Acknowledge Newsletter

May 2009

Major movers at Augustana

Three speakers, one undergraduate conference and more than a dozen student anthropology majors are some of the successes the anthropology department is celebrating during this final week of classes. The new anthropology major began this fall with faculty members Carrie Hough and Adam Kaul at the helm. The cultural anthropologists teach all the classes and anticipate further expansion of their offerings.

“I’m looking forward to teaching more students next year and to guiding them through their own independent research or senior inquiry projects,” says Carrie. Adam agrees, adding, “We want to create more opportunities for our students and develop ties with other departments on campus.”

Anthropology is one of Augustana’s more than 60 majors and areas of study offered to students each year. Next fall, students also will have the options to major in Africana studies, environmental studies, and multimedia journalism and mass communication.    

“In recent years, environmental studies and journalism have been minors at Augustana, and we decided to pursue the majors after learning prospective students were interested,” says Jeff Abernathy. “Africana studies is an interdisciplinary major that will build on our strengths across campus.”

Carrie and Adam also plan to draw on cross-disciplinary strengths next year by contributing to the Africana studies major and developing learning communities with history professors Todd Cleveland and Stephen Warren.

The winners of this year’s Jaeke Awards

Administration—Michael Green

Mike Green joined Augustana’s music department as a part-time instructor in 1986, and three years later became an assistant professor. By the time he had attained the rank of associate professor, Mike was demonstrating considerable leadership skills. In 2003 he became Associate Dean of the College. Throughout his years on campus it has been clear Mike cares a great deal that Augustana faculty teach well and that our students learn well. His exceptional work ethic and conscientious leadership are consistently demonstrated through his work with new faculty—especially the teaching circles and peer teaching observation groups—and through his impact in the areas of policy, general education, international study, registration, advising, and the Center for Teaching and Learning. As he moves on to a new position at Lebanon Valley College, he will be dearly missed by his friends and colleagues here at Augustana.

Dining Services — Jacqueline Flowers

Jackie Flowers has worked in Augustana’s dining services for 19 years, starting as a supervisor in the College Center in 1990, helping with catering, and then moving on to run the café and snack bar. Recently she transferred to Westerlin to take over the new c-store, which has been a great success—largely due to Jackie’s role in keeping it well-organized, clean and student-friendly. A major part of Jackie’s job is placing the weekly order for both campus c-stores, which averages around $8,000 every week, and making sure all store items are delivered and in place for students’ convenience every day.

Facilities Services — Jack Dunkin

Jack Dunkin has been working in facilities services at Augustana College for 20 years. He began as a custodian in 1989, and took on the role of lock and key repair in 1994. In 1999 he was promoted to access controller—a position he has kept ever since. It may be ironic that Jack is known for fixing locks and dispensing keys for employees around campus, as his own door is always open for anyone who needs his help. Students new to Augustana meet with Jack for their ID cards, and his friendly ways help put them at ease in their new surroundings. We all can agree that Jack Dunkin is “key” to getting around at Augustana.  

Faculty — Mark Vincent

Mark Vincent began as an assistant professor of psychology at Augustana in 1996, and attained the rank of associate professor in 2004. Besides his excellent teaching, he is known as a voice of reason on college committees, and has been a clear leader on many important issues that have involved faculty over the years. More recently Mark has been instrumental in bringing about campus changes toward better sustainability—especially his work organizing our Community Supported Agriculture agreement with Oak Hill Acres organic farm, as well as our agreement with MetroLink for public transportation. One might say that, paradoxically, in this latter effort Mark was the “driving force.”  

Office Personnel — Cynthia Schroeder

Cindy Schroeder began working as a secretary in the development office in 1978. Her professionalism and ability to solve problems eagerly and with pleasant efficiency led to her promotion to executive secretary within that office in 2005. Today, Cindy is Executive Secretary to the Vice President of Advancement—a role in which she attends to many needs of the college and interacts with all departments, including students, alumni, parents of alumni and members of the Board of Trustees. She is known as the “go-to person” in the Office of Advancement. Anyone in that area with a question can simply go to Cindy to help solve it.

Field Notes

Field Notes illustrates different kinds of experiential learning that take us places off campus. In this issue, Bo Dziadyk presents his notes on progress toward conserving hill prairies in Illinois. The photo at the top of this newsletter shows the March 15 controlled burn conducted by the Quad City Natural Area Guardians (NAGS). Burning not only helps control woody invaders, it also stimulates the native grasses and wildflowers to greater productivity.

