Recent News from Campuses
In June 2017, Dr. Sue Ellingson, an education professor at Concordia, was published alongside MSUM professor Dr. Erin Gillett in the journal, which provides research-based practices to literacy teachers published by the International Literacy Association.
The article in The Reading Teacher is a direct product of a professional group formed by Ellingson and Gillett, where the two meet to discuss articles from the most current issue of the journal. The two have been meeting for two years, focusing on how they can incorporate ideas from publications like The Reading Teacher into their work, training the next generation of teachers.
The monthly meetings between Ellingson and Gillett began as an opportunity to discuss articles from The Reading Teacher, but these professional discussions became broader, and the two began to discuss and compare their own teaching methods.
Early on, the pair realized that they both place high value on a certain reading assessment process. The “Running Record” is an assessment strategy used in elementary schools (particularly K-3) to give real-time feedback on the student’s current reading level and helps determine what strategies and processes the student uses well, and what the student needs to work on.
“These assessment results help the teacher determine what his/her next steps of instruction should be to support the student’s ongoing growth as a reader,” Ellingson said.
The relationship between Ellingson and Gillett was not always as colleagues. Gillett is a former student of Ellingson’s, graduating from the elementary education program at Concordia in 1995. Ellingson said she knew early on that Gillett had the potential to be an effective educator.
“I recognized her as a capable student in 1993,” Ellingson said. “Erin is intelligent, hard-working, articulate, and a great collaborator.”
The two have spent many afternoons in Ellingson’s home discussing and writing, and Gillett credits Ellingson for her commitment to their work together.
“She is a generous and committed collaborator,” Gillett said. “We would have never persisted in our efforts if not for Sue’s positive attitude, dedication, and her ability to keep us on schedule!”
The group has continued to meet to discuss teaching practices since the article was published in The Reading Teacher. Over time, other educators from Concordia, MSUM, and area high schools have joined the group to provide their own input and engage in the conversation.
“Having several voices enriches the conversation. Scheduling is always a challenge, but the broader group tries to meet at least twice every summer,” Gillett said. “Sue and I continue to meet monthly, usually mid-afternoon, and when others are able to join us, they do so.”
With shovels and good spirits, the campus community jumped into the tree planting project Oct. 14. Overcrowded and diseased trees just south of the high tunnel garden near the soccer fields were removed last spring. These were the replacements: 52 large trees – 2-inch calipers – more than 8 feet tall. Volunteers, organized through the Student Environmental Alliance, were given a tutorial on tree planting by college horticulturalist Jerry Raguse before getting to work.
“I’m amazed so many people would come out on a cold Saturday morning to plant trees,” says Haylee Worm ’19, organizer and SEA co-chair. “It is cool that there are so many different groups of people here that have a passion for the environment. It really demonstrates that they do care.”
Other Student Environmental Alliance members, volleyball players and Circle K members to name a few took the opportunity to volunteer, as well as people who saw advertising for the event and just really care about trees – like Sam Hermann ’21. He was leveling off soil and creating a ridge around a newly planted tree.
“You have to make a wall of soil around the tree to hold the water,” Hermann says.
One of his tree planting partners, Hunter Smith ’18, laughed when he was asked what he learned about planting trees.
“Basically everything I learned about tree planting, I learned today,” says Smith.
Raguse explained a little about each of the seven varieties of trees – bur oak, hackberry, linden, Ohio buckeye, elm, honey locust, and aspen – and how the volunteers should plant them.
Ellie DeVos ’20 and her group of friends worked steadily planting five trees.
“We had five different kinds of trees and we got to learn about them,” DeVos says. “They are also trees that are commonly found here.”
Volunteers said the tree planting party was enjoyable and efficient. In just over an hour, all the trees were planted and the pots stacked to return to the nursery for reuse.
The forum was planned in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and the President’s Office with approximately 90 people taking part. It was designed to give a platform for students to talk about their reaction to the signs and diversity on campus.
SGA President Ahna Van Valkenburg ’18 launched the event by thanking students for thinking critically about this topic and acknowledging there are no quick fixes for the problems being discussed.
“SGA doesn’t plan to fix everything tonight,” Van Valkenburg said. “We want to set aside time for intentional conversation.”
President William Craft welcomed the crowd of students, faculty and staff, stating this is only the beginning for addressing this topic.
“At Concordia, we cannot be silent. We need open, civil conversation about the pain of prejudice and necessity of diversity to fulfill our college mission,” Craft said.
