Gustavus Campus News
SAINT PETER, Minn. (March 25, 2020) — In response to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s “Stay at Home” order that will be in effect from the end of the day on Friday, March 27 through Friday, April 10, Gustavus Adolphus College will further limit the number of on-campus employees while supporting students who continue to live on campus. The Gustavus COVID-19 website continues to be updated daily. President Rebecca M. Bergman sent the following message to the Gustavus community on Wednesday, March 25.
TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: President Bergman
SUBJECT: Gustavus Operations Under Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order
DATE: March 25, 2020
My thoughts are with all of you as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past two weeks, even while things changed from day to day, I saw our community step up exactly the way our vision calls us to do—to come together to act on one of the great challenges of our time.
Today, we are asked to continue our good work by taking the next step in confronting this global health crisis. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced an executive order directing people to stay at home through April 10.
When the order goes into effect at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, all Gustavus buildings except the Jackson Campus Center and residence halls for on-campus students will be closed for the following two weeks. There will be a limited number of employees who will be on campus to provide support for our remaining students
The students living on campus are asked to stay in their residence halls as much as possible and continue to maintain appropriate social distancing. Dining Service will remain open with limited hours.
Students who are no longer on campus should not return unless special permission is granted by Residential Life. Classes will resume using online delivery beginning on Monday, March 30. Please watch for additional communication from the Dean of Students Office.
Faculty members should continue to prepare for online course delivery, which will begin on Monday, March 30. I ask that you refrain from working on campus unless you have no other option. Additional communication from Provost Kelly will follow via faculty-l.
“Stay at Home” means that all employees should work from home, except for those whose roles are required to fulfill the College’s limited on-campus operations. Your supervisor will contact you if you have on-campus responsibilities during this period. Additionally, remaining on-campus employees should only be on campus when their duties require them to be. The Office of Human Resources will send additional information via email.
This is an unprecedented situation for the College and our global community. The “Stay at Home” order is designed to slow community spread and allow the state time to build out hospital capacity, grow our testing capabilities, develop a more robust supply chain for personal protective equipment, and help protect our most vulnerable populations. All of us need to do our part.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Please be safe and know that together we will get through this.
Yours in community,
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
As people are staying inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked Gustavus Adolphus College professors to take a break from preparing for the transition to online course delivery to give some reading recommendations.
Looking for a novel, memoir, biography, poetry collection, or guilty pleasure? You’ll find them all here, along with recommendations in our professors’ own words. Do you have a book to recommend? Let us know in the comments.
Stay safe, Gusties!
Recommended by Lynnea Myers, assistant professor of nursing:
“With the introduction of at-home genetic testing kits, I have been intrigued by stories of individuals discovering new information about themselves and their families based on genetic testing. This book details the journey of one such individual who learns her father is not her biological father. Shapiro tells a captivating story chronicling her emotional journey following the discovery of such unexpected information and I enjoyed her story so much that I went on to read all the other books written by her.”
There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather
by Linda Åkeson McGurk
“I recently returned to Gustavus after living in Sweden for 4.5 years and was eager to read this book about parenting written by a Swedish mom living in the US and raising her children here. The insights the author shares regarding Scandinavian parenting are spot on from my experience living and raising young children in Sweden and provide some interesting food for thought on how parents can incorporate some Scandinavian child-rearing practices in the US.”
Recommended by Phillip Bryant, professor of English and African Studies:
“A masterpiece of Native American/American literature appearing in the second half of the 20th century, published in 1986. The novel takes place in the late 19th century and revolves around a small band of Blackfoot people, The Lone Eaters, and the impending, all-but-certain end of their way of life on the high plains of Montana. It’s a story of hope, faith, love, and fortitude in the face of cataclysm.”
