See also: Sponsored Programs

New Full-time Faculty for 2017-18

We welcome the following full-time faculty new to Augsburg this fall!

Vanessa Bester, Physician Assistant Studies
Jacob Enger, Business Administration
Jessica Ennis, Physics
Suzanne Gikas, Education
Kellie Groon, Business Administration
Rebecca Hartwig, Nursing
Nidanie Henderson-Stull, Biology
Michelle Higgins, Nursing
Janice James, Nursing
Ibrahim Keita, Economics
Scott Kerlin, Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
Christine Kohnen, Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
Elyse Krautkramer, Chemistry
Spencer Luebben, Biology
Brian Lukasavitz, Music
Tammy Olney, Nursing
Rafael Rodriguez, Music
Liaila Tajibaeva, Economics
Roger Watts, Psychology
Hanan Zavala, Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science

New Full-time Faculty for 2016-2017

September 2016

Augsburg welcomes the following full-time faculty joining the college this fall.

Daniel Albert, Music
Amanda Case, Chemistry
Stephanie Elko, Physician Assistant Studies
Sarah Groeneveld, English
Dawn Kaderabek, Nursing
Won Yong Kim, Business Administration
Jason Lukasik, Education
Jesse McCaffrey, Physics
Jenna McNallie, Communication Studies
Reinaldo Moya, Music
Joaquin Munoz, Education
Kaycee Rogers, Education
Terrance Kwame-Ross, Education
Lindsay Starck, English
Erika Svanoe, Music
Paula Zehringer, Social Work

Phillip C. Adamo Named 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year

November 2015

Augsburg College’s Phillip C. Adamo, associate professor of history and director of the College Honors Program, was named the 2015 Minnesota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Adamo, who was selected from more than 300 top professors in the United States, was recognized November 19 in a proclamation by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges who declared it “Dr. Phillip C. Adamo Day in the City of Minneapolis.”


New Full-time Faculty for 2015-2016

September 2016

Augsburg welcomes the following full-time faculty joining the college this fall.

Nishesh Chalise, Social Work
Susan Conlin, Social Work
Jennifer Diaz, Education
Nancy Johnson, Business
Phyllis Kapetanakis, Business
Jayoung Koo, Business
Julie Longo, Art
Anna Kudak, Communication Studies
Kris McHale, Nursing
Christopher McMaster, Education
Beliza Torres Narvaez, Theater
Skye Peltier, Physician Assistant Studies
Kevin Potts, Biology
Alicia Quella, Physician Assistant Studies
Sarah Degner Riveros, Languages & Cross-Cultural Studies
Brian Rood, Psychology
Jacqueline Schiappa, English

$150,000 Bush Foundation Grant Builds Capacity to Support Diversity in Teaching

December 2014

Augsburg College’s Department of Education was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the Bush Foundation as part of their Teacher Effectiveness Initiative (TEI) to support diversity in teaching. Augsburg was one of five schools selected to receive this one time award. Dr. Peg (Margaret) Finders, Chair and Associate Professor of Education, will lead the project in partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), and St. Paul Public Schools.


New Full-Time Faculty 2014-2015

September 2014

Augsburg welcomes new full-time faculty members who are joining Augsburg College this fall.

Maggi Seybold, Physician Assistant Studies Program
Maggi joins Augsburg as Director of Clinical Education in the PA Program. She received her BA  from Miami University in Ohio, and MS in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Toledo. Maggi brings her leadership experience, as well as clinical expertise in patient care and clinical orthopaedics to her new role.

Renae Ekstrand, Department of Education
Renae has accepted a tenure-track position in the Education Department. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Bemidji State University, MS in K-12 Education from Winona State University, and the EdD from Bethel University. Renae brings experience in early childhood education and elementary language arts and social studies methods to her work at Augsburg.

Dain Estes, Department of Music
Dain joins Augsburg in a fixed-term position in Music Business in the Music Department. He brings years of experience, as teacher, songwriter, manager, producer, and booking agent in the music industry to his new role. Dain received the BGS from the University of Kansas, and the JD from the University of Missouri. 

