Concordia Magazine CONCORDIA COLLEGE, MOORHEAD MINNESOTA, USA
A Grand Day With Gates Page 2
Alumni Demonstrate Entrepreneurial Spirit Page 18
A green sticky note covered with goals was Kristi Del Vecchio’s ’13 roadmap when she began her college career. Four years later, while speaking to her classmates at Commencement, the Bismarck, N.D., graduate says she has learned to not fixate on those goals but be alive in the moment, even through life’s uncertainties. Uncertainty was also a theme with which Commencement speaker Roxana Saberi ’97 could relate. Saberi, a journalist, was working on a book in Iran after her press pass was revoked. Off her original path to report in Iran, she recalled the day she questioned if her life had any meaning. The next day she was arrested, taken to Evin Prison and charged with spying for the CIA. Through the adversity she says she relied on God and knowing that many people – friends, government officials and people she didn’t even know – were working to get her released. She also had an important support system in captivity, other female inmates who connected with her and taught her how they resolved to not hate their captors. Through these encounters, Saberi learned the importance of every person. “Influencing the affairs of the world happens when we let our souls touch other souls,” Saberi says. This May the college sent forth nearly 600 graduates. Their interests and callings will take them all around the globe and, undoubtedly, their souls will connect with many others. You can see some of their first careers, graduate schools and volunteer opportunities at ConcordiaCollege.edu/class2013. ■ Roxana Saberi ‘97 speaks at 2013 Commencement, which was held May 5 at Concordia College.
Photos: Sheldon Green
CONTENTS Concordia Magazine CONCORDIA COLLEGE, MOORHEAD MINNESOTA, USA
A Grand Day With Gates Page 2
Bill Gates spoke at Concordia April 27 as part of the dedication of Grant Center, home of the Offutt School Business. Photo: Dave Arntson
Alumni Demonstrate Entrepreneurial Spirit Page 18
FEATURES 2 7 8
A Grand Day With Gates A Day to Honor Offutt Building Connections Whole Self, Whole Life, Whole World Socially Conscious Siblings Creating a Firm Foundation A Smaller Way to Save Lives When Education Means Everything In the Mentoring Business Bricks, Turf and Asphalt Growing Faith While Pouring Concrete
14 18 20 22 24 28 34 40
IN EVERY ISSUE 30
35 Alumni 36
ONLINE Watch Bill Gates’ full presentation at Concordia. See more photos of the newly renovated Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business. Read President William Craft’s strategic plan for the college.
To see the online magazine, visit
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Editor: Roger E. Degerman ‘84 Managing Editor: Erin Hemme Froslie ‘96 Online Communications Director: Amy J. Aasen ‘95 Media Relations Director: Amy E. Kelly ’95 Graphic Designers: Lori J. Steedsman, Briann Sandholm ‘06 Senior Writer/Photographer: Sheldon Green Chief Copy Editor: Tracey J. Bostick Online Communications Specialist: Gia Rassier ‘10 Online Content Editor: Emily Clemenson ‘10 Online Marketing Technical Specialist: Billy McDonald Online Designer: Andrea Wagner ‘12 Sports Information Director: Jim Cella Media Relations Assistant: Kim Kappes Print Shop: John Phelps, Becky Abele
Office of Communications and Marketing • (218) 299-3147 Campus Info • (218) 299-4000 ConcordiaCollege.edu Correspondence concerning Concordia Magazine Volume 51, Number 2, should be addressed to: The Editor, Office of Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To change your address or unsubscribe from the Concordia Magazine mailing list, contact Alumni Records at (218) 299-3743, email@example.com or Office of Alumni Relations, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. Update your record online at ConcordiaCollege.edu/classnotes. 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. © 2013 Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota 915975/53M/0513
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By Erin Hemme Froslie
Asking Bill Gates a question is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So when Levi Bachmeier ’14, West Fargo, N.D., got the chance, he made it personal. He asked the software mogul and esteemed philanthropist for advice as he prepares to become a classroom teacher. “It was a bit surreal,” Bachmeier said, speaking not only for himself but the entire Concordia community as it welcomed one of the world’s wealthiest and most visible business leaders and global philanthropists to campus. Gates spoke at Concordia as part of the dedication festivities for Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business and Barry Auditorium. More than 3,800 tickets were distributed for the April 27 event, where Gates spoke for an hour. “What a delight and an honor to have Bill Gates here,” said Dr. William Craft, president of Concordia College and moderator of the morning presentation. “He is someone who keeps on learning throughout his life and who makes a connection between that learning and the work of doing good in the world.” David Sotro ’15, Golden Valley, Minn., read a biography of Gates for one of his sociology classes. His interest in Gates’ story was one reason he was one of the first students in line for general admission seats on the morning of the speech. To secure the best seats, people lined up nearly two-and-a-half hours before the event. “The type of wisdom he has is unique,” Sotro said. “It’s worth watching when someone as influential as him comes to a small college like ours.” Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, was introduced by Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, an oil company that’s one of the most active players in North Dakota’s oil patch. Both Gates and Hamm are among a handful of wealthy business leaders who have signed the Giving Pledge, an agreement to give away a majority of their wealth during their lifetimes. Hamm, a member of the Offutt School’s Global Leadership Council, helped to bring Gates to Concordia. The Offutt School of Business’ namesake, Ron Offutt ’64, introduced Hamm. “This, as our students might say, is an epic day for Concordia,” Offutt said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “It’s also an epic day in the life of Ron Offutt.”
President William Craft shares the stage with Bill Gates, who spoke at Concordia April 27 in honor of the dedication of Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business.
If you could ask Bill Gates anything, what would you ask him? Following is a sampling of the questions Concordia students asked Bill Gates and excerpts from his responses. To view the full conversation, go to ConcordiaCollege.edu/billgates.
Q: In 2010, you and your wife joined Warren Buffett in creating the Giving Pledge, which encourages the country’s wealthiest to donate to charitable causes. The Giving Pledge is thought to have more of a moral contract rather than a legal one. Do you believe that this will enhance the impact the pledge will have? Beth Osman ’15, Fargo, N.D. Major: accounting Gates: One thing that’s phenomenal is that philanthropy in the United States is more widespread than in any other country. … Across the country as a whole about 2 percent of all income is given every year, about $300 billion a year. … The idea of the Giving Pledge was to get together people who were already doing philanthropy. … We’re trying to encourage people to be a bit more risk-taking. We’re encouraging them not to do it as much through their will but to get involved younger when they’re vibrant and the skills they have from however they made their resources are still very much intact. … It’s hard to measure, but I think we really are starting to have that effect and I think it will affect generations in the future to really almost think of this as a standard practice.
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Having Gates speak on the day Concordia dedicated the Offutt School of Business’ new home was fitting, Offutt said. The school prepares business students to be entrepreneurs, leaders in their fields who, like Gates, strive to improve the world. And as Hamm introduced Gates, he described Gates as an individual who has changed the world and is changed by the world – a description similar to the mission ascribed to Concordia graduates. Gates began with a few prepared remarks. But the majority of the conversation with Gates included him answering questions from students seated on the stage. All Concordia students had been invited to submit questions for Gates. Students whose questions were chosen received the coveted stage seats. Topics ranged from the importance of vaccines, which Gates called “the miracle technology,” to ideas for building a sustainable farm economy in east Africa. He also entertained questions about philanthropy and education reform. But Gates also had some advice for those in attendance, most of whom were students from Concordia, other area universities and high schools. After recounting access to information in his youth (he read the World Book Encyclopedia alphabetically), he noted the benefits of information accessed through today’s technology. “Having your eyes open to the great needs of the world, especially those of the poor, will help you pick what is most fulfilling to you,” Gates said.
Q: I was wondering about a time that you were faced with an ethical dilemma and who you sought out to help you solve that problem. Ian Cochran ’13, Moorhead Majors: Spanish and accounting
Kudzy Katema ‘16, Zimbabwe, asks Bill Gates about how technology and policy can improve lives.
That struck Bachmeier, who is studying social studies education. “To hear that responsible engagement isn’t just about coding software, it just isn’t about becoming a multibilliondollar company,” Bachmeier said. “It’s about doing whatever the world needs in whatever capacity that your skills and abilities are able to contribute to that.” Gates presented three areas of challenge for students to address in their lifetime: awareness of the great divide between the poor and rich, the energy economy and health care. He also gave a nod to research and projects occurring on Concordia’s campus, including the search for a hookworm vaccine and fundraising for meningitis vaccinations. He accounted his own journey from Microsoft, where he was “fanatical” about software, to foundation work, where he is fanatical about funding causes that can improve lives around the globe. When he and his wife started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, they expected it would be hard to find highimpact projects to fund. They quickly recognized that there were numerous ways – paying for malaria nets and vaccines – to make a difference without spending a lot of money. “For less than $1,500, we could save a life,” he said. Philanthropy, he said, is dangerous because it’s not market driven. A lot of money is given away without regard to project effectiveness and need. Yet, philanthropy has its biggest impact when it takes on the aggressive, risky things that government and business won’t do, he said.
Gates: If I think of the Microsoft days, I’d say the main ethical problem I had was if somebody wasn’t very good at their job. You know, should we replace them or not? Because you can have really nice people who aren’t that good at their job and it’s particularly bad if you have a manager who wasn’t that good, so do you owe it to them until they get a good manager and then wait two years until you move them on to something else? These things have a way of taking care of themselves, but that was the one part of my job at Microsoft I didn’t really like. It was deciding when to replace people.
Q: I understand that you are a very big proponent of education reform, most notably with respect to instructor evaluation, and so with that in mind what do you believe are the key initiatives that we must undertake to advance the field of academics? Matt Gantz ’14, Eagan, Minn. Major: business-finance Gates: One of the key differences (between the U.S. and countries that are doing better in education than we are) is that they have a very strong personnel system that gives feedback to teachers. They invest in having other teachers sit in the classroom or training the principals. They have career ladders where at an early stage, as a teacher, you are given a lot of guidance and then, if you achieve a certain level of skill, you move up. They have mentor teachers and master teachers. Our system has fallen into a mode where teachers basically get no feedback. … I think it’s important that we build that feedback system. Now exactly how you do that, how much you connect that to the pay system, we need experimentation. Concordia Magazine
Q: I was wondering if you could speak along the lines of the importance of vaccines and some of the challenges that come about with this particular field. Phillip Comella ’13, Hartland, Wis. Majors: biology and classical studies Gates: Well, vaccines I can’t say enough good things about. They’re really the miracle technology. If you take the health field as a whole, it spends less than 2 percent of its money on vaccines but close to 50 percent of the medical benefits you get come from vaccines. … I just came back from a two-day conference in the Middle East where we were raising the money to eradicate polio, which will become, within the next six years, the second disease (after small pox) ever to be eradicated. … I understand there is some work here (at Concordia) on a hookworm vaccine, which is a fantastic thing. … Understanding the immune system and then figuring out how vaccines can make the immune system respond in such a way that we get lifelong protection, that’s the way that we are going to eventually eradicate malaria and HIV and TB and all these different diseases.
(Below) People lined up two-and-a-half hours before the event to grab the best possible seats.
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He repeated the message later in the day at a luncheon for 600 Concordia students, faculty and distinguished guests. Moderated by Jennifer Ford Reedy, president of the Bush Foundation, Gates answered questions about the Giving Pledge and provided tips on how to encourage people to donate locally. “It’d be tragic to give money and not have it be fun,” Gates said. He then encouraged people to give when they have a chance to see how the gift affects people. “If you visit Africa and see what is going on there, you will not go away untouched,” he said. Gates’ visit energized the Concordia community and its students. Social media users shared their excitement of seeing Gates on stage at their college and inspirational quotes from the speaker. For Matt Hansen ‘13, Cookeville, Tenn., Gates’ visit was an opportunity for students to hear advice from one of the world’s best entrepreneurs. “Life is not just about making money, but about making a difference,” Hansen said. “It was fantastic,” said Sarah Raeker ’14, Coon Rapids, Minn., who was in the audience. She had been looking forward to hearing how Gates’ comments connected to Concordia’s emphasis on being responsibly engaged in the world. She appreciated his passion for what he does. “He’s not doing it so he can put his picture on a poster,” she said. “He truly cares about improving things. You can see that.” Syed Shah ’16, Pakistan, was seated on the stage with Gates and asked about the challenges of vaccine delivery in countries such as his own, which is one of three where polio has yet to be eradicated. “Biggest moment of my life,” Shah said. “To have a face-to-face conversation with Mr. Gates is a very lucky thing.” ■ Photos: Sheldon Green/Dave Arntson
Emily Clemenson and Gia Rassier contributed to this story.