The Music of Failure
by Bill Holm ’65
“Yet another masterpiece, this time in the form of a long essay (that shares its title with the collection) about rural western Minnesota and the people who came from far-away Iceland to settle and find their own little slice of the American Pie and for the most part came up very empty despite their hardest efforts to succeed. Bill, of course, is a Gustie, Class of 1965, and in my judgement, the most important writer to graduate from the hill, yet nobody hardly ever mentions this fact.”
Carrying Water To The Field: New and Selected Poems
by Joyce Sutphen
“Can’t make this list without putting my most esteemed colleague and poet laureate of Minnesota, Joyce Sutphen, on it. Joyce’s great poetry is a tonic and balm for these very troubled times we are going through presently. Her poetry gives us the strength and heart to carry on because it’s from the heart that her poems are born.”
Recommended by Lisa Heldke, professor of philosophy and director of the Nobel Conference:
“I’m a big murder mystery fan, and recently I’ve been giving myself ‘permission’ to spend time reading them again. A favorite character is Maisie Dobbs, a ‘psychologist and investigator’ living in England. The series begins at the end of WWI and the most recent books concern WWII. One learns a lot of the history of that period, and the character of Dobbs is entirely intriguing to nerdy academics. I just finished listening to one that was set at the time when France was invaded; I found it weirdly comforting to hear the descriptions of other people enduring utterly different, more painful hardships than the ones I’m being asked to endure here and now.”
The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins
by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
“If there was ever a book I wish I had written, it is this brilliant book. Ostensibly an anthropology monograph, this is a lucid, engrossing, urgent, fascinating look at the earth and its inhabitants through the ‘eyes’ of a species of mushroom that grows best on horribly disturbed soil.”
Recommended by Jeff Owen, associate professor of economics and management:
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis
“Written by the author of Moneyball and The Big Short, this exploration of the partnership of Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky highlights their groundbreaking research that challenged prevailing wisdom about human decision-making and essentially created the field of behavioral economics.”
Recommended by Yurie Hong, associate professor of classical studies and gender, women, and sexuality studies:
“Homer’s epic is about the Greek hero Odysseus’ decade-long struggle to get back home after 10 years of fighting the Trojan War. On the way, Odysseus encounters hospitable friends and monstrous foes, goddesses who help and goddesses who harm, high-seas adventures as well as long bouts sequestered on an island. All the while, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus are being held hostage in their own home, unable to leave and engaged in a tense standoff with the rowdy mob of suitors, who demand that Penelope remarry so that one of them can take Odysseus’ place as king of Ithaca. Emily Wilson’s translation has breathed exciting new life into this enduring tale and has received widespread critical and popular acclaim. An audio version of this translation, narrated by Claire Danes, is available on Audible and enables us to access the epic as it was meant to be experienced 2,000 years ago–by a single narrator speaking to us across the generations.”
Recommended by Hayley Russell, assistant professor of health and exercise science:
“Every morning when I left my house to run this week, I have felt grateful for running. After being stuck indoors, the repetitiveness, mindlessness, and peaceful time outside have made me think about this book. In this beautiful memoir translation, Haruki Murakami reflects on his relationship with running and writing. Unlike many books of this genre, Murakami is not an elite runner, he is a writer. He is, however, a passionate, committed, and reflective runner who sees running as instrumental in his career as a writer. Murakami says, ‘Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running everyday.'”
The Dutch House
by Ann Patchett
“My favorite book of the last several years, The Dutch House is an engrossing novel set over the course of five decades as siblings Danny and Maeve try to piece together the truth of their childhood in the house they grew up in–and are later exiled from. A coming-of-age story that plays on common fairy-tale themes, the book makes adult readers confront the nature of family relationships. There are so many questions throughout this book that at points you don’t even know what you want to know. What I liked best about this book was the strong bond between siblings, which is less commonly seen in adult literary fiction. Danny and Maeve’s relationship is beautiful and all-consuming in ways that are both heartwarming and painfully sad. The audio book, available on Audible, is narrated by Tom Hanks.”
