Three Professors Named Augustana Student Association 2023-24 Faculty of the Year

By Keeley Meier '20 | May 03, 2024
ASA Faculty of the Year Awards 2023-24

The Augustana Student Association (ASA) honored three professors with the ASA Faculty of the Year Award on Monday, April 29. The award is given annually for excellence in teaching and distinguished service to the students of Augustana University. Along with writing thank you notes to professors, ASA asks fellow students to nominate their favorite AU faculty member for the awards. 


🏆 Dr. Janet Blank-Libra


Dr. Janet Blank-Libra, professor of journalism and director of the Augustana Journalism Program, is one of the Faculty of the Year Award recipients. As news of the award began to spread, Blank-Libra said she received many messages of congratulations.


“Every time I read a text or an email from a student, my heart just exploded with joy,” Blank-Libra said. “How lucky am I? How incredibly lucky am I? Because I have taught at Augustana, I have had the absolute pleasure and honor of getting to know so many amazing students, so many amazing young people. I consider myself to be blessed beyond compare. My students, past and present, mean the world to me.”


Blank-Libra, who grew up on a farm southwest of Ipswich, South Dakota, began teaching at Augustana in 1988. 


“The students make me smile countless times a day, they push me to do my work well, they make me laugh — sometimes uncontrollably,” said Blank-Libra. “They leave me strange notes when, apparently, they are wandering the halls in the middle of the night, they engage me in thought-provoking conversations, they light up classrooms across campus, they have been known to invade my office and tell me that they're going to replace my filing cabinets with a flat-screen TV and a couch.


“They are simply themselves, and there's nothing better than that. They fill my life with all that they are feeling and doing, and I am simply glad for them. They deserve everything that we can give them and more.”


🏆 Dr. Paul Egland


The second recipient of the ASA Faculty of the Year Award is Dr. Paul Egland, professor of biology, chief health professions advisor and faculty president.


“Receiving the ASA Faculty of the Year Award is really touching,” Egland said. “The Augustana faculty are all excellent, so being recognized among them is really an honor.”


This academic year was Egland’s 19th at Augustana. The Storm Lake, Iowa, native said that, without a doubt, his favorite part of the university is the community.


“The people here make Augustana what it is,” said Egland. “Of course, the students are our main focus. Their character gives me hope when the rest of the world seems crazy. In addition, all of the faculty, staff and administrators work incredibly hard and do their best to make Augustana a very special place.”


🏆 Dr. David Golemboski


Dr. David Golemboski, associate professor of government & international affairs, is the third recipient of the Faculty of the Year Award. 


“We have fantastic students here at Augustana, and they have high standards for their instructors, so their vote of confidence is deeply flattering,” said Golemboski.


Golemboski, who’s originally from Louisville, Kentucky, began teaching at AU in 2018. His favorite part of Augustana, he said, is the students, especially the university’s growing number of international students.


“Each new class brings in fresh perspectives, new experiences and unique, ambitious plans for their lives,” Golemboski said. “It's a great joy to be a part of their journey.”


Jokingly, he added, “If I had known there would be a picture, I might have worn something nicer to class that day.”

To view the list of past ASA Faculty of the Year Award recipients, visit

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