The event was moderated by Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Edward Antonio and framed by Diversity Coordinator Amena Chaudhry. To begin the conversation, Chaudhry stated some guiding principles for keeping the conversation productive and respectful.
The room was broken down into small groups of about six people with a student facilitator to move them through a series of questions including reactions to the signs on campus, how they were addressed, and concerns, comments and questions people have.
The conversation moved to a large group setting where people voiced their thoughts, questions and concerns – some questioning how words in the college’s response were chosen, others asking when talk will turn to action. Antonio acknowledged how his new role is working on this topic and the urgent need.
“This is difficult and painful and challenging work,” Antonio said. “At Concordia, this is what we are called to do.”
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held the Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Gala on Oct. 7, where the award was announced. Produced by Twin Cities Public Television, the award was given in the category of special event coverage and featured the 2016 Concordia Christmas Concert.
“It is a tremendous experience to collaborate with such committed artists to create this Christmas experience each year,” said Dr. René Clausen, artistic director of the concert. “To have our work recognized with this award is gratifying.”
“Christmas at Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace” showcases the talents of nearly 400 student musicians in four choirs and the orchestra. The students had to bring their best musicianship and expressive faces for every rehearsal and performance. The crew from Twin Cities Public Television recorded one dress rehearsal and three concerts, taking the best from each recording for the program.
“Bringing Christmas at Concordia – the artistry of the ensembles and the stunning signature mural – to audiences across the country is a real honor for us,” said Lisa Blackstone, the program’s senior producer. “Receiving recognition from our peers for this outstanding production is a testament to the beauty and joy that emanates from Concordia.”
The Concordia Christmas Concert celebrated its 90th year in 2016. This Christmas tradition has become a signature event for the college and the community.
“It’s an honor to be a part of a Christmas Concert that is all about proclaiming the Christmas narrative with song, visual art, and fantastic lighting,” said Dr. Michael Culloton, conductor of three Concordia vocal ensembles. “It’s a team effort, so this award has to be shared by all involved and celebrated by the whole college community.”
“Christmas at Concordia: Gather Us In, O Child of Peace” will be broadcast nationally on public stations this Christmas season. Watch your local listings for times.
President William Craft gave opening remarks of thanks and praise for all the people who spent years planning the renovations of the Ivers and Jones buildings. He also noted the great importance of those who helped fund the project and people who executed the plan.
“Thank you for your vision, insight and generosity,” Craft said.
Biology professor and project shepherd Dr. Ellen Aho noted how the $45 million project stretched many beyond their comfort zone for the better. From entertaining new ways of teaching and doing research to rethinking how the two buildings could be more seamless stretched everyone from architects to faculty and even the highest governing board for the college.
“The Board of Regents had to take a leap to agree to the largest capital project in the college’s history,” Aho said. “I’m sure that stretched a few of them beyond their comfort zone.”
Aho noted how she believed the new bright spaces and glass-paneled walls would illuminate the teaching and student-faculty research in the building. She was surprised what else became a focal point.
“I’ve learned what’s really visible is students working and learning,” Aho said. “What’s been most delightful to me is having students take ownership of this space.”
Aho marveled how the students fill every study space available many days and use the classrooms when they aren’t being used for class.
Biology major David Supinski ’19 attested to how much students are enjoying the building and thanked the donors assembled for making the project happen.
“On behalf of my fellow students, we do not take your generosity for granted,” Supinski said.
Norman Jones ’53 and Lois (Ivers) Altenburg ’59 spoke on behalf of the Jones and Ivers families – the buildings’ namesakes. They participated with college administrators and faculty in a ceremonial ribbon cutting after the Rev. Elizabeth McHan formally dedicated the building.
The symposium, titled “Reformation: Transforming the World One Door at a Time,” caused Eaton to focus on what Luther had to say about grace, which we cannot earn, and neighbor, whom we should love.
“Luther contends that this gift of grace is a freedom for service,” Eaton said. She noted we need not worry about judging because grace “sets us free in service for and love for our neighbor.”
She also noted the word “neighbor” needs to be used broadly, taking in people both near and far.
“We are to speak well of our neighbor, and Luther contends you can only do this if you know who our neighbor is,” Eaton said, reminding us of our need to be engaged with people we don’t necessarily know or understand.
Eaton believes that reforming – the process of changing in this world – is vital, as is being active in the deep issues that present themselves today. While many ask the church to stay out of political topics, the bishop said Luther was clear that we cannot withdraw from the world or the public square.