Recommended by Gregory Kaster, professor of history:
“This Pulitzer Prize-winning synthesis transformed how historians and the general public (at least much of that public) understand the Civil War. See also literally anything else Jim has written. He is always smart, lucid, provocative, and persuasive. A real treat is to sit down with the short Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution (1992), open to the chapter on “How Lincoln Won the War with Metaphors,” and be enlightened and enthralled. He and his late spouse Patricia recently and generously endowed the McPherson Professorship in American History at Gustavus, of which I am the exceedingly humbled first holder.”
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
by David Blight
“Blight, a terrific historian and teacher at Yale (and a high school teacher long before that) offers a masterpiece of biography focused on one of the most important African American leaders ever, the former slave turned abolitionist (and much more) Frederick Douglass. While you are at it, read Blight’s edition (or any edition) of Douglass’s famous Narrative (his autobiography, the first version published in 1845). Though some seem to think Douglass yet lives, he does not. His words, however, do, and they are as timely as ever. Get through the biographical details early on; this is a superb read. I hope to bring him to Gustavus this fall, virus (and Blight) willing.”
by Martha Hodes
“The winner of the prestigious 2016 Lincoln Prize by the distinguished historian at New York University, this account of the days and weeks following the president’s assassination is moving, eye-opening, and, in the words of one historian, ‘a page-turner.'”
Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court
and Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson
by Paul Finkelman
“Two bracing books by the leading historian of the Constitution (and American law) and slavery. He wowed us with his on-campus class visits and evening lecture a year ago this spring.”
Recommended by Margaret Bloch Qazi, associate professor of biology:
“How do we develop a career that is a good fit for our skills and interests? Martin Arrowsmith is determined to unlock the secrets of bacteriophages (these were in the 1920s what CRISPR is today). His drive takes him through medical school, county health offices, famed research institutes, and to the frontline of a viral epidemic. Martin is imperfect, but his commitment to truth is admirable.”
Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
by Mary Oliver
“In clearly observed and passionately articulated poetry, Oliver reminds me of the beauty and integrity of nature.”
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
SAINT PETER, Minn. (March 17, 2020) — Gustavus Adolphus College will continue its suspension of in-person classes through the remainder of the academic year due to COVID-19, President Rebecca M. Bergman announced today. The College is currently preparing for a transition to online course delivery, which will commence on Monday, March 30 and continue for the rest of spring semester. Please see the information below for transition details.
“Now is our time to step up and be good stewards of the Gustavus community as well as our local, state, national, and world community,” President Bergman said in a message to Gustavus students, faculty, and staff. “We must aggressively practice social distancing to flatten the curve of this pandemic to protect our healthcare system and the most vulnerable among us.”
Students are being asked to leave campus as soon as possible unless they petition the College and are approved to remain in the residence halls. The Dean of Students Office will contact students with further information, including housing and meal plan cost adjustments.
Gustavus will hold on-campus commencement exercises for the Class of 2020. While we hope this takes place on Saturday, May 30, the College is committed to celebrating the accomplishments of our soon-to-be graduates with an on-campus ceremony when circumstances allow.
Essential Services and Building Access
Dining Service will be open to employees and students with permission to remain in campus housing; hours and offerings may be limited. Health Service and the Counseling Center will be staffed; students are encouraged to call to discuss services. Campus Safety will continue to ensure a safe and secure campus. Gustavus Technology Services (GTS) will be available by phone at 507-933-6111.
Most campus buildings will be closed to students.
Events and Visitors
All events at Gustavus, whether sponsored by the College or an outside group, are canceled or postponed until further notice.
The campus is closed to all visitors and guests.
Faculty and Staff Information
Gustavus employees will continue to receive their normal pay and benefits through May 31 and will not be asked to use PTO/vacation in the event of personal illness or COVID-19 related responsibilities.
Faculty members should continue to prepare for online course delivery for the rest of the semester.
Staff employees will receive further guidance about preparing to work from home (if applicable) or providing staffing for continuing operations. Employees may be asked to assist with duties outside of their current responsibilities. If circumstances allow, staff employees may be recalled to on-campus work.
