Acknowledge photo band

May 2011

‘More than I imagined’ grew into more than we imagined

I have had too many peak experiences to just name one. I played a concert in Lucca, Italy, with the Symphonic Band and moved the audience to tears; I saw a live birth of twin calves during a job-shadowing experience my advisor helped set up; and I was finally able to match my 8K times from my first cross-country season after two years of injuries. You could say my entire time at Augustana was a peak experience.”
—Scott Wood ’11 will attend the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri

When asked to recommend an outstanding senior for a new web feature called “More than I imagined,” Augustana faculty immediately began submitting names. Then, among all the 64 nominees, nearly 70 percent of the seniors responded to our questions and submitted a favorite photo.

We thank the faculty and coaches for making this a success, and want to let everyone know now that we plan to do it again next year. What better way for prospective students to hear about the Augustana experience than from the students themselves. Plus, it’s a fun way to honor outstanding seniors!

To make it easier for prospective students to connect with seniors who have the same majors in which they’re interested, the “More than I imagined” profiles now are organized by majors/minors.

Field Notes

Field Notes illustrates different kinds of experiential learning that take us places off campus. In this issue, business administration/marketing major Brock Alekna ’11 takes a new approach with a photo album of the fun in life during his winter term internship in Sydney, Australia.

When planning for my learning internship in Australia, I had two personal goals in mind. One was to understand the differences of Australian business culture and the other was to simply experience life and have fun. I think I definitely accomplished both!

You never know exactly when or where your time will be to learn something big about yourself in life, and I guess I was not exactly expecting mine to be on the other side of the world, down under. While in Sydney I interned at Max Australia, a public relations agency specializing in technology clients such as Blackberry. Besides experiencing how graphic design is incorporated into the PR world, I learned a lot about how different perspectives and personalities in the workplace are needed to generate a better product or service. I worked in a multinational office with people from Australia, Canada, England, France, United States and New Zealand. I was able to experience firsthand how there is more than one way to think and not always a right and wrong solution, but rather maybe a more effective and/or efficient one.

I now am preparing to graduate and cannot wait to utilize my Australian experience in the workplace. Australia opened my eyes and has shown me that with my Augustana education there are unlimited possibilities for how I can use my talents.

Kamy’s new calling

Director of Public Relations Kamy Beattie has decided to leave Augustana to spend more time taking care of six-month-old Caroline. Her last day at the college will be May 27.

Kamy came to Augustana in 2008 after nine years in broadcast journalism as a producer and executive producer at television stations in Iowa and Illinois. She brought a seasoned journalist’s ability to find, develop and place compelling stories that make news. Over the course of nearly three years, she has built strong relationships on campus and among media contacts that have led to tremendous opportunities to position Augustana College among local, regional and national audiences. 

We all will miss Kamy’s thoughtful counsel, her infectious sense of humor and her ability to mobilize diverse groups in pursuit of a challenging goal (e.g. our new Guinness World Record). Whether it was getting 2,694 people to lick Whitey's ice cream on cue, or shepherding half-a-dozen members of the media through the basement of Swenson Hall to learn about Dr. Hammer's latest Antarctic dinosaur, Kamy’s belief in the power of the Augustana story is unrivaled.

On behalf of the Office of Communication and Marketing, we hope you will join us in wishing Kamy all the best in the infinitely rewarding challenge that awaits.

In the Works

Director of Human Resources Laura Ford authors a perennial series of information and wisdom pertaining to being an employee at Augustana College. Featured in this issue: Jaeke Award winners!

Administration—Michael Augspurger 
Dr. Mike Augspurger started his career at Augustana in September 2006 as an adjunct instructor of English, and was promoted to director of student advising in March 2009. Since that day, Mike has developed into a “masterful” administrator. To quote one colleague, he is “firm yet professional with challenging parents, sets high standards for our students, and is a thorough and patient colleague.” Another faculty member points out that “in every meeting Mike has run, his professionalism, care and humor remind me that our work advising and mentoring students is among the most essential things we do.”

Dining Services—Son Vu
In January of 2000, Son Vu started as a part-time dishwasher for Westerlin dining services. The very next year she was promoted to preparing salads and stocking the salad bar full-time. Those who have the opportunity to eat at Westerlin Residence Center are struck by the meticulous and artful salad displays created by Son Vu. To quote a frequent lunchtime guest, “That she so painstakingly prepares and serves them is a simple, yet profound, expression of love and devotion to the Augustana community. May we all be inspired by Son.”

Facilities Services—Marilyn Stidham
Marilyn Stidham began her work in building services at Augustana in September of 1988. Carmen Rasso, just retiring after more than 25 years in residential life, says Marilyn has performed custodial work in the residence halls for as long as she can remember. “Marilyn always acts professionally and commands a student’s respect,” she says—“the latter being no small feat.”

Faculty—Dan Lee
Dr. Dan Lee started as an assistant professor of religion at Augustana in 1974. He was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and full professor in 1991. In 2004, Dan also took on the directorship of the Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics. One colleague in the religion department says Dan has been central to the growth and development of that department, nurturing the younger faculty and reveling in their teaching and scholarly achievements. While his own classes always have heavy enrollments, he maintains a special ability to relate closely with individual students. Dan also stands as a voice of reason at Augustana—ready to contribute to conversations about the future of the college and the issues that confront us.