Margaret (Peg) Finders, Department of Education
Peg joins Augsburg as Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department. She received the BA, MA, and PhD in English, and Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Iowa. Peg brings extensive leadership experience in teacher education and classroom teaching in Language Study for Teachers to her new role at Augsburg.

Renee Hepperlen, Department of Social Work
Renee joins her colleagues in Social Work in a fixed-term position. Renee brings broad classroom experience and a scholarship focus on intellectual disability studies. She received the BA in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College, and the AM from the School of Social Service Administration, at the University of Chicago, with an anticipated date of completion for the PhD in Social Work from the University of Minnesota yet this month.

Jennifer Kluznik, Physician Assistant Studies Program
Jenny joins Augsburg’s faculty in a tenure-track position in the Physician Asst. Studies Program, teaching primarily in the Clinical Medicine sequence. As a certified PA, Jenny has worked in a wide variety of professional healthcare settings and international locations. She received the BA in Biology and Anthropology from Hamline University, the Master of Public Health from The George Washington University, and the MS in Physician Assistant Studies from Augsburg College.

Mary Lanzerotti, Department of Physics
Mary joins the Physics Department in a tenure-track position. Her background includes teaching and research in physics and engineering. Mary received the AB from Harvard University, the MPhil from the University of Cambridge, the MS and PhD in Physics from Cornell University. 

Rachel Lloyd, Department of Education  @RMlloydELA
Rachel joins the Education Department in a tenure-track position with a focus on literacy education. She received the BA in English from Carleton College, and the MA and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota. Rachel brings a career of teaching at the college and high school level, along with a breadth of knowledge regarding state teacher education policies to her role at Augsburg College.

Bruce McWilliams, Department of Music  @BruceAMcWilliam
Bruce joins the Music Department in a fixed-term position as Band/Jazz Ensemble Director and Instructor of Music Education. He brings a diverse background of band and ensemble leadership and instruction to his work at Augsburg. Bruce received the BA in Music Education from St. Olaf College, and the MA in Music, Conducting from the University of South Florida.

Charles (Chuck) Oberg, Physician Assistant Studies Program
Chuck joins Augsburg as Professor and Director of the Physician Assistant Studies Program. He received his BA in Child Psychology, MD, and MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Minnesota, and brings extensive leadership and teaching experience, most recently as Professor and Director of the Maternal and Child Health Program at the University of Minnesota.

Miles Ott, Department of Mathematics  @Miles_Ott
Miles joins Augsburg in a tenure-track position with a focus in Statistics in the Mathematics Department. He brings classroom experience and a research platform in Statistics and Regression Studies to his work at Augsburg College. Miles received the BA in Mathematics from Smith College, the MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, the MS and PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University and Brown University, respectively. 

Christine Peper, Department of Education 
Christine joins the Education Department at Augsburg in a tenure-track position with a focus in Learning Disability education. A former adjunct in Education, Christine received the BA in History and Sociology from the University of Minnesota, the ME in Special Education from Southeastern Louisiana University, and the PhD in Educational Psychology, Special Education, from the University of Minnesota.

Ana Ribeiro, Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science
Ana joins colleagues in the HPE Department in a Fixed-Term position. Her research and teaching background in exercise physiology and biomechanics will be integral in her work this year. Ana received the BS from the UniverCidade in Rio de Janeiro, the MS in Exercise Science from St. Cloud State University, and the PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota.

Emily Schilling, Biology and Environmental Studies
Emily joins Augsburg as Assistant Professor in Biology and Environmental Studies. She received the BA in Biology and French from Colgate University, the MS and Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maine (Orono). She brings an expertise in aquatic ecology and conservation biology to her role at Augsburg.

Deborah Schuhmacher, Department of Nursing
Deborah joins Augsburg’s Nursing Department in a tenure-track position. She brings a deep background in public health and transcultural nursing, and is a clinician who has successfully funded grants and authored publications in these areas. Deborah received the BS in Nursing from the University of North Dakota, the MA and DNP in Transcultural Community Nursing Leadership from Augsburg College.

