Concordia Magazine: Fall 2014

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FALL 2014

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Orchestra in Holy Land

President’s Letter Dear Alumni and Friends, Greetings to all from campus. This fall Concordia has been filled with events that make us ever more grateful for our alumni. We were cheered by the return of so many Concordia grads for Homecoming, out there “BREWing” – as our students would say – influencing the affairs of the world. Anne and I had great fun with the Class of ’64 at its 50th anniversary and the Class of ’89 at its 25th, and we were honored to join the whole community in recognizing our 2014 Alumni Achievement Award recipients: Roger Leopold, John Ahlquist, Vern Tolo, and Sandra Cartie. Your lives and work inspire us here to remain rooted in our mission – and to embrace a creative restlessness so that mission comes alive in each and every first-year class. Mission-driven restlessness shaped the plan for Concordia to offer an education of the whole self, for the whole of life, for the sake of the whole world. To see a detailed account of progress as we enter the third year of that plan, you can go to strategicplan14. For now, let me call out these key commitments that will define the Concordia experience: • We will offer to every student a path of spiritual growth and discovery of vocation – as a child of God gifted and called to serve. • We will offer to every student a transforming union of learning that weds the discoveries of the liberal arts with the need to apply those discoveries to real human problems in real time. • We will offer to every student a global, life-expanding practice of citizenship with neighbors far and near, in devotion to our call to shape the world for the common good. We work in a time of profound challenge and change in American higher education. Questions abound in the media – and in the minds of prospect students and their families – about the purpose and price of college, the role that new learning technologies should play, and the readiness to welcome the growing diversity of those seeking a degree. The Concordia difference lies in our mission, which refuses to settle for anything less than a life-transforming education, and in our determination to provide extraordinary value to every student. And so: • 99 percent of our students receive aid from the college, with the average student’s tuition discounted at 45 percent off the sticker price to recognize both need and merit. • Our students earn their degrees in four years, at triple the four-year rate of our regional public institutions. • Concordia grads who apply to medical or law school have a 9 out of 10 chance of being accepted. • For a decade, Concordia has ranked in the top 13 percent of all U.S. colleges and universities in the number of grads who earn Ph.D.s. • Concordia students are 10 times more likely to study abroad than other undergraduates in the U.S. • Faculty ingenuity and grant funds are enabling our students to thrive in the digital world even as they grow through the direct, in-person mentoring of Concordia’s teaching scholars. • Concordia shares the top ranking of grads who serve as ELCA pastors, and we have been named a national leader in interfaith dialogue and service. At Concordia College, we think and act, we learn and serve. We are hearts together – hearts, minds, and spirits lifted up in the marvelous liberty of God’s grace to love and care for all creation. Watch us change the shape of higher education; watch our students change the world.

Dr. William J. Craft


FALL 2014

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COVER The Agapostemon virescens, or sweat bee, is just one species out of the thousands native to North America. Photo: Dr. D. Bryan Bishop

Orchestra in Holy Land






Get tips for making a bee house See more photos of the Dreadnoughtus discovery Read blog entries from members of The Concordia Orchestra who toured the Holy Land To see the online magazine, visit



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Editor: Roger E. Degerman ’84 Managing Editor: Erin Hemme Froslie ’96 Associate Director: Amy J. Aasen ’95 Media Relations Director: Amy E. Kelly ’95 Designers: Lori J. Steedsman, Briann Sandholm ’06, Andrea White ’12 Content Coordinator/Editor: Tracey J. Bostick Content Specialists: Eric Lillehaugen ’11, Laura Caroon ’06 Developer: Billy McDonald Project Manager: Kaylin Walker Sports Information Director: Jim Cella Media Relations Assistant: Kim Kappes Print Shop: John Phelps

Office of Communications and Marketing • (218) 299-3147 Campus Info • (218) 299-4000


Correspondence concerning Concordia Magazine Volume 53, Number 1, should be addressed to: The Editor, Office of Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562 or To change your address or unsubscribe from the Concordia Magazine mailing list, contact Alumni Records at (218) 299-3743, or Office of Alumni Relations, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. Update your record online at Concordia Magazine is published two times a year (spring and fall) by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. © 2014 Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota 917698/44.5M/1114

The Agapostemon virescens, more commonly referred to as the sweat bee, is a native bee you might see buzzing around Concordia’s campus. Photo courtesy of Sam Droege, USGS.

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ay to Bee By Aubrey Schield

As honeybees disappear, an answer to the pollination question may be closer than we think. Concordia researchers are among those investigating the secrets of native bees. Concordia Magazine


sun is already beating down on Concordia’s Long Lake Field Station near Detroit Lakes, Minn., drying the prairie grasslands of their morning layer of dew. Wildflowers spring from the yellow-green backdrop in a multitude of colors: waist-high thistles with enticing purple flowers, golden sunflowers and brilliant fuchsia blooms. It’s 10:45 a.m. on a weekday and, for three student researchers, the lab looks a little different than it does for most. Throughout the summer, Jens Hulden ’16, Moorhead, Jon Tetlie ’15, St. Paul, Minn., and Scott Opatril ’17, Glyndon, Minn., assisted Dr. D. Bryan Bishop, associate professor of biology, with his three-year research project on native bees. Their mission was simple: collect and identify as many bees as possible. The reason for their research, however, was anything but simple. Bishop’s project came about as a reaction to the pollinator crisis. In 2006, beekeepers began seeing a 40 percent loss in their honeybee colonies annually. Bishop says normal loss for a season is only 10 percent. Scientists have dubbed the phenomenon “colony collapse disorder” or CCD. “The strange thing about CCD is that all the bees disappear,” Bishop says. “We still don’t really understand what’s going on.” If you take a look back in history, you may be surprised to learn that honeybees are not native to North America. The species we have here was brought over from Europe in the 17th century. The insects quickly became celebrities in pollination because they lend themselves so well to domestication and mass pollination. In recent years, more and more people have started paying attention to CCD because of its impact on crop production. It’s commonly said that honeybees pollinate one-third of the food we eat. These insects are responsible for everything from almonds to raspberries to your favorite Häagen-Dazs ice cream flavor. Native bees pollinate too, but tend to get overshadowed by the widely recognized black and yellow striped honeybee. With honeybee colonies dying out, scientists are asking: What is the current state of our native bees and how do they impact pollination? Those are the questions researchers like Bishop are trying to answer.

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In 1919, an entomologist named Frederic L. Washburn set out to compile a list of Minnesota’s native bee species. Unfortunately, Washburn died before the list was completed. Now, almost 100 years later, we still don’t have an updated, comprehensive list of the state’s native bees. Enter Bishop. When he started researching native bees, Bishop knew students would be interested in the work, as well as benefit from a practical research experience. “I’m an educator,” he says. “I like sharing information.” Since his work began, Bishop has spent many days with his students out in the field collecting and studying bees. Hulden says he learned a lot from Bishop when he accompanied them in the field. “We learned even more just by talking to Dr. Bishop,” he says. The project sampled three different sites: one at Concordia’s Long Lake Field Station, one at Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area, and the third at associate professor of art Dr. Peter Schultz’s Longspur Prairie, a restored prairie near Ulen, Minn.

All in a Day’s Work

At Long Lake, Hulden, Tetlie and Opatril have a long day ahead of them. The team collects bees using two methods: net and bowl capture. In the morning, they walk in a single file line through the prairie grasses, setting out bee bowls, plastic condiment cups painted in fluorescent blues, yellows and whites. The paint reflects ultraviolet light, mimicking a real flower and attracting the bees. Each bowl is filled with soapy water, which traps the bee when it flies in. Every 10 meters, Hulden places a bee bowl along an imaginary diagonal line bisecting a rectangular plot of land. Opatril follows behind, filling each bowl with soapy water. Later in the afternoon, they will walk the same diagonal lines again, picking up each bowl and storing its contents in plastic bags and a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol. They will bring their nets along with them when they revisit the bowls in hopes of catching more bees. Walking through the thick prairie grass, Hulden swoops the net forward in a graceful, sideways S. The tail of the net flips into its center, barring any escape for the bee he has just caught.

Native bee houses are easy to build. This example incorporates a wooden box, PEX tubing and plexiglass.

What You Can Do

1. 2. 3. 4.

Build native bee houses.

They come in many shapes, sizes and designs. It’s up to your imagination. Helpful tips:

Skip the mulch.

Native bees often live in holes within soil or wood. Leaving gardens mulch-free gives bees access to natural habitat in the dirt.

Plant wildflowers.

They’re beautiful and they give pollinators sustenance. It’s a win-win.

Avoid pesticides.

Pesticides don’t discriminate between pesky nuisances and innocent pollinators like native bees. Concordia Magazine


Tetlie also carries an old pickle jar, which contains a concentrated amount of ethyl acetate. The kill jars, as they are colloquially referred to, smell strongly of nail polish remover. Periodically, Tetlie unscrews the kill jar’s lid, having spotted a specimen pollinating a flower. He moves in a fluid motion toward the bloom, the bee resting precariously on its pedals. In one swift attack, Tetlie claps the jar around the bee, sparing the flower and capturing the insect. When the student researchers return to the lab, they wash, dry and mount the bees captured that day. After drying a bee with a blow dryer turned on the lowest setting, Hulden hands the bee off to Tetlie, who pins it to a piece of plastic foam and identifies it. Hulden comments that the bees are surprisingly strong. A fresh insect is actually very hard to break; their bodies are flexible and not as fragile as you might think. Hulden enjoys researching bees with Bishop because his work is contributing to the shared knowledge of native bees. “I think it’s really cool because it matters so much,” he says.

A Secret World Wooden boxes sit lined up on the black tables in the lab. The glass tops reveal rows upon rows of bee species. From a distance, most look as small and insignificant as a fly or a gnat. But close up, a diverse world of colors, shapes and sizes is revealed. Native bees can range in size from a mere centimeter to the width of three fingers put together. Around the world, native bees turn up in all colors of the spectrum: translucent blues and greens, brilliant purples, stark white and black. The shapes of native bee species are even more varied. Some have round bodies with wide legs. Others are skinny, the sections of their body pieced together at the narrowest of junctions. It seems the closer you get the more magnificent they become. This was the third summer that Bishop included students in his research. Though the students’ contributions are very helpful, the task of discovering Minnesota’s more than 430 estimated species of native bees requires the collaboration of many researchers. Bishop enjoys working with other

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researchers to tackle the project of making a species list. This past summer the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began a statewide study of native bees. Crystal Boyd, a DNR bee researcher, is heading the project. Boyd’s project aims to update the state species list from the severely outdated 1919 list of Minnesota native bee species. “There’s a big gap there,” she says, “a century worth of information.” Boyd’s project is also a survey of Minnesota native bees. By studying the different species, she hopes to answer questions about their behavior and activity when it comes to pollination. Boyd visited Concordia’s campus this fall to take a peek at Bishop’s collection of specimens. This collaboration is integral to understanding more about native bees in Minnesota. Bishop, Boyd and other researchers have already drawn some conclusions about native bees as they have tried to identify what species are here and create a baseline for researchers in the future. In many ways, native bees are more efficient pollinators than honeybees, Bishop says. Unlike honeybees, they do not take breaks, but work nonstop because they do not store up nectar for food. In other words, they don’t make honey. They need to constantly pollinate in order to survive. “Native bees are beautiful and amazing creatures,” Boyd says. “They are workhorses.” Each species of native bee seems to be somewhat specialized. If a honeybee is a standard hammer, one species of native bee might be a sledgehammer; another might be a rubber mallet; each specifically designed for one particular type of work or one particular flower. The Alfalfa leafcutter bee, for example, specializes in pollinating alfalfa. Bishop says leafcutters are responsible for the pollination of at least 90 percent of alfalfa in Minnesota. In addition to pollinating plants that we consume, native bees are often responsible for wildflower pollination, which provides beautiful landscapes and healthy ecosystems. That’s why researchers are so adamant about learning their secrets. “If honeybees are going to die out,” Hulden says, “then we need the native bees’ help.”

Jon Tetlie '15 carries a bug net and kill jar as he walks through the Bluestem Research Area in hopes of catching a specimen.

Become an Advocate Researchers are not the only ones helping the bees. Average people, like you and me, are taking note of the crisis and getting involved. Noreen Thomas has devoted her family farm to helping bee populations along. Doubting Thomas Farms rests in the midst of corn and soybean fields just outside of Kragnes, a small Minnesota town north of Moorhead. The 1,200-acre farm has been in her husband’s family since 1878, passed on through five generations. Earlier this year, Thomas received a grant through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for a three-year project designed to build habitat for native bees while adding value to a small acreage of land. Bishop has helped Thomas implement her project by sharing his expertise regarding bee habitat. He has made the trek out to Doubting Thomas Farms several times to set up native bee houses, honeybee boxes, as well as to monitor the species present, working alongside Thomas as the project’s entomologist. Thomas, a former employee of the tea manufacturer Celestial Seasonings, had the idea to incorporate tea plantings into the habitat. If successful, the design Thomas has developed will be a win-win for native bees and farmers. “A lot of the time, research is not applicable on farms,” she says. “That’s why this grant is so important.”

By planting chamomile, red clover, lavender and other teas, Thomas hopes to attract pollinators and yield a valuable crop at the same time. In the half-mile-long plot of land, she has also planted wildflowers and annuals. She worries that people won’t take notice of the challenges facing bees until it’s too late. “Some people won’t get it until their apple tree doesn’t fruit,” she says. Although Thomas has been able to create something of a native bee sanctuary, that level of devotion isn’t realistic for everyone. Fortunately, there are many things everyone can do to help native and honeybees. “Leaving some area for habitat is just so simple,” Thomas says. Many advocacy groups are working in response to CCD and the pollinator crisis. From urban rooftop bee habitats to statewide native bee surveys and research, more people are taking notice of the plight of our bees. Boyd says one simple answer to the crisis asks people to consider native bees and become interested in them. The next time you see what looks like a tiny, green fly or hear a faint buzz in your ear, think about pollinators and all they do for our environment and way of life. “Look carefully at bees,” she says. “You’ll get blown away.” ■ Aubrey Schield ’15, Orono, Minn., Photo above: Brianne Lee ‘16

studies multimedia journalism. Concordia Magazine


Math and science majors with a strong liberal arts foundation have a head start in becoming the best and brightest in their chosen f ields. Concordia’s students and recent grads are proof of that. Here are three of their stories.

