Recent News from Campuses
Community members gathered to attend a tomato pruning workshop led by Tyler Franklin, Concordia’s high tunnel and garden manager, where they learned the importance of using pruning techniques to maintain a healthy tomato plant. The event was held at Concordia’s high tunnel on the southeast side of campus.
“It is a perfect day to prune,” Franklin said. “If you don’t know how to manage your tomato plants, you won’t get the most production of quality fruit out of them.”
Managing your tomato plants through pruning, explained Franklin, is the process of stripping away areas of a plant to help promote healthy growth and yield better fruit across a plant’s growing period.
In a typical tomato plant, there are flowers, leaves, a stem and the fruit. Throughout the growing period of a tomato plant, side shoots grow from the space between the stem and a branch. These side shoots tend to rob energy from the tomato plant, making the plant focus less on already growing fruit and more on growing a side shoot. Side shoots grow heavy and do not always produce good fruit. Franklin stressed quality over quantity when it comes to growing tomatoes.
“The goal isn’t as many OK-tasting tomatoes as possible,” he added. “The goal is to have a well-maintained plant with some terrific tasting tomatoes.”
Franklin says you should prune your plants to help direct plant energy toward the most important part – the fruit.
“By pruning, we get the plant to focus. We want to make the plant produce useful fruit and pruning helps with that,” Franklin said. “You will have a much more productive growth in the summer if you prune your plants. Pay attention to what your plant needs.”
Proper tomato plant maintenance can be done by getting rid of dying leaves and side shoots that are attached to your plant. Ideally, your tomato plant should only have the stem and four to five main branches of leaves and fruit attached. This process can be completed with gardening shears or your hands.
With gardening shears in hand, event attendees kneeled together to help accomplish pruning various breeds of tomatoes that are planted inside the high tunnel with Franklin’s help and instruction.
Concordia student and event participant Leah Jadeke ’20 explained that her favorite part of the workshop was the advice that Franklin gave to the group.
“His advice can be used in the garden and in life, observing and reacting,” she said. “I think that advice can be applied to what I do in my everyday life, whether I am in the garden or not.”cornucopia-tomato-pruning-workshop
Roald Amundsen, famous for discovering the South Pole, came to Fargo in 1927 to give a lecture about his adventures. This lecture left a unique mark on Concordia.
Captain Amundsen was born on July 16, 1872, in Borge, Norway. Graduating with honors from Christiania University, Amundsen decided to pursue his dreams of exploration instead of a career. To do so, Amundsen relied on the wealth from his deceased parents, who had been successful in the shipping business.
Amundsen’s success began in 1905 when he made the first successful voyage around the northern coast of North America via the Northwest Passage. By 1909, Amundsen had set his sights on the North Pole, which was defeated after it was discovered by another explorer. Amundsen then decided to pursue the South Pole, which he discovered in 1911. Despite these successes, “The Last Viking,” as Amundsen was called, never gave up on his dreams of seeing the North Pole. He tried four times to accomplish his aim but did not have success until he came to America for a lecture tour to earn income for his expeditions. While the lecture tour did not prove as successful as he had hoped, Amundsen did meet Lincoln Ellsworth who provided financial assistance for Amundsen to accomplish his ambitions.
Amundsen was greatly concerned that his explorations contributed to scientific knowledge. The Amundsen-Ellsworth expedition was no different. This expedition was the first to travel from Europe to America via the North Pole in an aircraft. To do so, Amundsen and Ellsworth purchased a dirigible from the Italian government and reconstructed it with the guidance of Colonel Umberto Nobile. The aircraft was named Norge I and measured 325 feet in length. Amundsen and colleagues departed on May 11, 1926, and landed at the North Pole at 2:30 a.m. on May 12. On their voyage, they encountered the Pole of Inaccessibility – the most difficult point of the earth to reach. Some of the first motion pictures of the North Pole and surrounding regions were taken during this expedition that cost $750,000 in sum.
At the age of 54, Amundsen decided to retire having accomplished his dream of landing on the North Pole. Being fluent in English, Amundsen again traveled to the United States to recount his adventures. One of his stops was Fargo, N.D., where he presented his lecture titled “From Rome to Teller by Air Over North Pole” on Thursday, March 24, 1927, at the Fargo Auditorium. Concordia sponsored this lecture with professors J.A. Holvik, Herman C. Nordlie, and Paul A. Rasmussen in charge of the event. Articles in The Concordian student newspaper provided enthusiastic reviews of the lecture.
Shortly after the evening’s speeches, Amundsen developed a toothache and visited Dr. Albert Hallenberg who extracted the two molars that were plaguing his patient. In 1928, one year later, Amundsen died while on a rescue mission for General Umberto Nobile when his plane crashed into the Arctic. A little over a decade later, Hallenberg, who had saved the explorer’s teeth, donated them to the Concordia Museum. These Amundsen relics are now part of the Concordia College Archives collections. Thus, Roald Amundsen not only provided a memorable lecture and a subject for many Cobber papers and presentations, but also his only existing remains which are a common inquiry at the Archives.
– Contributed by the Concordia Archives
Main photo: The Norge landing in Teller, Alaska.