A Day to Honor
By Erin Hemme Froslie
For Ron Offutt ’64, the April 27 dedication of Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business and Barry Auditorium, was the culmination of dreams and efforts for many. For Concordia, it was a chance to honor Offutt. “He had a dream and vision of a place where we can teach students important business skills while also teaching them the ethical and responsible behavior that makes up a Concordia education,” said John Tunheim ’75, chair of Concordia’s Board of Regents. “It’s a day that will be long-remembered by the Concordia community.” Offutt, founder and chairman of R.D. Offutt Co., donated the lead gift for the business school. He also has supported the college many years through his leadership on the Board of Regents. He was among the core group of business leaders who imagined an undergraduate business program focused on global understanding, entrepreneurship, ethics and leadership. College leaders and his colleagues, many of whom were honored for their own support of the project, used the opportunity to shower him with tributes. “The Offutt School of Business shares this in common with its namesake,” said B. John Barry. “It is determined to make a difference in the lives of youth.” “We honor him for his wisdom, loyalty, generosity and his leadership,” said Dr. Paul Dovre ’58, president emeritus of the college, who noted the business leader’s place among a pantheon of board leaders. “He makes it clear that he wants and expects us to succeed. We do not want to let Ron down.” At a luncheon before the dedication, Bill Gates unveiled a plaque for the Offutt School. Later, at the dedication, special tributes were also given to Carol Anderson and Barry for their support of the business school.
As Offutt took the stage to acknowledge the honors, he began with his familiar down-to-earth humor. “That’s pretty heady stuff,” he said. But he quickly moved into appreciation for the college that named its school of business after him. “It’s a legacy that my family will live with for all of its days,” he said. “Thank you for that. Thank you very much.” Later he said he was flattered that Concordia and its Board of Regents thought so highly of him. He acknowledged that the school of business is the realization of a long-cherished dream. But on a day that began with a speech by Gates and ended with a ribbon cutting in the business school named for him, Offutt was thrilled to be celebrating. “I don’t know what you could do to make this better,” he said. ■ Photos: Sheldon Green/Dave Arntson
Bill Gates unveiled the plaque honoring the dedication of Grant Center.
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When the newly renovated Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business, opened in January, everyone gushed over its light-filled atrium and Scandinavian-inspired architecture. State-of-the-art technology in the classroom inspired students and faculty alike. During the past semester, the renovated space has proven itself by offering more than beautiful lines and resources. As the newest extension to the Concordia campus, it has discovered its own rhythm. From early morning studying to latenight group gatherings, students and faculty are learning to embrace the space. From the beginning, Grant Center was designed to be more than a strip mall of classrooms for business students. Its lounge and study niches make it easy to hold informal conversations and impactful discussions. Classrooms are designed to make sharing ideas and concepts easy. Today, Grant Center is a place where business students learn accounting alongside the nuances of networking. Biology students study anatomy late into the night, claiming a hallway study pod and whiteboard. And a clarinet quartet presents a noontime performance, a musical pause before the rush of finals. A sense of community is born. â– Photos: Ann Arbor Miller/Chris Shinn
1. Paige LaQua ‘15 (center) chats with friend and classmate Beth Osman ‘15 (left) in Julie Lovin’s office in the Anderson Office of Career Success. Osman recently was named one of three Barry Scholarship winners.
2. Room 114, with its stadium seating and south-facing windows, provides the backdrop for an Intermediate Accounting II class. The class is taught by accounting instructor Lynn Gonzalez (not pictured). 3. Live music fills the Grant Center atrium thanks to the monthly Mind on Music series that features student chamber musicians.
4. Dr. Linda Keup, associate professor of management, engages a student during a discussion about stress and stress management in the Pamela M. Jolicoeur Board Room. “It’s a great space and the students like the feel of meeting in a board room environment,” Keup says. 5. A crescent moon rests in the sky above Grant Center, home of the Offutt School of Business, in the early morning hours of an April day.
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6. Every classroom features state-of-the-art technology that makes it easy to share information via computers, laptops and tablets. 7. Ryan Rude ‘15 lives in Erickson Hall, which is attached to Grant Center, and often uses the space for studying. Drawings of the inner ear were already on the whiteboard when Rude arrived to study for his exercise science class.
8. Lounges provide places to study and converse. 9. Marketing Club co-president Sarah Luse ‘13 (right) checks in via Skype with classmate Rayonna Rademacher ‘14 (on screen) during an evening club meeting. Rademacher, who has a Spanish minor and is spending five months in Argentina as part of her studies, was elected Marketing Club president for the coming year. 10. Sue Zurn, assistant director of the Career Center, leads a conversation about business etiquette during meals and other networking events. A group of nine students participated in the early morning exercise, including Kate Schiffman ‘15 (left) and Michael Brossart ‘15.
Whole Self, Whole Life, Whole World
By President William Craft
A Plan for Concordia’s Future
Concordia reaffirms its place as a global liberal arts college of the church.
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A student with no church ties finds herself drawn to seek postgraduate work to aid the homeless through Lutheran Volunteer Corps; a biology major bound for med school throws himself into the labor of finding a vaccine for hookworm; a young man from southern Sweden comes to Moorhead to major in international business and to learn Mandarin Chinese. What do these experiences have in common? They all involve the practice of the liberal arts, and they exemplify the aspirations of Concordia’s strategic plan for 2012-17: “Whole Self, Whole Life, Whole World.” College plans often meet real skepticism and sometimes they deserve it. If such documents emerge only from a small circle of leaders, they may build little energy and even less value. And so it’s not surprising to find Benjamin Ginsberg mocking them in “The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the
All-Administrative University and Why It Matters,” writing that each new president ignores the institution’s past and declares, “Thou shall have no other plan before mine.” But we write plans for good reasons. If faithful to mission, conceived through the collective creativity of the college and sharply attuned to the realities of our current life, they enable us to act with purpose and with market savvy. They enable us to fashion an education that leads our students to flourish – and to transform a world so much in need of their gifts. The plan adopted by Concordia’s Board of Regents in October 2012 arose from three sources: • The visionary mission statement written more than 50 years ago by Dr. Carl Bailey, former dean of the college • Dozens of conversation engaging faculty, staff, students, Concordia graduates and college regents in the fall and spring of 2011-12 • The fierce pressure from beyond academe to address questions of cost and of lasting worth in higher education. Every graduate knows Bailey’s statement: “The purpose of Concordia College is to influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life.” The new plan arises from this wellspring that defines our global liberal arts college of the church. Inspired by the mission, the plan affirms the liberating life of learning that our students will practice throughout their lives and the liberating love of God that sets us free to serve our neighbor, close by and around the world. Grounded on this foundation, the conversations that started in the president’s house on the corner of Eighth Street and Seventh Avenue in September 2011 always began with two open questions: “What brought you to
this college?” and “What aspirations do you have for Concordia that have not yet been fulfilled?” With astonishing frequency, three themes emerged in response: • The yearning for the examined, purposeful life • The hope for an education that would engage students at their highest level of mind and heart and that would ready them for the highly volatile work environment they will enter after graduation • The conviction that we have only started to lay claim to our distinction as a college committed to influence the affairs of the world – to our recognition of the joy and necessity of global education. From these thoughtful and informed convictions came the “declaration of intent” that defines the strategic plan: Concordia College will offer an education of the whole self, for the whole of life, for the sake of the whole world. The heart of this plan is what I want to share with you here: what it is, and why it matters, as we seek to transform young lives so that our students may transform the communities they serve.
At Concordia, we care about the economic welfare of our students: 96 percent or more of them in any given year receive grants in aid from the college; students who come to Concordia and stay have more than a 90 percent chance of graduating in four years (a rate far, far higher than at public schools); each year, 98 percent or more of our graduates report that within six months of Commencement they are employed, in graduate school or in full-time volunteer work like Young Adults in Global Mission.
But this is not all we care about: As the Rev. Elly McHan told our first-year students at Opening Convocation this past fall, “You are here not just to go somewhere but to become someone.” We want the whole self to flourish, and so we will seek, as the plan says, to lead students into life-long reflection on their identity, purpose, and engagement in the world. What will we do to guide students into such an examined life? I highlight these five initiatives: • Raising the question of identity and purpose as a defining part of orientation • Designating both our associate campus pastor and the faculty director of our new program in faith and leadership to guide students’ discernment of their callings • Opening – this past September – the Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work within the Offutt School of Business to set our new program in an ethical framework • Inaugurating – in fall 2012 – the President’s Seminar, which invites the entire campus several times each term to gather and reflect on our collective purpose as a liberal arts college of the church
Research led by Dr. Jennifer Bath, assistant professor of biology, may someday lead to a hookworm vaccine.
• Reaching out to our partners in mutual ministry, as in the new initiative in which we have joined forces with regional bishops to help prepare mid-career pastors for service in larger ELCA congregations. The faculty and staff who spoke so movingly of their longing for the examined life called us to remember – in a time of nonstop distraction and clashing ideals – that we are to live life abundantly and in service to neighbor as citizens, professionals and people of faith.
Offutt School of Business classes started being held in Grant Center in January.
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At Concordia, we follow the longestablished expectation that learning in courses must be assigned a certain number of credits and that in order to graduate, students must “earn” a given total of credits to be awarded a baccalaureate degree. But we are increasingly conscious that this is not enough – not enough for learning and not enough to distinguish ourselves in the higher education marketplace. Put bluntly, students can earn credits anywhere now, on campus and online. At Concordia, we are out to change the shape of the American baccalaureate. In the words of the plan, we will call students to achieve an education focused not on credit accumulation but on building competence, creativity, and character. What will we do so that students will be prepared to thrive
throughout a whole life – a life in which we know that most will change jobs 10 or more times? Among key initiatives, I point to these three: • Devising forms of learning that transcend the traditional one-course unit to challenge students and faculty alike to address the “muddy problems” that require us to go beyond any one academic specialty for effective solutions – forms of learning like a semester-long environmental sustainability study that combines science, culture and public policy • Increasing funding for undergraduate research and for demanding internships in both for-profit and nonprofit settings • Most radically, changing the arc of a four-year degree so that, year by year, students have both more freedom and more responsibility as learners – creating a Concordia experience in which the senior year will look very different from the freshman, with students in that final year spending most of their time in research, in internships, in creative projects, in working out real problems in real time with real accountability – just as they will when they begin their working life or the rigors of graduate school. The faculty and staff who envisioned an education that would engage every student at their highest level of heart and mind called us to ready students not merely to graduate but to be competent, agile and strong in character for the whole of their lives.
The Concordia Orchestra spent a weekend at Concordia Language Villages. The orchestra studied the work of Jean Sibelius at Salolampi, the Finnish Village.
Whole World. Those of us who earned our college
degrees in the ’70s, ’80s and even ’90s became accustomed to think of “international education” as a semester abroad or, at some schools, a May or January term. We cherish those experiences, as we should. They often opened to us cultures and ideas of which we had not dreamed. Concordia has been a leader in study abroad, earning the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization in 2006, and always placing among the top colleges in the U.S. for the percentage of students who study internationally. This is good, but it is no longer sufficient, nor does it draw on all of our strengths, including the remarkable resource of Concordia Language Villages, which hosts 11,000 participants each year, both pre- and post-college learners. So, in the words of the college plan, we will make global learning fundamental to every Concordia student’s experience, from the first year through the senior. Why does this matter? It matters because every endeavor – cultural, political, artistic, religious, philanthropic – demands a global fluency, an understanding of and connection to partners not only in our region but in far flung places around the globe. What will we do to foster that global fluency among our students, to their own good and to the common good of the larger world? Among many creative initiatives, I feature these five: • Engaging all students in the “local global” community of Fargo-Moorhead so that they will from the start know themselves to be citizens of a place of surprising diversity in education, in business, in faith life and in mutual care – leading them to opportunities like Better Together, the student organization that promotes dialogue and service across the many faith traditions found in our hometown and across the world
• Increasing the population diversity of our own student body to more closely match the world in which our graduates will live and work • Enabling Concordia’s undergraduates to learn at Concordia Language Villages – as when our symphony orchestra students spent time at the Finnish Village in preparation for their tour featuring the work of Jean Sibelius • Leading our students to continue language and cultural study beyond the usual requirements of one, two or three courses by offering them opportunities to put that learning into practice long after requirements are satisfied – including immersion study at the Language Villages • Challenging our students and ourselves to practice thoughtful and informed stewardship of our natural resources as we seek to live responsibly and to preserve the vitality and beauty of God’s creation – as in the creation of the Concordia Ecohouse, a living/learning site for our students. In this commitment to global learning for all, we hear the still inspiring voice of Dr. Bailey, calling us to influence the affairs of the world as faithful, thoughtful and informed citizens. In all, we look to move from mere program to practice, from moving students through a set of requirements to calling them, as Pastor McHan says, to become someone: to learn the habit of the examined life, to develop intellectual discipline and creativity and courage, to see themselves not alone but as neighbors in work and love and service in God’s wide world. Photos: Sheldon Green/Chris Shinn
Innovation for for Impact Impact Innovation Innovation is the product of savvy learners with fearless entrepreneurial spirit. What follows are three stories about alumni who are bringing exciting advances to their fields. Though their pursuits are much different, they are driven by a mutual desire to create a better world for others.