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By Amy E. Kelly

Alumna Researches Largest Known Dinosaur Weighing more than a Boeing 737 jetliner and measuring 85 feet long, the Dreadnoughtus schrani dinosaur is a daunting creature to imagine walking the Earth – but paleontologists have the fossils to prove it. Kristyn Voegele ’11, a paleontology grad student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has spent the last three years in a lab with the supermassive beast’s bones. Voegele’s doctoral advisor, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, discovered this herbivore in 2005 in Argentina. His team excavated the bones over the next four years and brought the dinosaur to the United States to study. After years of documentation, the discovery was reported in the September issue of Scientific Reports. “At first, it makes you feel small because the bones are so big and there are so many of them. And they are everywhere,” Voegele says. Voegele knew she was getting a huge opportunity to work with the fossils. While other large dinosaurs have been found, Dreadnoughtus schrani is considered the most accurately sized because researchers found both its femur and humerus – two key bones needed to estimate size. Lacovara’s team found 70 percent of the bones in the body, excluding the skull bones. They unearthed nearly all of the bones of the dinosaur’s tail, which measured 30 feet long. Voegele, who grew up in Grand Forks, N.D., has been fixed on fossils since childhood. She was on the lookout during nature hikes and family trips – but the places she lived or visited didn’t have the right rock formations to find any dinosaur bones. Voegele attended Concordia because she wanted to be a paleontologist and had heard about Dr. Ron Nellermoe, professor emeritus of biology, who took students on summer dinosaur digs in Wyoming and Montana. “I went on three summer field experiences with Dr. Nellermoe,” Voegele recalls. “We would prospect for fossils and even found some nice pieces of triceratops skulls. Nellermoe says to thrive in paleontology you need to have a balance between enjoying what you are doing and tending to the business at hand. Voegele had both. “She had a particular emphasis on detail. She was very critical in her thinking and always enthusiastic,” Nellermoe says.

In addition to the field study, Voegele put in her time in the lab. She and another student reorganized Concordia’s collection in the paleontology lab. They categorized and cataloged all the bones, taking extreme care with each species. When applying for graduate schools, Voegele visited Drexel University and saw parts of the Dreadnoughtus schari. Because of its immense size, only about one third of it was at Drexel. The rest of the bones were being worked on at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. “That was right about the time they knew this was a new species,” Voegele says. “They were starting to figure out what was unique about it.” The role she would play as a new Drexel grad student was unknown, but Voegele got to fully participate in the research. “I did two projects with this dinosaur. I looked at the dorsal vertebrae between the shoulders and the hip. All of the graduate students helped with the 3D laser scanning,” Voegele says. “You get 3D files that look like bones. So you can see color and the surface texture, not just shapes. It’s going to be a great tool for other scientists who want to work with this dinosaur.” The scans will be invaluable to paleontologists because the Dreadnoughtus fossils belong to the Argentinian government and are only in the United States on a research loan. The bones will be shipped back to Argentina in 2015. “Standing in my lab right now, surrounded by these huge bones, there are tons of them,” Voegele says. “The lab is going to look very empty.” But she has plenty of research ahead of her. For her doctoral work she is studying the biomechanics of the Dreadnoughtus by evaluating the locations of muscle attachments. After she earns her doctorate, she hopes to use new technologies to study the biology of dinosaurs either at a university or museum. But for now, she’s enjoying the excitement of telling people about this new, really old, dinosaur. “This project was a thrilling experience. Every day for three years I have worked in a lab filled with enormous fossils, studied them, and finally I can share them with the world.” ■

Kristyn Voegele ’11 focused much of her research on the dorsal vertebrae (the backbones) of the Dreadnoughtus.

Photo: Submitted

Concordia Magazine


By Aubrey Schield

Actuarial Internships Lead to Job Offers for Three Students

Karina Skar ‘15 (left), Tom Dukatz ‘16 and Shannon Goetz ‘15 worked at Allianz Life as actuarial interns and received full-time job offers with the company.

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Imagine beginning your senior year of college with a full-time job waiting for you on the other side of graduation. For Shannon Goetz ’15, Detroit Lakes, Minn., and Karina Skar ’15, Minnetonka, Minn., this dream is a reality. Goetz, a mathematical finance major, and Skar, who double majors in mathematics and Spanish, worked as actuarial interns at Allianz Life, a North American life insurance company, this past summer. In August, they were offered full-time positions with the company. The math department and Offutt School of Business offer courses that prepare students for the field, even though Concordia does not offer an actuarial science program. “That hasn’t stopped students in the past,” says Dr. John Reber, associate professor of math. Actuarial science uses mathematical functions to assess risk in different situations. For example, a professional actuary might work with property, life or health insurance. “It is fundamentally assessing risk,” says Reber. Goetz’s internship gave her a glimpse of Allianz and she liked what she saw. “I felt like I kind of belonged there,” she says. “I really loved it.” Tom Dukatz ’16, Eagan, Minn., also worked at Allianz as an actuarial intern. At the end of the summer, he too was offered a job with the company after he graduates.

During his time at Allianz, Dukatz worked in the corporate risk management department. “It isn’t the traditional work you’d think a math major would be in,” he says. Skar worked in product development, using actuarial science to model annuities and price various products. The three students echo a similar sentiment: Concordia’s liberal arts education was integral in preparing them for their work at Allianz. “It felt like the Concordia students there were really ahead,” Dukatz says. Goetz agrees, adding that the liberal arts education helped her and will continue to help her as she begins her professional career with Allianz. “I had the experience of working through very detailed, complex things (at Concordia),” she says. “But I can do more than just math. I think that set me apart.” Goetz and Skar start their work as Allianz actuarial assistants in summer 2015. Going into actuarial science is not an easy task. Anyone on this career path is required to take multiple professional exams, which, Reber explains, are very challenging. Goetz has one exam under her belt and plans to take the second one in the near future. “I’m placing a lot of priority on setting aside time to study for exams,” she says. “It kind of shifts my focus.” Reber has had Goetz, Skar and Dukatz in multiple classes. “What all three have in common is a great work ethic, a great ability to think,” he says. Reber is proud that all three received Allianz’s highest accolades. “You see (students) every day, but that external validation lets us know that we’re all on the right track,” he says. ■ Photo: Brianne Lee ‘16

Aubrey Schield ’15, Orono, Minn., studies multimedia journalism.

By Sage Larson

Mayo Program Gives Students Valuable Experience For nearly a decade, Concordia students have been evaluating the business potential of inventions and ideas developed by physicians and researchers of a worldrenowned health institution. The Mayo Innovation Scholars Program has proven to be a model of experiential learning, giving students valuable skills that they carry into their future courses – and careers. “Undergraduate students have immense potential. Given the right resources and mentorship, they can do really special things,” says Cedric Foudjet ’12, an alumnus of the program. Formerly the Mayo Scholars Program, the initiative introduces undergraduate and graduate students to medical and scientific innovations, while also giving them experience in the fields of intellectual property, marketing and business development. The initiative is open to students from select Minnesota private colleges. Teams of students from each college – usually two science majors and two business majors – evaluate medical inventions submitted to Mayo Clinic Ventures, which determines whether new technologies and discoveries made by Mayo physicians and researchers have market potential. Over six months, students gather data and research the projects, ultimately presenting their findings in Rochester, Minn., to other student teams and Mayo Clinic professionals. Becca Asheim ’15, West Fargo, N.D., is among the latest who have participated. She and three other Concordia students assessed a patented back screw. “The biggest takeaway was how they treated us as professionals,” Asheim says. “It showed us that this is the real deal.” Concordia has had 10 teams in the program. Dr. Krys Strand, associate professor of biology and program director of neuroscience, has been the faculty advisor for all. “My role is to keep them on track, not let them get off course, and provide guidance and resources as they need them,” Strand says. For each project, students examined the purpose behind the discovery and researched existing competitors and licensing issues. They also recommended whether or not the product should move on to production, Strand says.

Concordia Mayo Innovation Scholars presented their research findings to medical professionals at Mayo Clinic. Pictured from left are Ryan Solberg ‘14; Lacey Shiue ‘14; Pleasant Radford Jr. (University of St. Thomas); Dr. Krys Strand, advisor; Becca Asheim ‘15; and Erik Thompson ‘14.

After long Saturdays spent drawing data together, Asheim gained a better understanding of how medical inventions move forward. “There is a huge amount of time and money that goes into every single product that goes out into the medical world,” she says. Foudjet’s team analyzed a device that treated mitral valve regurgitation, a heart condition where the mitral valve does not close correctly as the heart pumps blood. As a double major in business and biology, Foudjet appreciated the interdisciplinary work. He is now a consultant for Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis. “Pairing students from different disciplines to work on a project that meshes the complexity of science and the intricacies of the business world was eye opening for me,” he says. Inspired by the concept, Foudjet founded the New Afrique Centre for Innovation and Leadership. The organization pairs Concordia science and business students with African innovators. They are currently working on a heart-monitoring device being developed in Cameroon, his home country. It is these connections that bring continued value to the students’ experience. Looking back, Asheim loved how her work could have an impact in the world. “It felt like the work was worthwhile and I could make a contribution somehow,” she says. ■ Photo: Submitted

Sage Larson ‘17, Maple Grove, Minn., studies multimedia journalism and Spanish.

Concordia Magazine


Building Ingenuity College Plans for Updates to Science Buildings By Erin Hemme Froslie

Plans for an updated science facility include a wall of windows that face the campus mall.

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Concordia’s reputation for excellence in fields such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, physics, nutrition and nursing is well earned. Nearly a quarter of Concordia students graduate with a degree in the sciences, and their records of graduate school placement and professional achievement are outstanding. Just one example: Concordia students who apply to medical school have an 88 percent rate of acceptance – double the national average. Now plans are being made to upgrade the college’s science facilities to better mirror the needs of a 21st century science education and ensure Concordia’s continued success among its graduates and its ability to attract topnotch faculty.

“We have a dynamic faculty that does a great job in the classroom,” says Dr. Darin Ulness, chair of the Division of Sciences and Mathematics. “Now we have an opportunity to create space and versatility for these faculty to express their creative ideas.” When Ivers Science was built in the 1960s and Jones Science in the 1980s, science was largely learned in lecture halls and separate labs. Today, students experience science and mathematics through creative hands-on learning and intense interaction with faculty mentors. They also seek ways of doing science that cross disciplines. Updates to the science buildings will reflect this philosophy. The interiors of the structures will be updated and, in some cases, gutted. Plans call for keeping the same

external footprint of the two adjoined facilities but with a more welcoming facade. “It will be as much of a new building as you can get in an existing one,” says biology professor Dr. Ellen Aho, chair of the building committee. The vision for the project will cost $45 million, a third of which will go toward updating mechanical systems and the buildings’ infrastructure. The goal is to include sustainable design features that will support LEED certification. One of the highlights of the structure will be a visual breakdown of barriers to science by using windows for lab walls. A wall of glass also will face the campus mall, creating a hearth of campus for students who have classes in the building and those who walk by. “To see others doing science shows how active the process of inquiry is,” says Dr. Larry Papenfuss, a gift planner for Advancement. “Anybody walking through the halls will be able to see hands-on investigation.” Plans also call for significant changes to the structure that will promote collaboration and discovery among faculty and students. In particular, spaces will be designed in a way that makes learning seamless, whether it’s in the classroom, laboratory, during research or while hanging out between classes. For example, some areas will be set up as integrated classrooms and labs, giving students a better sense of how scientists actually work on problems, Ulness says. “The goal is to elevate students’ experience to better mirror what happens in the real world,” Ulness says. “They’ll be better employees and better graduate students, better equipped to solve problems in a non-structured setting.” One cutting-edge aspect is that labs will be designed for both research and teaching. Called “t-search” labs, these spaces will be used as teaching areas during the prime academic times and research areas during the evenings, weekends and summers. “It’s designed so that research can spill into the teaching areas,” Aho says. “The line between what is a class and what is research is becoming more blurred. This space accommodates that emerging pedagogy.”

Groundbreaking for the renovation is expected to take place in the summer of 2016. While the project will certainly benefit students who study the sciences and mathematics, its effects will be enjoyed across campus. For one, science students bring a perspective that adds interest and depth to non-science courses. “Science students have a passion for discovery as evidenced in the depth and breadth of the questions science students raise, their willingness to explore the familiar from new angles, and their thoroughness in constructing and testing proposals,” says Dr. Elna Solvang, professor of religion. Plus, as society moves deeper into the 21st century, interdisciplinary ways of thinking will play even bigger roles. Many of the major challenges of the time – hunger, climate change, pandemic diseases and energy, to name a few – require thinking that goes beyond one field. To influence the affairs of the world, students who major in the arts or humanities need a clear understanding of scientific principles. Likewise, science and mathematics majors need a broad understanding of other fields. “I like to think we’re not educating scientists to be the best scientists they can be, but to be the best scientists the world needs them to be,” says Dr. Julie Rutherford, associate professor of biology. “We can’t be teaching them science in a box.”

Today’s students experience science through hands-on learning and interaction with faculty mentors.