Story photo: Roald Amundsen with his dog sitting in the front of the passenger compartment of The Norge.world-s-greatest-explorer-leaves-mark-at-concordia
Dr. Ann (Schroeder) Taylor ’93 is one of 39 emerging leaders named by the American Council on Education as an ACE Fellow for the 2019-20 academic year.
Taylor is the William J. and Wilma M. Haines Associate Professor of Biochemistry and chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind.
“I'm thrilled to be selected as an ACE Fellow,” said Taylor. “Participating will provide me with perspective on the range of leadership opportunities in higher education and the opportunity to see how other institutions foster leadership development among both faculty and students. I am particularly interested in the transition from receiving tenure into a faculty member’s first significant leadership role, and models of developing student leadership through course-based activities.”
Taylor was Wabash College’s first biochemist. She created courses and curriculum for the biochemistry major and serves as chair of the chemistry department. She’s served on several committees, presented workshops on teaching college science to grad students and serves on the editorial review board for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. She is also active in research and regularly publishes case studies for use in the classroom related to her interest in how students learn.
The ACE Fellows Program, established in 1965, works to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education to ensure its future leaders are ready to take on the challenges of their institutions. The program packs into a single year training and experience that usually takes years to acquire. Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the program over the last 50 plus years.
ACE is the major coordinating body mobilizing the nation’s colleges and universities in shaping public policy and fostering innovative, high-quality practice. Its more than 1,700 member institutions include all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions – two-year and four-year, public and private.alumna-named-ace-fellow
A lot has been written, spoken, tweeted, and posted since the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced on May 22 that the University of St. Thomas would be transitioning out of MIAC within the next two years. There has been indignation that St. Thomas would be led to leave for “winning too much,” and indignation that the MIAC presidents haven’t been willing to say more than what appeared in the press release and on the MIAC website.
I want to address the second issue first: We let the MIAC media statement stand without further comment because we understood that we had agreed to do so. We would speak with one voice. A look at the full-page statement available on the MIAC website can be helpful now.
The full MIAC statement notes that “while no formal vote was held, all 13 MIAC presidents agreed to a transition that will end St. Thomas’ membership in the conference.” In other words, we all, St. Thomas included, ultimately agreed to this transition plan, which was negotiated in good faith by MIAC leadership on behalf of the conference as a whole.
Most of the protest about our action has been focused on the conference statement that “athletic competitive parity” was “a primary concern.” All those familiar with the MIAC will know that it was not the only concern: some were troubled about problems with sportsmanship; some about the safety of students in contact sports; still others about the approach to varsity sports in the first place. Different member schools were influenced by different considerations to different degrees. Yet the concern about competitive opportunity was real. Over the last 15 years, St. Thomas won 47% of the conference championships across all sports; over the last five years, it won 56% of those championships: 62 of them. The next closest school won 14.
The MIAC presidents acted to preserve our conference. Presidents’ Council Chair Rebecca Bergman notes in her remarks on the full-page statement that “after extensive discussions, the Presidents’ Council determined that there was no path forward that preserved the MIAC in its current form.” Had the presidents not negotiated an exit for St. Thomas, it was clear that the MIAC, one of the very best Division III conferences in the U.S., would soon no longer exist in anything like its current form, and a great strength for our schools—and more important, our students—would be lost.
Concordia College prizes the focus of the MIAC on the education and well-being of our students who play varsity sports. We value the opportunity for our students to play sports for the love of it, seeking competition among peers who will test them and build their skills, as they develop the team identity and pride that is one of the greatest joys of Division III athletics. Athletics in the MIAC are a wonderful source of school spirit for fans and families, yet they exist, first and last, for the students who play.
Natalie Siede ’20 won the Dr. Christopher C. Joyner Memorial Award as a student participating in the Lutheran College Washington Semester Program (LCWS), where she interned for the Anti-Defamation League.
Siede received the surprise on the final Wednesday before her program ended. The award recognizes academic excellence in students that take part in the LCWS program.
“I was definitely surprised and really honored and humbled. I studied with some really brilliant people; everyone was so thoughtful and articulate and hardworking. It was a big deal to me to be recognized for going beyond the status quo when the status quo was already at such a high regard,” Siede said. “It was great and really memorable; it was an amazing capstone for my time there and I wish I could have shared it with my classmates because I think everyone was deserving of it.”
Political science professor and department chair Dr. Rebecca Moore noted this is a significant award showing Siede’s excellence as a student and intern.
“Receiving the prize, which honors the memory of Dr. Chris Joyner, former LCWS faculty member and professor of international law at Georgetown University, constitutes a significant academic accomplishment,” Moore said. “Ultimately, it also reflects Natalie’s hardworking nature, intellectual curiosity, and determination to go the extra mile in her academic pursuits, even while interning almost full time with a Washington, D.C.,-based NGO.”
The political science and communication studies double major with a history minor says that her interest in Concordia’s program with LCWS grew even before she enrolled as a student. Before she began her education at Concordia, Siede toured campus between her sophomore and junior year of high school.
“I was able to meet with Dr. Bath about programs after we talked about my potential interest in majors,” Siede said. “He told me all about students he had that were working on the Hill. It was something I was immediately interested in. The partnership with LCWS was kind of the cherry on top.”