One of the fond memories of my professional life is of a November morning on a steep hill prairie in southwestern Illinois nearly 35 years ago. On that crisp but sunny Saturday I was finishing the field work for my master’s thesis. I remember tiny spiders clinging to the tops of the drying grasses around me letting out their silk until the strong breeze sent them sailing out toward the distant flood plain, a metaphor I thought for letting go and taking the necessary step in the journey of life. Since then I have studied and traveled in many types of ecosystems, but Midwestern hill prairies have remained close to my affections.  

On May 1-2, Augustana College hosted the Second Illinois Hill Prairie Conference (the first was at Principia College in 2006) on campus and on a trip to our recently dedicated Josua Lindahl Hill Prairies Nature Preserve at one of our field stations. The meeting was the result of a year-long preparation by three co-chairs: Angella Moorehouse of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, Marilyn Andress of the Quad City NAGS, and me. Keynote addresses, invited speakers, panel discussions and a luncheon presentation by Augustana alumnus and prairie painter George Olson were highlights. The theme of the meeting—“Slash, burn and graze: Is that any way to treat a hill prairiefi”—confirmed a management focus and attracted more than 100 participants from Illinois and adjacent states. The afternoon field trip included a stop at the Indian Bluff Hill Prairie adjacent to the QC Airport as well as our Lindahl Preserve. 

So serious is the concern for the plight of hill prairies in Illinois that, in this time of financial crisis, the state has dedicated one-third million dollars through a State Wildlife Grant to expand and protect these small gems of grassland surrounded by forest. Augustana’s Lindahl Preserve has been the recipient of two increments of the state grant totaling nearly $13,000, with more likely to come in the future. These monies have made it possible to hire contractors to vigorously cut back the brush and trees that have been encroaching upon the hill prairie units despite frequent controlled burns to accomplish the same purpose. So effective has been this “slashing and burning” that the core hill prairie acreage has doubled in the last two years.

From the Cabinet

Steve Bahls, President

How long ago September seems—how much has changed since then. And yet not everything has changed.

In the first Acknowledge of the 2008-09 academic year, I had a chance to express how indebted I feel to the 600 people with whom I work. In the final Acknowledge issue for this academic year, I would like to return to the theme of gratitude, because it has been such a sustaining presence for me throughout this year. So before we part for vacations, summer projects and some rest and revitalization, I would like to say thanks.

Thank you for your collegiality, and for your willingness to confront together challenges that can at times seem daunting.

Thank you for creating a physical environment that is safe, attractive and nourishing.

Thank you for contributing to a learning environment that is challenging, gracious and nurturing.

Thank you for the unprecedented involvement in recruiting and retaining students.

Thank you, in advance, for the work we will share in the future.

Thank you for your partnership in this most vital calling of preparing young people for meaningful, rewarding lives of leadership and service.

Augustana family news…

We’ve seen the photos of very blonde baby Ben (William Benjamin) Barnds, born Saturday morning, May 9, just as his father W. Kent Barnds (admissions) had expected. But why was Kent so sure about that date? He sums up the reasons in this quote: “A drop in barometric pressure, a full moon, a spicy dinner and the end of the Board meeting contributed to this joyous event.” Kent and Jennie Barnds also have two daughters, Martha and Sophie.

After four weeks of bed rest, Jamie Nelson (Tredway Library) and her husband Eric Anderson welcomed their second son, Quinn Nelson Anderson, on April 29. Quinn’s older brother Wyethe, who turned two last Saturday, is “being a pretty good sport about sharing his parents with a wee one,” says his mother.

Doug Nelson (mathematics) and his wife Janice ’67 have their first grandchild as of April 19. Aidan Douglas Nelson is the son of Andrew and Kristin Petty ’05 Nelson. Andrew attended Augustana from 2000-02 and graduated from St. Ambrose in 2004. He, Kristin and Aidan live in Galesburg, where Kristin is a third-grade teacher and Andrew is a firefighter.

Tim and Susan Granet (financial assistance) also have a new grandson named Aidan. Angela ’01 and Adam Lynch welcomed Aidan Michael on May 4. His older sister Isabel will be three years old in June. These are exciting times for the Granet family: their daughter Jill ’04 is expecting a baby soon, as well.