Illustration: EYP

Concordia Magazine


Reason to

Needle-Free Numbing to Change Face of Dentistry

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I had no idea starting out where this would go. I only pursued it because I thought it was cool and people would benefit from it.“ –Dr. Mark Kollar '78

Thanks to the innovative brilliance of Dr. Mark Kollar ’78, needle-fearing patients will soon no longer need to dread their dental appointments. Kollar has developed an alternative to the needle-based anesthesia commonly used in dental procedures today. Millions worldwide stand to benefit from his breakthrough if approved by the FDA. Kollar’s company describes its new needle-free technology as the “world’s first dental anesthetic administered through the nasal cavity.” It’s designed for procedures involving most of the upper teeth. Accordingly, Kollar’s team figures it has potential to replace up to 40 percent of the 250 million dental injections administered annually in the U.S. “It’s sprayed into the nose as a mist,” Kollar explains. “It has no taste, no smell, and it numbs up the teeth without numbing up the face.” The nasal mist comes as potentially exciting news to virtually every dental patient, especially the 24 percent that St. Renatus estimates are haunted by needle phobia. Kollar never imagined he would be involved in such a discovery. In 2006, Kollar co-founded a development company seeking the assemblage of scientific and legal talent, as well as investors. Identifying a drug formula for safe, effective nasal dissemination was among the early daunting challenges. After much research, Kollar was

If a nasal mist developed by Dr. Mark Kollar ‘78 (above) receives FDA approval, it could provide needle-free numbing to dental patients.

emboldened to go beyond the development company and create an operating company to fund and take over the development and pursuit of the commercialized drug formulation. In 2008, he co-founded St. Renatus – named for the patron saint of anesthesia. The company is located in Fort Collins, Colo. Kollar’s seven-member executive team at St. Renatus features a Cobber connection. Dr. Paul G. Sletten ’87 serves as the company’s director of Scientific and Clinical Affairs. Sletten has been intimately involved in coordinating projects that connect to the critical FDA Phase 3 clinical process. “Paul is an extremely bright person and a solid person who you just really want to work with,” Kollar says. “He’s been a huge asset in helping us get where we are today.” Kollar further credits Concordia for providing the educational foundation that helped propel his success. “My education at Concordia was very challenging,” he says, “so when I got to dental school I was well prepared. Even today I fall back on what I learned there and the friendships I made during those days. I feel good about what Concordia has helped me to do.” And what Kollar, Sletten and their colleagues at St. Renatus have accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. Critical FDA Phase 3

testing of their nasal mist technology was completed at the end of 2013. The preliminary results of sample studies nationwide on adult and pediatric patients were very encouraging. The St. Renatus team is now completing its final analysis of those results and plans to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA in early 2015 for review and hopefully final approval. Kollar’s team is beating extremely long odds. According to the health information website Medicine.Net, only five in 5,000 drugs that get to preclinical testing advance to human testing. And it typically takes 15 years for an experimental drug to reach consumers; St. Renatus is on the verge of reaching the market in about half that time. The entrepreneurial endeavor is generating ever-growing interest from investors and the value of the company is on the rise. To date, St. Renatus has attracted over $40 million in private funding. If the FDA approval is granted, Kollar anticipates that St. Renatus’ nasal mist technology will likely be available for use in the U.S. by the end of 2015. St. Renatus would then seek European approval. “I had no idea starting out where this would go,” Kollar says. “I only pursued it because I thought it was cool and people would benefit from it. I am blessed to be working with so many gifted and amazing people.” ■ Photos: St. Renatus

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Pilgrimage of Accompaniment By Danielle M. Hance

The Concordia Orchestra’s most recent international tour took students to the Holy Land, where they made music the work of respect, solidarity and peace. After stepping off the plane in cosmopolitan Tel-Aviv, members of The Concordia Orchestra went immediately to the West Bank. There, stark concrete buildings spotted the landscape. In many ways, it matched the disturbing images of the Middle East that Americans often see in the news. The pictures that followed, however, were a far cry from anything a major news channel might broadcast – much to the contrary. Connection amidst conflict, welcome in response to division, and peace despite threat dominated the landscape of the ensemble’s tour of the Holy Land. When conductor Foster Beyers was considering where The Concordia Orchestra might travel for its May 2014 tour, he wanted to introduce members to a new culture while also challenging them. He also wanted to build on global relationships already established by Concordia, as The Concordia Band did on its tour to China in 2012. The Holy Land checked key boxes. The region was historically rich. It had the infrastructure to hold concerts. It was starkly different from the past tours the orchestra had done in Western Europe. And it was deeply tied to Concordia. The college had recently sent its first students to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was exploring partnership with Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. Elly McHan, one of Concordia’s campus pastors, had spent two years as the assistant to Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. Bringing a musical ensemble to the region seemed possible but also fraught with risk and challenge. Still, Bishop Younan extended an enthusiastic invitation to an exploratory team, inviting the college to share orchestral music with the people of the Holy Land, what he called the “living stones.” When he also offered the church’s full support, the college boldly accepted and brought the first American orchestra to Israel and Palestine. The orchestra’s tour took performers to Bethlehem, I’billin, Ramallah and Jerusalem. It was a truly spiritual experience but not in the ways one might expect.

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Holy moments were found rehearsing side by side with Palestinian students and drinking tea with shopkeepers while hearing their stories. They played by the bedsides of cancer patients and interacted with dynamic people in living spaces rather than static statues in ancient places. “Visiting the Holy Sepulcher or the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem are not spiritual experiences. Rather than being contemplative places, it turns out they are pretty thoroughly touristic and chaotic. These stones were not the ones we were influenced by,” says Beyers. “It had a lot more to do with ‘living stones’ – the people and their struggles. They are able to lead a rich life despite their struggles.”

Building Relationships Time spent together is the most valuable gift that visitors and hosts can give to one another, says Younan. He’s seen plenty of tourists ride in air-conditioned buses to visit points on a historical map. Rarely do tourists stop to discover the people in whose land they are visiting. In his eyes, the orchestra’s time in the Holy Land wasn’t a trip or tour but a pilgrimage. “Pilgrims come to revive their faith in our Lord and Savior and also revive the faith of the people living in the country,” he says. “This visit was a pilgrimage of accompaniment. After all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.” Music was a means of acknowledging difficult truths and creating mutual understanding. “Music reflects the reality in you,” says Younan. “You find yourself in the music, and we find each other.” Orchestra members heard the melodies in their music differently as they began to comprehend the stories of the people. The “coming home” theme from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” took on new meaning as members of the orchestra played in a land where the concept of home is complicated and conflicted. In the small Arab town of I’billin, the students played at a school that was founded by Elias Chacour, a famous Palestinian Christian peace activist. The school was built to be a place of acceptance and understanding, where students of all religions and ethnicities could have the opportunity to study.

Small ensembles played at Augusta Victoria Hospital, where Palestinians can receive high-level hospital care.

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After the concert was over, the principal got up in front of the whole school and said to the orchestra, “Look at all these beautiful terrorists.” To look at all the children and see the label that they lived under broke the heart of violinist Kirsten Hoaby ’14. After interacting with the students, taking pictures and signing autographs, she understood the power that their music had. “We were on a musical peace mission,” she says. “Connecting with these kids gave me hope.” Another concert followed the death of two Palestinian boys who had been killed in protests near a checkpoint in Ramallah. Many of the conservatory students who were playing alongside the Concordia students knew at least one of the students killed. One of the violinists was a close friend. Beyers often tells his students that someone in the audience needs their music. He never felt this more strongly than at that concert. All of a sudden, the Concordia performers weren’t playing music because they wanted to, but because they needed to. “This was the most memorable moment,” says Beyers. “It was playing for and with these people who really needed our music.” For clarinetist Missy von Itter ‘14, music was a response to that loss. While she realizes that music cannot destroy violence itself, it does provide a channel for bringing people together and expressing the deep emotions that bring healing. “That night we dedicated the concert to them and spent the whole time invested, doing this thing together,” she says. “We were connected, and we were mourning together.” That night the orchestra was confronted with the realities of a region in conflict, but they also met the resilience of a people who still find hope. “We were in a place that we all had stereotypes about,” says Beyers, “but by the time we left almost all those stereotypes were gone.” Instead, they found a people in whose hands they were safe. “I was surprised by how quickly I loved the West Bank and Palestinian people,” says cellist Tessa Wakefield ’14.

“From day one, we were warmly welcomed, and it felt like we were among close friends.” McHan, who played viola with the orchestra on the tour, invited the students to “go, get lost” a few days into their journey. After dinner one evening, she suggested places the students could visit, but then instructed them to wander once they got to their destination. She encouraged them to ask for help, to talk to people and to trust that they would be helped. She assured them that they wouldn’t be in any danger, that they would be taken care of. Just then one of the wait staff, who had been listening from the corner, approached McHan and asked if he could say something. He took out his hands. “This is you,” he said, motioning with his left hand. “This is us,” he said, motioning with his right hand. “We come together, and we are stronger,” he said, as he laced his fingers together. “We carry each other. We will carry you and take care of you.” And this is what they witnessed: A mother sent her 6- and 7-year-old daughters to accompany a pair of students back to the main road. Other students had tea with a shopkeeper. Still others got rides back to their home base or had their taxi fare paid. “These beautiful stories came out of their willingness to ask for help and trusting the help that was given,” says McHan. “Sometimes it takes vulnerability to walk in accompaniment.”

Walking Together This concept of humbly trusting and helping one another is what McHan sees Concordia doing as its relationships in the Holy Land continue to grow; it is also the basis for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s global engagement. “We are called to walk with each other. We are called to deeply know, engage and learn from each other,” she says. “No relationship is one-sided.” Most of the places and people that the orchestra members visited were the result of partnership with the

Coming Home

Missy von Itter ’14 was excited to go to the Holy Land. She didn’t expect to find her new home. Von Itter studied music education at Concordia, graduating right before the orchestra’s tour. Throughout the tour, von Itter grappled with the injustice she saw around her and how much it affected everyday life: rehearsals delayed by checkpoints; Palestinians needing visas to get into certain Israeli regions; the stark concrete wall separating the people. For as long as she can remember, von Itter has considered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. one of her heroes. In the Holy Land, the issues that King fought for lost their romanticism

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and became very real to her. “I was shocked being in a place where there is constant oppression and frequent humiliation. I despaired because I suddenly felt very small,” she says. “What do I truly know of oppression? These people have experienced so much, and my problems suddenly shrunk away and all I could really think is, ‘What am I doing here?’” It turns out that her reason for being in the Holy Land went beyond the tour. The Concordia Orchestra rehearsed and played two concerts with the students at Edward Said

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. They played at Lutheran schools, where children had heard of Mozart and Beethoven but had never heard an orchestra or touched an instrument. Small ensembles played bedside and in the courtyard at Augusta Victoria Hospital, run by The Lutheran World Federation. It is the only place where Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank can go to receive kidney dialysis or cancer treatment. Wherever they went, the students came with dignity and respect for the people who quickly became their peers, allies and friends. Rehearsing and playing two concerts with the students from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music gave them a chance to create something together that belonged to neither group alone. “There they are as stand partners in orchestra,” Beyers says. “They have the same goal in that moment, to play the same tempo, shape the same phrases. They are exactly the same in that moment. What else could you think of that we could do and have that sort of equality immediately?” The relationships the orchestra built didn’t end when members stepped onto a plane headed westward. Von Itter took a job teaching clarinet at ESNCM. The offerings from campus worship services for September went to Augusta Victoria Hospital. Violinist Adam Domitz ’17, Lino Lakes, Minn., began taking Arabic with aspirations of studying abroad in the Middle East and working there after graduation. Orchestra students may soon return to Bethlehem and nearby towns to offer a music camp for students at Lutheran schools where they played. Beyers is even considering bringing the orchestra back to the region on its next tour. “We took time to listen and acknowledge their situations, and we will continue walking in accompaniment with them,” says Beyers. ■

Relationships built with church leaders in the Holy Land gave members of the orchestra an opportunity to tour inside the Dome of the Rock.

Photos: Tim Wollenzien

Danielle M. Hance ‘07 is a professional musician and writer living in Berlin.

National Conservatory of Music. The school’s clarinet teacher had just been promoted, and von Itter was encouraged to apply for the open position. Now her afternoons and evenings are spent riding public transportation between the school’s branches in Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem. She teaches private lessons and chamber music. Some of her students are fluent in English while others don’t know a word. The experience has taught her once again that music

builds bridges over a multitude of barriers. It is the empathy that music creates that connects her with her students, and it is this empathy that allows her students to respond to the hurt they’ve experienced. “I decided to come here because I wanted to play a serious role in giving students the opportunity to experience that empathy, help them discover a constructive way to deal with the hurt, and find the self respect and literal applause that comes from creating music,” she says. ■ Concordia Magazine



Beef in

By Laura Caroon

For Emily Royer ’14, Chanhassen, Minn., and Chris Haugdahl ’15, Henning, Minn., a class assignment took them far beyond Concordia’s campus. This past summer, the two Cobbers traveled to central Asia to market North Dakota-bred cattle to hotels and restaurants in Kazakhstan. Royer and Haugdahl had developed a marketing plan for the company KazBeef as an assignment for their global marketing course. They were invited by company executives to implement it. “This was as real world as it’s going to get,” says assistant professor of marketing Susan Geib, who taught the course. Geib asked her students to create marketing plans for international companies. Five students worked on a plan for KazBeef. KazBeef is a joint venture corporation seeking to reestablish Kazakhstan’s cattle industry by implementing U.S. standards and rebuilding its herds by importing American Black Angus and Hereford cattle from North Dakota. The climate and landscape of Kazakhstan are very similar to the Upper Midwest of the U.S., so the cattle shipped via 747 jet from Fargo, N.D., have acclimated well. Their numbers have increased to more than 8,000 since the first shipment in 2010.