Siede worked as an intern at the Anti-Defamation League, or ADL. Established in 1913, ADL was originally formed to combat hate and anti-Semitism in the United States, with its mission to secure justice and fair treatment to all, but is now also considered a global leader in delivering anti-bias education and uncovering extremism.
In the LCWS program, students are matched up with a part-time internship and attend class in the evening. Spending 32 hours a week doing work for ADL, Siede worked as one of two spring legislative assistants for government relations and a community engagement team. While a lot of her work throughout the semester was research intensive at a state and federal level, she also completed more specialized projects.
“I worked on several long-term projects that included state hate crime reporting data in addition to the more emergent issue pieces, such as writing memos and press releases, and helping draft coalition letters,” Siede said.
Acquiring experience in D.C. solidified Siede’s hopes to work there someday.
“LCWS was a great trial run and confirmation that my plan to try and live and work in D.C. is something that I could see in my future,” she said. “Not only did the experience meet my expectations, but also expanded my views on how and where I fit into political conversations.”
Siede gained professional experience in D.C., but one of the most important aspects of the program for her was the friendships she made.
“The one thing I really hope will stay with me are the friendships I made while I was there,” she added. “My roommates, my classmates, everybody – we walked in and were kind of awkward strangers, and we were in our separate circles but left feeling like a huge family.”student-wins-award-for-academic-excellence
Dr. Julie (Bjerke) Blehm ’74 is taking advantage of her recent retirement to be on the go. She recently spent two weeks whitewater rafting the Grand Canyon. She was back in Fargo long enough to take part in the May Concordia Board of Regents meeting before boarding a plane for Bulgaria and then Turkey.
She decided retirement would be both fun and games. Some very specific games – the Special Olympics World Games – were on her list of places to be, serving on the USA medical team. Blehm’s interest in the program began years ago when her daughter competed with Special Olympics. She’s served on the North Dakota Board for Special Olympics and thought the medical team was a good fit when she was asked to apply for the spot.
“The medical team really worked well together,” Blehm says. “A nice aspect of Special Olympics is in most cases they are really good sports. It’s a very positive environment.”
All athletes can get sick or injured though, so the team of three medical doctors and three athletic trainers were available to assist the U.S. athletes during their competition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This is the fourth time Blehm has been a part of the medical team for the Special Olympic World Games. She’s also traveled to South Korea, Los Angeles and Austria. Blehm says the athletes’ medical needs are as varied as the people themselves.
“There are some sports-related injuries, sprains and falls. Many of the athletes may also have other medical conditions,” Blehm says.
The medical team had to be on-call to treat the athletes’ medical needs even when they weren’t competing. Blehm thought the team makeup of trainers and doctors was a great blend for the athletes.
“If there was an ankle injury that needed wrapping we’d always call on the trainers because they are just much better at it. And if there was something more internal they’d call on the doctors,” she says.
While everyone spent a lot of time working with the athletes, they also had a bit of time to get to see the host country including the Grand Mosqu in Abu Dhabi. Blehm says the United Arab Emirates was extremely welcoming and referred to the athletes, all of whom have some sort of disability, as “people of determination.”
“I liked that,” Blehm says. Over the years, she’s also liked watching high school and college athletes volunteer with Special Olympics, which is usually a learning experience for all involved. More often than not, other athletes will see the athletes with disabilities in a whole new light.
“They see that [people with special needs] can be happy and can have very fulfilled lives,” Blehm says. “It’s a good reminder that they also contribute to society.”attending-to-special-athletes
Amanda (Hams) Melby Crisalli ’96 starred in “Raising Buchanan,” a full-length feature film that premiered in April at the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatres as an official selection of the Phoenix Film Festival. The film, written and directed by Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner Bruce Dellis, won Best Arizona Feature at the festival and Best Dramedy Feature at the Manhattan Film Festival.
Filmed in and around Phoenix and Prescott in 2017, the film tells the comedic tale of a woman named Ruth (portrayed by Amanda Melby) who steals the corpse of much-maligned President James Buchanan with the hope of scoring a large payday, only to find that no one out there has much interest in getting him back.
Melby, who boasts an extensive background in independent film, had double duty as actor and producer for “Raising Buchanan,” which was produced entirely with a local crew including 28 interns from surrounding colleges and universities.
Melby came to Concordia with a cello scholarship and majored in it at first, but found it difficult to meet the requirements for a double major in theatre and music. She ended up dropping the music major and picking up an English major instead. After changing her major, she still took lessons and played in the orchestra.
After graduating, Melby taught private lessons along with dabbling in some ensembles, but ultimately settled on theatrical pursuits.
“I came back to the same issue I had in college. There was not enough time to pursue two different crafts, though I still play occasionally and teach my daughter,” Melby said. “I also play cello in in the film, which was fun.”
After stints in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Diego, Melby made her way to Phoenix where she owns Verve Studios and teaches acting. Verve offers summer camps for young actors where they take an educational approach to making a movie.
“Many of the kids only have theatre experience, so getting on a movie set for the first time can be intimidating,” she said. “We take the fear out of it by teaching them about the process as we go. And we end up with some fun short movies.”
In addition to acting in several feature films, Melby has an impressive list of credits as producer, writer and director, mostly for short films made at Verve. She is also a three-time Emmy nominee for her work as producer and host of “Screen Wars,” a weekly television show featuring short films made across Arizona.
In “Raising Buchanan,” Melby worked alongside Emmy-nominated and Tony Award-winning actor René Auberjonois as President Buchanan. Auberjonois is best known for his role on the popular TV show “Benson,” as well as roles on “Star Trek: Deep Space 9,” in the film “The Patriot” and, more recently, a four-episode arc on “Madam Secretary.” The cast of “Buchanan” also includes a combination of national and local Arizona acting talent, including Cathy Shim, M. Emmet Walsh, Terence Bernie Hines, Steve Briscoe and Jennifer Pfalzgraff.
“Flawed characters are the most fun to play and Ruth was no exception,” Melby said. “It was a huge honor to have this character written for me and I am excited for people to be able to see the finished film. It’s funny, has heart, and is incredibly timely.”alumna-stars-in-feature-film
The YWCA Cass Clay honored women whose work and passion benefit our community at the 2019 Women of the Year event. Concordia had eight alumni and faculty nominated for the awards and six won in their respective categories.
The following are those recipients:
- Dr. Dawn Duncan, professor of English, in the Advocating for Equality category
- Laura (Espedal) Caroon ’06, Office of Communications and Marketing, and Danyel (Schneider) Moe ’16, in the category of Leader in Women’s Empowerment for their startup organization for women called Ladyboss FM
- Maureen (Munt) Bartelt ’08, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties, in the category of Community & Volunteer Service
- Kirsten (Gilbertson) Jensen ’97, MSUM, in the Communication category
- Sara (Hodsdon) Stallman ’01, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, in the category of Youth Advocacy
In its 46th year of the event, the YWCA Cass Clay selects awardees in various categories to honor women in the region who stand out.
Duncan’s award in Advocating for Equality stems from her work with the international organization Narrative 4, a storytelling exchange program designed to build empathy and understanding among people who are different from one another. Duncan has used as her mantra both personally and professionally that “words have the power to harm or to heal; they are never neutral.” That’s one of the reasons she was drawn to Narrative 4 as an organization that relies on words to lead to healing.
“My work in the classroom, with Narrative 4 in our college community and far beyond, in Northern Ireland and through Irish studies, in Anti-Racism Training, and in diversity action on many levels is natural to me and necessary,” Duncan says. “As I listened to the bios of all the other nominees, I heard of other women who work daily to make our world better. I was honored simply to be among them.”
Caroon and Moe’s Ladyboss organization is a women’s empowerment model that is also used as a networking and mentoring platform for women primarily in the Fargo-Moorhead region. The duo started the organization when they both worked in the Communications and Marketing Office at Concordia. Moe has since moved to new opportunities but both are moving the Ladyboss platform forward.
“Danyel and I were so honored for Ladybosses of Fargo-Moorhead to be nominated for YWCA Women of the Year and totally blown away to leave with an award,” Caroon says. “This community is full of amazing women and we’re humbled to be recognized in this way.”
Photo of all 2019 recipients:
Front row: Cyndy Skorick, Sara Stallman, Katie Mastel, Kirsten Jensen
Back row: Susan Jarvis, Taya Spelhaug, Jana Bruhschwein, Britt Selbo, Danyel Moe, Laura Caroon, Dawn Duncan, Maureen Bartelt
Clements attended the three-day conference with Dr. Laurie Dahley, assistant professor of social work, and a group of senior social work students. Held in Minneapolis and attended by thousands of social service professionals, the MSSA conference presents opportunities for students to network and attend any of more than 130 educational sessions.
For Clements, being honored for her work in front of such a large gathering was a little intimidating but feels that her award is particularly meaningful as a first-generation college student who struggled academically early on.
“When I found the social work program, I found something that I was passionate about,” Clements said. “I went from almost flunking out of college to winning this award. My professors and my social work cohort have been a great blessing and have guided me through my journey here at Concordia. This award is a reflection of how great the social work program at Concordia truly is.”
Dahley remarked that the award is an affirmation of Clements’ hard work and dedication.
“For Mikayla to be recognized by this large organization for her past experiences and her future as a human service professional is highly significant,” Dahley said.
Dahley also sees the conference as an opportunity to introduce her seniors to the large network of social work professionals they’ll join after commencement. It’s an experience that consistently leaves an impression on her students.
“One of the student takeaways [from the conference] I hear over the years is the increased awareness of the profession they are entering,” Dahley said. “The impression that they are joining an important profession and will be engaged in vital work to the quality of life for our citizens has a great impact on the students who attend.”
After graduating this spring, Clements will pursue an advanced degree at Augsburg University. She hopes to work in the criminal justice system with families affected by incarceration as well as with black and underrepresented communities in regards to trauma and healing.cobber-named-outstanding-student-of-the-year
Concordia College honored Dr. Matthew Culloton ’98 and Betsy Grams ’98 as the 2019 Sent Forth recipients.
The Sent Forth Award is presented to young alumni who have made an impact early in their career, emphasizing service to others and demonstrating a strong vocational commitment. With an array of experiences and accolades, Culloton and Grams shared their stories of serving others throughout their careers.
