Award Recipients Collaborating on Research to Benefit Students

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Dr. Ann Pederson and Dr. Harry Thompson are recipients of the Carole Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Award for 2010-11.
Dr. Pederson teaches in the religion/philosophy/classics department. Dr. Thompson is the executive director of the Center for Western Studies (CWS).

The late Dr. Carole Bland graduated cum laude from Augustana in 1968. She received the Alumni Achievement Award in 1997 and served on the Augustana Board of Trustees. At the time of her death she was a professor and director of research in the department of family practice and community health at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School.

The award for $5,000 is designed to fund research or creative work focusing on cultivating excellence in teaching. A portion of the award will be used to purchase books for the CWS library. Drs. Pederson and Thompson are collaborating on a project entitled, Geography of God’s Incarnation: Narratives and Landscapes of Faith.

The recipients described the project in a joint statement. “This project explores ways that geography/place can be used by students in Religion 110 as a metaphor for interpreting Christian theologies. To accomplish this task, we will utilize the resources at the Center for Western Studies for student research. This research about the spirituality of place also relates to and is significant for an Interim course to be offered by Dr. Thompson in January 2011entitled Finding the Great Plains. While the courses are taught separately, many of the research questions and pedagogical strategies overlap in significant ways. This grant would bring new resources and collaborations to teaching courses about the places from which students come and in which Augustana College is located.”

The research project will be a pedagogical and theological response to the following questions:

  • What does geography have to do with our spirit, with God’s Spirit?
  • How does geography/place shape spirituality and theological development?


Bruce Conley
Director, News Information
Phone: 605.274.5526
Fax: 605.274.4903
bruce.conley@augie.edu