Congratulations to Margaret Anderson, program coordinator, off-campus study programs, CGEE, for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award. Margaret helps students and their families when they are studying abroad. Staff Senate admires her outstanding work and are honored to award her with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: Margaret Anderson goes above and beyond to help students and their families when they are studying abroad. She has done a superb job working with parents in particular. Here is an excerpt from a parent email. “…as a “Rookie” Mom sending her daughter to a foreign country, [I found that] Margaret was so patient answering ALL of my questions. She handled all of our communication with grace and professionalism. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated her and thought you should know that she is really an asset to your University. You probably don’t get to see her “in action” on a day to day basis. So I thought that you should know that for me, she was the “face” of Augsburg. [….] I have been very impressed with your staff both here and in Mexico. Dr. Ann Lutterman-Aguilar and her staff in Cuernavaca have taken very good care of my Rebecca. [….] It’s been a joy for me to send my daughter to study abroad with such a great program!”
Congratulations to Mai Chong Vang, Financial Aid Counselor, for receiving the February Auggie Pride Award. During changes within her department both in staffing and processes, Mai has thrived as a fantastic counselor to our students and families. Staff Senate admires her outstanding work and are honored to award her with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Mai Chong Vang
Nomination: Mai Chong is an invaluable member of our office and the larger university. She does outstanding work each day and is always ready and willing to learn new skills in order to assist other staff with their work. This has been noticed and greatly appreciated recently in our office as we have been short-staffed during the last few months. It’s not only that she has stepped in to help others with their work when needed, but she has done so while adapting to her own shifting work. As a result of a change in processes, she has nearly doubled the amount of financial aid awards that have been sent to prospective students compared to this time last year. In addition to her work behind the scenes, she is a fantastic counselor to students and families. She consistently provides a calm demeanor and presents complex financial aid information in an accessible way for students to understand.
Congratulations to John Weirick, Marketing Copywriter, for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award. The large job he took on, on top of his regular day-to-day, to help improve consistency across communication will impact the university and beyond. Staff Senate admires his outstanding work and are honored to award him with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: John recently completed a massive project—developing a comprehensive editorial style guide to make sure the university is able to be consistent in our written communication across media (print publications, Augsburg Now, the website, etc.). This is a valuable tool for our department, but also for partners across campus who need to communicate with our key audiences: students, prospective students, alumni, donors, and more. Developing it took a tremendous amount of work and discussion both in the office and with others on campus.
Congratulations to Christine Berkenpas, Associate Registrar, and Maggie Sotos, Enrollment Communications and Event Specialist for receiving the December Auggie Pride Awards. The service they provide to the entire Augsburg community has an unmeasurable impact on not only the people they encounter but the institution as a whole. Staff Senate admires their outstanding work and are honored to award them with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: Christine, Associate Registrar for Transfer and and Graduation, has worked tirelessly this term to advocate for our transfer students. She spent countless hours reviewing the new General Education proposal and its potential impact on Augsburg’s transfer student population. Christine pays attention to detail, uses data to demonstrate a need, and provides well-constructed responses for consideration. Christine identifies issues but always bring possible solutions to the table. Her research, collaboration, and follow-through have led to many meaningful conversation with the General Education Design Team. Christine’s work will have a positive impact on the Revised General Education Proposal which ultimately will benefit our transfer student population. Beyond this specific example, Christine is one of the most dedicated individuals I have worked with. She cares about our team, has high ethical and moral standards, and always puts our students first!
Nomination: The Auggie Pride Staff Recognition Program honors staff members who go above and beyond on behalf… Augsburg’s mission statement leads with its dedication to creating informed citizens. These past few months, Maggie volunteered her time to engage both the admissions and admissions operations teams to participate in the November elections. Maggie regularly shared information on polling places, how to register, challenged the teams to research candidates and ballot issues, and brought in treats (and humor!) to incentivize the teams to vote. She challenged us to engage in the process in a thoughtful and meaningful way. I have to stress that Maggie didn’t care HOW we voted politically, but rather that we leverage our individual agency to affect collective community engagement. Maggie’s endless team spirit, motivation, and advocacy resulted in a 100% voter turnout among our departments! If her efforts don’t embody the very core of informed citizenship and thoughtful stewardship, I don’t know what does! Maggie brings passion to her work and lives out the University mission in her day-to-day connections with those around her, and I am thankful for the experience and vigor she brings to the University.