“God came and shared our lives in the person Jesus Christ. If the material world is sacred to God, it follows that we are to care for creation,” Eaton said. “It’s extremely important to stand up and say anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are just not allowed. And we have to be bold about it.”
Eaton challenged listeners to be bold in service to others, recognize the vitality of Christians around the world, and remember God is still active in this world.
“The work of God continues through us.”
Amidst a crowd of more than 450 alumni attending with their reunion classes, family and friends, campaign co-chairs Rachel Hollstadt ’70 and James Senske ’75 announced the launch of the most aggressive fundraising campaign in the college’s history.
To date, $119 million has been raised toward the goal of $150 million by Dec. 31, 2019. The campaign is called “RISE,” signifying the intention to elevate the college and its mission through additional funding.
“It is such an honor to work with the loyal alumni and friend donors who support Concordia. We have great confidence that we will RISE together to raise at least $150 million for Concordia’s present and future learning initiatives,” said Teresa Harland, vice president for Advancement. “The dollars raised for the RISE campaign will position Concordia to thrive as a liberal arts institution well into the 21st Century.”Responsibly Engaged in the World
The comprehensive campaign supports the college in mission to champion:
- Integrative Learning so Concordia students can apply their classroom discoveries to the unscripted challenges of work and citizenship.
- Inclusive Learning so Concordia students can flourish in the abundant diversity of people and cultures that we are called to serve.
- Innovative Learning so students of every age and stage of life can grow through the virtue and value of a Concordia education.
These funding priorities include raising resources for scholarships, programs, facilities and endowment.RISE Campaign Site together-we-rise
The game appeared to be headed for a 0-0 tie until Beinhorn pounced on a rebound from a direct free kick and knocked a narrow-angle shot from the left corner of the 6-yard box into the far side of the net and just inside the post.
Beinhorn's first collegiate tally helped end a four-game skid for the Cobbers. It also gave Concordia its first conference win of the year. The Cobbers are now 3-5-1 overall and 1-3-0 in league play. The Scots see their two-game unbeaten streak come to an end. They are now 3-3-1 in all games and 0-2-1 in the MIAC.
The game-winning goal was only the fifth allowed by Macalester the entire season.
The game was played from penalty area to penalty area for the majority of the 90 minutes of regulation and through the first and second overtime periods.
The teams combined to take 16 overall shots in the 109 minutes of play, but most of the chances came from outside the box with easy saves being made by the goalkeepers. Both teams had four shots on goal in the game.
The best chance for Macalester came at the 18-minute mark of the opening half when a Macalester attacker broke free on the right wing inside the penalty area. She dribbled the ball about 4 yards off the end line and went in all alone on Cobber goalie Maddy Reed. Reed had the middle of the net covered and the Scot player tried to fire a point-blank shot toward the near side of the net, but her shot clanked off the goal post and went out of play.
Macalester also had a looping header that was headed on net after a corner kick, but the Cobber defender standing on the post easily volleyed the ball away from goal.
Each team only had one shot on goal in the second half with the Cobber chance coming from the foot of freshman Andrea Kramer in the 72nd minute of play.
The first overtime session also saw both teams having one shot on goal. That set the stage for the late-game heroics in the second extra period. A Cobber attacker was fouled 25 yards out from the Macalester goal and directly out from the corner of the 6-yard box. The Cobbers were awarded a free kick, and Kalli Baarstad's shot from the direct kick curled over the wall and toward the near post. The Macalester did well to get a hand on the initial shot but she was unable to control the rebound that spilled out, and Beinhorn was "Klara on the spot" and fired home the winner.
Reed finished the day with four saves to earn her fourth shutout of the season.
Wodiska was subsequently appointed by the governor to represent Virginia on the Education Commission of the States. Wodiska is also a gubernatorial appointee to fight childhood hunger.
Previously, she was the president of the Virginia School Boards Association, chair of the Falls Church City School Board and three-time elected local board member, and chair of the TaskForce on Education Mandates.
Wodiska is pictured with her daughter, Ava Victoria Stanton Wodiska, members of the State Board of Education of Virginia and State Chief School Officer Dr. Steven Staples (back right).honored-for-her-service
Seniors Corinne Burrell and Andrew Johnson were elected Homecoming King and Queen by the student body to reign over Homecoming 2017. Andrew is from Foxhome, Minn., and is the son of Brett and Rachel Johnson. Corinne is from Moorhead and is the daughter of Terry and Ann Burrell.We Have Some Amazing Tunes
From Bruno Mars to Bon Jovi, we’ve got it on our 2017 Homecoming Spotify playlist. If you’re looking for music to run the 5K or sit around and reminisce, it’s all there. You can check it out on Spotify.The Playlist And So Much More
Everybody loves a parade – and we have one at 11 a.m. Saturday on 8th Street. But there are many other events you may like. So check out the schedule and find your niche – a concert, football game, theatre performance, science center dedication and department open houses.
