March 2019 Auggie Pride Recipient

Congratulations to Margaret Anderson, program coordinator, off-campus study programs, CGEE, for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award. Margaret helps students and their families when they are studying abroad. Staff Senate admires her outstanding work and are honored to award her with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Margaret Anderson

Study Aboard department gathers to celebrate Margaret's awards
Congratulations Margaret for receiving the March Auggie Pride Award

Nomination: Margaret Anderson goes above and beyond to help students and their families when they are studying abroad. She has done a superb job working with parents in particular. Here is an excerpt from a parent email.
   “…as a “Rookie” Mom sending her daughter to a foreign country, [I found that] Margaret was so patient answering ALL of my questions. She handled all of our communication with grace and professionalism. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated her and thought you should know that she is really an asset to your University. You probably don’t get to see her “in action” on a day to day basis. So I thought that you should know that for me, she was the “face” of Augsburg. [….] I have been very impressed with your staff both here and in Mexico. Dr. Ann Lutterman-Aguilar and her staff in Cuernavaca have taken very good care of my Rebecca. [….] It’s been a joy for me to send my daughter to study abroad with such a great program!” 

February 2019 Auggie Pride Recipient

Congratulations to Mai Chong Vang, Financial Aid Counselor, for receiving the February Auggie Pride Award. During changes within her department both in staffing and processes, Mai has thrived as a fantastic counselor to our students and families. Staff Senate admires her outstanding work and are honored to award her with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Mai Chong Vang

The financial aid department gathers for a group photo
Congratulations Mai for receiving the February Auggie Pride Award

Nomination: Mai Chong is an invaluable member of our office and the larger university. She does outstanding work each day and is always ready and willing to learn new skills in order to assist other staff with their work. This has been noticed and greatly appreciated recently in our office as we have been short-staffed during the last few months. It’s not only that she has stepped in to help others with their work when needed, but she has done so while adapting to her own shifting work. As a result of a change in processes, she has nearly doubled the amount of financial aid awards that have been sent to prospective students compared to this time last year. In addition to her work behind the scenes, she is a fantastic counselor to students and families. She consistently provides a calm demeanor and presents complex financial aid information in an accessible way for students to understand.

Call for University Council Staff Representative Nominations

Staff Senate is grateful for the 3-year term that elected UC staff representative, Jim Trelstad-Porter, has served. As his term comes to an end we are beginning the election process for the next elected UC staff representative.

The overall Council structure is an outcome of the Shared Governance Report released in 2014. The goal is to establish advocates with deep institutional knowledge from across the campus community to provide recommendations on issues that affect the University’s commitment to its mission and values.

Eligibility of representatives

Those eligible to serve on University Council are Augsburg staff with a .75 FTE or higher regardless of exempt or nonexempt status, not including union, MnEEP or temporary employees. Staff Senate members are eligible to serve on the University Council and/or its sub-committees.

Reviewal of the nominees will be based on the following criteria:

  • Staff members meet eligibility requirements as described above.
  • Staff members have been employed by Augsburg University for a preference of two years or more.
  • Staff members have demonstrated both leadership and the ability to work across departments in their tenure at Augsburg.
  • Staff members are able to represent the staff perspective while advocating for the interests of the University as a whole.
  • Staff members have a broad range of institutional knowledge.
  • Staff members must demonstrate an understanding of the current campus climate.
  • Staff members understand the University’s strategic goals and are dedicated to helping achieve them.

The selection process for the University Council Staff Representative begins with an open call for nominations from April 15–22. Nominations are received electronically from any eligible voting staff members. Self-nominations, nomination of others, and nominations for Staff Senate members are acceptable. Nomination Form.

Learn more about UC Staff Rep requirements, expectation, and election process.

Advocate for your colleagues—join Staff Senate 2019-20

Be engaged in the Augsburg community by serving on Staff Senate! For the upcoming 2019–20 school year, there are four Staff Senate seats available: three elected positions and one at-large position. If you’d like to become a senator or nominate a colleague, complete the nomination form by Friday, March 29.  Nominees will be contacted by April 3rd and the election will be live from April 4–11.

All nominees will be contacted before a selection is made. The selected candidate will be notified by April 30 and announced at the Spring Social on May 21.

Staff Senate Nomination Form

Staff Senate Membership

Augsburg University Staff Senate is composed of six members who are nominated and elected by their peers for a two-year term and two at-large members to be chosen, in every instance, by Staff Senate. All Staff Senate members have the option to serve a third year.

Election Procedures

Nomination Rights: Nominations are collected through the online form. An online survey will be distributed for the election of the two open positions and Staff Senate will select the at-large member. Composition of Staff Senate: It is recommended that members be at least .75 FTE, regardless of exempt or non-exempt status.

Any questions please contact us at

Staff Spring Social set for May 21

Join the Augsburg community in celebrating the work of its staff during the past academic year. Food and drink will be provided and door prizes will be given away.