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Heather McDougall â€˜06 holds a Bogobrush prototype. The product is in final stages of development and is on track to be available this summer.
Siblings By Emily Clemenson
What does it take to make a person care about sustainability? For Heather McDougall ’06 and her brother, John, it might start with a toothbrush. Heather McDougall is co-founder and CEO of Bogobrush, a startup that makes biodegradable, ergonomic, environmentally friendly toothbrushes with a buy one, give one business model. Bogobrush is made with a bamboo handle and nylon bristles. When the brush is ready to be replaced, pull the bristles out and let the handle biodegrade in your backyard. “A toothbrush is something you use every morning and every night,” McDougall says. “If we could get environmental and social awareness into a product like this, people’s decision making would start to evolve.” The buy one, give one model isn’t new, and Bogobrush has made contacts with give partners in select cities across the country. The goal, McDougall says, is to give a Bogobrush back to the community in which one is purchased. The company has partnered with dental offices and healthcare centers in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., Detroit, Atlanta and Fargo, N.D., to give brushes to people who need them. “When you have good things, you feel better about yourself,” McDougall says. “We feel like we’re helping in a small way to create confidence.” McDougall says that as a community embraces Bogobrush, the company will try to find a give partner in that area. Being the CEO of a startup wasn’t the career path that McDougall had planned for herself. She majored in political science and communication with a concentration in public relations, but her big takeaway from Concordia was the importance of the liberal arts. “A liberal arts education is really valuable – you don’t just go to school to get a job. There is much more to education than that,” McDougall says. “It empowers you to think.” After graduating from Concordia, she earned a law degree but realized that practicing law wasn’t her passion. However, law school still provided an excellent opportunity to refine her thinking and problem-solving skills, so in 2010 she and her brother started a think
tank called Share Project where they gathered people from all walks of life to try and make things better. Initially, there was no specific idea in mind; they were simply trying to improve “things.” Anything. All things. And from Share Project, the idea of Bogobrush was created. John McDougall, an award-winning designer, is responsible for the sleek, minimalist look of the toothbrush handle. You won’t find any flashy grippers or showy shapes to this brush – only a smooth cylinder, comfortable in either hand throughout the whole tooth-brushing experience. The intention, as explained by the Bogobrush production manager on the company’s blog, is that if the experience is pleasant enough, you’ll want to spend a few extra moments brushing your teeth just to continue using the product. And that is the first step toward better hygiene. Heather McDougall says she certainly faces challenges as a CEO and a young entrepreneur; she has learned the importance of balance, trying to maintain a strong, highlevel strategic vision while simultaneously completing tasks at the micro level. Not only does she network with people, share the Bogobrush story and find collaborators, but she has some huge plans for the product in the next few years. One goal is for the company to invest in building gardens at refugee shelters. The reason, McDougall says, is that when refugees come to the U.S. they would have the opportunity to grow familiar food rather than defaulting to sugary food that is commonplace in the United States. Sugary food, obviously, has a negative effect on one’s oral health. In the last several months, Bogobrush has received national and international media coverage. The product has been featured on many websites and in publications, including Real Simple, Organic Spa, The Huffington Post, designboom and celebrity Heidi Klum’s blog. “Bogobrush is very much a collaboration,” she says. “It’s more of a tool to create community and promote sustainability than it is a toothbrush.” ■ Photo: Gia Rassier
Innovation for Impact Steve Ough â€˜80 and his wife, Linda, started a private family foundation after selling Oughâ€™s first business.
Creating a Firm
Foundation By Sarah McCurdy Hinnenkamp
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Through his time navigating the business and giving worlds, Steve Ough ’80 has found many ways to be an example – how he conducts business, how he treats employees and what he does with the money he makes. “It’s something you should do. I think the concept of going to church and putting some dollars in the plate – it certainly doesn’t do much for me,” Ough says. “It’s not really actively living out what you say you believe.” Ough is an entrepreneur who has surfed the ups and downs of a variety of businesses and eventually decided he wanted to be his own boss. Fresh out of Concordia, Ough first worked with computers in a large company and then a small company. He decided he liked the culture of small companies a bit better. The idea of doing something on his own had been swirling in his head when he started Paranet, a networking services company that handled design, installation and managing computer networks for companies. All along, his plan was to grow the company to just the right size and then sell it. Ough says he was fortunate, having started Paranet in 1990 and selling it to Sprint just seven years later. “It was good timing,” he says. “It was a good time to sell, and we got a good price for the company.” With profits from the sale, Ough and his wife founded the Cora Foundation. The private family foundation funds Christian organizations and ministries. It receives about 450 grant applications each year and awards about 10 grants annually, most in the $10,000-$20,000 range. To date, the Cora Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $3.7 million. “I’ve always wanted to give back,” Ough says. “I’m a middle class kind of guy by heart – I don’t need a lot.” While Ough has been generous with his money, he believes more in giving his time – saying that’s where the real impact occurs. Ough serves on the boards of Mars Hill Productions, a Texas-based video production company that produces Christian films, and Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC), a model for churches of different denominations to work together to serve those with needs in the community. What draws Ough to Love INC is that it’s not about money, it’s about time. Ough explains the focus
passionately: A volunteer spends as long as 45 minutes with an individual, gauging their needs and rallying other volunteers from various Love INC partner churches, each assisting with time and talents. The volunteers meet immediate needs, in addition to teaching money management, mentoring and instructing on job skills. Serving with Love INC keeps Ough the busiest these days, as the nonprofit has undergone a complete restructuring in the last three years under his direction. But the restructuring plan will be finishing up in mid-2014 and Ough plans to phase out his involvement. He will still volunteer but not at the level at which he has been. “I think we’re called to do that. We’re called to love the Lord and love our neighbor and I think that’s part of how you do that,” Ough says. “It’s just part of the great commission and great commandment – I don’t think there’s anything more profound than that.” Even as he cuts back on his involvement with Love INC, Ough will not quit looking for needs to be met. Ough is the type of entrepreneur who finds a niche that needs some attention and fills it by starting and nurturing a company. His passion is starting things and building solid foundations. Once the company is out of the development stage, Ough plugs in other talented business people to handle day-to-day operations. The company he most recently started and invests in is Foundant Technologies, a Web-based avenue for submitting grant applications. The company started because of a need Ough identified and filled on his own, though now there are other products also in the marketplace. Today, Ough and his wife of nearly 34 years, Linda, split their time between Montana and Texas. They enjoy the hiking, fishing and skiing that Bozeman provides; when they get tired of the cold, they escape to Texas. Whether you have a business or not, Ough says we are all called to give back. “I think everybody should be doing something,” Ough says. “If you want to live out your faith, how do you do that?” ■ Photo: Submitted
McCurdy Hinnenkamp ’03 is a writer based in Fargo, N.D.
Innovation for Impact
A Smaller Way to
Dr. Corey Teigen â€˜86 invented a smaller stent graft to treat people with abdominal aortic aneurysms.
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By Roger E. Degerman
It took millions of dollars and a decade to develop, but Dr. Corey Teigen ’86 has created a medical innovation that shows great promise for saving many lives in the U.S. and worldwide every year. His big breakthrough reveals the remarkable power of thinking smaller. Teigen has been focused on making it possible to treat a much larger percentage of the world’s population afflicted with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) – a lifethreatening condition. To do so, he needed to find a way to scale down the size of previous stent graft technology used to operate on people with AAA. “Previous grafts were much larger and required a more invasive surgery,” says Teigen, chair for the Department of Interventional Radiology at Sanford Health Systems in Fargo, N.D. “And they weren’t useable for a lot of people, especially more petite women who tend to have smaller blood vessels. “My real breakthrough wasn’t really the new graft itself, but getting the technology to shove it into a very small tube. By doing so, we are making it possible to treat many more people while sparing them from a big, open operation.” Teigen’s innovation, the InCraft™ Stent Graft System, will be used on 190 patients as part of clinical trials in the U.S. and Japan. He says if results are as favorable as expected, FDA approval and full-scale implementation of the device could begin within the next two years. Teigen has been pursuing a smaller stent solution ever since he started using the original, larger FDA-approved devices as part of his Fargo practice in 1999. Early on, he encountered disappointment working with companies that ultimately produced two failed grafts. Teigen was frustrated by those experiences and sought a new path for bringing his ideas to reality. In 2003, the president of Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis Corp. called on Teigen to lead a new collaborative effort. Teigen chose physicians from two other specialties – a vascular surgeon from Japan and a cardiologist from Seattle – to spearhead the development of a smaller, more effective graft. Cordis provided vital resource support – from millions in capital for product development and testing, as well as the engineers and clinical expertise – to keep the project thriving.
Teigen’s team has persevered through a long and arduous innovative cycle of idea creation, product development and rigorous testing followed by idea refinement, product redevelopment and retesting. The 10year toil certainly took its toll. “There were times when you thought the device was never going to come to fruition,” says Teigen. “Many times we would work to figure things out and just run into roadblock after roadblock.” Teigen was determined to overcome the obstacles and he has – with promising progress. In 2011, Teigen’s team was granted permission to do clinical trials in Germany and Italy. He recalls the thrill of performing the first operation using the new device and seeing the remarkable results. “It was unbelievably exciting,” he says. “To see a person come in with a life-threatening aneurysm, and then to put the graft in with two tiny incisions and have him go home the same day was amazing. That’s when the impact of all this work really hit me.” To date, Teigen has implanted his new device in 22 patients, including the first one in the U.S. as part of the current U.S.-Japan dual trial. He says the postoperative data has been excellent. If the trials continue to be as successful as expected, full-scale global use of the device will likely soon be permitted. The impact could be huge. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, AAA occur in 5 to 7 percent of people age 60 and older in the U.S., resulting in the loss of 15,000 lives each year. Worldwide, it’s estimated that AAA affect 24 million people. Thanks to Teigen’s new device, a much larger percentage of those afflicted will be saved. “I view it as I have God-given talents that should be used to improve health care,” he says. “I just have the desire to make something better and to be part of something bigger than myself.” Even as Teigen celebrates the early success of his current invention, he is already engaged in other innovative efforts. His work on a new device to treat thoracic aneurysms is quickly advancing and he expects it to be in FDA trials within the next year. He sees moving medicine forward as his never-ending goal and responsibility. “I think you always have to be innovating,” says Teigen. “When you see something that is going to improve the lives of others, you have to step forward and do something about it.” ■ Photo: Mike Smith, Sanford Health
Everything By Sheldon Green
Zahra Tahir ’16 was 18 years old before she sat in her first classroom. Now she does everything she can to make sure she’ll receive a college diploma.
For most of Zahra Tahir’s life, education has been elusive. This year, her first year at Concordia, is only her third year of formal schooling. But Zahra is determined to earn a degree in biology as she methodically works toward her goal of becoming a healthcare professional. She will succeed simply because she must. Zahra ’16 and her two younger brothers, Amirhossein and Mehdi, arrived in Fargo, N.D., in December 2009 as orphaned teenage refugees from war-torn Afghanistan. After overcoming enormous obstacles, the Tahirs now enjoy the precious gift of education. For them, it is everything. Some years ago, Zahra’s father boarded a bus for Pakistan to look for work. He was never seen again, most likely a victim of war violence. Ten years ago, Zahra’s mother died from a medical condition, leaving Zahra to care for her brothers. Family friends took them to Iran when they went there looking for work. Zahra earned money weaving Persian rugs and Amirhossein, who goes by Amir, did manual labor. A refugee program eventually brought the three of them to Turkey. There Amir earned money sewing, and Zahra says people were kind to them, helping as they could. But there was no chance for education unless the Tahirs would split up.