The College acknowledges that this is a fast-developing situation and will continue to monitor guidance from appropriate national, state, and local authorities. Additional communication will be sent to students, faculty, and staff as necessary.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
SAINT PETER, Minn. (March 13, 2020) — Gustavus Adolphus College President Rebecca M. Bergman announced to the campus community on Friday afternoon that the College will suspend in-person classes effective immediately.
Please see the full message below:
TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: President Bergman
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Update | Suspension of In-Person Classes and Academic Calendar Change
DATE: March 13, 2020
Today, with concern for all members of our campus community and special consideration of the most vulnerable among us, we made a difficult decision to temporarily suspend in-person classes and change our academic calendar. Please carefully read the entirety of this email for important information about how we will move forward together as a campus community.
The modified academic calendar is as follows:
March 16-20: No classes as faculty and staff prepare to offer online course delivery
March 23-27: Spring Break (originally scheduled for April 6-13)
March 30-April 13: Classes resume using online course delivery; no in-person classes
Campus will remain open during this four-week period. At this time, we anticipate that in-person classes will resume on Tuesday, April 14.
Students — You may choose to either stay on campus or leave. We are asking that you decide by next Wednesday, March 18, if you will be remaining on campus or going home. If you leave campus, please take any materials you will need to complete academic work and any other essential items. For those students who would prefer to stay on campus, who would have difficulty accessing online learning, who cannot travel, or who do not have another safe place to live, the residence halls and Dining Service will remain open. The College is committed to supporting you during this time, and I encourage you to reach out to the Dean of Students Office if you have questions. As you consider your plans for the next four weeks, I strongly urge you to limit your travel and assist with curtailing community spread of the virus. Moving back and forth between campus and off-campus locations could unintentionally contribute to spreading the illness. The Dean of Students Office will send additional information early next week about how to notify the College of your plans. Please continue to check your email regularly and respond as requested.
Faculty members — You will receive further information about technology sessions and other resources via Faculty-l early next week. Faculty members will be communicating with students via email regarding class plans and online learning expectations. Department meetings may be occuring during the week of March 16 to discuss departmental expectations for course delivery.
All employees — Because the campus will remain open, employees are expected to work as usual on Monday, March 16 and throughout the four-week period to support ongoing operations. If you are concerned that you may have special circumstances that may impact your ability to be present on campus, such as an underlying medical condition, please contact your supervisor and the Office of Human Resources.
Events — Beginning on Saturday, March 14, all on-campus events are postponed or canceled until in-person course instruction resumes. This includes institutional and student-led events, athletic contests, and musical and theatre/dance performances. More information will be communicated in the coming days.
Travel — All domestic and international College-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice. Students, faculty, and staff should not attend conferences or meetings or take part in service trips in order to limit the community spread of COVID-19 via person-to-person contact.
On-Campus Services — Health Service and the Counseling Center will remain open. The Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, the Hillstrom Museum of Art, and Dining Service will remain open but hours may be reduced. Lund Center will be closed Saturday and Sunday and will reopen with reduced hours starting on Monday, March 16. More details will be communicated about on-campus offerings early next week.
Gusties, I know that this is a time of uncertainty and there are many questions about what will happen in the coming days. Rest assured, we will continue to make all decisions with the wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff as our guiding light. Please continue to follow best practices for personal hygiene and stay home if you are sick. For now, please know that I am grateful for each of you and the thoughtful contributions that you bring to our community.
Yours in community,
by Corbyn Jenkins ’20
Empowering, inspirational, and motivational are just a few words to describe the Friday gathering of 311 students, alumni, and friends of Gustavus Adolphus College at the 10th annual Gustavus Women in Leadership conference: “Her Journey to the Future: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”
Through listening to the experiences of the powerful keynote and breakout speakers and connecting with other like-minded women, people from different backgrounds and generations came together to celebrate the strides of women and empower one another in their personal and professional development.