Office Personnel—Carol Ehlert
Carol Ehlert began at Augustana in 1998 as a part-time secretary in the mathematics and computer science department. In 2001 she was promoted to full-time secretary III, and then in 2005 she advanced in her career to bulk mail supervisor. Carol is always looking for ways to increase efficiency and savings in the college’s bulk mailings. When the offices of admissions and communication and marketing recently worked together to create an ongoing series of sequenced mailings, they checked with Carol to see whether she and her student workers could handle the intricate scheduling of this large project. In typical fashion, Carol answered, “Of course.”

From the Cabinet

Steve Bahls, President
A week from now, Commencement will be behind us, and many members of our community will have taken their leave of campus.

Before that happens, I wanted to offer you my thanks for an extraordinary year. Together, we have made Augustana stronger. It is especially remarkable that we have done so even as our nation continues its slow recovery from the worst recession in generations.

Earlier this month, Jane and I enjoyed Augustana College Theatre's outstanding production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Among the play’s many lessons is that we too often are prone to going through life without being fully present to it. As one colleague pointed out after the play, the character of Emily experiences, after revisiting her 12th birthday, yearning for a life of recognition and connection at a level we too rarely attain.

Augustana’s production of this classic play made wonderful use of the familiar hymn Blest Be the Ties that Bind. As you head off to whatever this summer holds in store for you, I hope you will do so knowing that I am grateful for you and the ties that bind us and our colleagues.

Augustana Family News: Graduations

Eric L. Anderson, son of Steve Anderson and Rowen Schussheim-Anderson (art), is graduating from Swarthmore College with honors. This summer Eric will be joining the faculty of The Center for Interamerican Studies in Cuenca, Ecuador, to teach English in the Center’s bi-lingual elementary school.

Courtney Camlin, daughter of Wade and Dawn Camlin (advancement) is graduating from Rock Island High school in June and will attend Augustana in the fall.

Andrew Cason, son of Renée and Scott Cason (communication & marketing) is graduating from Assumption High School this spring and has enrolled at Augustana.

Mark and Amy Copeland (admissions) have a couple of graduates this May: Alyssa will graduate from Assumption High School and has enrolled here at Augustana; Scott will graduate from Drake University with a degree in accounting in finance, and plans to join the auditing department at HyVee corporate offices.

Brian Delaney, son of Julie and John Delaney (accounting) is graduating from Assumption High School and will attend the University of Northern Iowa on a music scholarship. Brian is a percussionist and plans to major in composition and music education.

Grey (athletics) and Kelly (residential life) Giovanine also have a graduate: Grey E. Giovanine will graduate from Moline High School and will attend Drake University, where he plans to study business or psychology.

Jens Hurty, son of Jon and Sonja Hurty (music), will graduate from Moline High School and will join his sister Kjerstin at Augustana next year. He plans to major in music education.

Kiley Peters ’09, daughter of Joel and Julie Peters (athletics), will graduate this May from St. Louis University with a bachelor’s in nursing, following a one-year accelerated program.

Janice and Pastor Richard Priggie's son Daniel will graduate from Moline High School and will attend Augustana this fall.

Rosalie Starenko, daughter of Andrew Starenko ’83 and Beth Roberts (communication & marketing), will graduate from Rock Island High School and follow in the footsteps of her dad, two uncles and two aunts by attending Augustana. Unlike her relatives, who had humanities majors like art, English, history and philosophy, Rosalie will major in biology/environmental studies.  

Dan Dickens and Jayne Rose (psychology) will see their son Michael Dickens graduate from Bettendorf High School this spring. Michael also achieved the distinction of Eagle Scout this year, and will attend Gustavus Adolphus in the fall.

Beth Vandemore (advancement) will see two daughters graduate this spring: Jane Wiborg from Augustana, with a major in art history and minor in Scandinavian studies, and Maggie Wiborg ’09 with her master’s in library and information science from the University of Illinois-Champaign. With two degrees under her belt, Maggie plans to marry Joe Kutsunis on June 25.

Seen and Heard

“I really did it!”—Michael Tisza ’11, on winning the 5,000

Tisza winning the 5000

Augustana hosted the NCAA Division III Conference Championship May 7-8, where Coach Paul Olsen’s squad finished second. Expanding on his response, Mike Tisza said, “The moment I crossed the finish line was pure ecstasy. I’ve always been told by Ols that the impossible isn’t, but it wasn’t until then that I really grasped the spirit of that idea. I’m also grateful for the enthusiasm of the crowd. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to muster the energy that I needed to win.”


Acknowledge is published by the Office of Communication and Marketing. Contact Beth Roberts, editor. Photos in this issue were contributed by Brandon Gittelman ’12, and Emily Cudworth ’12 and Matt Peters ’11 of the Augustana Photo Bureau. Congratulations to graduating seniors Corynn Hanson, Dana Gustafson and Matt Peters and thank you to all the Augustana Photo Bureau for giving us all your time and talent as photographers! To see the calendar of upcoming Augustana events, go to