Staff Spring Social
Tuesday, May 21
3-5 p.m.  |  The Quad

If raining the location will change to the Hagfors Center Lobby/150. Email with any questions. Add this event to my calendar.

2019 Outstanding Staff Award Recipients

The winners of the 2019 Outstanding Staff awards are:

Outstanding Newcomer Award:
Stewart Van Cleve
, Library

Outstanding Staff Awards:
Kristina Fruge
, Christensen Center for Vocation
Bryan Massich, Facilities Management
Lisa Raetz, Biology
Jennifer Simon, American Indian Student Services
Ann Marie Yacobucci, Education Department

Staff Senate thanks all of the nominators for their work in gathering nominees and recommendation letters. We also thank those who were nominated and recognize the great work that all 19 staff have exhibited to be nominated by their peers.

Outstanding staff winners gather for a group photo
[L to R]: Ann Marie Yacobucci, President Paul C. Pribbenow, Stewart Van Cleve, Kristina Fruge, Bryan Massich, and Jennifer Simon. [Not pictured]: Lisa Raetz

Staff Senate: DPS Wrap Up

Posted on Categories Open Forum

Tuesday, April 23  |  1–2 p.m.
Christensen Center, Marshall Room

Scott Brownell will be following up on the December 2018 DPS presentation and will be giving updates to wrap up the academic year. If you miss the presentation from December you can see the event recap here.


Posted on Categories Open Forum

Tuesday, April 2
1–2 p.m.  |  Oren 100

Join us to hear goals, updates, and plans moving forward from the University Council subcommittees whom we didn’t hear from this Fall.

  • Resource Committee (Net Growth Revenue Update)—Karen Kaivola
  • Resource Committee (Staffing Structure Update)—Beth Reissenweber
  • Enrollment Committee—Robert Gould
  • Student Success Committee—Katie Bishop

This is the second of this year’s two part series to help allow more time for questions. Half of the sub-committees presented this fall (read our event recap). We look forward to seeing you there!

January 2019 Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to John Weirick, Marketing Copywriter, for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award. The large job he took on, on top of his regular day-to-day, to help improve consistency across communication will impact the university and beyond. Staff Senate admires his outstanding work and are honored to award him with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

John Weirick

Marketing and Events gather in a group photo to celebrate John's award
Congratulations John for receiving the January Auggie Pride Award

Nomination: John recently completed a massive project—developing a comprehensive editorial style guide to make sure the university is able to be consistent in our written communication across media (print publications, Augsburg Now, the website, etc.). This is a valuable tool for our department, but also for partners across campus who need to communicate with our key audiences: students, prospective students, alumni, donors, and more. Developing it took a tremendous amount of work and discussion both in the office and with others on campus.


To learn more about the Auggie Pride program and to make a nomination click here to visit our website.

December 2018 Auggie Pride Recipients

Congratulations to Christine Berkenpas, Associate Registrar, and Maggie Sotos, Enrollment Communications and Event Specialist for receiving the December Auggie Pride Awards. The service they provide to the entire Augsburg community has an unmeasurable impact on not only the people they encounter but the institution as a whole. Staff Senate admires their outstanding work and are honored to award them with this month’s Auggie Pride Award.

Christine Berkenpas

Registrars office gathers for a group photo with Christine
Congratulations Christine for receiving the December Auggie Pride Award

Nomination: Christine, Associate Registrar for Transfer and and Graduation, has worked tirelessly this term to advocate for our transfer students. She spent countless hours reviewing the new General Education proposal and its potential impact on Augsburg’s transfer student population. Christine pays attention to detail, uses data to demonstrate a need, and provides well-constructed responses for consideration. Christine identifies issues but always bring possible solutions to the table. Her research, collaboration, and follow-through have led to many meaningful conversation with the General Education Design Team. Christine’s work will have a positive impact on the Revised General Education Proposal which ultimately will benefit our transfer student population. Beyond this specific example, Christine is one of the most dedicated individuals I have worked with. She cares about our team, has high ethical and moral standards, and always puts our students first!

Maggie Sotos

Admissions gathers with Maggie for a photo
Congratulations Maggie for receiving the December Auggie Pride Award

Nomination: The Auggie Pride Staff Recognition Program honors staff members who go above and beyond on behalf…
   Augsburg’s mission statement leads with its dedication to creating informed citizens. These past few months, Maggie volunteered her time to engage both the admissions and admissions operations teams to participate in the November elections. Maggie regularly shared information on polling places, how to register, challenged the teams to research candidates and ballot issues, and brought in treats (and humor!) to incentivize the teams to vote. She challenged us to engage in the process in a thoughtful and meaningful way. I have to stress that Maggie didn’t care HOW we voted politically, but rather that we leverage our individual agency to affect collective community engagement. Maggie’s endless team spirit, motivation, and advocacy resulted in a 100% voter turnout among our departments! If her efforts don’t embody the very core of informed citizenship and thoughtful stewardship, I don’t know what does! Maggie brings passion to her work and lives out the University mission in her day-to-day connections with those around her, and I am thankful for the experience and vigor she brings to the University.