The first GWIL conference took place in 2011 and had 101 attendees and now, 10 years later, there were 311. “The conference has turned into a huge reunion for me personally because so many of my former students come back as well as their families. It really is one big reunion where Gusties gather well together and we have a lot of fun,” said GWIL co-founder and Gustavus Vice President for Mission, Strategy, and Innovation Kathi Tunheim.
Along with the conference being a place for Gusties to connect, it is also the culmination of a whole year of work that has involved students, alumni, and community members. “The conference is all about celebrating this community of women that have come together and stayed connected throughout the years and helped each other weather the storms and seize the opportunities that come with leadership development” said GWIL co-founder Kari Clark ’91.
This year’s conference was not only special because of its 10th anniversary, but because it landed on the 100th year for women’s suffrage as well as taking place just two days before International Women’s Day.
After a warm welcome from the GWIL conference directors, President Rebecca Bergman, and Tunheim, the day kicked off with keynote speaker Jessica Bennett. Bennett is a writer and editor at the New York Times focused on gender and culture as well as the author of Feminist Fight Club: A Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace.
Bennett’s talk covered her journey to becoming the New York Times first gender editor, workplace inequality, The Goldilocks Dilemma, and her book, Feminist Fight Club. Bennett ended her talk by welcoming those attending to join the feminist fight club in which she states there are “no fees, no price to pay, but just support to other women.”
Following were four breakout sessions that illustrated how women are leading in the “present.” GWIL founders Tunheim and Clark led a session on reflections and lessons from 10 years of the organization and conference. For the past decade, the two of them have been inspiring Gustavus women in both their personal and professional leadership development. “My first time at a GWIL event I heard Kathi speak and felt so empowered by her words. I remember thinking, ‘I want to be a part of that organization, I want to be one of those women,’ and now I am”, said GWIL conference director ReAnn Eidahl ’20”. The session focused on the story of GWIL and the impact it’s had on Gustavus women. “GWIL has taught me how to use my voice in the business world. It has empowered me to be a leader in all walks of life. I have seen a growth of confidence in myself since joining GWIL. I feel ready to go into the workforce and be a leader wherever I go,” said GWIL conference director Linnea Anderson ’20.
In the afternoon a GWIL Hall of Fame recognition took place. Ten GWIL alumnae were selected by Tunheim and the GWIL National Advisory Board Chair, Jacque Brunsberg, based on their commitment to GWIL.
The afternoon keynote speaker was Kerri Murray, president of ShelterBox. She shared her journey from her corporate life to working with relief organizations around the world. She also spoke on issues related to female empowerment and gave an inside look into the international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox that has impacted over 1.5 million people in 100+ countries by creating a space for families to call home after a disaster.
The day closed with a reception where Gusties and friends gathered and reflected on the empowering day. “For me there is no better place to be. For the president to have a day to listen, absorb, and learn for me that is just pure joy. No other word for it,” said President Rebecca Bergman.
Investigative journalist Aura Bogado, who recently won the Edgar R. Murrow Award for featured reporting, will deliver Gustavus Adolphus College’s 2020 Moe Lecture on Tuesday, March 10.
Bogado currently works for Reveal for the Center for Investigative Reporting, covering migration and immigration. She focuses on children in federal custody, especially at the U.S./Mexico border. Her work humanizes those who are often ignored by the media and shares the stories of people who are hurt by federal policies.
“I know many Gustavus students who are passionate about working for social change and they don’t always know how to get there,” Gustavus Professor of Political Science and Program Director in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Jill Locke said. “I know students are eager to hear more about what Ms. Bogado sees and experiences at the border and the professional path she has taken to get there.”
Bogado’s background in reporting includes being a staff writer at Grist, the news editor at Colorlines, and a writer for The Nation.
Bogado’s lecture, titled “It’s All a Border: Reporting and Representation in the Margins,” will focus on the challenges of reporting on issues of immigration and migration, as well as the difficulties non-white women reporters have working in a field that’s historically been dominated by white men.