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In addition, the cattle are healthy and food safety standards are being put into place. But KazBeef still faces one great challenge: educating consumers and convincing them to eat beef again. Concordia students built their plan to market KazBeef’s safely processed beef to Kazakhs. The group carefully studied Kazakhstan’s culture, history, religion, customs and foods. They also researched the American beef industry for ideas. Basic marketing practices such as labeling in the U.S. were scrutinized for how they could translate to KazBeef’s products. Their proposal included marketing methods such as tradeshow attendance, social media campaigns, appealing packaging, figurehead and celebrity chef endorsements, and overall brand awareness and education. The students initially presented their proposal via video call. KazBeef officials were so impressed they invited the students to travel to Kazakhstan to implement the plan in person. Of the five students, Royer and Haugdahl were able to make the trip. The students began their travels with a three-week course in language and culture education hosted by the American Councils’ Energy in Central Asia Program. In addition to having their own language professor, the students learned about the oil industry and

Kazakhstan how it affects the Asian economy. They attended class in the morning and they hit the ground running in the afternoon, becoming immersed in the Kazakh culture and learning about the local beef industry firsthand. The plan of implementation was up to the students and they knew they had to take the ball and run with it. “If we were going to wait for instructions we’d still be in our apartment,” Haugdahl says. “It really was our agenda.” After meeting with local chefs and meat managers, Royer and Haugdahl saw the marketing challenges with a new perspective. They found a desire for a consistent, high-quality beef supply and their plans adapted to those needs. They began to domestically target higher-end hotels and restaurants, chefs’ associations and planned to get recipes into the hands of celebrity chefs. Even though they couldn’t always understand the language, being from the United States was a benefit. “Being American gave us instant credibility,” Royer says. “America is known for beef, and the Midwest is very popular there.” Tours of ranches, feed lots, slaughterhouses and processing facilities were offered so consumers could see the conditions and safety practices in place. The students even hosted tasting parties, serving primarily rib-eye

steaks to demonstrate how delicious wellprepared, quality beef can taste. Beyond education, Royer and Haugdahl found relationship building to be instrumental in their success. In an effort to better understand Kazakh lifestyle beyond market research, the students spent time partaking in meals in Kazakh homes, attending local sporting events and learning folk games from local families. “It’s not just putting up ads. It’s studying what people want and why they want it,” Haugdahl says. After spending much of their summer in Kazakhstan, the pair came home with international business experience and a greater appreciation for other cultures. But their work in Kazakhstan is not over. The marketing plan they helped put in place is still in the early stages, and Royer and Haugdahl continue to be in communication and intend to keep involved in any way they can. “There is still much more that we hope to implement,” Haugdahl says. “We see trade shows as an option in the future, along with other events with hotels to tap into our specific high-end market and spread awareness about KazBeef.”

Emily Royer ‘14 and Chris Haugdahl ‘15 worked with KazBeef to market beef with Midwestern roots in Kazakhstan last summer.

Photo: Submitted

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Culturally Conversant Lowe’s Managers are Immersed in Spanish By Amy E. Kelly

The dining room at El Lago del Bosque, the Spanish Language Village, was lively with banter as food was passed around the tables. Conversation ranged from the ingredients in the Peruvian dish being served to what was happening with each person’s family. Comfortable topics, all spoken in Spanish. It was an amazing change from just a few days earlier when the group, all management staff from Lowe’s, the home improvement company, arrived at Concordia Language Villages for a Spanish immersion experience specifically designed for them. As people arrived at the site or were picked up from the airport, few words were said. Communication during the program was to be in Spanish and the new class was anxious. “The program was initiated by Lowe’s regional distribution center executives because they had some specific training needs,” says Martin Graefe, Concordia Language Villages’ senior director. Lowe’s quest to find the right kind of training for their managers started in Central America. The company, however, quickly discovered it needed something in

Spanish Language Village instructors give directions during an immersion course for Lowe’s managers.

the states and it couldn’t be just language classes. That’s when the organization approached Concordia Language Villages after researching various options. The Lowe’s request created a prime opportunity for the Language Villages to expand its offerings. “The rudiments of how you learn a language are the same no matter the age,” says Christine Schulze, vice president for Concordia Language Villages. “We are using our full pedagogy while incorporating techniques to address learning styles and motivators that correlate to the adult student.” The program started five years ago and now approximately 120 Lowe’s staff members participate in the immersion experience annually. Starting the program took a lot of planning. Lowe’s executives visited an established adult immersion program in Bemidji, Minn. Dr. Kirsten Addison, the year-round Spanish Language Village dean, along with another Spanish Language Village staff member, a native speaker, did on-site visits at two Lowe’s distribution centers, finding out what management needed to learn to create an even better work environment. “We spent hours on the distribution center floor and I took copious notes,” says Addison. “We spoke Spanish

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to the employees who also spoke Spanish and asked them their concerns and frustrations, as well as asking the English-speaking employees the same questions.” The pair gathered details on company culture, vocabulary, cultural norms and even nonverbal communication, such as gestures, that could cause misunderstandings. They then applied the information to the new program. Attendees answered a pre-class survey on Spanish proficiency. Staff members also assessed them once they arrived so they would be placed with other class members who would help each person succeed. Initially, with little chatter on the bus from the airport, some of the attendees thought it would be a very quiet week. John Gann, an assistant operations manager from Texas, noted that the initial experience of arriving built an amazing empathy in him. “Coming here and getting immersed as soon as you walk off the bus, you can almost put yourself in the shoes of the team members who don’t speak English when they walk through our door,” Gann says. “Many of our team members want to learn English as much as we want to learn Spanish. And for us to be able to communicate in at least bits and pieces is huge.” The learning happens in all kinds of formal and informal settings, small-group intensive language classes, role play, engaging in Spanish music, playing football (American soccer), language classes, culture presentations, cooking demonstrations and meals. Every activity is designed to teach participants vocabulary or cultural knowledge that would be useful during their workday, Addison says. For instance, participants played checkers one afternoon. In addition to being culturally authentic, the game also taught participants vocabulary for directions, language that proves useful when working in a large warehouse. The Texas regional distribution center where Robbie Tigert is an operations coach is more than a million square feet in size. Vocabulary learned in the immersion program is immediately useful, he says. “We’ve gone through a lot of scenarios in our classroom that relates directly to our workforce and related to our operations,” Tigert says. Tigert and Gann have participated in the program twice and may return to take the second level next year. The second program advances language and runs more situational simulations. One of the buildings is even

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Immersion instruction means everything is in the target language and participants experience what they are speaking about.

transformed to look like a portion of the distribution center so the employees can practice their new skills in a setting that mirrors their workplace. Tigert’s team, many of whom are native Spanish speakers, supported him when he attended his last session and he knows they are going to keep him active with his Spanish this time, too. “They didn’t even offer me an opportunity to back off, to not study some,” Tigert says. “As soon as I got back, I asked them to help me stay on my game, to ask me questions every day. And knowing that I went through the effort to come up here was also a big deal to them.” Jennifer Lopez, a human resources manager at Lowe’s flatbed distribution center in Centralia, Wash., says the entire immersion process has been a wonderful way to learn. She values the insight of all the staff, most of whom are native speakers from various parts of Central America and South America. And while the days were long, she enjoyed the challenge. And Village staff know that’s part of the draw. “The draw for Lowe’s, and hopefully other companies in the future, is that it’s intensive,” says Graefe. “It’s an ideal setup for accelerated learning because you are there 24/7. It’s a full day from when you get up to when you go to bed. In government language, it is iso-immersion.” And that’s a phrase Graefe has heard a lot as Concordia Language Villages has done similar programming with special forces and civil affairs units of the military. Isoimmersion sessions, or language training in isolation from the English language, have been one to three weeks long in Chinese, Arabic and French. Graefe says that while the military has one of the best language training programs in the country, they have used the Villages program as a culminating piece. During one program at the French Language Village, a civil affairs team used the culturally authentic Cameroonian hut for a simulation of the visits they would need to do in tribal communities. “The government has gained increased understanding that language and cultural competencies are critical skills and one of the most important tools contributing to the success of a soldier,” Graefe says. Schulze says there is room for others to apply this learning model. She says representatives of the college and the Villages have had conversations with agribusiness companies, as well as regional medical systems, about immersion learning for employees. With an eye toward

opportunity, the Russian Language Village was designed specifically with adults in mind, as much as for the youth participants. “We tie language learning to lifelong learning. The culturally authentic Village sites on Turtle River Lake constitute an international retreat center with a lot of capacity to accommodate adult learners during the academic year,” Schulze says. And as Lowe’s employees attest, just like summer youth villagers who build lifelong friendships with peers from around the country, an exciting offshoot of the program is getting to know people from other parts of the country and having a new support system in colleagues they probably would not have met otherwise. “When opportunities arise at our facility, we can reach out to a new workrelated network,” Gann says. ■ Photos: Juan Carlos Elizondo

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NEWS Flaat and Wije Awards Presented Three faculty members and an administrator were presented with awards during the fall faculty banquet. The Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Advisor Award was presented to Dr. Cindy LarsonCasselton; the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Dr. Leigh Wakefield; the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award was presented to Rebecca Amundsen; and the Reuel and Alma Wije Distinguished Professorship Award was presented to Dr. Ellen Aho. Larson-Casselton, associate professor of communication studies and theatre art, is known for finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable challenges and offering calming advice that brings confidence to students. She has been with the college since 1988. Wakefield, associate professor of music, has shared his many gifts and talents, and above all his passion for music and life with students and faculty since 1988. He is admired for his exemplary modeling of the ideals of Concordia’s mission. Amundsen, director of budgets and planning, understands how buildings and people work. Evidence can be viewed in the Grant Center for the Offutt School of Business and the emerging plans for a renovated science complex. Aho, professor of biology, has been a faculty member since 1990 and has served the college with an impressive record of teaching, research and service. She previously received the Flaat Distinguished Teaching Award. The Flaat awards were endowed by Ole and Lucy Flaat, lifelong farmers in the Red River Valley. The Reuel and Alma Wije Professorship recognizes superior classroom teaching and significant service to the college and the church.

Slomski Book Released English instructor Heather Slomski recently published her debut collection of short stories, “The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons.” The book received the 2014 Iowa Short Fiction Award and was published through the University of Iowa Press. The collection of 15 stories with tones of love, loss, tension and longing was released earlier this year. Slomski teaches writing and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Michigan University.

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Athletic Center Dedicated; Campaign Completed The completion of a new locker room facility capped off the six-year Update the Jake campaign to revamp Jake Christiansen Stadium. The college celebrated the completion of The Wayne and Beverly Thorson Athletic Center with a dedication prior to the Homecoming football game Oct. 11. Donors and game attendees marked the special occasion, which was punctuated by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the front entrance by lead donors Wayne and Beverly Thorson. In total, more than 400 Update the Jake donors contributed more than $5.6 million in support of this project. “There are a lot of things that came to fruition because of our alumni,” athletic director Rich Glas says. “And we’re very appreciative of that.” The project has seen the installation of new FieldTurf on the football field and baseball infields, paving of parking lots, additional green space in the plaza area between the football and baseball fields, the building of a new storage facility and, finally, the completion of the new, multi-sport locker room. The facility features a football locker room with more than 130 lockers, a major improvement from its predecessor, which had less than 80 lockers. The locker room also features an athletic training room, equipment room, recruiting lounge and Hall of Legends. Other sports will use the facility as well, including baseball, softball and women’s soccer.

Peace Scholars Study Environmental Issues Two Concordia students spent seven weeks abroad this summer studying peace and conflict at the University of Oslo. Anne Savereide ’15, North Oaks, Minn., and Maddie Hyde ’16, Fargo, N.D., were accepted into the Peace Scholars program, an outgrowth of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. The program gives students the opportunity to learn about conflict, war and peace at the University of Oslo International Summer School. Savereide and Hyde deepened their interests in environmental issues during their summer abroad. Savereide developed a passion for the global water crisis working at a nongovernmental organization in Bolivia, and in Norway she was able to explore this topic further. Hyde is co-president of the Student Environmental Alliance. She has served on the President’s Sustainability Council and participated in a student-run organic garden at Concordia. She is studying this semester in Bangalore, India.

NEWS Leymah Gbowee at Concordia Concordia’s Forum on Faith and Life brought Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee to campus for a lecture in November and held a screening of her award-winning documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” Gbowee, a member of the Lutheran church in Liberia, is a peace activist who brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that ended Liberia’s civil war in 2003, which was chronicled in her memoir, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” and in the documentary. Gbowee helped organize and then lead the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, confronting Liberia’s ruthless president and rebel warlords, and even held a sex strike. She emerged as an international leader who changed history, marking the vanguard of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

New Bike Borrow Program Begins Students at Concordia can check out more than books from Carl B. Ylvisaker Library, thanks to the new COBBikes bike share program. Members of the Concordia community can borrow one of 12 bikes for up to four hours by checking out a key and helmet from the circulation desk. Each bike is numbered and sports the COBBIKES wordmark in gold letters. Dr. Ken Foster, chair of the President’s Sustainability Council, worked with students to make the bike share a reality. Students, faculty and staff gathered for a launch event earlier this fall. Laura Probst, director of the library, shared her excitement about the program and is glad the library could partner on the project – which has really taken off. On some of the beautiful fall days all the bikes have been checked out at once.

Band and Choir Plan Spring Tours The Concordia Band will tour Tacoma, Graham, Mercer Island and Vancouver, Wash., (one location still TBD) in February 2015. For

Documentary Wins Awards


“The Hammer and the Axe,” a short documentary about a blacksmith and his apprentice, produced by Dr. Gregory Carlson, won best documentary short film at the South Dakota Film Festival. Carlson, associate professor of communication and film studies, created “The Hammer and the Axe” for the 2014 International Documentary Challenge. It placed third in the online audience awards of that competition. Two of Carlson’s production team members were Justin Kavlie ’09 and Preston Johnson ’11. They were students of Carlson’s and he has worked with them on other projects. The six-minute film illustrates the craftsmanship of blacksmith Doug Swenson and his apprentice, Tim Jorgensen, as well as their friendship. The International Documentary Challenge allows contestants five days to complete their projects. In February, Carlson and his team went to Hawley, Minn., to capture “The Hammer and the Axe.”

more details, check out ConcordiaCollege. edu/band. The Concordia Choir will begin its February 2015 tour with two concerts in Brainerd, Minn., before beginning its Southeastern United States tour. The choir will play at churches in Asheville, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Gainesville, Jacksonville Beach, Naples, Orlando, Pompano Beach and Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Nashville, Tenn. The choir will stop in Roseville, Minn., before the home concert March 8. Visit for more details.