Culloton earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Minnesota. He is currently choirmaster at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minn., and an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas.
He is the founding artistic director of The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists. He has composed works for The Singers and the Dale Warland Singers, among others. He is editor of the “Christmas with The Singers Choral Series” and co-editor of the “Matthew and Michael Culloton Choral Series.”
Grams is co-founder and executive director of CycleHealth. Founded in 2014, CycleHealth aims to equips kids with the knowledge and tools necessary to power their own wellness. Sweat Rx is an innovative platform created by CycleHealth that can be prescribed by pediatricians in more than 50 clinics in the Twin Cities.
Sweat Rx uses adventure and goal-attainment programs to encourage active engagement between children and their health and wellness. Prior to directing CycleHealth, Grams was a high school English teacher and director of an alternative school for students at risk of not graduating.
Culloton and Grams have embodied the qualities of the Sent Forth recipient throughout their careers and were honored by the college during commencement weekend.2019-sent-forth-recipients
Rural broadband is a hot topic these days with many in rural areas not having access to high speed internet services, but Erich Hennig ’97 and his wife, Erica, have been working to change that. Together they started Zumacom, high speed wireless internet for Montezuma County and southwest Colorado.
After graduating from Concordia, Hennig moved to Boulder where he met his wife. They lived in Alaska, Northern California, Phoenix and Durango before moving to Dolores, Colo., located in Montezuma County. They discovered how poor the internet service was there and decided instead of just complaining about it, they’d do something to change it.
Hennig had 20 years of experience working in the IT field and he built their first radio tower in their backyard. They sold the extra bandwidth to their neighbors and Zumacom was born. Sites are connected to fiber or via licensed microwave backhaul and the facilities transmit signals picked up by a radio mounted on the outside of the client’s house.
“Zumacom was created to help bridge the ‘digital divide’ or the lack of modern internet service availability that is prevalent in the rural area of southwest Colorado that we call home,” he said.
Zumacom provided wireless internet to its first customer in February 2017. Since then they’ve slowly expanded the coverage area, using existing fiber-optic lines and cellphone towers. The Zumacom network currently provides service to three counties in Colorado and one resident just across the state line in Utah.
“Since its inception, we have seen massive growth and are currently helping families continue to prosper in a rural setting by providing internet service to their homes and farms that allows for telecommuting, home schooling, online college study, online livestock auctions and, of course, Netflix,” he said.
Zumacom has made a strong effort not to “oversell” its network so the Hennigs can maintain an adequate performance level for their current customers. They limit the customer count where necessary to maintain a good service level for all clients and, in some cases, have had to turn away business.
“This completely slays the business lobe of my brain, but it is a key differentiator between Zumacom and everyone else,” Hennig said. “We seek to be the provider of choice in our service area, and thus far we seem to have been successful in that effort based on feedback from our customers.”
The Hennigs work out of their home west of Dolores, where Erica runs the business and marketing side and Erich is in the field. They plan to expand Zumacom’s wireless infrastructure and the network to support as many customers as they can while they grow.
Image: The green shows Zumacom’s initial coverage area and the blue denotes where the company has expanded.bridging-the-digital-divide
As family and friends entered Memorial Auditorium for the graduation ceremony, spirits were high. The weather delivered a near-perfect day with sunshine and moderate temperatures. Those who had attended baccalaureate that morning may have been pondering the Rev. Elly McHan’s sermon on transitions and how their graduate would soon be living in liminal space – the time between what was and what is to come.
But there was still one event left for these graduates, and The Concordia Band didn’t want anyone to forget this was a festive day. Dr. Peter Haberman nearly brought the audience to its feet during the prelude as he enthusiastically conducted the band in two vibrant marches. Then they reverently played the traditional “Crown Imperial” for the graduates, faculty and staff to process.
The ceremony began with conferring an honorary degree on guest commencement speaker Colum McCann. An author, artist, educator, and social activist, McCann first came to Concordia to speak at the National Book Awards event on his book, “Let the Great World Spin.” He has since been working with Concordia as it created its collegial chapter of Narrative 4, an exchange program McCann co-founded that brings awareness and empathy to the other through storytelling. McCann’s message to students was the hope they would raise their voices to make “one small crack in the wall” that is keeping people apart.
“If we want to be listened to, we have to be listeners as well,” McCann said.
He commended Concordia for its works toward greater understanding of differences in story exchanges. “This is a campus that believes we can forge a path through the great grace of storytelling.”
After the degrees were conferred, Concordia graduate Mikaela Herberg ’19 delivered the student response. Herberg, a biology major who is planning to go to med school in the fall, said she has many things she will personally miss about Concordia then went straight to the commonality for her and her fellow graduates.
“We share the strong foundation of a liberal arts education,” she said, noting the power and potential each graduate holds.
Herberg noted how faculty had taught the graduates to question the world around them and think critically. Now as the newest alumni of the college, they will leave with the confidence that this college can still be a home.
“Concordia will always still be here and this place will always be ready to welcome you home,” she said.
Out of six applicants, Concordia had four students receive scholarships. Seniors Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankin, Hannah Allen and McKayle Carter have received Fulbright awards.