The teamwork and interaction required in biology labs connects Zahra Tahir ’16 with fellow students, easing her transition into academic life.
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Suzy Schmoll (right) provides friendship and helpful advice for Amir, Mehdi and Zahra Tahir as they rebuild their lives and attend school in Fargo-Moorhead.
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“I said no. We were desperate for education, but we stay together. We’re a family,” Zahra says. She put her faith in God, just as she had when their mother died. God, Zahra prayed, would find a way for them. Their Turkish friends connected the Tahirs with the United States Embassy, which ultimately led to Lutheran Social Services and fast changes in their lives. In no time they were living in an apartment in Fargo and learning basic English from the mother of their LSS case worker, who happens to be a Cobber. Two weeks later, they were enrolled in Fargo schools. Zahra was then 18 years old; Amir was 16 and Mehdi, 13. “You never saw more scared, frightened kids,” says Jim Keal, a counselor at Fargo South High School. “Everything was very confusing, very stressful for them. At my first meeting with Zahra, I told her a high school diploma might not be possible.” Zahra recalls how incredibly frustrating those early days of school were. “It was so hard, I got a headache every day,” she says. “I was feeling so bad. I didn’t know much English. Everything was so different.” But Keal saw strength in Zahra’s willingness to work, and together they made a plan. Zahra carried a full load of classes including night and summer school, and in two-and-a-half years she earned the 24 credits necessary to graduate. “Can you imagine how difficult that was?” Keal asks. “It was a lot of hard work on her part. Zahra did this while working 20 or more hours a week and keeping her brothers in line because she’s their legal guardian.”
She also completed a Certified Nursing Assistant program so she could earn more money at her nursing home job. “Zahra is a shining example of what you can accomplish when you set your mind to achieving a goal,” says Keal. “She is very gifted academically. She doesn’t quit. She puts in the work.” Zahra, a quiet, polite and modest person, credits a network of friends who help her. One of the first was Suzy Schmoll, whose husband, Dr. Edward Schmoll, is a professor of classical studies at Concordia. Because the Tahirs are still uncomfortable with casual American manners, they insist on calling them Mrs. Suzy and Mr. Eddie. “I met Zahra, Amir and Mehdi shortly after they arrived here through an Afghani friend in Fargo, and my heart just went out to these kids for how alone they are,” Suzy Schmoll says. Schmoll provides steady emotional support, gives them rides to school or work, helps improve their English, and always answers an endless string of questions about their new culture. “They’re such sweet kids. We’ve developed an aunt or big sister kind of relationship,” Schmoll says. “I love them so much. They’re so polite and they appreciate anything you do for them.” That, too, is how Keal describes the Tahirs in one word: thankful. “They’re always thankful,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how much or how little you do for them, they always express their gratitude.”
As head of the family, Zahra has attended her brothers’ parent-teacher conferences and makes sure they do their homework. Now that Amir is studying civil engineering at North Dakota State University, Zahra and Amir confer on family decisions and are like parents to Mehdi. “Zahra is very responsible,” Schmoll says. “She’s wise and mature beyond her years. There’s an interesting dynamic now with Amir in college. He likes to do things right now, while Zahra will think long and hard before making a decision. She’s very precise.” Zahra chose Concordia because of its high quality science program and the influence of her many Cobber friends. She found another helpful friend in senior admissions representative Pete Lien. “Zahra came here on a group visit with other international students,” recalls Lien. “Right away I saw how meticulous she is about doing everything right, and her background is so inspiring.” Lien used all the tools available to him to help Zahra enroll. “I knew she would take full advantage of all Concordia has to offer,” he says. “She’s the kind of student you wish there were more of.” Concordia is a reality because Zahra’s high school GPA and high ACT score landed her the top noncompetitive, academic scholarship offered by Concordia. Zahra hopes she can continue to pay for college through a combination of work income, some need-based assistance and a federal loan. Dr. Amy Watkin taught Zahra’s English Language Learners course. She says Zahra was immediately on par with other first-year students. “She did well by any standard. I’m not sure anyone would have guessed she was an ELL student,” says Watkin, who submitted Zahra’s final paper for the Inquiry Seminar writing competition, which indicates it was the highest level of work in the class. “It’s clear that Zahra is driven and motivated in ways most students aren’t,” Watkin says. “She pulled me to a higher level of teaching because I wanted to help her so much.” Zahra attributes getting good grades to her burning desire for an education and the secure future it will bring. It’s more difficult for her because her knowledge of English is still growing, but her dictionary is well worn and she reads her assignments at least twice. Education is her job and she works hard at it. Zahra never misses class or a tutoring session, and she makes time every day to read the Quran and pray. “When you really want something, you work for it and you can do it,” she says. “I get mentally tired because I
struggle with the words. I just keep at it. My ‘thank you’ to everyone will come when I reach my goal.” Zahra’s goal is a long way off. She’s worked part time at a nursing home since high school, but a big source of income vanished when PRACS Institute, where she worked as a phlebotomist, suddenly closed this spring. But Zahra is motivated. She follows the news from Afghanistan and constantly worries about the children. She believes that if she had stayed there she would either be dead or have children of her own by now, but no education. A devout Muslim, Zahra believes God has a plan for her. “God has given me this opportunity to get an education so I can help people,” she says. “I feel a responsibility to those people who are still struggling in Afghanistan and hopefully one day I can be a small help to them. If I can help only one child, it will be worth everything. No matter where you are, you can be of service to someone.” Photos: Sheldon Green
Zahra works as many hours as she can to support her brothers while pursuing her goal of becoming a healthcare professional.
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Mentoring Business By Danielle Hance
Lana Siewert-Olson ‘86 didn’t know any other women in business when she entered the working world. She took the first job offered to her and began a solo climb on the ladder of success. “I didn’t have a mentor in college. It would have been nice to have someone to call and bounce questions off who had been there and done that,” she says. “There were not as many women in business back then, not as many role models.” Now she is president of Ideal Printers in St. Paul, Minn., where she works alongside her sister, Joan SiewertCardona ’87. The sisters were named Women Business Owners of the Year by the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and their company was named one of the Top 100 Workplaces by the Star Tribune in 2011. Siewert-Olson is sharing her success. When Concordia asked her to join a Twin Cities women’s mentoring group, she was ready and willing. “I want these girls to have confidence and realize that there isn’t a glass ceiling that they have to worry about,” she says. “There is nothing that they can’t do.” In Fargo-Moorhead, Christie Gleason ’14, Loretto, Minn., and her mentor, Kristie (Ehlers) Huber ’98, meet over coffee at least three times a month for what Gleason describes as “deep life chats.” Huber is resource development director for the United Way of Cass-Clay, a leading nonprofit agency, which Gleason says is a perfect match for her. “I enjoy connecting with people and engaging with a community,” says Gleason. “My passion is to work for a nonprofit, so I’m finding out what it’s like from someone who truly knows.” Just as Huber gained valuable advice from a mentor, she enjoys helping Gleason develop her skills and self-confidence. “I’m so passionate about mentorships because I’m a product of good mentoring myself,” says Huber. “For me, it’s all about paying it forward, and from my first meeting with Christie, I knew this was the right program for her. Christie will do awesome things.” With Huber’s influence and help, Gleason will fulfill an ambition to serve others by interning this summer at the United Way in St. Cloud, Minn. Siewert-Olson has mentored two recent Concordia students by communicating with them via email or telephone. The first was Mary Kate Sershen ’12, who once called her Once a mentee herself, Kristie (Ehlers) Huber ’98 (right) has developed a close friendship with Christie Gleason ’14 through the mentorship program.
in the middle of a class. Sershen was doing a group project and had 30 minutes to come up with a proposal. SiewertOlson was happy to offer on-the-spot advice. Sershen also received advice on what to put on her résumé and how to ask key questions in an interview. As a result, she landed her first job last spring at Thrivent Financial in Sioux Falls, S.D., without a hitch. Siewert-Olson now mentors Regan Whitney ’14, Breckenridge, Minn., who is the editor of The Concordian campus newspaper and a business major with a marketing concentration. “Before my mentorship, I didn’t have any solid contacts in the business world,” says Whitney. “Now I have someone to turn to that I know cares about helping me. She’s willing to take time out of her busy day to answer my emails or set up appointments for me with her own contacts.” When Whitney wanted to see what happens inside a marketing department, Siewert-Olson connected her with one of her business clients. Whitney gained insight after meeting with the brand manager and some of the writers and designers of promotional materials. More importantly, Whitney learned the value of networking and started thinking about her future in ways she hadn’t imagined before. “Mentorship has really opened my eyes for how I can network with alumni and business professionals,” she says. “I now feel comfortable asking almost anyone I meet about their career and how they got started.” In addition to mentorships arranged by the Alumni Relations Office, the Offutt School of Business has matched 25 students with 25 local businesspeople who attended Concordia. Plus, businesswomen in the Twin Cities have mentored 35 young women during the past two years. The benefits of mentoring aren’t just for the student. Mentors grow from the experience, too. Siewert-Olson says mentoring has reconnected her to what is happening on campus. “I really like seeing what students are learning,” she says. “I love getting to know them. I hope to stay in touch with my mentees as they progress in their careers. Because of this experience, I realize how important mentoring is and how important it is for students to know people in business.” Photo: Sheldon Green
Sheldon Green contributed to this story.
National Book Awards at Concordia Retirees Honored at Faculty Banquet Ten longtime faculty and administrators retired this year. They have a combined total of 280 years of service to the college. (Back row): Dr. David Sandgren, history, 42 years; Dr. James Aageson, religion, 28 years; Dr. James Coomber, English, 47 years; (front row): Dr. Alfhild Ingberg, English, 26 years; Dr. Shawn Carruth, religion, 24 years; Sharon Hoverson, library, 32 years; Joanne Cohen, music, 23 years; (not pictured): Dr. Gregg Muilenburg, philosophy, 36 years; Dr. James Specht, Offutt School of Business, 12 years; and Paul Evenson, Advancement, 10 years. For more in-depth biographies and accomplishments of these individuals, visit ConcordiaCollege.edu/magazine.
Fradet Receives Flaat Award for Support Staff Bill Fradet, Dining Services catering manager, received the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award at the annual Spring Support Staff Appreciation Dinner. After working for four years in Dining Services as a student and upon earning his bachelor’s degree in 1989, Fradet joined the office full time as catering manager. Largely because of his many contributions and his effective interaction with co-workers and student staff, Catering by Concordia is now considered an exceptional catering company in the Fargo-Moorhead area. The Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award recognizes excellence in long-term service to the college by a member of the support staff. The recipient must be both outstanding in their professional role and a person who is committed to the mission and goals of Concordia.
New Chief Academic Officer Named Dr. Eric Eliason has been named dean of the college and vice president for Academic Affairs at Concordia. He succeeds Dr. Mark Krejci, who, after nine years of service as Concordia’s dean and provost, will return to his work as a teaching scholar in psychology. Eliason is currently professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., where he has been on the faculty since 1989. He served as interim dean of the faculty from 2005 to 2007, and then as academic dean from 2007 to 2009. Eliason will begin his duties Aug. 1.
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Louise Erdrich and Domingo Martinez were on campus in March as part of the eighth annual National Book Awards at Concordia. Erdrich won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction for “The Round House.” She has written 14 novels as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, children’s books and a memoir of early motherhood. Martinez was a finalist for his memoir “The Boy Kings of Texas.” His work has appeared in Epiphany, and he has contributed to The New Republic. He has read pieces from the book on National Public Radio’s “This American Life.” In a gathering with first-year students on campus, Martinez urged students to establish personal standards of excellence and then keep pursuing those standards. “Staying true and dedicated to your standards is the trick to finding and maintaining excellence,” says Martinez.
Craft Elected to LWR Board President William Craft has been elected to serve on the board of Lutheran World Relief. An international nonprofit organization, LWR works to end poverty and injustice in impoverished countries by empowering their people. “As president of a global liberal arts college dedicated to calling students into lives of service to neighbor and to sustaining our world for the flourishing of all, I enter into board service with excitement and a whole heart,” Craft says. Craft sees opportunities for collaboration between LWR and Concordia that would encourage students to apply what they discover in formal studies to the problems that diminish human health and well-being. “Lutheran World Relief can challenge us to see that sustainability involves addressing the very fundamental needs of our brothers and sisters around the world,” he says.