Have a fabulous Homecoming where “All Rows Lead Home.”
Sponsored by the department of English, the festival brings in regional writers from various genres to talk about the art and science of writing. This year’s lineup includes a poet, a fiction writer and a nonfiction author.
Poet Denise Lajimodiere writes from the vantage point of American Indian girls and women. Her collection “Dragonfly Dance” examines tensions between Native and white culture. An assistant professor in the Educational Leadership Program at North Dakota State University, Lajimodiere is also a member of the Turtle River Band of Chippewa and an artist.
Poetry professor and coordinator of the Writers Festival, Dr. Bill Snyder, said he looks for regional writing talent who will serve as good writing models for students in class.
“It allows them to see, especially when we have class visits, that they are close to these writers,” Snyder said. “Writers aren’t magical people. They are ordinary people who work really hard.”
Two other authors also headline the event. Michelle Leon, former bassist for the Minneapolis-based rock band “Babes in Toyland” will talk about the writing process and her memoir, “I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland.” Fiction author Alan Davis, English professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead and senior editor at New Rivers Press, will bring insight from his collection of short stories titled "So Bravely Vegetative."
Snyder, who started this event nearly 20 years ago, said he views the festival as a wonderful learning opportunity for students in attending the festival and by helping with the preparation and hosting of the event.
“I’m interested in giving students ownership, through asking questions at the event, introducing our guests and learning while being close to the writers,” Snyder said.
In addition to classroom visits and master classes, there are two events for the overall community: a public reading at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Morrie Jones Conference Center A/B, Knutson Campus Center, and a student-moderated panel discussion at 9:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6, also in the Morrie Jones Conference Center.
Lutheran high school students from across Minnesota participate in this June program. A service of Celebration and Transition welcomed the new addition to the college’s summer programs.
Dr. Michael Culloton, assistant professor of vocal music education and church music, and conductor of the Chapel Choir, Kantorei and Cantabile at Concordia, is looking forward to being MASLC’s new conductor.
“I am very excited to take over the artistic leadership of this great organization, and we are thrilled to host these fine musicians on our campus every summer,” Culloton said.
The 20-day MASLC summer choral camp experience is open to all Minnesota Lutheran students in 10th-12th grade. Choir members are chosen by competitive auditions at various locations across the state and a choir of 45-60 voices is chosen.
Members participate in eight days of rehearsal, Bible study and discussion of the meaning of the texts they will be singing on tour during the last 12 days of camp. Part of each concert on the tour is a congregational hymn-sing in which the choir members sit among the congregation, joining in the hymns of the Lutheran church, old and new. The choir tours a large part of the state each summer singing at 12-14 different Lutheran congregations.
The Minnesota All-State Lutheran Choir began in 1969 and has grown to include more than 1,400 alumni who have shared sacred music and Christian witness in approximately 150 churches throughout the state. MASLC, founded by Mark Aamot, has been under the direction of Dr. Thomas Rossin, who retired from the choir in 2016 after serving for 26 years.
The concept of the choir is to provide young people with a spiritually aesthetic experience, and the opportunity to grow in their faith and share that enthusiasm for church music with congregations on the tour.
“MASLC has been a very important choir in the lives of many of my students over the years, and I am honored to carry on the legacy of Mark Aamot and Tom Rossin,” Culloton said.
John is a government and legislative affairs associate at the Navajo Nation Washington Office (NNWO). The associates work on various issues that are important to the Navajo Nation. They advocate to the federal government including agencies, the White House and Congress on behalf of the Navajo Nation. John covers issues related to infrastructure, tax reform, economic development and energy. Her current focus is tax reform.
The NNWO, located on Capitol Hill, is part of the Navajo Nation’s President’s Cabinet. There are 567 tribes in the United States, each with its own government. Tribes work on a government-to-government basis similar to how foreign nation-states interact with the federal government. Navajo Nation is the largest tribal nation in the U.S. with more than 300,000 citizens.
John, originally from Stillwater, Okla., started her undergraduate career at a different college before a friend invited her to a class at Concordia.
“I really liked the small class sizes and seminar style of learning,” John said. “After that experience, I transferred to Concordia.”