Fulbright coordinator and professor of English Dr. Jonathan Steinwand says nationally about 20% of applicants are funded and Concordia had 66% of applicants funded.
“I’m pleased with the results and I’m proud of these Fulbrighters,” Steinwand says. “Our World Language programs in particular deserve a lot of credit.”
Kindem, a K-12 German education major, was awarded an English Teaching Award to Germany and will be going to Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). He has studied in Germany in the region in which he will be working. He’s excited about having a head start knowing the dialect of the area.
Rankin’s English Teaching Award to Taiwan will take her to either Kaohsiung or Taipei – her city will be selected later this summer.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Rankin says. “I am excited to continue to improve my Chinese and also learn more about Taiwanese culture. I am also looking forward to learning more about the Taiwanese school system by working alongside Taiwanese teachers.”
Allen was awarded a Study/Research Award in Music Therapy and is going to be studying at SRH University in Heidelberg, Germany, pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy. She first went to Germany in 2017 for a year abroad and enjoyed the German culture and lifestyle.
Carter has been awarded an English Teaching Assistant Award to Bavaria, Germany. She spent a year in Germany during her sophomore year.
“I’m excited to have another opportunity to work on my German language skills, as well as to educate students on the importance of cultural awareness and diversity,” she says.
Every year, approximately 10,000 students apply for 2,000 awards worldwide in all fields of study and in over 140 countries. More than 380,000 Fulbrighters from the U.S. and other countries have participated in the program since it was established in 1946.
Photo (from left): Hannah Allen, McKayle Carter, Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankinrecord-setting-fulbright-year
Andre Schaum ’20 has been awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Schaum, an ACS chemistry and biology major from Osage, Minn., is one of only 496 students from across the country to receive the award. He was selected from an initial pool of more than 5,000 students from 443 academic institutions. The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate sophomores or juniors who are intending to pursue research careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.
“It is extremely humbling and rewarding to be selected as a 2019 Goldwater Scholar out of the large group of applicants across the nation,” Schaum says. “However, I could not have completed the four-month application process if it was not for the tremendous support and patience of my fellow applicants, friends and faculty mentors.”
Among those who Schaum says helped him through the process were Concordia’s Goldwater representative Dr. Althea ArchMiller, assistant professor of biology, and 2018 Goldwater Honorable mention Alexandra Ward ’19. Both provided assistance and advice.
“I would also like to thank my recommendation letter writers – Dr. Donald Krogstad, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Graeme Wyllie, assistant professor of chemistry, both of Concordia College, and Dr. Stanley May of the University of South Dakota,” Schaum says. “I am excited to join the community of past and future Goldwater Scholars and to see how this award will influence and propel my life beyond Concordia.”
And faculty members who have worked with Schaum know his abilities will take him far.
"Andre Schaum has a natural love for nature and curiosity about science,” Krogstad says. “He does things the right way and for the right reasons. Andre has the drive, ambition, intelligence, and creativity to make a real impact as a researcher and world leader."
Schaum has already been immersing himself in research. He spent last summer at the University of South Dakota where he studied the luminescence of nanoparticles on patterned metal surfaces as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates.
This summer, Schaum is headed to Prague for an International Research Experience for Students program. He will be studying the recycling of industrial coolants in the European Union.schaum-earns-goldwater-scholarship
Senior McKayle Carter, originally named an alternate for a Fulbright Scholarship, has now been awarded an English Teaching Assistant Award to Bavaria, Germany.
“We now officially have a record year with four Fulbright Award winners as McKayle Carter has now been offered an award,” exclaimed Dr. Jonathan Steinwand, professor of English. “Nationally, around 20% of applicants are funded. This year at Concordia, 66% of our applicants were funded.”
Concordia had six applicants for the 2019-20 Fulbright Awards.
Carter was named an alternate when Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankin and Hannah Allen recently received their Fulbright awards. At the time, it was noted that while not currently selected as a principal candidate, Carter’s selection as an alternate offered the chance of promotion to finalist.
Shortly thereafter, Carter was indeed promoted to finalist.
“It’s a huge honor to be selected and I am so humbled to have the privilege to be a part of the Fulbright program,” Carter said. “I’ve wanted to apply for a Fulbright since I found out about the program my freshman year. Having spent a year in Germany my sophomore year, I’ve seen how valuable it is to learn about cultures that are different from our own. It was such an eye-opening experience for me that drastically changed my perception of the world.”
While in Germany, Carter is encouraged to engage in the community through volunteering and various types of involvement, and she plans to do so. She also expects to attend meetings and conferences with other Fulbright recipients and possibly government officials.
“I’m excited to have another opportunity to work on my German language skills, as well as to educate students on the importance of cultural awareness and diversity,” she added.
Every year, there are approximately 10,000 applicants for 2,000 awards worldwide in all fields of study and in over 140 countries. More than 380,000 Fulbrighters from the U.S. and other countries have participated in the program since it was established in 1946.