NEWS Grammy Awards go to Clausen CD A CD of compositions by Concordia Choir conductor and composer Dr. René Clausen won two Grammy Awards in February. The winners were announced at the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. “Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen” is a 13-track album recorded by the Kansas City Chorale. The CD won in the categories of Best Engineered Classical Album and Best Choral Performance. Blanton Alspaugh, producer of the CD, also won Classical Producer of the Year. Clausen is currently in his 27th year as a member of the faculty, is artistic director of the award-winning Concordia Christmas Concerts and is conductor of the acclaimed Concordia Choir. He is a renowned composer and arranger, having written dozens of commissioned compositions and is also a frequent guest conductor, composer and lecturer.
Grant Funds Responsibility Seminar A prestigious Bringing Theory to Practice Seminar grant by the Association of American Colleges and Universities allowed three Concordia faculty members to organize a January seminar on personal responsibility and power. Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, associate dean of core and advising, Dr. Elna Solvang, associate professor of religion, and Dr. Susan Larson, professor of psychology, facilitated the daylong event. Attendees became more aware of the misuse of power in cases of sexual violence and harassment. They will use the tools they learned and discussions they had to guide student conversations on power and powerlessness, especially as it relates to faith and personal responsibility. “It is through conversations like these that I hope we can move forward on making our campus a safe and supportive place for all its students and employees,” says Larson. “It is also my hope that the seminar improves the way in which we educate our students to use power in their own lives in responsible ways.”
Your Opinion Matters Concordia College is seeking comments from the public about the college in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The college will host a visit Nov. 4-6 with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Concordia College has been accredited by the commission since 1927. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the commission’s criteria for accreditation. The public is invited to submit comments regarding the college: Third-Party Comment on Concordia College The Higher Learning Commission 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 Chicago, IL 60604-1411 The public may also submit comments on the commission’s website at www.ncahlc.org. Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by Oct. 4, 2013.
400 and Counting Concordia head baseball coach Bucky Burgau became the first coach in the history of MIAC baseball to win 400 conference games. The Cobbers outlasted St. Olaf 8-6 on May 7 to give Burgau the milestone victory. “It’s more of a tribute to all of the great players that have passed through the program,” Burgau says. “I have been very fortunate to have been able to coach at a school like Concordia for so long and at a college that produces outstanding student-athletes.” Burgau, who is in his 35th season at the helm of Concordia, is now 400-269 in conference play. He is also 658-527-6 in all games. This ranks him among the top 25 on the NCAA Division III winningest active coaches win list.
Grant Received for Art Research in South Korea Two Concordia art faculty members received a grant to conduct research with their students in South Korea this summer. Heidi Goldberg, associate professor, and Dr. Susan Lee, assistant professor, received one of 13 awards bestowed nationally from the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program to support collaborative undergraduate research in Asia. For three weeks, Goldberg and Lee will accompany a group of six students as their travels take them to Seoul and surrounding areas. Students will explore important aspects of Korean traditions in contemporary art making. “Our students will come out of this experience having learned much about contemporary South Korean art,” Lee says. “They will come away with a fuller sense of what it means to be responsibly engaged in the world.”
NEWS Open Doors Report Lists Concordia as National Leader
U.S. Bancorp CEO Praises Offutt School Emphasis on ethical behavior and leadership development sets Concordia College apart in higher education today, says Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bancorp. He spoke at the inaugural Offutt School Presents seminar, a gathering of 250 business leaders, alumni and students on March 14 in Minneapolis. Davis noted that a good number of business leaders in the Twin Cities are graduates of Concordia, which develops future business leaders the right way. “The Offutt School of Business intends to teach young people ethical behavior and encourage them to do something with it,” says Davis. “This is what clearly separates Concordia and its Offutt School of Business from the others.” Troy Butner ’90, a partner at Ernst & Young Financial Services, flew in from his office in Zurich, Switzerland, to introduce Davis and participate in a panel discussion with him. The two fielded questions from the audience on specific examples of ethical decision making in business.
Reino Wins Fulbright Award April Reino ’12 has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship. Beginning in September, she will spend a year in Vienna teaching English at a secondary school while also studying at the University of Vienna. She is the 30th student from Concordia to win a Fulbright Award since the college began participating in the program in the mid-1980s. Concordia is among the leading Lutheran colleges in securing Fulbrights. Reino is currently teaching English in South Korea. “April is an exceptional student. She’s very deserving,” says history professor Dr. David Sandgren, Fulbright advisor. “Applying for the award is a rigorous process, but because of her fluency in German and her experience abroad, April was a very attractive candidate.” The Fulbright program provides 8,000 grants annually for graduate study, advanced research and classroom teaching.
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Concordia is ranked 10th in the nation by the Open Doors Report for students involved in short-term study abroad and 21st in total number of study abroad students at baccalaureate institutions. While the number of students studying abroad nationally was nearly at a standstill for the second straight year, Concordia has displayed growth as faculty and staff work to control costs while improving academic quality. “Concordia students have growing expectations for transformative learning abroad. They value the college’s commitment to global liberal arts and challenge our community to maintain and strengthen its national standing,” says Dr. Per Anderson, associate dean for global learning.
NSF Grant Launches Studio Physics Classes Studio physics is an interactive way of learning science and, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, Concordia has introduced studio physics to campus. With studio, students experience a seamless integration between lecture and lab. “In contrast to the lecture style where students observe the instructor doing an experiment, here students do the work themselves,” says Dr. Luiz Manzoni, assistant professor. “We feel it’s the best way to teach physics.” Extensive research shows this method improves students’ ability to retain what they learn, Manzoni says. This method has been well established but requires an extensive initial expenditure for resources, equipment and computers, Manzoni says. Receiving the NSF grant, which was written by physics professor Dr. Heidi Manning, enabled the department to launch studio classes.
President Presents in China President William Craft spent a week in Zhuhai, China, where he spoke at the Sino-American Conference on Liberal Arts Education at United International College. The conference is one element of the partnership between UIC and the Minnesota Private College Council, of which Concordia is a member. UIC is the first sanctioned liberal arts college established in mainland China, with a curriculum dedicated to whole person education and international understanding. UIC is one of three Chinese universities that have a relationship with Concordia.
NEWS Drache Receives Honorary Degree Dr. Hiram Drache, professor emeritus of history, was awarded an honorary degree at Winter Commencement ceremonies Dec. 14 from the University of North Dakota, where he earned his doctorate. Drache’s dissertation “The Day of the Bonanza: A History of Bonanza Farming in the Red River Valley of the North” became his first published book and was followed by 14 more books, contributions to another seven and more than 50 articles. He continues as an author and a historian-inresidence at Concordia, where he retired after 37 years on the faculty.
Faculty Publish New Books Concordia faculty members have published their scholarship in several new books. History professor Dr. David Sandgren has written of revisiting the students he taught in Kenya during the 1960s who went on to become leaders of their country. The Irish Film Institute in Dublin honored English professor Dr. Dawn Duncan with the release of her latest book, “Irish Myth, Lore, and Legend on Film.” Dr. Hiram Drache, historian-in-residence, released a biography of entrepreneur Ron Offutt ’64 to coincide with the dedication of Grant Center, home of the new Offutt School of Business at Concordia. Sandgren’s book, “Mau Mau’s Children: The Making of Kenya’s Postcolonial Elite,” recalls teaching when Kenya gained its independence and sent its first generation of students to secondary schools and colleges. Duncan’s book examines filmed versions of Irish culture, concentrating on stories that encompass a hero’s life journey. The films in Duncan’s analysis include “The Quiet Man,” “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” and “The Secret of Roan Inish.” In “R.D. Offutt: Success & Significance,” Drache praises Offutt’s ability to see opportunities where others do not and to form creative partnerships to launch new business ventures. Drache chronicles many examples of Offutt’s trendsetting in global agriculture, marketing and philanthropy.
Speech Competitors Place at Nationals Concordia College speech competitors placed 15th in the overall school competition at the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events tournament hosted in April by Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. A total of 80 institutions qualified students for the national tournament. Thirteen Concordia students qualified for the national tournament and two students won individual awards. Those participating were Britt Aasmundstad ’13, Devils Lake, N.D.; Joe Anderson ’14, Albany, Ore.; Cristy Dougherty ’15, St. Francis, Minn.; Christiana Hennings ’15, Arlington, S.D.; Meg Henrickson ’13, Yankton, S.D.; Krysta Hovendon ’15, Rosemount, Minn.; Cole Kantos ’13, Waupaca, Wis.; George Kueppers ’15, Spicer, Minn.; Quinn Maroney ’15, Kalispell, Mont.; Amber Morgan ’15, Byron, Minn.; Jenna Nypan ’13, Cushing, Minn.; Kathleen Perry ’15, Redwood Falls, Minn.; and Colin Sullivan ’14, Moorhead.
Winter Sports Highlights Winter was a successful season for Cobber athletics. Women’s basketball won its first MIAC regular season championship since 1989 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the past five seasons. The other winter Cobber teams – men’s basketball, men’s hockey and women’s hockey – all made the MIAC Tournament and advanced to the semifinals of their respective conference tournaments. Women’s hockey earned its way to the MIAC championship game. The winter season once again showcased the talents of many Cobber student-athletes with four earning All-American honors: Tricia Sorensen ’13, Bismarck, N.D., women’s basketball; Cherae Reeves ’15, West Fargo, N.D., track and field; and wrestlers Tom Bouressa ’13, Alexandria, Minn., and Jake Long ’14, Hoffman, Minn.
Bricks, Turf and Asphalt
By Amy E. Kelly
Bringing the Update the Jake to Completion
With a bird’s eye view from above, Dr. Larry Papenfuss watched from the press box as head coach Terry Horan and the football team ran onto the vibrant green field to play their first game on the new artificial turf in fall 2010. Papenfuss, the athletic director at the time, was wowed by how nice the FieldTurf looked. To the south of the stadium, the baseball field was also agleam with artificial turf. New asphalt parking lots would soon flank the fields. These were the rewards of completing the first two phases of the Update the Jake project. The college has moved to phase three of the $5.6 million project, a $2.9 million locker room facility. “The locker room is, in some ways, a second home to student-athletes because that’s where they spend a lot of time with their teammates,” says Rich Glas, current athletic director. “You want to have a nice spot for them.” The old locker room, which will now be utilized by men’s soccer and visiting teams, had around 70 lockers. That wasn’t enough for the current football team and visiting teams for a home game or all the new spring and fall sports that have been added since the complex was built. The new approximately 10,000-square-foot facility includes a room with 140 lockers for the football team and a 40-locker women’s soccer space. It will also include a Hall of Legends, coaches’ offices, a laundry facility and a training room. More than 400 people have contributed to the project, a testament to the alumni who are loyal to a program that has made a significant impact, Papenfuss and Glas say.
Teams already enjoy playing on the new FieldTurf (top) and will soon have a new locker room facility (artist’s rendering above) called The Wayne and Beverly Thorson Athletic Center featuring the Sanford Health Athletic Training Facility.
“So many of our alumni have been generous with their gifts to make this happen, and it is greatly appreciated by our coaching staff and studentathletes,” Glas says. Much of the project funding has come from families with an athletic legacy at the college. Others have given in honor of favorite coaches or standout athletes who have passed on. Papenfuss, now the director of external relations for Advancement, takes great pleasure in seeing alumni reconnect with the college through this project. “People give where their hearts are. To see what it means for people to be able to give of themselves to benefit the college and the change it makes in them is wonderful,” Papenfuss says. “What I see as my calling in Advancement is to help people feel good about what they are able to do to benefit others. This is one of those instances.” This new front door to Eighth Street is scheduled for completion the beginning of 2014 and its inaugural football season has special meaning for many alumni – it will be the 50th anniversary for the 1964 National Champion Football team. Photo: Sheldon Green
Support the Update the Jake project by buying a brick on the donor wall in the plaza. ConcordiaCollege.edu/jake
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ALUMNI Bjerga Receives Sent Forth Award
Join us for Family Weekend Join the Family Weekend celebration, “Born to be Corn,” at Concordia Sept. 20-22. Chair Courtney Backen ’15, Bloomington, Minn., and the Family Weekend committee have been working hard to update and plan the 2013 weekend. This year’s events include Friday Fun Night, brunch, lifesized games at the Family Festival, rootbeer floats at the ice cream social, a Family Expo, a football game vs. St. John’s University, a Showcase talent show and All-Campus Worship. Registration and ticket information will be mailed to Cobber homes in July and will also be available online at ConcordiaCollege.edu/alumni. Come be part of the celebration because you were “Born to be Corn!”