John, who majored in global studies, history and political science, said she was always interested in public service and in how governments were structured.
“All my Concordia professors and courses really demonstrated the mission of the school, which is to engage responsibly and to think critically,” John said. “These are the main skills that I learned at Concordia and I use them every day in my job.”
After graduating from Concordia, John decided to pursue her master’s degree in political science at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Her first experience in Washington, D.C., was working for a now former Oklahoma representative in the House of Representatives. She found the fast pace and high-level environment exciting and exactly what she had been looking for.
John began an internship that focused on public-private partnerships. When that internship ended, she focused on finishing her thesis and finding another job opportunity. She obtained two very important internships: the first with Sen. Tom Coburn and a second at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs with Sen. John Barrasso. At the end of 2013, she was hired as a full-time staffer at the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs where she worked for three years before starting at the NNWO.
It wasn’t until further into her education when John realized that in addition to communities outside the U.S., the Native American communities – the places familiar to her growing up – needed development, too.
“They were right here in America. It just seemed like the most American thing I could do,” John said. “After I started working in Indian Affairs, I experienced similarities between development issues for Indian tribes and international developing nations. What has made it most exciting for me is that Indian tribes have a legal status rooted in the Constitution that makes this field so important to the existence of the United States and simultaneously to Indian tribes.”
John said that living near D.C. has given her the greatest career opportunities that she could ask for. And, on weekends, she likes to relax by hiking and exploring the beautiful countryside. Favorite touring spots include the U.S. Capitol and the National Archives.
“I also enjoy reflecting on the important history of Native Americans and the positive ways they have influenced America,” she said. “It has not always been easy to live and work in D.C., but God has placed me here for a reason and I intend to make to most of it!”
The Cobbers fall for the third straight match and are now 1-4 on the year. The Tommies win for the eighth straight time and are now 8-1. The set win marks only the second time in the last eight matches that the Tommies have dropped a set.
The match was the first in a week for the Cobbers and they showed their early-season jitters as they fell behind 6-1 in the opening set. The Tommies pushed the margin to 10 points at 21-11 and then won by nine in the first set.
The second set was more of the same with UST pulling away at 15-5 and then upped the lead to 20-6 before completing the 13-point win.
Concordia found its confidence in the third set when they rattled off eight straight points to turn a 5-3 deficit into an 11-5 lead. The Cobbers would allow UST to get to within two points on four different occasions late in the match but went ahead 24-22 and then closed out the set on a kill by Emily Friedrich when they were clinging to a one-point lead at 24-23.
The Cobbers entertained ideas of evening the match at 2-2 but a nine-point run by the Tommies after the score was tied at 10-10 turned a close set into a 19-10 margin.
Concordia had three players with double-digit kill totals. Friedrich and Haley Cuppett each had 10 winners while Brianna Carney came away with a match-high 11 kills.
Senior Stephanie Baker had 10 digs and Jill Klaphake led CC with 19 assists.
Krause joins Kyle Johnson ’09, baseball All-American and MIAC Player of the Year in 2009, and Matt Youngquist ’08, a four-year letter winner in baseball who played more than 120 games for the Cobbers. The Cobras play about 50 games a season.
The Minneapolis Cobras Baseball Club, established in 1999, is one of the most successful Class “A” amateur baseball teams in Minnesota. The Cobras have players from all levels of competition and have had several turn professional after playing with them.
Pictured (l-r): Jake Krause, Kyle Johnson and Matt Youngquisttake-me-out-to-the-ballgame
From Concordia’s founding to the early 1940s, the annual Christmas Tree Party was a must-attend event. Each year, students and faculty gathered in the Old Main gymnasium for a program often consisting of music, drama and oratory. Gifts purchased for no more than 10 to 15 cents were exchanged among students and faculty. The evening closed with a favorite Norwegian tradition – caroling around the Christmas tree.
Concordia staged its first Christmas Concert on Dec. 15, 1927, in Old Main’s chapel. Organized by piano and organ professor Clara Duea and the Concordia Music Club, and directed by Herman Monson, students pantomimed the nativity scene and a women’s sextet harmonized off stage. President Brown read the Christmas gospel and the Rev. Carl B. Ylvisaker delivered an oration on the origin of Christmas hymns, which closed with the choir and audience singing “Joy to the World.”
