Faculty Awards Announced at Commencement

Faculty awards were announced at the 2016 Augustana University Commencement.

Augustana University honored several faculty members with awards at the 2016 Commencement ceremony, held on Saturday, May 21, at the Sioux Falls Arena.

The following Augustana faculty members were recognized:

Andrew StrandjordASA Faculty Recognition Award
Awarded to Dr. Andrew Strandjord (Chemistry)

Selected by the Augustana Student Association (ASA), the annual ASA Faculty Recognition Award recognizes outstanding teaching and contributions to the Augustana community by a faculty member. Students nominate professors they feel display one or more of the five core values of the University (Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community, Service) as well as how those faculty members have positively impacted students' experiences at Augustana.

Russell SvenningsenCarole Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Award
Awarded to Dr. Russell Svenningsen (Music)

Named to honor the life and work of Dr. Carole Bland ‘68, longtime member of the Board of Trustees and assistant dean for faculty development at the University of Minnesota Medical School, the award provides funding for research to help create and sustain a culture of inquiry about teaching and learning at Augustana. The award focuses on an aspect of cultivating excellence in teaching, and the intersection between research or creative work and classroom teaching; and faculty mentoring at Augustana, with outstanding new and mid-career faculty being paired with senior faculty members.

Barrett EichlerFrederick C. Kohlmeyer Distinguished Teaching Professorship
Awarded to Dr. Barrett Eichler (Chemistry)

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

Duane WeisshaarOrin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship
Awarded to Dr. Duane Weisshaar (Chemistry)

The Orin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship is a three-year appointment with a stipend to support summer scholarly activities. Recipients of this award are faculty who are regarded as outstanding teachers; people who have made important contributions to the campus; and individuals who have demonstrated the capacity to use this award to further their scholarly activities. Dr. Lofthus, a biology professor, served Augustana from 1935-1945.

Michael MullinNational Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Regional Heritage
Awarded to Dr. Michael Mullin (History)

This endowment was established as a result of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and matching money raised by Augustana to support scholarly work related to the life, culture, history, environment and study of the development of the Northern Great Plains. This faculty member must be an excellent teacher and scholar who has a personal and scholarly interest in questions surrounding the prairie west.

Paul EglandVernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award
Awarded to Dr. Paul Egland (Biology)

The 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 ‘66, is named in honor of his parents, Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr, “…because they loved Augustana dearly and because they were my first and best teachers.”

Richard SwansonStanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values
Awarded to Dr. Richard Swanson (Religion)

Augustana established The Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values as a result of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and matching money raised by the University. The Chair of Moral Values was named in memory of Stanley L. Olsen, longtime professor of philosophy at Augustana from 1937 to 1979. The chair is to provide leadership to the campus in the areas of ethics and moral values by challenging faculty and students alike to confront value questions in our society, in our campus community, and in our individual private lives. This may be done through all appropriate means both inside and outside of the curriculum. This three-year appointment goes to a tenured associate or full professor who enjoys a reputation of being an excellent teacher and scholar and who has a personal and scholarly interest in questions of meaning and value.

Stephen MinisterClara Lea Olson Endowed Chair in Christian Values
Awarded to Dr. Stephen Minister (Philosophy)

This professorship was established by Clara Lea Olson in recognition of her long term support of Augustana and her concern for the spiritual well-being of the students at the University. She also wanted to acknowledge the value of the educational opportunities presented in the Christian environment at Augustana. The recipient must show a concern for spiritual well-being and exemplify Christian values in their conduct, teaching and research.

Richard BowmanOur Savior’s Lutheran Church Chair In Religion
Awarded to Dr. Richard Bowman (Religion)

This three-year chair appointment is made by the President and Dean of the University based upon the recommendations of the Chair of the Religion, Philosophy, and Classics Department and the Humanities Division Chair. The individual to be chosen must be a member of the Religion, Philosophy, and Classics Department holding the rank of at least Associate Professor. An annual stipend is also awarded.

Susan SchraderRalph and Susie Wagoner Student-Faculty Research Award
Awarded to Haley McCarron with Dr. Susan Schrader (Sociology)

This endowment was created to foster and underwrite a cooperative student-faculty research project that is fruitful, creative and academic. Students apply for funding for projects that may include primary research, artistic exploration, travel, summer work stipend or publication. After the project is completed, the recipients present their findings to the Augustana campus through a presentation, publication or performance. It was created by Augustana’s 21st president, Dr. Ralph Wagoner, and his wife Susie.

Darcie Rives EastJane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship
Awarded to Dr. Darcie Rives-East (English & Journalism)

The Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship was established by Jane Hemmel Zaloudek ‘72 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.”