Journalist Alan Bjerga ’95 is the recipient of the 2013 Sent Forth Award, given to a young alumnus who exemplifies the ideals of Concordia College through outstanding service and leadership in their profession and community. Bjerga writes on agricultural policy for Bloomberg News and is the author of “Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest.” He is past president of the National Press Club and the North American Agricultural Journalists. He is also an adjunct journalism instructor at Georgetown University. Bjerga grew up on a farm near Motley, Minn., and edited The Concordian campus newspaper. He earned a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Minnesota, where he was managing editor of The Minnesota Daily. The Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the New York Press Club, the Kansas Press Association, the North American Agricultural Journalists and the Overseas Press Club have recognized him for his reporting on agriculture. In 2012, the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication honored him with its Above the Fold award for outstanding achievement by alumni under 40. Along with his frequent appearances on Bloomberg Television, he has also been a contestant on “Jeopardy!” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
Alumni Enjoy Global Travel Be Part of a Living Tradition Mark your calendars for Oct. 11-13 as we celebrate Homecoming 2013, “We Are Concordia: A Living Tradition.” Matt Dymoke ’14, Bloomington, Minn., and his committee of 42 members have been hard at work planning a wide array of exciting events, including the banquet, alumni breakfasts, tailgating and the football game vs. Bethel. In addition, we will honor four people with Alumni Achievement Awards: Murrae Freng ’46, Morrie Lanning ’66, George Halvorson Jr. ’68 and Karen (Lattu) Polzin ’77. Reunions will be scheduled for classes ending in 3 and 8, but we would love to see as many people as possible. For more information, check out ConcordiaCollege.edu/alumni. We’ll see you here in October.
Concordia continues to expand its global presence by taking alumni and friends into the world to experience, learn and serve. In June, President William and Anne Craft are leading a cycling excursion through Ireland, including the scenic way through County Clare to the River Shannon and Galway Bay. Faculty experts will lead trips in 2014 to Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and to the island of Santorini and mainland Greece. A third group will retrace the footsteps of the Apostle Paul through Turkey and Greece. For details about these trips, call the Office of Alumni Relations at (218) 299-3734 or visit ConcordiaCollege.edu/alumni. A highlight last year for many alumni was accompanying nursing faculty Dr. Polly Kloster and Dr. Jennifer DeJong to Vietnam. The group not only absorbed culture and history, but also focused on vocation and service. Lasting memories were made as the Cobbers helped do health assessments on more than 60 young adults and children. Religion professor Dr. James Aageson brought 31 alumni and friends to Israel and Jordan in March. The trip included an audience with the Rev. Dr. Munib Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and walking tours of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Petra. Dr. Polly Fassinger, director of institutional research, traveled with the group. She says the expertise of faculty leaders makes a difference. “The trip was outstanding because of delightful travel companions and many amazing cultural experiences,” she says. “Biblical references that previously had been vague images in our mind’s eye came vividly alive, and now have a much richer context in my life.” Concordia Magazine
CLASS NOTES 1988 Karen Dickerson, Richmond Heights, Ohio, is director of the Transfer and Adult Student Enrollment Center at The U of Akron. Paul Nicholson, Laurel, Md., is senior vice president and chief financial officer for the U of Mary St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson.
Orstad, Shoreview, Minn., was installed as the pastor for Spirit of Christ Community Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park. Michael Wentzell, Carver, Minn., was appointed district court judge in Minnesota’s First Judicial District by Gov. Mark Dayton; Wentzell serves as chief deputy Carver County attorney, Chaska.
Candace Lilyquist, Arlington, Va., earned a master’s degree in organizational development and knowledge management from George Mason U, Arlington, and National Labor College, Silver Spring, Md.
Still Playing Hockey Former Cobber women’s hockey players still find the time for hockey. They played on the TRIA Orthopaedics team at the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in January on Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis. (l-r) Annie Knierim ’03 is completing graduate school at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., and will begin her residency in medicine in Las Vegas; Kate (Anderson) Bockenstedt ’03, Jordan, Minn., is equipment manager for the Gopher women’s hockey team; and Lindsay Czarnecki ’05, Los Angeles, works for Fox Sports.
Heidi Campbell-Beer, Fargo, N.D., earned a Master of Science degree in special education from Minnesota State U Moorhead. Shauna Hannan, Columbia, S.C., is assistant professor of homiletics at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
Mildred (Pederson) ’58 and Gary Smith, Chinook, Mont., celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Beverly (Blakeway) Marcy, Fargo, N.D., is admissions coordinator at Bethany Retirement Living. Terry Sandven, Edina, Minn., was named chief equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, Minneapolis.
Kimberly (Morrill) Goodman, Minneapolis, was certified as a CPE supervisor by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Decatur, Ga.; she is chaplain and clinical pastoral education supervisor for Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Heidi (Engler) Taylor, Peoria, Ill., earned a nursing degree through the RN-BSN program at Methodist College; she is a registered nurse at OSF Medical Center.
1959 Vernon Rice, St. Paul, Minn., is an Agora congregational liaison at Luther Seminary.
John Peterson, Hendersonville, N.C., was elected president of the Anglican Communion’s Compass Rose Society.
Craig Davenport, Spokane, Wash., is an archivist for All Saint’s Lutheran Church; he was appointed to the Mental Health Advisory Board of Spokane County. Kim (Kloster) Matheson, Wayzata, Minn., is director of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies. Brian Nelson, St. Paul, Minn., is executive director of the Miracles of Mitch Foundation, Chanhassen. David Zimmerman, Watertown, Wis., earned a master’s degree in ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill.; he is pastor of adult ministries for River Valley Alliance Church, Watertown.
1964 Roger Hanson, Denver, and colleagues at the National Center for State Courts, with support from the U.S. National Institute of Justice, are evaluating ways to reduce recidivism of indigent criminal defendants by providing them with essential social services.
Kristen (Nielsen) Limpert, Emporia, Kan., is associate professor at Emporia State U.
Marlys Smith, Arthur, N.D., is field supervisor for the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sylvia (Uhren) Lokken, Rowlett, Texas, retired from Garland Independent School District after 23 years of teaching.
Maria Green Cowles, Bethesda, Md., is dean of the Graduate School at Hood College, Frederick.
Geoffrey Bentley, Hawley, Minn., retired from the U.S. Navy after 37 years of service, active and reserve; he has a private dental practice.
1976 Helen (Vollman) Martin, Milwaukee, a family and consumer science teacher, retired from Milwaukee Public Schools.
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Amy (McDonald) Larson, Bloomington, Minn., was elected to the national Public Risk Management Association board of directors, Alexandria, Va.; she is risk and litigation manager for the city of Bloomington.
1987 Todd Nelsen, New Ulm, Minn., is development consultant for worship facilities at Miller Architects and Builders, St. Cloud.
Ericka (Johnson) Anderson, Redondo Beach, Calif., works in accounts payable for International Furniture Marketing, Torrance. Ryan Bemis, Alton, Ill., is owner/partner of Bemis Wilderman Chiropractic. Kalee (Hohn) Dawson, Coon Rapids, Minn., is a fixed income liaison with Ameriprise Financial, Minneapolis. Jennifer (Bailey) DeJong, West Fargo, N.D., earned family nurse practitioner board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Meryl Irwin, Des Moines, Iowa, received a doctorate in communication studies from the U of Iowa, Iowa City; she is a visiting instructor of rhetoric and communication studies at Drake U. Vicki (Fingalson) Madison, Duluth, Minn., is an associate professor of music at the U of Wisconsin-Superior; she teaches voice and opera courses. William Polley, Macomb, Ill., is associate professor of economics at Western Illinois U.
1995 Jean Henderson, Park Rapids, Minn., is a transport/flight nurse for Mayo Medical Center, Rochester. Dianha Ortega-Ehreth, Elgin, Ill., is executive director of the Youth Leadership Academy, which was named a 2013 CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Award regional winner by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, New York. Amy (Bruget)
Julie Kearns, Minneapolis, opened the shop Junket: Tossed & Found. Christy (Ward) Peterson, Broken Arrow, Okla., earned an associate’s degree in health information technology from Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, Iowa; she was appointed District 5 director for the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity; she is the release of information coordinator for Hillcrest Medical Center, Tulsa.
1999 Deborah Kohlhardt, Jordan, Minn., is co-owner of Yoga Bella, Chanhassen. Matt Quam, New York, earned an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.
2000 Stacy Nielsen, Buffalo, Minn., earned a Master of Science degree in school psychology from Minnesota State U Moorhead; she is a school psychology intern for Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperative, Howard Lake.
2001 Cassandra (Oberembt) Glynn, Fargo, N.D., earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, second languages and cultures education from the U of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Theresa (Button) Johnson, Corcoran, Minn., is an attorney for Courey, Kosanda & Zimmer, P.A., Minneapolis. Mollie (Coleman) Trewartha, Houghton, Mich., earned an education specialist degree in education administration and supervision from Northern Michigan U, Marquette.
2002 Kristen Abbott, Olympia, Wash., earned the National Board advanced teaching certification in adolescence and young adulthood mathematics; she is a math teacher at Clover Park High School, Lakewood. John Bullock, Farmington, Minn., is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Ill. Jennica Date, Arlington, Va., is a team lead/paralegal for Leonard, Street and Deinard, Washington, D.C. Kristen Grove, Fargo, N.D., is a proposal coordinator for Ulteig. Megan Healy, Fargo, N.D., is an assistant U.S. attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office, District of North Dakota. Lindsay Matts, St. Paul, Minn., is an instructional designer for the U of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.
CLASS NOTES 2003 Jill (Flatau) Walter, Sebeka, Minn., is assistant principal of Sebeka Public School.
2004 Bradley Anderson, Fargo, N.D., is owner of Anderson Dental. Katie Perleberg, Fargo, N.D., is an associate attorney in the Trusts & Estates Group at Fredrikson & Byron. Alexis Read, Tempe, Ariz., is a disability access consultant for Arizona State U. Lisa (Hanna) Riddle, Sioux Falls, S.D., earned a master’s degree in elementary education curriculum and instruction from South Dakota State U, Brookings.
Honors Ingrid Christiansen, Chicago, received the Seeds of Hope award from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Wheat Ridge Ministries for her life’s work on justice and service for marginalized members of society. Jim Jaranson, San Diego, received the Inge Genefke Award from the Inge Genefke and Brent Sørensen Anti-Torture Foundation for his work with victims of torture.
1970 Roberta Hunt, St. Paul, Minn., received an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year for 2012 award for her book “Introduction to Community-Based Nursing” fifth edition.
2007 Kelly Haagenson, Plymouth, Minn., earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in cancer biology from Wayne State U School of Medicine, Detroit. Melissa Stave, Alexandria, Minn., earned Master of Science degrees in mental health counseling and addiction counseling from Capella U, Minneapolis; she is a mental health practitioner at the Village Family Service Center.
2008 Patrick Baker, Mankato, Minn., is director of government and institutional affairs for Greater Mankato Growth. Anna Johnson, Los Angeles, earned a Master of Social Work degree in mental health from the U of Southern California. Gretchen Kuhnmuench, Minneapolis, is in product management for Thomson Reuters, Eagan, Minn.
2009 Jennifer Froemming, Grand Forks, N.D., is site coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools-Wilder Elementary.
2011 Joshua LaGrave, Stillwater, Minn., is an usher and box office associate at Minnesota Public Radio’s Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul.
The American Hospital Association presented its 2013 Award of Honor April 27 to George Halvorson ‘68, Sausalito, Calif. The award is given to individuals or organizations in recognition of exemplary contributions to the health and well-being of our nation through leadership on major health policy or social initiatives. Halvorson is chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif.
William Hailer, Minneapolis, is district director for the office of Congressman Keith Ellison. Heather (Johnson) Petricig, Grand Forks, N.D., has a private dental practice. Carrie (LaBoda) Jansen, Grand Marais, Minn., earned Fastrak licensure via portfolio in Spanish education from Bemidji State U. Marie Kurth, Washington, D.C., earned a Master of Public Policy degree in national security policy from Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Minneapolis; she is a foreign affairs officer for the U.S. Department of State. Nate Larson, Alexandria, Minn., earned financial planner certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Tamara (Suhsen) Merkouris, Blaine, Minn., earned a Master of Science degree in software engineering from the U of St. Thomas, St. Paul.
