Swart, Gardner Receive Granskou Awards

One will investigate the toll of the economic crisis on the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally; the other will explore how to effectively blend online and classroom teaching.

Dr. William Swart, associate professor of sociology, and Shelly Gardner, assistant professor of business administration and accounting, will share Augustana’s 2011 Granskou Award. Named in honor of Rev. Dr. Clemens M. Granskou, Augustana’s 14th president, the Granskou Award is supported by an endowed fund and is designed to encourage and sponsor professional development. The selection committee accepts proposals from faculty and administrators in alternate years.

Swart received $1,000, which he will use to cover costs associated with interviewing Sturgis Rally officials and vendors about how the economic downturn has affected revenues, marketing strategies and the general commercial environment of the Rally.

“My previous research explored the transformation of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally from an authentic celebration of motorcycle culture into a mass-consumed, commercialized, and “carnivalesque” spectacle. This crisis of authenticity has occurred, at least in part, as the event has become hijacked by widespread and often unrelated economic interests and activities. But what effect does an economic crisis have on this process? Will the event return closer to its authentic core, or engage even deeper carnivalesque features in order to spur economic activity,” Swart said.

Gardner received $1,500, which she used to pursue certification by Sloan-C, a consortium of individuals, institutions and organizations committed to quality online education.

“I have been teaching online for the past five summers and wanted some ideas to improve my courses and ensure that our students are achieving the learning objectives that I established. The Granskou Award will pay for the courses I am taking throughout the [Sloan] program … [which focus] on the fundamentals of teaching online versus face-to-face,” said Gardner. “We discussed everything from learning objectives to assessment techniques. I have now moved on to my elective courses that will concentrate on blended learning, or using online resources to enhance my classroom teaching.”

Kelly Sprecher
Director of Communications & Media Relations