“[Bogado] uses her research and writing skills to personalize the stories of detention and separation in particular. I look forward to learning more about how [she] has found and developed platforms for her writing and the impact of the stories she uncovers,” Locke said.
In addition to her lecture, Bogado will be visiting with students in Associate Professor Sharon Marquart’s Feminist Controversies class.
The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10 in Cec Eckhoff Alumni Hall. It is free and open to the public, and will be livestreamed and archived.
Hosted by the Gustavus Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) Program, The Moe Visiting Lectureship is endowed by Karin and Robert Moe in honor of their daughter, Kris Burke Moe, class of 1984. Since its inaugural year in 2000, the Moe Lectureship has allowed GWSS to bring top feminist scholars to the Gustavus community. The Moe Lectures represent the interdisciplinary and intersectional nature of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program, bringing expertise from various field including anthropology, cultural studies, biology, literature, philosophy, history, and law.
The Building Bridges Conference will tackle climate justice and the intersections of climate change at the 25th annual student-led social justice conference on Saturday, March 7 beginning at 9 a.m. in Christ Chapel. Tickets are free for students and faculty and available now to the general public. The keynote speakers will also be streamed live online.
The conference, “Climate Justice: Unearthing the Climate Crisis as an Issue of Human Suffering,” will include engaging lectures followed by a series of workshops, an interactive walkthrough, and an opportunity for active reflections.
Building Bridges co-chairs Greta Dupslaff ’20 and James Miller ‘21 began planning the 25th annual conference before the start of the 2019-2020 school year. “We feel that climate change is the single greatest, most intersectional, and one of the most complex issues of social justice the world has ever seen,” the co-chairs said in a statement.
Building Bridges began as a student organization at Gustavus Adolphus College focusing on educating and informing community members on issues relating to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The annual Building Bridges Conference is known as Building Bridges’ signature event which takes place every spring with a week of events leading up to the conference day. This year’s events include a Monday session on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a Tuesday panel during the daily chapel service at 10 a.m., Wednesday’s Eating for the Earth Workshop, Thursday’s Open Mic Night, and Friday’s chapel service, in which Dupslaff and Miller will speak.
This past year, the campus has seen significant momentum surrounding climate action and presents numerous opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage with the topic, including Nobel Conference 55. “We want to use the Building Bridges Conference as an avenue through which to continue thinking about climate change from a social justice perspective,” Dupslaff and Miller said. The conference is intentionally set up to be interactive and engaging while encompassing aspects of the liberal arts through the multiple perspectives on climate justice.
The conference will feature keynote speakers David Archambault II and Nnimmo Bassey. Archambault is a former tribal Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and emerged as a global leader for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. He continues to be a voice for tribal sovereignty and explores the next steps, not just for Standing Rock, but for all of Indigenous people to stand together against injustice. Bassey is the director of the ecological think tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation and member steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was the co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” and received the Rafto Human Rights Award two years later.
Following the lectures on Saturday are a series of workshops showcasing how climate justice is interdisciplinary and intersectional. Workshops include: Planetary Solidarity, Practicing the Agricultural Imagination, An Indigenous Perspective on Climate Change, and more. Each of the workshops lead in to an essential component of the Building Bridges Conference, the interpretive walkthrough. The interpretive walkthrough is an immersive experience exploring climate change and its intersections with social justice. “Our goal is to transform something overwhelming and daunting into an informative and empowering experience,” Dupslaff and Miller explained.
Before the conference ends, attendees are given the opportunity to engage with material and insights learned throughout the day and reflect in a meaningful way. The active reflection session is encouraged in order to work together and think about how we can move forward in solidarity.
“The Building Bridges Conference is the first time that students engage with these topics from a social justice perspective, and we see this conference as part of a greater campus conversation about climate change and the power of student activism.The goal of the day is to educate the community and inspire others to take action,” Dupslaff and Miller said.
Learn more at the Gustavus Building Bridges website.