Halvorson Receives American Hospital Association Award of Honor
Jon Millerhagen, Savage, Minn., was named a 2012 National Distinguished Principal; he is the principal of Washburn Elementary School, Bloomington.
1980 Rodger Hagen, Shoreview, Minn., was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers; the national publication Best Lawyers named him Minneapolis Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants Lawyer of the Year for 2013. David Wick, Whitefish, Mont., was named a 2012 National Distinguished Principal; he is the principal of Columbia Falls Junior High.
1982 Tricia (Henrickson) Erickson, Fargo, N.D., was named a 2012 National Distinguished Principal; she is the principal of Bennett Elementary School. Keith Fuglie, Falls Church, Va., received the Secretary’s Honor Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his role as branch chief with the USDA’s Economic Research Service, Washington, D.C. Kathi (Winegar) Tunheim, Orono, Minn., was inducted into the Pi Kappa Delta Order of Attainment, the forensic honor society’s most prestigious alumni award.
1984 Clifton Franklund, Big Rapids, Mich., was honored as Distinguished Professor of the Year at Ferris State U. Marti Skold-Jordan, Raleigh, N.C., received the first Making a Difference Media Award from Carolina Donor Services.
1988 Karen Dickerson, Richmond Heights, Ohio, received the 2012 Exemplary Service Award (Contract Professional) for her work in admissions and transfer services at The U of Akron; the Transfer and Adult Student Enrollment Center has been recognized by the
National Academic Advising Association as an “exemplary practice” program, one of only 10 nationwide. Jana (Stoskopf) Southwick, Rochester, Minn., was a 2012 Minnesota Teacher of the Year semifinalist; she was named Kasson-Mantorville 2011 Teacher of the Year.
1989 Kay (Jensen) Young, Waconia, Minn., was named Teacher of the Year for District 110 (Waconia).
1992 Wade Webb, Fargo, N.D., served as the U of North Dakota School of Law’s 2013 Rodney S. Webb Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence in February.
1994 William Polley, Macomb, Ill., was honored with the Western Illinois U College of Business and Technology Faculty Award for Excellence in University and Community Service.
1995 Sarah (Meyer) Conlin, Shoreview, Minn., was named March of Dimes Minnesota Pediatric Nurse of the Year by the Minnesota March of Dimes. Heather Faulkner, Eden Prairie, Minn., was named to the 40 under 40 list in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; she is the senior director of public relations at Carlson, Minnetonka. Shayne Hamann, Little Canada, Minn., was invited to join the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, New York, after nomination by her peers.
2000 Amber Kelley Foster, Eden Prairie, Minn., was inducted into Delta Mu Delta, the international honor society in business.
Marriages 1976 Mary Anderson to Bruce McCollum in August; they live in Vancouver, Wash.
1993 Heidi Engler to Jim Taylor in June 2012; they live in Peoria, Ill.
1994 Kalee Hohn to Greg Dawson in March; they live in Coon Rapids, Minn.
1995 Suzanne Berge to John Harrenga in July; they live in Sioux Falls, S.D.
1997 Charles Jacobson to Bridget Soleski in January; they live in Lone Tree, Colo.
2001 Angie Taylor to Stacy Thaxton in October; they live in Sauk Rapids, Minn.
2002 Megan Healy to Christopher Lindseth ‘96 in November; they live in Fargo, N.D.
2006 Sheena Hess to William Schar in June 2012; they live in Hopkins, Minn. Tara Steuber to Nicholas Wilson in January; they live in Orlando, Fla.
2007 Katey Beverlin to Nate Bignall in November; they live in Moline, Ill. Jennifer Cable to Mike Rickman in August; they live in Helena, Mont. Ryan Moorse to Ashley Liegakos ’08 in October; they live in Shakopee, Minn.
2009 Peter Haagenson to Kayte McGuire ’10 in September; they live in Minnetonka, Minn.
2010 Rachel Anderson to Andrew Berry ’08 in June 2012; they live in Littlefork, Minn.
2011 Katrina Corcoran to Nicholas Holman ‘12 in July; they live in Grand Forks, N.D. Katie Gallup to Mitchell Crawford in October; they live in Fargo, N.D.
1986 Roger Wambheim to Denise Morrow in September; they live in St. Paul, Minn.
Shawn Brandon to Morris Goff in August; they live in Washington, D.C.
A boy, Tor, to Heather O’Neill and Bob Thorbus, St. Paul, Minn., in November. Concordia Magazine
CLASS NOTES to Joseph and Jennifer (Boettner) Kral, Brush, Colo., in March. A girl, Solveig, to Thea Rothmann and Guy Griebe, Crookston, Minn., in October.
2002 A girl, Iris, to Christopher and Alicia (Johnson) Kauffman, Fargo, N.D., in February. A girl, Katherine, to Laura (Kadow) ‘04 and Matthew Lamb, Ortonville, Minn., in November. A boy, Kalen, to Christine and Darin Velin, Redmond, Wash., in August.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Cobbers gathered at the home of Matt ’00 and Meagan (Stomswold) ’99 Retterath last fall and caught the younger generation in a perfect pose. Back row: Finley, son of Brian ’99 and Sonya (Henrichs) ’99 Carlson; Rory Retterath; Jackson Retterath; and Cooper Carlson. Front row: Jonah, son of Ross ’99 and Jen (Mosey) ’00 Gustafson; Julia Gustafson; Sullivan Carlson; and Lauren, daughter of Josh ’99 and Steph (Hall) ’99 Keck. (Not pictured: Brayden Keck)
1995 A boy, John, to Travis ’96 and Jennifer (Borgen) Barringer, Cottage Grove, Minn., in September. A girl, Audrey, to Katherine Kaetzer-Hodson and Dave Hodson, Cheyenne, Wyo., in February.
boy, Liam, to Kristen and Parker Marquardt, Billings, Mont., in October. A boy, Finnegan, to Allie Storti and Scott Shinnick, St. Paul, Minn., in October. A boy, Dashiell, to Kevin and Sara (Kleinsasser) Tan, Bloomington, Minn., in May 2012.
A boy, Ulrik, to Joette (Johnson) and Jonathan Solberg, Minneapolis, in December.
1997 A girl, Hailey, to Kyle and Cynthia (Hoselton) Thormodson, Moorhead, in July.
1998 A girl, Beatrice, to Nate and Sonja (Licklider) Adams, Prescott, Wis., in September. A girl, Ingrid, to Daniel and Sara (Coalwell) Lueth, Mayer, Minn., in October. A girl, Ellie, to Jeremy and Wendy (Kennedy) Schulz, Rochester, Minn., in November. A boy, Sawyer, to Shauna (Whitcomb) and Jeff Smart, Maple Grove, Minn., in July. Twins, a girl, Hannah, and a boy, Zachary, to Rebecca (Johnson) ‘01 and Ryan Tlustosch, Edina, Minn., in November. A girl, Abigail, to Timothy and Leslie (Ekre) Welky, Gallatin, Tenn., in October.
1999 A girl, Stella, to Scot ‘96 and Jamie (Mattson) Hagen, Moorhead, in October. A girl, Audra, to Deborah Kohlhardt and Luke Hennen, Jordan, Minn., in December. A
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A girl, Anna, to Levi and Kari (Anderson) Geadelmann, Edina, Minn., in December. A girl, Sophie, to Stephen and Therese (Welter) Jennings, Dawlish, Devon, U.K., in March. A boy, Eli, to Christine (Obenland) and Darren McKigney, Minneapolis, in September. A boy, Isaiah, to Jassen and Allison (Irgens) Picard, Bainville, Mont., in May 2012. A girl, Tova, to Sara and Erik Ronnevik, Fergus Falls, Minn., in October. A girl, Nealia, to Matt and Dee Ann (Simmons) Schnacky, Shakopee, Minn., in August. A boy, Ray, to Jean (Lockhart) ’99 and Rob Schwartz, Lake Park, Minn., in October.
2001 A girl, Elizabeth, to Michelle Eaton Scimecca and Frank Scimecca, Minneapolis, in October. A girl, Breckyn, to John and Stacy (Davis) Ferriter, Alexandria, Va., in February. A boy, Caleb, to Sara Grineski and Timothy Collins, El Paso, Texas, in July. A boy, Evan, to Alan and Katy (Hansen) Johnson, St. Paul, Minn., in November. A boy, Jakob, to Scott and Theresa (Button) Johnson, Corcoran, Minn., in October. A boy, Jacob,
A girl, Juliana, to Ike and Kristen (Haglund) Dulas, Easton, Minn., in October. A girl, Clara, to Krista (Johnson) and Nathan Gossai, Stillwater, Minn., in September. A boy, Marshall, to Mikal Kenfield and Josh Malnourie, Moorhead, in May 2012. A boy, Levi, to Hannibal and Kelsie (Shea) Nisperos, Las Vegas, in October. A girl, Georgina, to Craig and Jill (Flatau) Walter, Sebeka, Minn., in February.
2004 A boy, Corbin, to Richard and Patricia (Johnson) Andring, Dilworth, Minn., in November. A girl, Norah, to Joe and Sherri (Dathe) Biewer, Byron, Minn., in December. A girl, Abigail, to Michael and Linsey (Wichman) Bösl, St. Joseph, Minn., in September. A boy, Alex, to Maggie (Miller) and Brian Johnson, Bloomington, Minn., in December. A girl, Elise, to Dustin and Katherine (Meinz) Neibauer, Waconia, Minn., in July. A girl, Nora, to Brian and Anna (Nelson) Suckow, Sioux Falls, S.D., in September. A girl, Daviney, to Tara (Hill) and Darin Swenson, Litchfield, Minn., in September. A boy, Gus, to Kristen (Hartz) and Mike Walpole, Richfield, Minn., in January.
2005 A boy, Finn, to AnnMarie (Fuchs) and Adam Campbell, Fargo, N.D., in October. A boy, Jonah, to Derek Hughes and Krysten Edwards, Jamestown, N.D., in February. A boy, Calan, to Dave and Amanda (Anderson) Nygaard, West Fargo, N.D., in November. A girl, Emily, to Steve and Heather (Johnson) Petricig, Grand Forks, N.D., in April 2012.
2006 A girl, Alma, to Jeremy and Carrie (LaBoda) Jansen, Grand Marais, Minn., in September. A boy, Noah, to April (Kampa) and Nate Larson, Alexandria, Minn., in March. A boy, Nicholas, to Michael ‘05 and Tamara (Suhsen) Merkouris, Blaine, Minn., in January. Twins, a boy, Ian, and a girl, Natalie, to Kyle and Katie (Callander) Polman, Wadena, Minn., in August. A boy, Jonah, to Jeremiah and Natalie (Anderson) VanderVorst, Litchfield, Minn., in December. A girl, Mabel, to Mallory Warner-Richter and Mark Richter, Minneapolis, in August.
2007 A boy, Henry, to George and Laura (Swingen) Anderson, Bismarck, N.D., in October. A girl, Audree, to Adam and Shanna (Kub) Brech, Pierre, S.D., in October. A boy, Weston, to Jeremy ’04 and Elizabeth (Nelson) Hallquist, Big Lake, Minn., in October. A girl, Svea, to Vanessa (Wilhelmi) and Mark Hughes, Moorhead, in July.
2008 A girl, Caroline, to Cleave and Amanda (Shafer) Erickson, Vadnais Heights, Minn., in December. A girl, Olivia, to Stephen and Jessica (Lipinski) Westby, Sauk Rapids, Minn., in November.
2009 A boy, Jonathan, to Stacy (Holden) and Robert Jenson, Crookston, Minn., in October.
2010 A girl, Amelia, to Caleb and Danielle (Hendrickx) Olson, Menahga, Minn., in February.
Memorials 1936 Signe (Bestul) Barsness, 97, Fergus Falls, Minn., in November 2011.
1937 Harriet (Thorn) Wangberg, 96, Bemidji, Minn., in December.
1940 John Holsen, 94, Sioux Falls, S.D., in October. Bjarne “B.R.” Stousland, 94, Fargo, N.D., in October; he is survived by his wife, Mildred “Midge.” Abner Thoreson, 95, Pelican Rapids, Minn., in January; he is survived by his wife, Evelyn.