Congratulations to Sheila Fox Wassink, Disability Specialist and Hana Salad, EAST Program Manager for receiving the November Auggie Pride Awards. Their impact on Augsburg’s students is unmeasurable as they constant go above and beyond their call of duty. Staff Senate admires their outstanding work and are honored to award them with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Sheila Fox Wassink
Nomination: Sheila has provided primary leadership for assisting students with physical disabilities since we merged the Access Center with the CLASS Office when Sadie Curtis retired. While Sheila has taken on this leadership task for the last few years, in recent months she brought together several to review challenges in the new Hagfors Center and come up with solutions. As she gets ready to retire at the end of December, Sheila is making sure colleagues and her supervisor in CLASS have the background and knowledge to assist students after she retires. Sheila does all this on top of the specific work she does with students this semester.
Nomination: Hana is the manager of the East African Student to Teacher (EAST) scholarship program in the Education Department. It is recruitment time for our new cohort of EAST Scholars! Hana has done incredible work with outreach. We have over 70 people who are planning to apply for about 15 spots. Hana has single handedly increased our visibility—making personal and professional connections across the Twin Cities—attending meetings in and across the East African communities to spread the word about our scholarship and Augsburg University. Hana does this work while actively supporting the academic success of our currently enrolled students—who are thriving at Augsburg and as future teachers because of Hana‘s individual support. She takes calls and texts from students 24/7. Her tireless advocacy of Augsburg is making a difference.
Congratulations to Ilse Rolf, Gift Entry Administrative Assistant and Bonnie Tensen, E-Learning Specialist for receiving the September Auggie Pride Awards. Their constant support and service to others cross campus impacts far beyond those they work with. Staff Senate admires their outstanding work and are honored to award them with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: Ilse keeps IA running- she deposits all donations that Augsburg receives, registers people for all kinds of events on and off campus, and works hand in hand with Accounting to ensure everyone’s gifts to Augsburg are channeled into the right place- just to name a FEW things that she does! Not only is she a dedicated employee, she’s also supportive of her team and her department- ready to lend a helping hand or an listening ear to anything that comes up. She’s also part of a multi-generational Augsburg family, and her love of this place and it’s people shines through all the work that she does. I have no idea what our department would do without her, and that is why she is a very deserving candidate for the Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: Bonnie is integral to our university community. She serves as such an important resource for faculty as we work to makes our courses more accessible and engaging. She is a fantastic teacher, who is patient and willing to show you the same thing over and over until you get it. Most importantly, however, she is a great mentor. She has a wealth of experience and wisdom from working in higher ed. She recognizes strength in faculty (especially junior faculty members) and ensures an environment where those strengths are recognized and called upon for the good of the university.
Another September nomination that we’d like to recognize is our TRIO/SSS colleagues, Aly Olson, Kevin Cheatham, and Melody Geiger. Congratulations on your successful Summer Bridge program and the upcoming nationwide 50th Anniversary celebration! Thank you for all that you do for our students and community.
Congratulations to Jack Hein, Admissions Operations Coordinator for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award. New in August, Jack hit the ground running and his colleagues, student workers, and prospective students have been impacted by his presence. Staff Senate admires the work he does everyday and are honored to award him with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: JackHein, Admissions Operations Coordinator, started at Augsburg in August 2017. August is really when admissions starts getting busy, however, that’s didn’t affect Jack of any sort as he is a true professional. Jack immediately jumped into the vortex of craziness without any hesitation by answering phones his first week and working with the Auggie Ambassadors on how to improve the service at the Admissions Front Desk. Jack truly brings his personality of a kind person, warm thoughts and more importantly his ability to stay calm when it is extremely busy. Jack works closely with our Auggie Ambassadors to the point that he has trained in over 15 students to be independent at the front with limited supervision. In addition Jack is always “hungry” to add to his skills by taking on additional tasks such as document processing, updating forms, and managing social media. We are blessed to have Jack part of our team.
Congratulations to Jim Trelstad-Porter, Director, International Student & Scholar Services and Mike Matson, Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award. Both consistently go above and beyond their expected duties and their impact is felt by our entire community. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award him with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: Jim has always been caring and attentive to the international students. More than just a faculty member or a director, Jim was the big father that took charge in looking over us for all of our troubles. Jim always goes out of his way to help the students in need and we are grateful to have him. In this past semester as I have had the honor to work with him, I get to know that not only is Jim kind and nice to everyone but he is also a passionate and hard working person. For the international student community of Augsburg to be as big and great as today, a huge contribution is thanks to Jim.