Concordia Magazine


NEWS Collegetown Gives International Students Head Start Concordia’s campus bustled this summer with students from China, Brazil, Russia and other places around the globe. The students participated in Collegetown, a summer institute for accelerated English language learning developed by Concordia Language Villages and the college. Students took English courses, earning credit and learning about American culture through an immersion experience in July and August. Now some of those students attend Concordia College full time. Yuzhu Lu ’18, Tangshan, China, who already had plans to attend Concordia, came to the United States to participate in Collegetown after learning about it through Dr. Tao Ming, associate professor of Chinese. Lu says students in China learn English but don’t practice it in conversation. “(Now) we need to speak English all the time,” she says. The goal of the intensive summer session is to help international students succeed at an American college or university. “Our goal is really to give them a head start,” says Rosanna Willhite, interim dean of Concordia Language Villages. This is the first year Collegetown has offered two four-week sessions. The August session was designed specifically to help prepare those students staying in the country to attend school. The English department’s Dr. Vincent Reusch and Dr. Amy Watkin teach the courses. Both say they also learn from the students. “I hope I can teach them about America,” Reusch says, “but they teach me so much about their countries.” Collegetown also gives international students a chance to get acclimated outside the classroom by designating afternoons for activities and events. Some international students complete the four-week experience for college credit abroad while others have plans to attend Concordia or another college in the United States.

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Athletic Hall of Fame Inducts Five Concordia inducted five former athletes into the Athletic Hall of Fame during the annual Homecoming celebration. This year’s inductees included men’s basketball player Dale Moe ‘84, wrestling and football standout Brett Larson ‘88, football teammates Mike Gindorff ‘91 and Shayne Lindsay ‘91, and women’s cross country and track and field star Sharon Espeland ‘91. Moe is Concordia’s all-team leader in assists for a career (478). He was a member of the 1981-82 and 1982-83 MIAC Championship basketball teams. Moe earned NAIA All-District Team and MIAC All-Conference honors in the 1983-84 season. Larson was a three-time MIAC wrestling champion and was named the Most Valuable Wrestler at the MIAC Championship Meet. He went on to earn AllAmerican honors by placing fourth at the NCAA National Meet.

 Gindorff was a part of the 1988 and 1990 MIAC football championship teams. He was awarded the Mike Stam Award for the league’s Most Valuable Lineman in 1990 and went on to earn All-American honors the same year.

 Lindsay was also a part of the 1988 and 1990 MIAC football championship teams. He was named to the Division III All-American Team in his senior season in 1990. He also earned MIAC All-Conference honors in 1990 as the team’s nose guard.

 Espeland helped the Cobbers win their only MIAC Women’s Cross Country Championship in 1990. She participated in the NCAA national meet in 1988 and 1989. Espeland earned MIAC All-Conference honors three times in her career and was named to the NCAA All-Region Team in 1990.

Author of Summer Read Speaks on Campus Mindy McGinnis, author of “Not a Drop to Drink,” spoke on campus in November. McGinnis’ debut novel was the 2014 Summer Book Read assigned to incoming first-year students. “Not a Drop to Drink” and her follow-up novel, “In a Handful of Dust,” speak to the challenges of sustainability and resilience. The novels’ themes were discussed during Concordia’s symposium on sustainability in September. The President’s Seminar this academic year also is focusing on sustainability. McGinnis spoke about the writing process, character development and her “day job” as a young adult librarian. “Not a Drop” is a survival tale based in a dystopian world with a limited clean water supply. The book is a timely subject in today’s world of sustainability and climate concerns. Her follow-up novel, just published in September, is set 10 years after her first novel.

NEWS Alumni Achievement Award Recipients Honored at Homecoming Chosen by the National Alumni Board, the Alumni Achievement Award is given to alumni who have exemplified the ideals of Concordia College.

John Ahlquist ‘63, Walnut Creek, Calif., has been a certified health physicist for 41 years and a leader in applied and environmental health physics, environmental restoration, decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear facilities and sites, emergency response, and management. He began his career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1965 where he was involved in the testing of nuclear rocket reactors for deep space exploration. He was a nuclear safeguards inspector in Vienna, Austria, for the International Atomic Energy Agency, and was a director for environmental restoration and for environment, safety and health with the Department of Energy. He concluded his career in management oversight of three national laboratories operated by the University of California. He continues to work toward improvements in restoration of nuclear sites.

Sandra Cartie ‘82, Princeton, N.J., is senior vice president and chief audit executive of Bristol-Myers Squibb. She has been named by Treasury & Risk magazine as an outstanding woman leader in finance and is widely acknowledged for “being a change agent, successfully building focused teams, creating leaders, implementing rapid transitions and adding value to improve operations.” Cartie is a leader in the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts, and finds gratification in nurturing, motivating and developing others, while creating a culture of inclusion to maximize each team member’s potential. Cartie created a strategy that engages Bristol-Myers Squibb employees around the world in sustainability efforts by founding the company’s “Go Green” initiative to preserve the environment, which contributed to the company’s No. 1 ranking on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “Best Corporate Citizens” listing in 2012 to 2014.

Dr. Roger Leopold ‘62, Fargo, N.D., has been a research entomologist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service for more than 44 years. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading authority in the areas of insect reproduction and cryopreservation. His research vision and leadership has provided the foundation for the current appreciation of insect cryopreservation and dormancy technology, making it an area of critical importance to providing safe and stable insect control systems that aid global food production. Leopold is widely considered to be among the top 1 percent of his scientific peers worldwide. He has written more than 150 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, scientific proceedings, technical reports and abstracts. Further, he was the recipient of the Sir Frederick McMaster Fellowship for Distinguished Foreign Scientists, a one-year grant for research support and travel to Canberra, Australia, and Kluang, Malaysia, that was sponsored by the Australian Agricultural Department. Dr. Vernon Tolo ‘64, Pasadena, Calif., is chief emeritus of the Children’s Orthopaedic Center at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, where he was orthopaedic chief for 22 years, following 11 years as chief of pediatric orthopaedics at Johns Hopkins. He is the John C. Wilson Jr. Professor of Orthopaedics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. His primary clinical interests are spinal deformity, skeletal dysplasia, cerebral palsy, and pediatric trauma. He has mentored and been the role model for many younger orthopaedic surgeons. He has been president of the Scoliosis Research Society, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Concordia to Sponsor National Writer’s Conference The college will be the premier sponsor of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference and Bookfair. The event will be held April 8-11 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Approximately 13,000 writers, editors and publishers are expected to attend. The AWP conference travels to a different city every year to feature the distinctive writing of that region. The 2015 conference will feature some of the nation’s most prestigious small presses, as well as some of the most respected authors. The conference features academic panels and discussions, readings and celebrations, off-site events, and the famous AWP bookfair, where more than 800 literary magazines and publishers set up booths to promote their publications and authors. President William Craft will introduce the conference keynote speaker, Karen Russell. Russell’s novel “Swamplandia!” was chosen by The New York Times as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2011,” was long-listed for The Orange Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Phillips Scholar Implements New American Program Mackenzie Lindquist ’15, Minnetonka, Minn., created a program for new Americans in the Fargo-Moorhead area to assist them with learning English. She is one of six recipients of the Phillips Scholarship granted through the Minnesota Private College Council. The Phillips Scholarship helps students implement projects that benefit their communities. The $16,500 award is allotted over a two-year period during students’ junior and senior years. Through her program, “A New ERA: English for Refugee Adults,” Lindquist leads a group of adults in experiential learning to improve their English speaking and listening skills. Samantha Adank ’16, Fargo, N.D., was also selected as a Phillips Scholar. Her project will begin next summer. The Phillips Scholars Program is funded by the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota. Concordia Magazine



Everything is a

Kathy Benson ’64 carries this receipt from her grandfather as a reminder that everything she has is a gift to be shared.

As a student at Concordia, Kathy Benson ’64 borrowed $1,272 from her maternal grandfather to pay for tuition. He was a farmer who attended school through fourth grade, a man of the soil who lived simply. She promised to pay him back. So he wrote out an IOU, outlining the repayment agreement. When she graduated, Benson was still trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. But one thing was certain. She was committed to paying back her debt. At her graduation ceremony, Benson’s grandfather handed her a card. Inside was a receipt acknowledging that her debt had been paid in full. “Do it for someone else,” said her grandfather, who was a man of few words. It was his only requirement. “I was overwhelmed by grace,” she says. “It was difficult to be on the receiving end of that.” Once a recipient, since then she has done just what her grandfather suggested. Benson supports students and the

Endowed Scholarship Established in Memory of Anderson

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By Erin Hemme Froslie college with an annual gift and has included Concordia in her estate planning. Reasons for giving to the college come easy to Benson. She just needs to look at her collection of friends. As the administrator at the college’s health center for 44 years, she has cherished getting to know the college’s students and staff. A gift to the college was just one more way to honor the relationships she nurtured. But Benson hasn’t stopped there. She also was one of 64 volunteers who agreed to contact classmates celebrating a significant reunion. “The work these volunteers do makes a big difference to the college,” says Andy Luikens, assistant director for The Annual Fund. The goal for reunion class giving this year is $850,000. But more important than the gifts are the continued connections made between Cobbers. “Those calls get everybody back in the fold, back in the Cobber spirit,” Luikens says. Generosity was something modeled to Benson. Her parents were tithers, believing that much is required of those to whom much is given. They generously supported their church, college and community. Her mother also supported many World Vision Children and even put up Christmas stockings for the far-away children. Today there are several philosophies she adopts as she makes her philanthropic decisions. Benson considers giving her “duty and delight,” a phrase she borrows from the communion liturgy of her Lutheran church. She believes that one should not give until it hurts, only until it feels good. “And it does,” she says. “It’s been an abundantly blessed life. We all stand on somebody’s shoulders. Why not support someone else?” A constant reminder of that is the receipt from her grandfather that she carries with her everywhere. On it, it says “paid in full” with the date of her graduation. It’s a reminder of her belief that everything she has is a gift, a gift to be shared. “There is great joy in knowing my resources will continue to serve God and God’s people,” she says. Photo: Brianne Lee ’16

An endowed scholarship for philosophy has been established in memory of Dr. Albert Anderson ’51, who died Aug. 5 at the age of 86. He joined Concordia’s philosophy department in 1960. He also served as associate academic dean and became the first provost of the Tri-College University. In 1976, Anderson was appointed president of LenoirRhyne College in Hickory, N.C. After serving there, he held

various executive leadership positions at church-related liberal arts colleges. His published writing included works on Søren Kierkegaard, the ethics of philanthropy and fundraising, and higher education leadership. In 1998, he received Concordia’s Alumni Achievement Award. To give to the endowment, contact Gary Haugo at (218) 299-4195 or



Llewellyn “Lew” Linde, Hastings, Minn., presented a paper, “Karl Rolvaag, Minnesota Norwegian American Governor,” at the Norwegian American Historical Association’s Triennial Seminar at Fagernes, Norway.

Lisa (Medd) Carlson, Owatonna, Minn., is education director for Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Miriam Nicholson, New Bloomfield, Pa., celebrated 20 years of ordained ministry at Messiah Lutheran Church, Elliottsburg.




Nicholas Newton, Somerset, Wis., is president of Newton Surety Services LLC, Stillwater, Minn. Susan (Ness) Peterson, Shafer, Minn., is director of children and family ministry for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chisago City.

Audrey Hugelen, Minot, N.D., belongs to a handbell choir that has performed in several festivals; she sings and accompanies the quartet The 5 of Us, participating in the Parshall Centennial and Arts in the Park in Minot this past summer. Roger Hanson, Denver, organized a series of essays on technological applications for the law review Journal of Appellate Practice and Process in the fall 2014 issue, including a commentary by classmate Olaf Storaasli. David Lygre, Ellensburg, Wash., published a memoir, “Miles to Go: A Lifetime of Running and Bicycling Adventures.”


Larry Goetzinger, Plymouth, Minn., was named to the board of directors of Grant County Historical Society and Museum, Elbow Lake. Kirk Wilson, Alpharetta, Ga., founded KMBHealthcare, a consulting and interim management firm in Atlanta.

Michael Ruff, Los Angeles, is director of development for Fowler Museum at UCLA.



Alisa Hilde, Fargo, N.D., is office administrator for Ag Spray Equipment.


Linda (Hoag) Dorn, Webster, Minn., is stewardship specialist for Carleton College, Northfield. Paul James, Waukesha, Wis., is director of motorcycle product planning for Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Milwaukee.


Jeff Bradt, Maplewood, Minn., is president and CEO of Woodland Hills, Duluth.

Shane Burton, Andover, Minn., published a book of Christian devotions, “Untamed Devotions: Stories of a Wild God” (HenschelHAUS Publishing). Shauna Hannan, Columbia, S.C., is associate professor of homiletics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif. Sarah Hinz, Phoenix, was promoted to manager of regulatory affairs for Henkel Consumer Goods Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz. Elliot Konschak, Andover, Minn., is president of OneBeacon Crop Insurance, Minnetonka. Daniel Leingang, Mandan, N.D., is dean of academic affairs for Bismarck State College.




Carol (Borge) Reitz, Portland, Ore., earned a Master of Nursing Education degree from Oregon Health Sciences U; she is a clinical instructor for Concordia U, Portland.


Mark Askerooth, Luverne, N.D., is regional supervisor for hail claims for ADM Crop Risk Services.


