Admission Staff

The Augustana Admission staff looks forward to assisting you in your college search. Contact your admission counselor at their email address (below), email, call 800.727.2844, or fax 605.274.5518.

International student inquiries should be directed to Ben Iverson ( or Donn Grinager (

Transfer students should contact Adam Heinitz (

Nancy DavidsonNancy Davidson
Vice President for Enrollment

Territory/Responsibility: Minnesota (Greater Twin Cities area), CT, DC, DE, MA, ME, MD, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV, U.S. Students Living Abroad

Nancy attended Hamlin High School in South Dakota and is a business administration & management graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University. She has been on the admission staff since 1990.

Amazing colleagues and Augustana’s great professors and students make this her dream job. In addition to being an Augieholic, she is addicted to chocolate, Coke, and running. Among her most memorable Augustana experiences:  traveling to Germany in 2000 and India in 2008 with Augustana's Distinguished Scholars.

Adam HeinitzAdam Heinitz
Director of Admission

Territory/Responsibility: Transfer students

Adam attended Brandon Valley (South Dakota) High School and graduated with honors from Augustana in 1999. He taught fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary School in Fargo for one year and joined the staff in 2000. In 2004, he completed an M.A. in educational leadership at the University of Sioux Falls.

Adam and his wife, Sandra '97, are the proud parents of Ella, Maya, Jake and Drew. A former Augustana football player, Adam is a sports enthusiast and especially enjoys watching the Augustana Vikings in action on Saturdays. In his very limited free time, he also likes to hit the road for a run. Augustana has taken Adam many places, including China, Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland.

Melissa Dykstra
Assistant Director of Admission

Territory/Responsibility: outstate Minnesota

Melissa (Engel) graduated with honors from Augustana in 1991 with majors in English and Communications. She is thrilled to have returned to Augustana and enjoys representing students from outstate Minnesota since she is originally from Kasson, MN.

Melissa and her husband, Darin '91, are the proud parents of Matthew and Ellie. Matt is a student at Augustana and will graduate in 2015. Ellie attends Harrisburg High School and hopes to "Go Viking" in a few years. Melissa's siblings and in-laws are all proud Augustana graduates.

When not working, Melissa enjoys reading and watching movies at home with her family.

Wade Gemar

Wade Gemar
Admission Counselor

Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls New Technology, southeast, south central and western South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming

Originally from Scotland, South Dakota, Wade graduated from Augustana in 2008 with a major in business administration. As a student, Wade was actively involved as a member of the Augustana Choir, intramural athlete, Viking Varieties emcee, and New Student Orientation (NSO) leader.  Finding himself inspired to explore the world, Wade studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. He also traveled to Tanzania with the Augustana Choir.

After graduating, Wade spent 3 months volunteering and learning Swahili in Tanzania (2008) and lived in Nairobi, Kenya, for 6 months (2011). Most recently, Wade worked for the Center for New Americans in Sioux Falls as a case coordinator and employment specialist. In his spare time, Wade enjoys cycling, watching and playing sports (Go Cubs!) and spending time with friends and family. Wade is excited to be back on campus as a member of the Augustana admission team. 


Thad TitzeThad Titze
Admission Counselor

Territory/Responsibility: Brandon Valley, northeast South Dakota, North Dakota, IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TN, WI

Thad is a native South Dakotan and part of Augustana’s Class of 2013. He graduated with honors from the Government and International Affairs department. Thad was also part of Augustana’s Civitas Honors program. During his time as an Augustana student he served as Student Association President, was active in Augie Green, and was a Welcome Week leader and Augustana Cultural Exchange Ambassador. Thad took part in study abroad courses in Greece, London, India, Norway, and Thailand.

After graduating, Thad lived and worked for one year in northeast Hungary through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Young Adults in Global Mission program. In his spare time he likes to be outdoors, ski (on water and snow), read, camp, and maybe he’ll even return to golf soon. Thad is excited to be back at Augustana!


Madeleine EllisMadeleine Ellis
Admission Counselor

Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Sioux Falls Washington, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, ID, LA, MO, MS, NC, NV, NM, OR, SC, UTVA, WA

Madeleine graduated from Gonzaga University in 2013 with degrees in biology and environmental studies. During her time at Gonzaga, Madeleine enjoyed dancing on the University’s hip-hop crew and serving as an Ambassador in the Admission Office.

Before arriving at Augustana, Madeleine completed an internship at “The Happiest Place on Earth” (besides Augustana): Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. She is excited to join the Augustana Admission Staff and looks forward to working with you! 

Maren EngelMaren Engel
Admission Counselor/Performing Arts Recruitment Coordinator

Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Falls O'Gorman, Sioux Falls Christian, KS, OK, TX

Maren is an Oklahoman and a 2013 graduate of Augustana with majors in music and classics. During her time at Augustana, Maren was involved in anything and everything music. She was also a member of the Augustana Student Association and served as an Augustana Ambassador. Some of her favorite experiences were studying abroad in Greece, Norway and India and performing both nationally and internationally with her Augustana Choir family.

Maren is excited to have returned to campus as an admission team member, encouraging prospective students to Go Viking! She enjoys singing, spending time outdoors and a good cup of coffee.

Ben IversonBen Iverson
Director of International Admission and Advising

Territory/Responsibility: International Students

Ben, a native of Willmar, Minnesota, graduated from Augustana College in 2004 with majors in international studies and Spanish. Ben was a pitcher on the Vikings baseball team and spent a semester studying in Spain. After graduation he worked as an international coordinator at Bodoe University College (now Nordland University) in Norway. He joined the admission staff at Augustana in 2005.  Ben completed a M.A. in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT in 2013.

This adventure seeker travels regularly to Latin America, Africa, and Asia to meet with prospective students. The countries he visits most often are  China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Mexico and Vietnam. Among the many cultural topics (Minnesota culture, that is) to discuss with Ben are Minnesota Twins baseball, hunting, and the outdoors.