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 Wade Gemar (

Transfer students should contact Adam Heinitz (


Adam HeinitzAdam Heinitz
Director of Graduate and Transfer Enrollment

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.

Madeleine EllisMadeleine Ellis
Director of Undergraduate Enrollment

Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Falls CTE, Brandon Valley, Colorado, Nebraska, AK, AZ, HI, ID, NV, NM, UT

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, Florida. She enjoys being a part of the Augustana admission staff and looks forward to working with you!

Max BoyumMax Boyum
Admission Counselor

Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls O'Gorman, Harrisburg, Southeast South Dakota, South Central South Dakota, Western South Dakota, MT, WY

Born and raised in Sioux Falls, Max has called Augustana home both as a student and now as a member of the admission team. Along with studying accounting and communication studies/business, Max served as an Augustana student ambassador for four years. Additionally, Max served as co-president of the student engagement organization SKOL, co-governor of the Augustana Union Board of Governors, and holds a variety of intramural championships. Max plans on completing his master's in professional accountancy at AU in the spring.

Chances are you'll find Max either watching or attempting to play a handful of sports he enjoys including basketball and volleyball. Max also loves getting to know people, listening to music, and telling people about his Augustana experience.

Thomas ElnessThomas Elness
Assistant Director of Admission


Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls New Technology, Lutheran High School of Sioux Falls, northeast South Dakota, North Dakota, CT, DE, IL, IN, KY, ME, MA, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VT, WV

Thomas graduated from Augustana University in 2016 with a major in communication studies/business. As a student, Thomas was actively involved across campus, including providing valuable leadership as the vice president of the  Augustana Student Association. He served as an Augustana ambassador in both the Office of Admission and the Office of Advancement. One of his favorite memories as a student was watching his peers win an NCAA Division II National Championship in men's basketball.

Thomas invested the past year gaining valuable experience working for a full-service marketing firm in Sioux Falls. While he loved his position, he is excited to be back at AU as a member of the admission team serving prospective students and their families as they navigate their college search.

Wendy AndersenWendy Mamer
Admission Counselor


Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls Washington, Twin Cities Area MN, AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MO, MS, NC, SC, VA, WI

Wendy grew up on a farm just outside of Lake Benton, Minnesota, graduating from Russell-Tyler-Ruthton high school in 2012. Following graduation she attended Augustana University for two years before transferring to be closer to home due to an illness in her family.  Wendy earned her bachelor of arts from Southwest Minnesota State University with a major in communication studies and a minor in psychology. Her time at Augustana could not be matched, as she met lifelong friends in both peers and professors. After college, Wendy had the incredible opportunity to be the on-court emcee for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the NBA G-League affiliate of the Miami Heat. She had such a wonderful experience and made so many memories, her favorite being when her husband, Kyle, proposed to her while she was speaking on the court. Aside from working game nights for the Skyforce, she worked for Lutheran Social Services as a residential counselor at a psychiatric treatment center for youth ages 11-17. 

In her spare time, Wendy enjoys playing and watching all sports, hiking, spending time with family and friends, writing, and doing everything she can to help others. Wendy has completely enjoyed her time since graduating college, but nothing has made her happier than returning to Augustana.

Mo HurleyMo Hurley
Admission Counselor


Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Iowa, KS, OK, TX

Mo attended Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls and graduated from Augustana University in 2014 with majors in English and secondary education. As an Augustana student, Mo enjoyed participating in theater and was a Civitas member. She traveled abroad to Greece, Rome, and London on a spring break trip that became a highlight of her time at Augie. Mo then earned her M.A. in human services from the University of Missouri. After teaching high school for a year Mo explored other fields, working for the Denver Art Museum as a gallery host and South Dakota state government as a child protection social worker. She is excited to be back home at Augustana, helping students navigate their college search and determine if they, too, are destined to Be a Viking.

Haley ElnessHaley Elness
Admission Counselor


Territory/Responsibility: Sioux Falls Christian, Greater Minnesota, CA, OR, WA

Haley is an educator by training and at heart. She graduated from Augustana University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and specialized in teaching English Language Learners. The time she spent in Tanzania and Turkey as an Augustana student was among her favorite parts of her AU experience. She loves building relationships and learning about students' interests. Those discerning vocation and continued education are in good hands with Haley.

Ben IversonBen Iverson
Director of International Programs


Ben hails from Willmar, Minnesota, and graduated from Augustana in 2004 with majors in Spanish and international studies. As a student, he was a pitcher on the Vikings' baseball team and studied abroad in Spain. His first "real job" was working in the international office of Nord University in Norway. In 2013, he completed an M.A. in international education from the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont.  

In prior roles at AU, Ben served in the Office of Admission and the International Programs Office, where he first traveled throughout Minnesota and then across the globe to speak with prospective students about AU. Most recently, Ben served as the Director of University Partnerships for ELS Educational Services, Inc.

Ben enjoys following the Minnesota Twins and doing nearly anything outdoors including fishing, hunting, running, cycling, and spending time at the lake and traveling with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Will, Augustana Class of 2037.

Wade GemarWade Gemar
Assistant Director of International Admission

Territory/Responsibility: International Students

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 for a semester in Prague, Czech Republic. He also traveled to Tanzania as a member of the Augustana Choir.

After graduating, Wade worked for the Center for New Americans in Sioux Falls as a case coordinator and employment specialist. His love of travel and culture has taken him to 15 countries — including extended stays in Tanzania and Kenya — and 33 U.S. states. In his spare time, Wade enjoys reading, making music, cycling, watching and playing sports of all kinds and spending time with friends and family. #YouAreWelcomeHere