For information about the other three Fulbright award winners, see Fulbright Selects Concordia Students.concordia-adds-fourth-fulbright-award
Dr. Olin Storvick was born in Chicago in July 1925. He received a public school education in Mason City, Iowa, until 1943 when he enrolled at Luther College. However, his education was put to the side when he enlisted in the Army and was deployed from 1943 to 1945. During his time in the Army, Storvick served in the Pacific Theater and Okinawa. He was awarded the Purple Heart after being injured by shrapnel. Upon his return from service, he finished his undergraduate education at Luther. He continued on to get a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1950 and a doctorate in 1968. In 1979, he was awarded an honorary doctorate honoris causa from Luther College, and in 2017 he was awarded the Doctor of Human letters honoris causa from Concordia College.
Storvick joined the faculty of Concordia College in 1955 and actively taught until he retired in 1995. He served as the associate dean of the college from 1979 to 1985 and from 1989 to 1990. During his tenure at the college, he taught Ancient History, Greek, the Greek New Testament, Classic Literature and Translation, and many other classical studies courses. Teaching was chief among his many interests and joys. He said “that even though he enjoys an archaeological dig, he is a teacher first and foremost.”[i] He was known among his students as being very supportive and caring. Former students would recall how he would see them in passing and take time out of his day to help them solve problems outside of the classroom. Storvick’s teaching was not limited to the confines of Concordia’s campus. He led many students to Greece and Israel on a variety of trips including archaeological digs and May Seminars. Even after his retirement, he continued to lead May Seminars to expose students to the ancient world. After his retirement, he served as professor emeritus and classicist-in-residence in order to still have a role on campus while being able to focus on writing. He stated “he feels a responsibility to write about all of his archaeological finds. He would like to publish them so the public can know more about his work.”[ii]
Archaeology was Storvicks’s main area of research outside of his duties as a teacher. In 1970, he was invited to participate in a summer dig at Khirbet Shema in Israel. He would go on to lead two groups of students to Khirbet Shema before becoming involved with the archaeological excavation at Caesarea Maritima. In 1973, Concordia joined a consortium of 20 American and Canadian universities and colleges under the direction of Dr. Robert Bull that was conducting a dig at Caesarea Maritima. Storvick would, ultimately, lead 12 trips to Caesarea Maritima that included Concordia students. While on one of these digs in Caesarea Maritima in 1993, Storvick and his group of students came across a grindstone. Upon opening the grindstone, they found 99 gold Roman coins that dated to the fourth-century B.C.E. This find attracted both national and international attention due to the unique nature of the items. He stated that “most hordes have been discovered accidentally…I think that only one other horde like this has been found on a dig in Israel.”[iii] He served on the executive committee and as the chairperson of the publication committee on the project, which ultimately ended in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum.
Storvick passed away on June 16, 2018. However, the influence he had on Concordia and its students will live on. For the college, his influence continues in the endowed chair of classical studies that bears his name and in the toast during the 125th Anniversary celebrations to “the Concordia that is yet to be!” His influence on students’ lives can be seen in the advice he gave while a professor, the care he displayed while teaching, and the passion he had for his field.
Contributed by Allison Bundy, archives associate, Concordia College Archives
[i] Deines, Ben. “Dr. Olin Storvick: A Faculty Profile, Truly a Classic.” The Concordian vol. 90 nu. 17, 10.15.1993.
[ii] Brislin, Jonathan. “Professor Storvick Tells All.” The Concordian vol. 91 nu. 15, 9.23.1994.
[iii] Deines, Ben. “Dr. Olin Storvick: A Faculty Profile, Truly a Classic.” The Concordian vol. 90 nu. 17, 10.15.1993.concordia-great-olin-storvick
Len Jepson’s new book, “Cosmically Curious: Perceptions from a Speck Called Earth,” is a perfect read for Cobbers.
Jepson ’66 says though the subject matter may seem deep – philosophy, theology (even quantum theology), and physics – the book is full of true “corny” stories including some from his days on Concordia’s campus. They are conversation starters, prompting readers to explore topics they may not have contemplated in depth before.
“The foundation of the book is ‘epistemic curiosity,’ an ongoing imaginative intellectual openness that leads to an enriched general knowledge,” Jepson says.
Curiosity tends to increase early in life and decrease as life goes on, but some people retain this curiosity and Jepson is one of those. He embraces curiosity with passion.
A lifelong pastor and philosopher, Jepson has had various leadership roles over the years including parishes, synods, and regional, state and national settings. Personal and professional development and studies have also taken place globally in Helsinki, Hong Kong, Germany, South Africa, and Japan.
Jepson believes that curiosity can be compared to the way an artist looks at the world, preparing to put it on canvas. He encourages the reader to continually question, explore unknowns, and by all means always remain curious.
The book can be ordered online from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.new-book-sees-value-in-curiosity
Colum McCann, artist, author, educator and social activist, will speak at the commencement ceremony at Concordia College on Sunday, May 5. McCann will also receive an honorary degree during the ceremony.
McCann holds a degree in journalism from the Dublin Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in history and English from the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches in the Master of Fine Arts program at Hunter College in New York City and works with educators and artists around the world through the global organization Narrative 4, which he co-founded and for which he serves as president.
His novels, short stories, screenplays, and song lyrics have been published in more than 40 languages and have received highest honors internationally. His sustained association with Concordia College began in 2009 when his book, “Let the Great World Spin,” won the National Book Award for fiction and he subsequently headlined the National Book Awards at Concordia. He returned to campus for the 2011 Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium, “The Role of the Artist in Society.”
