What sets Augustana apart: Our Great Professors

About Our Professors

dr eric wells with student


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.

  • The following Augustana faculty members were recognized at commencement:

    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.

    Dr. Brad Uhing stands up after being recognized by Dr. Colin Irvine during the 2021 Commencement Ceremony for earning The Jane and Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship.