the Surly coordinator. The excitement for Surly, the deluxe room and the catering all combined for a successful event. I believe we had nearly 110 RSVP’s for this event which is one of our best responses. We can follow up with the list of attendees and even those that did not show to promote our degree programs. There was a lot of excitement in the room for Augsburg due to Janet’s efforts!

Staff Spring Social set for May 4

Join the Augsburg community in celebrating the work of its staff during the past academic year. Food and drink will be provided. Door prizes will once again be given away.

Staff Spring Social 
Thursday, May 4
3-5 p.m.
The Quad
(In case of rain, the event will move inside Christensen Center)

Email with any questions.

Staff Senate Seeks Nominees

Be engaged in the Augsburg community by serving on Staff Senate. If you’d like to become a senator or nominate a colleague, send your candidate(s) names to by Thursday, April 13. Online elections will take place April 18 – May 2. Staff Senate is filling four elected Staff Senate positions this spring.

All nominees will be verified before being placed on the election ballot. An email will be sent to all Augsburg staff with a link to the online election survey on April 18. Staff will have until May 2 at 5pm to take the survey. Successful candidates will be notified thereafter.

Staff Senate Membership

Augsburg College Staff Senate (ACSS) is composed of six members who are nominated and elected by their peers for a two-year term and two at-large members to be chosen, in every instance, by Staff Senate. All Staff Senate members have the option to serve a third year.

Election Procedures

Nomination and Voting Rights: Nominations are collected through e-mail and ballots are gathered from all staff through an online survey (staff eligible to vote are all regular full- and part-time staff, not including union, temporary staff, MMeep, MCC, or other agency groups). Staff Senate members are eligible to vote. Composition of Staff Senate: It is recommended that members be at least .75 FTE, regardless of exempt or non-exempt status.

January Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to  Mike Bloomberg, Systems/Circulation Librarian and Natalie Dinki, Academic Affairs Coordinator for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award. Their hard work and positive attitudes as they took on new projects have made a huge impact. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them both with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Mike Bloomberg

Nomination: Mike almost single-handedly managed the Library’s migration from our old online catalog to our new one which was phased in beginning January 3, and “went public” in February. Our new system, WMS (WorldShare

Congratulations Mike Bloomberg for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award.

Management System) is more than just a catalog of books that the library owns – it’s the discovery system by which our students and faculty search all of the library’s resources (books, databases, e-journals, videos, digital collections, microforms – you name it!). That means Mike had to work with all the library staff members to customize the system for their particular part of the library operation and make sure they were fully trained to do their work once the system went live. Any system migration of this size and complexity will undoubtedly encounter a few bumps in the road. Our case is no different: we have 21,000 records that will need to be reviewed one by one and corrected or deleted. Mike already has a plan worked out with Rebecca Ganzel, our cataloger extraordinaire, to review these records and correct them within a 6-month period.

Natalie Dinki

Nomination: Natalie is the academic affairs coordinator in the provost’s office. She is responsible for a number of intersecting operational elements focused on faculty, faculty compensation, CTL travel and grant reimbursements, and course assignments, the last of which she just took on in the last couple months.

Congratulations Natalie Dinki for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award.

I am nominating Natalie for this January in particular because, not only did she manage everything that she was already doing, but she also took on room assignments for courses for the first time. During the first week of the term, there are always last-minute requests for room accommodations, occasional conflicts, and changes that require sorting through a “house of cards” to try to find available rooms, especially during peak times. It’s complicated, time-consuming, and can try the patience of faculty and students, but Natalie assumed this huge responsibility with a calm, steady approach, and a positive attitude. Not once did she suggest that she couldn’t successfully handle the work, nor did she ever seem like she was flustered or confounded by any problem that arose. She just worked until the problems were resolved.

She quietly goes about her work, and gets it done. I’m grateful for her work all the time, but this spring she’s been especially critical, and deserves recognition beyond my personal thanks and gratitude.

To nominate an Augsburg staff for this monthly award, email the name of the staff person and reason for your nomination to