Concordia College will present approximately 437 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, seven Master of Education in world language degrees, and eight Master of Science in nutrition degrees during commencement.
Commencement is a ticketed event to ensure families of graduates are able to attend. There is overflow seating available without a ticket in Birkeland Alumni Lounge.
Schaum, an ACS chemistry and biology double major, studied the luminescence of nanoparticles on patterned metal surfaces as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates. The research was done through the Center for Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeiting Technology at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Schaum looked at how luminescent inks, when placed on patterned metal produce more light when excited with another light than those same inks on a non-patterned surface.
“What we were finding is the surface enhances the luminescent properties so they can be more viable in commercial use,” Schaum says.
Schaum recently presented the research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Florida. Schaum worked on this research with a team in Dr. P. Stanley May’s lab. The goal of the project was to find a way to amplify the luminescent ink so when used for security purposes such as for computer components or military objects they could be detected without shining as much light on them. Currently, the level of light needed with these particular particles is too intense to replicate inexpensively for business purposes. Schaum says the process was good to gain an understanding of how sporadic research can be.
“It was a really good mock graduate school experience,” Schaum says. “The first five weeks were hard. Nothing was working. And then it clicked.”
While the research was fruitful, Schaum says it also served another goal he had in mind.
“I wanted the opportunity to present on a national scale,” Schaum says.
Schaum did just that when he joined hundreds of chemistry professionals at the ACS National Meeting. In addition to his own presentation, he had the chance to learn from other experts in the chemistry field. Schaum is excited about his next summer research opportunity that will take him to Prague for an International Research Experience for Students program. There he’ll be studying the recycling of industrial coolants in the European Union.
“We plan to develop a procedure for the determination of silicate in coolants and the quality control for the recycling process,” he says.research-for-brighter-security
Seniors Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankin and Hannah Allen have received Fulbright awards, and McKayle Carter was named an alternate.
Kindem was awarded an English Teaching Award to Germany and will be going to Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). He chose Germany because he’s graduating with a K-12 license in German. He was studying in Germany at the time of the application process.
Kindem applied to Fulbright for another opportunity to spend more time in Germany to enhance his teaching abilities and knowledge about Germany, the German language, and the German culture. He had already learned the dialect spoken in that region and knew it would help him.
“I will be placed in the same state that I was in during my semester abroad and chose it because of the connections that I had already made in that state,” Kindem said. “The road ahead is intimidating, but it will be a great experience and leave a lifelong lasting impression.”
It’ll be sometime this summer before Rankin finds out exactly where she’s going, but her English Teaching Award to Taiwan will take her to either Kaohsiung or Taipei. She chose Kaohsiung, a coastal city in southern Taiwan, as her first choice but said she will be happy anywhere.
“Taiwan is a relatively small island with high speed trains, so travel is convenient,” Rankin said. “I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am excited to continue to improve my Chinese and also learn more about Taiwanese culture. I am also looking forward to learning more about the Taiwanese school system by working alongside Taiwanese teachers.”
This will not be Rankin’s first time abroad. She’s been to Ecuador on a mission trip, Tanzania to teach English as part of a partnership between Concordia Language Villages and the Singita Grumeti Fund, and to China on a class trip in high school and a semester abroad last fall.
Allen was awarded a study/research grant in music therapy and will study at SRH University in Heidelberg, Germany, pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy. She first went to Germany in 2017 for a year abroad and loved the German culture and lifestyle.
“I applied for the Fulbright because during my year in Mainz, Germany, I found an intense passion and specific purpose to help others who suffer from mental illness using music as an alternate form of therapy,” Allen said. “When I discovered there is still a lack of research in the treatment of anxiety disorders – specifically obsessive-compulsive disorder – using music, I realized that I wanted to pursue further research in this area.”
Allen hopes to get involved in the Heidelberg community and possibly find a part-time job to help pay for extra expenses.
“I am graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance and am currently looking to join an opera chorus in this region of Germany and teach voice lessons to youth in the area,” she added.
Allen plans to stay beyond her year funded by the Fulbright scholarship and continue her second year of the master’s program to earn her degree from SRH.
Carter is an alternate for an English Teaching Award to Germany. While not currently selected as a principal candidate, her selection as an alternate offers the chance of promotion to finalist.
Concordia had six applicants for the 2019-20 Fulbright Awards. Every year, there are approximately 10,000 applicants for 2,000 awards worldwide in all fields of study and in over 140 countries. More than 380,000 Fulbrighters from the U.S. and other countries have participated in the program since it was established in 1946.
“This year, we beat the odds with three awards and one alternate from our six applicants. This is the third time (along with 2011 and 2017), according to my records, that we have had three award winners. If McKayle is called upon as a replacement, it will be a record year for us,” said Dr. Jonathan Steinwand, professor of English. “Elite schools often have several award winners but, for a school of our size and stature, I am pleased with the result and proud of these Fulbrighters! Our world language programs, in particular, deserve a lot of credit.”
Photo (from left): Hannah Allen, Toby Kindem, Alexandra Rankinfulbright-selects-concordia-students