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March  23, 2010

Forensics, Fossils, Faith and Film: Summer at Augustana

Augustana is taking high school to the next level this summer with the launch of the new Augustana Summer Academy. The enrichment program, which begins in mid-June, will offer an adventurous academic experience through twelve courses taught by one or more professors in a close-knit, hands-on environment.

Professors will offer students a distinctive look into their fields of expertise that could cultivate a new area of interest or reinforce a love for a certain discipline. Participants might work on an advertising campaign for a local business; disprove the science behind crime investigation shows like CSI; collect data from a boat on the Mississippi River; prepare for a woodwind concert; write under the guidance of published authors; or spend a day in the life of a speech pathologist. For a complete list of the 2010 Summer Academy courses, visit

Dr. Reuben Heine and Dr. Kevin Geedey's five-day course, "River Seek: Mississippi River Investigation and Exploration," is one example of how the Summer Academy will push students to think outside the classroom. Heine and Geedey will take students aboard Augustana's research boat, The Scholar Ship, to explore the ecology, hydrology and history of the Mississippi River. Students will collect data, analyze river sediment and seine for fish as they investigate current problems facing river managers. At night, they will discuss their adventures as they camp in cabins along the shores of the river.

"The structure of the course is exciting!" says Geedey. "We view the river as our primary classroom, and plan to spend as much time as possible in the field. For an environmental scientist, there is nothing quite like a day in or on the water. Sharing that experience with a new group of students is a happy prospect."

In "Native Americans in History and Film," taught by history professor Dr. Stephen Warren, high school students will explore the depths of American Indian history and culture with a true expert. Warren is a published scholar of American Indian history and recently served as the historical consultant for the 2009 film, "We Shall Remain: A Native History of America." Students in his summer course will interpret popular and historical films, work with original American Indian documents from Augustana's Special Collections and take a culminating field trip to the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa, to meet with tribal members.

Warren looks forward to the energy and curiosity about American Indian history the students will bring to the classroom. "I like working with young people who are eager to learn. Prior knowledge of the subject is not a requirement."

"Summer Academy is a great way for college-bound students to experience Augustana," said Kent Barnds, vice president of enrollment, communication and institutional planning. "Students will work with passionate professors, be challenged academically and experience the campus community."

High school students staying on campus during the academy will take field trips around the Quad Cities; participate in evening social activities; and interact with some of Augustana's most popular professors in small group settings. They will study and live with peers who share their interests and eagerness to learn, some of whom may become their future college classmates.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833