Our Great Professors

What sets Augustana apart: Our Great Professors

At Augustana, our professors are passionate scholars and dedicated teachers who are committed to helping students explore their passions, discover their calling and build lives of purpose and meaning.

Augustana's faculty lead scholarship and guide students through the University's three academic divisions: the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences and the Humanities. We are proud to introduce you to just a few of them here. They are:

Renowned Scholars

Innovative Researchers

Passionate Teachers 

Faculty Awards

At Augustana, faculty are recognized for their commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, innovation and more.

Learn more about our awards for faculty and the current honorees.

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.

  • Carole Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Award
    • Awarded to Dr. Li Sun (2017-18)

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.

  • Granskou Award for Professional Development 
    • Awarded to Dr. John Pennington (2017-18)

Augustana alumni from the era of President Clemens Granskou (1932-43) established an endowed fund to support the annual Granskou Award for professional development. This award alternates annually between members of the full-time faculty and full-time administrators of the University. The type of project is limited only by interest and imagination.

  • Frederick C. Kohlmeyer Distinguished Teaching Professorship
    • Awarded to Dr. Barrett Eichler (2016-18)

Dr. 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 University who are tenured and have served the University for a minimum of eight years are eligible for this award.

  • Orin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship 
    • Awarded to Dr. Duane Weisshaar (2016-19)

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 who have demonstrated the capacity to use this award to further their scholarly activities. Dr. Lofthus, a biology professor, served Augustana from 1935-45.

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Regional Heritage
    • Awarded to Dr. Michael Mullin (2006-18)

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.

  • Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award 
    • Awarded to Dr. Scott Fish (2017)

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 5th 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.”

  • The Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values 
    • ​Awarded to Dr. Richard Swanson (2016-19)

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, our campus community and 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.

  • The Clara Lea Olson Endowed Chair in Christian Values

    • Awarded to Dr. Jennifer Gubbels (2017-20)

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.

  • Our Savior's Lutheran Church Chair in Religion
    • Awarded to Dr. Richard Bowman (2015-18)

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.

  • Ralph and Susie Wagoner Student Faculty Research Award 
    • Awarded to Kyle Widman, senior mentor, and Dr. Lindsay Erickson (2017-18)

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.

  • The Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship 
    • ​Awarded to Dr. Ann Pederson (2017)

The Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship was established by Dr. 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.”

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