Regina McCombs, Shoreview, Minn., is senior editor for visual news for Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul. Mark Sivertson, Sioux Falls, S.D., was reappointed, for a three-year term, by South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard to the Governor’s Task Force on Trust Administration Review and Reform under Executive Order.


John Kroonblawd, St. Joseph, Mich., is project director for connectivity at Whirlpool Corp., Benton Harbor.


David Jasperson, Rochester, Minn., is assistant professor of healthcare systems engineering at the Mayo College of Medicine. Evelyn (Panula) Weston, Babbitt, Minn., is pastor for Evangelical Lutheran Church, Babbitt, and Hope Lutheran Church, Embarrass. Jim Westwood, Blacksburg, Va., published an article in Science magazine on his discovery of a potentially new form of plant communication; he is professor of plant pathology, physiology and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State U.

Amy Braford Whittey, Minneapolis, is national business developer for the arts for HGA Architects and Engineers.


Christopher Byars, Fort Wayne, Ind., is pastor for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lake Township. Amanda (Hams) Crisalli, Scottsdale, Ariz., was a guest star on “Candid Camera,” which aired on TV Land in August. Matthew Garlinghouse, Burlington, Mass., is a neuropsychologist for McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Belmont. Kristin Olson Moerike, Lenexa, Kan., earned an education specialist degree in school psychology from Emporia State U; she is a school psychologist for Blue Valley School District, Overland Park.


David Jacobson, Laguna Niguel, Calif., is the chief pilot for KMR Aviation, Ontario, Calif.; he also served as editor and publisher of the best-selling nonfiction book “For Underdogs Only” by Kim G. Robinson. Cynthia (Hoselton) Thormodson, Moorhead, is vice president of operational finance for Catholic Health Initiatives, Fargo, N.D.

Pack Your Bags and Join Us Our programs provide travel opportunities for alumni and the entire Concordia family. For more details on these upcoming trips, visit NORTHERN ITALY June 1-10, 2015 Experience breathtaking alpine scenery on a bicycle tour with President William and Anne Craft. NORWAY June 19-29, 2015 See gorgeous fjords and ride the Flam train with Dr. Lisa SethreHofstad, associate dean of the college. POLAND AND GERMANY July 12-24, 2015 Follow the events leading to the Reformation and visit Wittenburg, Berlin, Auschwitz and Krakow with Dr. Roy Hammerling, professor of religion. NEW ZEALAND Feb. 1-14, 2016 Absorb the astonishing beauty of one of the last lands to be settled by humans with Dr. Jim Aageson, professor emeritus of religion.


Kirsten (Rasmussen) Grunnet, Faribault, Minn., completed Partners in Policymaking leadership and advocacy training, a nationally recognized program funded by a federal grant to the Minnesota Governor’s Council. Shana Heinricy, Orlando, Fla., is director of marketing and communications for Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park. Sarah Moe, Alpena, Mich., earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Gainey School of Business, Spring Arbor U. Jon Ruzek, St. Paul, Minn., is senior director of alumni networks for the U of Minnesota Alumni Association.


Rachel Hall, Whitefish, Mont., is a first-grade teacher for Berlin Metropolitan School, IB/International School, Berlin. Travis Sieber, Sioux Falls, S.D., is a school counselor at Sioux Falls Washington High School. Laura

(Kjelland) Thorvilson, Euclid, Minn., earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from the U of St. Thomas, Minneapolis.


Erin (Anderson) Klein, Jamestown, N.D., is assistant to the president at the U of Jamestown. Anna (Bullwinkle) Malloy, Royerford, Pa., is a pediatric registered nurse for Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Jason Okrzynksi, Glenview, Ill., earned a doctorate in Christian education and congregational studies from GarrettEvangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston. Maren (Matthews) Okrzynski, Glenview, Ill., is a paralegal for United Stationers Supply Co., Deerfield. Nancy Schauer, Backus, Minn., earned a Master of Social Work degree from St. Cloud State U; she is a mental health professional for Northern Pines Mental Health Center. Concordia Magazine


CLASS NOTES she is a clinical psychologist for Minnesota Epilepsy Group, St. Paul, Minn.


Connections at Stonehenge On the final day of their Theatre May Seminar in Europe, Concordia students visited Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. Jen (Kuchenbecker) Thomas ‘96, former assistant professor of theatre, asked a gentleman passing by if he would mind taking a photo of the group. He obliged and mentioned that he and his brother were Cobbers, too. They were traveling with their father, who snapped a photo of the entire Concordia group. Marcus Redlin ‘91 (left) and Nate Redlin ‘83 (far right) were re-creating the 25th anniversary of a May Seminar they had taken when they were students at Concordia.


Rebecca (Goebel) Lahr, Brooklyn Park, Minn., was promoted to director of operations with haircare manufacturer DevaCurl. Jonathan Swoyer, Pacific Grove, Calif., was promoted to major in the U.S. Army; he graduated with honors from the Defense Language Institute Hindi basic course and is in training to be a South Asia-based foreign area officer. Darin Velin, Bothell, Wash., was promoted to senior global publishing manager for Microsoft. Courtney Zinter, Washington, D.C., is an associate attorney for Davis & Harman LLP.


Elizabeth (Maiers) Cheney, Hutchinson, Minn., received a CFRE credential from Certified Fund Raising Executive International, Alexandria, Va. Annie Jacobsen, Minneapolis, earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the U of Minnesota Medical School. Mikal Kenfield, Moorhead, was promoted to senior associate director of campus life for residential programs at Concordia. Lauren May, Culver City, Calif., is senior integrated producer for Deutsch Advertising, Los Angeles. Amanda (Storm) Schuster, Woodbury, Minn., is vice president of individual giving for Junior Achievement Upper Midwest, Maplewood.


Kent Hansen, Aberdeen, S.D., earned a master’s degree in education from Northern State U.


Rachaelle (Larsen) Grimsrud, Boise, Idaho, earned a Master of Educational Technology degree and a certificate in school technology coordination from Boise State U. Nate Larson, Alexandria, Minn., was offered

32 Concordia Magazine

additional partnership in Edward Jones, where he works as a financial advisor. Michael Link, St. Paul, Minn., is an associate attorney for Murnane Brandt. Alison (Perleberg) Peterson, Oakes, N.D., is an administrator for Sargent County District Health Unit, Forman.


Marie (Flagstad) Brewers, Burnsville, Minn., is a vocal and classroom music instructor for Farmington Public School District. Kristle (Moen) Chase, Grove City, Minn., is a clinical social worker for Woodland Centers, Willmar. Kelly Haagenson, Plymouth, Minn., is a medical affairs consultant for Medtronic, Minneapolis. Sarah Hoffbeck, Fergus Falls, Minn., is a content marketing specialist for North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton. Sera Kinoglu, North Oaks, Minn., earned a Master of Arts degree in applied anthropology from Oregon State U, Covallis. Bryan Oelkers, Hayfield, Minn., earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree with an emphasis in nursing informatics from Walden U. Josh Pederson, Tuscaloosa, Ala., earned a doctorate in communication studies from the U of Iowa, Iowa City; he is an assistant professor in communication studies at the U of Alabama. Abby (Van Asten) Rogers, Springfield, Mo., is a registered medical assistant for Cox Health. Miranda (Petersen) Schunk, Windom, Minn., is licensed by the MN Board of Behavioral Therapy-Specialties as a licensed professional clinical counselor in play therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy; she works for Southwestern Mental Health Center.


Katie Kaszynski, Minneapolis, earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago;

Rebecca (Grotluschen) Aamodt, Harrisburg, S.D., is event manager for SMG Sioux Falls. Andrew Clemenson, Belleville, Ill., is a percussionist with the Band of Mid-America at Scott Air Force Base, St. Louis. Emily (Meyer) Clemenson, Belleville, Ill., is a web marketing coordinator for St. Louis U. Ashley (Van Voast) Geis, Billings, Mont., earned a doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton U, Omaha, Neb.; she is an occupational therapist for Billings Clinic. Alyssa Keith, Hermosa, S.D., earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State U College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, Iowa; she is an associate veterinarian for Animal Clinic of Rapid City. Brandon Rogeness, Minneapolis, is manager of operations food and beverage for Marriott International, Minnetonka, Minn. Taylor Sannes, Crookston, Minn., is an ag lender for Bremer Bank.


Rachel Boyer, Austin, Texas, is regional press secretary and African American media coordinator for the Texas Democratic Party.


Jessica Ballou, West Fargo, N.D., is communications coordinatorelectronic media for the North Dakota State U Development Foundation, Fargo. Ryan Fellman, Las Cruces, N.M., is director of choirs for Las Cruces Public Schools. Noelle (Hiedeman) Green, Wahpeton, N.D., is a fifth-grade teacher for Wahpeton Public Schools. Meagan LeMay, Woodbury, Minn., illustrated a children’s book, “Emma’s First Agate,” (Adventure Publications) by Jim Magnuson; she also taught English in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan.


Andrea Keene, Billings, Mont., earned a Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry degree in youth, culture and mission from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa.


Christie Gleason, Moorhead, is a community outreach coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley, Fargo, N.D. Kirsten (Rieke) Herman, Moorhead, is a listing and transaction coordinator for Hatch Realty, Fargo, N.D.

Honors 1941

Norman Lorentzsen, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., was honored with the Going Viking award, which recognizes accomplishments of Norwegian-American leaders, by the Norway House Midtsommer Celebration.


Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, Mendota Heights, Minn., was named a

Notable Scholar by the U of British Columbia, Vancouver; she is a professor at the U of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.


Paul Selden, Portage, Mich., was awarded the League of Michigan Bicyclists 2014 Bicycle Advocate Award, recognizing him as its volunteer of the year for his work in helping make the greater Kalamazoo community more bicycle friendly.


Randall Molmen, Berea, Ohio, received the Exemplary Teacher Award from Baldwin Wallace U; he is a professor of computer science.


Dean Aamodt, Pelican Rapids, Minn., a music teacher for Wahpeton Public Schools, has been named North Dakota’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.


Paul Rykken, Black River Falls, Wis., was named Wisconsin History Teacher of the Year (Secondary) by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, New York.


Thomas Lehmann, Lake Elmo, Minn., received the 2014 Judge Robert Varco 10th Judicial District Pro Bono Award; he is an attorney with Eckberg Lammers Law Firm, Stillwater.


Sarah (Mann) Loomis was named the DoDEA Teacher of the Year by the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity, Alexandria, Va.


Joshua Alexander, Eagan, Minn., was honored as Minnesota Administrator of the Year by the Minnesota Associate of Secretaries to the Principals; he is principal at McGuire Middle School, Lakeville.


Heather Faulkner, Eden Prairie, Minn., was selected to participate in the Policy Fellows program at the U of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs; she is senior director of external relations for Carlson, a travel and hospitality company.


Brenda (Utsch) Anderson, Waseca, Minn., was one of six Minnesotans honored with the Virginia McKnight Binger Award in Human Services by the McKnight Foundation; she works for Anu Family Services as an intensive permanence specialist, helping children in foster care find permanent homes. Liesle Bell-Fleming, Shakopee, Minn., received the Ambassador Award from Concordia Language Villages for 10 years of professional service and dedication to the Concordia Language Village Weekend Programs. Kari Williamson, Baxter, Minn., received a 2014 YWCA Women of Distinction award for contributions to her faith community.


Christy (Bendix) Brinkman, Detroit Lakes, Minn., received the Kal Michels Outstanding Leadership award from Aging

CLASS NOTES Services of Minnesota for enhancement of work environment and quality of life for residents.


Homecoming 2014 Thanks for joining us at Homecoming this year. Next year’s celebration will be Oct. 2-4, 2015. See you there.

Carrie Dobmeier, Alexandria, Minn., was selected to participate in the Policy Fellows program at the U of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs; she is a senior social compliance analyst for Target Corp. Elizabeth Swanson, Minneapolis, is winner of the David G. Nathan award in Basic Research by the Society of Pediatric Research; she is a fellow in the department of pediatrics at the U of Minnesota; her research focused on cytomegalovirus (CMV), the most common infectious disease causing birth defects and disabilities in the U.S.

25-Year Reunion Class 50-Year Reunion Class


Marie (Reigstad) Ellis, Minneapolis, was selected to participate in the Policy Fellows program at the U of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs; she is a public policy manager for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Sarah Hoffbeck, Fergus Falls, Minn., won first place in the marketing and writing for the web campaigns of the North Dakota Professional Communicators 2014 Communications Contest; she and her colleagues won the 2013 Silver ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation – North Dakota; she is a content marketing specialist for North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton.


Ariel Aakhus, Baxter, Minn., was crowned Ms. Brainerd United States 2014 during the Miss Brainerd United States Pageant.


Laura Brutscher, Bozeman, Mont., was honored with a Project ApisM-Costco Predoctoral Fellowship for graduate research in honey bee health by Project ApisM; she is a graduate researcher at Montana State U.

Marriages 1991

Kristi Oathoudt to Robert Brownson in April; they live in Hudson, Wis.


Shana Hannan to Jennifer Sanders in March 2013; they live in Columbia, S.C.


Audra Lind to Susan Benjamin in August; they live in Brainerd, Minn.


Evan Kuhn to Elizabeth Trigg in August 2013; they live in St. Paul, Minn. Courtney Zinter to Frank Fader in February; they live in Washington, D.C.


Amber Vandenberghe to Rory Beyer in March; they live in St. Charles, Minn.



Mason Herman to Kirsten Rieke in August; they live in Moorhead.

A boy, Truett, to Sarah and Paul Melvey in March.


Marie Flagstad to Josh Brewers in July; they live in Burnsville, Minn. Abby Van Asten to Josh Rogers in May; they live in Springfield, Mo.



A girl, Nina, was adopted by Terry and Barbara (Stemson) Farland, Minneapolis, in December 2013; Nina was born in September 2013.

Sally Helgeson to David Sterk in July; they live in Marshall, Minn. Mary Otis to Tyler Roehl in June; they live in West Fargo, N.D. Jennifer Young to Ben Bremer in September; they live in Brooklyn Park, Minn.


Katherine Reilly to Samer Taweel in May; they live in Amman, Jordan.



Sara Kreger to Sean LaFleur in January; they live in Brooklyn, N.Y. Shauna McGillivray to Mark Demarest in August; they live in Fort Worth, Texas.

Alyssa Black to Ben Jacobson in June; they live in St. Paul, Minn. Jennifer Harvey to Lee Greuel in May; they live in Minot, N.D. Samantha Swanberg to Harrison Aakre in July; they live in Montevideo, Minn.

Jill Carlson to Joshua Fuller in September; they live in Richfield, Minn. Nathan Holst to Sarah Wurst in August; they live in Duluth, Minn. Alison Perleberg to Nolen Peterson in July; they live in Oakes, N.D. Samantha Wede to Derek Deren in April; they live in Chaska, Minn.

Margot Brenna to Mike Peterson in August; they live in Moorhead. James Flaa III to Tiffany Wong ’09 in August; they live in Plymouth, Minn.



Steven Deline to Cacey Betzler in October 2013; they live in Coon Rapids, Minn. Rachel Mathiowetz to Nick Wagner in June; they live in Portland, Ore.

Births 1987

A boy, Gideon, was adopted by Scott Lewis and Carmen Bensink, Salem, Ore., in October; Gideon was born in July.



A boy, Jacob, to Darren and Stacey (Peyerl) Hoffman, Maple Grove, Minn., in April. A boy, Jacob, to Dion and Amy (McGregor) Schleske, Pelican Rapids, Minn., in August 2013. A girl, Beckett, to Michele Willman and Jeffrey Franck, Grand Forks, N.D., in January.


A boy, Leo, to Bill and Sarah (Meyer) Conlin, Shoreview, Minn., in November 2013. A boy, Thor, to Karl and Kristina (Clark) Gaalaas, Grand Rapids,

Minn., in January. A boy, Nathaniel, to John and Suzanne (Berge) Harrenga, Ames, Iowa, in October 2013.


A boy, Harrison, to Dawn and Christopher Byars, Fort Wayne, Ind., in October 2013. A girl, Annika, to Erin Conroy and Paul Boettcher, Bottineau, N.D., in March.


A boy, Harrison, to Jay and Jolene (Byer) Phillips, Shawnee, Kan., in June. A girl, Linnaea, was adopted by Rebecca Tkachuk and Jonathan Swoyer ’02, Pacific Grove, Calif., in February.


A boy, Bode, to Sarah Moe, Alpena, Mich., in December 2013. A boy, Gage, to Scott and Jaynie (Rude) Syverson, Otsego, Minn., in August.


A boy, Alexander, to Amy Aamodt-Allenbrand and Jason Allenbrand, Oregon City, Ore., in October 2013. Twin boys, Ezra and Elijah, to David and Michelle (Beare) Bradley, St. Cloud, Minn., in February. A boy, Mason, to Nick and Karin (McKenzie) Brinkhoff, Maple Grove, Minn., in May. A boy, Callum, to Molly and Kevin Heinz, Plymouth, Minn., in June 2013. A boy, Thomas, to Anne Keating and Alan Fowler, West Fargo, N.D., in February. A boy, Liam, to Gregory and Emily (Tessmer) Kleist, Buffalo, Minn., in November 2013. A boy, Louis, to Michael and Paula (Bergem) LeClair, Maple Grove, Minn., in July. A girl, Aubrey, to Doug and Michelle (Bilderback) Nilles, St. Paul, Minn., in February. Concordia Magazine


CLASS NOTES Walters, Grand Forks, N.D., in May. A boy, Sawyer, to Now and Megan (Roth) Winter, Thousand Oaks, Calif., in December 2013.


Baby’s First Corn Feed Theodore “Teddy” Wallenkamp, son of Andrew and Anna (Johnson) ‘07 Wallenkamp, was born July 30, 2014. Just a couple of weeks later he attended the Denver Corn Feed to prep for his first corn feed as a Cobber alum in the Class of 2036.


Twins, a girl, Madeline, and a boy, August, to Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann and Paul Erdmann, Minneapolis, in February. A girl, Morgan, to Clay and Jodi (Ginsburg) Edstrom, Chanhassen, Minn., in December 2013. A boy, Alfredo, to Kirsten Hagen-Arce and Alfredo Arce Jr., Moorhead, in January. A girl, Norah, to Marie Hecker and Nick Kothe, Apple Valley, Minn., in June. A girl, Natalie, to Brendan and Sara (Bremer) Henry, Apple Valley, Minn., in January. A girl, Kendall, to Ryan and Sara (Kragerud) Koepp, Eden Prairie, Minn., in February. A girl, Maija, to Chris and Jennifer (Johnson) Popp, New Brighton, Minn., in November 2013. A girl, Sarah, to Christina and Travis Sieber, Sioux Falls, S.D., in April. A boy, Braydon, to David and Melissa (Severson) Toov, Silver Lake, Minn., in June.


Twin girls, Sarah and Isabelle, to Andrew and Catherine (Dicken) Burelle, Coon Rapids, Minn., in March. A boy, Hayden, to Mark and Dijon (Duncan) Davis, Champaign, Ill., in April. A girl, Claire, to Jay and Tricia (Ward) Denny, Moorhead, in October 2013. A boy, Jakob, to Brian and Beth (Boser) Kary, St. Paul, Minn., in May. Twin boys, Asher and Easton, to Carlye and Brandon Landin, Woodbury, Minn., in January. A girl, Caitlin, to Brian and Anna (Bullwinkle) Malloy, Royersford, Pa., in December 2013. A girl, Isabella, to Celeste Morse and Marc De-Serres, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, in August. A boy, Max, to Mark and Rachel (Kiewel) Szybnski, St. Peter, Minn., in April. Twins, a boy, Jack, and a girl, Ruby, to Seth and Anna (Holle) Thompson, Bismarck, N.D., in July. A girl, Halle, to Darin and Beth (Dahlstrom)

34 Concordia Magazine

A boy, Braylon, to Lane and Chaitra (Raile) Bader, Lehr, N.D., in July. A girl, Katelynn, to Alissa (Udstuen) and Paul Brambilla, Kirkland, Wash., in December 2013. A girl, Sibyl, to Rebecca (Green) ’03 and Jason DuBord, Littleton, Colo., in May. A girl, Ella, to Michael and Jill (Jensen) Hacanson, West Fargo, N.D., in August. A boy, James, to Megan Healy and Christopher Lindseth ’96, Fargo, N.D., in July. A boy, Nolan, to Stasha and Tricia (Olson) Ler, Edina, Minn., in April. Twin boys, Benjamin and Charles, to Debra and Nathan Saetveit, Omaha, Neb., in March. A boy, Connor, to Matthew and Amanda (Hastad) Thompson, Willmar, Minn., in April.


A girl, Abigail, to Christopher ’02 and Kimberly (Nelson) Davison, Minnetonka, Minn., in February. A boy, Theo, to Sara Dreke Eyre and Thomas Eyre Jr., St. Paul, Minn., in July. A boy, Anders, to Matthew ’02 and Anne (Brandstetter) Hendrickson, Lake Elmo, Minn., in March. A boy, Julian, to Mikal Kenfield and Josh Malnourie, Moorhead, in August. A boy, Owen, to Emily (Malm) and Nathan Marcusen, Plymouth, Minn., in June. A girl, Ashlyen, to David and Elise (Olson) McCann, Surfside Beach, S.C., in November 2013. A girl, Cadence, to Miriam (Sagissor) and David Mueller, Isle, Minn., in June. A boy, John, to Rivka and Justin Pesta, Boulder, Colo., in January 2013. A boy, Ayrton, to Jonathan and Ashley (Sternhagen) Riches, Porthcawl, U.K., in April. A girl, Kylee, to Michelle and Timothy Schroeder, Grayslake, Ill., in April. A boy, James, to Brooke (Hoffmann) and Josh Vickerman, in August. A girl, Kinsley, to Erik and Melissa (Zimmerman) Whittemore, Donnelly, Minn., in March.


A boy, Jack, to Kevin and Marie (Reigstad) Ellis, Minneapolis, in May. A boy, Reid, to Jason and Elizabeth (Bishoff) Enger, Lisbon, N.D., in February. A boy, Drew, to Jessica (Walden) ’05 and Micah Heckman, Savage, Minn., in November 2013. A girl, Grace, to Mike and Amanda (Weber) Mackereth, Maplewood, Minn., in February. A girl, Claire, to LeAnn (Pederson) and Kent McClanahan, Farmington, Minn., in May. A girl, Ella, to Stefan and Sarah (Hughey) Meissner, Jena, Germany, in June. A boy, Jackson, to Dave and Daria (Odegaard) Mulske, Fargo, N.D., in August.


A boy, Elliott, to Jenna and Kent Hansen, Aberdeen, S.D., in November 2013. A boy, Matthew, to Shane and Kayla (Wald) Howard, Rochester, Minn., in February. A girl, Makenzie, to Cory and LeAnn (Bergquist) Marudas, Hampton, Va., in July. A boy, Thomas, to Julie (Miller) and Nicholas Myran, Albertville, Minn., in May. A boy, Owen, to Angie (Perske) ’06 and Brady

Nelson, Moorhead, in February. A boy, Joseph, to Taylor and Emily (Pesta) Pickar, Golden Valley, Minn., in January. A girl, Reese, to Matt and Angie (Olsen) Schumacher, Plymouth, Minn., in April.


A girl, Ryleigh, to Isaak ’07 and Jenna (Anderson) Brott, Blaine, Minn., in March. A girl, Sydney, to Carter and Stephanie (Tinjum) Fong, Dickinson, N.D., in December 2013. A girl, Julie, to Leah and Matt Inman, Faribault, Minn., in July. A girl, Claire, to Kaarin (Anderson) and Greg Mantz, Circle Pines, Minn., in January. A boy, Matthew, to Michael ’04 and Tamara (Suhsen) Merkouris, Blaine, Minn., in May. A boy, Jens, to Bjorn and Chasity Odden Heide, Fargo, N.D., in March. A girl, Celia, to Angela Pfeiffer Bedard and Louis Bedard, St. Cloud, Minn., in October 2013. A boy, Bennett, to Cole and Briann (Koterba) Sandholm, Moorhead, in August. A boy, Carl, to Martin and Julie (Tickle) Schwartz, Northfield, Minn., in January. A boy, Zachary, to Carla (Larsen) and Joseph Turner, Buffalo, Minn., in March.


A boy, Luke, to Jonathan and Meghan (Arveson) Anderson, Coon Rapids, Minn., in June. A boy, Wesley, to Krista and Dan Bye, Bloomington, Minn., in March. A girl, Shelby, to Matt and Kristle (Moen) Chase, Grove City, Minn., in February. A boy, Cole, to Cody and Amanda (Suby) Nelson, Moorhead, in November 2013. A girl, Maya, to Jennifer (Stanton) and Bryan Oelkers, Hayfield, Minn., in February. A boy, Theodore, to Andrew and Anna (Johnson) Wallenkamp, Denver, in July.


A girl, Sadie, to Lisa (Dahlen) and Russ Steffens, Fargo, N.D., in August. A boy, Levi, to Heidi (Tysver) and Dustin Weege, Becker, Minn., in July.


A boy, Maximus, to Cortez Galmore and Julie Fudge, Fargo, N.D., in March. A boy, Ethan, to Dan and Kari (Hanson) Hormann, Rogers, Minn., in September. A girl, Harper, to David and Kierstin (Myrdal) Hurtt, Hoople, N.D., in August. A boy, Landon, to Dave and Sara (Gertsema) Johnson, Duluth, Minn., in January. A girl, Lennon, to Kendra (Vipond) ’11 and Erik Weiss, Moorhead, in February. A girl, Violet, to Gavin and Chelsey (Thiel) Young, Wheaton, Minn., in April.


A boy, Brett, to Amber and Taylor Sannes, Crookston, Minn., in May. A boy, Emmett, to Megan (Fixsen) and Chris Strand, Fargo, N.D., in May.


A girl, Molly, to Jim and Noelle (Hiedeman) Green, Wahpeton, N.D., in August. A boy, Kieran, to Emily (Wyman) and Jake Stunek, Eden Prairie, Minn., in May.


A boy, Lane, to Ryan ’10 and Ingrid (Jasper) Wielenberg, Redwood Falls, Minn., in June.


A boy, Anders, to Tanner ’12 and Kayla (Johnson) Sakrismo, Moorhead, in February.

Memorials 1932

Mildred “Micky” (Knudsvig) Wermager, 103, Willmar, Minn., in April.


Florence (Larson) Sponberg, 97, North Mankato, Minn., in September.


Ed Anderson, 97, Fort Collins, Colo., in July; he is survived by his wife, Carol. Eunice “Jeanne” (LeClaire) Aune, 98, Brainerd, Minn., in April. Solveig (Aanestad) Thorstenson, 100, St. Paul, Minn., in October. Clarice (Smestad) Wallin, 98, Bozeman, Mont., in July.


Orville Onstad, 95, Ada, Minn., in May. N. Marion (Moen) Snortum, 96, Canby, Minn., in August; she is survived by her husband, Wendell. Mirth (Lutnes) Stedje, 95, Kalispell, Mont., in July.


Rose (Sanderson) Brien, 95, Bismarck, N.D., in May. Kathryn (Anderson) Eastman, 93, Willits, Calif., in January. Dorothy (Kjorlie) Lee, 93, Edina, Minn., in June. Elsie Wolf, 94, Minneapolis, in August.


Lorraine (Peterson) Halverson, 93, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in May.


Loren Spaulding, 95, Arden Hills, Minn., in August.


Leland “Curt” Lindberg, 91, Bloomington, Minn., in August.