Nomination: Mike Matson ’06 has the “Heart and Soul” of an Auggie. New, to the Institutional Advancement department in the past year, Mike serves as a Leadership Gift Officer. As a newcomer to fund development work, Mike takes his passion for Augsburg University, and imparts it to potential donors. Prior to his full-time employment at Augsburg, Mike was Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, noted for its community involvement (much like Augsburg). For several years, Mike has served as chaplain to Augsburg University athletic teams and student athletes. He is also a US Navy Reserve Chaplain. Mike recently served as preacher in Chapel. He is married to Helen Matson, and together they have 4 “future Auggies”, and one on the way.
Congratulations to the Ruby Murillo, Director of Latinx Student Services; Matthew Schornstein, Associate Director, IT Systems; and Sandy Tilton, Strommen Marketing and Programming Coordinator for receiving the December Auggie Pride Award. During times of change they have stepped up to help our students, faculty, and staff. Their willingness to go above and beyond their expected duties has been felt by the entire community. Staff Senate admires the work they do everyday and are honored to award them with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.
Nomination: Ruby joined Augsburg mid-spring semester 2017 and literally hit the ground running! The position had been vacant since October 2016 and Multicultural Student Services (Pan Afrikan, Pan Asian, American Indian and Latinx Student Services) were missing a person in that role with all the changes in politics and fear of our students. We were thrilled to have the position filled and as the months have passed, I have learned how fortunate we were at Augsburg to have Ruby join us as a staff member. She developed a relationships with students immediately, planning gatherings and outings with ALAS -Augsburg Latin American Students, having one-on ones with students, being present at as many things as she could to get to know the students and the community….she jumped right in with the three of us in planning, implementing, organizing campus events. We are lucky to have Ruby with us…to join our team but more importantly to have joined our community.
Nomination: This year saw the Hagfors project enter its final phases. Having a vacancy in IT in the classrooms position when construction started posed a problem with a new building coming online. Matt stepped in and took the lead on all building information technology and classroom needs, not just the wiring and wireless which is his usual responsibility, but the entire range of technology including TVs, projectors and classroom furniture. He studied the plans thoroughly and knows the plans as good as, and even better than, the architects. This work has involved many many meetings with architects and contractors. He has led this work in a collaborative fashion engaging both IT staff and faculty groups in the learning space needs. His efforts embody the ethic of the IT department to focus on the experience of the students and faculty first as well as a high standard for quality.
Nomination: Sandy was temporarily assigned part-time to the Leadership Studies Department fall term to assist us while Jolee Lilja was on maternity leave. Sandy was able to step in very quickly with our day to day activities supporting graduate and undergraduate students in our department. She also played a very key role in planning and implementing several very important events. In September we hosted the MAL 30th anniversary event as part of Homecoming and in October, Augsburg hosted a national conference for an organization called Seeing Things Whole—an organization that is housed at Augsburg and is administered by the Center for Leadership Studies. Both events were on weekends and were very successful reflections on Augsburg to the broader community. Without Sandy’s help, and willingness to commit to activities outside the regular workweek, we would not have been able to make all this happen. Sandy was also able to assist us with our web site updating, the implementation of a grant to assist veterans, and in making updates & changes to our class schedule and student advising. Sandy was willing to be flexible with her time, creative in her thought process, and positive in her outlook. She really made a difference for us.
Congratulations to Jeff Grauer, Maintenance Operator, and 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.
Nomination: Jeff sets an example of compassion that drives the goals and initiatives Augsburg University strives to achieve. Jeff is the HVAC specialist at the university. He is the only person in that role and he takes it on with pride. Jeff has excelled over time to learn the different applications on campus. He goes above and beyond to ensure that the residents, faculty, and staff are comfortable in their settings. Jeff works well with his peers, taking the time to help others learn about the numerous amount of equipment that it takes to run the university efficiently. Whether its after hours, or its during breaks, Jeff is always making sure that everything is ok. Not only is Jeff an employee, he is a student as well. During his downtime, Jeff‘s nose is in the books, learning and growing. He is going for a major in communications, which is a huge part of working in a facilities department. I commend Jeff for his willingness to show up and commit 100% effort into his role here at the university. So when you see a guy with his head in the ceiling, or his legs partially showing underneath something, give him a shout. Thanks Jeff for all you do.
The Center for Wellness and Counseling
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.