Lisa Van Getson, Department of Nursing
Lisa joins Augsburg in a tenure-track position in the Nursing Department. Formerly in a non-tenure-track position, and now a graduate of Augsburg’s DNP program, she brings classroom and clinical experience to her new work at Augsburg. In addition to the DNP, Lisa received the BS in Nursing from the College of St. Teresa, the MA in Theology and Spirituality from the College of St. Catherine, and the MS in Family Nurse Practitioner. 

Gail Van Kanegan, Department of Nursing
Gail has accepted a tenure-track position in the Nursing Department at Augsburg. Her career demonstrates an extensive background in holistic nursing practice, scholarship and education. Gail received the BS in Nursing from Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing, the MS in Nursing from The Sinclair School of Nursing, and the DNP from Augsburg College.

Maheen Zaman, Department of History
Maheen joins his colleagues in the History Department in a tenure-track position with a focus on Middle Eastern studies. He brings classroom experience, proficiency in several middle eastern languages and a publication history to his position at Augsburg. Maheen received the BA in History and Philosophy from SUNY Stony Brook University, and the MA, MPhil, and PhD in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University.


Dr. Michael Lansing, Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department, and Dr. Kirsten Delegard, Scholar-in-Residence, were awarded $82,486 from the Minnesota Historical Society through the State of Minnesota’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Fund for their Historyapolis Project. This is the first time that an academic department of history has received funding from this program for such a project. 

Minneapolis currently has no central clearinghouse where citizens can discover the full history of the state’s largest city. The Historyapolis Project seeks to remedy this situation. Animated by the belief that history is a powerful tool for community-building, this initiative will use digital tools to make the city’s history more accessible, catalyzing community dialogue around some of the most challenging aspects of the past in Minneapolis.

The Historyapolis Project seeks to make Augsburg College the leading center for Minneapolis history. It also plans to give Augsburg students practical opportunities to do local history and learn digital skills.

The award funds cover the cost of one year of research for a team of faculty and student researchers. Historyapolis researchers will work work in local and national repositories to gather material. The team will share the results of this work through the project Facebook page and website: At the end of the year, the project will publish an annotated bibliography that will serve as a roadmap for future researchers looking to explore the history of the city. The team expects that this document will be used by teachers, students, citizen researchers and professional historians looking to explore aspects of the city’s history.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please feel free to contact Dr. Lansing at lansing at or Dr. Delegard at delegard at


The National Science Foundation has awarded a new three-year $425,919 research grant (NSF AGS-1264146) to Augsburg College’s Physics Department for continued operation of the Magnetometer Array for Cusp and Cleft Studies (MACCS), a longitudinally-extended array of 8 magnetometers located in Arctic Canada, and for space science research based on MACCS data.

In addition to funding for field operations and scientific analysis, this new grant will continue to support undergraduate research.  Two undergraduate students will work each summer with members of the MACCS team, which includes: Mark Engebretson, Professor of Physics and Principal Investigator; David Murr, Associate Professor of Physics and Co-Principal Investigator; Viacheslav Pilipenko, Visiting Faculty and Co-Principal Investigator; Jennifer Posch, Assistant Scientist; Laura Simms, Physics Research Assistant; and Erik Steinmetz, Computer Science Instructor.

Originally installed in 1992/93, the MACCS array detects magnetic variations and electrical currents that originate near the boundary between Earth’s magnetosphere and the solar wind and propagate along magnetic field lines that reach Earth’s surface at high latitudes.  High time resolution GPS receivers installed at two MACCS sites in the past 3 years augment these magnetometers, and make it possible to study motions of the high-latitude ionosphere.  The MACCS array has provided data to space scientists worldwide:  since 2003, over 50 refereed research papers focusing on the dynamics of Earth’s space environment have used MACCS data or were theoretical studies supported by MACCS grants.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please contact Mark Engebretson at engebret at

Editor’s Note: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AGS-1264146. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.