What sets Augustana apart: Our Great Professors

About Our 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.

Recognizing Excellence
Learn more about our faculty awards

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.

  • Stanley L. Olsen Chair of Moral Values

Awarded to Margaret Preston, Professor of History (2021-24)

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 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 Sanford Health Peter Schotten Endowed Professorship in Government and International Affairs

Awarded to Dr. Joel Johnson, Professor of Government and International Affairs (2021-22)

Named in honor of retiring professor Dr. Peter Schotten, who taught government for more than 40 years, this award supports the creation of new opportunities for future leaders entering the field of government and international affairs.

  • The Frederick C. Kohlmeyer Distinguished Teaching Professorship

Awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Babcock, Associate Professor, Cognitive Psychology (2020-22)

Frederick C. 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 of $5,000 for each of the two years of the award.

  • Orin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship

Awarded to Dr. Kristen Carlson, Assistant Professor of art and anthropology (2021-24)

The Orin M. Lofthus Distinguished Professorship is a 3-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 demonstrated the capacity to use this award to further their scholarly activities. Dr. Lofthus, a biology professor, served Augustana from 1935-45. 


  • Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award 

Awarded to Dr. Jennifer A. A. Gubbels, assistant professor of biology (2021-22)

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.” 

  • The Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship 

Awarded to Dr. Brad Uhing, assistant professor of education (2021-22) 

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.”  

The following Augustana faculty members also received awards:


  • Carol Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Award 

Awarded to Dr. Julie Loveland Swanstrom, assistant professor of philosophy and religion (2021-22)

Named to honor the life and work of Dr. Carole Bland ‘68, longtime member of the Augustana 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, as well as 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. Jennapher Lunde Seefeldt ‘09, assistant professor of government and international affairs (2021-22)

Augustana alumni from the era of Augustana President Clemens Granskou (1932-43) established an endowed fund to support the annual Granskou Award for Professional Development. The 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.  


  • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Regional Heritage

Awarded to Dr. Michael Mullin, professor of history (2021-24)

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.   


  • Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Chair in Religion   

Awarded to Dr. Rocki Wentzel, associate professor of classics (2021-24)

This 3-year chair appointment is made by the president and dean of the university-based upon the recommendations of the chairs of the Religion, Philosophy and Classics Department and Humanities Division. 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.