1941 Drell Bernhardson, 93, Eden Prairie, Minn., in January; he is survived by his wife, Adeline.
1943 Kathleen (Gunhus) Megorden Lee, 91, Cass Lake, Minn., in January; she is survived by her husband, DeWayne Lee. Evelyn (Larson) Overby, 91, Jamestown, N.D., in March.
1944 Edward “Bud” Gullickson Jr., 90, Spooner, Wis., in January. Arvid Houglum, 90, Duluth, Minn., in January; he is survived by his wife, Gerry.
1945 Charlotte (Tobin) Rice, 89, Tacoma, Wash., in January; she is survived by her husband, Lucian.
CLASS NOTES 1946 Cathryn (Wambheim) Rykken, 88, Black River Falls, Wis., in March; she is survived by her husband, Thorwald “Unk” ‘47.
wife, Evadne. Donald Olson, 83, San Diego, in March 2012; he is survived by his wife, Rosalie. Mary Ann (Ludwigsen) Slaperud, 79, Peoria, Ariz., in February.
Iona (Christianson) Bakk, 85, Plymouth, Minn., in February.
Paul Larson, 78, Watertown, S.D., in November; he is survived by his wife, Connie.
Donald Brekke, 89, Detroit Lakes, Minn., in March; he is survived by his wife, Delores (Burgess) ’73. Orlin Ness, 87, Crookston, Minn., in February. Luverne “Vern” Runestad, 88, Rockford, Ill., in January; he is survived by his wife, Barbara. Elvin “Al” Stenvold, 84, Grand Forks, N.D., in January; he is survived by his wife, LaVanche “Lovey” (Erickson). Marion (Krageland) Undhjem, 85, Edmonds, Wash., in February.
1950 Randolph “Casey” Jones, 87, Littleton, Colo., in February. Lloyd Odin, 87, Moorhead, in December; he is survived by his wife, Muriel. Richard “Ray” Stordahl, 87, Moorhead, in March; he is survived by his wife, Erma.
1951 Earl Grefsrud, 84, Minneapolis, in December; he is survived by his wife, Priscilla (Johnson) ’52. James Hougen, 83, Larimore, N.D., in December; he is survived by his wife, Vella. Dorcas (Erickson) Ode, 86, Brandon, S.D., in December. Herman “Jim” Radig, 83, Fargo, N.D., in October.
1952 Dorothy (Dees) Sanda, 82, Minnetonka, Minn., in February.
1953 Ina (Mitling) Donnelly, 81, St. Louis Park, Minn., in February. Donald Flaten, 88, St. Paul, Minn., in February. Shirley (Marple) Olson, 79, Bottineau, N.D., in August. Dennis Stutrud, 80, Minneapolis, in November.
1955 Shirley (Keel) Larson, 80, St. Anthony, Minn., in February. James Nygaard, 80, Moorhead, in November; he is survived by his
William “Coach Q” Quenette, 79, Moorhead, in February; he is survived by his wife, Darlene “Andy” (Anderson) ’58.
1958 Jean (Torkelson) Hollenbeck, 77, Grand Forks, N.D., in June 2012. Gilbert Lee, 78, Bloomington, Minn., in December; he is survived by his wife, Nancy (Jenson). James Nelson, 76, Campbell, Calif., in March. Ronald Pederson, 76, Northwood, N.D., in December; he is survived by his wife, Marilyn (Meldahl) ’60.
1959 Selma (Holsti) Anderson, 81, Moorhead, in March. Charles Kramer, 77, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in January. Phyllis Zimmerman, 78, Santa Barbara, Calif., in October.
1960 Janice (Olson) Barr, 74, Rapid City, S.D., in March; she is survived by her husband, Lowell. Loris (Flinn) Puckering, 76, Lummi Island, Wash., in October; she is survived by her husband, Douglas.
1961 Janice (Kjensrud) Knutson-Schieber, 74, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., in May 2012; she is survived by her husband, Fred Schieber. Robert Teigen, 75, Olympia, Wash., in November.
1963 Thomas Christenson, 71, Bexley, Ohio, in February.
1964 Al Zinter, 70, Owatonna, Minn., in December; he is survived by his wife, Jean.
Cobber Lineup Cobber cousins (l-r) Madisyn Razink and Jaren and Katelynn Berg can’t wait to be Cobbers like their moms, Kendra (Anderson) Razink ’02, Benson, Minn., and Michelle (Anderson) Berg ’01, Minot, N.D.
Sandra (Fischer) Perry, 68, Yorkville, Ill., in January.
Bruce Lattu, 60, Centerville, Minn., in March; he is survived by his wife, Kathy.
Myrna (Dickinson) Braunagel, 75, Oakes, N.D., in October. Judy (Voss) Sederstrom, 66, Hinckley, Minn., in June 2012; she is survived by her husband, Larry.
Bruce Barton, 59, Wellsboro, Pa., in November; he is survived by his wife, Judith Sornberger. Deniece Smith, 58, Arlington, Minn., in September.
Michael Bolin, 65, St. Paul, Minn., in November; he is survived by his life partner, Debra Jensen. Leo Chambers, 65, Lakeville, Minn., in December; he is survived by his wife, Denise.
JoAnn Quale, 55, Williston, N.D., in November.
1970 Sally (Stefansen) Lenertz, 62, Brookings, S.D., in May 2011; she is survived by her husband, Robert.
1980 Jay Lange, 54, Andover, Minn., in January; he is survived by his wife, Ann. Marcy Zachmeier-Ruh, 54, Lakeville, Minn., in December; she is survived by her husband, Robert Ruh.
Larry Gegelman, 62, Casselton, N.D., in January; he is survived by his wife, Patricia.
Andrea (Hervig) Wallerick, 53, Lakeville, Minn., in February; she is survived by her husband, Tom.
Elda (Steinke) Lutter, 95, Moorhead, in February.
Christie (Brink) Engelmann, 27, Rochester, Minn., in January; she is survived by her husband, Jason.
CLASS NOTES POLICY
2010 Stephanie Church, 24, Blaine, Minn., in November.
Because of space restrictions, we confine our class notes to news happening within the past six months. We use only firsthand alumni information, and mailed class notes require a signature. 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. Submit news or photographs for the class notes section of Concordia Magazine online at ConcordiaCollege.edu/classnotes. Photographs should be accompanied by a brief description, including when it was taken and a list of those in the photo (including maiden names), 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 also may be mailed to: Class Notes, Communications and Marketing, Concordia College, 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562. Deadline for the next issue is Sept. 1, 2013. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org Concordia Magazine
(Top) Volunteers made up mostly of Concordia students and alumni work on a shed foundation at Casa de Fe in Shell, Ecuador. (Right) The author poses with a child living at Casa de Fe.
Growing Faith CONCRETE While Pouring
By Rick Herold
My first trip to Ecuador happened by chance.
The Office of Alumni Relations will be organizing a trip to Ecuador in 2014. For more information, call (800) 699-9020.
40 Concordia Magazine
A recent Concordia graduate at the time, I was shadowing Dr. Bob Brunsvold ’66, an anesthesiologist at a local hospital. During our time together, he kept mentioning this trip he was leading. The group was made up of several members of his church, a couple nurses and some Concordia students. Joining was as simple as asking if I could. Before I knew it, I was on my way to Shell, a village in the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes. Ecuador can be overwhelming. There is so much to see, experience, taste, think about and reflect upon. It’s also home to Casa de Fe, a residence for abandoned, abused and special needs children. That place, those children – and the way they have transformed and strengthened my faith – are the reasons I keep going back. Why has it affected my life so much? Part of it is the story of Casa de Fe itself and the faith it takes to operate it. Patti Sue Arnold, the home’s director, relies solely on donations to fund the operation, which costs more than $400,000 per year. At times, the staff has lived day by day wondering whether they will be able to feed, clothe, educate and pay for the medical and physical therapy needs of 60 children. Somehow, they manage to do just that.
That is one reason that it is so rewarding to go back, year after year, to watch the kids grow up. You know they are being well cared for. Try not to smile when you see little Alejo beaming from ear to ear as he holds an Ecuadorian flag bigger than he is while the whole school sings the Ecuadorian national anthem to start their school day. The freezing cold, pouring rain doesn’t seem so bad when you hear 6-year-old Nila screaming your name at the top of her lungs so you can hear her across the schoolyard over the noise of two cement mixers. You get a real sense of accomplishment when you get Amanda and Mishel, two little girls with cerebral palsy, to laugh just by taking them on a bumpy ride in the double stroller. This spring, I accompanied a group of volunteers comprised mostly of Concordia students whose majors ranged from pre-health professional to Spanish and business. Our main focus was to work on the foundation for a new tool shed that will eventually be used to teach the Casa de Fe kids basic vocational skills. Other projects included making workbooks for the local free school, scraping paint off old cribs at the hospital and building benches to be used at the school. The work doesn’t really matter. Whatever we do in Shell, the volunteers come home with a sense of accomplishment and, in my case, a strengthened relationship with God. After four trips to Ecuador, I am amazed by God’s ability to take a group of people from different backgrounds out of their comfort zones and put them to work effectively in sometimes difficult conditions with limited resources. People with little or no experience in construction find themselves pouring concrete, roofing, repairing stairs or using machetes to cut a swath through the jungle. On the most recent trip, our group laughed at a picture someone took of a young Cobber couple. In the photo, a young man looks up at his girlfriend on the roof. He had been unable to handle the height, and I imagine it was a humbling experience for him. Another student said that her father would never believe she pushed a wheelbarrow full of cement on an 8-inch plank all day long in the pouring rain. For these and many other reasons, a part of my heart remains in Ecuador. I was recently asked why I keep going back to the same place. It is hard to give one answer, but I think the best answer is God. During my first trip to Ecuador, I wasn’t very sure of myself. I considered myself a Christian, but my faith wasn’t something I felt comfortable discussing. Since then, my willingness to share my faith has expanded. My desire to contribute and be a part of what is going on in Shell, Ecuador, continues to grow. God has created a soft spot in my life for Ecuador and specifically the kids at Casa de Fe. When I am there, I am able to experience God in a way that I haven’t been able to in the hustle and bustle of life in the U.S. With all of the distractions back home, it is easy to put God in a box and only take him out once in a while. I am convinced the reason I am drawn to Ecuador is because that box is empty and God is present everywhere. It has been an incredible journey so far, and I look forward to returning again to see what else God has in store. ■
A visit to Casa de Fe includes days of hard labor (above) and opportunities to interact with the children who live there. (Left) Concordia students tie rebar before pouring a cement foundation.
Herold ‘07 graduates from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine in June. He will be completing his residency in emergency medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego as a lieutenant. Concordia Magazine
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Juggling Success By Sheldon Green
For the father-daughter team of Bill ‘73 and Tricia Sorensen ’13, Bismarck, N.D., this is a story of the apple not falling far from the tree with a good measure of “whatever you can do, I can do better.” Bill suited up as a guard-forward for Sonny Gulsvig’s Cobber men’s basketball teams from 1971 to 1973. Tricia was a MIAC All-Conference forward, leading the Cobber women in scoring, rebounds and steals, and was team captain. “I had a lot of fun,” says Tricia. “I love everything about Cobber basketball.” And on weekends in the summer, Bill and Tricia dazzle audiences in the western North Dakota tourist town of Medora with their own magic, mirth and juggling show. Bill began learning magic tricks and juggling as a teenager, and has entertained audiences in nearly all 50 states. He’s done the “4-M Review” in Medora for 29 years and still enjoys every show. Tricia grew up watching her dad’s juggling and magic act, thinking it was no big deal. She took up juggling on her own, and now teaches the old guy new tricks to use in their act. “She picks things up quickly,” says Bill. Tricia is the youngest of Bill’s four daughters. She was inspired by an older sister who played high school basketball, so Tricia began shooting buckets in the family driveway at age 6, come rain, snow or shine. She played oneon-one with her dad, and when he noticed she was clanging her shots off the iron in a game, the two of them spent a long Saturday afternoon at the Y correcting her shooting style. “He showed me how to keep my elbow in,” says Tricia. “By the end of the afternoon I had it down. Now I’m always thinking, ‘elbows in.’” “We’re all about doing things together,” says Bill. “Yeah, and all about trying to outdo each other,” adds Tricia. Photo: Sheldon Green
Tricia ‘13 and Bill ‘73 Sorensen perform their popular comedy show on summer weekends in Medora, N.D.