Augustana Faculty Honored at Commencement

Augustana campus

Three Augustana faculty members were recognized for their commitments to teaching and research at Commencement on Saturday:

Dr. Margaret (Peg) Preston, associate professor of history, was presented with the Frederick C. Kohlmeyer Distinguished Teaching Professorship.

Peg PrestonDr. Kohlmeyer, through a gift to Augustana upon his death in 1990, established this distinguished professorship to recognize and to reward outstanding teaching.  The recipient receives a summer stipend for each of the two years of the award.  All full-time faculty of Augustana College who are tenured and have served the College for a minimum of eight years are eligible for the award.

Preston earned her Ph.D. from Boston College in 1999. She is a social and economic historian who also focuses on issues of gender in modern Ireland, Britain and India. Published in 2004, her book: "Charitable Words: Gentlewomen, Social Control, and the Language of Charity in 19th Century Dublin" focuses upon the intersections of race, gender, class and social control within the language of charity. She has also published her research in The Historian, Eire-Ireland and New Hibernia Review. A recipient of a 2005 grant from the University of Notre Dame, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Preston has also looked at the role of Irish women in the Dakotas. Preston teaches courses on modern Europe, Ireland, World War I and Western Civilization. She has lived and traveled extensively in Ireland and England and regularly co-teaches a course that takes students to Ireland and England during Augustana's January term. Preston received the ASA 2011-12 Faculty Recognition Award.

Dr. Joseph Dondelinger, chair and professor of government and international affairs, was presented with the Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award.

Joe DondelingerThe Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award was established to provide an annual award to recognize excellence in teaching. The selection process is based on votes from alumni celebrating their fifth anniversary and full-time faculty. The winner is chosen for brilliance in classroom teaching. The award, provided by an endowment created by Mr. Dick Niebuhr, is named in honor of his parents, Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr, “…because they loved Augustana College dearly and because they were my first and best teachers.” 

Dondelinger earned his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and teaches the department’s courses in comparative politics and international relations. He brings an unusual combination of background and skills to the department. He was born in Luxembourg and before becoming a U.S. citizen, he twice served as a member of the Luxembourg Mission to the United Nations. In addition to his native tongue, Luxembourgish, he speaks English, German and French fluently, and he is proficient in Russian. Besides teaching at Augustana, since 1985 Dr. Dondelinger has regularly offered courses for senior U.S. government executives at the prestigious Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, first on Soviet and Russian politics and, since the late 1990s, on racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and nationalist conflicts. Dr. Dondelinger is the campus representative for the Truman Scholarship. His advising interests focus on careers in the foreign service and in international affairs.

Dr. Heather Bart, associate professor of communication studies, was presented with the Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship.

Heather BartThe Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship was established by Jane Hemmel Zaloudek and Dr. Charles Zaloudek to provide an annual fellowship to support research by a member of the Augustana faculty. The purpose of the fellowship is to support, with a stipend, faculty scholarship that extends the scope of research beyond the normal confines of the classroom. The driving principle behind the development of the fellowship was the belief that, “faculty research, particularly when combined with undergraduate student research, expands thinking, emboldens the spirit of inquiry and has the potential to significantly improve the human condition.” 

Bart earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She teaches the introductory course as well as courses in argumentation, rhetoric and organizational communication. Her research is methodologically grounded in rhetorical criticism and argumentation. She has written and published works on rap music, environmental rhetoric and argumentation theory. Her contemporary research focuses on feminist theory and national security discourse. She is also the faculty advisor for the Phi Phi chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society.