Laura and Lou Belby (Spanish) welcomed a new grandson on March 22. Jack Mathew is the third son of Eric and Monica (Schuler) Belby, both ’95.

Kurt Tucker proposed to Lana Jurgens (both communication & marketing) on the Swanie Slough Path on Saturday, May 2. And she said yes! They already are planning a wedding that will take place in Ascension Chapel less than a year from their engagement: May 1, 2010. Kurt had the foresight to document the proposal, in the guise of a spring walk across campus with a camera. They both would like to know the name of the student who happened to catch the critical moment, and then in tears asked if she could take their picture.

… And a special report on graduations

Jane and Steve Bahls’ daughter Angela Bahls will graduate from Rivermont Collegiate and she’s joining us at Augustana this fall. Angie’s friend Katherine Beydler, daughter of Leslie DuPree and John Beydler, also will graduate from Rivermont and will begin the honors program at the University of Iowa.

Laura and Lou Belby’s youngest son Colin Belby ’03 will complete his Ph.D. in geography this spring from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This fall he will begin teaching geography at the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse.

Michael Crowe, son of David Crowe and Katie Hanson, will graduate with honors from Davenport West High School on June 7, and this fall will attend Luther College, where his parents first met. As a matter of fact, Michael is the fourth generation in his family to attend Luther College.

Jayne Rose’s and Dan Dickens’ son Joey Dickens is graduating from Bettendorf High School; he will be a student in Germany for the next academic year through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program, and plans to enroll at St. Olaf College in fall of 2010.

Jon and Rita Gustafson’s daughter Asta Gustafson graduates from Rock Island High School in June. In the fall she plans to attend Augsburg College, where she will study music and arts management.

Kjerstin Hurty, daughter of Jon and Sonja Hurty, will graduate from Moline High School on June 5 and has decided to attend Augustana this fall.

Mark and Karen Petersen’s son Matthew Petersen is graduating with a J.D. degree from St. Louis University this month. After passing the bar exam, he will be employed at Bryan Cave LLP in Chicago.

Joel and Julie Peters’ youngest son Douglas Peters will graduate as salutatorian from Riverdale High School and this fall will enroll at Augustana, where he will major in biology. Doug will be the 10th member of the Peters family to attend Augustana, and the ninth to earn his degree here. His older sister Kiley Peters is graduating from Augie on May 24 with majors in biology and Spanish.

Kevin and Shanan Pettifer’s son Devin Pettifer will graduate from Orion High School this month, and he also will attend Augustana in the fall.

Janice and Richard Priggie’s daughter Katherine Priggie will graduate this month from Drake University, after which she’ll work for a year in Malaysia through the Young Adults in Global Mission Program of the ELCA.

After graduating from Augustana this month, Rick and Sue Rector’s daughter Emily Rector will continue one more year of class work at Trinity School of Nursing to complete her BSN through Augustana’s new affiliate nursing program with Trinity. Emily’s younger brother Rickey Rector will graduate on June 7 from Davenport West High School, and he plans to begin college at Augustana this fall.

Owen and Margi Rogal’s daughter Hannah Rogal is graduating with honors in history from Mount Holyoke College. Hannah, who had a double major in history and English, is moving to Minneapolis where she has an editorial internship with the Utne Reader magazine.

Brian and Cindy VanDeWoestyne’s daughter Lyndsie VanDeWoestyne ’07 graduated on May 9 from Eastern Illinois University with her master’s degree in speech-language pathology. In June, Lyndsie will marry Michael Kerr ’07 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in East Moline, and in July she will begin working for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, probably within the Bettendorf school systems.

Seen and Heard

“This is the point when you begin pushing into your field … the Celebration of Learning students have glimpsed the next stages of their lives.”— Dr. Joseph Hyser ’99, post-doctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, keynote speaker at Celebration of Learning

Celebration of Learning

More than 100 students presented their research and ideas at this year’s Celebration of Learning on May 9.  

Acknowledge is published by the Office of Communication and Marketing. Contact Beth Roberts, editor. Photos in this issue were contributed by Bo Dziadyk, Kurt Tucker, Marla Alvarado Neuerburg and Matt Peters ’11 of the Augustana Photo Bureau. To see the calendar of upcoming Augustana events, go to