As the Christmas Concert established itself as an annual tradition, the venue for the concert was changed in order to accommodate increasingly larger audiences. Between 1928 and 1942, the concert was held at either Trinity Lutheran Church or Fargo’s First Lutheran Church. The concert was then relocated to the Moorhead Armory in 1942 until Memorial Auditorium was constructed in 1952. An acoustic backdrop for the concert was required for the performances in the Armory. Painted murals, first designed by Cyrus Running, continue to provide this functional purpose and aesthetic pleasure. David Hetland, a student of Cy Running, began designing the murals in 1981 and continued to dazzle audiences with his work until Paul Johnson took over this creative process in 2009.
The Concordia Christmas Concert is nationally recognized for both its musical and visual artistry. Production of these artistic elements requires the talent of many individuals including the choirs, musicians, conductors, artists, technical directors, music organization managers, facilities staff, and more. Many of these individuals work behind the scenes months in advance to create a stunning experience for the audience.
Photo by Art Hanson: Technical Director Jim Cermak and David Hetland supervise the placement of a mural panel, 1983.
Contributed by Lisa Sjoberg, college archivistchristmas-concert-becomes-annual-tradition
In addition to the State of the College Address, Craft recapped some of the summer accomplishments and presented four Flaat awards.
The celebratory day ended with a reception for faculty and staff.president-craft-delivers-state-of-the-college
The Concordia Band created a festive environment as hundreds of new students took their seats for the official beginning of their academic career at Concordia.
The Rev. Elly McHan opened the convocation with prayer and Dr. Eric Eliason, dean of the college and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Karl Stumo, vice president for Enrollment and Marketing, presented the new students.
Student Government Association President Ahna Van Valkenburg ’18 encouraged the new crop of Cobbers to try new things and enjoy themselves. She noted that throughout her years at college things didn’t always go as she had hoped, but she always learned from adversity.
“I know that you will be involved and if you put yourself into it … you will be changed for it,” she said.
Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life, encouraged students to be intentional about the choices they make and use the vast resources of people around them who can help.
“You will be stronger if you lock arms with others in the community, with those who surround you here,” she said.
Responsible engagement in the world was the aspiration President William Craft called on each new student to strive to attain. He went back to the college’s humble beginnings and spoke about the institution’s unwavering purpose.
“This entire place was founded and is organized now so you can flourish in learning,” he said.
Following the singing of “Hymn to Concordia,” first-year and transfer students gathered on Olin Hill to toss their beanies skyward signifying a new year had begun.
She spoke at a Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce women’s event focusing on how women need to empower themselves.
“In some situations, we are the ones holding ourselves back,” she said. “We think there is too much of a risk. Our first step for crucial conversations is we need to get out of our own way. ”
Ahlfeldt referenced the New York Times bestseller “Crucial Conversations,” as well as other well-known titles that help people look inward for answers to their leadership potential and tackle tough topics. Referencing Dr. Brené Brown’s “Daring Greatly,” Ahlfeldt noted that leadership is a great dare in which you need to call upon your values and align those values with your voice.
After having the attendees think through some root questions, Ahlfeldt told the group to think about what stage of a specific issue they were in.
“Are you moaning or moving?” she asked. “Leaders move.”ahlfeldt-presents-on-women-s-leadership-and-potential
After hearing about her friends’ experiences and stories while volunteering for the Peace Corps, Combs decided to apply to be a volunteer in Ecuador and the East Caribbean.
“I love traveling and I wanted to use my teaching degree and experience outside of the U.S., so I decided to apply,” Combs said. “The Peace Corps was attractive to me because I was looking for something to do before getting a permanent position at a school in the U.S. and I would get to go to a different country to teach.”
After being accepted into the volunteer program, Combs learned that she will be placed at Thibaud Primary School in Thibaud, St. Andrew, Dominica, working with grades K-3 serving as a literacy co-teacher. There, Combs says she will work with students and assist teachers.
“I look forward to working with the students in my school to help improve their language arts skills,” Combs said.
In order to prepare for two years of serving in another country, Peace Corps volunteers complete pre-service training including language, culture, health and safety. Combs says the training has been fairly intense.
“Right now, a typical day is getting on the bus at 6 a.m. to get to training in the Capitol, which is about two hours away,” she said. “Then we have training all day with sessions that center around things like making relationships within our communities, learning about the Dominican culture, and learning about how to be effective co-teachers.”
Combs was sworn in as an official Peace Corps volunteer on Aug. 18 and will be starting her volunteer work at school on Sept. 4.
“I am so excited to meet the students in my school because they are the reason I am here,” Combs said. “I have already met some kids in my village and they have been so sweet to me, so I am really excited to work with them.”