The Augustana Magazine


view from summit avenue:
a message from president stephanie herseth sandlin

WELCOME TO THE latest edition of The Augustana. At the time this publication was going to print, our families, workplaces and communities were all making adjustments and adapting to disrupted environments in the midst of great uncertainty around public health and the economy. As part of the Augustana family, you’re in my thoughts and prayers as you navigate these new challenges affecting our lives and help care for loved ones. Augustana, a special place for so many,

has made adjustments to campus operations in order to protect the health and safety of our students, colleagues and community, guided not only by the recommendations

of infectious disease experts but also by our core values. We are putting the best of the liberal arts to work as we think critically, collaborate and transition, while blending the energy of life-long learners with the gift of technology – allowing our faculty and students to teach and learn in ways both expected and unexpected.

Augustana continues to have many things to celebrate despite the disappointment associated with canceled or postponed events this spring semester. For example, we’ve added a Master’s of Business Administration program to our course offerings, and we are excited that eighteen students will take part in this program in the fall of 2020. Our MBA degree is distinct and focused on leadership development, thereby fulfilling both a need and an expectation among the business community in Sioux Falls and beyond when it comes to high quality and exceedingly well-prepared graduates from Augustana. You can read more about the program on page 4.

Another cause for celebration is our career outcomes report for 2019 graduates. We were pleased to announce 99 percent of our graduates found jobs in their chosen field. And, 94 percent of those graduates applying to graduate and professional programs were accepted. This continues Augustana’s history of graduate success: the five-year average is an impressive 98 percent.

Moreover, our students, faculty members and alumni continue to make us proud with the breakthrough research they’re conducting and advancing in a variety

of different settings. In this issue, you’ll read about the success of the university’s genetic counseling program that began

in 2014 in collaboration with Sanford Health/Sanford Imagenetics. We talk with Augustana alumnus and current trustee, Dr. Gene Hoyme, who started it all, on page 11. We also sat down with former South Dakota State Epidemiologist, Dr. Lon Kightlinger ’77, to learn more about the work he’s doing in Madagascar, as part of the Peace Corps, and how his time at Augustana set him up for a successful career in healthcare and public policy.

Lastly, I’m thrilled to share with you that in December 2019, after a 10-month campuswide strategic planning process, the Augustana Board of Trustees endorsed the university’s long-term strategic plan and we embarked on Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. This plan lays the foundation for Augustana to enhance its standing as a top-ranked regional university and elevate its national profile. We’re working hard during this first phase of the plan and you can read more about the goals on page 20.

We are inspired by the promise of the future that lies ahead even amidst the stark realities and distress of today. As we walk alongside our 2020 graduates in the months ahead and help to ensure their continued success in an economy that is unstable now but that will recover and get stronger, we are finding more ways to celebrate these special graduates this spring, next fall and next year.

On behalf of the entire Augustana community, thank you for your ongoing commitment to Augustana and our mission. We are so very grateful. Please be safe and well, and may God bless you and your family each and every day.

Warm regards,

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
President