Murrae Freng, 89, Plymouth, Minn., in May; he is survived by his wife, Helen. Dorothy (Swendseid) LeRoy, 90, Carson, Wash., in September 2013.


Marie (Wensel) Johnson, 89, Conneautville, Pa., in October.


Roger Sanders, 87, Bismarck, N.D., in June; he is survived by his wife, Eunice.


Richard Glommen, 90, Marshalltown, Iowa, in August. Rebecca (Sandven) Hansen, 87, Brainerd, Minn., in May; she is survived by her husband, Bill. Phyllis (Larson) Onsgard, 85, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in July.


Sylvia (Kjos) Anderson, 86, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in May; she is survived by her husband, Robert. Kathryn (Lee) Elton, 86, Pelican Rapids, Minn., in May; she

CLASS NOTES is survived by her husband, Arland. Walter Larsen, 85, Orinda, Calif., in April. Almore “Matt” Mathsen, 85, Spring Grove, Minn., in February; he is survived by his wife, Vivian. Raymond Pederson, 85, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in October. John Wambheim, 88, Fargo, N.D., in May; he is survived by his wife, Carol (Johnson) ’49.


LaVonne. Kay (Lund) Wickstrom, 78, Surprise, Ariz., in May; she is survived by her husband, LeRoy.


Allen Foss, 77, Colfax, Wash., in April; he is survived by his wife, Goldie (Stueckle) ’62. Kathryn “Kay” (Sailer) Mathison, 77, Indio, Calif., in February; she is survived by her husband, Richard ’57.

Albert Anderson, 86, Laporte, Minn., in August; he is survived by his wife, Anita (Gisvold) ’52. Mary Lou (Bueide) Anderson, 83, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in June 2013. Norma (Lee) Buxton, 84, Owatonna, Minn., in October. Gloria (Vincent) Lysne, 88, Devils Lake, N.D., in September; she is survived by her husband, Dennis. Muriel (Thompson) Morton, 85, West Fargo, N.D., in April. Emmy (Jesten) Mueller, 84, Richfield, Minn., in March; she is survived by her husband, Jack ’50. Milton Quam, 86, Camano Island, Wash., in February; he is survived by his wife, Marlene.

Dennis Arndt, 75, Belt, Mont., in April. Larry Johnson, 75, Alexandria, Minn., in September; he is survived by his wife, Sharon. Lola (Floe) Lamont, 74, New Berlin, Wis., in May; she is survived by her husband, James. Rod Lundeen, 73, Apache Junction, Ariz., in December 2013; he is survived by his wife, Naomi. Lois (Quamme) Nelson, 76, Billings, Mont., in March.



Joyce (Sigdestad) Evenson, 86, Columbia, Mo., in May; she is survived by her husband, Walter ’51.


Gordon Jeppson, 76, Appleton, Wis., in April; he is survived by his wife, Mary (Gisvold) ’63.

Margaret (Anderson) Peterson, 83, Tracy, Minn., in May; she is survived by her husband, Clinton.



Margaret Callsen, 81, Fargo, N.D., in April. A. Joan (Quamme) Ernst, 82, New Brighton, Minn.; she is survived by her husband, Richard. Wayne Oien, 81, Sun City West, Ariz., in October 2013; he is survived by his wife, Carole. Marlene (Brunsvold) Rayment, 82, Audubon, Minn., in August.


Bruce Gronbeck, 73, Longmont, Colo., in September; he is survived by his wife, Wendy. Dale Aspengren, 71, Albany, Ore., in June; he is survived by his wife, Diane (Peterson) ’65. Barbara Pihlgren-Warner, 71, Roseville, Minn., in August. Richard Seidel, 70, Williston, N.D., in May; he is survived by his wife, Elaine (Samuelson) ’73.

Janice (Helle) Cooper, 79, Golden Valley, N.D., in November 2013; she is survived by her husband, Carl. Clara (Helling) Piepkorn, 81, Fargo, N.D., in August. Glenn Whaley, 83, West Fargo, N.D., in August; he is survived by his wife, Joan.

Gary Gilberton, 70, Coon Rapids, Minn., in July; he is survived by his wife, Debbie. Mary Ann Grottodden, 71, Sarasota, Fla., in June.


Paul Grover, 67, Schnecksville, Pa., in April; he is survived by his wife, Margaret.

Ardys (Mathison) Anderson, 83, in February; she is survived by her husband, Donald ’55. Janet (Langlie) Hillier, 79, Moorhead, in October; she is survived by her husband, Robert. Marlys (Jones) Hove, 87, Fargo, N.D., in October; she is survived by her husband, Robert. Beverly (Huesman) Larson, 81, Robbinsdale, Minn., in June.


Gail (Ulseth) Bennett, 78, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in May. Gloriann (Sillerud) Bertelsen, 82, Fresno, Calif., in November 2013; she is survived by her husband, Allan. Lorraine (Schleske) Jensen, 81, Pelican Rapids, Minn.


Sybil (Gunderson) Anderson, 77, Fargo, N.D., in August. Lois (Wika) Hankins, 78, Albert Lea, Minn., in February. Stanley Hankins, 77, Albert Lea, Minn., in May 2013. Glenn Iverson, 78, Billings, Mont., in October; he is survived by his wife,

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John Berger, 73, Burnsville, Minn., in January; he is survived by his wife, Mary. Curtis Lawrence, 73, Hoover, Ala., in April; he is survived by his wife, Darlene. Jo Ann (Klungness) Thiessen, 73, Rock Hill, S.C., in August 2013; she is survived by her husband, Dewain.


Stay in Touch


1968 1971

Edith “Edee” (Jensen) Tschider, 65, Minneapolis, in September; she is survived by her husband, Steven.


Bradley Brakke, 64, Aneta, N.D., in April; he is survived by his wife, Vicki.


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CLASS NOTES POLICY Because of space restrictions, we confine our class notes to news submitted within six months. We do not accept announcements of upcoming marriage or acceptance to graduate school; please submit following the wedding or graduation. Memorials should be sent in by family, with an obituary if possible. Photographs should be accompanied by a brief description, including when it was taken and a list of those in the photo (including maiden names if Cobbers), their grad years, and cities and states of residence. Children of graduates should be pictured in Concordia clothing. Emailed photos should be taken in at least 300 DPI resolution in TIFF or JPEG formats. Submission of photos does not guarantee publication. Class notes and photographs may be submitted online at or mailed to: Class Notes, Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. Deadline for the next issue is March 1, 2015. Questions? Email



Jeffrey McGuire, 57, Waseca, Minn., in August.

Ashley Anderson, 28, Fargo, N.D., in July.

Eunice (Anderson) Dinga, 87, Bloomington, Minn., in April; she is survived by her husband, Gustav.

John Hatling, 58, Fergus Falls, Minn., in July. Michael Stolee, 54, Golden Valley, Minn., in September.



Bauer, 25,



Camryn Gohmann, Clearwater, Minn., in August.



Mark Naumann, 62, Moorhead, in May; he is survived by his wife, Janet (Kiefer).

John Jystad, 59, Bloomington, Minn., in June.


Leanne (White) Miller, 28, Eden Prairie, Minn., in May; she is survived by her husband, Ryan.

Robert Rhode, 60, Yankton, S.D., in December 2013; he is survived by his fiancée, Judy Heffele.

Joachim “Jack” Burnsville, Minn., in August.


Concordia Magazine


Where all that is



By Julie Kearns

Used goods find new life at Junket: Tossed & Found, a resale retailer in Minneapolis. Julie Kearns ‘96 (above right), holding her daughter, started the business to keep quality items out of the landfill.

36 Concordia Magazine

The string lights twinkle overhead as I lock the shop door, grabbing old Nellie’s leash and the Junior Shopkeeper’s hand for the brief walk back to our house. Another day at Junket has wrapped up, and it’ll be bedtime for all three of us in short order. It’s different now. These shop days are less common for us, thanks to an incredible team and staffing plan that allows me to work around my daughter’s kindergarten schedule. It’s also a reminder of how much has changed since the night my former husband said nine words that set my world spinning: “I love you – but I’m IN love with HER.” Since then, I’ve learned this: when beautiful things (and people) are abandoned, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost value; they just need to survive long enough to find new purpose and appreciation elsewhere. Junket is proof of that. So am I. The first months following that “in love with” revelation were horrific. I avoided antidepressants out of fear for my nursing baby’s health. Situational depression complicated an already challenging postpartum experience and brought with it a 49-pound weight loss. Needing office-appropriate attire that fit, I thrifted on the cheap while my daughter visited her dad, and I supplemented the diminished household income by consigning my older, larger clothing. As my appetite returned, so did some of the missing pounds and, with the changes, a revolving door of thrifted clothing to my closet and then on to consignment. I remember the “omigosh!” moment when, after picking up a commission check, I saw that one of my 50-cent tiny shirts had sold for $10. The return on investment piqued my interest. Soon I was collecting all sorts of beautiful things that I knew held – or should hold – more value than what I’d paid. In February 2011, I learned that my employer would be conducting a mass layoff the following week. I walked

cautiously into my director’s office and said, “I’m not saying I want to leave, but if my name’s in the mix and it’ll keep my people employed … I’ll be fine.” And I was. I got creative to make ends meet and continued to nurture this little treasure-hunting thing I had going. When a friend proposed that we host a vintage sale in fall 2012, I wondered if I could drive enough traffic to my home in one weekend to merit the renting of a small space for future sales. Yes, it appeared that I could.


Junket, [noun]:


‘a festive social occasion’

Junket: Tossed & Found opened in time for Christmas 2012 and tripled in size within a year. What started as a tiny, occasional vintage shop has since grown into a secondhand mercantile of sorts with nearly 3,000 square feet dedicated to those with an eye for the vintage, visual and creative. It supplies everything from antique hand tools to knitting needles, crayons to chemises, art supplies to finished works that have been made locally using secondhand components. The shop, known for its assortment, aesthetic and hyper-organization, now anchors an emerging reuse district in south Minneapolis. I believed at the time of Junket’s inception that there were others like me who would value the time and energy invested by an unknown predecessor to produce a lovely hand-tatted pillowcase; others like me who would find a way to make something of beauty useful despite a stain or a tear. As it turns out, that belief was well founded and also well timed: economic and ecological factors have created a social environment where all that is old is new again. A growing social enterprise, Junket’s mission is to make it easier for people to connect with good, used stuff – and to help connect beautiful, used things with people who appreciate and will use them. Our environmental solution: to markedly reduce landfill contributions by eliminating barriers to – and creating enthusiasm for – reuse. Creating enthusiasm is the easy part because enthusiasm is widely known to be contagious. By fostering


an environment where people feel welcomed (and are congratulated for dumpster diving and rewarded for great ideas), we make reuse fun. Eliminating barriers has been trickier. The great news is that people want to do the right thing. The problem, of course, is that the right thing isn’t always the easiest thing. For the first time in recent history, more people stepped foot in a resale shop last year than in a department store. Still, it tends to be a leisure time event, a quest for that unexpected treasure or a sweet vintage bargain. The existing reuse market lacks the complexity and specificity that allows us to easily find something we want, quickly. Imagine the time – and gasoline – it would take to visit the number of thrift stores, estate, yard or rummage sales to guarantee success in finding a specific, needed item. Yet, if we worked together to put half as much investment into developing well-organized redistribution systems and processes as our big box competitors spend on their new product distribution channels, we would have world-class availability of all sorts of high quality items – and the ability to obtain and purchase these things at will. Consider the potential for impact. And so, at Junket we’re working on it. Need a pencil? Ten cents, freshly sharpened. Beading supplies, crochet thread, hand planer? Yes. At present, the shop offers hundreds of thousands of individual bits and pieces: 3-penny nails and replacement game pieces, fishing lures and gingham yardage – all previously owned, all saved from a downward spiral toward the landfill. Better yet? Because we’re focusing on developing a solution to a mass-consumption issue to which we all contribute, we welcome collaboration. Does the mission resonate? Can you see yourself making a difference? Or maybe you work for a retailer willing to consider or support a new (used) approach to serving the mass market? If so, let’s explore how much positive change we can drive together. ■ Photos: Submitted

Julie Kearns ‘96 is founder and finder at Junket: Tossed & Found, a resale retailer in south Minneapolis. Concordia Magazine


Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562

PAID Concordia College


Neighborly Collaboration By Eric Lillehaugen A partnership between the college and Lutheran World Relief brought Concordia students to Nicaragua last spring. Ten students and religion instructor Adam Copeland spent two weeks learning about the importance of largeand small-scale cooperatives and understanding how relief organizations manage projects and funding. “LWR helps people succeed by meeting them where they are. (The organization) teaches them what they need to know to become independent,” says Andrea Bonneville ’17, Nashwauk, Minn. For Tori Hansen ’15, Plymouth, Minn., the opportunity to meet with local farmers was meaningful. “I loved meeting Ruben and visiting his farm,” Hansen says. “He had so much passion and pride for what he does. I was so impressed with his willingness to share with us.” Copeland says there were dozens of stories of how people’s lives have been changed for the better through LWR and the farmers’ cooperatives. One that stuck with the students was meeting a farmer named Maria who had worked with a cooperative for three years. “We visited her farm on the side of a mountain,” Copeland says. “When we asked what she was able to do after working with the cooperative, her response was, ‘After last year’s harvest I was able to build my house.’” Katharine Spencer ’15, Hampshire, Ill., continued her work as a summer intern with LWR. She shared the experience of her trip with churches in the Twin Cities and represented LWR at Women of the ELCA Triennial in North Carolina. “This summer’s work was very eye-opening to me,” Spencer says. “(The experience) showed me that there is not one thing that will end all poverty in the world, but there are many people of great faith that believe it is possible to do something about the issue and are working very hard to realize that goal.” Photos: Submitted

Concordia students learned about the nonprofit organization Lutheran World Relief while visiting the projects it supports in Nicaragua.